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ALVAREZ vs GUINGONA

SENATOR HEHERSON T. ALVAREZ, SENATOR JOSE D. LINA, JR., MR. NICASIO B. BAUTISTA, MR. JESUS P. GONZAGA, MR. SOLOMON D.
MAYLEM, LEONORA C. MEDINA, CASIANO S. ALIPON, petitioners, vs. HON. TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR., in his capacity as Executive
Secretary, HON. RAFAEL ALUNAN, in his capacity as Secretary of Local Government, HON. SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, in his capacity as
Secretary of Budget, THE COMMISSION ON AUDIT, HON. JOSE MIRANDA, in his capacity as Municipal Mayor of Santiago and HON.
CHARITO MANUBAY, HON. VICTORINO MIRANDA, JR., HON. ARTEMIO ALVAREZ, HON. DANILO VERGARA, HON. PETER DE JESUS, HON.
NELIA NATIVIDAD, HON. CELSO CALEON and HON. ABEL MUSNGI, in their capacity as SANGGUNIANG BAYAN MEMBERS, MR. RODRIGO
L. SANTOS, in his capacity as Municipal Treasurer, and ATTY. ALFREDO S. DIRIGE, in his capacity as Municipal Administrator,
respondents.

January 31, 1996


Hermosisima, Jr., J.

FACTS: Petitioners assail the validity of RA 7720 entitled An Act Converting the
Municipality of Santiago, Isabela into an Independent Component City to be known as the
City of Santiago on 2 grounds: 1) the Act did not originate exclusively in the House of
Representatives as mandated by the Constitution1; and 2) the Municipality of Santiago
has not met the minimum average annual income required under Sec 450 of the LGC.
Legislative process of RA 7720:
On April 18, 1993, HB 8817 was filed in the HOR. It went through 3 readings. On January
28, 1994, HB 8817 was transmitted to the Senate.
A counterpart of HB 8817, SB 1243, was filed in the Senate on May 19, 1993.
Senate Committee on Local Government recommended that HB 8817 be approved
without amendment, taking into consideration that it was on all fours with SB No. 1243.
Senator Alvarez, one of the petitioners, approved of the recommendation. The bill was
eventually approved by the Senate. The HOR approved the amendments made by the
Senate. The enrolled bill was submitted to the President, and was signed into law as RA
7720. A plebiscite was held on July 13, 1994. A great majority of the registered voters of
Santiago voted in favor of the conversion of Santiago into a city.
ISSUE: WON Santiago could qualify into a city because its average annual income is
less than that prescribed by the LGC (YES)
WON RA 7720 complied with Sec 24, Art VI of the Constitution (Yes)
RATIO: Petitioners claim that Santiago could not qualify into a component city because
its average annual income for the last 2 consecutive years falls below the required
annual income of P20,000,000.00. In computing the income, petitioners deducted the
IRA of Santiago. They argue that IRAs are not actually income but transfers and/or
budgetary aid from the national government. Petitioners' computation of average annual
income: P13,109,560.47. Computation of the Bureau of Local Government Finance of the
Department of Finance: P20,974,581.97.
Petitioners are wrong. IRAs form part of the income of LGUs. LGU is a political subdivision
of the State which is constituted by law and possessed of substantial control over its own
affairs. It is an intra sovereign subdivision of one sovereign nation, but not intended, to
be an imperium in imperio. The LGUs are autonomous in the sense that they are given
more powers, authority, responsibilities and resources, which the LGUs to develop not
only at their own pace and discretion but also with their own resources and assets.
The vesting of duty, responsibility and accountability in every LGU is accompanied with a
provision for reasonably adequate resources. Availment of such resources is effectuated
through the vesting in every local government unit of (1) the right to create and broaden
its own source of revenue; (2) the right to be allocated a just share in national taxes,
such share being in the form of IRAs; and (3) the right to be given its equitable share in
the proceeds of the utilization and development of the national wealth within its
territorial boundaries. The funds generated from these accrue to the general fund of the
LGU. IRAs are items of income because they form part of the gross accretion of the funds
of the LGU. IRAs regularly and automatically accrue to the local treasury without need of
any further action on the part of the LGU. They thus constitute income of the LGU.
Sec 450 (c), LGC: the average annual income shall include the income accruing to the
general fund, exclusive of special funds, transfers, and non-recurring income.
1

Sec 24, Art VI: All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local application, and private bills,
shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments.

A bill of local application like HB 8817 should originate exclusively in the HOR. Petitioners
claim that RA 7720 did not originate exclusively in the HOR because a similar bill, SB
1243, was passed in the Senate. Their contention is untenable. It cannot be denied that
HB 8817 was filed first. It was the bill which initiated the legislative process with
culminated to RA 7720.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition dismissed.
BASCO vs PAGCOR
Humberto Basco, Edilberto Balce, Socrates Maranan, and Lorenzo Sanchez (Petitioners) vs Philippine Amusement and
Gaming Corporation (Respondent)

May 14, 1991


Paras, J.

Facts: Petitioners filed the present petition seeking to annul the PD 1869, the PAGCOR Charter.
Among other things, hey contend that PD 1896 waived the Manila City government's right to
impose taxes and license fees, and that it has intruded into the local government's right to
impose local taxes and license fees, in contravention of the constitutionally enshrined principle of
local autonomy.
Background on PAGCOR: PAGCOR was created by virtue of PF 1067-A, and was granted a
franchise under PD 1067-B. It proved to be a potential source of revenue, thus PD. 1399 was
passed for PAGCOR to fully attain this objective. PAGCOR was created under PD 1869 to enable
the Government to regulate and centralize all games of chance authorized by existing franchise
or permitted by law. It was given territorial jurisdiction all over the Philippines. PAGCOR is the
third largest source of government revenue, next to the BIR and Customs.

ISSUE: WON PAGCOR is invalid for violating the principle of local autonomy (No)

RATIO: Petitioners' argument is directed against Sec 13 par(2) of PD 1869 2. Their argument,
however, has no merit. The City of Manila, being a mere Municipal corporation has no inherent
right to impose taxes. Its power to tax must always yield to a legislative act which is superior
having been passed upon by the state itself which has the inherent power to tax.
- The Charter of the City of Manila is subject to control by Congress. Municipal corporations are
mere creatures of Congress, which has the power to create and abolish municipal corporations.
Congress has the power of control over Local governments. It can grant the power to tax; it can
provide exemptions; it can take back the power.
- Manila's power to impose license fees on gambling has long been revoked by PD 771.
- Local governments have no power to tax instrumentalities of the National Government. PAGCOR
is a GOCC with an original charter, PD 1869. Being an instrumentality of the Government,
PAGCOR is exempt from local taxes. Otherwise, its operation might be burdened, impeded or
subjected to control by a mere Local government.
- The above doctrine emanates from the supremacy of the National Government over local
governments.
- Holmes of US SC: no state or political subdivision can regulate a federal instrumentality in such
a way as to prevent it from consummating its federal responsibilities, or even to seriously burden
it in the accomplishment of them.
- Sec, 5 Art X of the Constitution (Local Autonomy Clause) provides: Each local government unit
shall have the power to create its own source of revenue and to levy taxes, fees, and other
charges subject to such guidelines and limitation as the congress may provide, consistent with
the basic policy on local autonomy. Such taxes, fees and charges shall accrue exclusively to the
local government.
- The power of local government to impose taxes and fees is always subject to "limitations" of
Congress. The exemption clause of PD 1869 remains as an exception to the exercise of the power
of local governments to impose taxes and fees. It cannot be violative but rather is consistent with
the principle of local autonomy.
- The principle of local autonomy under the 1987 Constitution simply means decentralization
(Records of the 1987 Constitutional Commission). It does not make local governments sovereign
within the state or an imperium in imperio.
- The Local Government has been described as a political subdivision of a state which is
constituted by law and has substantial control of local affairs. Local governments can only be an
intra sovereign subdivision of one sovereign nation, it cannot be an imperium in imperio. Local
government in such a system can only mean a measure of decentralization of the function of
government.
- As to what state powers should be decentralized, and be delegated to LGU remains a matter of
policy, which concerns wisdom, and is therefore a political question.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition dismissed.

VILAS vs CITY OF MANILA


VERISIMO VASQUEZ VILAS, Plff. in Err. and Appt., v. CITY OF MANILA. NO 53.
ESPERANZA OTERO TRIGAS et al., Plffs. in Err. and Appts., v. CITY OF MANILA. NO 54.
RICARDO AGUADO, Appt., v. CITY OF MANILA. NO 207.

April 3, 1911
Lurton, J. (US Supreme Court)

(2) Income and other taxes. a) Franchise Holder: No tax of any kind or form, income or otherwise as well as fees, charges or levies of
whatever nature, whether National or Local, shall be assessed and collected under this franchise from the Corporation; nor shall any form or tax
or charge attach in any way to the earnings of the Corporation, except a franchise tax of five (5%) percent of the gross revenues or earnings
derived by the Corporation from its operations under this franchise. Such tax shall be due and payable quarterly to the National Government and
shall be in lieu of all kinds of taxes, levies, fees or assessments of any kind, nature or description, levied, established or collected by any
municipal, provincial or national government authority

FACTS: The plaintiffs in error, who were plaintiffs below, are creditors of the city of
Manila as it existed before the cession of the Philippine Islands to the United States by
the treaty of Paris. The supreme court of the Philippine Islands denied relief, holding that
the present municipality is a totally different corporate entity, and in no way liable for
the debts of the Spanish municipality.
- Background of Manila and the present claims:
- Manila existed before the Spanish conquest as a community of Moros.
- In 1571 Spain occupied what is now known as Manila, and established it as a municipal
corporation. In 1574 there was conferred upon it the title of 'Illustrious and ever loyal city
of Manila.'
- On January 19, 1894, there was a reorganization of the city government under a royal
decree. Under that charter there was power to incur debts for municipal purposes and
power to sue and be sued. The obligations here in suit were incurred under the charter.
- War ensued between Spain and US. US eventually won and occupied the Philippines. On
July 31, 1901, US passed the present incorporating act of Manila, and the city since that
time has been an autonomous municipality.
- Sec 1 of the charter provides: The inhabitants of the city of Manila, residing within the
territory described in 2 of this act, are hereby constituted a municipality, which shall be
known as the city of Manila, and by that name shall have perpetual succession, and shall
possess all the rights of property herein granted or heretofore enjoyed and possessed by
the city of Manila as organized under Spanish sovereignty.
ISSUE: WON the City of Manila is liable for the obligations (Yes)
RATIO: The argument against the liability is that the predecessor of the present city, the
ayuntamiento of Manila was a corporate entity created by the Spanish government, and
that when the sovereignty of Spain was terminated the municipality ipso facto
disappeared for all purposes. This conclusion is reached upon the analogy to a principal
and agent, with the death of the principal ending the agency.
- The argument loses sight of the dual character of municipal corporations. They exercise
powers which are governmental, and powers which are of a private or business
character. In the former it is a governmental subdivision, which exercises part of the
sovereignty of the state. In the latter it is a mere legal entity or juristic person; this
character it stands for the community in the administration of local affairs wholly beyond
the sphere of the public purposes for which its governmental powers are conferred.
- There is no public reason for presuming a municipal corporation's total dissolution as a
mere consequence of military occupation or territorial cession. The suspension of such
governmental functions as are incompatible with the new political relations, But no such
implication may be reasonably indulged beyond that result.
- There is a total abrogation of the former political relations, but the great body of
municipal law which regulates private and domestic rights continues in force until
abrogated or changed by the new ruler.
- Chicago, R. I. & P. R. Co. v. McGlinn: whenever political jurisdiction... over any territory
are transferred from one nation or sovereign to another, the municipal laws of the
country, that is, laws which are intended for the protection of private rights, continue in
force until abrogated... by the new government... public property passes from one
government to the other, but private property remains as before, and with it those
municipal laws which are designed to secure its peaceful use and enjoyment.
- Downes v. Bidwell: during military occupation the affairs of the city were in a large part
administered by officials put in place by military order did not operate to dissolve the

corporation... The continuity of the corporate city was not inconsistent with military
occupation or the constitution or institutions of the occupying power...
- The inhabitants of the old city are the incorporators of the new. There is substantially
identity of area. Laying out of view any question of the constitutional guaranty against
impairment of the obligation of contracts, there is, in the absence of express legislative
declaration of a contrary purpose, no reason for supposing that the reincorporation of an
old municipality is intended to permit an escape from the obligations of the old. The
present city is, in every legal sense, the successor of the old. It is entitled to the property
of the predecessor corporation, and is subject to all of its liabilities.
DISPOSITIVE: Judgments reversed and remanded
LIDASAN vs COMELEC
Bara Lidasan (Petitioner) vs Commission on Election (Respondent)
October 25, 1967
Sanchez, J.
FACTS: RA 4790 entitled "An Act Creating the Municipality of Dianaton in the Province of
Lanao del Sur" was enacted. It mandated that 21 barrios would become part of the new
municipality of Dianaton. However, out of the 21 municipalities stated, 12 belong to the
province of Cotabato, and not Lanao Del Sur.
- Comelec adopted a Resolution with regard to the elections of Dianaton. It issued
another Resolution stating that it will implement RA 4790.
- Lidasan, a resident and taxpayer of one of the Cotabato municipalities included in RA
4790, filed the present petition for certiorari and prohibition with the SC. He argues that
the law is unconstitutional for violating the constitutional mandate that no law shall
embrace more than one subject as expressed in its title.
ISSUE: WON RA 4790 is unconstitutional for having more than one subject (Yes)
WON RA 4790 is divisible (No. It is indivisible. Thus, the whole act is void.)

RATIO: Dual limitation of the constitutional provision3 upon legislative power: 1)


Congress is to refrain from conglomeration, under one statute, of heterogeneous
subjects; 2) The title of the bill is to be couched in a language sufficient to notify the
legislators and the public and those concerned of the import of the single subject thereof.
- The test of the sufficiency of a title is whether or not it is misleading. A title which is so
uncertain that the average person reading it would not be informed of the purpose of the
enactment or put on inquiry as to its contents, or which is misleading is bad.
- The title of the law created the impression that only the province of Lanao del Sur is
affected. It does not state that parts of Cotabato are included. The title is misleading and
deceptive. Thus, RA 4790 is null and void.
- Comelec suggests that the law can still be saved, that the Cotabato municipalities in
the law can be removed, and Dianaton can be created with the 9 remaining Lanao
municipalities.
- But while the valid portion of the law can be separated from the void portion, the valid
portion must be so far independent of the invalid portion that it is fair to presume that
the Legislature would have enacted it by itself if they had supposed that they could not
constitutionally enact the other.
- The Court could not indulge in the assumption that Congress still intended to create the
restricted area of nine barrios in into the town of Dianaton, if the twelve barrios in
Cotabato were to be excluded.
- Municipal corporations perform twin functions. Firstly. They serve as an instrumentality
of the State in carrying out the functions of government. Secondly. They act as an
agency of the community in the administration of local affairs. It is in the latter character
that they are a separate entity acting for their own purposes and not a subdivision of the
State.

Art VI, Sec 21(1), 1935 Constitution: No bill which may be enacted into law shall embrace more than one subject which shall be expressed in
the title of the bill.

- Consequently, several factors come into consideration of whether a group of barrios is


capable of maintaining itself as an independent municipality. Amongst these are
population, territory, and income, as shown in the bill's explanatory note 4.
- The totality of the 21 barrios, not 9, was in the mind of the law's proponent. This is
evident by the fact that the law itslef states that the seat of the government is in Togaig,
which is in Cotabato.
- Being indivisible, the whole law is void.
DISPOSITIVE: RA 4790 declared null and void.
Fernando (Dissenting):
- The title makes evident what is the subject matter of such an enactment. The mere fact
the statute contains barrios found in another province does not of itself suffice for a
finding of nullity.
- The law is not to be narrowly construed though as to cripple or impede proper
legislation. The construction must be reasonable and not technical. It is sufficient if the
title be comprehensive enough reasonably to include the general object which the
statute seeks to effect.
- Jurisprudence on the matter does not construe strictly. It is also a basic principle that a
statute must be given a construction which supports its constitutionality.

REPUBLIC vs CITY OF DAVAO


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by HON. HEHERSON T. ALVAREZ, in his capacity as Secretary of the DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DENR), CLARENCE L. BAGUILAT, in his capacity as the Regional Executive Director of
DENR-Region XI and ENGR. BIENVENIDO L. LIPAYON, in his capacity as the Regional Director of the DENR-ENVIRONMENTAL
MANAGEMENT BUREAU (DENR-EMB), Region XI, petitioners, vs. THE CITY OF DAVAO, represented by BENJAMIN C. DE GUZMAN, City
Mayor, respondent.

September 12, 2002


Ynares-Santiago, J.

FACTS: On August 11, 2000, Davao filed an application for a Certificate of Non-Coverage
(CNC) for its proposed project, the Davao City Artica Sports Dome, with the
Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Region XI. Attached to the application were
the required documents for its issuance.
- EMB Region XI denied the application after finding that the proposed project was within
an environmentally critical area and ruled that, pursuant to Sec 2 of PD 1586, otherwise
known as the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System, in relation to Sec 4 of PD
1151, also known as the Philippine Environment Policy, Davao must undergo the
4 The territory is now a progressive community; the aggregate population is large; and the collective income is sufficient to maintain an independent
municipality.
autonomy.

This bill, if enacted into law, will enable the inhabitants concerned to govern themselves and enjoy the blessings of municipal

environmental impact assessment (EIA) process to secure an Environmental Compliance


Certificate (ECC), before it can proceed.
- Davao filed a petition for Mandamus with the RTC. It alleged that its proposed project
was neither an environmentally critical project nor within an environmentally critical
area; thus it was outside the scope of the EIS system.
- RTC ruled in favor of Davao. It said that there is nothing in the law which requires LGUs
to comply. Only agencies and instrumentalities of the national government, including
GOCCs, as well as private entities are mandated to go through the EIA process. A LGU is
not an agency or instrumentality of the National Government, thus not covered. It also
said that the project is not environmentally critical, and that it is not in an
environmentally critical area.
- The Republic filed an MR, which was denied. Hence, the present petition for review.
ISSUE: Whether Davao should be granted the certificate (Yes. Its project is not
environmentally critical.)
RATIO: Sec 15 of RA 7160 (Local Government Code): a local government unit is a body
politic and corporate endowed with powers to be exercised by it in conformity with law.
- It performs dual functions, governmental and proprietary. Governmental functions are
those that concern the health, safety and the advancement of the public good or welfare
as affecting the public generally. Proprietary functions are those that seek to obtain
special corporate benefits or earn pecuniary profit and intended for private advantage
and benefit. When exercising governmental powers and performing governmental duties,
an LGU is an agency of the national government. When engaged in corporate activities,
it acts as an agent of the community in the administration of local affairs.
- Sec 16 LGC is the duty of the LGUs to promote the peoples right to a balanced ecology.
An LGU can not claim exemption from the coverage of PD 1586. As a body politic
endowed with governmental functions, an LGU has the duty to ensure the quality of the
environment, which is the very same objective of PD 1586.
- Sec 4 PD 1586 clearly states that no person, partnership or corporation shall
undertake or operate any such declared environmentally critical project or area without
first securing an Environmental Compliance Certificate issued by the President or his duly
authorized representative. The Civil Code defines a person as either natural or juridical.
The state and its political subdivisions, i.e., the local government units are juridical
persons. Undoubtedly, LGUs are not excluded from the coverage of PD 1586.
- Whereas clause stresses that we adopt a comprehensive and integrated environmental
protection program where all the sectors of the community are involved. LGUs, as part of
the machinery of the government, cannot be deemed as outside the scope of the EIS
system.However, In the case at bar, Davao has sufficiently shown that the Artica Sports
Dome will not have a significant negative environmental impact because it is not an
environmentally critical project and it is not located in an environmentally critical area.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition denied.
SAN JUAN vs CSC
Reynaldo San Juan (Petitioner) vs Civil Service Commission, Department of Budget and Management, and Cecilia
Almajose (Respondents)

April 19, 1991


Gutierrez, Jr., J.
FACTS: On March 22, 1988, the position of Provincial Budget Officer (PBO) for the
province of Rizal was left vacant. Gov. San Juan of Laguna informed Director Abella of
DBM Region IV that Dalisay Santos assumed office as Acting PBO, and requested Director

Abella to endorse the appointment of Santos to the position of PBO of Rizal. Director
Abella recommended the appointment of Cecilia Almajose as PBO since she was the
most qualified. DBM Undersecretary Cabuquit signed the appointment papers of
Almajose upon the said recommendation.

- Gov. San Juan protested the said appointment of Almajose on the grounds that
Cabuquit is not legally authorized to appoint the PBO; and that under EO 1125, it is the
Provincial Governor, not the Regional Director or a Congressman, who has the power to
recommend nominees for the position of PBO.
- DBM, through its Director of the Bureau of Legal & Legislative Affairs (BLLA) Virgilio
Afurung, ruled that Gov. San Juan's protest is not meritorious as DBM validly exercised its
prerogative in filling-up the contested position since none of the San Juan's nominees
met the prescribed requirements.
- DBM Secretary denied San Juan's MR. San Juan wrote to CSC contesting the
appointment. CSC made a Resolution dismissing the appeal of San Juan.
- Hence, San Juan filed the present petition for certiorari with the SC.
ISSUE: Whether Almajose is lawfully entitled to discharge the title of PBO (No. She was
appointed without authority.)

PLACING ALL BUDGET OFFICERS OF PROVINCES, CITIES AND MUNICIPALITIES UNDER THE ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL
AND TECHNICAL SUPERVISION OF THE MINISTRY OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT

RATIO: San Juan invokes Sec 1 of EO 1126. He states that the phrase "upon
recommendation of the local chief executive concerned" must be given mandatory
application in consonance with the state policy of local autonomy. He further argues that
his power to recommend be defeated by aa administrative issuance of DBM reserving to
itself the right to fill-up any vacancy in case the nominees do not meet the qualification
requirements
- CSC justified its ruling by saying that the recommendation of the local chief executive is
merely directory and not a condition sine qua non to the exercise by the Secretary of
DBM of his appointing prerogative; and that the PBO has been nationalized and is
directly under the control and supervision of the DBM Secretary.
- The issue at hand involves the application of the constitutional policy of local autonomy.
The clear mandate on local autonomy must be obeyed. Thus, where a law is capable of
two interpretations, the scales must be weighed in favor of autonomy.
- The exercise by local governments of meaningful power has been a national goal since
the turn of the century.
- McKinley's Instructions directed to give top priority to making local autonomy effective.
- 1935 Constitution provided that he has control of all the executive departments, but
exercises general supervision over all local governments as may be provided by law.
- Tecson v. Salas: supervision... the power or authority of an officer to see that
subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them the
former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their
duties... Control... means the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside
what a subordinate had done in the performance of their duties and to substitute the
judgment of the former for that of the latter.
- Principle of government in 1973 Constitution: The State shall guarantee and promote
the autonomy of local government units, especially the barangay to ensure their fullest
development as self-reliant communities.

All budget officers of provinces, cities and municipalities shall be appointed henceforth by the Minister of Budget and Management upon
recommendation of the local chief executive concerned, subject to civil service law, rules and regulations, and they shall be placed under the
administrative control and technical supervision of the Ministry of Budget and Management.

- The exercise of greater local autonomy is even more marked in the present
Constitution7.
- When the CSC's interpretation went against the letter and spirit of the constitutional
provisions on local autonomy. Local Budget Circular No. 31 which states: The DBM
reserves the right to fill up any existing vacancy where none of the nominees of the local
chief executive meet the prescribed requirements is ultra vires and is, accordingly, set
aside. DBM may appoint only from the list of qualified recommendees by the Governor. If
none is qualified, he must return the list of nominees to the Governor explaining why no
one meets the legal requirements and ask for new recommendees.
- The PBO is expected to synchronize his work with DBM. More important, however, is the
proper administration of fiscal affairs at the local level. They are prepared by the local
officials who must work within the constraints of those budgets. They are not formulated
in the inner sanctums of an all-knowing DBM
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted. CSC resolution set aside. Appointment of Almajose
nullified.
PIMENTEL vs AGUIRRE
Aquilino Pimintel, Jr. (Petitioner) vs Hon. Aguirre, as Executive Secretary, Hon. Boncodin, as Secretary of the
Department of Budget and Management (Respondents)

July 19, 2000


Panganiban, J.
FACTS: On December 27, 1997, the President Ramos issued AO 372. Among other
provisions, it contained the following:
SECTION 1. All government departments and agencies, including state universities and
colleges, government-owned and controlled corporations and local governments units
will identify and implement measures in FY 1998 that will reduce total expenditures for
the year by at least 25% of authorized regular appropriations for non-personal services
items, along the following suggested areas:
xxx
SECTION 4. Pending the assessment and evaluation by the Development Budget
Coordinating Committee of the emerging fiscal situation, the amount equivalent to 10%
of the internal revenue allotment to local government units shall be withheld.
- On December 10, 1998, President Estrada issued AO 43, amending Sec 4 of AO 372, by
reducing 5% the amount of IRA to be withheld from the LGUs.
- Petitioner filed with the SC the present Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition seeking (1)
to annul Sec 1 of AO 372, insofar as it requires LGUs to reduce their expenditures; and
(2) to enjoin respondents from implementing Sec 4, which withholds a portion of their
IRAs.
- Petitioner contends that the President, in issuing AO 372, was in effect exercising the
power of control over LGUs, whereas the Constitution vests in the President only the
power of general supervision, and that the directive to withhold 10% of their IRA is in
contravention of Sec 286 of the LGC, and of Sec 6 Art X of the Constitution, providing for
the automatic release to each LGU its share in the national revenue.
- The solicitor general claims that AO 372 constituted merely an exercise of the
President's power of supervision over LGUs, and that it does not violate local fiscal
autonomy, because it merely directs LGUs to identify measures that will reduce their
7

Sec 25, Art II. Art X on Local Governments, specifically Secs 2, 3, and 14.

total expenditures, and that the withholding of the IRA does not violate the statutory
prohibition because such withholding is temporary in nature pending the assessment and
evaluation by the Development Coordination Committee.
ISSUE: Whether AO 372 is unconstitutional (No. It does not constitute as an exercise of
control over LGUs. But the provision relating to the IRA contravenes the local fiscal
autonomy of LGUs. Thus, the AO should not be applied to LGUs.)
RATIO: Sec 4 Art X of the Constitution confines the President's power over local
governments to one of general supervision. This provision has been interpreted to
exclude the power of control.
- Mondano v. Silvosa contrasted the power of supervision over local government officials
with the power of control over executive officials of the national government:
supervision means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that
subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them, the
former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their
duties. Control, on the other hand, means the power of an officer to alter or modify or
nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer ha[s] done in the performance of his duties
and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter.
- Taule v. Santos: upervisory power, when contrasted with control, is the power of mere
oversight over an inferior body; it does not include any restraining authority over such
body.
- The members of the Cabinet and other executive officials are merely alter egos of the
President, thus they are subject to the his power of control. In contrast, the heads of
political subdivisions are elected by the people. Their sovereign powers emanate from
the electorate. By constitutional fiat, they are subject to the Presidents supervision only,
not control, so long as their acts are exercised within the sphere of their legitimate
powers.
- Under the Philippine concept of local autonomy, the national government has not
completely relinquished all its powers over local governments. Only administrative
powers over local affairs are delegated. The purpose of the delegation is to make
governance more directly responsive and effective at the local levels.
- LGUs, in addition to having administrative autonomy in the exercise of their functions,
enjoy fiscal autonomy as well. Fiscal autonomy means that LGUs have the power to
create their own sources of revenue in addition to their equitable share in the national
taxes, as well as the power to allocate their resources in accordance with their own
priorities.
- Local fiscal autonomy does not however rule out any manner of national government
intervention by way of supervision, in order to ensure that local programs, fiscal and
otherwise, are consistent with national goals.
- Consequently, Sec 284 of the LCG allows the President to make adjustments to the IRA.
But the following requisites must concur: 1) an unmanaged public sector deficit; 12)
consultations with the presiding officers of Congress, and the presidents of the various
local leagues; and 3) the corresponding recommendation of some Cabinet Secretaries.
- Petitioner points out that the said requirements were not complied with. On the other
hand, the Solicitor General contends that AO 372 is merely directory as it is intended
only to advise all government agencies and instrumentalities to undertake cost-reduction
measure, and therefore does constitute the exercise of the power of control
- Court accepts the Solicitor General's assurance AO 372 is merely advisory in character,
and does not constitute a mandatory or binding order that interferes with local
autonomy. It is in this light that Sec 1 is sustained.

- Sec 4, however, cannot be upheld.

- A basic feature of local fiscal autonomy is the automatic release of the shares of LGUs
in the national internal revenue as mandated by the Constitution8, and as implemented
by the LGC9.
- The provision clearly contravenes the Constitution and the law. The temporary nature of
the retention by the national government does not matter. Any retention is prohibited.
- Thus, while Sec 1 of AO 372 may be upheld as an advisory effected in times of national
crisis, Sec 4 has no color of validity at all.
- Refutation of dissent:
- No need to wait implementation before the illegal act can be questioned. The real issue
here is whether the Constitution and the law are contravened by Section 4 of AO 372, not
whether they are violated by the acts implementing it. By the mere enactment of the
questioned law or the approval of the challenged action, the dispute is said to have
ripened into a judicial controversy even without any other overt act.
- The acts alluded to in the Dissent are indeed authorized by law; but, quite the opposite,
Sec 4 of AO 372 is bereft of any legal or constitutional basis.
- In striking down Sec, the Court is not ruling out any form of reduction in the IRAs.
Indeed, as the President may make necessary adjustments in case of an unmanageable
public sector deficit. The dissent, however, merely glances over a specific requirement in
the same provision that such reduction is subject to consultation with the presiding
officers of both Houses of Congress and, more importantly, with the presidents of the
leagues of local governments.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted. Respondents are prohibited from implementing the AOs
insofar as LGUs are concerned.
Kapunan (Dissenting):
- Sec 4 of AO 372 does not present a case ripe for adjudication. It does not conclusively
show that, on its face, the constitutional provision on the automatic release of the IRA
shares of the LGUs has been violated. Where the conduct has not yet occurred and the
challenged construction has not yet been adopted by the agency charged with
administering the AO, the determination of the scope and constitutionality in advance of
its immediate adverse effect involves too remote and abstract an inquiry for the proper
exercise of judicial function. It is not shown that the IRA share of LGUs that was
temporarily withheld has not yet been released, or that the DBM has refused and
continues to refuse its release.
- The President is the chief fiscal officer of the country. He is ultimately responsible for
the collection and distribution of public money. As such, he supervises fiscal
development in the local government units and ensures that laws are faithfully executed.
- Local development plans must thus hew to national policies and standards. Local
budget plans and goals must also be harmonized, as far as practicable, with national
development goals and strategies in order to optimize the utilization of resources and to
avoid duplication in the use of fiscal and physical resources.
- Sec 4 of AO No. 372 was issued in the exercise by the President not only of his power of
general supervision, but also in conformity with his role as chief fiscal officer of the
country.
8

Sec 6, Art X Constitution.

Sec 286.

- The phrase "automatic release" of the LGUs' shares does not mean that the release of
the funds is mechanical, spontaneous, self-operating or reflex. IRAs must first be
determined, and the money for their payment collected. In this regard, administrative
documentations are also undertaken to ascertain their availability, limits and extent.
Thus, it should be used in the context of the whole budgetary process.
- All that Sec 286 of the LGC requires is the automatic release of the amount that the
LGUs are rightfully and legally entitled to.
- The power to determine whether there is an unmanageable public sector deficit is
lodged in the President. The President's determination, as fiscal manager of the country,
of the existence of economic difficulties which could amount to "unmanageable public
sector deficit" should be accorded respect.
- In resume, the withholding of the IRA was temporary pending determination by the
Executive of the actual share which the LGUs are rightfully entitled to on the basis of the
applicable laws, particularly Sec 284 of the LGC, authorizing the President to make the
necessary adjustments in the IRA in the event of an unmanageable public sector deficit.
GANZON VS CA
RODOLFO T. GANZON, petitioner, vs.THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and LUIS T. SANTOS, respondents.

August 5, 1991
Sarmiento, J.
FACTS: The petitioners in this case are the Mayor of Iloilo City and a member of the
Sangguniang Panglunsod thereof. 10 administrative complaints were filed against
Ganzon on various charges, among them, abuse of authority, oppression, grave
misconduct, disgraceful and immoral conduct, intimidation, culpable violation of the
Constitution, and arbitrary detention. These were brought by persons who included some
members of the local government. Hearings were conducted by the Department of Local
Government. The Secretary found probable cause against Ganzon and issued a
suspension order for a period of 60 days.
- With respect to one of the cases, prima facie evidence was found to exist so the
Secretary issued another suspension order. Ganzon filed a petition for prohibition with
the CA.
- The Secretary issued another order preventively suspending Ganzon. Ganzon filed
another petition for prohibition with the CA.
- The CA dismissed both petitions, hence the present recourse to the SC. CA certified the
petition of Mary Ann Artieda who was similarly charged by the Secretary.
- Ganzon claims that he was denied due process, and that the President, through the
Secretary does not have the power to suspend him.
ISSUE: Whether the Secretary can suspend Ganzon (Yes)

RATIO: It is the petitioners' argument that the 1987 Constitution no longer allows the
President to exercise the power of suspension and/or removal over local officials. They
anchor this argument on the removal of the phrase as may be provided bylaw from the
provision10. They argue that because of the deletion, no law may provide for the power of
the President any longer.
- The Secretary acted in consonance with the legal provisions the LGC (Secs 62, and 63).
- Notwithstanding the change in the provision, the Constitution did not intend to divest
the legislature of its right or the President of her prerogative as conferred by existing
legislation to provide administrative sanctions against local officials. The omission of the
phrase signifies the local governments' autonomy from congress and their break
Congress' "control" over their affairs. It did not, however, intend to deprive the
legislature of all authority over municipal corporations.

10 Sec 4 Art X, 1985 Consti: The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments. Provinces with respect to
component cities and municipalities, and cities and municipalities with respect to component barangays shall ensure that the acts of their component
units are within the scope of their prescribed powers and functions. 1935 Consti: The President shall have control of all the executive departments,
bureaus, or offices, exercise general supervision over all Local governments as may be provided by law, and take care that the laws be faithfully
executed.

- Autonomy does not, after all, contemplate making mini-states out of LGUs. Autonomy is
subject to the guiding star, though not control, of the legislature. "Local autonomy" is not
instantly self-executing, but subject to measures11 designed to realize autonomy at the
local level.

11 Consti. Art X, Secs 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14.

- The Constitution allows Congress to include in the local government code provisions for
removal of local officials, which suggest that it may exercise removal powers, and as the
LGC has done, delegate its exercise to the President12.
- "Supervision" is not incompatible with disciplinary authority.
- Mondano v Silvosa: supervision means overseeing or the power or authority of an
officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. If the latter fail or neglect to
fulfill them the former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them
perform their duties. Control, on the other hand, means the power of an officer to alter or
modify or nullify of set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of
his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter.
- "Investigating" is not inconsistent with "overseeing", although it is a lesser power than
"altering".
- Removal and suspension of public officers are always controlled by the particular law
applicable and its proper construction subject to constitutional limitations. In the cases
where SC denied the President the power to suspend it was not because the President
can not exercise it on account of his limited power, but because the law lodged the
power elsewhere.
- The new Constitution did not repeal the LGC. "Supervision" and "removal" are not
incompatible terms and one may stand with the other notwithstanding the stronger
expression of local autonomy under the new Charter.
- Local autonomy in the Constitution does nothing more than to break up the monopoly
of the national government over the affairs of local governments. It is not meant to end
the relation of partnership and inter-dependence between the central administration and
LGUs. LGUs, under the Constitution, are subject to regulation, however limited, and for
no other purpose than precisely to enhance self- government.
- Decentralization means devolution of national administration but not power to the local
levels.
- The successive suspensions against Ganzon, however, was excessive. As he is facing
10 cases, the Secretary can suspend him for a total of 600 days, effectively suspending
him out of office. While a preventive suspension may be justified, its continuance for an
unreasonable length of time raises a due process question. For even if thereafter he were
acquitted, in the meanwhile his right to hold office had been nullified. Not only the
official is the victim, but also the people, who were deprived of the services of the person
they elected.
- The purpose of suspension is to prevent the accused from hampering the normal cause
of the investigation with his influence and authority over possible witnesses. Under the
LGC it cannot exceed 60 days.
DISPOSITIVE: Petitions dismissed.
CORDILLERA BROAD COALITION VS COA
CORDILLERA BROAD COALITION, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, respondent.

January 29, 1990


Cruz, J.

FACTS: President Aquino issued EO 220, dated July 15, 1987, creating the CAR. Historical
background of EO 220:
- Fr. Conrado M. Balweg, S.V.D., broke off from the CPP-NPA.
12 Sec 3, Art X, Consti.

- After President Aquino was installed into office, she called on all revolutionary forces to
a peace dialogue. The Cordillera People's Liberation Army (CPLA) heeded this call.
- The parties arrived at an agreement in principle: the Cordillera people shall not
undertake their demands through armed and violent struggle but by peaceful means,
such as political negotiations.
- A joint agreement was signed between Fr. Balweg, and Ambassador Pelaez, the Chief
Negotiator of the government.
- EO 220 was enacted pursuant to the joint agreement. EO 220, which was issued by the
President in the exercise of her legislative powers, created CAR which covers the
provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and Mountain Province and the City
of Baguio. It was created to accelerate economic and social growth in the region and to
prepare for the establishment of the autonomous region in the Cordilleras. Its main
function is to coordinate the planning and implementation of programs and services in
the region, particularly, to coordinate with the local government units as well as with the
executive departments of the national government.
- The present petition was filed with the SC challenging EO 220 on the ground that it
preempts the enactment of an organic act by the Congress and the creation of' the
autonomous region in the Cordilleras conditional on the approval of the act through a
plebiscite.
- During the pendency of this case, RA 6766 entitled "An Act Providing for an Organic Act
for the Cordillera Autonomous Region" was enacted and signed into law. The Act
recognizes the CAR and the offices and agencies created under EO 220.
ISSUE: Whether EO 220 preempts the creation of an autonomous region in the
Cordilleras (No)

RATIO: EO 220 envisions the consolidation and coordination of the delivery of services of
line departments and agencies of the National Government in the areas covered by the
administrative region as a step preparatory to the grant of autonomy to the Cordilleras.
It does not create the autonomous region contemplated in the Constitution. The
Constitution outlines the procedure for the creation of an autonomous region in the
Cordilleras13. All of these will take time. The President saw it fit to provide for some
measures to address the urgent needs of the Cordilleras in the meantime that the
organic act had not yet been passed and the autonomous region created. The transitory
nature of the CAR does not necessarily mean that it is the interim autonomous region in
the Cordilleras.
The Constitution provides for a basic structure of government in the autonomous region.
Using this as a guide, it can be seen that EO 220 did not establish an autonomous
regional government. It created a region, covering a specified area, for administrative
purposes with the main objective of coordinating the planning and implementation of
programs and services.
- The bodies created by EO 220 do not supplant the existing local governmental
structure, nor are they autonomous government agencies. They merely constitute the
mechanism that brings together the existing local governments, the National
Government, the ethno-linguistic groups, and NGOs in an effort to spur development in
the Cordilleras.
- A collateral issue raised by petitioners is the nature of the CAR: whether or not it is a
territorial and political subdivision. The relevant constitutional provisions are Sec 1, and
10 of Art X.
- EO 220 did not create a new territorial and political subdivision or merge existing ones
into a larger subdivision.
- CAR is not a public corporation or a territorial and political subdivision. It does not have
a separate juridical personality, unlike provinces, cities and municipalities.
- The creation of administrative regions for the purpose of expediting the delivery of
services is nothing new. This was done before in the Integrated Reorganization Plan of
1972. CAR is in the same genre as the administrative regions created under the
Reorganization Plan.
- Petitioners incidentally argue that the creation of the CAR contravened the
constitutional guarantee of the local autonomy of the LGUs concerned.
- The constitutional guarantee of local autonomy refers to the administrative autonomy
of local government units or, the decentralization of government authority. On the other
hand, the creation of autonomous regions in Mindanao and the Cordilleras contemplates
the grant of political autonomy and not just administrative autonomy these regions.
- Petitioners failed to show how the creation of the CAR has actually diminished the local
autonomy of the covered provinces and city.
DISPOSITIVE: Petitions dismissed.
LIMBONA vs MANGELIN
Sultan Alimbosar Limbona (Petitioner) vs Conte Mangelin, Salic Ali, Salindato Ali, Pilimpinas Conding, Acmad Tomawis, Gerry Tomawis,
Jesus Ortix, Antonio Dela Fuente, Diego Palomares Jr., Raul Dagalangit, and Bimbo Sinsuat (Respondents)

February 28, 1989


Sarmiento, J.
13 Sec 18, Art X

FACTS: On September 24, 1986, Limbona was appointed as a member of the


Sangguniang Pampook, Regional Autonomous Government, Region XII, representing
Lanao del Sur. On March 12, 1987, he was elected Speaker of the Regional Legislative
Assembly or Batasang Pampook of Central Mindanao
- On October 21, 1987, Congressman Matalam, Chairman of the Committee on Muslim
Affairs of the House of Representatives invited Limbona to the House to undertake
consultations.
- Consistent with the said invitation, Limbona informed the members of the Assemby that
there shall be no session in November since his presence in the House takes precedence
over any pending business in batasang pampook.
- On November 2, 1987, the Assembly held session in defiance of petitioner's advice. The
seat of Limbona was declared vacant.
- Limbona filed with the SC the present petition assailing the actions of the acts of the
Sangguniang Pampook.
- During the pendency of the proceedings, the Court received a resolution from the
Sanggunian expelling Limbona since he caused the payment of salary to a certain
Abdula, who was considered resigned, and therefore exercised powers not authorized by
the Sanggunian.
ISSUE:
Whether Limbona was validly expelled (No. he was not give due process.)
Whether the court has jurisdiction in view of the principle of local autonomy (Yes.)
RATIO: The case has not been rendered moot and academic by reason simply of the
expulsion resolution so issued. The expulsion is of no force and effect. There is no
showing that the Sanggunian had conducted an investigation, and that Limbona had
been given the opportunity to be heard. It does not appear that Limbona was even made
aware of the charges against him.
- The resolution appears strongly to be a bare act of vendetta by the other Assemblymen
against Limbona.
- Limbona's reinstatement must therefore be ordered.
The autonomous governments of Mindanao were organized in Regions IX and XII by PD
1618. It established "internal autonomy... within the framework of the national
sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines... It requires the
autonomous regional governments to "undertake all internal administrative matters for
the respective regions," except to "act on matters which are within the jurisdiction and
competence of the National Government..." In relation to the central government, it
provides that "[t]he President shall have the power of general supervision and control
over the Autonomous Regions..."
- Autonomy is either decentralization of administration or decentralization of power.
- Decentralization of administration: the central government delegates administrative
powers to political subdivisions in order to broaden the base of government power, make
local governments more responsive and accountable, and ensure their fullest
development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the
pursuit of national development and social progress. The President exercises general
supervision over them; he has no control in the sense that he can substitute their
judgments with his own.
- Decentralization of power: abdication of political power in the favor of local
governments units. The autonomous government is free to shape its future with
minimum intervention from central authorities. It becomes accountable not to the central
authorities but to its constituency.

- Under the Constitution, there is autonomy in 2 senses. One is that in Secs 1 and 2 or
Art X, while the other is that in Sec 15 or Art X. An autonomous government that enjoys
autonomy of the latter category is subject alone to the decree of the organic act creating
it and accepted principles on the effects and limits of autonomy. On the other hand, an
autonomous government of the former class is under the supervision of the national
government acting through the President.
- If the Sangguniang Pampook that of the first class its acts are beyond the domain of the
Court. But if it is that of the second class it comes under the Court's jurisdiction. An
examination of the PD creating the autonomous governments shows that they were
never meant to exercise autonomy in the second sense. PD 1618 mandates that "[t]he
President shall have the power of general supervision and control over Autonomous
Regions.", and that the Sangguniang Pampook, their legislative arm, is made to
discharge chiefly administrative services.
- Thus, the court can assume jurisdiction.
- Limbona could not have called a recess since at that time the Sanggunian is not yet in
session; no recess could be called. However, the members of the Sanggunian opened the
sessions behind Limbona's back in an apparent act of mutiny. Under the circumstances
the recess called on the ground of good faith is upheld.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted.
PELAEZ vs AUDITOR GENERAL
Emmanuel Pelaez (Petitioner) vs The Auditor General (Respondent)

December 24, 1965


Concepcion, J.
FACTS: From September 4 to October 29, 1964 the President, purporting to act pursuant
to Sec 68 of the RAC, issued EOs 93 to 121, 124 and 126 to 129; creating 33
municipalities.
- On November 10, 1964, Emmanuel Pelaez, as Vice President and as taxpayer, instituted
the present special civil action, for a writ of prohibition against the Auditor General, to
restrain him from passing in audit any expenditure of public funds in implementation of
said EOs and/or any disbursement by said municipalities.
- Petitioner alleges that the EOs are null and void, upon the ground that said Sec 68 has
been impliedly repealed by RA 2370, and constitutes an undue delegation of legislative
power.
- RA 2370 became effective on January 1, 1960. Sec 3 of which reads: Barrios shall not
be created or their boundaries altered nor their names changed except under the
provisions of this Act or by Act of Congress.
- Thus, petitioner contends that since the President cannot create a barrio, neither could
he create a municipality which is composed of barrios. The respondent argues otherwise,
upon the theory that a new municipality can be created without creating new barrios,
such as, by placing old barrios under the jurisdiction of the new municipality.
ISSUE: Whether the President has the power to create barrios (No)
RATIO: The respondent overlooks the argument that the statutory denial of the
presidential authority to create a new barrio implies a negation of the bigger power to
create municipalities. The said argument cannot be offset except by a clear
manifestation of the intent of Congress to the contrary.

- The President executed the EOs based on Sec 68 of the RAC14.


- The authority to create municipal corporations is essentially legislative in nature.
Although Congress may delegate to another branch of the Government the power to fill
in the details the said law: (a) be complete in itself; it must set forth therein the policy to
be executed, carried out or implemented by the delegate; and (b) fix a standard; the
limits of which are sufficiently determinate or determinable, to which the delegate must
conform in the performance of his functions.
- Without a statutory declaration of policy, the delegate could in effect arrogate upon
himself the power to make law.
- Sec 68 of the RAC does not meet the requirements for a valid delegation. It does not
enunciate any policy to be carried out or implemented by the President. Neither does it
give a standard sufficiently precise to avoid the evil effects above referred to.
- If the validity of the delegation of powers were upheld, there would no longer be any
legal impediment for to the President to do anything which, in his opinion, may be
required by public welfare. Such grant of authority would be a virtual abdication of the
powers of Congress in favor of the Executive.
- Sec 10(1) Art VII of the Constitution ordains: The President shall have control of all the
executive departments, bureaus, or offices, exercise general supervision over all local
governments as may be provided by law, and take care that the laws be faithfully
executed.
- The power of control under this provision implies the right of the President to interfere
in the exercise of discretion in the officers of the executive departments. This power is
denied to the Executive, insofar as local governments are concerned. It permits him to
wield no more authority than that of checking whether the local governmentsperform
their duties as provided by law.
- If the President could create a municipality, he could, in effect, remove any of its
officials, by creating a new municipality. By exercising the power to create a new
municipality, he could compel local officials to submit to his dictation, thereby exercising
over them the power of control.
- The power of control of the President over executive departments does not include the
authority either to abolish or create a new one. Thus, the alleged power to create
municipal corporations would necessarily connote the exercise by him of an authority
even greater than that of control which he has over the executive departments. Sec 68
must be deemed repealed the Constitution which is utterly incompatible with said
statutory enactment.
DISPOSITIVE: EOs declared null and void.
NAVARRO VS ERMITA
RODOLFO G. NAVARRO, VICTOR F. BERNAL, and RENE O. MEDINA, Petitioners, vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO
ERMITA, representing the President of the Philippines; Senate of the Philippines, represented by the SENATE
PRESIDENT; House of Representatives, represented by the HOUSE SPEAKER; GOVERNOR ROBERT ACE S. BARBERS,
representing the mother province of Surigao del Norte; GOVERNOR GERALDINE ECLEO VILLAROMAN, representing the
new Province of Dinagat Islands, Respondents.

February 10, 2010


Peralta, J.

14 The President... may by executive order define the boundary, or boundaries, of any province, subprovince, municipality... or other political
subdivision... separate any political division... merge any of such subdivisions... name any new subdivision so created, and may change the seat
of government within any subdivision... as the public welfare may require....

FACTS: The province of Surigao del Norte is composed of 3 main group of islands: (1)
the Mainland and Surigao City; (2) Siargao Island and Bucas Grande; and (3) Dinagat
Island.
- Based on a 2000 census by the NSO, the population of Surigao is 481,416 broken down
as follows: Mainland 281,111; Surigao City 118,534; Siargao Island & Bucas Grande
93,354; Dinagat Island 106,951.
- Dinagat was proposed to become a province, but it did not meet the population
requirement in thee LGC.
- In July 2003, Surigao conducted a special census, with the assistance of an NSO to
determine the actual population of Dinagat in support of the house bill creating the
Province of Dinagat Islands.
- The special census yielded a population count of 371,576 inhabitants. The NSO,
however, did not certify the result of the special census. Instead, Surigao Governor
Robert Barbers issued a Proclamation, which declared as official the Special Census.
- The Bureau of Local Government Finance certified that the average annual income
Dinagat is P82,696,433.23. The land area of the proposed province is 802.12 square
kilometers.
- RA 9355 (An Act Creating the Province of Dinagat Islands) was enacted into law on
October 2, 2006. A plebiscite was held to determine whether the LGUs directly affected
approved of the creation of the Province of Dinagat .The plebiscite yielded 69,943
affirmative votes and 63,502 negative votes. The Plebiscite Provincial Board of
Canvassers proclaimed the creation of Dinagat as a separate province, and was ratified
by the majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite.
- On January 26, 2007, a new set of provincial officials took their oath of office following
their appointment by the President. Another set of provincial officials was elected during
the synchronized national and local elections held on May 14, 2007. The elected
provincial officials took their oath of office; hence, the Province of Dinagat began its
corporate existence.
- The petitioners, as taxpayers and residents of Surigao, filed the present petition for
certiorari seeking to nullify RA 9355 for being unconstitutional.
ISSUE: Whether RA 9355 violated the Constitution (Yes)
RATIO: Petitioners contend that Dinagat is not qualified to become a province because it
failed to comply with the land area or the population requirement, despite its compliance
with the income requirement, and that Congress erroneously relied on par 2 Art 9 of the
IRR of the LGC, which states that "[t]he land area requirement shall not apply where the
proposed province is composed of one (1) or more islands" asserting that this is in
conflict with the LGC and therefore not in effect.
- The constitutional provision on the creation of a province is found in Sec 10 Art X. The
criteria for the creation of a province is found in Sec 461 of the LGC.
- The territorial requirement under the LGC is at least 2,000 square kilometers
contiguous territory. However, it need not be contiguous if it comprises 2 or more islands
or is separated by a chartered city that does not contribute to the income of the
province.
- The word territory, as clarified by the case of Tan v Comelec, only includes the land
mass, and not the water over which the political unit exercises control. "Contiguous" is
used when it describes physical contact, or a touching of sides of two solid masses of
matter.
- The IRR went beyond the criteria prescribed by Sec 461 of the LGC when it added the
questioned provision. Under Sec 461, the only instance when the territorial requirement
need not be complied with is when there is already compliance with the population

requirement. Since there is a discrepancy between the law and the IRR, that portion of
the IRR in conflict with the law is held void.
- Dinagat failed to comply with the territorial requirement since it only had a territory of
802.12 sq. km. It also failed the population requirement since it only had a population of
106,951 according to the NSO. The special census was not certified by the NSO as
required by the LGC. It was also not shown that the population in special census would
not reduce the population of the original unit to less than that prescribed.
- The Constitution clearly mandates that the creation of LGUs must follow the criteria
established in the LGC. Any derogation from the criteria prescribed in the LGC violates
Sec 10 Art X of the Constitution. Hence, RA 9355 is unconstitutional for its failure to
comply with the criteria for the creation of a province prescribed in Sec 461 of the LGC.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted.
LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINE VS COMELEC
November 18, 2008
Carpio, J.
FACTS: During the 11th Congress, Congress enacted into 33 laws each converting a
municipality into a city. However, Congress did not act on bills converting 24 other
municipalities into cities.
- During the 12th Congress, Congress enacted RA 9009 (AN ACT AMENDING SECTION 450 OF
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7160, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE OF 1991, BY INCREASING THE
AVERAGE ANNUAL INCOME REQUIREMENT FOR A MUNICIPALITY OR CLUSTER OF BARANGAYS TO BE CONVERTED INTO
A COMPONENT CITY.) , which took effect on June 30, 2001. It amended Sec 450 of the LGC by

increasing the annual income requirement for conversion of a municipality into a city
from P20M to P100M. The amendment sought to restrain the mad rush of municipalities
to convert into cities solely to secure a larger share in the IRA despite their being
incapable of fiscal independence.
- After the effectivity of RA 9009, the HOR adopted Joint Resolution No. 29, which sought
to exempt from the P100M requirement the 24 municipalities whose cityhood bills were
not approved in the 11th Congress. The Senate was not able to approve the Resolution.
- During the 13th Congress, the HOR re-adopted the Resolution. However, the Senate
again failed to approve it.
- 16 municipalities filed, through their respective sponsors, individual cityhood bills,
which all contained a common provision exempting the municipalities from the P100M
requirement.
- Both HOR and the Senate approve the bills. The cityhood bills lapsed into law (Cityhood
Laws) on various dates from March to July 2007 without the President's signature.
- The Cityhood Laws direct the Comelec to hold plebiscites.
- Petitioners filed the present petitions to declare the Cityhood Laws unconstitutional for
violation of Sec 10, Art X of the Constitution, as well as for violation of the equal
protection clause.
ISSUE: Whether the Cityhood Laws are unconstitutional (Yes)
RATIO: Congress passed the Cityhood Laws long after the effectivity of RA 9009.
Respondent municipalities cannot invoke the principle of non-retroactivity of laws. RA
9009, an earlier law, is not being applied retroactively but prospectively.
- Sec 10, Art X is clear. The creation of LGUs must follow the criteria established in the
Local Government Code and not in any other law. The Constitution requires Congress to
stipulate in the LGC all the criteria necessary for the creation of a city. It cannot write

such criteria in any other law, like the Cityhood Laws. The clear intent of the Constitution
is to insure that the creation of cities and other political units must follow the same
uniform, non-discriminatory criteria found solely in the LGC. Thus, the exemption in the
Cityhood Laws clearly violates Sec 10, Art X of the Constitution.
- Sec 6, Art X of the Constitution requires that LGUs shall have a just share in the national
taxes. If the criteria in creating LGUs are not uniform, there can be no fair and just
distribution. A city with an annual income of only P20M, all other criteria being equal,
should not receive the same share in national taxes as a city with an annual income of
P100M. Since the exemptions do not follow the income criterion in the LGC, they prevent
the fair and just distribution of the IRA.
- Sec 450 of the LGC is plain and unambiguous. There can be no resort to extrinsic aids
such as deliberations of Congress. Since the law is clear, any municipality desiring to
convert into a city must meet the increased income requirement.
- While the 11th Congress made deliberations with regard to providing exemptions from
the increased income requirement, such was not written into law. These deliberations
cannot be used to interpret bills enacted into law in the 13th or subsequent Congresses.
- Even if Sec 450 contained an exemption for municipalities whose cityhood bills are
pending, the said provision would violate the equal protection clause. There is no valid
classification. There is no substantial distinction between municipalities with pending
cityhood bills and municipalities that did not have pending bills.
DISPOSITIVE: Petitions granted. Cityhood Laws declared unconstitutional.
Reyes, J. (Dissenting):
- The intent of RA 9009 is to exempt respondent municipalities from the income
requirement of P100M. Thus, the cityhood laws, which merely carry out the intent of RA
9009, are in accordance with the "criteria established in the Local Government Code,"
pursuant to Sec 10 Art X of the 1987 Constitution.
- What Congress had in mind is not at all times accurately reflected in the language of
the statute. The literal interpretation of a statute may render it meaningless; and lead to
absurdity, injustice, or contradiction. When this happens, and following the rule that the
intent or the spirit of the law is the law itself, resort should be had to the principle that
the spirit of the law controls its letter. Not to the letter that killeth, but to the spirit that
vivifieth.
- At the time that RA 9009 was being deliberated upon, Congress was also well aware
that several municipalities wanting to become cities and which qualified under the
income threshold of P20M under the old LGC provision had pending cityhood bills. These
included respondent municipalities.
- Legislative records show that Congress intended that the then pending cityhood bills
would not be covered by the income requirement of P100M imposed by RA. 9009. It is
also clear that RA 9009 would not have any retroactive effect.
- The basis for the inclusion of the exemption clause of the cityhood laws is the clear-cut
intent of the Legislature of not giving retroactive effect to RA 9009
- Each of the 12 municipalities has all the requisites for conversion into a component city
based on the old requirements. Is is unfair to apply law now; they already qualified in the
past. The peculiar conditions of respondent municipalities, which are actual and real,
furnish sufficient grounds for legislative classification.
- The classification is germane to the purpose of the law. The exemption of respondent
municipalities from the P100M income requirement was unquestionably designed to
insure that fairness and justice were accorded to respondent municipalities, as their

cityhood bills were not enacted by Congress in view of intervening events and for
reasons beyond their control.
- The cityhood laws are curative statutes. They seek to prevent the great injustice which
would be committed to respondent municipalities.
December 21, 2009
Velasco, Jr., J
RATIO: Since Congress wields the vast poser of creating political subdivisions, surely it
can exercise the lesser authority of requiring a set of criteria for their creation. The
reason why the Constitution employs the clause "in accordance with the criteria
established in the local government code" is to lay stress that it is Congress alone, and
no other, which can impose the criteria.
- When the 1987 Constitution speaks of the LGC, the reference cannot be to any specific
statute. At the time of the adoption of the 1987 Constitution, BP 337, the then LGC, was
still in effect. Had the framers intended to isolate the embodiment of the criteria only in
the LGC, then they would have actually referred to BP 337.
- Consistent with its plenary legislative power on the matter, Congress can, via either a
consolidated set of laws or a much simpler, single-subject enactment, impose the said
verifiable criteria of viability. These criteria need not be embodied in the local
government code.
- Petitioners theory that Congress must provide the criteria solely in the LGC and not in
any other law is illogical. If their argument is pursued to its logical conclusion, RA 9009
would also suffer the vice of unconstitutionality.
- The legislative intent not to subject respondent LGUs to the more stringent
requirements of RA 9009 finds expression in the following uniform provision of the
cityhood laws: The City of x x x shall be exempted from the income requirement
prescribed under Republic Act No. 9009.
- The cityhood laws, which merely carried out the intent of RA 9009, adhered, in the final
analysis, to the "criteria established in the Local Government Code".
- The basis for the inclusion of the exemption clause of the cityhood laws is the clear-cut
intent of Congress of not according retroactive effect to RA 9009. Not only do the
congressional records bear the legislative intent of exempting the cityhood laws from the
income requirement of P100M. Congress has now made its intention to exempt express
in the challenged cityhood laws.
- Legislative intent is part and parcel of the law, the controlling factor in interpreting a
statute. In construing a statute, the proper course is to start out and follow the true
intent of the Legislature and to adopt the sense that best harmonizes with the context
and promotes in the fullest manner the policy and objects of the legislature
- It is immaterial if Congress is not a continuing legislative body. What is important is that
the deliberations taken in the enactment of the law were part of its legislative history
and may be consulted as aids in the interpretation of the law.
- LCP cannot invoke the equal protection clause because no deprivation of property
results by virtue of the enactment of the cityhood laws. The LCPs claim that the IRA of
its member-cities will be substantially reduced; it is presumptuous to already stake a
claim on the IRA, as if it were their property, as the IRA is yet to be allocated.
- The favorable treatment accorded the 16 municipalities by the cityhood laws rests on
substantial distinction. The respondent LGUs are substantially different from other
municipalities desirous to be cities. They had pending cityhood bills before the passage
of RA 9009. Years before the enactment of RA 9009, they had already met the income

criterion. Due to extraneous circumstances, however, the bills for their conversion
remained unacted upon by Congress.
- Because of events they had absolutely nothing to do with, a spoiler in the form of RA
9009 supervened. To impose on them the much higher income requirement after what
they have gone through would be unfair. The imperatives of fairness dictate that they
should be given a legal remedy by which they would be allowed to prove that they have
all the necessary qualifications for city status, using the criteria prior to its amendment
by RA 9009. The peculiar conditions of respondent LGUs, which are actual and real,
provide sufficient grounds for legislative classification.
- The classification is also germane to the purpose of the law. The exemption was meant
to reduce the inequality occasioned by the passage of RA 9009.
- The exemption clause in the cityhood laws is an application of the non-retroactive
effect of RA 9009 on the cityhood bills. It is not a declaration of certain rights, but a mere
declaration of prior qualification with the non-retroactive effect of RA 9009.
- New cities appear to have been organized and are functioning accordingly, with new
sets of officials and employees. The operative fact doctrine provides another reason for
upholding the constitutionality of the cityhood laws in question.
Carpio (Dissenting):
- The Court, by a majority vote, ruled that the 16 Cityhood Laws are unconstitutional in
its 18 November 2008 Decision. The Court, by another majority vote, denied the first
motion for reconsideration of the 18 November 2008 Decision. Then, the Court, by a
split-vote, denied the second motion for reconsideration. Contrary to respondents'
perception, there is nothing left unresolved by the Court. The 18 November 2008
Decision became final on 21 May 2009. As a consequence, it has become immutable and
unalterable, no longer subject to attack and cannot be modified directly or indirectly by
this Court, which had lost jurisdiction to alter it.
MUN. OF CANDIJAY vs CA
Municipality of Candijay, Bohol, acting through its Sanguniang Bayan and Mayor (Petitioner) vs CA, and the
Municipality of Alicia, Bohol (Respondents)

December 28, 1995


Panganiban, J.

FACTS: The Municipality of Candijay had a territorial dispute with the Municipality of Alicia over
Barrio Pagahat. Candijay filed with the RTC of Tagbiliran, Bohol a case against Alicia for
settlement of boundary dispute and quieting of title over Barrio Pagahat.
- The trial court ruled in favor of Candijay ruling that the Barrio belonged to the said Municipality.
- On appeal, the CA reversed the decision of the trial court. It rejected the boundary line claimed
by Candijay, and dismissed the complaint of Candijay. After an examination of the respective
survey plans the parties, the CA found that both plans are inadequate insofar as identifying the
boundary line. It thus applied the equipoise rule and ruled against the plaintiff Candijay.
- It's MR denied, Candijay filed with the SC the present petition for review on certiorari. It
contends that the equipoise rule was improperly applied, that Alicia lacked juridical personality
for having been created by a void EO, and that CA decision does not solve the problem.
- SC noted that the 1st and 3rd grounds were adequately passed upon by the CA thus it limited
its discussion on the 2nd ground.
ISSUE: Whether the Municipality of Alicia had legal personality (Yes)
RATIO: Candijay commenced its collateral attack on the juridical personality of Alicia on 19
January 1984 (or some thirty five years after Alicia first came into existence in 1949) during the
proceedings in the lower court. Candijay asked the trial court to bar Alicia from presenting

evidence on the ground that it had no juridical personality, contending that EO 265 which
created Alicia is null and void, inasmuch as Sec 68 of the RAC, on which said EO was based, was
declared unconstitutional in the case of Pelaez v Auditor General.
- The ruling in Municipality of San Narciso, Quezon v Mendez, Sr. is very instructive:
[EO 353] creating... San Andres was issued on 20 August 1959 but it was only after almost thirty
(30) years... that the municipality of San Narciso finally decided to challenge the legality of the
[EO]. In the meantime... San Andres, began and continued to exercise the powers and authority
of a duly created [LGU]. In the same manner that the failure of a public officer to question his
ouster or the right of another to hold a position within a one-year period can abrogate an action
belatedly filed, so also, if not indeed with greatest imperativeness, must a quo warranto
proceeding assailing the lawful authority of a political subdivision be timely raised. Public interest
demands it.
Granting that [EO 353] was a complete nullity... the peculiar circumstances obtaining in this case
hardly could offer a choice other than to consider the Municipality of San Andres to have at least
attained a status uniquely of its own closely approximating, if not in fact attaining, that of a de
facto municipal corporation. Conventional wisdom cannot allow it to be otherwise... Created in
1959... San Andres had been in existence for more than six years when... Pelaez vs. Auditor
General was promulgated. The ruling could have sounded the call for a similar declaration of the
unconstitutionality of [EO 353] but it was not to be the case. On the contrary, certain
governmental acts all pointed to the State's recognition of the continued existence of the
Municipality of San Andres...
At the present time, all doubts on the de jure standing of the municipality must be dispelled.
Under the Ordinance... appended to the 1987 Constitution, the Municipality of San Andres has
been considered to be one... municipalities... of the province of Quezon... [Sec 442(d) of the
LGC]... that municipal districts 'organized pursuant to presidential issuances or executive orders
and which have their respective sets of elective municipal officials holding office at the time of
the effectivity of (the) Code shall henceforth be considered as regular municipalities.'... The
power to create political subdivisions is a function of the legislature. Congress did just that when
it has incorporated Section 442 (d) in the Code. Curative laws, which in essence are
retrospective, and aimed at giving 'validity to acts done that would have been invalid under
existing laws, as if existing laws have been complied with,' are validly accepted in this
jurisdiction...
the de jure status of... San Andres... must now be conceded.
- Alicia's situation is similar to that of San Andres. Alicia was created by virtue of EO 265 in 1949,
and had been in existence for 16 years when Pelaez was promulgated. Various governmental
acts throughout the years all indicate the State's recognition and acknowledgment of the
existence thereof. For instance, under AO 33, Alicia was covered by the 7th Municipal Circuit
Court of Alicia-Mabini. Likewise, under the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution, the
Municipality of Alicia is one of twenty municipalities comprising the Third District of Bohol.
- Inasmuch as Alicia is similarly situated as San Andres, it should likewise benefit from the effects
of Sec 442 (d) of the LGC, and should be considered as a regular, de jure municipality.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition denied.

CALANZA VS PICOP
LEONORA P. CALANZA, EVA M. AMOREN, GENE P. ROO, SANNY C. CALANZA, GREGORIO C. YNCIERTO II AND ANGEL M.
PUYO, PETITIONERS, VS. PAPER INDUSTRIES CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (PICOP), GOOD EARTH MINERAL CORP.
(GEMCOR), EVARISTO NARVAEZ, JR., RICARDO G. SANTIAGO, ROBERTO A. DORMENDO AND REYDANDE D. AZUCENA,
RESPONDENTS.

April 24, 2009


Chico-Nazario, J.

FACTS: Leonora Calanza, et. al. filed with the Mines and Geo-Sciences Development
Service,DENR, Region XI, of Davao City, applications for small-scale mining permits for
the purpose of extracting gold. In their applications, they stated that the area where they
will conduct mining operations was in the Municipality of Boston, Davao Oriental. This
was approved by the governor of Davao Oriental.
- Since the mining areas were within the PICOP's logging concession area under Timber
License Agreements (TLAs) which covered large tracts of forest lands of the Provinces of
Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte, Calanza, et. al.
negotiated with PICOP for their entry into the mining site.
- PICOP refused on the grounds that it has the exclusive right of occupation over the
area; that the mining permits are defective since they were issued by the governor of
Davao Oriental when in fact the mining area is situated in Barangay Pagtilaan,
Municipality of Lingig, Surigao del Sur; and that mining permits cannot be issued over
areas covered by TLAs.
- Calanza, et. al. filed a Complaint for Injunction against PICOP and its officers before the
RTC of Banganga, Davao Oriental. PICOP countered that the court has no jurisdiction
since the disputed area is situated in the Province of Surigao del Sur; and that mining
permits cannot be issued over areas covered by TLAs.
- RTC ruled in favor of the Calanza, et. al. It opined that Barangay Pagtilaan (as claimed
by PICOP) or Catihan (as claimed by petitioners) is within the territory of the Province of
Davao Oriental. Citing Sec 465, par (b), Sub-par (3)iv LGC which states to the effect that
the governor has the power to issue licenses and permits, the RTC ruled that the
governor is vested with the power to issue the small-scale mining permits.
- On appeal, the CA reversed the RTC decision and dismissed the complaint. The CA
stated that the RTC erred in passing upon the issue of the boundary dispute between the
provinces of Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur since the resolution of the boundary
dispute primarily resides with the sangguniang panlalawigans of the two provinces. The
CA also said that the governor has no power to issue small-scale mining permits since
such authority under Sec 9 of RA. 7076 is vested with the Provincial Mining Regulatory
Board.
- After their motion for reconsideration was denied, Calanza, et. al. filed the present
petition for review with the SC.
ISSUE: Whether the mining permits are valid (No)
RATIO: There is boundary dispute when a portion or the whole of the territorial area of a
LGU is claimed by two or more LGUs.
- Procedure for settling boundary disputes is provided in Sec 118 of the LCG. Under
par(c) the settlement of a boundary dispute involving municipalities or component cities
of different provinces shall be jointly referred for settlement to the respective
sanggunians or the provincial boards of the different provinces involved.
- Sec 119 gives a dissatisfied party an avenue to question the decision of the sanggunian
to the RTC having jurisdiction over the area.
- Art 17, Rule III of the IRR outlines the procedures governing boundary disputes, which
succinctly includes the filing of the proper petition, and in case of failure to amicably
settle, a formal trial will be conducted and a decision will be rendered thereafter. An
aggrieved party can appeal the decision of the sanggunian to the appropriate RTC.
- This is not a case where the sangguniang panlalawigans of Davao Oriental and Surigao
del Sur jointly rendered a decision resolving the boundary dispute. RTC cannot exercise
appellate jurisdiction over the case since there was no petition that was filed and

decided by the sangguniang panlalawigans of Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur since
there was no petition that was filed with the sangguniang panlalawigans.
- Neither can the RTC assume original jurisdiction over the boundary dispute since the
LGC allocates such power to the sangguniang panlalawigans of Davao Oriental and
Surigao del Sur. Since the RTC has no jurisdiction, its decision is a total nullity.
- The small-scale mining permits are legally questionable. Pursuant to RA 7076, approval
of the applications for mining permits and for mining contracts are vested in the
Provincial/City Mining Regulatory Board. Considering that the governor is without legal
authority to issue said mining permits, the same permits are null and void.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition denied.
BRGY. SANGALANG vs MAGUIHAN

Barangay Sangalang, represented by its Chairman, Dante Marcellana (Petitioner) vs Barangay


Maguihan, represented by its Chairman, Arnulfo Villarez (Respondent)
Date: December 23, 2009
Ponente: Peralta, J.
Facts:
- Barangay jurisdiction dispute between Barangay Sangalang and Barangay Maguihan, both
situated in Lemery, Batangas over certain properties. Each barangay claims the lots to be within
their respective territorial boundary.
- The case was lodged before the Sangguniang Bayan, which referred it to a hearing committee.
The committee reported that the properties belonged to Sangalang. This was affirmed by the
Sanggunian.
- Maguihan appealed to the RTC pursuant to Sec 119 of the LGC. The RTC ruled in favor of
Maguihan. MR was filed but was denied, so Sangalang appealed to the CA.
- CA dismissed Sangalang's appeal on procedural grounds (availed of Rule 41 instead of Rule 42).
MR was filed but was denied, so Sangalang filed the presented Rule 45 petition with the SC.
ISSUE:
WON Should SC take cognizance of the petition (Yes)
To what barangay should the disputed properties belong? (Barangang Maguihan)
RATIO: Sangalang questions the dismissal of its appeal to the CA on procedural grounds, but it
also questions on procedural grounds the appeal taken by Maguihan of the Sanggunian's
decsision to the RTC.
- Sangalang only raised the non-payment of docket fees by Maguihan in the RTC in its
Supplemental MR. Maguihan was able to explain its non-payment of docket fees, and its
willingness to comply with the requirement. Failure to pay docket fees does not automatically
result in the dismissal of an appeal, it being discretionary on the part of the appellate court to
give it due course or not
- CA is correct in holding that Sangalan availed of the wrong remedy.
- Under Sec 118 of the LGC, the boundary disputes, such as the present one, should be lodged to
the Sangguniang Bayan. Sec 119 provides that the decision of the Sanggunian may be appealed
to the RTC having jurisdiction over the area in dispute, as prescribed by the Rules of Court.
- In the case at bar, it is clear that when the case was appealed to the RTC, the latter took
cognizance of the case in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, not its original jurisdiction.
Since the RTC tried the case in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction, Sangalang should have
filed a Rule 42 petition instead of a Rule 41 appeal.
- But in any case, in the interest of justice, the CA should have relaxed the ruled, and not
dismissed the case.
Ideally, the case should be remanded to the CA since a question of fact is involved. However,
the case has been pending for almost 13 years; the Court deems is best to rule on the
controversy.

- Sangalan presented the following documents: 1) Copy of a certification from the Office of the
Provincial Assessor stating that disuputed area covered by Tax Declarations are all within the
territorial jurisdiction of Sangalang; 2) Copies of Tax Declarations; and 3) Old Map of Sangalang.
- Maguihan presents the following documents: 1) Certified copy of the cadastral map of the
Lemery Cadastre approved on March 17, 1983 by the Director of Lands, DENR; and 2)
Certification of the CENRO, DENR dated September 9, 1997.

- Art 17, Rule III outlines the procedure for the settlement of boundary disputes 15.
- Neither of the parties satisfied the requirement that all the enumerated documents must be
attached to the petition. There is no other option but to select which between the documents
presented by the parties carries greater weight. The documents presented by Sangalan were
sourced from the tax assessors office, whereas the documents presented by Maguihan were
sourced from the land management bureau.
- The cadastral map, which was approved by the Director of Lands 10 years before the
controversy, should be given more weight. The Land Management Bureau is the principal
government agency tasked with the survey of lands; more weight should be given to the
documents relating to its official tasks. Between a geodetic engineer and a tax assessor, the
formers certification as to the location of properties in dispute is controlling, absent any finding
of abuse of discretion.The duty of provincial and municipal assessors is primarily the assessment
of taxes and not the survey of lands.
- Sangalang alludes to a petition allegedly of persons residing in the properties in dispute to the
effect they are under the jurisdiction of Sangalan. However, the determination as to whether the
properties in dispute are within a certain jurisdiction is not a decision to be made by the
populace.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition partially granted. CA decision reversed. RTC decision affirmed.

PADILLA vs COMELEC

Hon. Roy Padilla, in his capacity as Governor of the Province of Camarines Norte (Petitioner)
vs Commission on Elections (Respondent)

October 19, 1992


Romero, J.
FACTS: Pursuant to RA 7155, which created the Municipality of Tulay-Na-Lupa in the
Province of Camarines Norte, Comelec promulgated Resolution No. 2312 to hold a
plebiscite in the the barangays comprising the proposed nunicipality, and the remaining
areas of the mother Municipality of Labor.
- Only 2,890 votes favored its creation while 3,439 voters voted against the creation of
the municipality. Thus, the Plebiscite Board of Canvassers declared the rejection and
disapproval of the independent Municipality of Tulay-Na-Lupa.
- Gov Padilla filed with the SC the present petition for certiorari. He contends that the
plebiscite is invalid since it must have been conducted only in the political unit or units
affected, i.e. the 12 barangays comprising the new municipality.
15 Art. 17. Procedures for Settling Boundary Disputes. The following procedures shall govern the settlement of boundary disputes:

(c)

Documents attached to petition - The petition shall be accompanied by:


1.Duly authenticated copy of the law or statute creating the LGU or any other document showing proof of creation of the LGU;
2. Provincial, city, municipal, or barangay map, as the case may be, duly certified by the LMB;
3. Technical description of the boundaries of the LGUs concerned;
4. Written certification of the provincial, city, or municipal assessor, as the case may be, as to territorial jurisdiction over the disputed area
according to records in custody;
5. Written declarations or sworn statements of the people residing in the disputed area; and
6. Such other documents or information as may be required by the sanggunian hearing the dispute.

ISSUE: WON the plebiscite is valid (Yes)


RATIO: Petitioner contends that the ruling in Tan v COMELEC has been superseded with
the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, thus reinstating the earlier ruling in Paredes v
COMELEC is untenable; and that since Tan vs. COMELEC was based on the 1973
Constitution the ruling in the said case is no longer applicable under 1987 Constitution,
especially since the latter deleted the words "unit or."
- The deletion of the phrase "unit or" in Sec 10 Art X of the 1987 Constitution from its
precursor, Sec 3 Art XI of the 1973 Constitution did not affect the ruling in Tan v Comelec
as explained by then CONCOM Commissioner Davide in the debates in the Constitutional
Commission, to wit: I precisely asked for the deletion of the words "unit or" because in
the plebiscite to be conducted, it must involve all the units affected. If it is the creation of
a barangay plebiscite because it is affected. It would mean a loss of a territory.
- When the law states that the plebiscite shall be conducted "in the political units directly
affected," it means that residents of the political entity who would be economically dislocated by
the separation of a portion thereof have a right to vote in said plebiscite. Those to be included in
such political areas are the inhabitants of the 12 barangays of the proposed municipality as well
as those living in the parent municipality.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition dismissed

TAN VS COMELEC
PATRICIO TAN, FELIX FERRER, JUAN M. HAGAD, SERGIO HILADO, VIRGILIO GASTON, CONCHITA MINAYA, TERESITA
ESTACIO, DESIDERIO DEFERIA, ROMEO GAMBOA, ALBERTO LACSON, FE HOFILENA, EMILY JISON, NIEVES LOPEZ AND
CECILIA MAGSAYSAY, petitioners, vs. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and THE PROVINCIAL TREASURER OF NEGROS
OCCIDENTAL, respondents

July 11, 1986


Alampay, J.
FACTS: BP 885 An Act Creating a New Province in the Island of Negros to be known as
the Province of Negros del Norte was enacted, and took effect on December 3, 1985. It
contained a provision on conducting a plebiscite which states in part: A plebiscite shall
be conducted in the proposed new province which are the areas affected...
- Tan, et. al. filed with the SC the present petition for Prohibition against the Comelec to
enjoin it from conducting the plebiscite as provided in the law because the law is
unconstitutional.
- The SC was not able to immediately act on the petition, so Comelec was able to hold
the plebiscite. The plebiscite was confined only in the the cities and municipalities which
would comprise the proposed province.
- Petitioners argue that the law and the plebiscite violated the constitutional requirement
that a plebiscite be made in the unit or units involved. Thus, they assert that the the
cities and municipalities of mother province be included in the plebiscite.
- Respondents assert otherwise, citing the case of Paredes v Executive Secretary, arguing
that the constitutional provision only requires the plebiscite of the local government
being created.
ISSUE: WON BP 885 is unconstitutional (Yes)

RATIO: The constitutional provision involved is Art XI, Sec 3 of the (1973) Constitution16.
It makes imperative that there be first obtained "the approval of a majority of votes in
the plebiscite in the unit or units affected" whenever a province is created, divided or
merged and there is substantial alteration of the boundaries.
- The boundaries of the existing province of Negros Occidental would necessarily be
substantially altered by the division of its existing boundaries in order that there can be
created the proposed new province of Negros del Norte. Clearly, two political units would
be affected the parent province, and the proposed province.
- The statements made in Paredes v Executive Secretary should not be taken as
doctrinal. The case was based on a claimed prerogative of the Court then to exercise its
discretion on the matter. It did not resolve the question of how the pertinent provision of
the Constitution should be correctly interpreted.
- The reasons in the older cases invoked by respondents were formerly considered
acceptable because of the views then taken that local autonomy would be better
promoted. However, even this consideration no longer retains persuasive value.
- To form the new province, no less than 3 cities and 8 municipalities will be subtracted
from the parent province. This will result in the removal of approximately 2,768.4 sq km
from its land area. The boundaries will be consequently substantially altered. The
economy of the parent province as well as that of the new province will be inevitably
affected. Both of these political groups will be affected and they are, therefore, the unit
or units referred to in constitutional provision.
DISPOSITIVE: BP 885 declared unconstitutional.
DELA CRUZ VS PARAS
VICENTE DE LA CRUZ, RENATO ALIPIO, JOSE TORRES III, LEONCIO CORPUZ, TERESITA CALOT, ROSALIA FERNANDEZ, ELIZABETH
VELASCO, NANETTE VILLANUEVA, HONORATO BUENAVENTURA, RUBEN DE CASTRO, VICENTE ROXAS, RICARDO DAMIAN, DOMDINO
ROMDINA, ANGELINA OBLIGACION, CONRADO GREGORIO, TEODORO REYES, LYDIA ATRACTIVO, NAPOLEON MENDOZA, PERFECTO
GUMATAY, ANDRES SABANGAN, ROSITA DURAN, SOCORRO BERNARDEZ, and PEDRO GABRIEL, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE
EDGARDO L. PARAS, MATIAS RAMIREZ as the Municipal Mayor, MARIO MENDOZA as the Municipal Vice-Mayor, and THE MUNICIPAL
COUNCIL OF BOCAUE, BULACAN, respondents

July 25, 1983


Fernando, C.J.

16 No province, city, municipality or barrio may be created, divided, merged abolished, or its boundary substantially altered, except in accordance
with the criteria established in the local government code, and subject to the approval by a majority of the votes in a plebiscite in the unit or units
affected.

FACTS: The municipality of Bocaue, Bulacan enacted an Ordinance17 which prohibited


the operation within its jurisdiciton of night clubs which employed professional
hostesses or hospitality girls. It revoked the licenses of the said entities, and provided
for a penal clause.
- 2 cases of Prohibition was filed with the CFI of Bulacan, aguing that the ordinance is null
and void as a municipality has no authority to prohibit a lawful business, occupation or
calling; that it is violative of the right to due process, as the licenses were withdrawn
without judicial hearing; and that under PD 189, as amended, the power to regulate
tourist-oriented businesses including night clubs, has been transferred to the
Department of Tourism.
- The municipality answered, saying that the it is authorized not only to regulate but to
prohibit the establishment, maintenance and operation of night clubs; that the right to
due process was not violated, since property rights are subordinate to public interests.
- The lower court dismissed the petitions saying that the enactment of the ordinance is
within the police power of the municipality.
- The present petition for certiorari was then filed with the SC.
ISSUE: WON the ordinance was within the power of the municipality to enact (No)

17 Ordinance No. 84, Series of 1975.

RATIO: Police power is granted to municipal corporations in general terms in the RAC18.
An ordinance enacted by virtue thereof is valid, unless it contravenes the Constitution, or
an Act of the Legislature, or it is against public policy, or is unreasonable, oppressive,
partial, discriminating, or in derogation of common right.
- US v Salaviera, where the said provision was applied: The general welfare clause has
two branches: One branch attaches itself to the main trunk of municipal authority, and
relates to such ordinances and regulations as may be necessary to carry into effect...
powers and duties... the municipal council... The second branch... is much more
independent of the specific functions of the council which are enumerated by law. It
authorizes such ordinances... necessary... to provide for the health and safety, promote
the prosperity, improve the morals, peace, good order, comfort, and convenience of the
municipality and the inhabitants thereof...
- Ordinances passed by virtue of the implied power found in the general welfare clause
must be reasonable, consonant with the general powers and purposes of the corporation,
and not inconsistent with the laws or policy of the State.
- The exercise of Bocaue of its lawmaking power is not reasonable. The ordinance on its
face is characterized by overbreadth. The purpose sought to be achieved could have
been attained by reasonable restrictions rather than by an absolute prohibition. In the
guise of a police regulation, there was a clear invasion of personal or property rights.
- While RA 938 was amended to include the word Prohibit in the powers that a
municipality may have as against clubs and similar establishment, its title remained the
same not containing the word Prohibit, but only the power to regulate.
- Under the LGC, 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.
The legislative will to allow the operation and continued existence of night clubs subject
to appropriate regulations.
- The conclusion reached is not to be interpreted as a retreat from the Court's resolute
stand sustaining police power to promote public morals. Legislation of that character is
deserving of the fullest sympathy from the judiciary.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted. Ordinance declared void and unconstitutional.
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPERS VS CA
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPERS, INC., petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. NARCISO T. ATIENZA as Presiding Judge,
Bulacan, RTC, and HON. VICENTE CRUZ, Acting Mayor and the MUNICIPALITY OF STA. MARIA, BULACAN, respondents.

January 21, 1991


Gancayco, J.
FACTS: - Technology Developers is a domestic private corporation engaged in the
manufacture and export of charcoal briquette.
- It received a letter from acting mayor Pablo Cruz, ordering the full cessation of the
operation of the its plant at Sta. Maria, Bulacan, until further order. The letter also
requested that the corporation bring some documents (Building permit; Mayor's permit;
Region III-Pollution of Environment and Natural Resources Anti-Pollution Permit) to the
office of the mayor.
18 Sec 2283: General power of council to enact ordinances and make regulations. - The municipal council shall enact such ordinances and make
such regulations, not repugnant to law, as may be necessary to carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred upon it by law and
such as shall seem necessary and proper to provide for the health and safety, promote the prosperity, improve the morals, peace, good order,
comfort, and convenience of the municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and for the protection of property therein.

- The Corporation tried to secure the permit from the DENR, and it was given a
temporary permit to operate. It then tried to get a mayor's permit but it was not
entertained.
- Without notice, Cruz ordered the Municipality's station commander to padlock the
premises of the corporation's plant, thus effectively causing the stoppage of its
operation.
- Technology Developers instituted an action for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus with
preliminary injunction against Cruz. The lower court granted a preliminary mandatory
injunction.
- Upon further hearing of the case, the following were presented against the corporation:
1) an investigation report on the Technology Developers saying that its factory produces
hazardous material; 2) sheets of paper containing signatures of residents near the
factory; 3) a letter addressed to the governor complaining about the smoke coming out
of the factory.
- Reassessing the evidence adduced, the lower court set aside its previous order. It's MR
having been denied, it filed a petition for certiorari with the CA, which was denied. It's
MR in the CA also having been denied, it filed with the SC the present petition for review
on certiorari.
ISSUE: WON the writ of preliminary should be granted (No)
RATIO: The issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction is addressed to the sound judicial
discretion of the trial court; it shall not be disturbed unless it acted without or in excess
of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of its discretion.
- The following circumstances militate against the maintenance of the writ of preliminary
injunction:
- No mayor's permit had been secured. While the matter of determining whether there is
a pollution of the environment that requires control if not prohibition of the operation of a
business is essentially addressed to the Environmental Management Bureau, the mayor
of a town has as much responsibility to protect its inhabitants from pollution. By virtue of
his police power, he may deny the application for a permit to operate a business or
otherwise close the same unless appropriate measures are taken.
- The acting mayor called the attention of Technology Developers to the pollution it
emitted.
- The action of the Acting Mayor was in response to the complaint of the residents.
- The closure order was issued only after an investigation was made.
- Technology Developers failed to produce a building permit from the municipality of Sta.
Maria.
- It had not exerted any effort to extend or validate its temporary operating permit much
less to install any device to control the pollution and prevent any hazard to the health of
the residents of the community.
- Technology Developers makes a plea focusing on its huge investment in this dollarearning industry. However, concomitant with the need to promote the growth of the
economy is the equally essential imperative of protecting the health of the people from
the deleterious effect of the pollution of the environment.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition denied.
CHUA HUAT VS CA
CHUA HUAT, ONG CHOAN, DOMINADOR FELINO, RUFINO CLEMENTE, TEODORA CLEMENTE, and LOURDES MEMPIN,
petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, JUDGE ELVIRO PERALTA, SHERIFF OF MANILA, and THE ROMAN
CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA, and MANUEL UY AND SONS, INC., respondents.

July, 9, 1991

Davide, Jr., J.
FACTS: Present case is a consolidation of 2 cases. The first is a petition for review on
certiorari of the decision of the CA. The second is a petition for prohibition directed
against the notices of condemnation and the demolition orders issued by the respondent
City Engineer, upon authority of the respondent City Mayor, concerning the buildings
occupied by petitioners.
- On 31 May 1972, a decision was rendered in Civil Case No. 74634 by the CFI against
the petitioners, ordering them to pay the plaintiff, and to vacate the property.
- The petitioners appealed all the way to the SC, but their appeals were denied.
- After the decision in Civil Case No. 74634 became final and executory, the plaintiffs
filed a motion to execute the same, which was granted by the trial court.
G.R. No. 53851
- Chua Huat filed with the CFI of Manila a complaint for the annulment of the judgment in
Civil Case No. 74634. Ong Choan and others also filed a separate complaint for
annulment of judgment. Both complaints were based on the ground that the CFI of
Manila had no jurisdiction over Civil Case No. 74634 because the said action was one for
ejectment and not for recovery of possession (accion publiciana) which was, therefore,
cognizable by the City Court of Manila.
- Despite the filing of the cases for annulment of judgment, the CFI ordered the execution
of the judgment in Civil Case No. 74634. Petitioners then filed a Petition for Certiorari and
Prohibition with the CA, which denied their petition.
- Hence, the petitioners filed this petition for review with the SC.
G.R. No. 63863
- Respondent Manuel Uy and Sons, Inc. requested Romulo del Rosario the City Engineer
and Building Officials, of Manila, to condemn the dilapidated structures located at 1271
to 1277 Pedro Gil St. and 1553 to 1557 Paz St., Paco, Manila, all occupied by petitioners.
- Notices of condemnation were addressed to the petitioners, stating that the subject
buildings were are in dangerous condition and therefore condemned, subject to the
confirmation of the Mayor as required by the Ordinances of the City of Manila. The orders
were based on the inspection reports made by Architect Oscar Andres and the
Memorandum-Reports made by the Evaluation Committee of the Office of the City
Engineer.
- Petitioners formally protested against said notices of condemnation on the ground that
the buildings are still in good physical condition and are structurally sound based on the
certification of Civil Engineer Romulo Molas, a private practitioner, who inspected the
structures upon the request of petitioners.
- The City Engineer issued a demolition order with respect one of the buildings.
Petitioners filed the instant Petition for Prohibition, with Preliminary Injunction against
City Mayor, City Engineer, Building Officer, and Manuel Uy and Sons, Inc.,
- The Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order, but the Mayor issued the demolition
orders directed against the other petitioners.
- The respondents prayed that the petition be dismissed on the following grounds: a) it
involves questions of facts; b) the buildings were ordered removed after it was
established that they had suffered from defects or deterioration thereby posing perils to
the public in general; c) the power to condemn buildings in the City of Manila falls within
the exclusive domain of the City Engineer; d) the power to condemn and remove
buildings is an exercise of the police power granted the City of Manila to promote public
safety; and e) administrative decisions falling within the executive jurisdiction cannot be

set aside by courts of justice except on proof of grave abuse of discretion, fraud or error
of law.
- This petition was consolidated with the other petition.
ISSUE: Whether the petitions should be dismissed (Yes)
RATIO: G.R. No. 53851 is frivolous and is dismally bereft of merit. The antecedent facts
unmistakably disclose a clear pattern to make a mockery of the judicial process, or to
abuse it. The decision of the trial court, as affirmed by the CA and the SC, had long
become final.
- G.R. No. 63863 must equally fall. Petitioners have no valid grievance for the remedy of
certiorari under Rule 65 to be available to them. Petitioners failed to show that the
respondents acted without or in excess of urisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion,
and that there is no plain, speedy, and adequate remedy.
- The power to condemn buildings and structures in the City of Manila falls within the
exclusive jurisdiction of the City Engineer, who is at the same time the Building Official.

- The authority of the City Engineer is found in Secs 27519 and 27520 of the Compilation of
Ordinances of the City of Manila, and in Section 215 of PF 109621, otherwise known as the
National Building Code.
- It is unquestionable that the Building Official has the authority to order the
condemnation and demolition of buildings which are found to be in a dangerous or
ruinous condition, and that the Mayor has the power to confirm or deny the action taken
by the Building Official with respect to the dangerous or ruinous buildings. Respondent
City Engineer and Building Official can, therefore, validly issue the questioned
condemnation and demolition orders. This is also true with the respondent Mayor who
can approve or deny the condemnation orders.
- No grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondent City Engineer because the
orders were made only after thorough ocular inspections were conducted by the City's
Building Inspectors. The results of the inspections were set forth in a memorandum
stating the defects of the building.
- Respondent Mayor's act of approving the condemnation orders was done in accordance
with law. The protest made by petitioners was beyond the seven days prescribed under
Sec 276 of the Compilation of Ordinances of the City of Manila.
- Appeal was likewise available to petitioners, as provided in the IRR promulgated by the
Ministry of Public Works to implement PD 1096. Certiorari will not lie because petitioners
failed to exhaust all administrative remedies.
DISPOSITIVE: Petitions dismissed.
MUN. OF MAKATI VS COA
Hon. Jejomar Binay, and the Municipality of Makati (Petitioner) vs Hon. Eufemio Doming, and the
Commission on Audit (Respondents)

September 11, 1991


Paras, J.

19 Sec. 275. Deterioration and Defects. All buildings or parts of buildings which show defects in any essential parts shall be repaired and put in
safe condition at once, or if the deterioration be greater than fifty per centum of the value of the building, as estimated by the city engineer, they
shall be removed.

20 Sec. 276. Condemnation Proceeding. Whenever in the judgment of the City Engineer any building or portion of building has been damaged
by any cause to such an extent as to be dangerous for use, he may condemn the same and shall immediately notify the owner and the Mayor of
his action. If the owner or his agent be not willing to abide by this order of condemnation, he may make formal objection within the period of
seven days following such notification. The Mayor shall hear the owner or his agent and his experts and also the city engineer, deciding the case
on the evidence presented. If the Mayor confirms the action of the city engineer, the owner or his agent shall immediately proceed to remove the
building within fifteen days from the date on which he was notified of such final action. Should the owner or his agent not comply with the
decision of the Mayor the building shall be removed at his expense and the city will proceed to recover against him for the amount expended.

21 When any building or structure is found or declared to be dangerous or ruinous, the Building Officials, shall order its repair, vacation or
demolition depending upon the degree of danger to life, health, or safety. This is without prejudice to further action that may be taken under the
provisions of Articles 482 and 694 to 707 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.

FACTS: On September 27, 1988, Makati, through its Council, approved Resolution No.
6022. Qualified beneficiaries, under the Program, are bereaved families of Makati whose
gross family income does not exceed P2,000.00/month. The beneficiaries, upon
fulfillment of other requirements, would receive the amount of P500.00 from Makati.
- Metro Manila Commission approved the. Thereafter, the municipal secretary certified a
disbursement fund of P400,000.00 for the implementation of the Program.
- COA disapproved Resolution No. 60 and disallowed in audit the disbursement of finds
for the implementation thereof.
- Mayor Binay sought reconsideration, invoking the principles of police power and parens
patriae. COA denied this, saying there is no connection between the objective sought to
be attained under the Resolution, and the alleged public safety, and general welfare of
the inhabitants of Makati.
- Binay then filed the present petition for certiorari.
ISSUE: Whether the Resolution of Makati should be allowed (Yes)
RATIO: Police power is a governmental function, and an inherent attribute of
sovereignty. However, it is not inherent in municipal corporations. Before a municipal
corporation may exercise such power, there must be a valid delegation of such power by
the legislature.
- A valid delegation of police power may arise from express delegation, or be inferred
from the mere fact of the creation of the municipal corporation; as a general rule,
municipal corporations may exercise police powers within the fair intent and purpose of
their creation which are reasonably proper to give effect to the powers expressly
granted.

22 A RESOLUTION TO CONFIRM AND/OR RATIFY THE ONGOING BURIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM INITIATED BY THE OFFICE OF
THE MAYOR, OF EXTENDING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE OF FIVE HUNDRED PESOS (P500.00) TO A BEREAVED FAMILY, FUNDS
TO BE TAKEN OUT OF UNAPPROPRIATED AVAILABLE FUNDS EXISTING IN THE MUNICIPAL TREASURY.

- Municipal governments exercise this power under the general welfare clause23.
- Police power is the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals,
peace, education, good order or safety and general welfare of the people. It is the most
essential, insistent, and illimitable of powers. It is elastic and must be responsive to
various social conditions.
- In the present case, COA tries to re-define the scope of police power by circumscribing
its exercise to "public safety, general welfare, etc. of the inhabitants of Makati."
- The police power of a municipal corporation is broad, and has been said to be
commensurate with, but not to exceed, the duty to provide for the real needs of the
people in their health, safety, comfort, and convenience as consistently as may be with
private rights. It extends to all the great public needs, and, in a broad sense includes all
legislation and almost every function of the municipal government. Thus, it is inadvisable
to attempt to frame any definition which shall absolutely indicate the limits of police
power.
- COA objects on the ground that the Resolution should be for a public purpose, and
should be for the benefit of the whole of Makati, and not for the benefit of only the few.
- COA is not attuned to the changing of the times. Public purpose is not unconstitutional
merely because it incidentally benefits a limited number of persons.
- This decision, however, must not be taken as a precedent for municipal governments to
embark on a philanthropic orgy of inordinate dole-outs for motives political or otherwise.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted. COA decision set aside.
TATEL VS MUNICIPALITY OF VIRAC
CELESTINO TATEL, petitioner, vs. MUNICIPALITY OF VIRAC, SALVADOR A. SURTIDA, in his capacity as Mayor of Virac,
Catanduanes; GAVINO V. GUERRERO, in his capacity as Vice-Mayor of Virac, Catanduanes; JOSE T. BUEBOS, in his
capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes; ANGELES TABLIZO, in his capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes;
ELPIDIO T. ZAFE, in his capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes; MARIANO ALBERTO, in his capacity as Councilor of
Virac, Catanduanes; JULIA A. GARCIA, in her capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes; and PEDRO A. GUERRERO, in
his capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes, respondents

March 11, 1992


Nocon, J.
FACTS: Celestino Tatel is a businessman engaged in the import and export of abaca and
other products. He had a warehouse in Virac, Catanduanes.
- Residents complained of his warehouse because of the disturbance caused by bailing
machine in the warehouse emitted smoke, obnoxious odor, and dust.
- A committee was sent to investigate. It noted the crowded nature of the neighborhood
such that an accidental fire within the warehouse could be dangerous to the
neighborhood.
- Consequently,S the Municipal Council of Virac issued Resolution No 29 declaring the
warehouse of Tatel a public nuisance within the purview of Art 694 of the Civil Code, and
directing the transfer of such warehouses to a more suitable place 2 months from the
receipt of the resolution.
- Tatel filed a petition for prohibition in the CFI of Catanduanes.

23 they are clothed with authority to "enact such ordinances and issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out and discharge the
responsibilities conferred upon it by law, and such as shall be necessary and proper to provide for the health, safety, comfort and convenience,
maintain peace and order, improve public morals, promote the prosperity and general welfare of the municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and
insure the protection of property therein."

- The municipality also contended that the warehouse violated Ordinance No. 1324
prohibiting the construction of warehouses near a block of houses without maintaining
the necessary distance of 200 meters; tatel contends that the ordinance is
unconstitutional, violating the due process and equal protection clause.
- The lower court ruled in favor of the municipality. It said that the ordinance is a valid
exercise of police power, and that the warehouse of Tatel is a public nuisance.
- Tatel appealed to the SC.
ISSUE: WON there was proper exercise of police power (YES)
RATIO: Ordinance No. 13 was passed by the Municipal Council of Virac in the exercise of
its police power. Municipal corporations are agencies of the State for the promotion and
maintenance of local self-government and as such are endowed with police powers in
order to effectively accomplish the declared objects of their creation. Its authority
derives from the general welfare clause of the Administrative Code.25

24

AN ORDINANCE STRICTLY PROHIBITING THE CONSTRUCTION OF WAREHOUSE IN ANY FORM NEAR A BLOCK OF
HOUSES EITHER IN POBLACION OR BARRIO WITH NECESSARY DISTANCE TO AVOID GREAT LOSSES OF PROPERTY AND
LIVES BY FIRE ACCIDENT.

25

Sec 2238: The municipal council shall enact such ordinances and make such regulations, not repugnant to law, as may be necessary to
carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred upon it by law and such as shall seem necessary and proper to provide for the
health and safety, promote the prosperity, improve the morals, peace, good order, comfort and convenience of the municipality and the
inhabitants thereof, and for the protection of property therein.

- For an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate powers of the
municipality, but must also meet the following criteria: (1) must not contravene the
Constitution or any statute (2) must not be unfair or oppressive (3) must not be partial or
discriminatory (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade (5) must be general and
consistent with public policy, and (6) must not be unreasonable. Ordinance No. 13 meets
these criteria.
- What is regulated by the ordinance is the construction of warehouses wherein
inflammable materials are stored, and not the construction per se of a warehouse. The
purpose is to avoid the loss of life and property in case of fire which is one of the
primordial obligation of the government.
- As to the claim that similarly situated warehouses were not prosecuted, it is no reason
to claim that the ordinance is discriminatory. A distinction must be made between the
law itself and the manner in which said law is implemented .
DISPOSITIVE: Petition dismissed.
TAMIN VS CA
RTC JUDGE CAMILO E. TAMIN, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 23, Molave, Zamboanga del Sur and the
MUNICIPALITY OF DUMINGAG, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR; represented by MAYOR DOMICIANO E. REAL, petitioners, vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, VICENTE MEDINA and FORTUNATA ROSELLON, respondents

May 8, 1992
Gutierrez, Jr., J.
FACTS: On September 24, 1990, the Municipality of Dumingag represented by its mayor,
Domiciano Real filed with the RTC a complaint denominated as Ejectment with
preliminary injunction and damages against Medina and Rosellon. The complaint
alleged that Dumingag owned a parcel of land; that that the parcel of land was reserved
for public plaza under Proclamation 365; that during the incumbency of the previous
mayor, the municipality leased a portion of the land to the defendants subject to the
condition that they should vacate in case it is needed; that the defendants paid the
rentals, but subsequently stopped; that the incumbent mayor discovered that the
defendants filed a Cadastral case over said lot; that the defendants refused to vacate.
- Medina and Rosellon filed a motion to dismiss alleging the lack of jurisdiction, since the
complaint is for illegal detainer which is within the original jurisdiction of the municipal
court. It also raised the pendency of a cadastral case over the same parcel of land.
- Judge Tamin denied the motion, and issued a writ of possession and an ancillary writ of
demolition. He said that the court has jurisdiction because the action is for recovery of
ownership; and that the cadastral court has no jurisdiction since the subject land is a
public plaza.
- The municipality implemented the writs issued resulting in the dispossession of the
Medina and Rosellon from the parcel of land and the demolition of structures and
buildings they owned thereon.
- Medina and Rosellon filed their answer to the complaint alleging that the subject parcel
of land is owned Medina since 1947 when he bought it from a Subanan native; that
Rosellon leased from Medina a portion of the land; that they were never lessees of the
municipality; that Proclamation 365 recognized "private rights"; and that a case is
pending before the Cadastral court.
- Before Judge Tamin could act, Medina and Rosellon filed a petition for certiorari with the
CA.
- The CA granted the petition, and declared null and void the orders of the lower court.
Hence, the present petition filed with the SC

ISSUE: WON the municipality is entitled to a writ of possession (No. It was prematurely issued.)

RATIO: The RTC has jurisdiction. According to the CA: although a lease is alleged in the
complaint, based on the allegations the lease would be void; therefore the action is one
of recovery of possession properly cognizable by the RTC.
- Based on finding that the complaint is for recovery of possession, the CA concluded
that the RTC did not have authority to issue a writ of possession and a writ of demolition.
It said that the writ of possession is available in the following instances: (1)land
registration proceeding, which is a proceeding in rem; (2)extra-judicial foreclosure of
mortgage; (3)judicial foreclosure of mortgage, a quasi in rem proceeding; and
(4)execution sales.

- Petitioners now contend that the allegations in the complaint constitute a cause of
action for abatement of public nuisance under Arts 69426 and 69527 of the Civil Code,
which would entitle the municipality to the writ of possession and writ of demolition.

26 Art. 694. A nuisance is any act, omission, establishment, business, condition of property or anything else which:

xxx xxx xxx

(5)

Hinders or impairs the use of property.

27 Art. 695 Nuisance is either public or private. A public nuisance affects a community or neighborhood or any considerable number of persons,
although the extent of the annoyance, danger or damage upon individuals may be unequal...

- Thus, the complaint alleges factual circumstances of a complaint for abatement of


public nuisance. The issue however is not the nature of the cause of action but whether
the municipality is entitled to a writ of possession. Art 69928 provides the remedies
against a public nuisance.
- Of the 3 remedies available to it, the municipality chose to file a civil action. It was
aware that under the then LGC the Sangguniang Bayan has to first pass an ordinance
before the municipality may summarily abate a public nuisance. (Sec 149(z) (ee)).
- A public plaza is outside the commerce of man and constructions thereon can be
abated summarily by the municipality. Therefore, if the allegations in the complaint are
true and that the parcel of land is indeed a public plaza, the writs would have been
justified. In fact, there would have been no need for a writ of possession since the
occupation over the land can not be recognized by any law. A writ of demolition would
have been sufficient to eject the respondents.
- However, the status of the subject parcel of land has yet to be decided. Proclamation
365 recognizes private rights which may have been vested on other persons.
- Even before the Proclamation, the parcel of land was the subject of cadastral
proceedings. At the time of the filing of the instant case, the cadastral proceedings were
still pending.
- Technically, there is no prejudicial question since the two actions involved are both civil
in nature. However, the fact that the cadastral proceedings will ultimately settle the real
ownership of the disputed parcel of land must be considered. In case Medina is adjudged
the owner, then the writs would necessarily be null and void.
- The issuance of the writs was premature. The Judge should have stopped the
proceedings and wait for the final outcome of the cadastral proceedings.
- The legality of the occupation by Medina and Rosellon is still to be resolved in the
cadastral proceedings. If Medina is declared owner of the land, he would be entitled to
just compensation for the precipitate demolition of the buildings. On the other hand, if
Medina is declared to have no rights over the land, he would not be entitled to any
compensation since the demolition of the buildings would have been justified.
- In the interest of justice, the municipality must put up a bond to be determined by the
trial court to answer for just compensation to which the private respondents may be
entitled in case the demolition of their buildings is adjudged to be illegal.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition dismissed.
PATALINHUG vs CA
Alfredo Patalinghug (Petitioner) vs CA, Ricardo Cribillo, Martin Arapol, Corazon Alcasid, Primitiva Sedo (Respondents)

January 27, 1994


Romero, J.

28 Article 699 of the Civil Code provides for the following remedies against a public nuisance:
local ordinance; or
(2) A civil action; or
(3) Abatement, without judicial proceedings.

(1) A prosecution under the Penal Code or any

FACTS: On November 17, 1982, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Davao City enacted
Ordinance No. 36329. It is provided that Funeral Parlors... shall be established not less
than 50 meters from any residential structures, churches and other institutional
buildings.
- Upon prior approval and certification of zoning compliance by Zoning Administrator
Hector Esguerra, Building Official Demetrio Alindad issued a Building Permit in favor of
Patalinghug for the construction of a funeral parlor. Patalinghug commenced the
construction of his funeral parlor.
- Acting on the complaint of several residents that Patalinghugr's funeral parlor violated
Ordinance No. 363, the Sangguniang Panlungsod conducted an investigation and found
that the nearest residential structure to the funeral parlor is only 8 inches. The said
structure was owned by Tepoot.
- Cribillo, et. al. filed a case for the declaration of nullity of Patalinghug's building permit.
After conducting its own ocular inspection the lower court dismissed the complaint
finding that the building of the complainants is more than 50 meters away; that the
adjacent residential building of Tepoot is actually used in a laundry business; and that
complainants failed to exhaust administrative remedies.
- Hence, Cribillo, et. al. appealed to the CA. It reversed the trial court's decision. It said
that while Tepoot's building was used commercially by the lessee, it is still a residential
lot as reflected in its tax declaration.
Hence, Patalinghug appeals to the SC.
ISSUE: WON Patalinghug's building violated the Ordinance (No)
RATIO: The testimony of City Councilor Vergara shows that Tepoot's building was used
for a dual purpose both as a dwelling and as a place where a laundry business was
conducted. But while its commercial aspect has been established by the presence of
machineries and laundry paraphernalia, its use as a residence, other than being declared
for taxation purposes as such, was not fully substantiated.
- A tax declaration is not conclusive of the nature of the property for zoning purposes. A
property may have been declared by its owner as residential for real estate taxation
purposes but it may well be within a commercial zone.
- A tax declaration only enables the assessor to identify the property for assessment
levels. In fact, a tax declaration does not bind a provincial/city assessor, for under Sec 22
of the Real Estate Tax Code, appraisal and assessment are based on the actual use
irrespective of any previous assessment. A piece of land declared by a taxpayer as
residential may be assessed by the provincial or city assessor as commercial because its
actual use is commercial.
- That Tepoot's building is commercial is strengthened by the fact that the Sangguniang
Panlungsod has declared the questioned area as commercial. Even if the building was
declared as for taxation purposes as residential, once a local government has reclassified
an area as commercial, that determination for zoning purposes must prevail.
- The declaration of the said area as a commercial zone is an exercise of police power to
promote the good order and general welfare of the people in the locality. The state, in
order to promote the general welfare, may interfere with personal liberty, with property,
and with business and occupations. Thus, persons may be subjected to certain kinds of
restraints and burdens in order to secure the general welfare.
DISPOSITIVE: CA decision reversed. RTC decision reinstated.
29 Expanded Zoning Ordinance of Davao City

GREATER BALANGA DEV'T CORPORATION VS MUNICIPALITY OF BALANGA


GREATER BALANGA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioner. vs. MUNICIPALITY OF BALANGA, BATAAN; SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF
BALANGA, BATAAN; HON. MELANIO S. BANZON, JR.; HON. DOMINGO D. DIZON; HON. AGRIPINO C. BANZON; HON. EDUARDO P.
TUAZON; HON. GABRIEL J. NISAY; HON. LORENZO P. TAPAN; HON. FEDERICO S. BUSTAMANTE; HON. ROLANDO H. DAVID; HON.
EDILBERTO Q. DE GUZMAN; HON. ALFREDO C. GUILA; and HON. GAVINO S. SANTIAGO, respondents

December 27, 1994


Quiason, J.
FACTS: This case involves a parcel of land, Lot 261-B-6-A-3, in the Municipality of
Balanga, Province of Bataan. It is registered under a TCT in the name of Greater Balanga
Development Corporation (GBDC), which is a domestic corporation owned and controlled
by the Camacho family, and which donated to the Municipality of Balanga the present
site of the Balanga Public Market. The lot in dispute lies behind the Balanga Public
Market.
- GBDC conducted a relocation survey of the area, and discovered that certain portions
of the property had been usurped by the Municipality of Balanga, which had allowed the
construction of shanties and market stalls on the land.
- On January 11, 1988, GBDC applied with the Office of the Mayor of Balanga for a
business permit to engage in business in the said area. Mayor Banzon issued a Mayor's
Permit, granting the privilege of a "real estate dealer/privately-owned public market
operator". The permit was to expire on December 31, 1988.
- The Sangguniang Bayan of Balanga passed a Resolution annulling the Mayor's permit,
and advising the Mayor to revoke the permit to operate a public market. The mayor
revoked the permit insofar as it authorized the operation of a public market.
- GBDC filed the present petition for certiorari, prohibition, and mandamus. The
municipality asserted that the Mayor may issue, deny or revoke municipal licenses and
permits; and that the Resolution was a legitimate exercise of local legislative authority.
- GBDC replied that since it had not violated any law or ordinance, there was no reason
to revoke the Mayor's permit. The municipality pointed out that GBDC deliberately made
a false statement in the application form when it failed to provide the information that
their place of business is the subject of adverse claims; that it failed to apply for two
separate permits for the two lines of business it proposed to engage in; and that
pursuant to Sec 3A-06(b) of the Balanga Revenue Code, the permit can be revoked.
ISSUE: WON the municipality could have revoked the permit (No)
RATIO: The application for Mayor's permit in this case requires the applicant to state
what type of business is being applied for. GBDC left this entry bank in its application
form. Thus, the permit should not have been issued without the required information.
However, revoking the permit because of a false statement in the application form
cannot be justified. There must be proof of willful misrepresentation and deliberate intent
to make a false statement. GBDC did not make any false statement in the entry.
- Applying for two businesses in one permit is not ground for revocation. The second
paragraph of Sec 3A-06(b) does not expressly require two permits for their conduct of
two or more businesses, but only that separate fees be paid for each business. The
powers of municipal corporations are to be construed in strictissimi juris against the
municipality.
- Under the law, the Sangguniang Bayan has the power to provide for the establishment
and maintenance of public markets in the municipality and to regulate any business, and
prescribe the conditions under which a municipal license may be revoked. It was this
authority which the Sangguniang Bayan invoked when it issued the Resolution.

- As may be gleaned from said Resolution, the reason for the revocation of the Mayor's
permit was the controversy with regard to the ownership of the land since it was subject
to a separate civil case.
- The question of ownership over the land had already been settled with finality by the
SC in 1983. When the Mayor's permit was revoked on February 19, 1988, five years had
already elapsed. Clearly, for all intents and purposes, GBDC appeared to be the true
owner of Lot 261-B-6-A-3 when the municipality revoked its permit to engage in business
on its own land.
- The municipality did not establish or maintain any public market on the subject lot. The
resolution merely mentioned the plan to acquire the lot for expansion of the public
market. Until expropriation proceedings are instituted, the landowner cannot be deprived
of its right over the land.
- Of course, the Sangguniang Bayan has the duty in the exercise of its police powers to
regulate any business. But the "anxiety, uncertainty, restiveness" among the stallholders
and traders cannot be a valid ground for revoking the permit of GBDC. After all, the
stallholders were doing business on property not belonging to the Municipality. The claim
that the municipality's acts were measures "designed to promote peace and order and
protect the general welfare of the people of Balanga" is too amorphous and convenient
an excuse to justify its acts.
- Since the municipality is not the owner of the land, there is no legal basis for it to
impose and collect market fees and market entrance fees. Only the owner has the right
to do so. However, the Mayor's permit issued on January 11, 1988 cannot now be
reinstated despite the nullity of its revocation since it expired on December 31, 1988.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition for certiorari and prohibition granted. Petition for mandamus
denied.

TANO VS SOCRATES
August 21, 1997
Davide, Jr., J.
FACTS: On December 15, 1992, the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Puerto Princesa City
enacted Ordinance No. 15-9230

30 AN ORDINANCE BANNING THE SHIPMENT OF ALL LIVE FISH AND LOBSTER OUTSIDE PUERTO PRINCESA CITY FROM
JANUARY 1, 1993 TO JANUARY 1, 1998 AND PROVIDING EXEMPTIONS, PENALTIES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES THEREOF

- To implement the ordinance, then Acting City Mayor Amado Lucero issued Office Order
No. 23.
- On February 19, 1993, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Provincial Government of
Palawan enacted Resolution No. 3331

31 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, TRADACNA
GIGAS (TAKLOBO), 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 FIVE (5) YEARS IN AND COMING FROM PALAWAN
WATERS

- The ordinances were implemented thereby depriving all the fishermen of Palawan and
the City of Puerto Princesa of their only means of livelihood and Airline Shippers
Association of Palawan and other marine merchants from performing their lawful
occupation and trade.
- Some of the petitioners were charged with violations of the ordinances.
- The petitioners filed the present petition for certiorari challenging the constitutionality
of the ordinances. They contend that the Ordinances deprived them of due process of
law, their livelihood, and unduly restricted them from the practice of their trade; that
Office Order No. 23 contained no regulation nor condition under which the Mayors
permit could be granted or denied; and that the Ordinance took away the right of
petitioners-fishermen to earn their livelihood in lawful ways.
- The respondents defended the validity of Ordinances as a valid exercise of the
Provincial Governments power under the general welfare clause of the LGC, and its
specific power to protect the environment and impose appropriate penalties for acts
which endanger the environment pursuant to Secs 447(a)(1)(vi), 458(a)(1)(vi), and
468(a)(1)(vi) of the LGC.
ISSUE: WON the ordinances are valid (Yes)
RATIO: Laws (including ordinances) 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.
- Petitioners contentions are baseless; the ordinances do not suffer from any infirmity,
both under the Constitution and applicable laws.
- They argue that they are protected under the Constitution as subsistence fishermen
as provided in Sec 2 Art XII. However, there is no showing that any of the petitioners
qualifies as a subsistence or marginal fisherman.
- Sec 131(p) of the LGC defines a marginal farmer or fisherman as an individual
engaged in subsistence farming or fishing which shall be limited to the sale, barter or
exchange of agricultural or marine products produced by himself and his immediate
family.
- Besides, Constitutional provision aims primarily to lay stress on the duty of the State to
protect the nations marine wealth. What the provision merely recognizes is that the
State may allow, by law, cooperative fish farming, with priority to subsistence fishermen.
- The so-called preferential right of subsistence or marginal fishermen is not at all
absolute. In accordance with the Regalian Doctrine, marine resources belong to the
State; their utilization shall be under the full control and supervision of the State. Their
mandated protection, development, and conservation imply certain restrictions on
whatever right of enjoyment there may be in favor of anyone.
- The state policy enshrined in the Constitution regarding the duty of the State to protect
and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with
the rhythm and harmony of nature must be borne in mind.
- The LGC provisions invoked by the respondents merely seek to give flesh and blood to
the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology. In fact, this is mentioned in
the general welfare clause. The general welfare provisions of the LGC shall be liberally
interpreted to give more powers to the local government units in accelerating economic
development and upgrading the quality of life for the people of the community.
- The centerpiece of LGC is the system of decentralization. One of the devolved powers is
the enforcement of fishery laws in municipal waters. This necessarily includes enactment
of ordinances to effectively carry out such fishery laws within the municipal waters.
- In light then of the principles of decentralization and devolution, and the powers
granted to LGUs under the General Welfare Clause, and under Secs 149, 447(a)(1)(vi),

458(a)(1)(vi), and 468(a)(1)(vi), which unquestionably involve the exercise of police


power, the validity of the questioned Ordinances cannot be doubted.
- The ordinances have 2 principal objectives: (1) to establish a closed season for the
species of aquatic animals covered therein for a period of five years; and (2) to protect
the corals of the marine waters from further destruction due to illegal fishing activities.
- The accomplishment of the first objective is well within the devolved power to enforce
fishery laws. The realization of the second objective falls within both the general welfare
clause of the LGC, and the express mandate thereunder to cities and provinces to protect
the environment.
- The dissenting opinion of Justice Bellosillo relies upon the lack of authority on the part
of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to enact the Ordinance on the theory that the subject
thereof is within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
under PD 704; and that, in any event, the Ordinance is unenforceable for lack of approval
by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
- The majority does not agree. The jurisdiction of the BFAR is not all-encompassing. Sec 4
of PD 704 excludes municipal waters. BFAR is not under DNR anymore after the
enactment of some EOs. It is already under the Department of Agriculture.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition dismissed.
Bellosillo, J. (Dissenting):
- The general welfare clause is not the sole criterion to determine the validity or
constitutionality of the ordinances. The tests of a valid ordinance are: (a) It must not
contravene the Constitution or any statute; (b) It must not be unfair or oppressive; (c) It
must not be partial or discriminatory; (d) It must not prohibit but may regulate trade; (e)
It must be general and consistent with public policy; and, (f) It must not be
unreasonable.
- Under PD 704 fishing in municipal waters are under the jurisdiction of the municipal
government. However, the decree imposes a mandatory requirement directing municipal
governments to submit ordinances enacted pertinent to fishing to the Secretary of
Agriculture who now has control and supervision over the BFAR.
- There is no inconsistency between the LGC and PD 704. While the LGC vests power
upon the local government to enact ordinances for the general welfare of its inhabitants,
such power is subject to certain limitations imposed by the Code itself and by other
statutes. When the legislature failed to repeal Sec 4 of PD 704 it accepted and
recognized a limitation on the power of the local government to enact ordinances
relative to matters affecting fishery and aquatic resources.
- The operative principles of decentralization upon the environment and natural
resources are not absolute, as the LGC provides that local government units shall share
with the national government the responsibility in the management and maintenance of
ecological balance within their territorial jurisdiction, subject to the provisions of this
Code and national policies.
WHITE LIGHT vs MANILA
White Light Corporation, Titanium Corporation, and Sta. Mesa Tourist and Development Corporation (Petitioners) vs
City of Manila (Respondent)

January 20, 2009


Tinga, J.

FACTS: On December 3, 1992, City Mayor Alfredo S. Lim (Mayor Lim) signed into law the
Ordinance No. 77432.
- On December 15, 1992, the Malate Tourist and Development Corporation (MTDC) filed a
complaint for declaratory relief with the RTC of Manila against the City of Manila. It
prayed that the Ordinance be declared invalid and unconstitutional, claiming that it was
authorized by PD 259 to admit customers on a short time basis as well as to charge
customers wash up rates for stays of only three hours.
- White Light Corporation (WLC), Titanium Corporation (TC) and Sta. Mesa Tourist and
Development Corporation (STDC) intervened on the ground that the Ordinance directly
affects their business interests as operators of drive-in-hotels and motels in Manila.
MTDC eventually moved to withdraw as plaintiff.
- The City filed an Answer alleging that the Ordinance is a legitimate exercise of police
power.
- The RTC ruled that the Ordinance is null and void, saying that it strikes at the personal
liberty of the individual guaranteed and jealously guarded by the Constitution.
- When the case was in the CA, the appellate court ruled that the Ordinance is a valid
exercise of police power pursuant to Sec 458(4)(iv) of the LGC. IT reversed the RTC
decision and affirmed the constitutionality of the Ordinance.
- TC, WLC and STDC filed the present petition for review on certiorari with the SC.
ISSUE:
WON the petitioners have standing to sue (Yes)
WON the Ordinance is valid (No)
RATIO: The petitioners allege that their business is being unlawfully interfered with by
the Ordinance. However, they also allege that the equal protection rights of their clients
are also being interfered with.
- Standing is the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to
and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's participation in the
case. Nonetheless, the general rules on standing admit of several exceptions. In this
case, the concept of third party standing as an exception and the overbreadth doctrine
are appropriate.
- Requisites for third party standing: the litigant must have suffered an injury-in-fact,
thus giving him or her a "sufficiently concrete interest" in the outcome of the issue in
dispute; the litigant must have a close relation to the third party; and there must exist
some hindrance to the third party's ability to protect his or her own interests.
- In the present case, it is clear that the business interests of the petitioners are injured
by the Ordinance. They rely on the patronage of their customers for their continued
viability. The relative silence in constitutional litigation of such special interest groups in
our nation may also be construed as a hindrance for customers to bring suit.
- Assuming arguendo that third party standing cannot be invoke, the overbreadth
doctrine comes into play. In overbreadth analysis, challengers to government action are
in effect permitted to raise the rights of third parties. The overbreadth doctrine applies
when a statute needlessly restrains even constitutionally guaranteed rights. In this case,
the petitioners claim that the Ordinance makes a sweeping intrusion into the right to
liberty of their clients. Thus, based on the allegations, the Ordinance suffers from
overbreadth.
32 An Ordinance Prohibiting Short-Time Admission, Short-Time Admission Rates, and Wash-Up Rate Schemes in Hotels, Motels, Inns, Lodging
Houses, Pension Houses, and Similar Establishments in the City of Manila

- For an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate powers of the
LGU, it must also conform to the following substantive requirements: (1) must not
contravene the Constitution or any statute; (2) must not be unfair or oppressive; (3)
must not be partial or discriminatory; (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade; (5)
must be general and consistent with public policy; and (6) must not be unreasonable.
- In this case, the Ordinance prohibits two specific and distinct business practices,
namely wash rate admissions and renting out a room more than twice a day. The ban is
sought to be rooted in the police power as conferred on LGUs by the LGC through such
implements as the general welfare clause.
- Police power, while incapable of an exact definition, has been purposely veiled in
general terms to underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and provide
enough room for an efficient and flexible response as the conditions warrant.
- The goal of the Ordinance is to minimize if not eliminate the use of the covered
establishments for illicit sex, prostitution, drug use and alike. These goals are
unimpeachable and certainly fall within the ambit of police power. Yet the desirability of
these ends do not sanctify all means for their achievement. Those means must align with
the Constitution.
- The primary constitutional question here is one of due process, as guaranteed under
Sec 1, Art III of the Constitution. The due process guaranty serves as a protection against
arbitrary regulation or seizure.
- The right at stake here is fundamental right to liberty, which is the most primordial of
rights. Liberty includes the right to exist and the right to be free from arbitrary restraint.
It is deemed to embrace the right of man to enjoy the facilities with which he has been
endowed by his Creator, subject only to such restraint as are necessary for the common
welfare.
- The primary animus behind the ordinance is the curtailment of illicit sexual behavior.
However, it cannot be denied that legitimate sexual behavior among willing married or
consenting single adults which is constitutionally protected will be curtailed as well.
- The right to privacy as a constitutional right was recognized in Morfe v Mutuc, the
invasion of which should be justified by a compelling state interest. The right to privacy
is recognized independently of its identification with liberty; in itself it is fully deserving
of constitutional protection. Governmental powers should stop short of certain intrusions
into the personal life of the citizen.
- There are legitimate activities which the Ordinance would impair. There are very
legitimate uses for a wash rate or renting the room out for more than twice a day.
- The behavior which the Ordinance seeks to curtail is in fact already prohibited and
could be diminished simply by applying existing laws. Less intrusive measures through
active police work would be more effective in easing the situation. So would the strict
enforcement of existing laws and regulations penalizing prostitution and drug use.
Further, it is apparent that the Ordinance can easily be circumvented by merely paying
the whole day rate.
- Individual rights may be adversely affected only to the extent that may fairly be
required by the legitimate demands of public interest or public welfare. However wellintentioned the Ordinance may be, it is an arbitrary intrusion into the rights of the
establishments as well as their patrons.
- The promotion of public welfare deserves the full endorsement of the judiciary provided
that such measures do not trample rights the Court is sworn to protect.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted. Ordinance is declared unconstitutional.

Roble Arrastre, Inc. (Petitioner) vs Hon. Altagracia Villaflor, and the CA


(Respondents)
August 26, 2006
Chico-Nazario, J.
FACTS: Roble Arrastre, Inc. is a cargo handling service operator, authorized by the
Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) to provide arrastre and stevedoring services at the
Municipal Port of Hilongos, Leyte from 7 September 1992 to 15 September 1993.4 For
the years 1992 and 1993, Roble was granted Business Permits by Altagracia Villaflor as
Mayor of Hilongos.
- On 14 December 1993, pending final consideration of Robles application for renewal
with the PPA, PPA Port Manager Salvador Reyna issued a 90-day hold-over authority to
Roble.
- On 27 January 1994, while the 90-day hold-over authority was in effect, Roble filed with
Villaflor an application for the renewal of its Business Permit. However, the same was
denied.
- Roble filed with the RTC a Petition for Mandamus against Villaflor. It argues that the
mayor's power to issue licenses in Sec 444(b)(3)(iv) of the LGC is merely for the purpose
of revenue generation and not regulation, hence the mayor has no discretion to refuse
the issuance of a business license; and that it is the PPA which is vested with the
discretion to determine whether a party can render arrastre service in a particular port
area.
- Villaflor averred that mandamus does not lie as the issuance of the permit is not a
ministerial function; that the Sangguniang Bayan of the municipality passed a resolution
which prohibits any party operating a shipping line from engaging in arrastre and
stevedoring services at the port of Hilongos; and that Roble is owned and operated by
Roble Shipping Lines, a shipping company.
- Roble filed a Supplemental Petition, contending that subsequent to the filing of the
Petition for Mandamus, it was granted by the PPA a five-year contract to provide cargo
handling and other related services at the Port of Hilongos.
- The RTC granted the petition. Upon elevation of the case to the CA, the appellate court
reversed the trial court's decision, and dismissed the complaint. It ruled that mandamus
will not lie to control the discretion given by the law to the mayor. It also said that the
case has become moot since its prayer was to be given a permit in the year 1994 (CA
decision came out in 1996).
- Hence, Roble filed the present petition for review with the SC.
ISSUE: Whether mandamus can be granted (No)
RATIO: As stated by the CA, the action of Roble is already moot. However, the Court still
resolved the case to educate the bench and the bar. Also, this case comes within the rule
that courts will decide a question otherwise moot if it is capable of repetition yet evading
review.

- The power of the mayor to issue permits is based on Sec 444(b)(3)(iv)33 of the LGC. In
turn, the said provision refers to Sec 16, otherwise known as the general welfare clause.
- The general welfare clause, encapsulates the delegated police power to local
governments. Local government units exercise police power through their respective
legislative bodies. The LGC is unequivocal that the mayor has the power to issue licenses
and suspend or revoke the same for any violation of the conditions upon which said
licenses had been issued, pursuant to law or ordinance.
- Robles argues that the power to issue license should be pursuant to law other than the
LGC. However, the language of the law does not distinguish. Hence, even the LGC,
specifically Sec 16, can be utilized to determine the bounds of the exercise of the mayor
in issuing licenses.
- While there is no ordinance conferring upon the mayor the power to refuse the issuance
of the permit, it does not follow that the power of the mayor under Sec 444(b)(3)(iv) is
ministerial. What can be deduced from the said provision is that the limits in the exercise
of the power of a mayor with regard to licenses can be contained in a law or an
ordinance. The said provision takes its cue from Sec 16, which is largely an exercise of
delegated police power.
- The general welfare clause is the delegation in statutory form of the police power of the
State to LGUs. Through this, LGUs may prescribe regulations to protect the lives, health,
and property of their constituents and maintain peace and order within their respective
territorial jurisdictions.
- Sec 444(b)(3)(iv) is a manifestation of the delegated police power of a municipal
corporation. Necessarily, its exercise cannot be deemed ministerial. As to the question of
whether the power is validly exercised, the matter is within the province of a writ of
certiorari, but certainly, not of mandamus.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition denied.
PARAYNO vs Mun. of CALASIAO
Concepcion Parayno (Petitioner) vs Jose Jovellanos, and the Municipality of Calasiao, Pangasinan (Respondents)

July 14, 2006


Corona, J.
FACTS: Parayno was the owner of a gasoline filling station in Calasiao, Pangasinan. In
1989, some residents of Calasiao petitioned the Sangguniang Bayan for the closure or
transfer of the station to another location. Upon advise of the investigators, the
Sangguniang recommended to the Mayor the closure or transfer of Parayno's gasoline
33 SEC. 444. The Chief Executive: Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation.

(b) For efficient, effective and economical governance the


purpose of which is the general welfare of the municipality and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code, the Municipal mayor shall:
xxxx
(3) Initiate and maximize the generation of resources and revenues, and apply the same to the implementation of development plans,
program objectives and priorities as provided for under Section 18 of this Code, particularly those resources and revenues programmed for agroindustrial development and country-wide growth and progress, and relative thereto, shall:
xxxx
(iv) Issue licenses and permits and suspend or revoke the same for any violation of the conditions upon which said licenses or permits had
been issued, pursuant to law or ordinance.

station. In its Resolution it was stated that the gas station violated the Zoning Code of
Calasiao; that the station is in a thickly populated area; that nearby residents complain
of its irritating smell; and that it violated building and safety codes
- Parayno filed a special civil action for prohibition and mandamus with the RTC against
the municipality. She claimed that her gasoline station was not covered by Sec 44 of the
Official Zoning Code since it was not a "gasoline service station" but a "gasoline filling
station" governed by Section 21 thereof; and that the decision of the HLURB in a
previous case filed by Jovellanos against her predecessor barred the grounds invoked by
the municipality.
- The trial court ruled against Parayno. It said that a gasoline filling station falls within the
ambit of Sec 44, and that it should not be allowed to continue operating its business.
- Parayno filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with the CA, which the
appellate court denied. Hence, Parayno filed the present petition for review with the SC.
ISSUE: WON Paraynos Business is covered by the law. (NO)

RATIO: The zoning ordinance of respondent municipality made a clear distinction


between "gasoline service station"34 and "gasoline filling station."35

34Section 42. Service Station. A building and its premises where gasoline oil, grease, batteries, tires and car accessories may be supplied and
dispensed at retail and where, in addition, the following services may be rendered and sales and no other.
batteries, and distributor parts;

a. Sale and servicing of spark plugs,

b. Tire servicing and repair, but not recapping or regrooving;


c. Replacement of mufflers and tail pipes, water hose, fan belts, brake fluids, light bulbs, fuses, floor mats, seat covers, windshield wipers
and wiper blades, grease retainers, wheel, bearing, mirrors and the like;
d. Radiator cleaning and flushing;
e. Washing and polishing, and sale of automobile washing and polishing materials;
f. Grease and lubricating;
g. Emergency wiring repairs;
h. Minor servicing of carburators;
i. Adjusting and repairing brakes;
j. Minor motor adjustments not involving removal of the head or crankcase, or raising the motor.

35 Section 21. Filling Station. A retail station servicing automobiles and other motor vehicles with gasoline and oil only.

- The ordinance intended these two terms to be separate and distinct from each other.
Even the municipality's counsel admitted this dissimilarity.
- What applied in this case was not the principle of ejusdem generis, but the legal maxim
expressio unius est exclusio alterius. Because of the distinct and definite meanings
alluded to the two terms, the municipality could not insist that "gasoline service station"
necessarily included "gasoline filling station". Indeed, the activities undertaken in a "gas
service station" did not automatically embrace those in a "gas filling station."
- The municipality invalidly used its police powers in ordering the closure/transfer of the
gasoline station. While it had the power under the LGC to take actions and enact
measures to promote the health and general welfare of its constituents, it should have
given due deference to the law and the rights of Parayno.
- A local government properly exercised its police powers when the following requisites
are met: (1) the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a
particular class, require the interference of the State and (2) the means employed are
reasonably necessary for the attainment of the object sought to be accomplished and
not unduly oppressive. The first requirement refers to the equal protection; the second to
the due process.
- The municipality failed to comply with due process. The records do not show that it
even attempted to measure the distance, notwithstanding that such distance was crucial
in determining whether there was an actual violation.
- Parayno's business could not be considered a nuisance which respondent municipality
could summarily abate in the guise of exercising its police powers. The abatement of a
nuisance without judicial proceedings is possible only if it is a nuisance per se. A gas
station is not a nuisance per se.
- The HLURB findings show that Parayno complied with its requirements. It also found
that the gas station will not be a hazard. Such findings are binding upon the Court.
- In the resolution of the municipality, it raised the same grounds invoked by its corespondent in the HLURB. The HLURB had already settled these concerns and its
adjudication had long attained finality. It is to the interest of the public that there should
be an end to litigation by the parties over a subject matter already fully and fairly
adjudged.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition granted. CA decision reversed. Municipality of Calasiao ordered
to desist from enforcing its resolution.

CABRERA VS CA
BRUNO S. CABRERA, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND THE PROVINCE OF CATANDUANES, VICENTE M.
ALBERTO, ENCARNACION TORRES, SANTIAGO VALDERAMA, JEREMIAS TRINIDAD, ALFREDO DAYAWON, ZACARIAS TATAD,
FELIXBERTO CAMACHO, RUBEN GONZALES, FELIX RUBIO, RENE ALCANTARA, ARISTEO ARCILLA, PAMFILO DAYAWON,
REMEDIOS BAGADIONG, FREDESWINDO ALCALA, ELENA S. LATORRE, BALDOMERO TOLENTINO, EULOGIA ALEJANDRO,
ANGELES S. VARGAS, ISIDRO REYES, ANSELMO PEA, and CATALINA VELA, respondents.

Date: March 18, 1991


Ponente: Curz, J.
FACTS: The Provincial Board of Catanduanes adopted Resolution No. 158, closing the old
road leading to the new Capitol Building traffic, opening up a new road, and giving the
owners of the properties traversed by the new road equal area in the old road.

- Deed of Exchange were executed with the affected persons.


- Cabrera, who owned land at the northern end of the old road, filed a complaint for
"Restoration of Public Road and/or Abatement of Nuisance, Annulment of Resolutions and
Documents with Damages", alleging that old road is a public road, and thus beyond the
commerce of man. He argued that the Resolution and the closure of the road was invalid.
- The CFI upheld the validity of the Resolution. On appeal, the CA also upheld the validity
of the Resolution, ruling that RA 5185 authorizes municipal authorities to close,
thoroughfares under Section 2246 of the RAC.
- Hence, Cabrera brings his case to the SC.
ISSUE: WON the resolution is valid (Yes)

RATIO: The authority of the provincial board to close that road and use or convey it for
other purposes is derived from Sec 11(II)(a) of RA 518536 in relation to Sec 2246 of the
RAC37.
- Cebu Oxygen and Acetylene v Bercilles, and Favis v City of Baguio: the closure of a city
street is within the powers of the city council.
- There is no reason for not applying the doctrine in those cases to the provincial board in
connection with the closure of provincial roads. The provincial board has the duty of
maintaining such roads for the comfort and convenience of the inhabitants of the
province.
- Moreover, this authority is inferable from the grant by the national legislature of the
funds to the Province of Catanduanes for the construction of provincial roads.
- One whose property does not abut on the closed section of a street has no right to
compensation for the closing or vacation of the street, if he still has reasonable access to
the general system of streets.
- Richmond v City of Hinton, as cited in Favis:
The Constitution does not undertake to guarantee to a property owner the public
maintenance of the most convenient route to his door... he must content himself with
such route... as the... public authority may deem most compatible with the public
welfare. When he acquires city property, he does so in tacit recognition of these
principles. If... the city authorities abandon a portion of the street to which his property is
not immediately adjacent, he may suffer loss because of the inconvenience imposed, but
the public treasury cannot be required to recompense him. Such case is damnum absque
injuria.
- Cabrera is not entitled to damages because the injury he has incurred is the price he
and others like him must pay for the welfare of the entire community. This is not a case
where his property has been expropriated and he is entitled to just compensation. The
construction of the new road was undertaken under the general welfare clause.
- Whatever inconvenience Cabrera has suffered pales in significance compared to the
greater convenience the new road will give to the public. For the enjoyment of those
benefits, every individual in the province, including the Cabrera, must be prepared to
give his share.
DISPOSITIVE: CA decision affirmed
MODAY vs CA

36 II. The following actions by municipal officials or municipal councils, as provided for in the pertinent sections of the Revised Administrative
Code shall take effect without the need of approval or direction from any official of the national government: Provided, That such actions shall be
subject to approval or direction by the Provincial Board: (a) Authority to close thoroughfare under Section 2246;

37 Sec. 2246. Authority to close thoroughfare. With the prior authorization of the Department Head, a municipal council may close any municipal
road, street, alley, park, or square; but no such way or place aforesaid or any part thereof, shall be closed without indemnifying any person prejudiced
thereby. Property thus withdrawn from public servitude may be used or conveyed for any purpose for which other real property belonging to the
municipality might be lawfully used or conveyed.

PERCIVAL MODAY, ZOTICO MODAY (deceased) and LEONORA MODAY, petitioners, vs. COURT OF
APPEALS, JUDGE EVANGELINE S. YUIPCO OF BRANCH 6, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, AGUSAN DEL
SUR AND MUNICIPALITY OF BUNAWAN
Feb. 20, 1997
Romero, J.
FACTS: The Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur passed
Resolution 43-89 ("Authorizing the Municipal Mayor to Initiate the Petition for Expropriation of a
One (1) Hectare Portion of Lot No. 6138-Pls-4 along the National Highway Owned by Percival
Moday for the Site of Bunawan Farmers Center and Other Government Sports Facilities.") This
resolution was approved by Mun. Mayor AnuncioBustillo and transmitted to the
SangguniangPanlalawigan (SP) for approval, but the latter disapproved it, saying that
expropriation is unnecessary considering that there are still available lots in Bunawan for the
establishment of the government center Despite this, the Municipality of Bunawan filed a
Petition for Eminent Domain against Moday before the RTC, and it was later amended to include
the registered owners (Modays parents, Zotico and Leonora)
The Municipality then filed a Motion to Take or Enter Upon the Possession of Subject Matter of
This Case, stating that: it had already deposited the necessary amount with the municipal
treasurer in accordance with Sec. 2, Rule 67, ROC, and; It would be in the govts best interest for
it to be allowed to take possession of the property
[RTC] granted this petition and ordered to place the Municipality in possession of the property,
despite Modays opposition:
o The SPs failure to declare the resolution invalid leaves it effective.
o The duty of SP is merely to review ordinances and resolutions passed by the
Sangguniang Bayan under Sec. 208 (l), BP 337
o The exercise of eminent domain is not one of the 2 acts enumerated in Sec. 19 of the
LGC requiring the approval of the SP
It also set another hearing for the purpose of ascertaining the just compensation/fair market
value of the property, with notice to all parties concerned.
o Petitioners MR was denied. Petitioner went to CA on a petition for certiorari, alleging
GAD.
[CA] dismissed the petition. Petitioners filed MR, but the same was denied also.
o The public purpose for expropriation is clear from the resolution, and since SP did not
declare the same invalid, expropriation of petitioners property could proceed.
Meanwhile, Municipality of Bunawan had erected 3 bldgs on the property 38

38 The Association of Brgy Councils Hall, The Municipal Motorpool, Bunawan Municipal Gymnasium (the only concrete bldg.)

Petitioners filed a petition for review, and the Court issued a TRO to enjoin the RTC from
enforcing its order and the Municipality from using and occupying all the bldgs. constructed, and
from further constructing any building on the land. Court also cited the incumbent Mayor in
contempt, ordering him to pay the fine and to demolish the blocktiendas built in violation of
the order.
PARTIES ARGUMENTS
Petitioners say: CA erred in upholding legality of condemnation proceedings. Expropriation was
politically motivated and the resolution was correctly disapproved by the SP. The then incumbent
mayor should pay damages for insisting on enforcement of the void resolution
Respondents say: SPs reason for disapproving the resolution could be baseless since it failed to
point out which and where are the available lots. Also, since SP did not declare the resolution as
invalid, expropriation could proceed.
ISSUE: WON a municipality can expropriate private property by virtue of a municipal resolution,
which was disapproved by the SangguniangPanlalawigan? (YES)
RATIO: Eminent domain is a fundamental State power that is inseparable from sovereignty. It is
government's right to appropriate, in the nature of a compulsory sale to the State, private
property for public use or purpose. Inherently possessed by the national legislature, the power of
eminent domain may be validly delegated to local governments, other public entities and public
utilities. For the taking of private property by the government to be valid, the taking must be for
public use and there must be just compensation.
The Municipalitys power to exercise the right of eminent domain is not disputed since it is
provided for in BP 337, (old) LGC at the time the expropriation proceedings were initiated. In Sec.
9 thereof:
o Section 9.Eminent Domain. A local government unit may, through its head and
acting pursuant to a resolution of its sanggunian, exercise the right of eminent domain
and institute condemnation proceedings for public use or purpose.

The SPs disapproval of the Municipal Resolution is an infirm action which does NOT render the
resolution null and void. Sec. 153, BP 337 39 grants the SP the power to declare a municipal
resolution invalid on the sole ground that it is beyond the power of the Sangguniang Bayan or the
Mayor to issue.
[Velasco v Blas] The only ground upon which a provincial board may declare any municipal
resolution, ordinance, or order invalid is when such resolution, ordinance, or order is 'beyond the
powers conferred upon the council or president making the same.' Absolutely no other ground is
recognized by the law
Thus the SP was without authority to disapprove the resolution since the Municipality has the
power to exercise the right of eminent domain and the Sangguniang Bayan has the capacity to
promulgate the resolution. Perforce, it follows that Resolution No. 43-89 is valid and binding and
could be used as lawful authority to petition for the condemnation of petitioners' property.
Minor issue: Petitioners alleged that the then incumbent mayor only disliked Moday because he
refused to support his candidacy, so he used the expropriation to retaliate, even if there are
other available lands, such as the vacant 7 ha. land beside petitioners land.
In exercising public domain, the use must be public, compensation must be made and due
process of law must be observed. Considering the adequacy of compensation, necessity of the
taking and the public use character or the purpose of the taking, SC has ruled that the necessity
of exercising eminent domain must be genuine and of a public character.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition DENIED.

CAMARINES SUR, ET AL. V. CA, Ernesto San Joaquin and Efferent San Joaquin
17 May 1993
Quiason, J.
Facts:
- The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Camarines Sur passed Resolution No. 129,
authorizing the Provincial Governor to purchase or expropriate property contiguous to the
provincial capitol site in order to establish a pilot farm for non-food and non-traditional
agricultural crops and a housing project for provincial employees.
- Pursuant to the Resolution, the Governor filed two separate cases for expropriation against the
private respondents with the RTC. The San Joaquins moved to dismiss their respective complaints
on the ground of inadequacy of the price offered for their property.
- The RTC denied their motions to dismiss and authorized the Camarines Sur to take possession of
the property upon the deposit of the amount provisionally fixed by the trial court to answer for
any damages that the respondents may suffer. They subsequently filed motions for relief from
the trial court judgment but these were likewise denied.
- The San Joaquins then brought a petition before the CA.The appellate court set aside the order
of the RTC. Taking the view proferred by the Solicitor General, the CA ordered the trial court to
suspend the expropriation proceedings until after the Province of Camarines Sur shall have
39Sec. 153.SangguniangPanlalawigan Review.-- xxx(2) If the sangguniangpanlalawigan shall find that any
municipal ordinance, resolution or executive order is beyond the power conferred upon the
sangguniangbayan or the mayor, it shall declare such ordinance, resolution or executive order
invalid in whole or in part xxx The effect of such an action shall be to annul the ordinance, resolution or
executive order in question in whole or in part xxx

obtained the requisite approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform under Sec. 65 of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) to convert the classification of the property from
agricultural to non-agricultural. Hence, the present petition before the SC.
Issue: Is it required for the Province of Camarines Sur to obtain the approval of the DAR to
convert the classification of the property from agricultural to non-agricultural before it can legally
expropriate the same? (No)
Reasoning:
- Modernly there has been a shift from the literal to a broader interpretation of public purpose
or public use for which the power of eminent domain may be exercised. The old concept was
that the condemned property must actually be used by the general public (as in roads, bridges,
etc.). Under the new concept, public use merely means public advantage, convenience or
benefit, which tends to contribute to the general welfare and prosperity of the whole community
(as in a resort complex for tourists or a housing project).
- The expropriation sought to be achieved through Resolution No. 129 is for a public purpose. The
establishment of a pilot development center would inure to the direct benefit of the people
because it will make available valuable information and technology on agriculture, fishery and
the cottage industry. The housing project also satisfies the public purpose requirement of the
Constitution for housing is a basic human need.
- The CA, following the recommendation of the SolGen, held that Camarines Sur must first comply
with Sec. 65 of the CARL before it can validly expropriate the lands of the San Joaquins.
In Heirs of Juanita Ardana v. Reyes, the issue raised was whether the
Philippine Tourism Authority can expropriate lands covered by the Operation Land
Transfer for use of a tourist resort complex. While the Court there said that there was no
need under to rule on whether the public purpose is superior or inferior to another
purpose, it upheld the expropriation after noting that the petitioners therein failed to
overcome the need for the taking of the land.
A fair and reasonable reading of that decision is that the SC viewed the power
of expropriation as superior to the power to distribute lands under the land reform
program.
- It is true that LGUs have no inherent power of eminent domain and can exercise it only when
expressly authorized by the legislature. While such delegated power may be a limited authority,
it is complete within its limits. Moreover, the limitations on its exercise must be clearly
expressed, either in the law conferring the power of in other lmgistlations.
- Resolution No. 129 was promulgated pursuant to Sec. 9 of BP 337 which provides, A local
government unit may, through its head and acting pursuant to a resolution of its sanggunian
exercise the right of eminent domain and institute condemnation proceedings for public use or
purpose.
- Section 9 of BP 337 does not intimate that LGUs must first secure the approval of the
Department of Land Reform for the conversion of lands from agricultural to non-agricultural use,
before they can institute the necessary expropriation proceedings. Likewise, the CARL contains
no provision which imposes this requirement.

A reading of Section 65 of the CARL 40, the provision relied upon by the CA,
seems to show that it applies only to lands previously placed under the agrarian reform
program as it speaks of "the lapse of five (5) years from its award."
To sustain the Court of Appeals would mean that the local government units
can no longer expropriate agricultural lands needed for the construction of roads,
bridges, schools, hospitals, etc, without first applying for conversion of the use of the
lands with the DAR.
- Ordinarily, it is the legislative branch of the local government unit that shall determine whether
the use of the property sought to be expropriated shall be public, the same being an expression
of legislative policy. The courts defer to such legislative determination and will intervene only
when a particular undertaking has no real or substantial relation to the public use
Dispositive: Petition granted.
Municipality of Meycauayan, Bulacan, and Hon. Adriano Daez, Municipal Mayor
(Petitioner) vs
IAC, and Philippine Pipes & Merchandising Corporation (Respondents)

Date: January 29, 1988


Ponente: Gutierrez, Jr., J.

Short Version:
Facts: The municipality tried to expropriate the land of Philippine Pipes to be used as a public
road. The corporation filed an opposition with the provincial governor, who then created a
committee. The provincial board annulled the action of the municipality based on the
recommendation of the committee. A few years later, the municipality again tried to expropriate
the land, and this time, the provincial board approved the expropriation. The municipality then
filed a petition for expropriation with the CFI against Philippine Pipes.
Held: The land should not be expropriated. The municipality has not shown any genuine need to
expropriate the land. In fact, based on the records, there were other roads in the area which
could be used to achieve the goal of the municipality to ease the traffic in certain roads.

Facts:
- In 1975, Philippine Pipes and Merchandising Corporation filed with the Office of the Municipal
Mayor of Meycauayan an application for a permit to fence a parcel of land. The fencing was
40 Sec. 65. Conversion of Lands. After the lapse of five (5) years from its award, when the land ceases to be economically feasible and sound
for, agricultural purposes, or the locality has become urbanized and the land will have a greater economic value for residential, commercial or
industrial purposes, the DAR, upon application of the beneficiary or the landowner, with due notice to the affected parties, and subject to
existing laws, may authorize the reclassification or conversion of the land and its disposition: Provided, That the beneficiary shall have fully paid
his obligation.

allegedly to enable the storage of the respondent's heavy equipment.


- The Municipal Council of Meycauayan passed a Resolution manifesting the intention to
expropriate the corporation's parcel of land. An opposition to the Resolution was filed by the
corporation with the Office of the Provincial Governor, which, in turn, created a special
committee of four members to investigate the matter.
- The Special Committee recommended that the Provincial Board of Bulacan annul the Resolution
because there was no genuine necessity for Meycauayan to expropriate the property for use as a
public road. Thus, the Provincial Board annulled the Resolution.
- On October 21, 1983, the Municipal Council of Meycauayan passed another Resolution for the
purpose of expropriating anew the corporation's land. The Provincial Board approved the
Resolution.
- The municipality filed with the RTC of Malolos a special civil action for expropriation. Upon
deposit of P24,025.00 (the market value of the land) with the PNB, the trial court issued a writ of
possession in favor of the municipality.
- On August 27, 1984, the trial court issued an order declaring the taking of the property as
lawful and appointing the Provincial Assessor as court commissioner to ascertain the just
compensation for the property.
- Philippine Pipes went to the IAC on petition for review. The appellate court affirmed the trial
court's decision. However, upon motion for reconsideration, the decision was reversed, with the
IAC holding that there is no genuine necessity to expropriate the land for use as a public road as
there were several other roads for the same purpose and another more appropriate lot for the
proposed public road.
- After its motion for reconsideration was denied, the municipality went to the SC on petition for
review on certiorari.

Issue/Reasoning:
Issue: Whether the land should be expropriated (No. There is no genuine need to do so.)
- The jurisdiction of the SC in cases brought the CA (then the IAC) is limited to the review of
errors of law. The SC can only review the findings of the CA under certain exceptions such as: (1)
when the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculations, surmises and conjectures; (2)
when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd and impossible; (3) when there is grave
abuse of discretion; (4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; and (5) when
the court, in making its finding, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to
the admissions of the parties.
- None of the exceptions are present in this case. On the contrary, the IAC's decision is supported
by substantial evidence.
- The municipality's purpose in expropriating the property is to convert it into a public road which
would provide a connecting link between Malhacan Road and Bulac Road to ease the traffic in the
area of vehicles coming from MacArthur Highway. The records, however, reveal that there are
other connecting links between the aforementioned roads. The petitioner itself admits that there

are four such cross roads in existence. The IAC stated that with the proposed road, there would
be seven.
- The municipality objects to the IAC's findings contending that they were based on the
committee report previous made. However, there is no evidence which shows a change in the
factual circumstances. There is no showing that some of the other available roads have been
closed or that the private roads in the subdivision may not be used for municipal purposes.
- There is no question to the right of the State to take private property for public use upon
payment of just compensation. What is questioned is the existence of a genuine necessity
therefor.
- City of Manila v Chinese Community of Manila: Condemnation of private property is justified
only if it is for the public good and there is a genuine necessity of a public character.
Consequently, the courts have the power to inquire into the legality of the exercise of the right of
eminent domain and to determine whether there is a genuine necessity therefor.
- De Knecht v Bautista, citing J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v Land Tenure Administration: With due
recognition... of the power of Congress to designate the particular property to be taken... in the
exercise of the power of expropriation, it is still a judicial question whether in the exercise of such
competence, the party adversely affected is the victim of partiality and prejudice. That the equal
protection clause will not allow.
- There is no showing in the why the more appropriate lot for the proposed road which was
offered for sale has not been the subject of the municipality's attempt to expropriate.

Dispositive:
Petition dismissed.

-Elvin
City Government of Quezon City and City Council of Quezon City v. Hon. Judge Vicente
G. Ericta
Date: June 24, 1983
Ponente: Gutierrez, Jr.
The case in a nutshell:
FACTS: The City Council of Quezon City passed Ordinance No. 6118, Sec. 9 of which provided that
at least 6% of the total area of every private cemetery should be set aside for the burial of
paupers. For 7 years, the ordinance was not enforced. Then the City Council passed a resolution
requesting the City Engineer to stop the sale of lots in private cemeteries whose owners had not
donated the 6% space for the burial of paupers. When the City Engineer notified Himlayang
Pilipino, the company filed a petition for declaratory relief, prohibition, and mandamus with
preliminary injunction in the CFI, seeking annul Sec. 9 of Ordinance No.6118 for being contrary to
the Constitution, the Quezon City Charter, the Local Autonomy Act, and the Revised
Administrative Code.The CFI ruled in Himlayang Pilipinos favor and declared Sec. 9 of Ordinance
No. 6118 null and void. The Quezon City Government and City Council filed a petition for review
in the SC.
HELD: Sec. 9 of Ordinance No. 6118 is NOT a valid exercise of police power. It is not a mere

police regulation but an outright confiscation. It deprives a person of his private property without
due process of law and even without compensation. There is no provision in the Charter of
Quezon City that would justify Sec. 9 of Ordinance No. 6118, except the provision granting police
power to the city. But police power is usually exercised in the form of mere regulation or
restriction in the use of liberty or property for the promotion of the general welfare. It does NOT
involve the taking or confiscation of property, with the exception of a few cases where there is a
necessity to confiscate private property in order to destroy it for the purpose of protecting the
peace and order and of promoting the general welfare. There is no reasonable relation between
the setting aside of 6% percent of the total area of private cemeteries for the burial of paupers,
and the promotion of health, morals, good order, safety, or the general welfare of the people.
The ordinance is actually a taking without compensation. Instead of building or maintaining a
public cemetery for this purpose, the city passes the burden to private cemeteries. Although the
old LGC authorizes the city council to provide for the burial of the dead in such place and in
such manner as prescribed by law or ordinance, this only authorizes the city to provide its own
city-owned land, or to buy or expropriate private properties to construct public cemeteries.
Expropriation, however, requires payment of just compensation.
Facts:
1) The City Council of Quezon City passed Ordinance No. 6118, S-64, entitled ORDINANCE
REGULATING THE ESTABLISHMENT, MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF PRIVATE MEMORIAL
TYPE CEMETERY OR BURIAL GROUND WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF QUEZON CITY AND
PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION THEREOF.
a. Sec. 9 provided:
Sec. 9. At least six (6) percent of the total area of the memorial park cemetery shall
be set aside for charity burial of deceased persons who are paupers and have been
residents of Quezon City for at least 5 years prior to their death, to be determined
by competent City Authorities. The area so designated shall immediately be
developed and should be open for operation not later than six months from the date
of approval of the application.
2) For 7 years, Sec. 9 of Ordinance No. 6118 was not enforced by city authorities. But then
the City Council passed the following resolution:
RESOLVED by the council of Quezon assembled, to request, as it does hereby request the
City Engineer, Quezon City, to stop any further selling and/or transaction of memorial park
lots in Quezon City where the owners thereof have failed to donate the required 6% space
intended for paupers burial.
3) Pursuant to the new resolution, the Quezon City Engineer notified respondent Himlayang
Pilipino, Inc. in writing that Sec. 9 of Ordinance No. 6118 would be enforced.
4) Himlayang Pilipino filed a petition for declaratory relief, prohibition, and mandamus with
preliminary injunction in the Quezon City CFI.
a. It sought to annul Sec. 9 of Ordinance No.6118 for being contrary to the
Constitution, the Quezon City Charter, the Local Autonomy Act, and the Revised
Administrative Code.
5) The CFI ruled in favor of Himlayang Pilipino and declared Sec. 9 of Ordinance No. 6118 null
and void.
6) The Quezon City Government and City Council filed a petition for review in the SC.
Issue: Is Sec. 9 of Ordinance No. 6118 a valid exercise of police power? NO.
Held: Petition is DISMISSED. CFI decision is AFFIRMED.
Ratio:
1) Sec. 9 of Ordinance No. 6118 is NOT a valid exercise of police power. The SC agreed with
the CFIs findings that the provision is not a mere police regulation but an outright

confiscation. It deprives a person of his private property without due process of law and
even without compensation.
a. There is no provision in the Charter of Quezon City that would justify Sec. 9 of
Ordinance No. 6118, except the provision granting police power to the city.
i. Sec. 9 cannot be justified under the power granted to the city, under Sec.
12(c) of the Charter, to tax, fix the license fee, and regulate such other
business, trades, and occupation as may be established or practiced in the
City.
1. The power to regulate does not include the power to prohibit (People
vs. Esguerra; Vega vs. Municipal Board of Iloilo). A fortiori, the power to
regulate does not include the power to confiscate.
2. Ordinance No. 6118 not only confiscates, but also prohibits the
operation of a memorial park cemetery, because under Sec. 13
thereof, Violation of the provision thereof is punishable with a fine
and/or imprisonment and that upon conviction thereof the permit to
operate and maintain a private cemetery shall be revoked or
cancelled. The confiscatory clause and the penal provision in effect
deter one from operating a memorial park cemetery.
ii. Neither can Sec. 9 be justified under Sec. 12(t) of the Charter, which
authorizes the City Council to prohibit the burial of the dead within the
center of population of the city and provide for their burial in such proper
place and in such manner as the council may determine, subject to the
provisions of the general law regulating burial grounds and cemeteries, and
governing funerals and disposal of the dead.
1. There is nothing in the above provision which authorizes confiscation.
iii. The police power of Quezon City is defined in Sec. 12(00) of the Charter.
(00) To make such further ordinance and regulations not repugnant to law as may b
to carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred by this act and su
deem necessary and proper to provide for the health and safety, promote, the
improve the morals, peace, good order, comfort and convenience of the city and the
thereof, and for the protection of property therein; and enforce obedience theret
lawful fines or penalties as the City Council may prescribe under the provisions of su
of this section.
iv. The SC cited several authorities to the effect that police power is usually
exercised in the form of mere regulation or restriction in the use of liberty or
property for the promotion of the general welfare. It does NOT involve the
taking or confiscation of property, with the exception of a few cases where
there is a necessity to confiscate private property in order to destroy it for the
purpose of protecting the peace and order and of promoting the general
welfare, e.g. the confiscation of an illegally possessed article, such as opium
and firearms.
v. Sec. 9 is not a mere police regulation but an outright confiscation. It deprives
a person of his private property without due process of law and even without
compensation.
1. There is no reasonable relation between the setting aside of 6%
percent of the total area of private cemeteries for charity burial
grounds of deceased paupers, and the promotion of health, morals,
good order, safety, or the general welfare of the people. The ordinance
is actually a taking without compensation of a certain area from a
private cemetery to benefit paupers who are charges of the municipal
corporation. Instead of building or maintaining a public cemetery for
this purpose, the city passes the burden to private cemeteries.
2. The expropriation without compensation of a portion of private
cemeteries is not covered by Sec. 12(t) of the Quezon City Charter,
which empowers the City Council to prohibit the burial of the dead

within the center of population of the city and to provide for their burial
in a proper place subject to the provisions of general law regulating
burial grounds and cemeteries.
3. When the old LGC provides, in Sec. 177(q), that a Sangguniang
Panlungsod may provide for the burial of the dead in such place and
in such manner as prescribed by law or ordinance, it simply authorizes
the city to provide its own city-owned land, or to buy or expropriate
private properties to construct public cemeteries. Expropriation,
however, requires payment of just compensation.
4. Ordinance No. 6118 is different from laws and regulations requiring
owners of subdivisions to set aside certain areas for streets, parks,
playgrounds, and other public facilities from the land they sell to
buyers of subdivision lots. The necessities of public safety, health, and
convenience are very clear from said requirements which are intended
to insure the development of communities with salubrious and
wholesome environments. The beneficiaries of the regulation, in turn,
are made to pay by the subdivision developer when individual lots are
sold to home-owners.
The City of Manila v. The Arellano Law Colleges, Inc.
28 February 1950
Tuason, J.

SHORT VERSION: The City of Manila sought to expropriate land belonging to Arellano Law in order
to construct a subdivision. The Court found that this was an improper exercise of the power of
eminent domain, which is ultimately hinged on a necessity for the public benefit. The very
foundation of the right to exercise eminent domain is a genuine necessity of a public character.
The ascertainment of the necessity must precede or accompany, and not follow, the taking of the
land.Necessity within the rule that the particular property to be expropriated must be necessary
does not mean an absolute but only a reasonable or practical necessity, such as would combine
the greatest benefit to the public with the least inconvenience and expense to the condemning
party and property owner consistent with such benefits. But in this case, only a handful of people
were to be benefited, as opposed to the thousands of students who would be displaced if the
land on which Arellano stands were to be expropriated.

FACTS:

RA 276 provides: Cities and municipalities are authorized to contract loans from the
Reconstruction Finance Corporation, the Philippine National Bank, and/or other entity or
person at the rate of interest not exceeding eight per cent annum for the purpose of
purchasing or expropriating homesites within their respective territorial jurisdiction and
reselling them at cost to residents of the said cities and municipalities.
o The present action sought to condemn, for the purpose of subdivision and resale,
several parcels of land (total of 7,270 sq. m) on Legarda Street, Manila.(Im
guessing, based on the discussion in the ratio, that this is really more of a low-cost
housing project than a legit subdivision. ed.)
o The CFI of Manila dismissed the action, ruling that this provision empowers cities to
purchase but not to expropriate lands for the purpose sought.

ISSUES:
1. Was the exercise of expropriation proper?
REASONING:
1. No
The Court cited the case of Guido v. Rural Progress Administration:
o Expropriation of large estates, trusts in perpetuity, and land that embraces a
whole town or a large section of a town or city, bears direct relation to the public
welfare. The expropriation is clothed with public interest and public use, and
tends to abolish economic slavery, feudalistic practices, and other evils inimical
to community prosperity.
o In some instances, slumsites have been acquired by condemnation.
In New York, the court has ruled that slum clearance and erection of lowcost housing were public purpose for which the New York City Housing
authorities could exercise the power of condemnation.
The underlying reasons for this was that the destruction of congested areas
and unsanitary dwellings diminished the potentialities of epidemics, crime
and waste, prevents the spread of crime and diseases to unaffected areas,
enhances the physical and moral value of the surrounding communities,
and promote the safety and welfare of the public general.
However it must be noted that in all these cases, extensive areas were
affected and the general public benefited.
o The condemnation of a small property in behalf of 10, 20 or 50 persons and their
families does not inure to the benefit of the public to a degree sufficient to give
the use public character. The expropriation proceedings have been instituted for
the economic relief of a few families devoid of any consideration of public peace
and order, or other public advantage.
The word expropriating is susceptible of only meaning. But this power to expropriate
is necessarily subject to the limitations and conditions noted in the decisions cited. The
National Government may not confer in its instrumentalities authority which itself may
not exercise.
The land in this case (owned by Arellano Colleges) :
o is only 1/3 of the land sought to be taken in Guido case, and about 2/3 of that
involved in the Borja condemnation proceeding.
o is situated in a highly commercial section of the city and is occupied by persons
who are not bona fide tenants.
o was brought by the defendant for a university site to take the place of rented
buildings that are unsuitable for schools of higher learning.
To authorize the condemnation of any particular land by a grantee of the power of
eminent domain, a necessity must exist for the taking thereof for the proposed uses
and purposes.
o The very foundation of the right to exercise eminent domain is a genuine
necessity of a public character. The ascertainment of the necessity must precede
or accompany, and not follow, the taking of the land. (City of Manila v. Chinese
Community)
o So great is the regard of the law for private property that it will not authorize the
least violation of it, even for the the public good, unless there exist a very great
necessity thereof. (Blackstones Commentaries on the English Law)
Necessity within the rule that the particular property to be expropriated must be
necessary does not mean an absolute but only a reasonable or practical necessity,

such as would combine the greatest benefit to the public with the least inconvenience
and expense to the condemning party and property owner consistent with such
benefits.
But in this case, measured even by this standard, and forgetting the private character
of the intended use, necessity for the condemnation has not been shown.
o The land here has cost the owner P140,000. The people for whose benefit the
condemnation is being undertaken are so poor they could ill afford to meet this
high price. Cheaper lands not dedicated to a purpose so worthy as a school and
are more suited to the occupants needs are means are available elsewhere.
o Arellano has not only invested a considerable amount for its property, but also
has the plans for construction ready and would have completed the project a long
time ago had it not been stopped by the city government.
o While a handful of people stand to benefit by the expropriation, the development
of a university that has a present enrollment of 9,000 students would be
sacrificed. Any good that would accrue to the public from providing homes to a
few families fades into insignificance in comparison with the preparation of young
men and women into useful citizenship.
The necessity of the Arellano Law College to acquire a permanent site of its own is
imperative not only because denial of the same would hamper the objectives of that
educational institution, but it would likewise be taking a property intended already for
public benefit.
The Mayor of Manila himself confessed that he believes Arellano is entitled to keep this
land.

RULING: CFI decision affirmed

The City of Manila v. Chinese Community of Manila, et. al.


Johnson, J. 31 Oct 1919
SV: The City of Manila filed a petition in the CFI of Manila so that it may expropriate certain lands
for the extension of Rizal Avenue. Defendants opposed saying that a portion of the land to be
expropriated is being used as a cemetery. CFI ruled that there was no necessity for expropriation.
The City of Manila appealed to the SC.
The SC made a distinction between the grant of the power of eminent domain, which is purely
legislative, and the exercise of such grant of power in a particular case. In the latter case, if the
legislature provides for specific property and a specific public use, then the courts have no power
to inquire into it. However, if the grant of the power of eminent domain is general, then the court
may inquire into the propriety of the proposed expropriation. In this case, the SC found that there
was no necessity for the opening of the street in question through the cemetery. It thus affirmed
the CFI decision.
FACTS:
- 11 Dec 1916: the City of Manila filed a petition in CFI Manila praying that certain lands be
expropriated for the purpose of constructing a public improvement: the extension of Rizal
Avenue.
- The Chinese Community of Manila, a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the
Philippines, alleged that it was the owner of parcels 1 and 2 of the land described in the petition.
It further alleged that:
- it was neither necessary or expedient that the said parcels be expropriated for street purposes
- the lands in question were being used as a cemetery

- other routes were available which would satisfy the City of Manilas purposes at much
less expense
- other defendants had substantially the same arguments
- Ildefonso Tambunting likewise alleged that a portion of the lands in question was used as a
cemetery in which were the graves of his ancestors. He offered to grant a right of way for the
said extension over other land without cost to the City of Manila.
- CFI ruled that there was no necessity for the expropriation and absolved each of the
defendants from al liability under the complaint of the City of Manla. The City of Manila appealed
to the SC.
ISSUE/REASONING:
In expropriation proceedings by the City of Manila, may the courts inquire into, and hear proof
upon, the necessity of the expropriation? YES.
1) The City of Manila has authority to expropriate private lands for public purposes according to
its Sec. 2429 of Act. 2711 (Charter of the City of Manila).
Act. 190 provides the procedure by which the authority to expropriate may be carried into effect:
a) A complaint in expropriation shall be presented, stating with certainty the right of
condemnation, with a description of the property to be condemned together with the
interest of each defendant separately.
b) If the court shall find upon trial that the right to expropriate the land in question exists,
it shall the appoint commissioners to fix the price
c) An appeal from the judgment of the CFI may be made to the SC, the latter shall have
authority to inquire into the right of expropriation. If it finds that no right of expropriation
existed, it shall remand the cause to the CFI to replace the defendant in the possession of
the property
2) The City of Manila argues that if the court finds that there is some law authorizing the city to
expropriate, then the courts have no other function that to authorize the expropriation and to
proceed to ascertain the value of the land involved. The SC disagreed.
If the legislature under proper authority should grant the expropriation of a certain or particular
parcel of land for some specified public purpose, the courts would be without jurisdiction to
inquire into the purpose of that legislation.
If, however (as in this case), the Legislature should grant general authority to a municipal
corporation to expropriate private land for public purposes, the courts have ample authority to
make inquiry and to hear proof upon an issue properly presented concerning whether or not the
lands were private and whether the purpose was, in fact, public.
The legislative department of the government rarely undertakes to designate the precise
property which should be taken for public use. It has generally, like in the present case, merely
conferred general authority to take land for public use when a necessity exists therefor. The SC
believed that it can be confidently asserted that, under such statute, the allegation of the
necessity for the appropriation is an issuable allegation which it is competent for the courts to
decide.
Whether it was wise, advisable, or necessary to confer upon a municipality the power to exercise
the right of eminent domain, is a question with which the courts are not concerned. But when
that right or authority is exercised for the purpose of depriving citizens of their property, the
courts are authorized, in this jurisdiction, to make inquiry and to hear proof upon the necessity in
the particular case, and not the general authority.

3) The right of expropriation is not an inherent power in a municipal corporation, and before it
can exercise the right, some law must exist conferring the power upon it.
When the courts are called to determine whether expropriation by a municipal corporation is
proper, they must find that a) a law or authority exists for the exercise of the right of eminent
domain; and also b) that the right or authority is being exercised in accordance with law.
In this case, the authority conceded to the City of Manila can only be exercised when two
conditions are present: a) the land must be private and b) the purpose must be public. Both
these conditions are questions of fact.
The general power to exercise the right of eminent domain (legislative) must not be confused
with the right to exercise it in a particular case (judicial).
- The power of the legislature to confer upon municipal corporations and other entities
with the State general authority to exercise the right of eminent domain cannot be
questioned by the courts.
- However, the moment the municipal corporation or entity attempts to exercise the
authority conferred, it must comply with the conditions accompanying the authority. This
question is one which the courts have a right to inquire into.
4) The City of Manila has not definitely decided that there exists a necessity for the appropriation
of the particular land described in the complaint. The records show that the municipal board
believed at one time that other land might be used for the proposed improvement to avoid
disturbing the resting place of the dead.
There also exists no necessity for the alleged improvements.
Further, said cemetery is ALLEGED to be public property. IF TRUE, the City of Manila cannot
appropriate it for public use as it can only expropriate private property.
- The cemetery in question was established under governmental authority of a former
Spanish Governor General.
- It is being used by the general community of Chinese, which fact, is within the general
acceptation of the definition of a public cemetery
The record also shows that adjacent lands have been offered to the city free of charge which will
answer every purpose of the City of Manila.
CFI JUDGMENT AFFIRMED. @ajmlegs
Municipality of Paraaque v V.M. Realty Corporation
July 20, 1998
Panganiban, J.
Short version:The Municipality filed a complaint for expropriation against V.M. Realty. The RTC
and CA dismissed the complaint, holding that it failed to state a cause of action because it was
only filed pursuant to a Resolution. The SC agreed. Based on Section 19 of the LGC, anLGU
cannot authorize an expropriation of private property through a mere resolution of its lawmaking
body. The LGC expressly and clearly requires an ordinance or a local law for the purpose. A
resolution that merely expresses the sentiment or opinion of the Municipal Council will not
suffice. On the other hand, the principle of res judicata does not bar subsequent proceedings for
the expropriation of the same property when all the legal requirements for its valid exercise are
complied with.
Facts:

Pursuant to Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 93-95, Series of 1993, the Municipality of
Paraaque filed, a Complaint for expropriation against V.M. Realty Corporation over two
parcels of land located at Wakas, San Dionisio, Paraaque, Metro Manila, and covered by
Torrens Certificate of Title.
The complaint was filed "for the purpose of alleviating the living conditions of the
underprivileged by providing homes for the homeless through a socialized housing project."
Paraaque had previous issued another Resolution, pursuant to which it made an offer to
enter into a negotiated sale of the property with V.M Realty, which did not accept the offer.
The RTC of Makati gave it due course. It issued an Order authorizing Paraaque to take
possession of the subject property upon deposit with its clerk of court of an amount
equivalent to 15 percent of its fair market value based on its current tax declaration.V.M.
Realty filed its Answer containing affirmative defenses and a counterclaim, alleging that
o The complaint failed to state a cause of action because it was filed pursuant to a
resolution and not to an ordinance as required by the Local Government Code; and
o That the cause of action, if any, was barred by a prior judgment or res judicata because
there was a previous expropriation case between the Municipality and Limpan
Investment Corp., a successor-in-interest of V.M. Realty. The RTC in that case also
dismissed the complaint.
The Answer was treated as a Motion to dismiss, which the RTC granted.
o The RTC held that the right of the Municipality to exercise the power of eminent domain
any be exercised only pursuant to an Ordinance.Therefore, the complaint stated no
cause of action.
o It also agreed that it was barred by prior judgment
On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC order. Appeal to the SC.
o The Municipality contends that a resolution duly approved by the municipal council has
the same force and effect of an ordinance and will not deprive an expropriation case of a
valid cause of action, and
o That the principle of res judicata is not applicable when public interest is primarily
involved

Issues:
1) Is an Ordinance needed or the exercise of the power of eminent domain? YES
2) Is the complaint barred by res judicata? NO
Ratio:
As to the requirement of an Ordinance
1)
The power of eminent domain is lodged in the legislative branch of government, which may
delegate the exercise thereof to LGUs, other public entities and public utilities.
2)
An LGU may exercise the power to expropriate private property only when authorized by
Congress and subject to the latter's control and restraints, imposed "through the law
conferring the power or in other legislations."
3)
Section 19 of the LGC lays down the parameters for its exercise. The requirements under it
are that:
a.
An ordinance is enacted by the local legislative council authorizing the local chief
executive, in behalf of the LGU, to exercise the power of eminent domain or pursue
expropriation proceedings over a particular private property.
b.
The power of eminent domain is exercised for public use, purpose or welfare, or for the
benefit of the poor and the landless.
c.
There is payment of just compensation, as required under Section 9, Article III of the
Constitution, and other pertinent laws.
d.
A valid and definite offer has been previously made to the owner of the property sought
to be expropriated, but said offer was not accepted.
4)
In this case, the local chief executive sought to exercise the power of eminent domain
pursuant to a resolution of the municipal council. Thus, there was no compliance with the first
requisite that the mayor be authorized through an ordinance.

a.

5)

6)

7)

8)

9)

10)

11)

12)

13)

The Municipality cites Camarines Sur vs. Court of Appeals to show that a resolution may
suffice, but that was decided under the previous Local Government Code, which provided
that a mere resolution would enable an LGU to exercise eminent domain.
The terms "resolution" and "ordinance" are not synonymous.
a.
An ordinance is a law, but a resolution is merely a declaration of the sentiment or opinion
of a lawmaking body on a specific matter.
b.
An ordinance possesses a general and permanent character, but a resolution is
temporary in nature.
c.
They are enacted differently a third reading is necessary for an ordinance, but not for
a resolution, unless decided otherwise by a majority of all the Sanggunian members.
If Congress intended to allow LGUs to exercise eminent domain through a mere resolution, it
would have simply adopted the language of the previous Local Government Code. But
Congress did not.
The power of eminent domain necessarily involves a derogation of a fundamental or private
right of the people. The manifest change in the legislative language demands a strict
construction.
a.
"No species of property is held by individuals with greater tenacity, and is guarded by
the Constitution and laws more sedulously, than the right to the freehold of inhabitants.
When the legislature interferes with that right and, for greater public purposes,
appropriates the land of an individual without his consent, the plain meaning of the law
should not be enlarged by doubtful interpretation."
The Municipality relies on Article 36, Rule VI of the Implementing Rules, which requires only a
resolution to authorize an LGU to exercise eminent domain. This is clearly misplaced, because
Section 19 of the LGC prevails over the IRR. There sees to merely be an oversight in the
wording of the IRR.
The Court does not seek to diminish the policy embodied in Section 2, Article X of the
Constitution, which provides that "territorial and political subdivisions shall enjoy local
autonomy." It merely upholds the law as worded in RA 7160.
An LGU is created by law and all its powers and rights are sourced therefrom. It has therefore
no power to amend or act beyond the authority given and the limitations imposed on it by
law.
The power of eminent domain delegated to an LGU is in reality not eminent but "inferior"
domain, since it must conform to the limits imposed by the delegation, and thus partakes only
of a share in eminent domain.
The Municipality also argued that the Sangguniang Bayan passed and Ordinance ratifying the
acts of its Mayor regarding the expropriation. But the existence of such Ordinance was merely
alleged and no certified true copy was presented.
The fact of the lack of cause of action is evident on the face of the Complaint, which was
based on a mere resolution.

As to res judicata
14)
All the requisites for the application of res judicata are present in this case. There is a
previous final judgment on the merits in a prior expropriation case involving identical
interests, subject matter and cause of action, which has been rendered by a court having
jurisdiction over it.
15)
Be that as it may, the principle of res judicata, which finds application in generally all
cases and proceedings, cannot bar the right of the State or its agent to expropriate private
property.
16)
The very nature of eminent domain, as an inherent power of the State, dictates that the
right to exercise the power be absolute and unfettered even by a prior judgment or res
judicata. The scope of eminent domain is plenary and, like police power, can "reach every
form of property which the State might need for public use
17)
The State or its authorized agent cannot be forever barred from exercising said right by
reason alone of previous non-compliance with any legal requirement.
18)
While the principle of res judicata does not denigrate the right of the State to exercise
eminent domain, it does apply to specific issues decided in a previous case.

a. For example, a final judgment dismissing an expropriation suit on the ground that there
was no prior offer precludes another suit raising the same issue; it cannot, however, bar
the State or its agent from thereafter complying with this requirement, as prescribed by
law, and subsequently exercising its power of eminent domain over the same property.
19)
This ruling that Paraaque cannot exercise its delegated power of eminent domain through
a mere resolution will not bar it from reinstituting similar proceedings, once the said legal
requirement and, for that matter, all others are properly complied with.
Petition denied.
055. City of Cebu v SpsApolonio and BlasaDedamo
Davide, Jr, C.J,
May 7, 2002
Topic: Eminent Domain
SV: Cebu filed a complaint for expropriation against SpsApolonio and BlasaDedamo on the
ground that their lands were needed for the construction of an access/relief road. Cebu already
deposited 15% of the FMV of the land to PNB, and was asking the court to grant it possession
over the land. Respondents moved to dismiss the complaint, but Court subsequently granted
possession of the land to Cebu. Cebu and the respondents eventually entered into an agreement,
whereby the parties both agreed to be bound by the just compensation to be ascertained by the
Commissioners in their report as approved by the court. RTC appointed 3 commissioners, who
gave a report valuing the land at P12,824/sqm or a total of P20,826,339.50. City of Cebu assailed
the assessment, arguing that the just compensation should be based on the prevailing market
price of the property at the commencement of the expropriation proceedings.
Court held that, contrary to petitioners arguments, just compensation should be fixed at the
time of taking, as is expressly provided in Sec. 19, LGC. It ruled that the commissioners
assessment of just compensation should be upheld because the parties agreed to be bound by it
and petitioner is estopped from assailing the same. Also, Sec. 4, Rule 67, ROC, which provides
that just compensation should be determined at the time of the filing of the complaint for
expropriation, cannot prevail over a substantive law(LGC), which provides that just compensation
should be determined at the time of taking.
FACTS:

City of Cebu (hereinafter Cebu) filed a complaint for eminent domain against Sps. Apolonio
and BlasaDedamo for Lots 1527 and 1528 with a total area of 1,624 sqm with a value of
P1,786,400
o Cebu said that the lands were needed for the construction of a public road which shall
serve as an access/relief road of Gorordo Avenue to extend to the General Maxilum
Avenue and the back of Magellan International Hotel Roads in Cebu City, and that the
lots are the most suitable for such purpose.
o Cebu had already deposited with PNB the amount of P51,156 representing 15% of the
FMV of the property to enable it to take possession of the property pursuant to Section
19, LGC

Respondents filed a motion to dismiss the complaint because the purpose for which their
property was to be expropriated was not for a public purpose, but for the benefit of Cebu
Holdings Inc, a single private entity.

After the pre-trial, Cebu filed a motion for the issuance of a writ of possession pursuant to
Sec. 19, LGC. This was granted by the court.

Subsequently, the parties executed and submitted to the trial court an AGREEMENT, wherein
they declared that they have partially settled the case.
o Essentially, the agreement said that the respondents conform to the intention of Cebu
to expropriate their lands and will be paid P1,786,400.00provisionally, without
prejudice to the just compensation as will be determined by the Court.
o The parties agreed to be bound by such just compensation to be ascertained by the
Commissionersin their report, which is to be approved by the court.

[RTC] appointed 3 commissioners41 to determine the just compensation. Upon submission of


the report containing their assessments, Cebu was directed to pay respondents an amount of
P24,865.930.00
o Cebu filed MR, alleging that the reports were inaccurate because it included an area
not subject to expropriation. 42

411 each nominated/designated by the petitioner, respondent, and the court.

42 More specifically, it contended that Lot No. 1528 contains 793 sqmbut the actual area to be expropriated is only 478 sqm. The
remaining 315 sqm is the subject of a separate expropriation proceeding in another Civil Case, then pending before Branch IX
RTC Cebu City.

o
o

Because of this, the Commissioner submitted an amended assessment of the only the
478 sqm that was supposed to be expropriated, fixing the amount at P12,824.10 per
sqm. (a total of P20,826,339.50). RTC approved such just compensation.
Petitioners went to CA, contending that there was an error in the valuation and that the
just compensation should be based on the prevailing market price of the
property at the commencement of the expropriation proceedings.

[CA] affirmed the decision of RTC. So Cebu filed petition for review with SC

ISSUE: Should just compensation be determined as of the date of the filing of the
complaint? (NO, it should be determined at the time of the taking)

Eminent domain is a fundamental State power that is inseparable from sovereignty. It is the
Government's right to appropriate, in the nature of a compulsory sale to the State, private
property for public use or purpose. But, the govt must pay the owner just compensation.

The applicable law in this case is Sec. 19, LGC, which expressly provides that just
compensation shall be determined as of the time of actual taking:
o SECTION 19.Eminent Domain. A local government unit may, through its chief
executive and acting pursuant to an ordinance, exercise the power of eminent domain
for public use, or purpose or welfare for the benefit of the poor and the landless, upon
payment of just compensation xxx Provided finally, That, the amount to be paid for
the expropriated property shall be determined by the proper court, based on
the fair market value at the time of the taking of the property.

Cebu has misread the ruling in NAPOCOR v CA. In that case, the court didnt rule that just
compensation should be determined as of the filing of the complaint.
o It was explicitly stated therein that although the general rule in determining just
compensation in eminent domain is the value of the property as of the date of the filing
of the complaint, the rule "admits of an exception: where this Court fixed the value of
the property as of the date it was taken and not at the date of the commencement of
the expropriation proceedings."

In that case, the trial court followed the governing procedural rule at that time (Sec. 5,
Rule 67, ROC43)

Court finds merit with respondents arguments and ruled that the commissioners report
should be upheld:
o The parties agreed to be bound by the commissioners report as approved by the trial
court. Such agreement is a contract between the parties, has the force of law as
between them, and should be complied with in good faith.

43SEC. 5.Ascertainment of compensation. Upon the entry of the order of condemnation, the court shall
appoint not more than three (3) competent and disinterested persons as commissioners to ascertain and
report to the court the just compensation for the property sought to be taken. The order of appointment
shall designate the time and place of the first session of the hearing to be held by the commissioners and
specify the time within which their report is to be filed with the court.

During the hearing, Cebu did not interpose a serious objection on the valuation. As
such he is barred by estoppel in pais 44 from questioning the same. Records show that
Cebu consented to conform with the valuation by the commissioners and so it cannot
now detract from its agreement and assail the correctness of the assessment.
Although Sec. 4, Rule 67, ROC provides that just compensation should be determined
at the time of the filing of the complaint for expropriation, such law cannot prevail over
RA 7160 (LGC), which is substantive law.

Petition DENIED.
Republic of the Philippines v. CA and the Heirs of Luis Santos and Purificacion Santos Imperial
2 July 2002
Vitug, J.
SV: In 1969, the Republic of the Philippines instituted expropriation proceedings over land
situated in Bulacan. Among the property owners affected were the private respondents. The trial
court issued an order in 1979 condemning the properties stated in the petition and commanding
the Republic to pay just compensation to the affected property owners. However, the private
respondents remained unpaid for many years. The Republic later filed a manifestation and
motion to permit the deposit in court of an amount by way of just compensation. The
respondents opposed the basis used for computing just compensation. The RTC eventually held
that the 1979 order was unenforceable due to prescription. It thus ordered the return of the
property to the private respondents. However, the Supreme Court held that landowners who
remain unpaid despite the lapse of many years since the commencement of the expropriation
proceedings would only have the remedy of demanding payment of just compensation. In
insisting on the return of the property, the private respondents invoke the ruling in Provincial
Government of Sorsogon vs. Vda. de Villaroya, where the unpaid landowners were allowed the
alternative remedy of recovery of the property there in question. However, it must be borne in
mind that that case involved the municipal government of Sorsogon, to which the power of
eminent domain is not inherent, but merely delegated and of limited application. Moreover, the
1979 is not unenforceable because the Republic has already partially complied with the 1979
order when it made the initial deposit. Thus, the case was remanded to the RTC for the proper
execution of the 1979 order.
Facts:
- In 1969, the Republic of the Philippines instituted expropriation proceedings covering 544,980
square meters of contiguous land situated along MacArthur Highway, Malolos Bulacanto be
utilized for the continued broadcast operation and use of radio transmitter facilities for the "Voice
of the Philippines" project. The Republic, through the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), took
over the premises after making a deposit of over P500,000 - the sum provisionally fixed as being
the reasonable value of the property. In 1979, the RTC issued an order condemning the
properties stated in the petition and commanding the Republic to pay just compensation to the
property owners, which included the private respondents.
- It later appeared, however, that the Republic failed to pay the private respondents the
compensation due them. A little over fiver years after the RTC issued its order, the respondents
filed a manifestation with a motion seeking payment for the expropriated property. The RTC thus
issued a writ of execution against the Republic. When the respondents still werent paid, they
filed a motion urging the trial court to direct the provincial treasurer of Bulacan to release to
them the amount of P72,683.55, a portion of the sum deposited by petitioner at the inception of
44 Estoppel in pais arises when one, by his acts, representations or admissions, or by his own silence when he ought to speak out,
intentionally or through culpable negligence, induces another to believe certain facts to exist and such other rightfully relies and
acts on such belief, so that he will be prejudiced if the former is permitted to deny the existence of such facts.

the expropriation proceedings in 1969, corresponding to their share of the deposit. The trial court
granted this motion.
- Meanwhile, President Joseph Estrada issued a proclamation transferring 20 hectares of the
expropriated property to the Bulacan State University for the expansion of its facilities and
another 5 hectares to be used exclusively for the propagation of the Philippine carabao. The
remaining portion was retained by the PIA. This notwithstanding, the respondents remained
unpaid. Eventually, the Republic filed a manifestation and motion to permit the deposit in court
of the amount of P4,664,000.00 by way of just compensation.
- The private respondents opposed, stating that the basis for the computation should not be the
values used in 1969, when the expropriation proceedings were commenced but the current zonal
valuation. The RTC eventually ruled in favor of the private respondents and declared that the
1979 order condemning the properties was unenforceable on the ground of prescription. It thus
ordered the return of that portion of the expropriated property previously belonging to the
private respondents.
- The Republic brought the matter up to the Court of Appeals but the petition was outrightly
denied. Hence, the present recourse before the SC.
Issue: Is the 1979 order of the RTC unenforceable? (No)
Reasoning:
- The right of eminent domain is usually understood to be an ultimate right of the sovereign
power to appropriate any property within its territorial sovereignty for a public purpose. The
ubiquitous character of eminent domain is manifest in the nature of the expropriation
proceedings. Expropriation proceedings are not adversarial in the conventional sense, for the
condemning authority is not required to assert any conflicting interest in the property.
- Obviously, the power has limits: first, the taking must be for public use, and second, that just
compensation must be given to the private owner of the property.
- The expropriated property has been shown to be for the continued utilization by the PIA, a
significant portion thereof being ceded for the expansion of the facilities of the Bulacan State
University and for the propagation of the Philippine carabao, themselves in line with the
requirements of public purpose. Respondents question the public nature of the utilization by
petitioner of the condemned property, pointing out that its present use differs from the purpose
originally contemplated in the 1969 proceedings. The property has assumed a public character
upon its expropriation. The Republic, as the condemnor and as the owner of the property, is well
within its rights to alter and decide the use of that property, the only limitation being that it be
for public use.
- In insisting on the return of the property, the private respondents invoke the ruling in Provincial
Government of Sorsogon vs. Vda. de Villaroya, where the unpaid landowners were allowed the
alternative remedy of recovery of the property there in question. However, it must be borne in
mind that that case involved the municipal government of Sorsogon, to which the power of
eminent domain is not inherent, but merely delegated and of limited application.
The grant of the power of eminent domain to local governments under the
LGC cannot be understood as being the pervasive and all-encompassing power vested in
the legislative branch of government. For local governments to be able to wield the
power, it must, by enabling law, be delegated to it by the national legislature, but even
then, this delegated power of eminent domain is not, strictly speaking, a power of
eminent, but only of inferior, domain or only as broad or confined as the real authority
would want it to be.

- Thus, where landowners remain unpaid despite the lapse of many years since the
commencement of the proceedings, their only relief would be to demand the fair market value of
the expropriated property
- The exercise by the Republic of the right of exercising dominion over the expropriated property
is justified by the fact of its partial compliance with the 1979 judgment when it made the initial
deposit. Such partial compliance preempted any claim of bar by prescription on grounds of nonexecution.
Dispositive: Petition granted.
MIGUEL BELUSO v MUNICIPALITY OF PANAY (CAPIZ)
7 August 2006
Austria-Martinez, ponente
petition for certiorari
SHORT VERSION:
The Municipality of Panay, through a resolution, sought to expropriate land owned by Miguel
Beluso et al, and filed the corresponding petition for expropriation. The Belusos moved to dismiss
the petition, arguing that the expropriation was not for a public purpose. The SC ruled in favor of
the Belusos, but not on the basis of the lack of public purpose. It reiterated several important
concepts about the power of eminent domain. Citing Municipality of Paraaque v VM Realty, it
said that the expropriation was invalid as it was exercised through a resolution, and not an
ordinance as required by the Local Government Code.
FACTS:
Miguel Beluso and others owned parcels of land.
o The Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Panay issued a resolution authorizing
the municipal government to initiate expropriation proceedings over these
properties.
Panay filed a petition for expropriation before the Roxas City RTC.
o The court declared that the expropriation was for public use and that Panay had the
lawful right to take the property upon payment of just compensation, despite
Belusos allegations that the proceedings were politically-motivated (i.e. they had
voted against the incumbent mayor and vice-mayor.
The CA dismissed Belusos petition and held that they werent denied due process, having
been able to file an answer to the complaint.
ISSUE:
should the condemnation proceedings continue? NO
REASONING:
Eminent domain, which is the power of a sovereign state to appropriate private property to
particular uses to promote public welfare, is essentially lodged in the legislature.
o While such power may be validly delegated to local government units (LGUs), other
public entities and public utilities the exercise of such power by the delegated
entities is not absolute.
o In fact, the scope of delegated legislative power is narrower than that of the
delegating authority and such entities may exercise the power to expropriate
private property only when authorized by Congress and subject to its control and
restraints imposed through the law conferring the power or in other legislations.
o Indeed, LGUs by themselves have no inherent power of eminent domain.
Thus, strictly speaking, the power of eminent domain delegated to an LGU is
in reality not eminent but inferior since it must conform to the limits

imposed by the delegation and thus partakes only of a share in eminent


domain.
The national legislature is still the principal of the LGUs and the latter cannot
go against the principals will or modify the same.
The exercise of the power of eminent domain necessarily involves a derogation of a
fundamental right.
o It greatly affects a landowners right to private property which is a constitutionally
protected right necessary for the preservation and enhancement of personal dignity
and is intimately connected with the rights to life and liberty.
o Thus, whether such power is exercised directly by the State or by its authorized
agents, the exercise of such power must undergo painstaking scrutiny.
o Despite the existence of legislative grant in favor of local governments, it is still the
duty of the courts to determine whether the power of eminent domain is being
exercised in accordance with the delegating law.
Several requisites must concur before an LGU could exercise the power of eminent
domain:
o (1) An ordinance is enacted by the local legislative council authorizing the local
chief executive, in behalf of the local government unit, to exercise the power of
eminent domain or pursue expropriation proceedings over a particular private
property.
o (2) The power of eminent domain is exercised for public use, purpose or welfare, or
for the benefit of the poor and the landless.
o (3) There is payment of just compensation, as required under Section 9, Article III of
the Constitution, and other pertinent laws.
o (4) A valid and definite offer has been previously made to the owner of the property
sought to be expropriated, but said offer was not accepted.
A local government unit cannot authorize an expropriation of private property through a
mere resolution of its lawmaking body.
o The Local Government Code expressly requires an ordinance for the purpose and a
resolution that merely expresses the sentiment of the municipal council will not
suffice.
o The reason was that ordinances and resolutions are different from each other.
At this juncture, the SC repeated the ruling in Municipality of Paraaque v VM
Realty on the differences between the two, and also the different
requirements in the old and new local government codes.
As Panays expropriation was based on a resolution, it was clearly defective.

RULING: petition granted; CA decision reversed and set aside


Robinson Casio (Petitioner) vs CA, Gingoog Gallera, Inc., represented by its
President and Manager, Lindy De Lara (Respondents)

Date: December 2, 1991


Ponente: Regalado, J.

Short Version:
Facts: Casio operated a cockpit in Gingoog. The Sanggunian of Gingoog passed Resolution No.
49, classifying the land on which the cockpit operated as a residential area. Resolution No. 49

provided that amendments to the zoning ordinance may be made by 3/4 vote of the Sanggunian.
Casio's permit to operate the cockpit cancelled. Subsequently, the Sanggunian passed
Resolution No. 378, reclassifying the land on which the cockpit stood as a recreational zone.
Resolution No. 378 was passed by a mere majority, and not 3/4 of the Sanggunian. Casio was
thereafter granted a mayor's permit to operate the cockpit. Gingoog Gallera, Inc. protested the
grant of the permit to Casio saying that Resolution No. 378 was not validly enacted. Casio
contends that the vote by mere majority, as provided in the LGC and the city charter, is enough
to make the Resolution valid.
Held: Resolution No. 378 was not validly enacted. The voting requirement in Resolution No. 49,
being the specific enactment on the matter, must be followed. The voting requirement in the LCG
and the city charter, being of general application, applies to matters not covered by Resolution
No. 49. It is legally permissible, as exception to the general provisions on measures covered by
city charters and the LGC, that the vote requirement in certain ordinances may be specially
provided for.

Facts:
- Robinson Casio operated a cockpit known as Don Romulo Rodriguez Coliseum, located at the
corner of Lugod and Jadol Streets, Gingoog City. Casio was a licensee of a cockpit under Secs
2285 and 2286 of the Revised Administrative Code.
- The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Gingoog City enacted Resolution No. 49, classifying certain
areas of the city, including the land on which the Coliseum stood, as residential areas. The
classification led to the cancellation of Casio's permit to operate a cockpit.

- Resolution No. 49 provided in its Art 10, Sec 6.44 45 provided that amendments to the zoning
ordinance may be made by 3/4 vote of the Sanggunian.
- On August 13, 1985, Resolution No. 378 was enacted. It reclassified the land on which the
Coliseum stood as within the recreational zone, thus allegedly amending Resolution No. 49. 9
members of the Sanggunian, participated, with 4 voting for the amendment, while 4 voted
against, and with 1 abstention. The vice-mayor, as presiding officer, broke the deadlock by voting
for the amendment.
- By virtue of Resolution No. 378, the mayor issued to Casio a permit to operate a cockpit. This
permit was subsequently renewed.
- Gingoog Gallera, Inc., protested the operation of Coliseum before the Philippine Gamefowl
Commission (PGC) on the ground that no certificate of registration had as yet been issued by the
PGC. The PGC sent a telegram to the mayor to stop any cockfight in the Coliseum in view of its
failure to register with the PGC.

45 Amendments to the zoning ordinance. Changes in the zoning ordinance as a result of the review by the Local Review Committee shall be
treated as an amendment provided that any amendment to the zoning ordinance or provision thereof shall be carried out through a resolution of
three fourths vote of the Sangguniang Panglunsod. Said amendments shall take effect only after approval and authentication by the HSRC.

- Gallera then filed with the RTC an action for prohibition and mandamus against Casio on the
ground that Resolution No. 378 is invalid. It asserted that the Coliseum is still within the
residential zone, thereby rendering the mayor's permits null and void for being in violation of Sec
6 of the PGC Rules and Regulations 46.
- The trial court rendered judgment in favor of Gallera, declaring the mayor's permits null and
void, and ordering Casio to desist from further operating the cockpit.
- Casio appealed to the CA, which ruled in favor of Gallera. Casio's MR having been denied, it
filed the present petition for review with the SC.
- Casio questions the power of the PGC to stop the operations of the cockpit claiming that it
does not have the power of control. He also argues that Resolution No. 378 was validly enacted.

Issue/Reasoning:
Issue: Whether the PGC can stop the operation of the cockpit (Yes)
- The PGC has the power not of control, but only of review and supervision. This power was
validly exercised by the PGC over Coliseum when it sought to stop its operations through the
local officials. Rather, PGC only exercised its power of review over the acts performed by the
local authorities in relation to the exercise of its functions.
- The power of review is exercised to determine whether it is necessary to correct the acts of the
subordinate and to see to it that he performs his duties in accordance with law. This the PGC did
by bringing to the attention of the local authorities the non-compliance by Casio with the PGC
rules.
- In the performance its role with respect to the regulation of cockpits, PGC may indicate its
disapproval of the acts of the local officials concerned.

Issue: Whether Resolution No. 378 was validly enacted (No. It did not comply with the 3/4 vote
requirement in Resolution No. 49.)
- Casio argues that Resolution No. 378 is valid because it was passed by by a majority of 5. He
contends that the 3/4 vote requirement under Resolution No. 49, aside from its being merely a
formal requirement, is an enactment which is ultra vires. SC does not agree.
- Although the charter of Gingoog, and the LGC require only a majority for the enactment of an
ordinance, Resolution No. 49 cannot be validly amended by Resolution No. 378 without
complying with the categorical requirement of a 3/4 vote incorporated in the very same
ordinance sought to be amended.
- The pertinent provisions in the city charter, and the LGC are of general application, and
embrace a wider scope. However, the provision in Resolution No. 49 regarding amendments
46 Sec. 6. Site and Constructions of cockpits. Cockpits shall be constructed and operated within the appropriate areas as prescribed in zoning
laws or ordinances.

thereto is a specific and particular provision which explicitly provides for a different number of
votes. Where there is in the same statute a particular enactment and also a general one which in
its most comprehensive sense would include what is embraced in the former, the particular
enactment must be operative, and the general statement applies only to such cases within its
language as are not within the provisions of the particular enactment.
- In the instant case, although the general law on the matter requires a mere majority, the higher
requisite vote in Resolution No. 49 shall govern since municipal authorities are in a better
position to determine the evils sought to be prevented by the inclusion of particular provisions in
enacting a particular statute.
- It is legally permissible, as exception to the general provisions on measures covered by city
charters and the LGC, that the vote requirement in certain ordinances may be specially provided
for, as in the case of Resolution No. 49, instead of the usual majority vote.

Dispositive:
Petition denied. CA decision affirmed.

Romeo J. Gamboa, Jr. v. Marcelo Aguirre, Jr. and Juan Y. Araneta


20 July 1999
Ynares-Santiago, J.

SHORT VERSION: Romeo Gamboa, Jr. was elected Vice-Governor and was later designated as
Acting Governor when the real governor when abroad. The members of the
SangguniangPanlalawigan questioned his authority to preside over the SP session as Acting
Governor. The Court agreed with the SP members and said that the Vice-Governor cannot preside
over sessions of the SP while he is Acting Governor. The designation, appointment or assumption
of the Vice-Governor as the Acting Governor creates a corresponding temporary vacancy in the
office of the Vice-Governor during such contingency.This event constitutes an inability on the
part of the regular presiding officer (Vice-Governor) to preside during the SP sessions.

FACTS:

In the 1995 elections, Rafael Coscolluela, Romeo Gamboa, Jr. and Marcelo Aguirre, Jr. and
Juan Araneta were elected Negros Occidental Governor, Vice-Governor and
SangguiangPanlalawigan (SP) members, respectively.
Aug. 1995: the governor designated Gamboa as Acting Governor, as the former was going
abroad.
When the SP held its regular session, Aguirre and Araneta questioned the authority of
Gamboa to preside, in view of his designation as Acting Governor, and asked the latter to
vacate his seat. Gamboa refused.
In another session, 7 members of the SP allowed Gamboa to stay while 4 others voted
against.

Sept. 22, 1995: Aguirre and Araneta filed a petition for declaratory relief and prohibition
with the lower court.
Oct. 2, 1995, Coscolluella re-assumed office as Governor.
Trial court declared Gamboa as temporarily legally incapacitated to preside over the
sessions of the SP during the period he is Acting Governor.
Gamboa then filed a petition for review with the SC. (Technically, the case is dismissible for
being moot and academic, but the Court decided to resolve it anyways. Meh.)

ISSUE:
2. May an incumbent Vice-Governor, while concurrently the Acting Governor, continue to
preside over the sessions of the SangguniangPanlalawigan?
REASONING:
2. No
LGC Sec. 49(a) and 466(a)(1) provide that the Vice-Governor shall be the presiding
officer of the SangguniangPanlalawigan.
In addition, he becomes the Governor and assumes the higher office for the unexpired
term of his predecessor in case of permanent vacancy.
When the vacancy is merely temporary, the Vice-Governor shall automatically
exercise the powers (subject to certain limitations) and perform the duties and
functions of the Governor.
o When the Vice-Governor exercises the powers and duties of the Office of the
Governor, he does not assume the latter office. He only acts as the Governor
but does not become the Governor.
o His assumption of the powers, duties and functions of the provincial
ChiefExecutive does not create a permanent vacuum or vacancy in his position as
the Vice-Governor.
o Necessarily, he does not relinquish nor abandon his position and title as ViceGovernor by merely becoming an Acting Governor, (not Governor) or by merely
exercising the powers and duties of the higher office.
The question now is: while in such capacity, does he temporarily relinquish the powers,
functions, duties and responsibilities of the Vice-Governor, including the power to
preside over sessions of the SP? The LGC is silent on the matter.
A Vice-Governor who is concurrently an Acting Governor is actually a quasi-Governor.
o For purposes of exercising his legislative powers, he is deemed as a non-member
of the SP for the time being.
Under the LGC of 1991 (unlike the old LGC), the Governor is deprived of the power to
preside over the SP and is no longer considered a member thereof.
o This is clear in the enumeration of the members of the SP.
o Not being included in said enumeration, the Governor is deemed excluded.
On the contrary, local executive power is vested alone in the Governor.
o The union of legislative-executive powers in the office of the Governor under the
old LGC has been disbanded, so that either department now comprises different
and non-intermingling official personalities to ensure a better delivery of public
service and provide a system of check and balance.
It has been held that if a Mayor who is out of the country is considered effectively
absent, the Vice-Mayor should discharge the duties of the mayor during the latters
absence.
o This doctrine should equally apply to the Vice-Governor since he is similarly
situated as the Vice-Mayor.

Absence should be reasonably construed to mean effective absence, that is, one
that renders the officer concerned powerless, for the time being, to discharge the
powers and prerogatives of his office.
o There is vacancy when there is no person lawfully authorized to assume and
exercise at present the duties of the office.
By virtue of the foregoing definition, it can be said that the designation, appointment
or assumption of the Vice-Governor as the Acting Governor creates a corresponding
temporary vacancy in the office of the Vice-Governor during such contingency.
o Considering the silence of the law on the matter, the mode of succession
provided for permanent vacancies, under the new Code, in the office of the ViceGovernor may likewise be observed in the event of temporary vacancy occurring
in the same office.
o This is because in the eyes of the law, the office to which he was elected was left
barren of a legally qualified person to exercise the duties of the office of the ViceGovernor.
Being the Acting Governor, the Vice-Governor cannot continue to simultaneously
exercise the duties of the latter office, since the nature of the duties of the provincial
Governor call for a full-time occupant to discharge them.
o This appears to be the clear rationale of the new Code wherein the policy of
performing dual functions in both offices has already been abandoned.
o The creation of a temporary vacancy in the office of the Governor creates a
corresponding temporary vacancy in the office of the Vice-Governor whenever the
latter acts as Governor by virtue of such temporary vacancy.
o This event constitutes an inability on the part of the regular presiding officer
(Vice Governor) to preside during the SP sessions, which thus calls for the
operation of Sec. 49(b) of the LGC concerning the election of a temporary
presiding officer.

RULING: petition denied

070. Enrique Garcia et al v COMELEC and Sangguniang Bayan of Morong, Bataan


Sept. 30, 1994
Puno, J.
Topic: Local Initiative and Referendum
SV: The Sangguniang Bayan ng Morong, Bataan passed a PambansangKapasyahanBlg 10 where
they agreed to the inclusion of the Municipality of Morong as part of the Subic Special Economic
Zone. Petitioners filed a petition with the Sangguniang Bayan to annul said
PambansangKapasyahan to no avail, so petitioners resorted to their power of initiative, soliciting
signatures to cause the repeal of the resolution. COMELEC denied the petition on the ground that
its subject is merely a resolution and not an ordinance, hence, a local initiative cannot be
conducted.
Court discussed the history of the Consti provisions on local initiative. The respondents
argument that only an ordinance can be the subject of an initiative is untenable because it is
against the Constitution and the intent of the lawmakers, as can be seen from the deliberations.
The enactment of the LGC, which also dealt with local initiative did not change the scope of its
coverage; the Code did not limit the coverage of local initiatives to Ordinances alone.Also, the
distinction between an ordinance and a resolution does not lie here since even if the
PambansangKapasyahan is a resolution, it has lasting effects on the governance of its people. As
such, it is but logical to hear their voice on the matter via an initiative.

FACTS:
In the PambansangKapasyahanBlg. 10, Serye 1993, the Sangguniang Bayan ng Morong,
Bataan agreed to the inclusion of the Municipality of Morong as part of the Subic Special
Economic Zone in accordance with RA 7227

May 24, 1993: Petitioners Garcia et al filed a petition 47 with Sangguniang Bayan of Moronog to
annul said PambansangKapasyahan
o The Municipality did not take any action on the petition within 30 days after its
submission.
Petitioners then resorted to their power of initiative under the LGC.They solicited the required
number of signatures to cause the repeal of the resolution.
o June 11: Unknown to petitioners, however, Edilberto M. de Leon, Vice Mayor and
Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Bayan ng Morong, wrote a letter to the Executive
Director of COMELEC requesting the denial of "the petition for a local initiative and/or
referendum because the exercise will just promote divisiveness, counter productive
and futility.
July 6: COMELEC en banc resolved to deny the petition for local initiative on the ground that
its subject is merely a resolution (pambayangkapasyahan) and not an ordinance."
July 13: COMELEC further resolved to direct Provincial Election Supervisor Benjamin Casiano
to hold action on the authentication of signatures being gathered by petitioners.
Petitioners went to the SC on a petition for certiorari and mandamus, alleging the ff:
o For certiorari: COMELEC did not observe due process in the conduct of its proceedings
because the subject resolutions were issued ex parte and without affording petitioners
and other proponents of the initiative the opportunity to be heard thereon. Moreover,
said resolutions were issued with grave abuse of discretion.
A Sangguniang Bayan resolution being an act of the aforementioned local
legislative assembly is undoubtedly a proper subject of initiative.(Sec. 32, Art. VI,
Constitution)

47 Contents of Petition:I. Bawiin, nulipikahin at pawalang-bisaangPambayangKapasyahanBlg. 10, Serye 1993 ng

Sangguniang Bayan para sapag-anib ng Morongsa SSEZ nawalangkondisyon.


II. Palitanito ng isangPambayangKapasiyahannaaaniblamangangMorongsa SSEZ kung
angmgasumusunodnakondisyones ay ipagkakaloob, ipatutupad at isasagawa para sakapakanan at interes ng Morong
at Bataan:
(A). Ibaliksa Bataan ang "Virgin Forests" isangbundoknahindinagagalw at punong-puno ng malalakingpunong-kahoy
at iba'-ibanghalaman.
(B) Ihiwalayang Grande Island sa SSEZ at ibalikitosa Bataan.
(K). Isamaangmgalupain ng Bataan nanakapaloobsa SBMA sapagkukuenta ng salapingipinagkakaloob ng pamahalaang
national o "Internal Revenue Allotment" (IRA) saMorong, Hermosa at saLalawigan.
(D). Payagangmagtatagrin ng sariling "special economic zones" angbawatbayan ng Morong, Hermosa at Dinalupihan.
(E). Ibasesalaki ng kanya-kanyanglupaangpamamahagi ng kikitain ng SBMA.
(G). Ibaserinangalokasyon ng pagbibigay ng trabahosalaki ng nasabingmgalupa.
(H). Pabayaangbukasang pinto ng SBMA nanasaMorong ng 24 naoras at bukodditosamagbukas pa ng pinto
sahangganannaman ng Morong at Hermosa upangmagkaroon ng pagkakataongumunladrinangmganasabingbayan,
patinarin ng iba pang bayan ng Bataan.
(I). Tapusinangpagkokonkreto ng mgadaangMorong-Tala-Orani at Morong-Tasig-Dinalupihan para sakabutihan ng
mgataga-Bataan at tuloymakatulongsapangangalaga ng mgakabundukan.
(J). Magkaroon ng sapatnarepresentasyonsapamunuan ng SBMA angMorong, Hermosa at Bataan.

For mandamus: Respondent Comelec's authority in the matter of local initiative is


merely ministerial48. It is duty-bound to supervise the gathering of signatures in support
of the petition and to set the date of the initiative once the required number of
signatures are obtained, as support by Sec. 22, par (h), LGC.

ISSUE: Is PambansangKapasyahanBlg. 10 a proper subject of initiative? (YES)

This case is of transcendental significance because it involves an issue of first impression


delineating the extent of the people to legislate. Accdg to Fr. Bernas: "in republican systems,
there are generally two kinds of legislative power, original and derivative.
o Original legislative power is possessed by the sovereign people. Derivative legislative
power is that which has been delegated by the sovereign people to legislative bodies
and is subordinate to the original power of the people."

History of Peoples exercise of legislative power


o Up until 1987, our people have not directly exercised legislative power, both the
constituent power to amend or revise the Constitution or the power to enact ordinary
laws since people gave total trust to Congress and did not reserve the power to make
or repeal laws. Such omission proved unfortunate because it allowed abuses, as can be
seen in the Martial Law days.
o In Feb 1986, however, people toppled down the Marcos regime and the result is that
the new Constitution became "less trusting of public officials than the American
Constitution."

48

The framers of our 1987 Constitution realized the value of initiative and referendum as
an ultimate weapon of the people to negate government malfeasance and misfeasance
and they put in place an overarching system. Thus, thru an initiative 49, the people were
given the power to amend the Constitution itself. Likewise, people were also endowed
with the power to enact or reject any law by Congress or local legislative body. 50

49 Sec. 2 of Art. XVII provides: "Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through initiative upon a
petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least
three per centum of the registered voters therein."

50ART 6 Sec. 1. The legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a

Senate and a House of Representatives except to the extent reserved to the people by the provisions on initiative and
referendum.xxx xxxxxx
Sec. 32.The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions
therefrom, whereby the people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or law or part thereof
passed by the Congress or local legislative body after the registration of a petition therefor signed by at least ten per
centum of the total number of registered voters, of which every legislative district must be represented by at least
three per centum of the registered voters thereto.

The COMELEC was also empowered to enforce and administer all laws and regulations
relative to the conduct of an initiative and referendum.
It is to be noted that the scope of coverage of an initiative/referendum as
delineated by Sec. 32, Art. 6, Constitution is any act or law passed by Congress
or local legislative body.
Congress responded to mandate of the Consti, approving RA 6375 An Act Providing for
a System of Initiative and Referendum and Appropriating Funds Therefor, which
spelled out the requirements for the exercise of the power of initiative and
referendum, the conduct of national initiative and referendum; procedure of local
initiative and referendum; and their limitations.

Respondents argue that under the LGC, only an ordinance can be the subject of an initiative,
relying on Sec. 120, Chap 2, Title 11, Book 1, LGC, which provides Local Initiative Defined.
Local initiative is the legal process whereby the registered voters of a local government unit
may directly propose, enact, or amend any ordinance
o COURT does not agree with the reading of said provision because it is against the
Constitution and the intent of the lawmakers.
o Consti clearly includes not only ordinances but resolutions as appropriate subjects of
local initiative.
Section 32 of Article VI: "The Congress shall, as early as possible, provide for a
system of initiative and referendum, and the exceptions therefrom, whereby the
people can directly propose and enact laws or approve or reject any act or
law or part thereof passed by the Congress, or local legislative body . . ." An act
includes a resolution.
Blacks definition of an act: an expression of will or purpose . . . it may denote
something done . . . as a legislature, including not merely physical acts, but also
decrees, edicts, laws, judgments, resolves, awards, and determinations . . . .
Laws should be construed in harmony rather than in violation of the Constitution
[In Re Guarina] "if there is doubt or uncertainty as to the meaning of the
legislative, if the words or provisions are obscure, or if the enactment is fairly
susceptible of two or more constructions, that interpretation will be adopted
which will avoid the effect of unconstitutionality, even though it may be
necessary, for this purpose, to disregard the more usual or apparent
import of the language used.
o This Constitutional command to includes acts (i.e. resolutions) as appropriate subjects
of initiatve was implemented by Congress when it enacted RA 6735.
In Sec. 3(a) thereof, it gives a definition of initiative:
(a) "Initiative" is the power of the people to propose amendments to the
Constitution or to propose and enact legislations through an election called
for the purpose.
There are three (3) systems of initiative, namely:
a.1. Initiative on the Constitution which refers to a petition proposing
amendments to the Constitution.
a.2. Initiative on statutes which refers to a petition proposing to enact a
national legislation; and
a.3. Initiative on local legislation which refers to a petition proposing to enact
a regional, provincial, city, municipal, or barangay law, resolution, or
ordinance.
Sec. 6 states: Limitations Upon Local Legislative Bodies Any proposition on
ordinance or resolution approved through the system of initiative and
referendum as herein provided shall not be repealed, modified or amended, by
the local legislative body concerned within six (6) months from the date
therefrom . . . .

Likewise, COMELECs Resolution No. 230051"In Re Rules and Regulations


Governing the Conduct of Initiative on the Constitution, and Initiative and
Referendum, on National and Local Laws"recognized resolutions as proper
subjects of initiatives.
Congress also intended resolutions to be proper subjects of local initiatives, as
confirmed by the debates.

Contrary to respondents argument, the enactment of the LGC, which also dealt with local
initiative did not change the scope of its coverage; the Code did not limit the coverage of
local initiatives to Ordinances alone.
o Sec. 12, Chap. 2, Title 9, Book 1, LGC merely defines the concept of local initiative as
the legal process whereby the registered voters of a local government unit may directly
propose, enact, or amend any ordinance.BUT it does not deal with matters that can be
taken up on a local initiative.
o Sec. 124, LGC states: Sec. 124.Limitations on Local Initiatives. (a) The power of local
initiative shall not be exercised more than once a year.
(b) Initiative shall extend only to subjects or matters which are within the legal
powers of the Sanggunians to enact.
o Such provision does NOT limit the application of local initiatives to ordinances. This
interpretation is consistent with Sec. 125 which uses the word propositions as subject
of initiative. The inclusion of the word proposition is inconsistent with respondents'
thesis that only ordinances can be the subject of local initiatives.
o Also Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, principal author of the LGC, gives a view consistent to our
interpretation in his commentaries.52

51Section 5, Article I of its Rules states: "Scope of power of initiative The power of initiative may be exercised to
amend the Constitution, or to enact a national legislation, a regional, provincial, city, municipal or barangay law,
resolution or ordinance."

52 Regarding the form of the measure, the section speaks only of "ordinance," although the measure may be contained in a
resolution. If the registered voters can propose ordinances, why are they not allowed to propose resolutions too? Moreover, the
wording of Sec. 125, below, which deals not only with ordinances but with "any proposition" implies the inclusion of resolutions.
The discussion hereunder will also show support for the conclusion that resolutions may indeed be the subject of local initiative.

Although respondents do not give any reason why resolutions should not be the subject of a
local initiative, their reason lies in the well known distinction between a resolution and an
ordinance in that a resolution is used whenever the legislature wishes to express an opinion
which is to have only a temporary effect while an ordinance is intended to permanently direct
and control matters applying to persons or things in general. Thus, resolutions are not
normally subject to referendum for it may destroy the efficiency necessary to the successful
administration of the business affairs of a city.
o BUT in this case, it cannot be argued that the subject matter of the resolution merely
has temporary effects because it directs a permanent rule of conduct or government.
o Including Morong as part of the Subic Special Economic Zone has far reaching
implications in the governance of its people, such as being subject to several policies
(i.e. tax and duty-free importations within the territory, tax exemptions, qualifications
for residency status, etc.)
o Considering the lasting changes that will be wrought in the social, political, and
economic existence of the people of Morong by the inclusion of their municipality in the
Subic Special Economic Zone, it is but logical to hear their voice on the matter via an
initiative.
o It is not material that the decision of the municipality of Morong for the inclusion came
in the form of a resolution for what matters is its enduring effect on the welfare of the
people of Morong.

As to due process:
o Petitioners were not furnished a copy of the letter-petition of Vice Mayor Edilberto M. de
Leon to the respondent COMELEC praying for denial of their petition for a local
initiative. Worse, COMELEC granted the petition without affording petitioners any fair
opportunity to oppose it.
o This procedural lapse is fatal for at stake is not an ordinary right but the sanctity of the
sovereignty of the people, their original power to legislate through the process of
initiative.

Petition GRANTED. COMEMEC resolutions annulled and set aside.


Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority v. COMELEC, Enrique T. Garcia and Catalino A.
Calimbas
Panganiban, J. 26 September 1996
SV: Congress enacted RA 7227 creating, among others, the Subic Economic Zone which
included, among others, the town of Morong, Bataan. Pursuant to the requirement in RA 7227
that the creation of the zone is subject to the concurrence of the concerned Sangguinans
(Bayan/Panglungsod), the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong passed PambayangKapasyanBlg. 10
Serye 1993. Garcia, Calimbas, et. al. opposed the concurrence and sought to have it replaced
with a conditional one. Eventually the COMELEC scheduled a referendum for the electorate to
vote on the petition of Garcia, Calimbas, et. al. The SBMA filed suit against the COMELEC,
seeking to prevent the holding of a referendum.
The SC ruled in favor of the SBMA and held that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of
discretion. In its assailed resolution, the COMELEC was preparing for a referendum when it was
clear that the petition of Garcia, Calimbas, et. al. was one for initiative. The SC clarified that
initiative is different from a referendum. Initiative is the power of the people to propose bills and
laws, and to enact or reject them at polls independent of the legislative assembly. Referendum is
the right reserved to the people to adopt or reject any act or measure which has been passed by
a legislative body and which, in most cases, would, without action on the part of electors,
become a law

FACTS:
- 13 Mar 1992: Congress enacted RA 7227 (Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992),
which among others, provided for the creation of the Subic Economic Zone.
a) The Subic Economic Zone was to be composed of the City of Olongapo, and the
Municipalities of Subic, Morong and Hermosa, subject to the concurrence by resolution
of their respective SangguinangPanlungsod/Sangguniang Bayan.
b) RA 7227 also provided for the creation of SBMA, with an authorized capital stock of
P20B, fully subscribed and fully paid up by the Republic of the Philippines
- Apr 1993: the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong, Bataan passed PambayangKapasyahanBilang 10
Serye 1993, expressing therein its absolute concurrence as required by Sec. 12 of RA 7227 to join
the Subic Special Economic Zone (SSEZ). The said resolution was submitted to the Office of the
President.
- 24 May 1993: Garcia, Calimbas, and their companions filed a petition with the Sangguniang
Bayan of Morong to annul PambayangKapasyahanBlg. 10 Serye 1993. The petition prayed that
the Kapasyahan be replaced with an acceptance of Morongs inclusion to the SSEZ subject to the
following conditions: (can skip)
a) the return of the Virgin Forests to Bataan
b) the separation of Grande Island from the SSEZ and its return to Bataan
c) include the lands of SBMA within Bataan in the computation of the IRA to Morong,
Hermosa and Bataan
d) Morong, Hermosa and Dinalupihan be allowed to establish their own special economic
zones
e) base the computation of sharing in the profit of SBMA on the size of land
f) base the allocation of jobs on the size of land
g) allow the gate of SBMA in Morong to be open 24 hours and also to open an additional
gate in the border between Morong and Hermosa
h) finish the concreting of the Morong-Tala-Orani road and the Morong-Tasig-Dinalupihan
road
i) that Morong, Hermosa and Bataan have sufficient representation in the SBMA
- The Sangguniang Bayan ngMorong acted upon the petition by promulgating
PambayangKapasyahanBlg. 18, Serye 1993, requesting the Congress of the Philippines to amend
certain provisions of RA 7227, particularly those concerning the matters cited in (A), (B), (K), (E),
and (G). Garcia, Calimbas et. al. were also informed that (D) and (H) had already been referred to
and favorably acted upon by the government agencies concerned.
- Not satisfied, and within 30 days from submission of their petition, Garcia, Calimbas, et. al.
resorted to their power of initiative under the LGC of 1991, Sec. 122 par. (b) of which provides:
Sec. 122. Procedure in Local Initiative.
(b) If no favorable action thereon is taken by the sanggunian concerned, the proponents,
through their duly authorized and registered representatives, may invoke their power of
initiative, giving notice thereof to the sangguniang concerned.
- 6 Jul 1993: the COMELEC denied the petition or local initiative on the ground that the subject
thereof was merely a resolution and not an ordinance.
- 15 Aug 1993: Garcia, Calimbas, et. al. instituted a petition for certiorari and mandamus with the
SC against the COMELEC and the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong for the disallowance of the
conduct of a local initiative to annul PambayangKapasyahanBlg. 10 Serye 1993. (this case is
Garcia v. COMELEC, the case preceding this one in the syllabus, which was decided in favor of
Garcia, et. al.).

- 18 June 1996: COMELEC issued Resolution No. 2845 adopting a Calendar of Activities for local
referendum on a certain municipal ordinance passed by the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong. The
referendum was to be held on 27 Jul 1996.
- 27 Jun 1996: COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2848 providing for the rules and guidelines
to govern the conduct of the referendum proposing to annul or repeal KapasyahanBlg. 10 Serye
1993 of the Sangguniang Bayan of Morong.
- 10 Jul 1996: COMELEC instituted the present petition for certiorari and prohibition contesting
the validity of Resolution No. 2848.
ISSUES/REASONING:
1) Is the current petition barred by the prior judgment of the Court in Garcia v. COMELEC? NO.
The only issue resolved in the earlier case was whether a municipal resolution, as contradistinguished from an ordinance, may be the proper subject of an initiative and/or referendum.
The Court disposed of the question thus:
a) The argument that under Sec. 120, Chapter 2, Title XI, Book I of the LGC of 1991, only
an ordinance may be the subject of initiative and/or referendum is wrong.
b) The Constitution clearly includes not only ordinance but resolutions as appropriate
subjects of a local initiative (Sec. 32, Art. VI Const.)
In the present case, SBMA is not contesting the propriety of a municipal resolution as the form by
which these two new constitutional prerogatives of the people may be validly exercised.
What is at issue here is whether PambayangKapasyahanBlg. 10, Serye 1993 as worded is
sufficient in form and substance for submission to the people for their approval; in fine, whether
the COMELEC acted properly in promulgating and implementing Resolution No. 2848.
2) Did the COMELEC commit grave abuse of discretion in promulgating and implementing
Resolution No. 2848? YES, the COMELEC made preparations for a referendum when the process
started by Garcia et. al. was an initiative.
In enacting the Initiative and Referendum Act, Congress differentiated one from the other thus:
(a) "Initiative" is the power of the people to propose amendments to the Constitution or to
propose and enact legislations through an election called for the purpose.
There are three (3) systems of initiative, namely:
a.1. Initiative on the Constitution which refers to a petition proposing amendments
to the Constitution;
a.2. Initiative on statutes which refers to a petition proposing to enact a national
legislation; and
a.3. Initiative on local legislation which refers to a petition proposing to enact a
regional, provincial, city, municipal, or barangay law, resolution or ordinance.
(b) "Indirect initiative" is exercise of initiative by the people through a proposition sent to
Congress or the local legislative body for action.
(c) "Referendum" is the power of the electorate to approve or reject a legislation through
an election called for the purpose. It may be of two classes, namely:
c.1. Referendum on statutes which refers to a petition to approve or reject an act or
law, or part thereof, passed by Congress; and
c.2 Referendum on local law which refers to a petition to approve or reject a law,
resolution or ordinance enacted by regional assemblies and local legislative bodies.
Justice Isagani A. Cruz provided the following definitions:

a) initiative the power of the people to propose bills and laws, and to enact or reject
them at polls independent of the legislative assembly
b) referendum the right reserved to the people to adopt or reject any act or measure
which has been passed by a legislative body and which, in most cases, would, without
action on the part of electors, become a law
These definitions are echoed in the LGC substantially:
Sec. 120. Local Initiative Defined. Local initiative is the legal process whereby the
registered voters of local government unit may directly propose, enact, or amend any
ordinance.
Sec. 126. Local Referendum Defined. Local referendum is the legal process whereby the
registered voters of the local government units may approve, amend or reject any
ordinance enacted by the sanggunian.
The local referendum shall be held under the control and direction of the Comelec within
sixty (60) days in case of provinces and cities, forty-five (45) days in case of municipalities
and thirty (30) days in case of baranggays.
The Comelec shall certify and proclaim the results of the said referendum.
While initiative is entirely the work of the electorate, referendum is begun and consented to by
the law-making body. Initiative is a process of law-making by the people themselves without the
participation and against the wishes of their elected representatives, while referendum consists
merely of the electorate approving or rejecting what has been drawn up or enacted by a
legislative body.
It follows that there is need for the COMELEC to supervise an initiative more closely, its authority
thereon extending not only to the counting and canvassing of votes but also to seeing to it that
the matter submitted to the people is in the proper form and language so it may be easily
understood and voted upon by the electorate.
3) Is the withdrawal of the municipalitys adherence and the imposition of conditions ultra vires?
The SC declined to rule on this issue on the ground of prematurity.
SBMA argues that the creation of SSEZ is now fait accompli and Morong cannot unilaterally
withdraw its concurrence or impose new conditions anymore. Such would deprive the entire
nation of the benefits to be derived from the SSEZ and render nugatory the creation by national
law of the SSEZ.
On the other hand, Garcia counters that such argument is premature and conjectural because, at
this point, the resolution is just a proposal. If the people should reject it during referendum, then
there would be nothing to declare illegal.
The SC agreed with Garcia. It ruled that it had no authority to determine the commission of grave
abuse of discretion with regard to the the proposed iniative since it has not yet been
promulgated or approved, or passed upon by any branch or instrumentality or lower court.
PETITION GRANTED. COMELEC RESOLUTION NO. 2848 ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE. THE
INIATIVE ON PAMBAYANG KAPASYAHAN Blg. 10, Serye 1993 is REMANDED to the
COMELEC.
Ortiz v. Posadas
Date: March 3, 1931
Ponente: Malcolm

The case in a nutshell:


FACTS: There are 16 members in the municipal council of Tabaco, Albay, but only 13 were
present at the meeting when Ordinance No. 25 (concerning cockpits) was passed. Out of the 13
members present, 7 voted in favor of the ordinance, while 6 voted against. Ortiz assailed the
validity of the ordinance, claiming the required majority (of all the members of the municipal
council, not just those present at the meeting) was not met. CFI upheld the validity of the
ordinance.
HELD: Ordinance No. 25 is VOID. The approval of ALL the members of the municipal council, not
just those present, was necessary for its passage. The law, Sec. 2224 of the Administrative Code
(the law prevailing at the time), is clear. It needs only application, not interpretation. The
provision requires in mandatory language the affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of
the municipal council for the passage of any ordinance, The affirmative vote of a majority of all
the members of the municipal council shall be necessary for the passage of any ordinance, or
any proposition creating indebtedness. The phrase creating indebtedness in the provision
refers to proposition, not to ordinance. Other measures shall prevail upon the majority vote
of the members present.
Facts:
1) There are 16 members of the municipal council of Tabaco, Albay. At the meeting
concerned, 13 members were present, while 3 were absent. Out of the 13 members
present, 7 voted in favor of Ordinance No. 25, concerning cockpits, while 6 voted against
it.
2) Plaintiff-appellant Emiliano Ortiz assailed the validity of Ordinance No. 25 in the Albay CFI,
suing defendants-appellees Juan Posadas, Jr., the Collector of Internal Revenue, et al.
3) The CFI judge held that Ordinance No. 25 was valid. However, another CFI judge held an
ordinance enacted under similar circumstances invalid.
4) Ortiz appealed.
Issue: Is Ordinance No. 25 valid? NO.
Held: Judgment appealed from is REVERSED. Another judgment is issued in favor of Ortiz and
against Posadas, et al. for the sum of Php400, with the costs of both instances against the
municipality of Tabaco, Albay.
Ratio:
1) Ordinance No. 25 is VOID. The approval of ALL the members of the municipal council, not
just those present, was necessary for its passage.
a. The law, Sec. 2224 of the Administrative Code, is clear. It needs only application,
not interpretation. Sec. 2224 provides:
SEC. 2224. Journal of proceedings. Majorities necessary for transaction of
business. The council shall keep a journal of its own proceedings. The ayes and
noes shall be taken upon the passage of all ordinances, upon all propositions to
create any liability against the municipality, and upon any other proposition, upon
the request of any member, and they shall be entered upon the journal. The
affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the municipal council shall be
necessary to the passage of any ordinance or of any proposition creating
indebtedness; but other measures, as otherwise specially provided, shall prevail
upon the majority vote of the members present at any meeting duly called and
held.
i. The ayes and noes are taken upon:
1. The passage of all ordinances
2. All propositions to create any liability against the municipality, and
3. Any other proposition, upon the request of any members.
ii. The affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the municipal council
shall be necessary for the passage of:

1. Any ordinance, or
2. Any proposition creating indebtedness.
iii. Other measures shall prevail upon the majority vote of the members present.
iv. Creating indebtedness refers to proposition, not to ordinance. Thus, the
contention that only ordinances creating indebtedness require the approval of
a majority of all the members of the municipal council is devoid of merit.
b. The SC then cited the American case of McLean v. City of East St. Louis as
corroborative authority. In that case, the validity of Sec. 13 of the Act for the
incorporation of cities and villages in the State of Illinois (which was worded very
similarly to Sec. 2224) was contested.
i. Those assailing the validity of Sec. 13 argued that it related only to
ordinances and propositions creating a liability against a city or providing for
the expenditure or appropriation of its money, and that all other ordinances
may be passed by a majority of a quorum. They contended that this was the
intention of the legislature, and where the intention of the legislature is
ascertained with reasonable certainty and it appears that words have been
used inconsistent with such intention, a word erroneously used for another
may be eliminated and the proper word substituted.
ii. However, the Supreme Court of Illinois, through Justice Cartwright, held that
too make the changes suggested would be merely juggling with the words of
the statute to give it a different meaning from that which was intended.
1. The law requires that the yeas and nays shall be taken upon the
passage of all ordinances, and the concurrence of a majority of the
legislative body is necessary to their passage. (Hibbard & Co. v. City of
Chicago)
2. If a proposition not in the form of an ordinance creates any liability or
provides for the expenditure or appropriation of money, the
requirement is the same. As to other propositions, whether the yeas
and nays are entered upon the journal or not, the majority of a quorum
is sufficient.
3. The basic idea of the legislative body was to make impossible the
approval of ordinances or of propositions creating indebtedness by
minority votes of municipal councils, at meetings hastily called.
c. Sec. 2224 requires in mandatory language the affirmative vote of a majority of all
the members of the municipal council for the passage of any ordinance, whether or
not it creates indebtedness. An ordinance passed by less than that majority is
invalid. Ordinance No. 25 is void.
City of Manila, et al. v. Hon. Perfecto Laguio and Malate Tourist Development Corporation
12 April 2005
Tinga, J.
Short version: The City Council of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 7783 which prohibited the
operation of any business in the Ermita-Malate area providing certain forms of amusement,
entertainment, services and facilities where women are used as tools in entertainment and which
tend to disturb the community, annoy the inhabitants and adversely affect the social and moral
welfare of the community. The list of prohibited establishments included motels and inns. Thus,
the Malate Tourist Development Corporation (MTDC), which built and opened Victoria Court in the
area, filed a petition for declaratory relief praying that the Ordinance, insofar as it includes
motels and inns as among prohibited establishments, be declared invalid and unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court held that an Ordinance, to be valid, must conform to the following
requirements: (1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute; (2) must not be unfair or
oppressive; (3) must not be partial or discriminatory; (4) must not prohibit but may regulate
trade; (5) must be general and consistent with public policy; and (6) must not be unreasonable.

Thus, the Court held that the Ordinance is null and void because it violates the due process and
equal protection clauses and it is also repugnant to the Local Government Code and to PD 449.
Facts:
- The City Council of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 7783 which prohibited the operation of any
business in the Ermita-Malate area providing certain forms of amusement, entertainment,
services and facilities where women are used as tools in entertainment and which tend to disturb
the community, annoy the inhabitants and adversely affect the social and moral welfare of the
community.
The Ordinance provided that such prohibited establishments included sauna
parlors, massage parlors, karaoke bars, night clubs, motels, inns among others. The
owners of these establishments were given three months to wind up their business
operations or to transfer to any place outside of the Ermita-Malate area or to convert their
businesses to other kinds of business allowable including souvenir shops, art galleries,
restaurants, theaters, among others. The Ordinance provided that persons who violate it
would be fined or imprisoned or both and that in case of a subsequent violation, the
premises of the erring establishment would be closed and padlocked permanently.
- The Malate Tourist Development Corporation (MTDC), a corporation engaged in the business of
hotels, motels, hostels and lodging houses, built and opened Victoria Court in Malate. It filed a
petition for declaratory relief with the RTC praying that the Ordinance, insofar as it includes
motels and inns as among prohibited establishments, be declared invalid and unconstitutional for
the following reasons:
The LGC grants to the City Council only the power to regulate motels, inns
and similar establishments, and not the power to prohibit them;
The Ordinance is violative of PD 449 which specifically declared portions of
the Ermita-Malate area as a commercial zone allowing the establishment of motels, inns
and similar establishments therein;
The Ordinance does not constitute a proper exercise of police power;
The Ordinance constitutes an ex post facto law by punishing the operation of
Victoria Court which was a legitimate business prior to the enactment of the ordinance;
The Ordinance violates MTDCs constitutionally protected rights to due
process and equal protection of the laws.
- In their answer, the City of Manila, et al. said that the City Council had the power to prohibit
certain forms of entertainment in order to protect the social and moral welfare of the community
under the LGC. They also asserted that the Ordinance was enacted in conjunction with its police
power as specified in the Revised Charter of the City of Manila, the provisions of which enable it
to enact all ordinances it may deem necessary for the sanitation, safety, the furtherance of
prosperity and the promotion of morality, peace, good order, comfort, convenience and general
welfare of the city and its inhabitants.
- Judge League rendered a decision enjoining the City of Manila, et al. from implementing the
Ordinance. Thus, the case was elevated before the Supreme Court via Rule 42 on pure questions
of law.
Issue: Is the Ordinance valid? (No)
Reasoning:
The test of a valid ordinance

- An ordinance, to be valid, must not only be withing the corporate powers of the LGU to enact
and must be passed according to the procedure prescribed by law, it must also conform to the
following substantive requirements: (1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute; (2)
must not be unfair or oppressive; (3) must not be partial or discriminatory; (4) must not prohibit
but may regulate trade; (5) must be general and consistent with public policy; and (6) must not
be unreasonable.
- The Ordinance was passed by the City Council in the exercise of its police power. LGUs are
endowed with police power delegated by the Legislature through the General Welfare clause in
Sec. 16 of the LGC. The present case concerns the issue of whether the City Council validly
exercised this delegated power.
The Ordinance contravenes the Constitution
The Ordinance violates the due process clause
- The due process guaranty exists to prevent arbitrary governmental encroachment against the
life, liberty and property of individuals. To successfully invoke the exercise of police power as the
rationale for the enactment of the Ordinance, not only must it appear that the interests of the
public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require an interference with
private rights, but the means adopted must be reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of
the purpose and not unduly oppressive of individuals.
- The Ordinance was enacted to address and arrest the social ills purportedly spawned by the
establishments in the Ermita-Malate area which are allegedly operated under the guise of
legitimate night clubs, bars, hotels and motels, among others. It sought to promote and protect
the social and moral values of the community. Granting for the sake of argument that these
objectives are within the scope of the City Councils police powers, the means employed for their
accomplishment were unreasonable and oppressive.
- Instead of an absolute prohibition, the objectives of the Ordinance can be achieved by the
imposition of reasonable regulations such as daily inspections for any violation of the conditions
of the licenses and permits of the establishments; the suspension or revocation of licenses for
violations; and the imposition of increased license fees The closing down and transfer of the
enumerated establishments have no reasonable relation to the accomplishment of the
objectives. Even if the establishments were closed down, prostitution, adultery, fornication and
the spread of sexual disease in Manila will not be eradicated.
- Conceding that the Ermita-Malate area teems with houses of ill-repute, it is baseless to bring
within that classification sauna parlors, massage parlors, karaoke bars, night clubs, motels, inns
among others. The enumerated establishments are legimitate business pursuts that are not per
se offensive to morals. That these establishments may be used as venues to further prostitution
is of no moment for sexual immorality, being a human frailty, may take place in the most
innocent of places.
- The means employed by the Ordinance infringes on the constitutional guarantee of a persons
fundamental right to liberty. Persons desirous to own, operate and patronize the enumerated
establishments should be able to do so without the states interference. Motel patrons who are
single and unmarried may invoke this right to autonomy to engage in intimate sexual conduct
within the motels premises owing to the fact that their consensual sexual behavior does not
contravene any fundamental state policy. The liberty protected by the due process clause allows
them to make this choice.
- In addition, the Ordinance is unreasonable and oppressive as it substantially divests the MTDC
of the beneficial use of its property. An ordinance which permanently restricts the use of property

that it cannot be used for any reasonable purpose goes beyond regulation and must be
recognized as a taking of the property without just compensation.
The Ordinance is practically confiscatory because unless the owner converts
his establishment to accommodate an allowed business, the structure that housed his
previous business can no longer be used. The option to transfer the business outside of
the Ermita-Malate area is confiscatory as well because it qualifies as a taking without just
compensation with an additional burden imposed upon the owner to build another
establishment elsewhere and solely using his own resources.
The petitioners also cannot take refuge in classifying the Ordinance as a
zoning ordinance. Private property which is not noxious nor intended for noxious purposes
may not, by zoning, be destroyed without compensation.
- Further, the Ordinance does not set up any standard to guide the petitioners actions. It confers
upon the mayor arbitrary and unrestricted power to close down establishments because no
standards were provided to determine which establishments tend to disturb the community,
annoy the inhabitants, and adversely affect the social and moral welfare of the community.
The Ordinance violates the Equal Protection clause
- The Equal Protection clause limits governmental discrimination but does not necessarily
preclude laws from making valid classifications. For a classification to be valid, the following
requisites must concur: (1) it must be based on substantial distinctions; (2) it must be germane
to the purposes of the law; (3) it must not be limited to existing conditions only; (4) it must apply
equally to all members of the group.
- The Court found that there are no substantial distinctions between motels, inns, pension
houses, hotels, lodging houses and similar establishments. Thus, no reason exists for prohibiting
motels and inns but not the other establishments providing lodging. There is also no logic in
prohibiting the business of motels in the Ermita-Malate area but not outside it. If an
establishment is noxious, it does not become any less so if located outside a particular area. The
standard where women are used as tools for entertainment is also discriminatory as
prostitution is not a profession exclusive to women. Thus, the classification in this case is not
valid.
The Ordinance is repugnant to general laws
- The LGC merely empowers LGUs to regulate, and not prohibit, the establishments enumerated
in the Ordinance. In Kwong Sing v. City of Manila, it was held that the word regulate means and
includes the power to control, to govern and to restrain but it should not be construed as
synonymous with suppress or prohibit.
- Congress unequivocally specified the establishments and forms of amusement or
entertainment subject to regulation, among which are beerhouses, hotels, motels, inns, pension
houses, lodging houses and other similar establishments (in Sec. 458(a)4(iv) of the LGC), public
dancing schools, public dance halls, sauna baths, massage parlors, and other places of
entertainment and amusement (in Sec. 458(a)4(vii)). This enumeration therefore cannot be
included as among other events or activities or entertainment, particularly those which tend to
disturb the community or annoy the inhabitants or certain forms of entertainment which the
City Council may suspend, suppress or prohibit.
- The argument that the City Council is empowered to enact the Ordinance by virtue of the
general welfare clause of the LGC and of certain provisions of the Revised Charter of Manila is
likewise without merit. On the LGC,and as discussed above, the matter of regulating the
establishments enumerate is dealt with specifically elsewhere in the LGC. Thus, the general

welfare clause cannot be used as basis for the enactment of the Ordinance. As for the Revised
Charter of Manila, suffice it to say that the LGC, being a later expression of legislative will, must
necessarily prevail and override the Revised Charter which is an earlier law.
- Section 458 of the LGC conferred powers upon the City Council to prevent and prohibit certain
activities and establishments. The establishments enumerated in the Ordinance are
conspicuously absnet. If Congress intended to confer the power to prohibit the establishments
enumerated in the Ordinance, it would have so declared in no uncertain terms by including them
in Sec. 458. Moreover, the establishments themselves are recognized legitimate enterprises
under Sec. 131 on Local Government Taxation.
- The Ordinance also runs counter to the provisions of PD 499 which had already converted the
residential Ermita-Malate area into a commercial area. The decree allowed the establishment and
operation of all kinds of commercial establishments except warehouses or open storage depots,
dumps or yards, motor repair shop, gasoline service station, light industry with any machinery or
funeral establishments.
- Considering all the foregoing, the Ordinance is therefore ultra vires, null and void.
Dispositive: Petition denied.
Digested by Ramon IV
Perez v. De la Cruz
Date: March 28, 1969
Ponente: Castro
The case in a nutshell:
FACTS: The municipal board of Naga City is composed of 7 city councilors, plus Vice Mayor Perez
as the presiding officer. At a meeting, 4 councilors indicated their desire to vote for a particular
person as secretary. In response, Vice Mayor Perez expressed her intention to vote twice: first in
the deliberation of the matter, to create a tie vote, and thereafter to exercise her power as
presiding officer to break the deadlock. She reiterated her intention and even radiocast it. The 4
councilors filed a petition for prohibition with writ of preliminary injunction in the CFI to prevent
Vice Mayor Perez from voting, except in the case of a tie. CFI ruled in favor of the 4 councilors.
On appeal by Vice Mayor Perez, the CA issued a restraining order enjoining the enforcement of
the writ issued by the CFI, but later dismissed Vice Mayor Perezs petition on the ground of lack
of jurisdiction. Vice Mayor Perez filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary
injunction in the SC.
HELD: The Vice Mayor of Naga City is NOT a member of the municipal board. There is nothing in
the Naga City charter which provides that the Vice Mayor is a member of the municipal board.
The Rules of Procedure of the previous municipal boards of Naga City exclude the chairman from
voting, except in case of a tie vote. The current municipal board (headed by Vice Mayor Perez)
tried to amend this, but such proposed amendment was a nullity because on the day it was
passed, there was no quorum. (The 4 councilors walked out.) The Vice Mayor of Naga City
replaced the Mayor as presiding officer of the municipal board, but did not replace him as a
member thereof. Thus, the Vice Mayor possesses no more than the prerogatives and authority of
a presiding officer as such, and those specified by law (to vote in case of tie and to sign all
ordinances or resolutions and measures directing the payment of money or creating liability
enacted or adopted by the Board.) Vice Mayor Perez cannot vote twice to elect the secretary of
the municipal board. The concurring votes of the 4 councilors were sufficient for their chosen
candidate to win. Vice Mayor Perez is NOT both the presiding officer and a constituent member of
the municipal board. Therefore, she cannot vote twice (first to create a tie as a constituent
member, and second, to break such tie as presiding officer). There are 7 councilors in the
municipal board of Naga City. 4 councilors, therefore, would constitute a majority who, voting

together for a single person could elect a secretary of the municipal board. Since the 4 councilors
manifested their desire to vote for a particular person, and there are only 3 councilors left, a tie
vote was out of the question. A 4-3 vote creates no tie and furnishes no occasion for Vice Mayor
Perez to vote
Facts:
1) On January 8, 1968, a private conference was held at the office of petitioner Virginia F.
Perez, Vice Mayor of Naga City, with Vice Mayor Perez presiding and the 7 city councilors
present. The matter of selecting the secretary of the municipal board, as well as the
chairmen of the various standing committees thereof came up for discussion.
a. 4 councilors (private respondents, who were part of the Nacionalista Party),
indicated their desire to vote for a particular person as secretary of the board, and
to hold the chairmanship of the committee on markets for 1 of them. In response,
Vice Mayor Perez (who was part of the Liberal Party) expressed her intention to vote
twice: first in the deliberation of such matters, to create a tie vote, and thereafter,
to exercise her power as presiding officer to break the deadlock.
2) On January 10, 1968, at another conference, Vice Mayor Perez reiterated the same
intention to vote twice.
3) On January 13, 1968, Vice Mayor Perezs statement (re: her intention to vote) was
radiocast.
4) On January 15, 1968, the 4 councilors filed with the Camarines Sur CFI a petition for
prohibition with writ of preliminary injunction, to prevent Vice Mayor Perez from casting
her vote in the selection of the secretary of the municipal board and in the choice of
chairmen and members of the standing committees, except in the event of a tie vote; and
from voting on any legislative proposal or measure or in any proceeding of the said board,
except when the members thereof are equally divided. They alleged that:
a. The Vice Mayor is not a member of the municipal board, only its presiding officer.
b. Pursuant to paragraph g of Rule III of the Rules of Procedure of the said board, the
chairman of the board cannot vote, except in case of a tie.
c. In the choice of secretary of the board, the Vice Mayor as presiding officer of the
board cannot vote except when the members of the board are equally divided.
d. Vice Mayor Perez had threatened to participate in the election of the board
secretary, in the choice of chairmen of the standing committees, and in other
legislative matters, proposals, and proceedings, other than to break a tie vote.
5) The CFI, through respondent Judge dela Cruz, granted the 4 councilors prayer for
prohibitory injunction.
6) Vice Mayor Perez filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction in
the CA.
7) The CA issued a restraining order enjoining the enforcement of the writ of prohibitory
injunction issued by the CFI.
8) On March 5, 1968, Vice Mayor Perez and the Liberal Party councilors on the municipal
board passed an amendment to the Rules of Procedure, granting the chairman thereof the
right to vote as a member, and as presiding officer, the right to vote again in case of a tie
vote.
a. The 4 Nacionalista Party councilors walked out of the session hall.
9) The CA dismissed Vice Mayor Perezs petition, on the ground that it had no jurisdiction.
10)
Vice Mayor Perez filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary
injunction in the SC, to enjoin the enforcement of the writ of prohibitory injunction issued
by Judge de la Cruz.
11)
The enforcement of the writ of prohibitory injunction by Judge de la Cruz was
stayed, and Vice Mayor Perez was allowed to sit in the municipal board, both as a
constituent member and as presiding officer thereof.
Issues:

1) Is the Vice Mayor of Naga City, besides being the presiding officer of the municipal board,
also a member thereof? Can she vote twice: to create a deadlock, and then to break it?
NO.
2) Did Judge de la Cruz have jurisdiction to issue the writ of prohibitory injunction? YES.
Held: Present petition is DENIED. Preliminary injunction is DISSOLVED.
Ratio:
1. The Vice Mayor of Naga City is NOT a member of the municipal board. Vice Mayor Perez
CANNOT vote to twice to elect the secretary of the board.
a. Vice Mayor Perez contended that since under the Naga City charter, the Mayor was
the presiding officer of the municipal board, and R.A. No. 2259 (An Act Making
Elective The Offices of Mayor, Vice-Mayor And Councilors In Chartered Cities,
Regulating The Election In Such Cities And Fixing The Salaries And Tenure Of Such
Offices) subsequently created the position of Vice Mayor, who was made the
presiding officer of the municipal board, the Vice Mayor simply replaced the Mayor
as presiding officer thereof, and acquired all the rights and prerogatives of the
presiding officer under the charter, one of which is membership in the municipal
board.
i. The Naga City charter (R.A. No. 305) provides:

Constitution and organization of the Municipal Board;


Compensation of Members thereof. The Municipal Board
shall be the legislative body of the city and shall be
composed of the Mayor who shall be its presiding officer,
the city treasurer, the city engineer and five councilors
elected at large by popular vote during every election for
provincial and municipal officials in conformity with the
provisions of the Election Code.
ii. R.A. No. 2259 provides:

The position of Vice-Mayor is hereby created in chartered cities which at


present have no position for Vice-Mayor by provision of their corporate
charters: Provided, That the Vice-Mayor shall be the presiding officer of the
City Council or Municipal Board in all chartered cities.
b. However, the SC said that her contention suffers from several grave infirmities, as
follows:
i. There is nothing in the Naga City charter which provides that the Vice Mayor
is a member of the municipal board. The position of vice-mayor was not even
provided for, as the acting mayor designated to take over in case of
sickness, absence or other temporary incapacity of the Mayor was the City
Treasurer.
ii. The cases cited by Vice Mayor Perez (Quiem v. Seria, et al. and Bagasao, et
al. v. Tumangan) are not applicable, because in both cases, the charters of
the cities involved (Cagayan de Oro and Cabanatuan, respectively) explicitly
made the Vice Mayor a member of the municipal board, and thus entitled to
vote.
c. The Rules of Procedure of the 4 th and 5th municipal boards of Naga City exclude the
chairman from voting, except in case of a tie vote. Vice Mayor Perez contended that
the 6th municipal board (which she headed) amended this.
i. Paragraph (g), Rule III of the Rules of Procedure adopted by the 4 th and 5th
municipal board provides:

(g) The chairman cannot vote, except in case of a tie. However, a member of
the Board acting as chairman may vote as a member and as chairman to

break a tie.
ii. Vice Mayor Perez insisted that the 6 th municipal board had amended the
provision to read as follows:

(g) The Chairman, as member of the Board can vote and as a Presiding
Officer may vote again in case of a tie. In the same manner, a member of the
Board acting as chairman, may vote as a member and as Chairman, to break
the tie.
d. However, the SC held that the alleged amendment was a complete nullity.
i. The amendment presupposes that the chairman is a member of the Board,
an assumption that is without legal basis.
ii. The amendment was passed almost 2 months after the filing by the 4
councilors of their petition, i.e. pendente lite.
iii. Although on the date the amendment was passed, the restraining order
issued by the CA was in force, there was no quorum in the municipal board,
as the 4 councilors had walked out of the session hall.
e. The Vice Mayor of Naga City replaced the Mayor as presiding officer of the municipal
board, but did not replace him as a member thereof. The SC cited a whole host of
sources, all to the effect that the Vice Mayor in the municipal board possesses no
more than the prerogatives and authority of a presiding officer as such, and those
specified by law (to vote in case of tie and to sign all ordinances or resolutions and
measures directing the payment of money or creating liability enacted or adopted
by the Board.)
i. American Jurisprudences explanation of the mayors role as presiding officer
is analogous to that of the Vice Mayor in the present case.

When the statutes provide that the mayor shall preside at meetings of the
municipal council, he is a constituent part of the council for certain purposes,
and he sits and acts therein, but he is not in any proper sense a member of
the council, unless the statutes expressly so provide.
ii. McQuillins The Law of Municipal Corporations was cited in Bagasao, et al. v.
Tumangan.

The presiding officer is not entitled to vote by virtue of his office, but of
course if he is a member of the body he may vote as such member and he
may also vote the second time in case of a tie if the charter confers this
privilege.
xxx
Where the presiding officer or mayor is a member of the council or governing
body, unless expressly forbidden by law, it is generally held that he may not
only vote on all questions as a constituent member, but where the charter
gives him a casting vote in event of a tie may vote the second time.
However, he may be without vote except in the case of a tie as where he is
merely the executive or presiding officer and not a member. In such case, his
vote cannot be counted in determining whether or not there is a majority
vote, nor can he vote so as to make a tie and then give the casting vote. He
gives the casting vote, where he is empowered to do so, only in the event of
a tie vote.
iii. The American case of Palmer v. Claxton also referred to the mayor as
presiding officer, but was nonetheless analogous to the present case as well.

But where he [the mayor] is merely an executive or presiding officer and not

a member of the council, his vote cannot be counted in determining whether


or not there is a majority vote, nor can he vote so as to make a tie and then
give the casting vote. Thus, for example, in the election of officers the
casting vote may be given only where there is an equal division of votes
between the candidates.
f.

2. Judge
a.
b.

c.

Vice Mayor Perez cannot vote twice to elect the secretary of the municipal board.
The 4 concurring votes of the 4 councilors were sufficient for their chosen candidate
to win.
i. The SC reiterated that the Vice Mayor is NOT both the presiding officer and a
constituent member of the municipal board. Therefore, she cannot vote twice
(first to create a tie as a constituent member, and second, to break such tie
as presiding officer).
ii. There are 7 councilors in the municipal board of Naga City. 4 councilors,
therefore, would constitute a majority who, voting together for a single
person could elect a secretary of the municipal board.
iii. Since the 4 councilors manifested their desire to vote for a particular person,
and there are only 3 councilors left, a tie vote was out of the question. A 4-3
vote creates no tie and furnishes no occasion for Vice Mayor Perez to vote
de la Cruz had jurisdiction to issue the writ of prohibitory injunction.
Under Sec. 2236 of the Revised Administrative Code, courts are given authority to
determine the validity of municipal proceedings.
The present proceeding for prohibition has for its objective to prevent Vice Mayor
Perez from participating in the election of secretary of the board, chairmanship of
different committees, and in voting in other legislative matters, proposals, and
proceedings, other than to break a tie.
Vice Mayor Perez, in insisting on exercising the right to vote twice in the municipal
board, acted without jurisdiction and power to do so, and may be validly prevented
and restrained by a writ of prohibition.

Homeowners Association of the Philippines, Inc. and Vicente A. Rufino v. The


Municipal Board of the City of Manila, et. al.
30 August 1968
Concepcion,C.J.

SHORT VERSION: The Municipal Board of Manila passed an ordinance prohibiting the increase in
rent for residential lands and buildings, pursuant to a declared state of emergency in the matter
of housing accommodations in the city. The Court said that granting that the city government
had the power to declare a state of emergency, the ordinance would still be invalid because the
ordinance did not limit the effectivity of the regulation. The regulation should be co-terminous
with the emergency it seeks to overcome, and the effects of such emergency should not exist
longer than the emergency itself.

FACTS:

The Municipal Board passed Ordinance No. 4841, regulating rentals of lots and buildings
for residential purposes.

The whereas clause states: in view of the prevailing scarcity of lands and
buildings for residential purposes in the City of Manila and the present high cost of
living, a state of emergency in the matter of providing housing accommodations
especially for poor at reasonable rates is hereby declared to exist.
o Lessors of land are prohibited from increasing the rental to an amount in excess of
the proportion, percentage-wise, in the increase of the assessed value of the land
leased.
o Lessors of buildings are prohibited from increasing the rental to an amount in excess
of 10% per annum of the assessed value of the building and of the land on which it
stands.
The Homeowners Association and its president, Vicente Rufino, filed an action for
declaratory relief with the CFI of Manila.
The CFI ruled that the ordinance was ultra vires, unconstitutional, illegal and void ab
initio.
o The power to declare a state of emergency exclusively pertains to Congress.
o There is no longer any state of emergency which may justify the regulation of house
rentals.
Hence this appeal by the Mayor of Manila.
o

ISSUE:

3. Is the ordinance valid?


REASONING:
3. No
The Court did no deal with the municipalitys power to declare a state of emergency.
But, even if it had such power and a state of emergency really existed, the ordinance
would still be illegal and unconstitutional.
The authority of municipal corporations to regulate is essentially police power. The
exercise of police power is necessarily subject to a qualification, limitation or restriction
demanded by the regard, the respect and the obedience due to the prescriptions of
the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights.
Individual rights may be adversely affected by the exercise of police power to the
extent only that may fairly be required by the legitimate demands of public interest or
public welfare.
o If such demands are brought about by a state of emergency, the interference
upon individual rights must be co-extensive, co-equal or co-terminous with the
existence thereof.
o Since an emergency is by nature temporary, so must the regulations promulgated
therefor be.
As a consequence, a law or ordinance affecting the rights of individuals, as a means to
tide over a critical condition, to be valid and legal, must be for a definite period of
time, the length of which must be reasonable, in relation to the nature and duration
of the crisis it seeks to overcome.
The practical reason for the requirement that a statute passed to meet a given
emergency should limit the period of its effectivity is that otherwise, a new and
different law would be necessary to repeal it, and said period would be unlimited,
indefinite, negative and uncertain.
The Constitution providesauthority for Congress in times of war or other national
emergency to delegate to the President, for a limited period, and subject to
specified restrictions, the power to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out a
declared national policy.

In providing that the lifetime of the authority given must be for a limited period,
the framers were influence by the fact that powers were being delegated to the
Executive, as much as by the circumstance that, since the cause for the grant of
power was temporary, so should the grant be, for the effect cannot remain in
existence upon removal of its cause.
The power of municipal corporations delegated thereto by the national government
cannot escape the inherent limitations to which the latter, as the source of said
powers, is subject.
Then again, since our law on municipal corporations is patterned after that of the US,
the rule therein, to the effect that in a proper case, emergency legislation, limited in
time, may be enacted under the police power of a municipal corporation, should be
considered part of our legal system.
o

RULING: decision affirmed

Sps. Maria Luisa P. Morata and Julius Morata v. Sps. Victor Go and Flora C. Go and
Hon. Valeriano P. Tomol, Jr., Judge, CFI of Cebu, Branch XI
Escolin, J. 27 October 1983
SV:Sps. Go filed a complaint for a sum of money plus damages against Sps. Morata in the CFI of
Cebu. Sps. Morata filed a motion to dismiss citing as ground the failure to avail of the barangay
conciliation process required by PD 1508. The judge denied the motion to dismiss, holding that
barangay conciliation as a pre-condition to filing a case is only applicable to cases cognizable by
the inferior courts.
The SC disagreed and held that the barangay conciliation process is required in all cases except
those cases enumerated in Secs. 6 and 2 of PD 1508. Thus, the judge should have dismissed the
case.
FACTS:
-5 Aug 1982: Sps. Go filed in the CFI of Cebu a complaint against Sps. Morata for recovery of a
sum of money plus damages amounting to P49,400.00.
- Sps. Morata filed a motion to dismiss citing as grounds the failure of the complaint to allege
prior availment by the Sps. Go of the barangay conciliation process required by PD 1508 as well
as the absence of a certification by the Lupon or Pangkat Secretary that no conciliation or
settlement had been reached by the parties.
- 2 Sep 1982: Judge Tomol denied the motion to dismiss. He likewise denied an MR by the Sps.
Morata. He ruled that the pre-condition to the filing of a complaint in Sec. 6 of PD 1508 applied
only to cases cognizable by the inferior courts mentioned in Secs. 11 and 12.
- Sps. Morata appealed the case to the SC.
ISSUE/REASONING:
Is the referral to the Lupononly a pre-condition to the filing of a case in cases cognizable by the
inferior courts? NO.
1) Sec. 6 of PD 1508 reads:
SECTION 6. Conciliation pre-condition to filing of complaint. No complaint, petition,
action for proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the Lupon as provided in
Section 2 hereof shall be filed or instituted in court or any other government office for
adjudication unless there has been a confrontation of the parties before the Lupon

Chairman or the Pangkat and no conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified
by the Lupon Secretary or the Pangkat Secretary attested by the Lupon or Pangkat
Chairman, or unless the settlement has been repudiated. However, the parties may go
directly to court in the following cases:
[1] Where the accused is under detention;
[2] Where a person has otherwise been deprived of personal liberty calling for
habeas corpus proceedings;
[3] Actions coupled with provisional remedies such as preliminary injunction,
attachment, delivery of personal property and support pendente lite; and
[4] Where the action may otherwise be barred by the Statute of Limitations
Section 2 of the law defines the scope of authority of the Lupon thus:
SECTION 2. Subject matters for amicable settlement.The Lupon of each barangay shall
have authority to bring together the parties actually residing in the same city or
municipality for amicable settlement of all disputes except:
[1] Where one party is the government ,or any subdivision or instrumentality
thereof;
[2] Where one party is a public officer or employee, and the dispute relates to the
performance of his official functions;
[3] Offenses punishable by imprisonment exceeding 30 days, or a fine exceeding
P200.00;
[4] Offenses where there is no private offended party;
[5] Such other classes of disputes which the Prime Minister may in the interest of
justice determine upon recommendation of the Minister of Justice and the Minister
of Local Government.
Thus, except in cases enumerated in Secs. 2 and 6 of the law, the Lupon has authority to settle
amicably all types of disputes involving parties who actually reside in the same municipality. The
law makes no distinction whatsoever with respect to the classes of civil disputes that should be
compromised at the barangay level, in contradistinction to the limitation imposed upon the
Lupon by Sec.2 par. (3) as regards its authority over criminal cases.
By compelling the disputants to settle their differences through the intervention of the barangay
leader and other respected members of the barangay, the animosity generated by protracted
court litigations between members of the same political unit is avoided.
Likewise, the conciliation process at the barangay level is designed to discourage indiscriminate
filing of cases in court in order to decongest its clogged dockets and, in the process, enhance the
quality of justice.
To say that the authority of the Lupon is limited to cases exclusively cognizable by the inferior
courts is to lose sight of its objective. Worse, it would make the law a self-defeating one because,
then, a litigant need only bloat up his claim to place the case beyond the jurisdiction of the
inferior court and avoid the conciliation proceedings.
2) Respondent judge relied on Secs. 11, 12, and 14 of the law in holding that the conciliation
proceedings at the barangay level is only a pre-condition to filing in cases cognizable by the
inferior courts. The SC disagreed.
The mentioned sections deal with the nullification or execution of the settlement or arbitration
awards obtain at the barangay level. The jurisdiction to pass upon and resolve petitions for
nullification/enforcement of settlement/arbitration issued by the Lupon is conferred upon the city
and municipal courts. There is nothing in the said sections to justify the thesis that the mandated
conciliation process in other types of cases applies exclusively to said inferior courts.
3) Any doubt on the issue should be dispelled by Circular No. 22 issued by Chief Justice Enrique
M. Fernando. In said circular the Chief Justice issued a directive to desist from receiving

complaints, petitions, actions and proceedings in cases falling within the authority of said
Lupons to ALL judges.
The SC thus concluded that the conciliation process at the barangay level, prescribed by P.D.
1508 as a pre-condition for filing a complaint in court, is compulsory not only for cases falling
under the exclusive competence of the metropolitan and municipal trial courts, but for actions
cognizable by the regional trial courts as well.
PETITION GRANTED. RESPONDENT JUDGE RESTRAINED FROM CONDUCTING FRTHER
PROCEEDINGS EXCEPT TO DISMISS THE CASE.
077. Uy v Contreras53

53FELICIDAD UY, petitioner, vs. HON. MAXIMO C. CONTRERAS, Presiding Judge, Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 61, Makati, Metro
Manila; HON. MAURO M. CASTRO, Provincial Prosecutor of Pasig, Metro Manila; SUSANNA ATAYDE and WINNIE JAVIER, respondents.

Sept. 26, 1994


Davide, Jr. J
TOPIC: Local Govt Units; The Barangay, KatarungangPambarangay
SV:Uy subleased from Atayde of a floor of a building, operating a beauty parlor therein. When
the contract expired, Uy was not able to remove all her movable properties. When Uy sought to
withdraw her remaining properties, an argument arose between Uy and Atayde, resulting into a
scuffle in which respondents Atayde and Javier (Ataydes employee) were injured. Respondents
then filed a complaint with the barangay captain. During the date assigned for the confrontation,
only petitioner Uy appeared, so the barangay reset the confrontation to another date. Meanwhile
the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor filed 2 informations for slight physical injuries against Uy in
the MTC Makati. Uy filed a motion to dismiss said criminal cases for non-compliance with the
requirement on prior referral to the lupongtagapamayapa, but the MTC Judge Contreras denied
the same on the ground that the prescriptive period of the offense was already about to expire,
hence, the criminal cases could be tried in the regular courts without need of complying to the
requirement of prior referral to the lupon.
Court ruled that the Judge should have granted the motion for dismissal of the criminal cases on
the ground of prematurity. The revised katarungangpambarangay law, as contained in the LGC,
provides for new features, and one of the new features is the suspension of the prescriptive
periods of offenses during the pendency of the mediation, conciliation, or arbitration process. It is
apparent that none of the parties knew of the revisions of the law, as contained in the LGC, but it
is particularly distressing that Judge Contreras himself isnt aware of this. Since the conciliation
proceedings were reset to another date and the period of suspension applies, the offense could
not have been nearing prescription. Contrary to Judge Contreras reasoning, the respondents
would still have had enough time to file the criminal complaints even after the 60-day period of
suspension; hence, petitioners motion for dismissal should be granted.
FACTS:
Petitioner Uy subleased from Susanna Atayde the other half of the 2 ndflr of a building located
in Metro Manila, operating and maintaining therein a beauty parlor.
o The sublease contract expired, but Uy was not able to remove all her movable
properties.
An argument arose between Uy and Atayde when the former sought to withdraw from the
premises her remaining movable properties (cabinets, shelves, frames, a mirror, a shampoo
bowl, and an airconditioning casing).
o The argument degenerated into a scuffle between Uy and Atayde& her employees,
including respondent Javier.
Respondents had themselves medically examined for the alleged injuries inflicted on them by
Uy, and subsequently filed a complaint with the brgy captain of Valenzuela, Makati
o During the date assigned for the confrontation of the parties, only petitioner Uy
appeared, prompting the barangay to reset the same to another date.
Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Rizal filed 2 informations for slight physical injuries
against Uy with the MTC of Makati.
o Judge Contreras ordered Uy to submit her counter-affidavits.
o In her counter-affidavits, Uy alleged the prematurity of filing of the criminal cases for
failure to undergo conciliation proceedings. She also attached a certification by the
brgy captain of Valenzuela Makati that there was an ongoing conciliation between Uy
and Atayde.
Uy filed a motion to dismiss the Criminal Cases for non-compliance with the requirement on
prior referral to the LupongTagapamayapa.
[MTC] Judge Contreras denied the Motion to Dismiss.
o The offense was already about to prescribe; hence, the case should be allowed to be
filed in the regular courts despite non-compliance with the prior referral requirement.

Uy had already waived the right to reconciliation proceedings since the parties are
residents of different barangays.
MR was also denied, so Uy went to the SC by way of special civil action for certiorari
o

PARTIES ARGUMENTS
Petitioner insists that the Judge should have dismissed the case considering that the
respondents failed to comply with the mandatory requirement in PD 1508 (now embodied in
Sec. 412, LGC and further required in 1991 Revised Rule on Summary Procedure)
o SolGen agrees with the petition that the criminal cases should be dismissed for failure
to comply with the requirements in PD 1508
Respondents insist that the denial was proper because prior referral of the dispute to the
lupon is not applicable in this case since Uy and Javier are not residents of barangays in the
same city or municipality or of adjoining barangays in different cities or municipalities and
that referral to the lupon is not likewise required if the case may otherwise be barred by the
statute of limitations.
o Also, assuming that prior referral to the lupon applies to Atayde, she had nevertheless
substantially complied with the requirement.

ISSUE: Should the cases be dismissed? (YES)

ON THE LAW ON KATARUNGANG PAMBARANGAY


The law on the katarungangpambarangay was originally governed by PD 1508, but the LGC of
1991(specifically Chap. 7, Title I, Book 3) revised this, and as a consequence, PD 1508 was
expressly repealed pursuant to Sec. 534(b) LGC. (Pertinent Portions of the law specified in the
case included in the ANNEX)
The revised katarungangpambarangay law has at least 3 new significant features, to wit:
o FIRST. It increased the authority of the lupon in criminal offenses from those
punishable by imprisonment not exceeding thirty days or a fine not exceeding P200.00
in P.D. No. 1508 to those offenses punishable by imprisonment not exceeding one year
or a fine not exceeding P5,000.00
o SECOND. As to venue, it provides that disputes arising at the workplace where the
contending parties are employed or at the institution where such parties are enrolled
for study, shall be brought in the barangay where such workplace or institution is
located
o THIRD. It provides for the suspension of the prescriptive periods of offenses
during the pendency of the mediation, conciliation, or arbitration process.

According to Sec. 410 (c): Suspension of prescriptive period of offenses. While


the dispute is under mediation, conciliation, or arbitration, the prescriptive
periods for offenses and cause of action under existing laws shall be interrupted
upon filing of the complaint with the punong barangay. The prescriptive periods
shall resume upon receipt by the complainant of the complaint or the certificate
of repudiation or of the certification to file action issued by the lupon or pangkat
secretary54: Provided, however, That such interruption shall not exceed sixty (60)
days from the filing of the complaint with the punong barangay.
The changes brought about by the features are:
o FIRST, it broadened the jurisdiction of the lupon to the end goal that fewer cases would
reach the regular courts.
o SECOND, it also broadens the authority of the lupon in the sense that appropriate civil
and criminal cases arising from incidents occurring in workplaces or institutions of
learning shall be brought in the barangay where such workplace or institution is
located.This rule provides convenience to the parties
o THIRD, it maximizes the effectiveness of mediation, conciliation or arbitration process
because it discourages any intentional delay of the referral to a date close to the
expiration of the prescriptive period and then invoking the proximity of the expiration
as the reason for immediate recourse to the courts.
It also affords the parties sufficient time to cool off and face each other with less
emotionalism and more objectivity.

54Minor discussion: The underlined portion is ambiguous because what is referred to as receipt of the complaint is unclear. Under
Sec. 11 of the Rules and Regulations issued by the Secretary of Justice (see ANNEX), the phrase the complaint is not found, such
that the resumption of the running of the prescriptive period shall be from receipt by the complainant of the certificate of repudiation
or the certification to file action issued by the lupon or the pangkat secretary

As ruled in previous cases55, the conciliation process at the Barangay level a condition
precedent for the filing of a complaint in Court. Non-compliance with that condition precedent
could affect the sufficiency of the plaintiff's cause of action and make his complaint
vulnerable to dismissal on the ground of lack of cause of action or prematurity.
o This condition of non-compliance is analogous to non-exhaustion of administrative
remedies or lack of earnest efforts to compromise between family members. This
makes the case subject to dismissal.
o Non-compliance is not jurisdictional (Garces v CA). When the issue of non-compliance
of such procedure has been raised before the court, however, dismissal of the action is
proper.
IN THIS CASE

55Peregrina v Panis, citing Morata v Go and Vda de Borromeo v Pogoy

The parties had in mind only PD 1508, and the petitioner invoked Sec. 18 of the Revised Rules
of Summary Procedure56. None knew of the repeal of the decree by the LGC.
o The Office of the Provincial Prosecutor should have exerted enough diligence to inquire
if prior referral to the lupon was really necessary before filing the informations.
o Judge Contreras didnt do any better, and his total unawareness of the LGC (specifically
on the provisions on KatarungangPambarangay) is distressing. He should have taken
judicial notice thereof, since it is an official act of the legislative.
Judge Contreras should have applied the revised katarungangpambarangay law
under the LGC, and if he did, this case wouldnt have reached the SC.
Since respondents failed to appear at the first scheduled mediation, it was reset to another
date. No complaint for slight physical injuries could be validly filed with MTC Makati at any
time before such date.
o The filing of Criminal Cases was premature, and pursuant to Sec. 412 (a), Judge
Contreras should have granted the motion to dismiss. He cannot justify its denial under
PD 1508, Sec. 6, which states that the parties may go directly to court where the action
is about to prescribe because Sec. 410 (c) of the LGC provides for the automatic
suspension of the prescriptive period.
o Moreover, since the dispute was brought before the lupon of Brgy. Valenzuela, Makati,
private respondents are estopped from disavowing the authority of the body which
they themselves had sought. The act of trifling with the authority of the lupon by failing
to attend the mediation cannot be countenanced because it would weaken the brgy.
Conciliation system.
Granting arguendo that Uy did inflict the injuries, she would only be liable for slight physical
injuries considering that the medical certificates state that the injuries would heal in 9 days.
Such penalties are light and would prescribe in 2 months.
o This would mean that if no mediation could be had during the pendency of the period
of suspension, respondents would still have 56 days within which to file the separate
criminal complaints. Evidently, there is no basis for Judge Contreras to invoke the
exception under Sec. 412 (b) LGC
Judge Contreras reasoning that Uy had waived the right to reconciliation proceedings since
the parties are residents of different barangays is wrong.
o Uy did not waive the sameshe submitted to it and attended the scheduled
conciliation and invoked the pre-condition of referral to the lupon.
Judge Contreras acted with GAD in refusing to dismiss the criminal cases.

PETITION GRANTED.
ANNEX:
Sec. 408. Subject Matter for Amicable Settlement; Exception Thereto. The luppon of
each barangay shall have authority to bring together the parties actually residing in the same
city or municipality for amicable settlement of all disputes except:
(a) Where one party is the government or any subdivision or instrumentality thereof;
(b) Where one party is a public officer or employee, and the dispute relates to the performance
of his official functions;
(c) Offenses punishable by imprisonment exceeding one (1) year or a fine exceeding Five
thousand pesos (P5,000.00);
(d) Offenses where there is no private offended party;
56

Sec. 18. Referral to Lupon. Cases requiring referral to the Lupon for conciliation under the provisions of Presidential Decree No.
1508 where there is no showing of compliance with such requirement, shall be dismissed without prejudice, and may be revived
only after such requirement shall have been complied with. This provision shall not apply to criminal cases where the accused
was arrested without a warrant.

(e) Where the dispute involves real properties located in different cities or municipalities unless
the parties thereto agree to submit their differences to amicable settlement by an appropriate
lupon;
(f) Disputes involving parties who actually reside in barangays of different cities or municipalities,
except where such barangay units adjoin each other and the parties thereto agree to submit
their differences to amicable settlement by appropriate lupon;
(g) Such other classes of disputes which the President may determine in the interest of justice or
upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Justice
The court in which non-criminal cases not falling within the authority of the lupon under this
Code are filed may, at anytime before trial, motuproprio refer the case to the lupon concerned
for amicable settlement.
Sec. 409. Venue. (a) Disputes between persons actually residing in the same barangay shall
be brought for amicable settlement before the lupon of said barangay
(b) Those involving actual residents of different barangays within the same city or municipality
shall be brought in the barangay where the respondent or any of the respondents actually
resides, at the election of the complainant.
(c) All disputes involving real property or any interest therein shall be brought in the barangay
where the real property or the larger portion thereof is situated.
(d) Those arising at the workplace where the contending parties are employed or at the
institution where such parties are enrolled for study shall be brought in the barangay where such
workplace or institution is located.
Objections to venue shall be raised in the mediation proceedings before the punong barangay;
otherwise, the same shall be deemed waived. Any legal question which may confront the punong
barangay in resolving objections to venue herein referred to may be submitted to the Secretary
of Justice or his duly designated representative whose ruling thereon shall be binding
Sec. 410. Procedure for Amicable Settlement. . . .xxxxxxxxx
(c) Suspension of prescriptive period of offenses. While the dispute is under mediation,
conciliation, or arbitration, the prescriptive periods for offenses and cause of action under
existing laws shall be interrupted upon filing of the complaint with the punong barangay. The
prescriptive periods shall resume upon receipt by the complainant of the complaint or the
certificate of repudiation or of the certification to file action issued by the lupon or pangkat
secretary: Provided, however, That such interruption shall not exceed sixty (60) days from the
filing of the complaint with the punong barangay.
Sec. 412. Conciliation. (a) Pre-condition to filing of complaint in court. No complaint,
petition, action, or proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the lupon shall be filed
or instituted directly in court or any other government office for adjudication, unless there has
been a confrontation between the parties before the lupon chairman or the pangkat, and that no
conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by the lupon secretary or pangkat
secretary as attested to by the lupon chairman or pangkat chairman or unless the settlement has
been repudiated by the parties thereto.
(b) Where parties may go directly to court. The parties may go directly to court in the following
instances:
(1) Where the accused is under detention;
(2) Where a person has otherwise been deprived of personal liberty calling for habeas
corpus proceedings;
(3) Where actions are coupled with provisional remedies such as preliminary injunction,
attachment, delivery of personal property, and support pendente lite; and
(4) Where the action may otherwise be barred by the statute of limitations. xxxxxxxxx
Sec. 415. Appearance of Parties in Person. In all katarungangpambarangay proceedings,
the parties must appear in person without the assistance of counsel or representative, except for
minors and incompetents who may be assisted by their next-of-kin who are not lawyers

Sections 8 and 11 of Rule VI (Amicable Settlement of Disputes) thereof provide in part as follows:
SECTION 8. Failure to appear. a. Sanctions The complaint may be dismissed when
complainant, after due notice, refuses or willfully fails to appear without justifiable reason on the
date set for mediation, conciliation or arbitration. Such dismissal ordered by the Punong
Barangay/Pangkat Chairman after giving the complainant an opportunity to explain his nonappearance shall be certified to by the Lupon or Pangkat Secretary as the case may be, and shall
bar the complainant from seeking judicial recourse for the same cause of action as that
dismissed. xxxxxxxxx
Sec. 11. Suspension of prescriptive period of offenses and cause of action. The
prescriptive periods for offenses and causes of action under existing laws shall be interrupted
upon filing of the complaint with the Punong Barangay. The running of the prescriptive periods
shall resume upon receipts by the complainant of the certificate of repudiation or of the
certification to file action issued by the Lupon or Pangkat Secretary: Provided, however, that such
interruption shall not exceed sixty (60) days from the filing of the complaint with the Punong
Barangay. After the expiration of the aforesaid period of sixty days, the filing of the case in court
or government office for adjudication shall be subject to the provision of paragraph (b) (4) of Rule
VIII of these Rules
John L.H. Wingarts and Ofelia A. Wingarts v Judge Servillano M. Mejia
March 20, 1995
Regalado, J.

Short version: Judge Mejia was charged with incompetence, ignorance of the law and abuse of
authority for taking cognizance of the criminal case for grave threats and issuing a warrant of
arrest without prior barangay conciliation proceedings. The OCA and SC found him guilty. He
should know that under the LGC, under Article 408 and 412, offenses punishable by
imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding P5,000 require prior barangay
conciliation. Judges are directed to desist from improvidently receiving and acting on complaints,
petitions, actions or proceedings in cases falling within the authority of the Lupon
Tagapamayapa.

Facts:

This case involves 3 administrative complaints against Judge Mejia. Only the first one involves
the Barangay.
All 3 complaints are an offshoot of 3 criminal cases decided by Judge Mejia and involving the
Wingarts and Col. Rodulfo Munar.
The first 2 criminal cases were initiated by Col. Munar against Johan Wingarts for malicious
mischief and grave threats.The 3rd criminal case was a counter-charge by Wingart against Col.
Munar for usurpation of authority.

Case 1: Incompetence, ignorance of the law and abuse of authority

The Wingarts charge Judge Mejia with incompetence, ignorance of the law and abuse of
authority, for taking cognizance of the Criminal Case for grave threats and for issuing a
warrant of arrest against Wingarts despite lack of prior barangay conciliation.
The said case was later dismissed and indorsed to the barangay official concerned.
Judge Mejia claims that he took cognizance of the case in the belief that there had been
substantial compliance with the requirements of the Katarungang Pambarangay Law since a
certification of the barangay captain regarding a confrontation of the parties, the fact that no
amicable settlement was reached by them, and that he was endorsing the filing of the case in
court, had been duly submitted to him.
The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) found that if Judge Mejia had exercised greater
prudence, he would have known that under Article 408 (c) of the LGC, offenses punishable by
imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding P5,000 require prior barangay
conciliation. Grave threats falls under that category.

Also, under Sec. 41257, he should have remanded the case to the lupon instead of taking
cognizance of the case and prematurely issuing the warrant of arrest.
However, his acts do not seem to be tainted with malice or evil intent. Based on the records,
he dismissed the case upon motion of the defense. Still, administrative sanction is warranted
against Judge Mejia.
SC RULING
o Although there is no clear proof of malice, bad faith, bias or partiality on his part, Judge
Mejia should have exercised the requisite prudence, especially since it was a criminal
case where personal liberty was involved.
o He should have carefully examined all relevant facts and issues and avoided the
improvident issuance of the warrant of arrest without a circumspect review of the case.
o The present controversy could have been avoided had he kept faith with the injunction
that a member of the bench must continuously keep himself abreast of legal and
jurisprudential developments because the learning process in law never ceases.
o Even if he subsequently recalled the warrant of arrest, or prevented the arrest, such will
mitigate but will not free him from the charge of incompetence and ignorance of the law.
o Judges are directed to desist from improvidently receiving and acting on complaints,
petitions, actions or proceedings in cases falling within the authority of the Lupon
Tagapamayapa.
o Proceedings before the lupon are a precondition to the filing of any action or proceeding
in court or other government office. Such an initiatory pleading, if filed without
compliance with the precondition, may be dismissed on motion of any interested party
on the ground that it fails to state a cause of action.

Case 2: Malicious delay in the administration of justice

Judge Mejia is charged with malicious delay because the case allegedly dragged on for 1 year
and 4 months.
Judge Mejia claims that the proceedings were continuous and were decided1 month and 3
days after it was submitted for decision.
The OCA found that while there was indeed a delay, such delay does not appear to be
malicious nor deliberate. The postponements were all on account of the absence or
unavailability of the fiscal and/or the defense counsel. Judge Mejia had no alternative but to
grant the postponements if only to better serve the ends of justice.
There was a delay not in rendering of the decision, but in the hearing of the case, and for
excusable grounds.
SC RULING
o Agree with the OCA that there was no malice or bad faith.
o Judge Mejia should not be blamed by the delays caused by the litigants.
o However, SC reminds us that judges should adopt measures to prevent unnecessary
delays in the disposition of their cases.

Case 3: Rendering an unjust decision

57 Sec. 412. CONCILIATION (a) Precondition to filing of Complaint in Court No complaint, petition, action or
proceeding involving any matter within the authority of the lupon shall be filled (SIC) or instituted directly in court
or any other government office for adjudication unless there has been a confrontation between the parties before
the lupon chairman or the pangkat, and that no conciliation or settlement has been reached as certified by the
lupon secretary or pangkat secretary as attested to by the lupon or pangkat chairman or unless the settlement has
been repudiated by the parties thereto.

Wingarts accused Judge Mejia of rendering an unjust decision in the criminal case against Col.
Munar.
o Allegedly, Capt. Manuel and Col. Munar, both military lawyers, violated the prohibition
against their appearing in civil courts without the necessary prohibition.
Judge Mejia acquitted them, holding that Col. Rodulfo Munar did not exercise the functions of
the fiscal or public prosecutor, but acted in his capacity as the offended party and private
counsel (as the complainant in the case against the Wingarts).
Judge Mejia claims that this judgment was a result of his honest findings and conclusion
based on the evidence and the law. He reiterated that due process was observed and the
case was prosecuted to the fullest extent.
The OCA found that Judge has not knowingly rendered an unjust judgment. He does not
appear to have been motivated by an evil or corrupt motive to deliberately perpetuate an
injustice.
SC RULING
o Again agrees with OCA.
o An unjust judgment is one which is contrary to law or is not supported by evidence, or
both. The source of an unjust judgment may be error or ill will. But there is no liability for
a mere error.
o A judicial officer, when required to exercise his judgment or discretion, is not liable
criminally for any error which he commits, provided he acts in good faith.
o Complainants here fail to prove that Judge Mejia knew that his challenged judgment is
unjust, assuming that it was.

Judge Mejia ordered to pay a fine of P2,000 plus a STERN WARNING.

CARLITO CORPUZ v COURT OF APPEALS


19 June 1997
Romero, ponente
petition for review of a Court of Appeals decision
SHORT VERSION:
Corpuz filed an unlawful detainer case against Alvarado, who raised the defenses that there was
a pending ownership question over the property in the NHA, and the dispute was not referred to
the lupon. The SC ruled that the MTC had exclusive jurisdiction over ejectment cases, and that
referral to the lupon was unnecessary.
FACTS:
Carlito Corpuz filed an action for unlawful detainer against Juanito Alvarado with the
Manila MTC.
o This was to recover possession of the room Alvarado occupied, which Corpuzs
children allegedly needed for their own use.
o Both Corpuz and Alvarado were two of the tenants of Lorenzo Barredo, who decided
to sell his property to the tenants.
But because they didnt have money, Alvarado and the other lessees
executed an affidavit of waiver granting Narredo the right to sell his house to
any person who could buy it. Barredo sold the house to Corpuz to P37,500. So
now there was a tenancy relationship between Corpuz and Alvarado.
o Corpuz earlier sent a written notice demanding that Alvarado vacate the room.
o In his answer, Alvarado raised two defenses:

(1) the alleged "Affidavit of Waiver" executed between him and Barredo was a
forgery;
(2) the dispute was not referred to the Lupong Tagapayapa.
o The MTC ordered Alvarado to vacate the room.
The RTC reversed the MTC decision on the ff grounds:
o that the sale between Barredo and Corpuz was the subject of a controversy
pending before the NHA that must be resolved first by it;
o the affidavit of waiver was a forgery.
The CA affirmed the RTC decision.

ISSUES:
should the unlawful detainer suit be suspended due to the pending case in the NHA? NO
should the case first be referred to the lupong tagapamayapa? NO
REASONING:
The MTC had exclusive jurisdiction over ejectment cases.
o The only issue to be resolved in forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases is the
physical or material possession over the real property, that is, possession de facto.
Refugia v CA: inferior courts are now conditionally vested with adjudicatory power over the
issue of title or ownership raised by the parties in an ejectment suit.
o Since the present case involved possession and ownership, Refugia applied.
Wilmor Auto Supply Construction v CA: Suits for annulment of sale, or title, or document
affecting property do not abate ejectment actions respecting the same property.
Alvarados defense re the lupon tagamayapa was stated in a single general short sentence
in his answer.
o Dui v Court of Appeals: failure of a party to specifically allege the fact that there was
no compliance with the Barangay conciliation procedure constitutes a waiver of that
defense.
o Alvarado failed to state a reason or explanation to support his allegation.
o The proceeding in PD 1508 wasnt a jurisdictional requirement and non-compliance
therewith couldnt affect the jurisdiction the lower court acquired over the subject
matter.
RULING: petition granted; CA decision reversed; RTC decision reinstated.
Bonifacio Law Office, represented by Atty. Ricardo Salomon, Jr. (Complainant) vs
Judge Reynaldo Bellosillo, Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 34, Quezon City
(Respondent)

Date: December 16, 2002


Ponente: :Panganiban, J.

Short Version:
Facts: Atty. Salomon filed an ejectment case. Attached to the compliant is a copy of the
Certificate to File Action issued by the Punong Barangay attesting that barangay conciliation
proceedings were held with regard to the controversy. Judge Bellosillo insisted on referring the
case back to the barangay for conciliation proceedings. Atty. Salomon filed an administrative
case against the judge saying that the latter with ignorance of the law. Judge Bellosillo argued

the Certificate to File Action was prematurely issued.


Held: The Certificate was prematurely issued. The records show that no personal confrontation
before a duly constituted Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo took place. The barangay failed to exert
enough effort to conciliate between the parties and to settle the case before it, as required by
Sec 410(b) of the LGC and by Administrative Circular No. 14-93. Thus, the Judge's referral of the
case to the barangay cannot be equated with gross ignorance of the law.

Facts:
- In a letter-complaint dated August 28, 1997, Atty Salomon charged MTC Judge Bellosillo with
ignorance of the law, grave abuse of discretion, and obvious partiality.
- Factual antecedents as found by the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA):
- The administrative case was filed in connection with an ejectment entitled Ricardo M.
Salomon, Jr. vs. Spouses Severino Fulgencio.

- In an Order dated April 2, 1996, Judge Bellosillo referred the case back to the barangay for
conciliation proceedings despite the fact that the complaint alleged that the matter had
already been referred to the barangay and that a copy of the Certificate to File Motion 58 was
attached to the complaint.
- Following the advice of the clerk of court, Atty. Salomon filed a compliance attaching a copy
of his complaint filed before the barangay and the minutes of the proceedings held.
- No action was taken by the Judge despite the fact that the case falls under the Rules on
Summary Procedure. Judge Bellosillo insisted that the case be referred back to the barangay.
- It was only after a year since the complaint was filed that the Judge ordered that summons
be served on the defendants in the ejectment case.
- The defendants failed to file an Answer. Atty. Salomon filed a motion to render judgment in
accordance with the Rules on Summary Procedure. Instead of rendering judgment, the Judge
required the defendants to common on the motion.
- Defense of Judge Bellosillo:
- It is a mandatory duty of the Barangay Chairman to set the meeting of the parties for the
constitution of the Pangkat upon failure of parties to amicably settle otherwise there is no
compliance with the requirements of PD 1508, now Sec 412 of the LGC.
- In the case of Atty Salomon, there was premature issuance of the Certificate to File Action
considering that there is no proof to show that the Pangkat was duly constituted before the
said certificate was issued.
- The OCA found Judge Bellosillo either ignorant or negligent in referring the case back to the
barangay despite a Certificate to File Action. It also faulted the Judge for disregarding the Rules
on Summary Procedure.

Issue/Reasoning:
Issue: Whether Certificate to File Action was prematurely issue (Yes)
- The Certificate was improperly and prematurely issued. The Certificate clearly shows that no
personal confrontation before a duly constituted Pangkat ng Tagapagkasundo took place. The
Judges position that the Pangkat was not constituted, and that no face to face conciliation had
taken place is substantiated by the Minutes submitted by Atty. Salomon. Evidently, the
complainant failed to complete the barangay conciliation proceedings.
-The Complaint before the barangay was dated February 16, 1996. The hearing was scheduled
for February 29. And yet, the Certification to File Action was issued on March 1, less than 15 days
after the first scheduled hearing.

58 Maybe this should be 'Action' rather than 'Motion'. Per 'yan yung nasa Lawphil at SC website.

- The barangay failed to exert enough effort to conciliate between the parties and to settle the
case before it, as required by Sec 410(b) of the LGC 59, and by Administrative Circular No. 14-9360.
The Judge was not incorrect in remanding the case. He cannot be faulted for seeking to promote
the objectives of barangay conciliation. His referral to the barangay cannot be equated with
gross ignorance of the law, or grave abuse of discretion, or obvious partiality.

Issue: Whether the Judge disregarded the Rules on Summary Procedure (Yes)
- Sec 18 of the Rules on Summary Procedure provides that cases requiring referral for conciliation
may be revived only after the conciliation has been complied with. In this case, the Judge did not
insist on a strict compliance with the mandated barangay proceedings, and proceeded with the
case by issuing summons to the defendants. Nevertheless, the judges error is judicial in nature
and cannot be corrected in administrative proceedings.
- At any rate, because the Judge chose to continue with the proceedings, and because the
defendant failed to answer on time, he should have rendered judgment within 30 days from the
expiration of the period to file an answer. This is required by Sec 6 of the Rules on Summary
Procedure.
- The OCA correctly found:
The express language of the law states that when an Answer has not been filed within the
reglementary period, the judge, motu proprio, or on motion shall render judgment... By calling
for a preliminary conference and directing the defendants to submit their Comment... the
Judge went beyond the bounds set by the law... after the defendants had submitted their
Comment... he merely ordered that the case be deemed submitted for decision. ...[which] is
a far cry from rendition of judgment...
- The Judge rendered judgment on January 7, 1998, almost a year from the time the case had
been deemed submitted. Unacceptable is his explanation that he waited for the defendants to
avail themselves of their right to appeal the Order deeming the case submitted. He has no duty
to wait; the law mandates him to act and decide the case promptly.
- The failure of a judge to decide cases with dispatch constitutes gross inefficiency and warrants
the imposition of administrative sanctions.
59 Mediation by lupon chairman. Upon receipt of the complaint, the lupon chairman shall within the next working day summon the
respondent(s), with notice to the complainant(s) for them and their witnesses to appear before him for a mediation of their conflicting interests. If
he fails in his mediation effort within fifteen (15) days from the first meeting of the parties before him, he shall forthwith set a date for the
constitution of the pangkat in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.

60 Pertinent portions of which:

In order that the laudable purpose of the law may not be subverted... by indiscriminate, improper and/or
premature issuance of certifications to file actions... the following guidelines are hereby issued:
II. 4. If mediation or conciliation efforts before the Punong Barangay proved unsuccessful... the Punong Barangay shall not cause the
issuance... of a certification to file action, because it is now mandatory for him to constitute the Pangkat before whom mediation... be held.
III. All complaints... filed... to your sala/branch... shall be carefully read... to determine if there has been compliance with prior Barangay
conciliation procedure... as a pre-condition to judicial action, particularly whether the certification to file action... comply with the requirements...
IV. A case filed in court without compliance with prior Barangay conciliation... the court may suspend proceedings... and refer the case
motu proprio to the appropriate Barangay authority.

- Undue delay in rendering a decision constitutes a less serious charge under Sec 9, Rule 140,
and can result to a fine of more than P10,000 but not exceeding P20,000. The Court took note
that there was no showing of malice, corrupt motive or improper consideration on the part of the
Judge.

Dispositive:
Judge Bellosillo is found guilty of undue delay in rendering a decision and is ordered to pay a fine
of P11,000 to be taken from his retirement benefits.

Abraham L. Mendova v. Crisanto B. Afable, Presiding Judge, Municipal Circuit Trial


Court, San Julian-Sulat, Eastern Samar
Sandoval-Gutierrez, J. 4 December 2002
SV: Mendova filed with the Office of the Barangay Chairman of Poblacion San Julian, Eastern
Samar a complaint for slight physical injuries against Robert Palada. Later on he filed a criminal
complaint for slight physical injuries against Palada in the MCTC of San Julian-Sulat. Judge Afable
dismissed the criminal case on the ground of prescription, the criminal action having been
instituted more than 2 months after the commission of the alleged light offense. Mendova
thereafter filed an administrative complaint against Judge Afable alleging gross ignorance of the
law. He argues that the Judge failed to apply Sec.410(c) of the LGC of 1991 which provided that
the filing of the complaint with the Barangay Chairman interrupted the prescription period.
The SC dismissed the administrative complaint. It ruled that exhaustion of judicial remedies is a
pre-requisite before an administrative action may be filed against a judge. Mendova failed to do
so, he did not even file a MR. The Court also said that the prescription period, while interrupted
by the proceedings at the barangay level, starts to run again upon receipt by the complainant of
the Certification to File Action. Here, Mendova did not present any proof as to when he received
such Certification.
FACTS:
- 1 Jul 1999: Mendova, in an affidavit-complaint, charged Judge Afable with ignorance of the law
relative to a criminal case for slight physical injuries (People v. Palada).
- Mendova alleged that on 18 Feb 1998, he filed with the Office of the Barangay Chairman of
Poblacion San Julian, Eastern Samar a complaint for slight physical injuries against Robert Palada.
a) Barangay Chairman Ronie D. Quinta confirmed such fact in his Certification dated 19
Apr 1999
b) Pangkat Chairman Eufemia L. Cabago also certified in an undated Minutes in Settling
Disputes that the case was set for hearing on March 16, 22 and 29, 1998 but the
parties failed to reach an amicable settlement
- 4 May 1998: Mendova filed with the MCTC of San Julian-Sulat, Eastern Samar a complaint for
slight physical injuries against Palada.
- 3 Nov 1998: Judge Afable dismissed the case on the ground of prescription:
a) The alleged offense took place on 15 Feb 1998. The case was filed more than 2 months
after the date of commission of the alleged offense on 4 May 1988.
b) Slight physical injuries is a light offense, the prescription period for which is 2 months
according to Art. 90 RPC.
c) The offense having prescribed, criminal liability is extinguished according to Art. 89
RPC

- 7 Jul 1999: Mendova filed with the Office of the Court Administrator and administrative
complaint against Judge Afable alleging that the judge showed his ignorance of the law in
dismissing the case and his failure to apply Sec. 410(c) of RA 7160 (LGC of 1991).
Section 410. Procedure for Amicable Settlement.
(c) Suspension of prescriptive period of offenses. While the dispute is under
mediation, conciliation or arbitration, the prescriptive periods for offenses and causes of
action under existing laws shall be interrupted upon filing of the complaint with the
Punong Barangay. The prescriptive periods shall resume upon receipt by the
complainant of the complaint or the certificate of repudiation or of the certification
to file actionissued by the Lupon or Pangkat Secretary: Provided, however, That such
interruption shall not exceed sixty (60) days from the filing of the complaint with the
punong barangay."
ISSUE/REASONING:
Is Judge Afable administratively liable for dismissing the criminal case on the ground of
prescription? NO.
1) An administrative complaint is not the appropriate remedy for every irregular or erroneous
order or decision issued by a judge where a judicial remedy is available, such as Mr or appeal.
a) if subsequent developments prove the judges challenged act to be correct, there
would be no occasion to proceed against him at all.
b) To hold a judge administratively accountable for every erroneous ruling/decision would
be nothing short of harassment and would make his position doubly unbearable.
c) It is only where the error is so gross, deliberate and malicious or incurred with evident
bad faith that administrative sanctions may be imposed against the erring judge.
In the case of Flores v. Abesamis, the SC held:
a) Disciplinary proceedings and criminal actions against Judges are not complementary or
suppletory of, nor a substitute for judicial remedies whether ordinary (ex: MR, appeal)
or extraordinary (ex: certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, inhibition change of venue).
b) Exhaustion of judicial remedies are pre-requisites for the taking of other measures
against the persons of the judges concerned.
c) Prosecution of a judge can be had only if there be a final declaration by a competent
court in some appropriate proceeding of the manifestly unjust character of the
challenged judgment or order, and also evidence of malice or bad faith, ignorance or
inexcusable negligence, on the part of the judge in rendering said judgment or order.
In the present case, Mendova did not bother at all to file a MR of Judge Afables decision
dismissing the criminal case. No reason is given why he failed to do so. His instant administrative
complaint is therefore premature.
2) Pursuant to Sec. 410(c) of the LGC of 1991, the filing of a complaint with the Office of the
Barangay Chairman interrupted the prescriptive period. It started to run again upon receipt by
the complainant of the Certification to File Action issued by the Pangkat Secretary.
In this case, the records do not show when Mendova received the Barangay Certification to File
Action. Mendova failed to present proof of his receipt of the Barangay Certification to File Action,
all he submitted was an undated certification that the case was set for hearing before the
barangay but the parties failed to reach an amicable settlement.
3) While Judge Afable admitted his mistake, the same may not be considered ignorance of the
law. If at all, it can only be an error of judgment.
The complaint does not allege any bad faith or malice on the part of Judge Afable when he
dismissed the criminal case either.

ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT DISMISSED.


Associated Labor Unions (ALU)-TUCP, in behalf of its members at AMS Farming
Corporation (Petitioner) vs
Voluntary Arbitrator Rosalina Letrondo-Montejo, and AMS Farming Corporation
(Respondents)

Date: October 14, 1994


Ponente: Mendoza, J.

Short Version:
Facts: ALU-TUCP and AMS entered into a CBA which contained a provision on holiday pay. It
stated that local elections are considered holidays. The President of the Philippines declared
December 4, 1992 as a special day for holding SK elections. Consequently, the members of ALUTUCP filed claims for holiday pay against AMS for the said date. The Volutary Arbitrator ruled that
the said date is not considered as a holiday within the contemplation of the CBA saying that local
elections contemplate the voting of local leaders such as governors, mayors, and members of
the sanggunian, and not the voting of SK members who not voted by everyone but only by the
youth.
Held: The LGC makes the SK part of the structure of the local government. As such, voting for its
members are considered local elections. Thus, AMS is liable to pay holiday pay on the date of the
SK elections.

Facts:
- On December 27, 1990, ALU-TUCP and AMS Farming Corporation entered into a five-year
Collective Bargaining Agreement beginning November 1, 1990 and on October 31, 1995. It
covers the regular daily-paid rank-and-file employees of AMS Farming in Davao del Norte.

- Art VII, Sec 3 of the CBA61 is the provision on holiday pay.


- The President of the Philippines declared December 4, 1992 a "special day" for the holding of
election for Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) throughout the nation. Employees covered by the CBA
filed claims for the payment of holiday pay for that day. AMS Farming, however, refused on the
ground that December 4, 1992 was not a regular holiday within the contemplation of the CBA.
- The matter was submitted to voluntary arbitration.
- The voluntary arbitrator dismissed the claim for holiday pay. She ruled that the term 'local
election' used in the CBA means the election by the people of their local leaders like the
governors, mayors, members of the provincial and municipal councils, and barangay officials,
and that SK elections are not included since not everybody, but only qualified youthful voters
vote in the said election.
- ALU-TUCP filed the present petition for certiorari with the SC.

Issue/Reasoning:
Issue: Whether the SK election is considered a local election within the contemplation of the CBA
(Yes. SK is part of the local government structure, thus the election is considered a local
election.)
- SK is part of the local government structure. The LGC creates in every barangay a Sangguniang
Kabataan composed of a chairman, 7 members, a secretary and a treasurer (Sec 423[a]). The
chairman and the 7 members are elected by the Katipunan ng Kabataan, which is composed of
citizens residing in the barangay for at least 6 months, who are between the ages of 15 and 21,
and who are registered as members (Sec 424). The chairman of the SK is an ex officio member of
the Sangguniang Baranggay (Sec 430). The President of the Pederasyon ng mga Sangguniang
Kabataan, which is imposed of the SK chairmen of the SKs of the barangays in the province, city,
or municipality, is an ex officio member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sangguniang
Panlungsod, and Sangguniang Bayan (Sec 438[a]).
- Hence, SK elections are considered as 'local election' within the meaning of the CBA. Thus, the
employees are entitled to holiday pay on that day.

61 New Year, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Araw ng Kagitingan, 1st of May, 12th of June, Araw ng Dabaw, 4th of July, Last Sunday of August,
1st November, 30th of November, 25th of December, 30th of December and the days designated by law for holding referendum and
local/national election shall be considered paid regular holidays. Consequently, they shall receive their basic pay even if they do not work on
those days. Any employee required to work on these holidays shall be paid at last TWO HUNDRED PERCENT (200%) of his daily wage.
Covered employees performing overtime work on these days shall be entitled to another THIRTY PERCENT (30%) overtime pay. It is
understood however, that any covered employee who shall be absent for more than one day immediately preceding the paid holiday shall not be
entitled to the holiday pay.

- December 4, 1992 was announced as a nonworking holiday. It was declared a special day for
SK elections. A special day is a special holiday, as provided in the Administrative Code 62.
- The fact that only the youth takes part in the SK election does not make such it any less a
regular local election. The Constitution provides for the sectoral representatives in Congress.
Only voters belonging to the relevant sectors can take part in the election of their
representatives. Yet it cannot be denied that such election is a regular national election, and is a
holiday.

62 Bk I, Chap 7, Sec 26(2)

- The CBA provision merely reiterates the Labor Code provision on paid holidays 63.

Dispositive:
VA decision is set aside. Respondent is ordered to pay holiday pay for December 4, 1992.
Jose M. Mercado v Board of Election Supervisors of the Municipality of Ibaan, Batangas, DILG,
Crisanto P. Pangilinan and Hon. Conrado R. Antona
April 6, 1995
Davide, Jr., J.

Short version: Mercado was first proclaimed winner in the SK elections. Upon certain allegations
of his rival, the Board of Election Supervisors (BES) ordered the ballot boxes to be reopened and
there was a recount, which resulted in his rival Pangilinan being proclaimed winner. He filed a
petition for certiorari and mandamus with the SC, which dismissed the petition for lack of
jurisdiction, holding that the Board of Election Supervisors was the final arbiter of election
controversies within its level. The SC held that Resolution No. 2499, which created the BES, does
not contravene the Omnibus Election Code and the Constitution because they refer to elective
barangay officials. The SK officals are not elective barangay officials, despite the fact that the
Chairman is an ex-officio member of the sangguniang barangay. However, the BES decision
should be reviewable by the RTC.

Facts:

Mercado was proclaimed winner in the 1992 election for chairman of the
SanggunianKabataan (SK) of Barangay, Mabalor, Ibaan, Batangas. The proclamation was
made by the Board of Election Tellers (BET) acting as the Board of Canvassers. The tally
showed that Mercado won by 1 vote against his rival Pangilinan.
Pangilinan filed a formal protest with the Board of Election Supervisors (BES), questioning the
results of the election.
o He alleged that during the counting, the BET chairman was drinking gin and Coke and
had invalidated some of the votes without consulting the other board members.
The BES ordered the reopening of the ballot box and a recount of the votes.
The recount reversed the earlier tally to 51-49 in favor of Pangilinan, who was proclaimed the
duly elected SK Chairman by the BES.
Mercado filed with the RTC a petition for certiorari and mandamus, praying for the annulment
of Pangilinans proclamation, and to compel the DILG to recognize him as the duly elected SK
Chairman.

63 Art. 94. Right to holiday pay.

xxx

(c) As used in this Article, "holiday" includes... the day designated by law for holding a general election.

He assailed the jurisdiction of the BES to act on the protest of Pangilinan, on the ground
that it should have been filed with the MeTC or MuTC as an election protest, under
Section 252 of the Omnibus Election Code.
o Granting that the BES has jurisdiction, the grounds raised by Pangilinan are deemed
waived because he did not invoke them at the level of the BET, and
o The BES acted with grave abuse of discretion in ordering the reopening of the ballot box
and the recount without giving Mercado an opportunity to be heard.
The RTC dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction. It held that there was no law by which it
could act on the matters raised in Mercado's petition since Resolution No. 2499 of the
COMELEC did not vest in the RTC jurisdiction over controversies affecting
SangguniangKabataan elections. The COMELEC instead constituted the BES, which is under
COMELEC jurisdiction , as the final arbiter of all election controversies within its level.
Mercado filed an MR, arguing that the RTC had jurisdiction because
o One mode of seeking judicial review is through the writ of certiorari which may be issued
by the RTC under B.P. Blg. 129;
o Under its Resolutions Nos. 2499 and 2520, the COMELEC was to provide only technical
assistance in the conduct of the SK election and could not grant any relief from the
action of the BES;
o Under Resolution No. 2499, no appeal to a higher administrative level was allowed from
the action of the BES and
o The principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies did not apply to the case at bar,
the jurisdictional and due process issues raised being legal in nature
The RTC also denied the MR, holding that the reopening of the ballot box and the recounting
were within the authority of the BES, and that Mercado should have gone to the DILG which
has direct control and supervision of the SK elections.
Mercado went to the SC through petition for review under Rule 45, raising the same
arguments regarding the competence of the BES and his right to due process.
o He also claims that Resolution No. 2499 is null and void because
It prescribes a separate set of rules for the election of the SK Chairman different
from and inconsistent with that set forth in the Omnibus Election Code, and
It constitutes a total, absolute, and complete abdication by the COMELEC of its
constitutionally and statutorily mandated duty to enforce and administer all
election laws as provided for in Section 2 (1), Article IX-C of the Constitution;
Section 52, Article VIII of the Omnibus Election Code; and Section 2, Chapter 1,
Subtitle C, Title I, Book V of the 1987 Administrative Code.
o

Issue: Is the BES competent to take cognizance of the election protest? YES 64

64 To the best of my understanding, this is how the case was decided. But its quite confusing so that might be
wrong.

Ratio:
1) It was initially organized by P.D. No. 684 in 1975 as the Kabataang Barangay (KB), a youth
organization composed of all barangay residents who were less than 18 years of age which
aims to provide its members with the opportunity to express their views and opinions on
issues of transcendental importance. It was led by a barangay youth chairman together with
six barangay youth leaders, who should at least be 15 years of age or over but less than 18.
2) The then Secretary of Local Government and Community Development was authorized to
promulgate the implementing rules and regulations.
3) Pursuant to P.D. No. 1191, the PambansangKatipunanngKabataang Barangay ngPilipinas was
constituted as "a body corporate" with "the powers and attributes of a corporation" and
placed directly under the Office of the President. Its affairs were to be administered by the
Executive Committee which was empowered to promulgate rules and regulations governing
the KB.
4) This youth organization was recognized in the LGC of 1983 which raised the maximum age
requirement of the members from 18 to 21.
5) The LGC of 1991 changed the KB to the SK. It remains as a youth organization in every
barangay, composed of a chairman and seven members to be elected by the
katipunanngkabataan, and the secretary and the treasurer to be appointed by the SK
chairman with the concurrence of the SK.
6) The katipunanngkabataan is composed of all citizens of the Philippines actually residing in the
barangay for at least six months who are 15 but not more than 21 and who are duly
registered in the list of the SK or in the official barangay list in the custody of the barangay
secretary.
7) The chairman, upon assumption of office, shall automatically become an ex-officio member of
the sangguniang barangay. Under subparagraph (5), paragraph (e) Article 203, Rule XXVII of
the IRR of the LGC, the conduct and administration of the elections for sangguniangkabataan
members shall be governed by the rules promulgated by the COMELEC.
8) Pursuant to this, the COMELEC promulgated Resolution No. 2499, providing for the BES and
BET. The BES shall have direct general supervision in the conduct of elections for
sangguniangkabataan in the barangay and shall act as final arbiter in the resolution of all
election protests.
a. Mercado contends that Resolution No. 2499 is illegal and unconstitutional because it
makes the BES the final arbiter of election contests involving the SK in contravention of
the Omnibus Election Code (which vests jurisdiction in the MeTC or MuTC) and in
contravention of Section 2, Article IX-C of the Constitution which lodges on such courts
exclusive original jurisdiction over contests involving elective barangay officials.
9) However, Mercado is wrong because it assumes that the SK election is an election involving
elective barangay officials. IT IS NOT, and so it is not covered by such laws.
10)
The Omnibus Election Code and the Constitution refer to the elective barangay officials
under the LGC of 1983 which was then in force. The officials there are the punong barangay
and the 6 sangguniangbayan members.
a. The MeTC and MuTC had exclusive original jurisdiction over contests relating to their
election. Their decision was appealable to the RTC.
11)
The proceedings in the Constitutional Commission show that contests involving the
election of SK officials do not fall within Section 252 of the Omnibus Election Code and par. 2,
Section 2, Article IX-C of the Constituion.
12)
No law made the SK chairman an elective barangay official. His being an ex-officio
member of the sangguniang barangay does not make him one for the law specifically
provides who are its elective members.
13)
The SC recognizes the consequences of the quasi-judicial acts performed by the BES under
the operative fact doctrine.
14)
Thus, the Regional Trial Court is competent to review the decision of the BES in election
controversies within its level.

15)
The absence of a provision for the review of an administrative action does not preclude
recourse to the courts.
16)
As to administrative agencies exercising quasi-judicial or legislative power, there is an
underlying power in the courts to scrutinize the acts of such agencies on questions of law and
jurisdiction even though no right of review is given by statute.
17)
The purpose of judicial review is to keep the administrative agency within its jurisdiction
and protect substantial rights of parties affected by its decisions.
18)
There was no need for the petitioner to exhaust administrative remedies.
a. Section 24 of COMELEC Resolution No. 2499 did not provide for recourse to a higher
administrative body; and
b. Mercado's cause falls within the exception to the rule because his petition, aside from
raising pure questions of law and jurisdiction, also alleges deprivation of due process.
Petition granted.
LYNETTE GARVIDA v FLORENCIO SALES
18 April 1997
Puno, ponente
petition for review
SHORT VERSION:
Garvida wanted to run as chair of the SK, but she was disqualified by the Comelec for being 21
years and 10 months at the time she filed her certificate of candidacy. The SC ruled that she was
qualified to be a member or the Katipunan ng Kabataan, but she was ineligible to run in the SK
elections for being over the age qualification, which was not more than 21 years old.
FACTS:
The Sangguniang Kabataan elections were set to be held on 6-May-1996.
o On 16-Mar, Lynette Garvida applied to register as a member and voter of the
Katipunan ng Kabataan of Barangay San Lorenzo, Bangui, Ilocos Norte.
o The Board of Election Tellers denied her application as she was 21 years and 10
months old.
She filed a petition for inclusion with the MCTC.
o The MCTC found her qualified to be registered.
Garvida filed her certificate of candidacy for the position of chairman of the KK of San
Lorenzo.
o Comelec Election Officer Dionisio Rios, per advice of the provincial election
supervisor, disapproved her petition of candidacy due to her age.
o The Comelec regional director set aside the order and allowed Garvida to run.
Rios issued a memo to Garvida informing her of her ineligibility and giving her 24 hours to
explain why her certificate should not be disapproved.
o But earlier and w/o the knowledge of Comelec, Florencio Sales (a rival candidate for
chairman) filed with the Comelec en banc a petition of denial or cancellation of
Garvidas cerificate.
o On the same day the memo was issued, the Comelec en banc issued an order
directing the Board of Election Tellers and Board of Canvassers of San Lorenzo to
suspend Garvidas proclamation in case she won in the election.
During the election, Garvida won 78 votes compared to Sales 76; she was not proclaimed
as the winner due to the Comelec order.
o Later, she ran in the Pambayang Pederasyon ng mga SK for Bangui, and won as
auditor, and proclaimed as one of the Pederasyons elected officials.
Garvida sought to have the Comelec order annulled and set aside.
ISSUES:

did the Comelec en banc have jurisdiction to act on the petition to deny or cancel her
certificate of candidacy? NO
should her certificate of candidacy be cancelled on the ground that she exceeded the age
requirement to run as an elective official of the SK?

REASONING:
LGC 532(a) provided that the conduct of SK elections was under the supervision of the
Comelec and governed by the Omnibus Election Code.
o OEC Art IX 78 governed the procedure to deny due course to or cancel a certificate
of candidacy.
o The Comelec Rules of Procedure Rule 23 provided that such a petition could be filed
with the Comelecs law department on the ground that the candidate had made a
false material representation in his certificate.
Under the same rules, jurisdiction over a petition to cancel a certificate lay
with the Comelec sitting in division, not en banc.
Cases before a division could only be entertained by the Comelec en banc
when the required number of votes to reach a decision was not obtained in
the division.
Only MRs of rulings of the Comelec division could be resolved en banc.
o When the Comelec en banc didnt refer Sales petition to any of its divisions, it
acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion.
The petition also didnt comply with the formal requirements of pleadings under the
Comelec Rules of Procedure.
o Pleadings must be in 10 copies, and be filed directly with the Comelec clerk of court
personally or by registered mail.
o The Sales petition only had two copies, and the petition was transmitted by
facsimile, not by registered.
THE HISTORY OF THE KATIPUNAN NG KABATAAN, BY JUSTICE PUNO:
o The Katipunan ng Kabataan was originally created by Presidential Decree No. 684 in
1975 as the Kabataang Barangay, a barangay youth organization composed of all
residents of the barangay who were at least 15 years but less than 18 years of age.
In 1983, Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, then the Local Government Code, raised
the maximum age of the Kabataang Barangay members from "less than 18
years of age" to "not more than 21 years of age."
o The Local Government Code of 1991 changed the Kabataang Barangay into the
Katipunan ng Kabataan.
It, however, retained the age limit of the members laid down in B.P. 337 at 15
but not more than 21 years old.
Under Section 424 of the Local Government Code, a member of the Katipunan ng
Kabataan must be:
o (a) a Filipino citizen;
o (b) an actual resident of the barangay for at least six months;
o (c) 15 but not more than 21 years of age; and
o (d) duly registered in the list of the Sangguniang Kabataan or in the official
barangay list.
Section 428 of the Code requires that an elective official of the Sangguniang Kabataan
must be:
o (a) a Filipino citizen;
o (b) a qualified voter in the Katipunan ng Kabataan;
o (c) a resident of the barangay at least one (1) year immediately preceding the
election;
o (d) at least 15 years but not more than 21 years of age on the day of his election;
o (e) able to read and write; and
o (f) must not have been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude.

Based on Comelec Resolution No 2824:


o A member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan may be a qualified voter in the May 6,
1996 SK elections if he is:
(a) a Filipino citizen;
(b) 15 but not more than 21 years of age on election day, i.e., the voter must
be born between May 6, 1975 and May 6, 1981, inclusive; and
(c) a resident of the Philippines for at least one (1) year and an actual
resident of the barangay at least six (6) months immediately preceding the
elections.
o A candidate for the SK must:
(a) possess the foregoing qualifications of a voter;
(b) be a resident in the barangay at least one (1) year immediately
preceding the elections; and
(c) able to read and write.
A closer look at the Local Government Code will reveal a distinction between the
maximum age of a member in the Katipunan ng Kabataan and the maximum age of an
elective SK official.
o Section 424 of the Code sets a member's maximum age at 21 years only. There is
no further provision as to when the member shall have turned 21 years of age.
The member may be more than 21 years of age on election day or on the day
he registers as member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan.
o On the other hand, Section 428 provides that the maximum age of an elective SK
official is 21 years old "on the day of his election."
The addition of the phrase "on the day of his election" is an additional
qualification.
The elective official must not be more than 21 years old on the day of
election.
The qualification that a voter in the SK elections must not be more than 21 years of age on
the day of the election is not provided in Section 424 of the Local Government Code of
1991.
o In fact the term "qualified voter" appears only in COMELEC Resolution No. 2824.
o Since a "qualified voter" is not necessarily an elective official, then it may be
assumed that a "qualified voter" is a "member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan."
o Section 424 of the Code does not provide that the maximum age of a member of
the Katipunan ng Kabataan is determined on the day of the election.
Section 3 [b] of COMELEC Resolution No. 2824 is therefore ultra vires insofar
as it sets the age limit of a voter for the SK elections at exactly 21 years on
the day of the election.
The provision that an elective official of the SK should not be more than 21 years of age on
the day of his election is very clear.
o The Local Government Code speaks of years, not months nor days.
When the law speaks of years, it is understood that years are of 365 days
each.
One born on the first day of the year is consequently deemed to be one year
old on the 365th day after his birth -- the last day of the year.
o The phrase "not more than 21 years of age" means not over 21 years, not beyond
21 years.
It means 21 365-day cycles.
It does not mean 21 years and one or some days or a fraction of a year
because that would be more than 21 365-day cycles.
The general rule is that an elective official of the Sangguniang Kabataan must not be more
than 21 years of age on the day of his election.
o The only exception is when the official reaches the age of 21 years during his
incumbency.

IN THE PRESENT CASE:


o Garvida was born on June 11, 1974.
o On March 16, 1996, the day she registered as voter for the May 6, 1996 SK
elections, she was twenty-one (21) years and nine (9) months old.
o On the day of the elections, she was 21 years, 11 months and 5 days old.
When she assumed office on June 1, 1996, she was 21 years, 11 months and
20 days old and was merely ten (10) days away from turning 22 years old.
o She may have qualified as a member of the Katipunan ng Kabataan but she was
over the age limit.
The requirement that a candidate possess the age qualification is founded on public policy
and if he lacks the age on the day of the election, he can be declared ineligible.
o The fact that the candidate was elected will not make the age requirement
directory, nor will it validate his election.
o The will of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot cure the vice of
ineligibility.

RULING: petition dismissed; Garvida declared ineligible for being over the age qualification for
candidacy; the vacancy is to be filled by the SK member chosen by the incumbent SK members
of Barangay San Lorenzo, Bangui, Ilocos Norte by simple majority from among themselves. The
member chosen shall assume the office of SK Chairman for the unexpired portion of the term,
and shall discharge the powers and duties, and enjoy the rights and privileges appurtenant to
said office.
#rbm
082. Montesclaros v COMELEC65

65

ANTONIETTE V.C. MONTESCLAROS, MARICEL CARANZO, JOSEPHINE ATANGAN, RONALD ATANGAN and CLARIZA DECENA, and OTHER
YOUTH OF THE LAND SIMILARLY SITUATED, petitioners, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL
GOVERNMENT, DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY of the OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, SENATOR
FRANKLIN DRILON in his capacity as Senate President and SENATOR AQUILINO PIMENTEL in his capacity as Minority Leader of the Senate of the
Philippines, CONGRESSMAN JOSE DE VENECIA in his capacity as Speaker, CONGRESSMAN AGUSTO L. SYJOCO in his capacity as Chairman of the
Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, and CONGRESSMAN EMILIO C. MACIAS II in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee on Local
Government of the House of Representatives, THE PRESIDENT OF THE PAMBANSANG KATIPUNAN NG MGA SANGGUNIANG KABATAAN, AND ALL
THEIR AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES, respondents.

July 9, 2002
Carpio, J.
TOPIC: Local Government Units; The Barangay; SangguniangKabataan
SV: Petitioners Montesclaros et al sent a letter to COMELEC demanding that the SK elections be
held as scheduled on May 6, 2002, but the COMELEC didnt reply. Subsequently, they received an
en banc resolution from COMELEC recommending the postponement of said elections.
Meanwhile, the Senate and the House of Reps passed bills postponing the SK elections.
Eventually, the Bicameral Committee released a consolidated bill resetting the Sk and Brgy
elections to July 15, 2002 and lowered the membership age in the SK to at least 15 but not more
than 18 years of age. Because of this, petitioners Montesclaros et al filed a petition for the
issuance of a TRO and/or preliminary injunction. The brgy and SK elections were not held as
scheduled, and Congress then enacted RA 9164, which provides that voters and candidates
must be at least 15 but less than 18 years of age on the day of the election. Said law also
provides that there shall be a synchronized SK and brgy elections on July 15, 2002.
Court said that the petition is bereft of merit. Court cannot exercise its power of judicial review
because there is no actual case or controversy; the petitioners have no personal and substantial
interest in maintaining the suit; and the petition raises no constitutional issue. The petition must
also fail since no GAD attended the postponement of the elections. Petition dismissed for utter
lack of merit.
FACTS:
PD 684 established the Kabataang Barangay (KB).
o The KB was composed of all barangay residents less than 18 y/o, without specifying the
minimum age. It was organized to provide its members with the opportunity to express
views and opinions on issues of transcendental importance.
o The LGC renamed the KB toSanguniangKabataan(SK) and limited the membership to
those at least 15 but not more than 21 years old. As a youth organization, it is tasked
to enhance the social, political, economic, cultural, intellectual, moral, spiritual, and
physical development of the youth.
o In every barangay, the SK is composed of a chairperson and 7 members, all elected by
the Katipunan ng Kabataan (which is composed of all citizens residing in the barangay
for at least 6 mos and those who meet the age requirement).
o For its elections, RA 7808 set SK elections on the first Monday of May 1996, and
accordingly, COMELEC issued resolutions to govern the SK elections of May 6, 2002.

Feb. 18, 2002: Montesclaros sent a letter to the COMELEC, demanding that the SK elections
be held as scheduled on May 6, 2002.

Feb. 20: COMELEC Chairman Benipayo wrote identical letters to the Speaker of the House and
the Senate President about the status of pending bills on the SK and Brgy elections. In his
letters, he expressed the operational difficulty of holding both elections simultaneously and
supported the bill that Sen. Drilon proposed to hold the Brgy Elections in May 2002 and
postpone the SK elections to Nov. 2002.
o Subsequently, petitioners received a COMELEC en banc resolution recommending to
Congress the postponement of the SK elections to Nov. 2002, but holding the barangay
elections in May 2002 as scheduled.

March 6: Senate and House of Reps passed the bills postponing the SK elections. This was
approved by the Bicameral Committee.
o The Bicameral Committees consolidated bill reset the SK and Barangay elections to
July 15, 2002 and lowered the membership age in the SK to at least 15 but not more
than 18 years of age.

Mar. 11: Petitioners Montesclaros et al, who are all 20 y/o filed this petition as a taxpayers
and class suit, on their own behalf and on behalf of other youths similarly situated.
o They claim that they are in danger of being disqualified to vote and be voted for in the
SK election should the same be postponed to a later date. Under the LGC, membership
in the SK is limited to youths at least 15 but not more than 21 y/o.
o They allege that respondents connived, confederated and conspired to postpone the
May 6, 2002 SK elections and to lower the membership age in the SK to at least 15 but
less than 18 years of age. They assail such conspiracy because youths 18-21 y/o will be
disqualified from the organization.
o Petitioners pray for the issuance of a TRO and/or preliminary injunction to prevent the
postponement of the SK elections and to command the respondents to continue the
same. In the alternative, if the SK elections will be postponed for whatever reason,
there must be a definite date for said elections and the present SK membership (except
those incumbent) shall be allowed to run for any SK elective position even if they are
more than 21 y/o.

On the same date, the Senate approved the Bicameral Committees consolidated bill, and the
House of Representatives approved the same 2 days later.
o Mar. 19: The President signed the approved bill into law.

ISSUE: Should the petition be granted? (NO, the petition is bereft of merit.)

The Court takes judicial notice of the ff. events that have transpired since the petitioners filed
the petition:
o The brgy and SK elections were not held as scheduled.
o Congress enacted RA 9164, which provides that voters and candidates must be at least
15 but less than 18 years of age on the day of the election. Said law also provides that
there shall be a synchronized SK and brgy elections on July 15, 2002.
o COMELEC promulgated a resolution containing the rules and regulations for the
conduct of said elections.

The Courts power of judicial review can only be exercised in constitutional cases only if the ff
requisites are complied with:
o (1) The existence of an actual and appropriate case or controversy;
o (2) a personal and substantial interest of the party raising the constitutional question;
o (3) the exercise of judicial review is pleaded at the earliest opportunity; and
o (4) the constitutional question is the lismota of the case.

In this case, there is no actual controversy requiring the exercise of the power of judicial
review.
o Petitioners are amenable to setting the SK elections to any date not later than July 15,
2002 and RA 9164 reset the elections to said date. With respect to the date, there is no
actual controversy requiring judicial intervention.
o Also, petitioners prayer to prevent Congress from enacting into law a proposed bill
lowering the membership age in the SK does not present an actual justiciable
controversy.
A proposed bill is not subject to judicial review because it is not a law. Having no
legal effect, it violates no constitutional right or duty. The Court can only
exercise its power of judicial review after a law is enacted and not before,
because the latter case would be in the nature of rendering an advisory opinion
on a proposed act of Congress.
Under separation of powers, the Court cannot restrain the Congress from passing
any law, or from setting into motion the legislative mill according to its internal

rules. Absent a clear violation of specific constitutional limitations or of


constitutional rights of private parties, the Court cannot exercise its power of
judicial review over the internal processes or procedures of Congress.
o Court has also no power to dictate to Congress the subject/object of bills that should be
enacted into law. To do so would destroy the delicate system of checks and balances
for the three co-equal, coordinate, and independent branches of government.
Under RA 9164, Congress merely restored the age requirement in PD 684.
Petitioners do not have a vested right to the permanence of the age requirement
under Section 424 of the Local Government Code of 1991. Every law passed by
Congress is always subject to amendment or repeal by Congress.
o Court cannot also direct the COMELEC to allow over-aged voters to vote/be voted for in
an election that is limited to youths at least 15 but not less than 18y/o. Congress will
have to decide whether to enact an amendatory law. Petitioners remedy is legislation,
not judicial intervention
Petitioners have no personal and substantial interest in maintaining this suit. By real
interest is meant a present substantial interest, as distinguished from a mere expectancy or
future, contingent, subordinate, or inconsequential interest.
o Petitioners seek to enforce a right conferred by RA 9164 to those who are at least 15
but less than 18 y/o. Since they dont fall within this classification, they are no longer
members of the SK and cannot be allowed to participate in the elections. Clearly, they
no longer have any interest in the SK elections.
Petition does not raise any constitutional issue.
o At the time the petition was filed RA 9164 was not yet enacted into law. When said law
was passed, petitioners failed to assail any provision in it that could be
unconstitutional. The Court will not strike down a law unless its constitutionality is
properly raised in an appropriate action and adequately argued.
o The only semblance of a constitutional issue is their claim that SK membership is a
property right within the meaning of the constitution. Petitioner contends that they lose
the opportunity to work in the govt positions reserved for SK members/officers.
Court said that a public office is not a property right. No one has a vested right
to any public office, much less a vested right to an expectancy of holding a
public office. While the law makes an SK officer an ex-officio member of a local
government legislative council, the law does not confer on petitioners a
proprietary right or even a proprietary expectancy to sit in local legislative
councils.
o Congress has the power to define who are the youth qualified to join the SK, which
itself is a creation of Congress. Those who do not qualify because they are past the
age group defined as the youth cannot insist on being part of the youth.
The petition must also fail since no GAD attended the postponement of the SK elections.
o COMELEC, in its resolutions, merely exercised its power and duty to enforce and
administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite,
initiative, referendum and recalland to recommend to Congress effective measures to
minimize election spending. Its acts enjoy the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official duties.
o Petitioners failed to prove that COMELEC committed GAD.

Petition dismissed for utter lack of merit.


Muez v. Ario
Date: February 21, 1995
Ponente: Mendoza
The case in a nutshell:
FACTS: Mayor Irisari issued a warrant of arrest against Muez after the latter failed to attend a

conference regarding a land dispute. Muez filed 2 complaints against Mayor Irisari: 1) a
complaint for grave misconduct and usurpation of judicial function with the Office of the
Ombudsman, and 2) an administrative complaint for violation of the 1987 Constitution,
misconduct in office, and abuse of authority with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. The
investigating officer of the Office of the Ombudsman filed a criminal case for usurpation of
judicial function against Mayor Irisari in the MTC. Judge Ario denied Mayor Irisaris motion to
quash. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan, acting on the administrative complaint, found Mayor
Irisari guilty. But the DILG reversed, on the ground that what he had issued to Muez, although
denominated a Warrant of Arrest, was actually just an invitation or summons. Mayor Irisari
moved for reconsideration of Judge Arios order of denial, invoking the DILG resolution. Judge
Ario reconsidered and dismissed the criminal case. Muez sent 2 letters to the Presidential AntiCrime Commission, charging Judge Ario with knowingly rendering an unjust judgment. The
matter was indorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman, which referred it to the SC for possible
administrative action.
HELD: Judge Ario is guilty of knowingly rendering an unjust judgment. The acts alleged in the
information constitute a crime. Under Art. 241 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of usurpation
of judicial functions involves the ff. elements: 1) That the officer is an officer of the executive
branch of the government; and 2) That he assumes judicial powers, or obstructs the execution of
any order or decision rendered by any judge within his jurisdiction. Mayor Irisari was an officer of
the executive branch, and what he issued against Muez was a warrant of arrest. Mayor Irisari
justified his order on the basis of Sec. 143(3) of the old Local Government Code, which expressly
provided that in cases where the mayor may conduct preliminary investigation, the mayor shall,
upon probable cause after examination of witnesses, have the authority to order the arrest of the
accused. However, this provision was repealed by Sec. 2, Art. III of the 1987 Constitution, which
expressly provides that the function of determining probable cause and issuing, on the basis
thereof, warrants of arrest or search warrants, may be validly exercised only by judges.
Facts:
1) On December 26, 1989, Mayor Irisari of Loreto, Agusan del Sur, summoned to his office
complainant Apolinario Muez for a conference respecting a land dispute which the latter
had with Tirso Amado.
2) Muez failed to attend the conference, so Mayor Irisari issued a warrant of arrest against
him.
a. The warrant was served and Muez was brought before Mayor Irisari, although no
investigation was later conducted.
3) Muez filed 2 complaints against Mayor Irisari:
a. A complaint for grave misconduct and usurpation of judicial function with the Office
of the Ombudsman
b. An administrative complaint for violation of the 1987 Constitution, misconduct in
office, and abuse of authority with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Sur
4) After preliminary investigation, the investigating officer of the Office of the Ombudsman
filed a case for usurpation of judicial function against Mayor Irisari in the Loreto MTC.
5) The first judge inhibited, so the case was later assigned to respondent Judge Ario.
6) Mayor Irisari moved to quash the information, on the ground that the acts complained of
did not constitute a crime under the law.
a. He contended that under Sec. 143(3) of the former Local Government Code (B.P.
Blg. 337), mayors were authorized to issue warrants of arrest.
7) Judge Ario denied the motion to quash, on the ground that the power of mayors to issue
warrants of arrest had ceased to exist as of February 2, 1987, when the 1987 Constitution
took effect.
8) The Sangguniang Panlalawigan, acting on the administrative complaint, found Mayor Irisari
guilty of misconduct in office and abuse of authority, and ordered him suspended for 8
months without pay.
9) On appeal by Mayor Irisari, the DILG reversed, on the ground that what he had issued to
Muez, although denominated a Warrant of Arrest, was actually just an invitation or
summons.

10)
Mayor Irisari moved for reconsideration of Judge Arios order of denial in the
criminal case, invoking the DILG resolution.
11)
Judge Ario reconsidered and dismissed the case.
a. He held that the subject matter in the criminal case and in the administrative
complaint arose from one and the same incident and involved the same parties.
b. He also held that the DILGs resolution was not tainted with unfairness or
arbitrariness, nor did it show arbitrary action or palpable and serious error.
Therefore, it must be respected.
12)
Upon receipt of the order of dismissal, Muez sent 2 letters to the Presidential AntiCrime Commission, charging Judge Ario with knowingly rendering an unjust judgment.
13)
The matter was indorsed to the Office of the Ombudsman, which dismissed the case
for lack of probable cause for filing in court, but referred it to the SC for possible
administrative action against Judge Ario.
Issue: Is Judge Ario guilty of knowingly rendering an unjust judgment? YES.
Held: A FINE of Php5,000.00 is imposed on Judge Ario. He is enjoined to exercise greater care
and diligence in the performance of his duties as a judge and warned that a repetition of a
similar offense will be dealt with more severely.
Ratio:
1) Judge Ario is guilty of knowingly rendering an unjust judgment. While he may have acted
in good faith, he should nevertheless be held administratively liable.
a. The acts alleged in the information constitute a crime.
i. Under Art. 241 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of usurpation of judicial
functions involves the ff. elements:
1. That the officer is an officer of the executive branch of the
government;
2. That he assumes judicial powers, or obstructs the execution of any
order or decision rendered by any judge within his jurisdiction.
ii. Mayor Irisari was an officer of the executive branch.
iii. What Mayor Irisari issued against Muez was a warrant of arrest.
1. The warrant was denominated Warrant of Arrest and addressed to
any officer of the law in the municipality, requesting/ordering them to
effect the arrest of Muez for his refusal to acknowledge an earlier
summons, and to bring him before Mayor Irisaris office to answer an
inquiry/investigation in connection with his land dispute with Amado.
2. Mayor Irisari justified his order on the basis of Sec. 143(3) of the old
Local Government Code, which expressly provided that in cases where
the mayor may conduct preliminary investigation, the mayor shall,
upon probable cause after examination of witnesses, have the
authority to order the arrest of the accused. However, this provision
was repealed by Sec. 2, Art. III of the 1987 Constitution, which
expressly provides that the function of determining probable cause and
issuing, on the basis thereof, warrants of arrest or search warrants,
may be validly exercised only by judges.
a. This is evidenced by the elimination in the 1987 Constitution of
the phrase such other responsible officer as may be authorized
by law, which was in the 1973 Constitution. (Ponsica v.
Ignalaga)
3. There was no pending criminal case against Muez, only a land
dispute. Thus, in issuing the warrant of arrest, Mayor Irisari assumed a
judicial function that even a judge could not have done.
4. Mayor Irisari did not merely intend to invite or summon Muez to his
office. He had issued a summons to Muez the day before he issued

the warrant of arrest, and issued the warrant of arrest because Munez
refused to appear before him.
b. Mayor Irisaris case was not before Judge Ario on review from the decision of an
administrative agency. What was before him was a criminal case. Therefore, there
was no basis for applying the rule on substantiality of evidence. He should have
considered solely the facts alleged in the information in resolving Mayor Irisaris
motion to dismiss.
i. At the very least, he showed poor judgment and gross ignorance of basic
legal principles. While judges should not be disciplined for inefficiency on
account merely of occasional mistakes or errors of judgment, they should be
conversant with basic legal principles. In every case, a judge should endeavor
diligently to ascertain the facts and the applicable law. He owes it to the
public and the administration of justice to know the law he is supposed to
apply to a given controversy. He is called upon to exhibit more than just a
cursory acquaintance with the statutes and procedural rules. There will be
faith in the administration of justice only if there is belief on the part of
litigants that the occupants of the bench cannot justly be accused of a
deficiency in their grasp of legal principles. (Libarios v. Dabalos)
ii. There is more than just gross ignorance of legal principles shown here. Judge
Ario appears to have relied on the DILG resolution, which found Mayor Irisari
not guilty of serious misconduct in office, on the ground that he had not really
issued a warrant of arrest, but merely an invitation or summons. By relying on
the DILG resolution, Judge Ario showed lack of capacity of independent
judgment.
Greater Balanga Development Corporation v. Municipality of Balanga
27 December 1994
Short version: The petitioner owned a parcel of land in the Municipality of Balanga and applied
for a business permit with the Office of the Mayor of Balanga to engage in business therein. The
mayor issued a permit granting the petitioner the privilege of a real estate dealer/privatelyowned public market operator. However, the Sangguniang Bayan of Balanga passed a resolution
which revoked the permit insofar as the operation of a public market is concerned. The
respondents argue that petitioner violated Sec. 3A-06(b) of the Balanga Revenue Code because it
failed to disclose the true status of the area involved in the permit (in that it was subject of
adverse claims, i.e. the municipality claimed that the lot was earmarked for the expansion of a
public market) and when it did not secure separate permits for its two businesses. On the point
that the petitioner did not secure separate permits, the SC held that this was not a valid ground
for revoking the permit because the act of securing only one permit for two businesses was not
specifically enjoined by the cited provision of the Balanga Revenue Code. The only requirement
was that separate fees be paid. The powers of municipal corporations are to be construed
strictissimi juris and any doubt or ambiguity must be construed against the municipality. On the
issue of the alleged controversy over the ownership of the land, the Court held that the question
of ownership had already been settled by the SC in a previous case. Moreover, the Resolution
merely mentioned the municipalitys plan to acquire it for expansion of the public market
adjacent thereto. Until expropriation proceedings are instituted, the landowner cannot be
deprived of its right over the land. While the Sangguniang Bayan has the duty in the exercise of
its police powers to regulate any business subject to municipal license fees and prescribe
conditions under which existing licenses may be revoked, the mere "anxiety, uncertainty,
restiveness" among the stallholders cannot be a valid ground for revoking petitioner's permit.
Facts:
- The petitioner is a domestic corporation, owned and controlled by the Camacho family. It was
the latter that donated to the respondent municipality the present site of the Balanga Public

Market. The lot in dispute in this case is registered in the name of the petitioner and is situated
behind the Balanga Public Market.
- When the petitioner conducted a relocation survey of the area, it discovered that certain
portions of the property had been "unlawfully usurped and invaded" by the respondent which
had supposedly allowed the construction of shanties and market stalls thereon while charging
market fees and market entrance fees from the occupants and users of the area. A portion of the
lot was used as an unloading site of products and the vegetable vendors were charged market
and entrance fees by the municipality.
- Later, the petitioner applied with the Office of the Mayor of Balanga for a business permit to
engage in business in the area. The mayor issued to petitioner a Mayor's permit, granting it the
privilege of a "real estate dealer/privately-owned public market operator" under the trade name
of Balanga Public Market. However, the Sangguniang Bayan of Balanga passed Resolution No. 12
which revoked the permit insofar as the operation of a public market is concerned. The Mayor of
Balanga likewise issued EO No.1, revoking the permit as far as the operation of the public market
was concerned.
- This prompted the petitioner to file the instant petition praying that the Mayor's permit be
reinstated.
The respondents argue that petitioner had violated Sec. 3A-06(b) of the
Balanga Revenue Code when it failed to disclose the true status of the area involved in the
permit (in that it was subject of adverse claims, i.e. the municipality claimed that the lot
was earmarked for the expansion of a public market) and when it did not secure separate
permits for its two businesses.
Issue: Was the petitioner's permit validly revoked? (No)
Reasoning:
- The application for Mayor's permit in this case requires the applicant to state what type of
business is being applied for. Petitioner left this field of information blank in its application form.
Indeed, the permit should not have been issued without the required information. Revoking the
permit under the aforementioned provision, however cannot be justified for good faith is always
presumed.
- Neither was petitioner's application for two businesses in one permit a ground for revocation.
This is because this act was not expressly enjoined by the aforementioned provision - the only
requirement was that separate fees be paid for each business.
The powers of municipal corporations are to be construed strictissimi juris
and any doubt or ambiguity must be construed against the municipality.
- In issuing Resolution No. 12, the Sangguinang Bayan invoked its authority under BP Blg. 337 to
provide for the establishment and maintenance of public markets in the municipality and to
regulate any business subject to municipal license tax or fees and prescribe the conditions under
which a municipal license may be revoked
.
According to the Resolution, the main reason for the revocation of the
Mayor's permit was the controversy over the land in question engendered by the filing of a
Civil Case before the RTC of Balanga involving the ownership of certain portions of Lot 261B from which the lot here involved was derived.
However, the records reveal that the question of ownership over Lot 261-B
had already been settled with finality by the SC in G.R. No. 62223. When petitioner's

Mayor's permit was revoked, five years had already elapsed since the case was decided.
By then, the petitioner was already able to have the land surveyed and such survey
approved. It also obtained in its name the TCT to the land without any memorandum or
encumbrance pertaining to any decision rendered in any civil case. Therefore, for all
intents and purposes, petitioner appeared to be the true owner of the land when the
respondents revoked its Mayor's permit.
Moreover, a close scrutiny of the records reveals that the Sangguniang
Bayan did not establish or maintain any public market on the subject lot. The Resolution
merely mentioned the plan to acquire it for expansion of the public market adjacent
thereto. Until expropriation proceedings are instituted, the landowner cannot be deprived
of its right over the land.
While the Sangguniang Bayan has the duty in the exercise of its police
powers to regulate any business subject to municipal license fees and prescribe conditions
under which existing licenses may be revoked, the mere "anxiety, uncertainty,
restiveness" among the stallholders cannot be a valid ground for revoking petitioner's
permit.
Besides, the manner by which the permit was revoked transgressed
petitioner's right to due process. This is demonstrated by the fact that the alleged violation
of the Balanga Revenue Code was not even stated in the order of revocation.
Dispositive: Petition granted.
Digested by Ramon IV
Hon. Alfredo Lim and Rafaelito Garayblas v. The Court of Appeals, Hon. Wilfredo Reyes
and Bistro Pigalle, Inc.
12 August 2002
Carpio, J.

SHORT VERSION: Mayor Lim ordered police to raid the establishments owned by Bistro Pigalle,
Inc. to inspect its license and the work permits of its staff. Bistro obtained an injunction against
Lim. The SC held that this injunction was properly ordered by the trial court. The power of the
mayor to issue business licenses and permits necessarily includes the to suspend, revoke or even
refuse to issue them. But this power is premised on violations of the conditions of the license or
non-compliance with application requirements. In this case, there was no specific charge against
Bistro. It was therefore deprived of due process. The mayor also has the power to inspect and
investigate private commercial establishments for any violation of the conditions of their licenses
and permits.However, he has no power to order a police raid on these establishments in the
guise of inspecting or investigating these commercial establishments. Hence, Mayor Lim acted
beyond authority.

FACTS:

Bistro Pillage Inc. (Bistro) owns the New Bangkok Club and the Exotic Garden Restaurant in
Manila.

1992: Mayor Lim instructed policemen to inspect and investigate Bistros license, and the
work permits and health certificates of its staff. This caused the stoppage of work in the
night club.
Mayor Lim also refused to accept Bistros application for a business license, as well as its
staffs work permit applications, for the year 1993.
Dec. 7, 1992: Bistro filed a petition for mandamus and prohibition, with prayer for
temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction, against Lim in his capacity as
Mayor of the City of Manila.
o Bistro argued that the refusal to issue the business license and work permits
violated the doctrine that municipal corporations cannot prohibit the operation of
night clubs, but can only regulate their operation, laid down in De La Cruz v. Paras.
The TC granted the injunction. Despite this, Lim still issued a closure order on Bistros
operations effective Jan. 23, 1993.
o Lim sent policemen to carry out the order.
o More policemen went to the business premises on Feb. 12, 13, 15, 26 and 27.
Feb. 17, 1993: Lim filed a motion to dissolve the injunctive order and to dismiss the case.
o He argued that the power of the mayor to inspect and investigate commercial
establishments and their staff is implicit in the statutory power of the city mayor to
issue, suspend or revoke business permits and licenses provided in the Charter of
Manila and the LGC.
TC denied Lims motions.
Lim went up to the CA. The CA denied Lims petition.

ISSUE:
4. Does the power to grant and refuse licenses and business permits, as provided in the LGC
and the Charter of Manila, implicitly include the power to inspect, investigate and close
down Bistros operations for violation of the conditions of its licenses and permits?
REASONING:
4. No
The authority of mayors to issue business licenses and permits is beyond question.
This is provided in Art. II Sec. 11(1) of the Revised Charter of the City of Manila, and in
Sec. 455(3)(iv) of the LGC.
o From the language of the two laws, it is clear that the power of the mayor to issue
business licenses and permits necessarily includes the corollary power to
suspend, revoke or even refuse to issue the same.
o However, this power is expressly premised on the violation of the conditions of
these permits and licenses. Similarly, the power to refuse to issue such licenses
and permits is premised on non-compliance with the prerequisites for the
issuance of such licenses and permits.
o The mayor must observe due process in exercising these powers, which means
that the mayor must give the applicant or licensee notice and opportunity to be
heard.
True, the mayor has the power to inspect and investigate private commercial
establishments for any violation of the conditions of their licenses and permits.
o However, the mayor has no power to order a police raid on these establishments
in the guise of inspecting or investigating these commercial establishments.
Lim acted beyond his authority when he directed policemen to raid the New Bangkok
Club and the Exotic Garden Restaurant.

Such action was in violation of Ordinance No. 7716 which expressly prohibits
police raids and inspections.
Lim has no authority to close down Bistros business or any business establishment in
Manila without due process of law. He cannot take refuge under the Charter of Manila
and the LGC.
o There is no provision in these laws expressly or impliedly granting the mayor
authority to close down private commercial establishments without notice and
hearing.
o Even if there were, such provision would be void. The due process clause requires
that Lim give Bistro an opportunity to rebut the allegations that it violated the
conditions of its licenses and permits.
The regulatory powers granted to municipal corporations must always be exercised in
accordance with law, with utmost observance of the rights of the people to due
process and equal protection. Such power cannot be exercised whimsically, arbitrarily
or despotically.
o Here, Lims exercise of this power violated Bistros property rights that are
protected under the due process clause.
o Lim did not charge Bistro with any specific violation of the conditions of its license
or permit. Still, he closed down Bistros operations even before the expiration of
its license.
o He also refused to accept Bistros license application for 1993, in effect denying
the application without examining whether it complies with legal prerequisites.
o

RULING: petition denied

Arsadi Disomancop, and Ramir Dimalotang (Petitioners) vs


Secretary of Public Works and Highways Simeon Datumanong, and Secretary of
Budget and Management Emilia Boncodin (Respondents)

Date: November 25, 2004


Ponente: Tinga, J.

Short Version:
Facts: The DPWH Secretary issued DO 119, creating a Sub-District Engineering Office in Marawi,
Lanao del Sur. RA 8999 was later passed, creating an engineering district in Lanao del Sur. The
petitioners challenged both issuances arguing that these violated the autonomy granted to
ARMM (which Lanao del Sur is part of), as implemented by RAs 6734 and 9054 (the organic acts
of the ARMM), and by EO 426 (devolving functions of the DPWH to the ARMM).
Held: The organic acts of the ARMM were ratified through a plebiscite. Any amendment must also
be ratified through a plebiscite. RA 8999, by creating an office with previously devolved
functions, in essence, sought to amend the ARMM organic acts. Since RA 8999 was never
approved by the people of ARMM through a plebiscite, it never became operative. On the other
hand, DO 119 is violative of the provisions of EO 426. Being an issuance of a cabinet secretary, it

cannot be inconsistent with the issuance of the Executive.

Facts:
- For the first time in its history after three Constitutions, the Philippines ordained the
establishment of regional autonomy in Secs 1 and 15, Art X of the 1987 Constitution.

- Pursuant to the constitutional mandate, RA 6734 66 was enacted on August 1, 1989. The law
called for the holding of provinces in certain provinces and cities 67, of which Lanao del Sur,
Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi voted for the creation of the autonomous region. These
provinces became the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The law contains
provisions on the powers of the Regional Government, and those which are reserved for the
National Government.

66 An Act Providing for An Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

67 Provinces: Basilan, Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Palawan, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu,
Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur. Cities: Cotabato, Dapitan, Dipolog, General Santos, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian,
Puerto Princesa and Zamboanga

- In accordance with RA 6734, President Aquino issued on 12 October 1990, EO 426 68. When
ARMM was formally organized on 6 November 1990, President Aquino had already signed 7 EOs
devolving to ARMM the powers the following departments: (1) local government; (2) labor and
employment; (3) science and technology; (4) public works and highways; (5) social welfare and
development; (6) tourism; and (7) environment and national resources.

68 Placing the Control and Supervision of the Offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways within the Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao under the Autonomous Regional Government, and for other purposes

- On 20 May 1999, then DPWH Secretary Gregorio Vigilar issued DO 119. Pursuant to EO 124 69, it
created a Sub-District Engineering Office in the Marawi City, Lanao del Sur. The office shall have
jurisdiction over all national infrastructure projects and facilities under the DPWH within Marawi
and Lanao del Sur.

69 Reorganizing The Ministry Of Public Works and Highways, Redefining Its Powers And Functions, And For Other Purposes

- On 17 January 2001, RA 899970 was signed into law.

70 An Act Establishing an Engineering District in the First District in the Province of Lanao del Sur and Appropriating Funds Therefor

- RA 905471 was subsequently enacted. Like RA 6734, it contains provisions on the powers of the
Regional Government, and the retained areas of the National Government. It lapsed into law on
31 March 2001, and was ratified in a plebiscite on 14 August 2001. The province of Basilan and
the City of Marawi also voted to join ARMM72.
- On 23 July 2001, Disomangcop and Dimalotang, OIC and District Engineer, respectively, of the
First Engineering District of the DPWH-ARMM, addressed a petition to DPWH Secretary
Datumanong, seeking the revocation of DO 119 and the non-implementation of RA 8999. No
action, however, was taken on the petition.
- No action was taken by Sec Datumanong, thus the present petition for certiorari, prohibition,
and mandamus was filed.
- Alleged that DO 119 violates the constitutional autonomy of the ARMM because has tasked
the Marawi Sub-District Engineering Office with functions that have already been devolved to
the DPWH-ARMM First Engineering District in Lanao del Sur.
- Contended that RA 8999 was not intelligently and thoroughly studied; that no public hearing
nor consultation with the DPWH-ARMM was made; that the law was skillfully timed for
signature by former President Estrada during the pendency of the impeachment proceedings.
- Reliefs sought: (1) annul DO 119; (2) prohibit DPWH Secretary from implementing DO 119 and
RA 8999; and (3) to compel the DBM Secretary to release funds for projects intended for Marawi
City and the First District of Lanao del Sur to the DPWH-ARMM First Engineering District in Lanao
del Sur only.
- Respondents, through the OSG, contend that DO 119 was issued in accordance with EO 124;
that the powers of the autonomous regions did not diminish the legislative power of Congress to
enact RA 8999; and that petitioners have no standing.

Issue/Reasoning:
Issue: Whether the petitioners have standing (Yes. They have a material and substantial
interest.)
- Petitioners are employees of the First Engineering District of DPWH-ARMM in Lanao del Sur.
They are charged with the duty and responsibility of supervising and implementing all public
works projects to be undertaken and being undertaken in Lanao del Sur which is the area of their
jurisdiction.
- The creation of the Marawi Sub-District Engineering Office under DO 119 and the creation of
and appropriation of funds to the First Engineering District of Lanao del Sur under RA 8999 will
affect the powers, functions and responsibilities of the petitioners and the DPWH-ARMM.
71 An Act to Strengthen and Expand the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act
No. 6734, entitled An Act Providing for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, as Amended.

72 Pero ang Marawi ay nasa Lanao del Sur. Baka independent siya from Lanao del Sur dati kaya dun sa plebiscite sa RA 6734 hiwalay ito sa Lanao
del Sur.

- The offices created have apparently been endowed with functions almost identical to those of
DPWH-ARMM. Thus, it is likely that petitioners are in imminent danger of being eased out of their
duties and even their jobs. Their material and substantial interests will definitely be prejudiced
by the enforcement of DO 119 and RA 8999. Such injury is direct and immediate.

Issue: Whether RA 8999 is unconstitutional (No need to rule. It never became operative, and was
superseded by a subsequent enactment.)
- It is not necessary to rule on the constitutionality of RA 8999 since the case can be disposed of
on other grounds. The said law never became operative, and was superseded or repealed by a
subsequent enactment.
- The ARMM Organic Acts (RAs 6734 and 9054) are deemed a part of the regional autonomy
scheme. They are more than ordinary statutes because they enjoy affirmation by a plebiscite.
Hence, they cannot be amended by an ordinary statute, such as RA 8999. The amendatory law
has to be submitted to a plebiscite. This conclusion is supported by the deliberations of the
Constitutional Commission. RA 9054 even reaffirmed the imperativeness of the plebiscite
requirement.
- By creating an office with previously devolved functions, RA 8999, in essence, sought to amend
RA 6074. Since RA 8999 was never approved by the people of ARMM through a plebiscite, it
never became operative.
- From another perspective, RA 8999 was repealed and superseded by RA 9054, a statute of later
date which clearly reveals an intention on the part of the legislature to abrogate a prior act on
the subject.
- RA 8999 is antagonistic to and cannot be reconciled with the ARMM Organic Acts. The
antagonism lies in the regional autonomy which the ARMM Organic Acts ordain pursuant to the
Constitution. On the other hand, RA 8999 contravenes true decentralization which is the essence
of regional autonomy.

Regional Autonomy Under RA 6734 and RA 9054


- The 1987 Constitution mandates regional autonomy to give a bold and unequivocal answer to
the cry for a meaningful, effective and forceful autonomy. The idea behind the Constitutional
provisions for autonomous regions is to allow the separate development of peoples with
distinctive cultures and traditions.
- The Court then quoted the sentiments of some members of the Constitutional Commission on
autonomous regions.
- The need for regional autonomy is more pressing in the case of the Filipino Muslims and the
Cordillera people who have been fighting for it. Thus, regional autonomy is also a means towards
solving existing serious peace and order problems and secessionist movements.
- However, the creation of autonomous regions does not signify the establishment of a
sovereignty distinct from that of the Republic, as it can be installed only within the framework of
this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the

Philippines.
- Regional autonomy is the degree of self-determination exercised by the local government unit
vis--vis the central government. It refers to the granting of basic internal government powers to
the people of a particular area or region with least control and supervision from the central
government.
- The objective of the autonomy system is to permit determined groups, with a common tradition
and shared social-cultural characteristics, to develop freely their ways of life and heritage,
exercise their rights, and be in charge of their own business. This is achieved through the
establishment of a special governance regime.
- In the Philippine setting, regional autonomy implies the cultivation of more positive means for
national integration. It would remove the wariness among the Muslims, increase their trust in the
government and pave the way for the unhampered implementation of the development
programs in the region.
- The Court then quoted a portion of the deliberation of the Constitutional Commission. It said
that a glimpse of which could lend a sense of the urgency and the inexorable appeal of true
decentralization.
- A necessary prerequisite of autonomy is decentralization. Decentralization is a decision by the
central government authorizing its subordinates to exercise authority in certain areas.
- Decentralization comes in two forms:
- Deconcentration which is administrative in nature. It involves the transfer of functions from
the national office to the local offices. Also referred to as administrative decentralization.
- Devolution which connotes political decentralization, or the transfer of powers,
responsibilities, and resources for the performance of certain functions from the central
government to LGUs. It aims to grant greater autonomy to LGUs in cognizance of their right to
self-government, to make them self-reliant, and to improve their administrative and technical
capabilities.
- The concept of autonomy as elucudated in Limbona v Mangelin:
Autonomy is either decentralization of administration or decentralization of power. There is
decentralization of administration when the central government delegates administrative
powers to political subdivisions in order to broaden the base of government power...
Decentralization of power, on the other hand, involves an abdication of political power in the
favor of local government units declared to be autonomous... decentralization of power
amounts to 'self-immolation,' since in that event the autonomous government becomes
accountable not to the central authorities but to its constituency.
- In Cordillera Broad Coalition v COA, it was ruled that the creation of autonomous regions
contemplates the grant of political autonomy an autonomy which is greater than the
administrative autonomy granted to LGUs.
- By regional autonomy, the framers intended it to mean meaningful and authentic regional
autonomy which means the kind of local self-government which allows the people of the region
the power to determine what is best for their growth and development without undue

interference from the central government.


- To this end, Sec 16, Art X limits the power of the President over autonomous regions, and as
said by Bernas, it also curtails the power of Congress over autonomous regions. The
diminution of Congress powers over autonomous regions was confirmed in Ganzon v CA.
- The diminution of Congress' power over autonomous regions is true to subjects over which such
regions have powers, as specified in Secs 18 and 20, Art X. Worthy of note is that the area of
public works is not excluded and neither is it reserved for the National Government.
- EO 426 officially devolved the powers and functions of the DPWH in ARMM to the Autonomous
Regional Government (ARG). More importantly, Congress itself through RA 9054 transferred and
devolved the administrative and fiscal management of public works and funds for public works to
the ARG.
- The aim of the Constitution is to extend to the autonomous peoples the right to selfdetermination within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippine
Republic. Self-determination refers to the need for a political structure that will respect the
autonomous peoples uniqueness and grant them sufficient room for self-expression and selfconstruction.
- In treading their chosen path of development, the Muslims in Mindanao are to be given freedom
and independence with minimum interference from the National Government. This necessarily
includes the freedom in public works and infrastructure projects within the autonomous region.
The devolution of the powers and functions of the DPWH in the ARMM are meant to be true,
meaningful and unfettered.
- With RA 8999, however, this freedom is taken away, and the National Government takes control
again. The challenged law creates an office with functions and powers which, by virtue of EO
426, have been previously devolved to the DPWH-ARMM.
- RA 8999 runs afoul of the ARMM Organic Acts and results in the recall of powers which have
previously been handed over. This should not be sanctioned, otherwise the Organic Acts desire
for greater autonomy for the ARMM in accordance with the Constitution would be quelled. It
bears stressing that one state policy of the Constitution is to ensure the autonomy of local
governments.

Issue: Whether DO 119 is valid (No. It goes against EO 426, and it was already superseded by RA
9054.)
- DO 119 is violative of the provisions of EO 426. The office created under DO 119, having
essentially the same powers, is a duplication of the DPWH-ARMM First Engineering District in
Lanao del Sur formed under the aegis of EO 426.
- DO 119 in effect, takes back powers which have been previously devolved under EO 426. The
DPWHs order, like spring water, cannot rise higher than its source of power the Executive.
- The fact that DO 119 was issued pursuant to EO 124 is of no moment. A special provision or law
prevails over a general one. EO 124, upon which DO 119 is based, is a general law reorganizing
the Ministry of Public Works and Highways while EO 426 is a special law transferring the control

and supervision of the DPWH offices within ARMM. The latter statute specifically applies to
DPWH-ARMM offices. EO 124 should therefore give way to EO 426 in the instant case.
- In any event, the ARMM Organic Acts and their ratification in a plebiscite in effect superseded
EO 124. The later enactment prevails because it is the later legislative will. With the repeal of EO
124, it necessarily follows that DO 119 was also rendered functus officio by the ARMM Organic
Acts.

Conclusion
- The repeal of RA 8999 and the functus officio state of DO 119 provide the necessary basis for
the grant of the writs of certiorari and prohibition.
- However, there is no basis for the issuance of a writ of mandamus to compel the DBM Secretary
to release the funds. Sec 20, Art VI of RA 9054 clearly provides that (f)unds for infrastructure in
the autonomous region allocated by the central government or national government shall only
be appropriated through a Regional Assembly Public Works Act passed by the Regional
Assembly.

Dispositive:
The petition insofar as it seeks the writs of certiorari and prohibition is granted. However, the
petition insofar as it seeks a writ of mandamus is denied.
Abbas v. Comelec73

73 Datu Firdausi I.Y. Abbas, Datu Blo Umpar Adiong, Datu Macalimpowac Delangalen, Celso Palma, Ali Montana Babao,
Julmunir Jannaral, Rashid Saber, and Datu Jamal Ashley Abbas, representing the other taxpayers of Mindanao v.
Commission on Elections and Hon. Guillermo C. Carague, Department of Budget and ManagementAtty. Abdullah D.
Mama-o v. Hon. Guillermo Carague, in his capacity as the Secretary of the Budget, and the Commission on Elections

10 November 1989
Cortes, J.

SHORT VERSION: RA 6734 was passed, creating the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Petitioners asked that the law be declared for unconstitutionality. The court dismissed the
petition. In this case the Court explained that the creation of ARMM was mandated not by
international treaty but by the 1987 Constitution. The creation of the autonomous region is made
to depend, not on the total majority vote in the plebiscite, but on the will of the majority in each
of the constituent units.The provinces and cities where such majority is not attained shall not be
included in the autonomous region.The ascertainment by Congress of areas that share common
attributes, which should be included in the autonomous region, is within the exclusive realm of
the legislatures discretion and goes into the wisdom of the law, which the Court cannot
question.The law does not give the President power to merge LGUs. What is referred here is the
merger of administrative regions, which are not LGUs.Finally, the creation of an Oversight
Committee to facilitate the transfer of power does not provide for a different date of effectivity.
The law still complies with the Consti when it says that the creation of the autonomous region is
effective upon an affirmative vote obtained in the plebiscite.

FACTS:

The Tripoli Agreement (agreement between the Philippine Government and the MNLF with
the participation of the Quadpartite Ministerial Commission Members of the Islamic
Conference and the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference) took
effect on Dec. 23, 1976.

It provided for the establishment of autonomy in the southern Philippines within


the realm of the sovereign and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines
and enumerated 13 provinces74 comprising areas of autonomy.
The 1987 Constitution provided for the creation of autonomous regions in the Cordilleras
and in Muslim Mindanao. (Art. X Sec. 15)
Pursuant to this, RA 6734, the Organic Act for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,
was enacted and signed into law on Aug. 1, 1989.
o In implementation, a plebiscite was scheduled for Nov. 19, 1989 in 13 provinces and
9 cities in Mindanao and Palawan.
These consolidated petitions pray that Comelec be enjoined from conducting the plebiscite
and that RA 6734 be declared unconstitutional.
o

ISSUE:Is RA 6734 constitutional? YES

REASONING:
With regard to compliance with the Tripoli Agreement

Petitioners contend that the Tripoli Agreement, being a treaty and thus part of the law of
the land, has to be complied with. They contend that certain provisions of RA 6734
contravene the provisions of Tripoli Agreement.
o The SolGen argued that the Tripoli Agreement is not a binding international
agreement.
Court says this is irrelevant. It is now the Constitution which mandates for the creation of
an autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao. The standard therefore is compliance with
what is provided in the Constitution.
Even assuming that the Tripoli Agreement is a binding treaty and is part of the law of the
land, it would not be superior to RA 6734. They would be in the same class, thus RA 6734,
being a subsequent law, would be amendatory of the Tripoli Agreement.

With regard to compliance with the 1987 Constitution

Petitioners argued that RA 6734 unconditionally creates an autonomous region in


Mindanao, contrary to the Consti provision that the creation of the autonomous region is
dependent upon the outcome of the plebiscite.
The Court thus clarified the provision on the creation of the autonomous region and its
composition.
Art. X Sec. 18 sets forth the conditions necessary for the creation of the autonomous
region. This is echoed in RA 6734.
o Under these laws, the creation of the autonomous region shall take effect only when
approved by a majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite, and
only those provinces and cities where a majority vote in favor of the Organic Act
shall be included in the autonomous region.
The provinces and cities where such majority is not attained shall not be included in the
autonomous region.

74 Provinces: Basilan, Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Palawan, South

Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur.Cities: Cotabato, Dapitan,
Dipolog, General Santos, Iligan, Marawi, Pagadian, Puerto Princesa, Zamboanga.

The plebiscite contemplated by the Constitution and RA 6734 will therefore be


determinative of:
o Whether there shall be an autonomous region in Muslim Minadanao
o Which provinces and cities shall comprise it

The definition of majority

The creation of the ARMM is made effective upon approval by majority of the votes cast
by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose.
o The question has been raised to what this majority means majority of the total
votes cast in all the constituent units, or majority in each of the constituent units, or
both?
If the framers intended to require approval by a majority of all the votes cast in the
plebiscite they would have so indicated.
Comparing Art. XVIII Sec. 27 and Art. X Sec. 18, it will be seen that the creation of the
autonomous region is made to depend, not on the total majority vote in the plebiscite, but
on the will of the majority in each of the constituent units.
Clearly what is required is a simple majority of votes approving the organic act in
individual constituent units, and not a double majority of the votes in all constituent units
put together, as well as in the individual constituent units.

On the inclusion of certain provinces

Petitioner Mama-o insists that only Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte
and Maguindanao actually share common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage,
economic and social structures, and other relevant characteristics and thus only they
should have been included in ARMM, not all the 13 provinces and 9 cities. By including
areas which do not strictly share the same characteristics, Congress has expanded the
scope of the autonomous region which the constitution has prescribed to be limited.
o This argument is untenable.
The Constitution lays down the standards by which Congress shall determine which areas
should constitute the autonomous region.
o Guided by these criteria, the ascertainment by Congress of areas that share
common attributes is within the exclusive realm of the legislatures discretion and
goes into the wisdom of the law, which the Court cannot question.
Another argument of Mama-o is that ARMM should include other non-Muslim areas in
Mindanao, citing the equal protection clause.
o This contention runs counter to the equal protection clause.
Any determination by Congress of what areas in Mindanao should comprise the ARMM,
taking into account shared historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures,
and other relevant characteristics would necessarily carry with it the exclusion of other
areas.
Moreover, equal protection permits of reasonable classification based on reasonable and
substantial distinctions.

On the exercise of free religion

RA 6734 provides that in the event of conflict between the Muslim Code/Tribal Code and
the national law, the Shariah courts should apply national law.

Petitioners argue this is against the free exercise of religion since Shariah law is
derived from the Koran, which is therefore part of divine law. Thus, it may not be
subjected to any man-made national law.
The Court did not rule on this issue because there is not actual controversy between real
litigants.
o

On the merger of regions

Petitioners contended that RA 6734 gave the President power to merge regions, a power
which is not conferred by the Constitution. This provision in RA 6734 is therefore in conflict
with Art. X Sec. 10 of the Constitution.
However, the Court said that what is referred to in RA 6734 is the merger of administrative
regions (Regions I-XII and the NCR) which are mere groupings of contiguous provinces for
administrative purposes.
o Administrative regions are not territorial and political subdivisions like provinces,
cities, municipalities and barangays.
While the power to merge administrative regions is not expressly provided for in the
Constitution, it is a power which has traditionally been lodged with the President to
facilitate the exercise of power of general supervision over local governments.
There is no conflict between the power of the President to merge administrative regions
with the constitutional provision requiring a plebiscite in the merger of LGUs because the
plebiscite requirement applies only to provinces, cities, municipalities or barangays, not to
administrative regions.

On the creation of an Oversight Committee

Petitioners contend that the creation of an Oversight Committee to supervision the


transfer of powers from the regional government to the autonomous regions would delay
the creation of the autonomous region, when the Constitution provides that the creation of
the autonomous region shall take effect upon approval in a plebiscite.
The Court said that the provision on the Oversight Committee does not provide for a
different date of effectivity. Hence the creation of the autonomous region takes effect
immediately after obtaining the required vote in the plebiscite.

RULING: petition dismissed

Dr. Lampa Pandi and Dr. Jarmila Macacua v. CA and Dr. Amer Saber
11 April 2002
Carpio, J.
Short version: Macacua, in her capacity as Regional Director and as Secretary of the DOH of
ARMM, issued a memorandum designating Pandi as the OIC of the Integrated Provincial Health
Office-Amai Pakpak General Hospital (IPHO-APGH), Lanao del Sur. In the same memo, Sani, who
was then the OIC of IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur, was detailed to the DOH-ARMM Regional Office in
Cotabato City. Later, Lanao del Sur Provincial Governor Mahid M. Mutilan issued an order
designating Saber also as OIC of the IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur. Subsequently, EO 133 was
issued by the President, transferring the powers and functions of the DOH in the region to the
Regional Government of the ARMM. Macacua issued another memorandum reiterating the earlier

one. Thus, a conflict arose as to whose appointments are valid. After tracing the pertinent laws
and Organic Acts of the ARMM, the Supreme Court ruled that Sabers designation was void
because at the time, provincial health officers were still national government officials to be
appointed by the Secretary of Health. As for Sani and Pandis appointments, initially, they were
void because at the time of the issuance of Macacuas first memorandum, the Secretary of
Health still exercised the power to assign provincial health officers in the ARMM. However,
Macacuas second memorandum was issued after EO 133 already took effect. EO 133 gave
Macacua, as head of the regional Department of Health, the power of supervision and control
over all functions and activities of the regional DOH. Therefore, Sani and Pandis appointments
became valid.
Facts:
- On 9 August 1993, Macacua, in her capacity as Regional Director and as Secretary of the
Department of Health of the ARMM, issued a memorandum designating Pandi as Officer-inCharge of the Integrated Provincial Health Office-Amai Pakpak General Hospital (IPHO-APGH),
Lanao del Sur. In the same memo, Macacua designated Sani, who was then the provincial health
officer of the IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur, to the DOH-ARMM Regional Office in Cotabato City.
- On 15 September 1993, Lanao del Sur Provincial Governor Mahid M. Mutilan issued an order
designating Saber also as OIC of the IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur. Sani filed a complaint with the
RTC challenging the memorandum transferring him to the DOH-ARMM Regional Office in Cotabato
City, alleging that he is the holder of a permanent appointment as provincial health officer of the
IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur.
- Subsequently, Saber filed with the CA a petition for quo warranto claiming that he is the
lawfully designated OIC of the IPHO-APGH. On 29 October 1993, the president issued EO No. 133
transferring the powers and functions of the DOH in the region to the Regional Government of
the ARMM. Thus, on 6 November 1993, Macacua issued another memorandum reiterating Pandis
designation as OIC as well as Sanis detail to Cotabato City.
- On 21 March 1994, Pandi and Macacua filed a motion seeking the dismissal of Sabers petition
on the ground that the issues had become moot and academic in light of the enactment of the
ARMM Local Government Code (ARMM LGC) by the ARMM Regional Assembly. However, the CA
still ruled on the case and held that Saber is the lawfuly designated OIC. It said that Lanao del
Sur Governor Mahid Mutilan has the power and authority to appoint the provincial health officer
under Sec. 478 of the LGC of 1991 notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in EO
133, the ARMM Local Government Code, as well as the Organic Act of 1989 for the ARMM.
- Thus, Pandi and Macacua filed a petition for review before the SC.
Issues:
- Was Sabers designation as OIC of IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur valid? (No)
- Was Sanis detail to the DOH-ARMM Regional Office in Cotabato City valid? (At first no, but upon
Macacuas second Memorandum which was given after the issuance of EO 133, yes)
- Was Pandis designation as OIC of IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur valid? (At first no, but upon
Macacuas second Memorandum which was given after the issuance of EO 133, yes)
Reasoning:
- To answer these questions, the Court examined the laws before and after the enactment of the
Organic Act of 1989. The relevant laws cover five periods which shall be discussed below.
First Period: Prior to the enactment of the Organic Act of 1989

- At this time, the law governing the appointment of provincial health officers was found in EO
119, which was then the charter of the DOH. Under EO 119, the provincial health office was an
agency of the Ministry of Health, and the Minister of Health was the appointing power of
provincial health officers. Under Sec. 17, a provincial health officer is appointed to a region and
not to a province. The Minister of Health, upon recommendation of the Regional Director, can
assign the provincial health officer to any province within the region.
- The LGC of 1984 did not include the provincial health officer as an official of the provincial
government. Section 199 contains the enumeration of provincial officials and it clearly excludes
the provincial health officer. Thus, although the position is named that way, this official was an
official of the national government, appointed by the Minister of Health and paid entirely from
national funds.
Second Period: After the enactment of Organic Act of 1989 but before the LGC of 1991
- Under the Organic Act of 1989, the power of the Secretary of Health to appoint provincial
health officers to a region and to assign them to any province therein was not immediately
devolved to the Regional Government. Section 4 of the Organic Act immediately placed certain
line agencies and offices of the national government under the supervision and control of the
Regional Government. However, other line agencies and offices, including the regional offices of
the DOH, were not similarly treated.
- Thus, even upon the effectivity of the Organic Act of 1989, the LGC of 1984 was still the
existing law governing LGUs. It applied to the ARMM until the Regional Government could adopt
its own local government code. This meant that provincial health officers remained to be officials
of the National Government appointed by the Secretary of Health with the authority to assign a
provincial health officer to any province within the region.

- A few months after the effectivity of the Organic Act of 1989, the Revised Administrative Code
of 1987 took effect.75 This law had a provision which was practically a reenactment of Sec. 17 of
EO 119. However, even if the Revised Administrative Code is a later law than the Organic Act of
1989, it did not alter the terms of the devolution under the latter law because an ordinary statute
cannot amend an organic act that provides for an autonomous region which, under the
Constitution, can only be created and therefore, changed through a plebiscite.
Third Period: After the enactment of LGC of 1991 but before the adoption of the ARMM LGC
- Unlike the previous LGC, the LGC of 1991, in Sec. 463, made the provincial health officers one
of the officials of the provincial government to be appointed by the provincial governor. Section
465 further provides that the appointing power of the provincial governor is limited only to
officials and employees paid mainly from provincial funds.
- However, similar to the Revised Administrative Code, the LGC of 1991 also could not amend
the Organic Act of 1991. It is true that Sec. 526 of the LGC of 1991 provides that it shall apply
even to autonomous regions until such regions have adopted their own local government code
but the Court said that Sec. 526 should apply only to autonomous regions created after the
effectivity of the LGC of 1991.
- Thus, the Secretary of Health continued to be the appointing power of provincial health officers
who remained national government officials. This changed upon the issuance of EO 133 on 29
October 1993, the powers and functions of the DOH in the autonomous region under EO 119 was
then transferred to the Regional Government. EO 133 was issued upon recommendation of the
Oversight Committee created by Sec. 3 of the Organic Act of 1989 for the purpose of supervising
and transfer to the ARMM of such powers and functions vested in it by the Organic Act.
- Under EO 133, power of supervision and control over provincial health officers was transferred
from the Secretary of Health to the head of the DOH in the region. This included the authority to
assign such officers to any province within the region.
- On the other hand, the power to appoint provincial health officers was devolved to the Regional
Governor pursuant to Sec. 1 of the Organic Act which provided that executive power shall be
vested in the Regional Governor. As the holder of executive power, he was made the appointing
power in the executive branch of the Regional Government in accordance with Sec. 17 of the
Organic Act. So until the Regional Assembly enacted a law authorizing some other ARMM
executive official to appoint provincial health officers, this power remained with the Regional
Governor pursuant to the devolution of powers under the Organic Act as implemented by EO
133.
Fourth Period: After the adoption of the ARMM LGC but before the enactment of the Organic Act
of 2001
- Under the ARMM LGC, the provincial health officer was made a provincial government official.
The Regional Government would appoint the provincial health officer from a list of three
recommendees of the provincial governor. However, the ARMM LGC provides that if the salary of
the provincial health officer comes mainly from provincial funds, the provincial governor is the
appointing power because the appointing power of the regional Governor is limited to provincial
officials paid by regional funds.
- The ARMM LGC also vested in the provincial governor the power to exercise supervision and
control over all provincial government officials. This included the authority to assign provincial
health officers to other provinces.
75 The delayed effectivity was due to its effectivity clause.

Fifth Period: After the enactment of the Organic Act of 2001


- The Organic Act of 2001 took effect on 14 August 2001, the date of tis ratification by a majority
of the votes cast in a plebiscite. It incorporates the salient features of the Peace Agreement
entered into between the National Government and the MNLF. It is a completely new autonomy
act for Muslim Mindanao since it totally replaced the previous organic act.
- The Organic Act of 2001 expressly adopted the devolution under the LGC of 1991, giving the
LGUs within ARMM the same deolved powers, functions and tax-sharing entitlements enjoyed by
LGUs outside the ARMM. This gives the provincial governor the power to appoint the provincial
health officer if the latters salary comes mainly from provincial funds. If the salary comes mainly
from regional funds, then the ARMM Local Code applies, in which case the Regional Governor is
the appointing power but only from among the three nominees coming from the provincial
governor. Moreover, the provincial governor exercises supervision and control over the provincial
health officer because the ARMM LGC has classified him as a provincial government official.
Application of the law to the facts
- On 15 September 1993, the date of Sabers designation as OIC of IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur,
the provincial health officer was still a national government official to be appointed by the
Secretary of Health. The power of supervision and control likewise still remained with the DOH
Secretary. Therefore, provincial governor Mutilan had no power to designate Saber as OIC.
Consequently, his designation is void.
- On 1 January 1988, Sani was appointed provincial health officer of Region XII and was assigned
to the Regional Health Office in Cotabato City by then DOH Secretary Bengzon. Consequently,
Sani cannot claim any security of tenure as provincial health officer of Lanao del Sur because he
was never appointed to that office. On 9 August 1993, Macacua detailed Sani to the DOH-ARMM
Regional Office in Cotabato City. As of that date, the Secretary of Health still exercised the power
to assign provincial health officers in the ARMM. Consequently, Sanis detail to the Regional
Office in Cotabato City is void. However, On 6 November 1993, Macacua issued another
Memorandum reiterating Sanis detail to the said Regional Office. This second memo was issued
after the issuance of EO 133, which gave Macacua, as head of the regional Department of
Health, the power of supervision and control over all functions and activities of the regional DOH.
Therefore, the second detail of Sani is valid.
- Pandi is similarly situated as Sani because he is covered by the same memoranda issued by
Macacua. Thus, Pandis initial designation was void but the subsequent one contained in
Macacuas second memorandum issued after EO 133 took effect is valid. The designation of
Pandi, however, while valid, is only temporary in nature - good until a new designation or a
permanent one is made.
Dispositive: Petition granted.
Digested by Ramon IV

Ordillo v. COMELEC76

76

Cordillera Regional Assembly Member ALEXANDER P. ORDILLO, (Banaue), Ifugao Provincial Board Member CORAZON MONTINIG, (Mayoyao), Former
Vice-Mayor MARTIN UDAN (Banaue), Municipal Councilors MARTIN GANO, (Lagawe), and TEODORO HEWE, (Hingyon), Barangay Councilman PEDRO
W. DULAG (Lamut); Aguinaldo residents SANDY B. CHANGIWAN, and DONATO TIMAGO; Lamut resident REY ANTONIO; Kiangan residents ORLANDO
PUGUON, and REYNAND DULDULAO; Lagawe residents TOMAS KIMAYONG, GREGORIO DANGO, GEORGE B. BAYWONG, and VICENTE LUNAG;
Hingyon residents PABLO M. DULNUAN and CONSTANCIO GANO; Mayoyao residents PEDRO M. BAOANG, LEONARDO IGADNA, and MAXIMO
IGADNA; and Banaue residents PUMA-A CULHI, LATAYON BUTTIG, MIGUEL PUMELBAN, ANDRES ORDILLO, FEDERICO MARIANO, SANDY
BINOMNGA, GABRIEL LIMMANG, ROMEO TONGALI, RUBEN BAHATAN, MHOMDY GABRIEL, and NADRES GHAMANG, Petitioners, vs. THE
COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; The Honorable FRANKLIN M. DRILON, Secretary of Justice; Hon. CATALINO MACARAIG, Executive Secretary; The
Cabinet Officer for Regional Development; Hon. GUILLERMO CARAGUE, Secretary of Budget and Management; and Hon. ROSALINA S. CAJUCOM, OIC,
National Treasurer, Respondents.

Date: December 4, 1990


Ponente: Gutierrez, Jr.
The case in a nutshell:
FACTS: The people of the provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Abra, and KalingaApayao and the city of Baguio cast their votes in a plebiscite held pursuant to R.A. No. 6766,
entitled An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region. The creation
of the CAR was approved by a majority of votes in the province of Ifugao, but was
overwhelmingly rejected in the rest of the provinces and the city of Baguio. The COMELEC issued
a resolution, stating that the Organic Act for the CAR had been approved and/or ratified by a
majority of votes in the province of Ifugao. The Secretary of Justice issued a memorandum
stating that the sole province of Ifugao, being the only province which voted favorably, legally
and validly constituted the CAR. Cordillera Regional Assembly member Alexander P. Ordillo, et al.
filed a petition with the COMELEC to declare the non-ratification of the Organic Act. The
COMELEC merely noted the petition. Ordillo, et al. filed a petition in the SC.
HELD: The sole province of Ifugao cannot validly constitute the Cordillera Autonomous Region.
There can be no valid Cordillera Autonomous Region in only 1 province, as the 1987 Constitution
and R.A. No. 6766 require that the said Region be composed of more than 1 constituent unit. To
follow the COMELEC, et al.s position would result in result in various absurd situations, such as 2
sets of officials (provincial and regional) exercising their executive and legislative powers over
exactly the same area, which is one of the smallest provinces in the Philippines, population-wise.
The doctrine in Abbas, et al. v. COMELEC does not apply, since it deals with a completely
different issue.
Facts:
1) On January 30, 1990, the people of the provinces of Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao,
Abra, and Kalinga-Apayao and the city of Baguio cast their votes in a plebiscite held
pursuant to R.A. No. 6766, entitled An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the Cordillera
Autonomous Region.
2) The official COMELEC results of the plebiscite showed that the creation of the CAR was
approved by a majority of votes only in the province of Ifugao, and was overwhelmingly
rejected by votes in the rest of the provinces and the city of Baguio.
3) On February 14, 1990, the COMELEC issued Resolution No. 2259, stating that the Organic
Act for the CAR had been approved and/or ratified by a majority of the votes cast only in
the province of Ifugao.
4) On the same date, the Secretary of Justice issued a memorandum for the President, which
memorandum:
a. Reiterated COMELEC Resolution No. 2259.
b. Provided that considering the proviso in Sec. 13(A) of the Organic Act that only the
provinces and city voting favorably shall be included in the CAR, then the sole
province of Ifugao, being the only province which voted favorably, legally and
validly constituted the CAR.
5) As a result, Congress enacted R.A. No. 6861, setting the elections in the Cordillera
Autonomous Region of Ifugao on the first Monday of March 1991.
6) Even before the issuance of COMELEC Resolution No. 2259, the Executive Secretary had
issued a memorandum granting authority to wind up the affairs of the Cordillera Executive
Board and the Cordillera Regional Assembly, which had been created under E.O. No. 220.
7) Petitioners Cordillera Regional Assembly member Alexander P. Ordillo, et al. filed a petition
with the COMELEC to declare the non-ratification of the Organic Act.
8) The COMELEC merely noted Ordillo, et al.s petition.
9) The President issued Administrative Order No. 160, declaring, among others, that the
Cordillera Executive Board, Cordillera Regional Assembly, and all offices created under E.O.
No. 220 were abolished, in view of the ratification of the Organic Act.
10)
Ordillo, et al. filed a petition in the SC. They maintained that there can be no valid
Cordillera Autonomous Region in only 1 province, as the 1987 Constitution and R.A. No.

6766 require that the said Region be composed of more than 1 constituent unit. They
prayed that the SC:
a. Declare null and void COMELEC Resolution No. 2259, the memorandum of the
Secretary of Justice, the memorandum of the Executive Secretary, Administrative
Order No. 160, and R.A. No. 6861.
b. Prohibit and restrain respondents the COMELEC, et al. from implementing the
aforementioned resolution, memoranda, etc. and spending public funds for the
purpose.
c. Declare E.O. No. 220 to be still in force and effect until another organic law for the
CAR is enacted by Congress and duly ratified by the voters in the constituent units.
Issues:
1) Can the sole province of Ifugao validly constitute the Cordillera Autonomous Region? NO.
2) Is the doctrine in Abbas, et al. v. COMELEC applicable? NO.
Held: Petition is GRANTED. COMELEC Resolution No. 2259, insofar as it upholds the creation of
an autonomous region, the memorandum of the Secretary of Justice, the memorandum of the
Executive Secretary, A.O. No. 160, and R.A. No. 6861 are declared null and void, while E.O. No.
220 is declared to be still in force and effect until properly repealed or amended.

Ratio:
1) The sole province of Ifugao cannot validly constitute the Cordillera Autonomous Region.
There can be no valid Cordillera Autonomous Region in only 1 province, as the 1987
Constitution and R.A. No. 6766 require that the said Region be composed of more than 1
constituent unit.
a. Sec. 15, Art. X of the 1987 Constitution provides:
Section 15. There shall be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in the Cor
consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities and geographical areas sharing common
distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures, and other re
characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as w
territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines.
i. The words provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical areas connote
that a region is to be made up of more than 1 constituent unit. The term
region, used in its ordinary sense, means 2 or more provinces.
1. The language of the Constitution, as much as possible, should be
understood in the sense it has in common use, and the words used in
constitutional provisions are to be given their ordinary meaning, except
where technical terms are employed. (Baranda v. Gustilo; J. M. Tuason
& Co., Inc. v. Land Tenure Administration)
ii. This is supported by the fact that the 13 regions into which the Philippines is
divided for administrative purposes are groupings of contiguous provinces.
iii. Ifugao is a province by itself. To become part of a region, it must join other
provinces, cities, municipalities, and geographical areas with common and
distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures,
and other relevant characteristics.
b. Sections 1 and 2, Art. III of R.A. No. 6766 provide that the CAR is to be administered
by the Cordillera government, consisting of the Regional Government and LGUs.
Sec. 2 further provides:
SECTION 2. The Regional Government shall exercise powers and functions necessary fo
proper governance and development of all provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays
the Autonomous Region.
i. Clearly, Congress never intended that a single province could constitute a
region. Otherwise, it would result in 2 sets of officials (provincial and regional)
exercising their executive and legislative powers over exactly the same area.

c. Sections 1 and 4, Art. V of R.A. No. 6766 vest legislative power in the Cordillera
Assembly, whose members shall be elected from regional assembly districts
apportioned among provinces and cities composing the Cordillera Autonomous
Region.
i. If we follow the COMELEC, et al.s position, the members of the Cordillera
Assembly would be elected only from the province of Ifguao. This would result
in 2 legislative bodies (the Cordillera Assembly and the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan) exercising their legislative powers over the province of Ifugao,
one of the smallest provinces in the Philippines (population-wise).
d. Sec. 10, Art. XII of R.A. No. 6766 creates a Regional Planning and Development
Board, which has a counterpart at the provincial level called the Provincial Planning
and Development Coordinator.
i. The Boards functions are almost similar to the Provincial Coordinators. If it
takes only 1 person at the provincial level to perform such functions, but an
entire Board at the regional level, it could only mean that a larger area must
be covered at the regional level.
e. Sec. 13 (B) (c), Art. XXI of R.A. No. 6766 allots Php10 million to the Regional
Government for its initial organizational requirements.
i. This amount cannot be construed as funding only a lone and small province.
f. The province of Ifugao makes up only 11% of the total population of the provinces
and city comprising the Region, and has the 2 nd smallest number of inhabitants
among all of them.
g. Sec. 16, Art. V of R.A. No. 6766 calls for a Regional Commission on Appointments,
with the Speaker as Chairman and 6 members coming from various provinces and
cities in the Region.
i. If we follow the COMELEC, et al.s position, the Commission would have a
Chairman and only 1 member. It would never have a quorum.
h. Other sections of R.A. No. 6766 call for cabinet members, as far as practicable, to
come from various provinces and cities in the Region; create a system of tribal
courts for the various indigenous cultural communities in the Region; and require
the development of a common regional language based on the various languages
and dialects in the region. These provisions all rule against the sole province of
Ifugao constituting the Region.
2) The doctrine in Abbas, et al. v. COMELEC is NOT applicable.
a. Abbas established the rule to follow on which provinces and cities shall comprise
the autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao, which is the same rule to follow with
regard to the autonomous region in the Cordillera. However, there is nothing in
Abbas which deals with the issue on whether an autonomous region, in either
Muslim Mindanao or Cordillera, could exist despite the fact that only 1 province or 1
city is to constitute it. (In other words, its a completely different issue.)
Cordillera Broad Coalition v. Commission on Audit
Cortes, J. 29 January 1990
SV:EO 220 was issued by the President in the exercise of her legislative powers. Its main function
is to coordinate the planning and implementation of programs and services in the region. In
these consolidated petitions, the constitutionality of EO 220 is assailed on the primary ground
that it pre-empts the enactment of an organic act by the Congress and the creation of the
autonomous region in the Cordilleras conditional on the approval of the act through a plebiscite.
The SC upheld the constitutionality of EO 220. It found that EO 220 did not create the
autonomous region contemplated in the Constitution, but merely provided for transitory
measures in anticipation of the enactment of an organic act. EO 220 merely created a region
covering a specified area for administrative purposes.

FACTS:
- In these consolidated petitions, the constitutionality of EO 220, dated July 15, 1987, which
created the Cordillera Administrative Region, is assailed on the primary ground that it pre-empts
the enactment of an organic act by the Congress and the creation of the autonomous region in
the Cordilleras conditional on the approval of the act through a plebiscite.
- EO 220 was issued by the President in the exercise of her legislative powers under Art. XVIII,
Sec. 6 of the 1987 Constitution. Its main function is to coordinate the planning and
implementation of programs and services in the region, particularly to coordinate with the LGUs
as well as with the executive departments of the National Government in the supervision of field
offices. EO 22s last Whereas clause provides:
WHEREAS, pending the convening of the first Congress and the enactment of the organic
act for a Cordillera autonomous region, there is an urgent need, in the interest of national
security and public order, for the President to reorganize immediately the existing
administrative structure in the Cordilleras to suit it to the existing political realities therein
and the Government's legitimate concerns in the areas, without attempting to pre-empt
the constitutional duty of the first Congress to undertake the creation of an autonomous
region on a permanent basis.
- During the pendency of the case, RA 6766, entitled An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the
Cordillera Autonomous Region: was enacted and signed into law. The Act recognizes the CAR and
the offices and agencies created under EO 220 and its transitory nature is reinforce in Art. XXI of
RA 6766.
ISSUE/REASONING:
Is EO 220 unconstitutional? NO, it is not.
1) EO 220 actually envisions the consolidation and coordination of the delivery of services of line
departments and agencies of the National Government in the areas covered by the
administrative region as a preparatory step to the grant of autonomy to the Cordilleras.
It does not create the autonomous region contemplated in the Constitution. It merely
provides for transitory measures in anticipation of the enactment of an organic act.
Petitioners are of the view that EO 220, as a capitulation to the Cordillera Peoples Liberation
Army of Balweg, is unsound, but the Court cannot inquire into the wisdom of the measures taken
by the President.
2) The Constitution provides for a basic structure of government in the autonomous region
composed of an elective executive and legislature and special courts. EO 220 did not establish
an autonomous regional government. It merely created a region covering a specified area,
for administrative purposes.
The bodies created by EO220 do not supplant the existing local government structure, nor are
they autonomous government agencies. They merely constitute the mechanism for an umbrella
that brings together existing local governments, the agencies of the National Government, the
tribes, and NGOs to spur development.
3) RA 6658, creating the Cordillera Regional Consultative Commission, was passed.
Subsequently, RA 6766, the organic act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region was passed into
law. A plebiscite for the approval of the organic act, to be conducted, shortly, shall complete the
process outlined in the Constitution.
EO 220, meanwhile has been in effect for more than 2 years, and the autonomous region is still
to be created, showing a the lack of basis of petitioners assertion that EO220 was a shortcut for

the creation of the autonomous region in the Cordilleras.


4) EO 220 did not create a new territorial and political subdivision or merge existing ones into a
larger subdivision. The CAR is not a public corporation or a territorial and political subdivision. It
does not have a separate juridical personality unlike provinces, cities and municipalities.
The CAR was created primarily to coordinate the planning and implementation of programs and
services in the covered areas. It is in the same genre as the administrative regions created under
the Reorganization plan. It is, more than anything else, a regional coordinating agency of the
National Government.
5) The creation of the CAR did not contravene the constitutional guarantee of the local autonomy
for the provinces (Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao, and Mountain Province) and city
(Baguio) which compose CAR.
The constitutional guarantee of local autonomy in the Constitution (Art. X, Sec. 2) refers to the
administrative autonomy of local government units, or the decentralization of government
authority.
On the other hand, the creation of autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras,
contemplates the grant of political autonomy and not just administrative autonomy.
The Car, however, is a mere transitory coordinating agency that would prepare the stage for
political autonomy for the Cordilleras. It fills in the resulting gap in the process of transforming a
group of adjacent territorial and political subdivisions already enjoying administrative autonomy
into an autonomous region vested with political autonomy.
Petitioners have failed to show how the creation of the CAR has actually diminished the local
autonomy of the covered provinces and city. Pure speculation and a resort to probabilities are
insufficient to cause the invalidation of EO 220.
PETITION DISMISSED.
MMDA v Bel-Air Village Association
March 27, 2000
Puno, J.

Short version: MMDA ordered the BAVA to open Neptune Street to the public. BAVA assailed this,
on the ground that MMDA had no such authority. The CA and SC ruled in favor of BAVA. MMDA
does not have legislative authority nor police power. It is not a political unit. It has less powers
than its predecessor, the Metro Manila Council. All its functions are administrative. The
SangguniangPanlungsod of Makati City did not pass any ordinance or resolution ordering the
opening of Neptune Street, hence, its proposed opening by petitioner MMDA is illegal.

Facts:

BAVA received from the MMDA a notice requesting it to open Neptune Street to public
vehicular traffic. It was all apprised that the perimeter wall separating the subdivision from
the adjacent Kalayaan Avenue would be demolished.
BAVA filed an action against MMDA for ainjunction. A TRO was issued.
The RTC denied the issuance of a preliminary injunction.
The CA issued the preliminary injunction, but subsequently ruled in favor of BAVA, finding that
MMDA had no authority to order the opening of Neptune Street, a private subdivision road.
The authority is with the City Council of Makati.

Issue: Does the MMDA have authority to open a private road inside a private residential
subdivision to public traffic? NO

Ratio:
1) Neptune Street is owned by respondent BAVA. It is a private road inside Bel-Air Village. It runs
parallel to Kalayaan Avenue, a national road open to the general public. Dividing the 2 streets
is a concrete perimeter wall approximately 15 feet high. Both ends of Neptune Street are
guarded by iron gates.
2) MMDA bases its authority on the fact that it is an agent of the state endowed with police
power in the delivery of basic services to Metro Manila. One of these services is traffic
management. It claims that there is no need for the City of Makati to enact an ordinance
opening Neptune St. to the public.
3) Metropolitan or Metro Manila is a body composed of several local government units. There
are12 cities and 5 municipalities, namely, the cities of Caloocan, Manila, Mandaluyong,
Makati, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon, Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Marikina, Paranaque and Valenzuela, and
the municipalities of Malabon, ,Navotas, , Pateros, San Juan and Taguig.
4) With the passage of Republic Act (R. A.) 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
5) "Metro-wide services" are those "services which have metro-wide impact and transcend local
political boundaries or entail huge expenditures such that it would not be viable for said
services to be provided by the individual local government units comprising Metro Manila.
6) These metro-wide services are:
a. Development planning;
b. Transport and traffic management;
c. Solid waste disposal and management;
d. Flood control and sewerage management;
e. Urban renewal, zoning and land use planning, and shelter services;
f. Health and sanitation, urban protection and pollution control; and
g. Public safety.
7) The basic service of transport and traffic management includes transport and traffic
management which include the formulation, coordination, and monitoring of policies,
standards, programs and projects to rationalize the existing transport operations,
infrastructure requirements, the use of thoroughfares, and promotion of safe and convenient
movement of persons and goods; provision for the mass transport system and the institution
of a system to regulate road users; administration and implementation of all traffic
enforcement operations, traffic engineering services and traffic education programs, including
the institution of a single ticketing system in Metropolitan Manila.
8) The implementation of the MMDAs plans, programs and projects is undertaken by the local
government units, national government agencies, accredited peoples organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector as well as by the MMDA itself. For this

purpose, the MMDA has the power to enter into contracts, memoranda of agreement and
other cooperative arrangements with these bodies for the delivery of the required services
within Metro Manila.
9) The governing board of the MMDA is the Metro Manila Council. The Council is composed of the
mayors of the component 12 cities and 5 municipalities, the president of the Metro Manila
Vice-Mayors League and the president of the Metro Manila Councilors League. The Council is
headed by a Chairman who is appointed by the President and vested with the rank of cabinet
member.
10)
As the policy-making body of the MMDA, the Metro Manila Council approves metro-wide
plans, programs and projects, and issues the necessary rules and regulations for the
implementation of said plans; it approves the annual budget of the MMDA and promulgates
the rules and regulations for the delivery of basic services, collection of service and
regulatory fees, fines and penalties.
11)
The scope of the MMDAs function is limited to the delivery of those 7 services. Its powers
are limited to formulation, coordination, regulation, implementation, preparation,
management, monitoring, setting of policies, installation of a system and administration.
There is no syllable in R. A. No. 7924 that grants the MMDA police power, let alone legislative
power.
12)
Even the Metro Manila Council has not been delegated any legislative power. Unlike the
LGUs, there is no provision in R. A. No. 7924 that empowers the MMDA or its Council to "enact
ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare" of the
inhabitants of Metro Manila.
13)
All its functions are administrative in nature. " It is an agency created for the purpose of
laying down policies and coordinating with the various national government agencies,
peoples organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector for the
efficient and expeditious delivery of basic services in the vast metropolitan area.
14)
The MMDA shall perform planning, monitoring and coordinative functions, and in the
process exercise regulatory and supervisory authority over the delivery of metro-wide
services within Metro Manila, without diminution of the autonomy of the local government
units concerning purely local matters.
15)
The 2 Sangalang cases do not apply in this case. Why?
a. Sangalang involved zoning ordinances passed by the municipal council of Makati and the
Metro Manila Commission (MMC). In this case, the basis for the proposed opening of
Neptune Street is contained in the notice sent to BAVA, through its president. The notice
does not cite any ordinance or law, either by the SangguniangPanlungsod of Makati City
or by the MMDA, as the legal basis for the proposed opening of Neptune Street.
b. The MMDA is not the same entity as MMC. MMC had greater powers. The MMC was the
central government of Metro Manila for the purpose of establishing and administering
programs providing services common to the area.
i. The MMC was the central government of Metro Manila. It had power to enact or
approve ordinances, resolutions, and fix penalties. Thus, it had legislative powers as
well as police powers. Whatever legislative powers the component cities and
municipalities had were all subject to review and approval by the MMC.
16)
When the MMA was created, the powers and functions of the MMC were devolved to the
MMA. However, not all powers and functions were passed on.
17)
The MMAs power was limited to the "delivery of basic urban services requiring
coordination in Metropolitan Manila." The MMAs governing body, the Metropolitan Manila
Council, although composed of the mayors of the component cities and municipalities, was
merely given the power of:
a. Formulation of policies on the delivery of basic services requiring coordination and
consolidation; and
b. Promulgation of resolutions and other issuances, approval of a code of basic services and
the exercise of its rule-making power
18)
Under the 1987 Constitution, the LGUs became primarily responsible for the governance of
their respective political subdivisions. The MMAs jurisdiction was limited to addressing
common problems involving basic services that transcended local boundaries. It did not have

legislative power. It merely provided local governments with technical assistance and
advice.
19)
Any semblance of legislative power the MMDA had was confined to a "review [of]
legislation proposed by the local legislative assemblies to ensure consistency among local
governments and with the comprehensive development plan of Metro Manila," and to "advise
the local governments accordingly.
20)
The MMDA is not a political unit. There is no authority to enact ordinances and regulations
for the general welfare of the inhabitants of the metropolis. It not even a special metropolitan
political subdivision, which also requires a plebiscite.
21)
The power delegated to the MMDA is that given to the Metro Manila Council to promulgate
administrative rules and regulations in the implementation of the MMDAs functions. There is
no grant of authority to enact ordinances and regulations for the general welfare of the
inhabitants of the metropolis.
22)
It is still the LGUs that possess legislative power and police power.
23)
The SangguniangPanlungsod of Makati City did not pass any ordinance or resolution
ordering the opening of Neptune Street, hence, its proposed opening by petitioner MMDA is
illegal.
CA decision affirmed.

MMDA v. Dante O. Garin


Date: April 15, 2005
Ponente: Chico-Nazario
Digested by: Mandee
The case in a nutshell: Petitioner Garin (a lawyer) was issued a Traffic Violation Receipt and his
drivers license was confiscated for illegal parking. He filed a complaint with application for
prelim injunction before the RTC. He assailed the constitutionality of Sec. 5(f), R.A. No. 7924
(which defines the MMDAs powers and functions), claiming that it violated the Constitutions due
process clause and prohibition against undue delegation of legislative authority. RTC ruled in
favor of Garin: directed the MMDA to return his drivers license and desist from confiscating
drivers licenses without first giving the driver the opportunity to be heard in an appropriate
proceeding. MMDA filed petition with SC. While the case was pending, MMDA issued new
Memorandum Circular which rendered case moot and academic, but SC discussed MMDAs
functions and powers anyway for future reference. A license to operate a motor vehicle is a
privilege that the state may withhold in the exercise of its police power. The MMDA is NOT vested
with police power; its functions are administrative in nature. To interpret Sec. 5(f), R.A. No. 7924
as granting the MMDA the power to confiscate and suspend or revoke drivers licenses without
need of any other legislative enactment is an UNAUTHORIZED exercise of police power. But Sec.
5(f), R.A. No. 7924 grants the MMDA with the duty to enforce existing traffic rules and
regulations., so where theres a traffic law or regulation validly enacted, the MMDA is duty-bound
to confiscate and suspend or revoke drivers licenses in the exercise of its mandate of transport
and traffic management, as well as the administration and implementation of all traffic
enforcement operations/engineering services/education programs.
Facts:
On August 5, 1995, petitioner Dante O. Garin (a lawyer) was issued a Traffic Violation
Receipt (TVR) and his drivers license was confiscated for parking illegally along Gandara
St., Binondo, Manila. The following statements were printed on the TVR:
o You are hereby directed to report to the MMDA Traffic Operations Center, Port
Area, Manila, after 48 hours from date of apprehension for disposition/appropriate

action thereon. Criminal case shall be filed for failure to redeem license after 30
days.
o Valid as temporary drivers license for 7 days from date of apprehension.
On September 12, 1995 (after his letter to then-MMDA Chairman Prospero Oreto received
no reply), Garin filed a complaint with application for preliminary injunction before the
Paraaque RTC.
o He assailed the constitutionality of Sec. 5(f), R.A. No. 7924 (AN ACT CREATING
THE METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, DEFINING ITS
POWERS AND FUNCTIONS, PROVIDING FUNDS THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER
PURPOSES), claiming that it:
Violates the due process clause of the Constitution - grants the MMDA
unbridled discretion to deprive erring motorists of their licenses, pre-empting
a judicial determination of the validity of the deprivation
Violates the constitutional prohibition against undue delegation of legislative
authority allows the MMDA to fix and impose unspecified, and therefore
unlimited, fines and other penalties on erring motorists
o Garin contended that absent any implementing rules from the Metro Manila Council
(MMC), the TVR and the confiscation of his license have no legal basis.
RTC ruled in favor of Garin. It made the temporary writ of prelim injunction (issued earlier)
permanent, and directed the MMDA to return his drivers license and desist from
confiscating drivers license without first giving the driver the opportunity to be heard in
an appropriate proceeding.
o There was no quorum during MMCs First Regular Meeting, so the MMDA
Memorandum Circular No. TT-95-01 authorizing confiscation of drivers licenses
upon issuance of a TVR is void ab initio.
o The summary confiscation of a drivers license without first giving the driver an
opportunity to be heard, depriving him of a property right (drivers license) without
due process, and not filing in court the complaint of supposed traffic infraction cant
be justified by any legislation, hence its unconstitutional.
MMDA filed a petition before the SC.
On August 12, 2004, the MMDA, through its new Chairman Bayani Fernando, implemented
Memorandum Circular No. 04, Series of 2004, which rendered the MMDAs pending case
moot and academic. The new Memorandum Circular outlined the procedures for the use of
the Metropolitan Traffic Ticket (MTT) scheme as follows:
o Motorists are issued an MTT, which can be paid at any Metrobank branch.
o Traffic enforcers cant confiscate drivers licenses as a matter of course in cases of
traffic violations.
o All motorists with unredeemed TVRs are given 7 days from the date of
implementation of the new system to pay their fines and redeem their license or
vehicle plates.
Even though the new Memorandum Circular rendered the MMDAs pending case moot and
academic, the MMDA might re-implement the old Memorandum Circular or any other
scheme which would entail confiscating drivers licenses. So the SC decided to discuss the
MMDAs functions and powers for future reference.

Issue: WON Sec. 5(f), R.A. No. 7924 is unconstitutional MOOT AND ACADEMIC
Held: Petition DISMISSED.
Ratio:
1. A license to operate a motor vehicle is a privilege that the state may withhold in the
exercise of its police power, in the interest of the public safety and welfare, subject to the
procedural due process requirements.
a. Philippine jurisprudence: Pedro v. Provincial Board of Rizal on the license to operate
cockpits, Tan v. Director of Forestry and Oposa v. Factoran on timber licensing

agreements, and Surigao Electric Co., Inc. v. Municipality of Surigao, on a legislative


franchise to operate an electric plant
b. American jurisprudence (State ex. Rel. Sullivan, Commonwealth v. Funk): its the
legislature, in the exercise of police power, which has the power and responsibility
to regulate how and by whom motor vehicles may be operated on the state
highways
2. The MMDA is NOT vested with police power.
a. MMDA v. Bel-Air Village Association, Inc.: R.A. No. 7924 does NOT grant the MMDA
with police power, let alone legislative power; all its functions are ADMINISTRATIVE
in nature.
i. Police power is vested by the Constitution in the legislature. Having been
lodged primarily in the legislature, it cant be exercised by any group/body of
individuals not possessing legislative power.
ii. The legislature may delegate police power. In the Local Government Code of
1991, Congress delegated police power to LGUs, i.e. the provinces, cities,
municipalities and barangays, which exercise police power through their
respective legislative bodies.
iii. Clearly, the MMDA isnt a political unit of government. The power delegated
to the MMDA is that given to the MMC to promulgate administrative rules and
regulations in the implementation of the MMDAs functions.
iv. The powers of the MMDA are limited to the ff. acts: formulation, coordination,
regulation, implementation, preparation, management, monitoring, setting of
policies, installation of a system and administration. Its NOT empowered to
enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general
welfare of the inhabitants of Metro Manila. Its an agency created for the
purpose of laying down policies and coordinating with the various national
government agencies, peoples organizations, NGOs, and the private sector
for the efficient and expeditious delivery of basic services in the vast
metropolitan area.
b. To interpret Sec. 5(f), R.A. No. 7924 as granting the MMDA the power to confiscate
and suspend or revoke drivers licenses without need of any other legislative
enactment is an UNAUTHORIZED exercise of police power.
3. Sec. 5(f), R.A. No. 7924 grants the MMDA with the duty to enforce existing traffic rules and
regulations.
a. Sec. 5(f), R.A. No. 7924: Functions and Powers of the Metro Manila
Development Authority. The MMDA shall: xxx (f) 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 nonmoving in nature, and confiscate and suspend or revoke drivers licenses
in the enforcement of such traffic laws and regulations, the provisions of
R. A. 4136 and P. D. 1605 to the contrary notwithstanding. For 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; and xxx
b. Where there is a traffic law or regulation validly enacted by the legislature or those
agencies to whom legislative powers have been delegated (the City of Manila in this
case), the MMDA is NOT precluded, and is in fact duty-bound, to confiscate and
suspend or revoke drivers licenses in the exercise of its mandate of transport and
traffic management, as well as the administration and implementation of all traffic
enforcement operations, traffic engineering services and traffic education programs.
4. The MMDA was intended to coordinate services with metro-wide impact that transcend
local political boundaries or would entail huge expenditures if provided by the individual
LGUs, especially with regard to transport and traffic management. But its efforts in this

respect are limited by its enabling law they must be authorized by a valid
law/ordinance/regulation coming from a legitimate source.
096. Abella v COMELEC77

77G.R. No. 100710 September 3, 1991BENJAMIN P. ABELLA, petitioner, vs.COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and ADELINA Y. LARRAZABAL,
respondents.
G.R. No. 100739 September 3, 1991
ADELINA Y. LARRAZABAL, petitioner, vs.COMMSSION ON ELECTIONS and SILVESTRE DE LA CRUZ, respondents.

Sept. 3, 1991
Gutierrez, Jr.
TOPIC: Municipal Officers and Employees; Elective Officials; Qualifications
SV:AdelinaLarrazabal is the wife of a candidate for provincial governor of Leyte who was
disqualified for lack of residence. She filed her own certificate of candidacy in substitution of her
husband. The next day, De la Cruz filed a petition to disqualify her for her alleged false
statements in her certificate of candidacy regarding her residence. Subsequently, Abella, another
candidate for governor, also filed a complaint against her. Later, COMELEC decided to disqualify
Larrazabal as governor and to disallow Abella (who got the 2 nd highest number of votes) from
being proclaimed as governor. Larrazabal insists that she is a resident and a registered voter of
Kananga, Leyte, while De la Cruz and Abella contend that she is a resident and registered voter
of Ormoc City (a component city of the province of Leyte but independent of the province).
Court ruled that Larrazabals disqualification was proper.
RESIDENCE: Larrazabal failed to show that she and her husband maintain separate
residences. Animus revertendi may be inferred from ones acts, activities and utterances.
A citizen may leave for other place for study, practice of vocation, or business, but there is
no showing that Larrazabal left Kananga for these reasons. What is clear is that she
established her residence in Ormoc City with her husband and considers herself a resident
therein. The intention of animus revertendi not to abandon her residence in Kananga,
Leyte is not present.
VOTING: Transfer of registration from Kananga to Ormoc is not supported by records. Her
story is marked by several bizarre circumstances inconsistent with ordinary course of
events.
As a voter in Ormoc City, Larrazabal is prohibited from voting and being voted in elective
offices in the province of Leyte, as mandated by the Constitution and RA 179.
Also, Abella, who obtained the 2nd highest number of votes should not be installed as the
regular governor of Leyte. People voted for Larrazabal during election day and the net
effect is that Abella lost.
FACTS:
Petitioner Benjamin P. Abella was the official candidate of the Liberal Party for provincial
governor of Leyte in the local election held on February 1, 1988.
Private respondent AdelinaLarrazabal is the wife of the original candidate of the Lakas ng
Bansa-PDP-Laban (EmeterioLarrazabal) who was disqualified for lack of residence.
o Jan. 31, 1988: Adelina filed her own certificate of candidacy in substitution of her
husband.
The next day, de la Cruz, a registered voter of Tacloban, filed a petition with the election
supervisor of Leyte to disqualify her for alleged false statements in her certificate of
candidacy regarding her residence.
o Although the petition was immediately transmitted, COMELEC could not take action
because almost all of its members hadnt yet been confirmed by the COA, so De la Cruz
came to the SC, which issued a TRO enjoining the provincial board of canvassers of
Leyte 'from proclaiming AdelinaLarrazabal as the winning candidate for the Office of
the Governor in the province of Leyte, in the event that she obtains the winning margin
of votes in the canvass of election returns of said province.
o Petitioner Abella, after raising objections during the canvass of the election returns,
seasonably elevated them to the COMELEC.
He later filed a complaint with the Law Department of the COMELEC charging respondent
Larrazabal with falsification and misrepresentation of her residence in her Certificate of
Candidacy.
o The Second Division of the COMELEC upheld all the challenged rulings of the provincial
board of canvassers, mostly on the ground that the objection raised were merely formal

and did not affect the validity of the returns or the ballots, and ordered the
proclamation of the winner after completion of the canvass.
o The disqualification case was also dismissed, and was referred to the Law Department.
Upon appeal, the SC affirmed the resolution of the Second Division and ordered the COMELEC
to directly hear and decide the disqualification case against Larrazabal.
o In view of this ruling, the COMELEC lifted its TRO against Adelinas proclamation paving
her assumption to the Office of Governor of Leyte while the hearings in the
disqualification case continued.
Later, the second division of the COMELEC in a 2-1 vote rendered a decision disqualifying
Larrazabal as governor.
o This decision was affirmed by the Commission en banc in a resolution which, at the
same time, disallowed Abellas proclamation as governor of Leyte. Hence these
petitions.
PARTIES ARGUMENTS
The position of petitioners De la Cruz and Abella was that Larrazabal is neither a resident nor
a registered voter of Kananga, Leyte as she claimed but a resident and registered voter of
Ormoc City, a component city of the province of Leyte but independent of the province
pursuant to Section 12, Article X of the Constitution.
On the other hand, respondent Larrazabal maintained that she was a resident and a
registered voter of Kananga, Leyte.
COMELEC ruled against Larrazabal.

ISSUES:
1. Was the COMELECs disqualification of Larrazabal proper on the ground of failing to
meet the residence and voting requirements? (YES)

Larrazabal says: She has complied with the residence requirement and that she is a
registered voter.
o COMELEC erred when it relied on the Family Code provisions to rule that she lacks the
required residence to qualify her to run for the position of governor of Leyte. Under
"the Election Law, the matter of determination of the RESIDENCE is more on the
principle of INTENTION, the animus revertendi rather than anything else."
Her subsequent physical transfer of residence to Ormoc did not erase or remove
her Kananga residence as long as she had the ANIMUS REVERTENDI evidenced
by her continuous and regular acts of returning there in the course of the years,
although she had physically resided at Ormoc City.
o She is a registered voter based on these antecedents:
1) She cancelled her registration in Ormoc City on November 25, 1987
2) she then transferred her registration to Kananga, Leyte on November 25,
1987 by registering thereat
3) she later voted on election day (February 1, 1988) in Kananga, Leyte.
COURT: Regarding the residence requirement, Larrazabaldid not present evidence to show
that she and her husband maintain separate residences; she considers herself a resident of
Ormoc City. The reliance of the FC provisions was proper.
o The Civil Code is clear that '[F]or the exercise of civil rights and the fulfillment of civil
obligations, the domicile of natural persons is the place of their habitual residence.
o As regards the principle of ANIMUS REVERTENDI, the SC has ruled in [Faypon v Quirino]:
... [M]ere absence from one's residence or origin-domicile-to pursue studies, engage in
business, or practice his avocation, is not sufficient to constitute abandonment or loss
of such residence.' ...The determination of a persons legal residence or domicile
largely depends upon intention which may be inferred from his acts,

activities and utterances.A citizen may leaveto improve his life, and that
includes study in other places, practice of his avocation, or engaging in business
o In this case, there is no evidence to prove that the petitioner temporarily left her
residence in Kananga, Leyteto pursue any calling, profession or business. What is clear
is that she established her residence in Ormoc City with her husband and considers
herself a resident therein. The intention of animus revertendi not to abandon her
residence in Kananga, Leyte is not present.
Though she occasionally visits Kananga, this does not signify an intention to
continue her residence therein.
As for her assertion that she is a registered voter, the evidence shows that her supposed
cancellation of registration in Ormoc City and transfer of registration in Kananga, Leyte, is not
supported by the records.

As was ruled by the COMELEC, her story is marked by so many bizarre circumstances 78
not consistent with the ordinary course of events or the natural behavior of persons.
o For one, it was only two weeks after the election day that the Registrar certified for the
first time that there were two voters lists, the first without the names of the Larrazabals
and the second, submitted by the Chairman of the Board for Precinct which contained
the spouses Larrazabals' names.
o From the submitted evidence, we can see that petitioner Abellas thesis that
respondent was not registered voter in Kanangashe and her husband being
registered voters in Ormocwas supported.
2. Does the prohibition against the registered voters of independent component cities
and highly urbanized cities from electing provincial officials necessarily mean a
prohibition of the registered voters to be elected as provincial officials? (YES)
o

78 Here are some inconsistencies: application for cancellation of registration by respondent Adelina Y. Larrazabal happened to be
misplaced by a clerk in the Election Registrar's Office for Ormoc City so it was not sent to the Board of Election Inspectors in a
sealed envelope; voter's affidavit was delivered by itself without any endorsement or covering letter from the Election Registrar

Larrazabal says79: Her being a registered voter in Ormoc City was no impediment to her
candidacy for the position of governor of the province of Leyte. (Basically, she argues that
though she cant vote for provincial elective officials, she can still run for a provincial office
ed.)

79

Coz she failed in her contention that she is a resident and a registered voter of Kananga

Relating Sec. 89, RA 179 to Sec. 12, Art IX of the Consti 80, it can be concluded that
Ormoc City when organized was not yet a highly-urbanized city but is, nevertheless,
considered independent of the province of Leyte to which it is geographically attached
because its charter prohibits its voters from voting for the provincial elective officials.

80Section 12, Article X of the Constitution provides:


Cities that are highly urbanized, as determined by law, and component cities whose charters prohibit their voters from voting for
provincial elective officials, shall be independent of the province. The voters of component cities within a province, whose charters
contain no such prohibition, shall not be deprived of their right to vote for elective provincial officials.
Section 89 of Republic Act No. 179 creating the City of Ormoc provides:
Election of provincial governor and members of the Provincial Board of the members of the Provincial Board of the Province of Leyte
The qualified voters of Ormoc City shall not be qualified and entitled to vote in the election of the provincial governor and the
members of the provincial board of the Province of Leyte.

Also, citing Sec. 4, Art. X of the Consti 81, she submits that while a Component City-whose charter prohibits its voters from participating in the elections for provincial
office--is indeed independent of the province, such independence cannot be equated
with a highly urbanized city; rather it is limited to the administrative supervision
aspect, and nowhere should it lead to the conclusion that said voters are likewise
prohibited from running for the provincial offices.
COURT: Larrazabal is wrong, the Consti and RA 179 prohibit voters in Ormoc from voting and
being voted in elective offices in the province of Leyte.
o Section 12, Article X of the Constitution is explicit in that aside from highly-urbanized
cities, component cities whose charters prohibit their voters from voting for provincial
elective officials are independent of the province.In the same provision, it provides for
other component cities within a province whose charters do not provide a similar
prohibition.
Component cities (like Ormoc City) whose charters prohibit their voters from
voting for provincial elective officials are treated like highly urbanized cities
which are outside the supervisory power of the province to which they are
geographically attached.
This independence from the province carries with it the prohibition or mandate
directed to their registered voters not to vote and be voted for the provincial
elective offices.
o Besides, Sec. 89, RA 179 prohibits registered voters of Ormoc City from voting and
being voted for elective offices in the province of Leyte.
Court agrees with COMELEC that "the phrase 'shall not be qualified and entitled
to vote in the election of the provincial governor and the members of the
provincial board of the Province of Leyte' connotes two prohibitions one, from
running for and the second, from voting for any provincial elective official."
Larrazabal says: Such interpretation is "wrong English" since nowhere in the provision is there
any reference to a prohibition against running for provincial elective office.
o If the prohibition to run was indeed intended, the provision should have been phrased
"Shall not be qualified TO RUN in the election FOR provincial governor."
COURT: This interpretation is fallacious.In the case of [Mapa v. Arroyo] the applicable rule of
interpretation is ad proximumantedecens flat relationisiimpediatursentencia. Relative words
refer to the nearest antecedent, unless it be prevented by the context.
o Applying these principles to the instant case, the conjunction and between the phrase
shall not be qualified and entitled to vote refer to two prohibitions as ruled by the
COMELEC in relation to the demonstrative phrase "in the election of the provincial
governor and the members of the provincial board of the Province of Leyte."
o

3. Should Abella, who obtained the 2nd highest number of votes, be installed as regular governor
of Leyte? (NO)

81

Abella says: Since he obtained the 2nd highest number of votes, he should be installed as
the governor of Leyte.
o The Frivaldo and Labo cases were misapplied by the COMELEC. They were petitions
for quo warranto, contesting the eligibility of the respondents AFTER they had been
proclaimed duly elected to the Office from which they were sought to be unseated,
while the case against Larrazabal was seasonably filed during election day.
o Under RA 6646, Sec. 6: Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to
be disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes case for him shall not be
counted.

Art X, Sec. 4. The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local governments. Provinces with respect
to component cities and municipalities and cities and municipalities with respect to component barangays, shall ensure that the
acts of their component units are within the scope of their prescribed powers and functions.

Since the votes for Larrazabal (who obtained the highest number of votes) are not
considered counted, he should be installed as the regular Governor of Leyte.
COURT says: Petitioners arguments are not persuasive.
o During the election day, Larrazabal was still considered a bona-fide candidate, and
people voted for her believing that she was a qualified candidate for the position of
governor. The net effect is that Abella lost in the election.
o In Frivaldo and Labo, this is precisely the reason why candidates who obtained the
2nd highest number of votes were not allowed to assume the positions vacated.
o What matters is that in the event a candidate for an elected position who is voted
for and who obtains the highest number of votes is disqualified for not possessing
the eligibility requirements at the time of the election as provided by law, the
candidate who obtains the second highest number of votes for the same position
cannot assume the vacated position
o

Petitions DISMISSED.
Digest by Krys X_X
Juan Gallanosa Frivaldo (Petitioner) vs
Commission on Elections; and the League of Municipalities, Sorsogon Chapter,
represented by its president, Salvador Nee Estuye (Respondents)

Date: June 23, 1989


Ponente: Cruz, J.

Short Version:
Facts: Frivaldo was elected as governor of Sorsogon. A petition was filed before the Comelec
seeking the nullification of his election on the ground that he is an alien, having been naturalized
in the US. Frivaldo contends that he was forced to become a US citizen in order to protect himself
from the Marcos regime; and that he had actually reacquired his Philippine citizenship when he
participated in the elections.
Held: Frivaldo is not a Philippine citizen. His filing of his COC, and his participation on the election
does not amount to a formal declaration needed for a valid repatriation. Frivaldo should have
availed himself of the proper remedies to reacquire Philippine citizenship. Not being a Philippine
citizen, Frivaldo is not qualified to hold office. If a person seeks to serve in the Republic of the
Philippines, he must owe his total loyalty to this country only.

Facts:
- Juan Frivaldo was proclaimed governor-elect of the province of Sorsogon on January 22, 1988.
- On October 27, 1988, the League of Municipalities, Sorsogon Chapter (League), represented by
Salvador Estuye, who was also suing in his personal capacity, filed with the Comelec a petition
for the annulment of Frivaldo's election on the ground that he was not a Filipino citizen, having

been naturalized in the US on January 20, 1983.


- Frivaldo admitted that he was naturalized in the US but argued that he had sought American
citizenship only to protect himself against President Marcos; that the case should be dismissed,
being in reality a quo warranto petition that should have been filed within 10 days from his
proclamation, in accordance with Sec 253 of the Omnibus Election Code; and that the League
was not a proper party because it was not a voter and so could not sue under the said section.
- Frivaldo moved for a preliminary hearing on his affirmative defenses but the Comelec decided
to set the case for hearing on the merits. Frivaldo's MR was deniend, hence he filed with the SC
the present petition for certiorari and prohibition.
- Frivaldo insists that he is a citizen of the Philippines because his naturalization as an American
citizen was not impressed with voluntariness. In support, he cites the Nottebohm Case, where a
German national's naturalization in Liechtenstein was not recognized because it had been
obtained for reasons of convenience only.
- Frivaldo also argues he could not have repatriated himself before the 1988 elections because
the Special Committee on Naturalization created for the purpose by LOI No. 270 had not yet been
organized then; that his oath in his COC that he was a natural-born citizen should be a sufficient
act of repatriation; and that his active participation in the 1987 congressional elections had
divested him of American citizenship under US law, thus restoring his Philippine citizenship.

Issue/Reasoning:
Issue: Whether Frivaldo is a Philippine citizen at the time of his election (No)

- Art XI, Sec 1882 of the Constitution requires that all public officials and employees owe the State
and the Constitution "allegiance at all times". Sec 42 of the LGC requires that a candidate for
local elective office must be a citizen of the Philippines and a qualified voter of the constituency
where he is running. Sec 117 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that a qualified voter must
be a citizen of the Philippines, this being an indispensable requirement for suffrage under Art V,
Sec 1 of the Constitution.
- Frivaldo described himself as a "natural-born" citizen of the Philippines in his COC. The evidence
shows, however, that he was naturalized as a US citizen in 1983 as per certification from the US
District Court, Northern District of California, as duly authenticated by Vice Consul Amado Cortez
of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, California. This is admitted by Frivaldo when
he argued that the said naturalization was forced on him as a means to protect himself from the
Marcos regime.
- Court does not agree with Frivaldo. There were many other Filipinos in the US similarly situated,
and some of them subject to greater risk, who did not find it necessary to abandon their
cherished status as Filipinos. Ninoy Aquino heads the impressive list of those Filipinos in exile
who, unlike Frivaldo, held fast to their Philippine citizenship despite the perils of their resistance
to the Marcos regime.
- The Nottebohm case, which invoked the international law principle of effective nationality, is
not applicable. The case dealt with a conflict between the nationality laws of two states as
decided by a third state. No third state is involved in the case at bar. In fact, the US is not even
claiming Frivaldo as its national. The sole question is whether Frivaldo is a Philippine citizen
under our own laws, regardless of other nationality laws. The Philippines can decide this question
alone, conformably with Sec 1 of of the Hague Convention on the Conflict of Nationality Laws
providing that "it is for each State to determine under its law who are its nationals."
- If Frivaldo really wanted to disavow his American citizenship and reacquire Philippine
citizenship, he should have done so in accordance with our laws of our country. Under CA No. 63,
as amended, Philippine citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of Congress, by
naturalization, or by repatriation.
- Frivaldo does not invoke either of the first two methods. He argues he has reacquired Philippine
citizenship by virtue of a valid repatriation, claiming that by actively participating in our
elections, he automatically forfeited American citizenship under US law.
- US law do not concern us here. The alleged forfeiture is between Frivaldo and the US. Even if he
lost his US citizenship, such did not have the effect of automatically restoring his Philippine
citizenship. At best, he became a stateless individual.
- Frivaldo's filing his COC is hardly the formal declaration the law envisions. Philippine citizenship
previously disowned is not that cheaply recovered. If the Special Committee had not yet been
convened, it meant that Frivaldo had to wait until this was done, or seek naturalization by
legislative or judicial proceedings.
- The argument that the petition with the Comelec should be dismissed for tardiness is not welltaken.
82 The online copy of the case stated Sec 9.

- Qualifications for public office are continuing requirements and must be possessed not only
at the time of appointment or election or assumption of office but during the officer's entire
tenure. Once any of the required qualifications is lost, his title may be seasonably challenged.
- The Court will not permit the anomaly of a person sitting as provincial governor in this
country while owing exclusive allegiance to another country. The fact that he was elected by
the people does not excuse the violation of the rule limiting public office only to the citizens of
this country. The will of the people as expressed through the ballot cannot cure the vice of
ineligibility, especially if they mistakenly believed that the candidate was qualified.
- If a person seeks to serve in the Republic of the Philippines, he must owe his total loyalty to this
country only. The status of the natural-born citizen is favored by the Constitution and our laws,
thus with all the more reason it should be treasured like a pearl of great price. Our country is like
a jealous and possessive mother. Once rejected, it is not quick to welcome back with eager arms
its prodigal if repentant children. The returning renegade must show, by an express and
unequivocal act, the renewal of his loyalty and love.

Dispositive:
Petition dismissed. Frivaldo is declared not a citizen of the Philippines, and therefore disqualified
from serving as Governor of the Province of Sorsogon. He is ordered to vacate his office and
surrender the same to the duly elected Vice-Governor.

Gutierrez, Jr., J. (Concurring):


- When the higher interests of the State are involved, the public good should supersede any
procedural infinities which may affect a petition filed with the Comelec. The Court should not
allow a person who admits to being an alien to continue holding the office of Governor of any
province.
- The period fixed by law for the filing of a protest whether quo warranto or election contest is
mandatory and jurisdictional. As a rule, the quo warranto petition seeking to annul the
petitioner's election should have been filed within ten days after the proclamation of election
results.
- Concurrence is limited to a clear case of an alien holding an elective public office. Where the
disqualification is based on age, residence, or any of the many grounds for ineligibility, the tenday period should be applied strictly.
- Considering the total lack of any serious grounds for the petitioner's claim of having regained
his Philippine citizenship, concurs in the procedure pro hac vice.
LABO, JR., vs. COMELEC and LARDIZABAL
Cruz, J.
Aug. 1, 1989
Cruz, J.
SV: In a quo warranto proceeding filed by Lardizabal against him, Labo, Jr. asks SC to restrain
COMELEC from looking into the question of his citizenship as qualification for his office as Mayor

of Baguio. He argues that the filing feeand in effect, the pettion for quo warranto itself--was not
filed on time.
Court disagreed with Labos contention, and said that the petition for quo warranto was filed on
time. In any case, what is important is that the filing fee was paid, and whatever delay there may
have been is not imputable to the private respondent's fault or neglect. After this, the Court also
decided to settle the more important issue involving Labos citizenship in order to settle the
dispute and because it affects public interest.

There were 2 conflicting previous rulings on Labos citizenship. COMELEC ruled that he was
a Filipino citizen, while the Commission on Deportation said that he was an Australian
Citizen. The COMELEC decision must be reversed because it is baseless. It ignored several
circumstances *see below* which pointed to his Australian citizenship.
Labo became an Australian citizen not simply because he married an Australian, but
because he underwent a process of naturalization in which he declared in an oath that he
renounces his allegiance to the Philippines. Even assuming that his naturalization was
annulled after his marriage was declared void, that circumstance does not automatically
restore his Philippine citizenship. Labo was not a Filipino citizen or voter which disqualified
him from running as mayor.
Despite the fact that he was elected as mayor, the electorate had no power to permit a
foreigner to preside over them as mayor of their city because the qualifications for such
office is prescribed by the LGC and Consti.

FACTS:

Labo Jr. asks SC to restrain the COMELEC from looking into the question of citizenship as
qualification for his office as Mayor of Baguio City.
o He says the allegation that he is a foreigner is not the issue, and that the issue is
whether or not COMELEC has jurisdiction to inquire into this matter since the petition
for quo warranto against him was not filed on time.
His argument is based on the tardiness of the payment of filing fee worth P300.00, which he
contends is indispensable.
o Labo says that the fee (and in effect, the petition) was filed beyond the reglementary
period.
He was proclaimed as mayor-elect of Baguio City, on January 20, 1988. The
petition for quo warranto was filed by the private respondent on January 26,
1988, but no filing fee was paid on that date. This fee was finally paid on
February 10, 1988, or 21 days after his proclamation. As the petition by itself
alone was ineffectual without the filing fee, it should be deemed filed only when
the fee was paid.
The reglementary period as provided for in the Omnibus Election Code (Sec. 253)
is within 10 days after the proclamation of the result of the election.
The Procedural Rules of the COMELEC say that a filing fee is required to give due
course to the petition for quo warranto and the case of [Manchester v CA] holds
that the payment of the filing fee
Lardizabal denies the filing fee was paid out of time. In fact, says that it was filed ahead of
time.
o When he filed his Petition for Quo Warranto with Prayer for Immediate Annulment of
Proclamation and Restraining Order or Injunction on Jan. 26, the COMELEC treated it as
a pre-proclamation controversy. No docket fee was collected although it was offered.
It was only on Feb 8 that COMELEC decided to treat his petition as one solely for
quo warranto, serving him notice on Feb 10. He paid the filing fee on that date.
o Besides, during the period when the COMELEC regarded his petition as preproclamation controversy, the time for filing an election protest or quo warranto was
suspended under the Omnibus Election Code.

Also, the Procedural Rules of COMELEC became effective only on Nov. 15, 1988 and
could not retroact to Jan. 26, 1988 when he filed his petition.
Labo says that even if the Omnibus Election Code did not require it, the payment of filing fees
was still necessary under previous COMELEC Resolutions 1996 and 1450 promulgated on Jan
12, 1988 and 1980, respectively.
o Lardizabal says that the latter resolution was intended for local elections held on Jan
1980 and not the 1988 local election governed by the 1988 resolution.
o Res. 1996 was also not effective by the time he filed the petition since it only took
effect on March 3, 1988, 7 days after its piublication.
o

ISSUES AND REASONING:


1. Was the petition for quo warranto filed on time? (YES)

We agree with the respondents that the fee was paid during the ten-day period as extended
by the pendency of the petition when it was treated by the COMELEC as a pre-proclamation
proceeding which did not require the payment of a filing fee.
o At that, we reach this conclusion only on the assumption that the requirement for the
payment of the fees in quo warranto proceedings was already effective.
o Res 1996 took effect only on March 3, 1998 seven days after its publication, which
means, after the petition was filed.
o [Tanada v Tuvera] Under the due process clause, publication was necessary in order for
resolutions to become effective despite such effectivity clause.
In any event, what is important is that the filing fee was paid, and whatever delay there may
have been is not imputable to the private respondent's fault or neglect.
o Although in [Manchester] the timely payment of the filing fee was a precondition for
the timeliness of the filing of the case itself, under [Sun Insurance v Asuncion] the
Court said that it may allow the payment of the said fee within a reasonable time. In
the event of non-compliance, the case shall be dismissed.
o The same idea is expressed in the Rules of Procedure of COMELEC, which says that if
the fees are not paid, the Commission may refuse to take action thereon until they are
paid and may dismiss the action or the proceeding.

2. Did Labo fulfill the Citizenship requirement in running for public office? (NO)

Court decided to discuss the citizenship of Labo in order to settle the dispute and because it
affects public interest. *skippable*
o The Court noted that while arguing the technical point of dismissing the quo warranto,
the petitioner would at the same time minimize his alleged lack of citizenship as a futile
technicality, BUT the requirement of citizenship as qualification for public office cannot
be so demeaned. What is worse is that it is regarded as an even less important
consideration than the reglementary period the petitioner insists upon.
o Court explained that it has similarly acted in a number of cases (i.e. discussing other
issues in the interest of substantial justice other than those raised by the parties)
[Alger Electric v CA] it is a cherished rule of procedure for this Court to always
strive to settle the entire controversy in a single proceeding leaving no root or
branch to bear the seeds of future litigation. No useful purpose will be served if
this case is remanded to the trial court only to have its decision raised again to
the Intermediate Appellate Court and from there to this Court.
[Li Siu Liat v Republic] A marked characteristic of our judicial set-up is that where
the dictates of justice so demand ... the Supreme Court should act, and act with
finality.
This course of action becomes all the more justified in the present case where, to
repeat for stress, it is claimed that a foreigner is holding a public office.
Looking at the records, there are 2 administrative decisions on the question of Labos
citizenship.

First was rendered by the COMELEC on May 1982 and found the petitioner to be a
citizen of the Philippines.
This was dismissed without prejudice to the issue of the respondent's
citizenship being raised anew in a proper case."
There was no direct proof that Labo had been formally naturalized as a citizen of
Australia. Such conjecture, which was eventually rejected, was merely inferred
from the fact that he had married an Australian citizen, obtained an Australian
passport, and registered as an alien with the CID upon his return to this country
in 1980.
o The second was rendered by the Commission on Immigration and Deportation (CID) on
September 13, 1988, and held that the petitioner was not a citizen of the Philippines.
It was uninanimously rendered by Chairman Miriam Defensor-Santiago and 2
other commissioners.
The decision of the CID took into account the official statement of the Australian
Government dated August 12, 1984, through its Consul in the Philippines, that
the petitioner was still an Australian citizen as of that date by reason of his
naturalization in 1976:
Labo, by virtue of his marriage with an Australian citizen, was granted
Australian citizenship.
Any person over the age of 16 years who is granted Australian citizenship
must take an oath of allegiance or make an affirmation of allegiance, and
the wording of the oath of affirmation is Irenouncing all other
allegiance.
Although the marriage was later declared void for being bigamous, Labo
still remained an Australian citizen.
That Labo was still an Australian citizen was affirmed later by the Dept of Foreign
Affairs
The ruling in the COMELEC decision should be rejected as totally baseless.
o Labo does not question the authenticity of the evidence, deny his Australian passport
or his declaration before immigration authorities that he was an alien and registered as
such. He later asked for the change of his status from immigrant to a returning former
Philippine citizen. He also categorically declared that he was a citizen of Australia in a
number of sworn statements voluntarily made by him and. even sought to avoid the
jurisdiction of the barangay court on the ground that he was a foreigner
o COMELECs first decision dismisses all these acts as mistakes that did not divest Labo
of his citizenship, but this is incorrect.
There is a claim that the COMELEC decision could not be reversed because of res judicata, but
this must be dismissed also.
o This doctrine does not apply to questions of citizenship, as the Court has ruled in
several cases.
o Moreover, it does not appear that it was properly and seasonably pleaded, in a motion
to dismiss or in the answer, having been invoked only when the petitioner filed his
reply to the private respondent's comment.
o Besides, one of the requisites of res judicata, to wit, identity of parties, is not present in
this case.
Labos contention that his marriage to an Australian National didnt automatically divest him
of Philippine citizenship is irrelevant.There is no claim or finding that he automatically ceased
to be a Filipino because of that marriage.
o He became a citizen of Australia because he was naturalized as such through a formal
and positive process, simplified in his case because he was married to an Australian
citizen.
o As a condition for such naturalization, he formally took the Oath of Allegiance and/or
made the Affirmation of Allegiance, both quoted above. Renouncing all other
o

allegiance, he swore "to be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth
the Second, Queen of Australia ..." and to fulfill his duties "as an Australian citizen."
Labo contends that his naturalization in Australia made him only a dual-national and did not
divest him of Philippine citizenship, but the Court did not give merit to Labos argument.
o Such a specious argument cannot stand against the clear provisions of CA No. 63,
which enumerates the modes by which Philippine citizenship may be lost:
(1) naturalization in a foreign country;
(2) express renunciation of citizenship; and
(3) subscribing to an oath of allegiance to support the Constitution or laws of a
foreign country
all of which are applicable to the petitioner.
o It is also worth mentioning in this connection that under Article 4, Sec 5, of the Consti,
"Dual allegiance of citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by
law."
Even assuming that his naturalization was annulled after his marriage was declared void, that
circumstance does not automatically restore his Philippine citizenship.
o His divestiture of Australian citizenship does not concern us.
o What we must consider is the fact that he freely and voluntarily rejected Philippine
citizenship and embraced the citizenship of a foreign country.
o The possibility that he may have been subsequently rejected by Australia, as he claims,
does not mean that he has been automatically reinstated as a citizen of the Philippines.
Labo is not now, nor was he on the day of the local elections on Jan 18, 1988, a citizen of the
Philippines.

o
o
o

He hasnt reacquired Philippine Citizenship under any of the methods under CA 63 (as
amended by PD 72583) or any decree of naturalization conferring such citizenship upon
him.
This is why the CID rejected his application for cancellation of his alien certificate of
registration. That is also the reason why his petition to be recognized as a citizen of the
Phils must be rejected.
In fact, he was not even a qualified voter under the Consti because of his alienage. He
is therefore ineligible as a candidate for mayor of Baguio City, under Section 42 of the
LGC84

83PD725: (2) natural-born Filipinos who have lost their Philippine citizenship may reacquire Philippine citizenship

through repatriation by applying with the Special Committee on Naturalization created by Letter of Instruction No. 270,
and, if their applications are approved, taking the necessary oath of allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines, after
which they shall be deemed to have reacquired Philippine citizenship. The Commission on Immigration and
Deportation shall thereupon cancel their certificate of registration.

84Sec. 42. Qualifications. An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines, at least twenty-three years of
age on election day, a qualified voter registered as such in the barangay, municipality, city or province where he
proposes to be elected, a resident therein for at least one year at the time of the filing of his certificate of candidacy,

Labo contends that his alleged lack of citizenship is a futile technicality that should not
frustrate the will of the electorate of Baguio85, but Court did not agree.
o The people of that locality could not have, even unanimously, changed the
requirements of the LGC and Consti. The electorate had no power to permit a foreigner
to preside over them as mayor of their city. Only citizens of the Philippines have that
privilege over their countrymen.
o The probability that many of those who voted for the petitioner may have done so in
the belief that he was qualified only strengthens the conclusion that the results of the
election cannot nullify the qualifications for the office now held by him. These
qualifications are continuing requirements; once any of them is lost during incumbency,
title to the office itself is deemed forfeited.
o In the case at bar, the citizenship and voting requirements were not subsequently lost
but were not possessed at all in the first place on the day of the election. The petitioner
was disqualified from running as mayor and, although elected, is not now qualified to
serve as such.
**skippable obiter** The citizen of the Philippines must take pride in his status as such.
Though he can reject this and transfer to another state, he cannot expect to be welcomed
back whenever he wants to.
o Philippine citizenship is not a cheap commodity that can be easily recovered after its
renunciation. It may be restored only after the returning renegade makes a formal act
of re-dedication to the country he has abjured and he solemnly affirms once again his
total and exclusive loyalty to the Republic of the Philippines.
o This may not be accomplished by election to public office.

3. Can Lardizabal (who obtained 2nd highest number of votes) replace Labo as mayor?
(NO)

The simple reason is that as he obtained only the second highest number of votes in the
election, he was obviously not the choice of the people of Baguio city.
o The [Santos v COMELEC] ruling, in which the second-placer won the elections by
default because the winning candidate was disqualified, should be reversed in favor of
[Geronimo v Ramos] where it was said that the elective offices are filled by those who
have received the highest number of votes.
The fact that the candidate who obtained the highest number of votes is later declared to be
disqualified or not eligible for the office to which he was elected does not necessarily entitle
the candidate who obtained the second highest number of votes to be declared the winner of
the elective office.
o The votes cast for a dead, disqualified, or non-eligible person may not be valid to vote
the winner into office or maintain him there. However, in the absence of a statute
which clearly asserts a contrary political and legislative policy on the matter, if the
votes were cast in the sincere belief that the candidate was alive, qualified, or eligible,
they should not be treated as stray, void or meaningless.

Labo, Jr. is NOT a citizen of the Phils and must be DISQUALIFIED from continuing to serve as
Mayor of Baguio. He is ordered to VACATE his office.

85 He said the electorate elected him by a "resonant and thunderous majority." But the Court replied: To be accurate, it was not as loud as all that,
for his lead over the second-placer was only about 2,100 votes. HAHA

Ramon L. Labo, Jr. v COMELEC and Roberto Ortega


Roberto Ortega v COMELEC and Ramon L. Labo, Jr.
July 3, 1992
Bidin, J.

Short version:Labo and Ortega both ran for Mayor of Baguio. Ortega filed a disqualification
proceeding with the Comelec, to cancel Labos certificate of candidacy on the ground that Labo
made a false representation when he stated therein that he is a "natural-born" citizen of the
Philippines, citing the 1989 decision. The Comelec issued a Resolution cancelling Labos
Certificate of Candidacy and ordering the City Election Registrar of Baguio City to delete the
name of Labo from the list of candidates. Labo filed a petition for review with the SC. Ortega also
filed a petition for mandamus with the SC, praying for the implementation of the Comelec
resolution. The SC held that Labo, since the 1989 decision, has not been able to submit a scintilla
of proof to shore his claim that he has indeed reacquired his Philippine citizenship. There are no
supervening events to preclude the application of the 1989 decision. The fact that he was voted
by the electorate is immaterial. However, Ortegas contention that since he was the candidate
garnering the 2nd highest number of votes, he should be declared the Mayor, must fail. The fact is
that the people of Baguio did not choose him as their Mayor. The rule is that the ineligibility of a
candidate receiving majority votes does not entitle the eligible candidate receiving the next
highest number of votes to be declared elected. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be
deemed elected to the office.

Facts:

Ramon Labo, Jr., believing that he was a Filipino citizen, launched his candidacy for mayor of
Baguio City in the May 11, 1992 elections by filing his certificate of candidacy.
Roberto Ortega also filed his certificate of candidacy for the same office.
Shortly after Labo filed his certificate of candidacy, Ortega filed a disqualification proceeding
against Labo before the Comelec, seeking to cancel Labo's certificate of candidacy on the
ground that Labo made a false representation when he stated therein that he is a "naturalborn" citizen of the Philippines.
Summons was issued by the Comelec to Labo, followed by a telegram, but Labo did not
respond and did not file an Answer.
Ortega filed a motion to declare Labo in default for failure to file his Answer.
The Comelec issued another order directing the Election Registrar of Baguio City to personally
deliver the summons.
The disqualification case was set for reception of evidence. At the hearing, Ortega presented
the decision of the SC in Labo v. Comelec (1989 decision) declaring Labo not a citizen of the
Philippines. Labo, though represented by counsel, did not present any evidence.
It was only on May 5, 1992 that Labo submitted his Answer claiming Filipino citizenship.
The Comelec issued a Resolution in favor of Ortega. It cancelled Labos Certificate of
Candidacy and ordered the City Election Registrar of Baguio City to delete the name of Labo
from the list of candidates.
Labo filed a motion to stay implementation of said resolution until after he shall have raised
the matter before the SC.

The Comelec issued an Order, resolving that the decision promulgated on May 9, 1992
disqualifying respondent Ramon L. Labo, Jr., shall become final and executory only after five
(5) days from promulgation pursuant to Rule 18, Section 13, Paragraph (b) of the Comelec
Rules of Procedure. Accordingly, respondent (Labo) may still continue to be voted upon as
candidate for City Mayor of Baguio City on May 11, 1992 subject to the final outcome of this
case in the event the issue is elevated to the Supreme Court either on appeal or certiorari.
The Comelec also resolved, motu proprio to suspend the proclamation of Labo in the event he
wins in the elections for the City Mayor of Baguio.
After the Resolution was issued and before it attained finality, the electorate of Baguio voted
for Labo.
Labo filed a petition for review with the SC, with a prayer for a TRO, to set aside the resolution
of Comelec; to render judgment declaring him as a Filipino citizen; and to direct Comelec to
proceed with his proclamation in the event he wins in the contested elections.
Ortega also filed before the Comelec an urgent motion for the implementation of its resolution
cancelling Labo's certificate of candidacy.
After an exchange of pleadings, the Comelec denied Ortega's motion in view of the pending
case earlier filed by Labo of the same nature before the SC.
Ortega filed a petition for mandamus praying for the implementation of the Comelec's
resolution.
o Ortega argues that respondent Comelec committed grave abuse of discretion when it
refused to implement its resolution notwithstanding the fact that said resolution
disqualifying Ramon Labo has already become final and executory.

Issues:
1) Should Labo be declared a Filipino citizen? NO
2) Can Ortega, as the candidate with the 2 nd higest number of votes, be declared the Mayor? NO
Ratio:
As to Labos citizenship
1) Labo contends that he can prove his Filipino citizenship, on the ff. grounds:
a. That there was lack of trial on the merits as well as the lack of opportunity to be heard in
the 1989 Labo v. Comelec decision.
b. He cited the 1980 US case of Vance v. Terrazas, wherein it was held that in proving
expatriation, an expatriating act an intent to relinquish citizenship must be proved by a
preponderance of evidence.
c. No finding was made either by the Commission on Immigration or the Comelec as
regards his specific intent to renounce his Philippine citizenship.
d. The abbreviated proceedings before the Comelec denied him adequate opportunity to
present a full-dress presentation of his case. Because only 1 day was set for hearing, 2
days latter, the hearist was set, and instead of holding a hearing, the Comelec issued the
questioned resolution.
2) But the SC reminded Labo that summons were issued by the Comelec as early as March 27,
1992 followed by a telegram on April 1, 1992. But Labo chose to ignore them. After Ortega
filed a motion to declare petitioner Labo in default, the Comelec Over-extended him the
benefit of due process, by directing the Acting City Election Registrar of Baguio to personally
serve the summons.
3) The alleged delay in the resolution of the proceedings before the Comelec can only be
attributed to Labo and no one else.
4) When Labo filed his verified Answer, he claimed that:
a. He is a Filipino citizen and continue to maintain and preserve his Filipino citizenship;

b. He does not hold an Australian citizenship;


c. The doctrine of res judicata does not apply in citizenship; and
d. "Existing facts support his continuous maintenance and holding of Philippine citizenship"
and "supervening events now preclude the application of the ruling in the Labo v.
Comelec case and the respondent (Labo) now hold and enjoys Philippine citizenship.
5) However, no evidence has been offered by Labo to show what these existing facts and
supervening events are to preclude the application of the Labo decision.
6) The Comelec is bound by the final declaration that respondent is not a Filipino citizen.
Consequently, respondent's verified statement in his certificate of candidacy that he is a
"natural-born" Filipino citizen is a false material representation."
7) Even in the SC, Labo still failed to submit a scintilla of proof to prove his claim that he has
reacquired his Philippine citizenship.
8) Thus, the Comelec did not commit grave abuse of discretion in cancelling Labo's certificate of
candidacy and declaring that he is NOT a Filipino citizen pursuant to the ruling in the 1989
case of Labo v. Comelec.
9) Labo claims, however, that Sec. 72of the Omnibus Election Code "operates as a legislatively
mandated special repatriation proceeding" and that it allows his proclamation as the winning
candidate since the resolution disqualifying him was not yet final at the time the election was
held.
10)
However, the SC found Labo's strained argument quixotic and untenable.
11)
Sec. 72 of the Omnibus Election Code has already been repealed by Sec. 6 of RA No. 6646
(The Electoral Reforms Law of 1987)86

86 Sec. 6. Effect of Disqualification Case. Any candidate who has been declared by final judgment to be
disqualified shall not be voted for, and the votes cast for him shall not be counted. If for any reason a candidate is
not declared by final judgment before an election to be disqualified and he is voted for and receives the winning
number of votes in such election, the Court or the Commission shall continue with the trial and hearing of the
action, inquiry, or protest and, upon motion of the complainant or any intervenor, may during the pendency
thereof order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the evidence of his guilt is strong.

12)
The Comelec can legally suspend the proclamation of petitioner Labo, his reception of the
winning number of votes notwithstanding, especially since Labo failed to present any
evidence before the Comelec to support his claim of reacquisition of Philippine citizenship.
13)
Labos status has not changed. He was disqualified as a candidate for being an alien. His
election does not automatically restore his Philippine citizenship, the possession of which is
an indispensable requirement for holding public office (Sec. 39, Local Government Code).
14)
Labo also raised a new argument with the SC. He claims that he has reacquired his Filipino
citizenship by citing his application for reacquisition of Philippine citizenship filed before the
Office of the Solicitor General pursuant to PD 725 and Letter of Instruction No. 270.
15)
However, the Special Committee on Naturalization had yet acted upon said application for
repatriation. In the absence of any official action or approval by the proper authorities, a mere
application for repratriation, does not, and cannot, amount to an automatic reacquisition of
the applicant's Philippine citizenship.
As to whether Ortega should be declared the winning candidate
16)
Ortega submits that since the SC did not issue a TRO against the Comelec resolution
cancelling Labo's certificate of candidacy, said resolution has already become final and
executory.
17)
Ortega further submits that as a result of such finality, the candidate receiving the next
highest number of votes should be declared Mayor of Baguio City.
18)
The SC agrees with the first submission. When Labo filed his petition on May 15, 1992, the
May 9, 1992 resolution of respondent Comelec cancelling his certificate of candidacy had
already become final and executory a day earlier, or on May 14, 1992, since the resolution
was received by Labo on the same day it was promulgated.

19)
This is based on Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code 87 and Sec. 3, Rule 39 of the
Comelec Rules of Procedure88.
20)
Since the resolution acquired finality, the SC must rule against Labos proclamation as
Mayor of Baguio City.
21)
One of the qualifications of an elective official is that he must be a citizen of the
Philippines, under Section 39 of the LGC.
22)
Undoubtedly, Labo, not being a Filipino citizen, lacks the fundamental qualification for the
contested office. Philippine citizenship is an indispensable requirement for holding an elective
office.
23)
The fact that he was elected by the majority of the electorate is immaterial.
24)
As held in Frivaldo v. Comelec: The fact that he was elected by the people of Sorsogon
does not excuse this patent violation of the salutary rule limiting public office and
employment only to the citizens of this country. The qualifications prescribed for elective
office cannot be erased by the electorate alone. The will of the people as expressed through
the ballot cannot cure the vice of ineligibility, especially if they mistakenly believed, as in this
case, that the candidate was qualified. Obviously, this rule requires strict application when
the deficiency is lack of citizenship. If a person seeks to serve in the Republic of the
Philippines, he must owe his total loyalty to this country only, abjuring and renouncing all
fealty and fidelity to any other state.
25)
HOWEVER, the disqualification of Labo does not entitle the candidate (Ortega) receiving
the next highest number of votes to be proclaimed as the winning candidate for mayor of
Baguio City.
26)
While Ortega may have garnered the second highest number of votes for the office of city
mayor, the fact remains that he was not the choice of the sovereign will.
27)
Labo was overwhelmingly voted by the electorate for the office of mayor in the belief that
he was then qualified to serve the people of Baguio City and his subsequent disqualification
does not make respondent Ortega the mayor-elect.
28)
Abella v Comelec applies in this case.
29)
Thus, even if Ortega originally filed a disqualification case with the Comelec seeking to
deny due course to Labo's candidacy, the same did not deter the people of Baguio City from
voting for Labo, who, by then, was allowed by the respondent Comelec to be voted upon. At
that time, the resolution was not yet final and executory.
30)
Labo v Comelec was again heavily quoted as to why the candidate obtaining the second
highest number of votes cannot be declared the winner.
31)
The rule, therefore, is: the ineligibility of a candidate receiving majority votes does not
entitle the eligible candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to be declared
elected. A minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected to the office.
32)
It is incorrect to argue that since a candidate has been disqualified, the votes intended for
the disqualified candidate should, in effect, be considered null and void. This would amount to
disenfranchising the electorate in whom sovereignty resides.
33)
Whether or not the candidate whom the majority voted for can or cannot be installed,
under no circumstances can a minority or defeated candidate be deemed elected to the
office. Surely, the 12,602 votes cast for Ortega is not a larger number than the 27,471 votes
cast for Labo

87 Sec. 78. Petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy xxx xxx xxx
(e) The decision, order, or ruling of the Commission shall, after five (5) days from receipt of a copy thereof by the

88 Sec. 3. Decisions final after five days. Decisions in


pre-proclamation cases and petitions to deny due course to or cancel certificates of candidacy, to declare a
candidate as nuisance candidate or to disqualify a candidate, and to postpone or suspend elections shall become
final and executory after the lapse of five (5) days from their promulgation, unless restrained by the Supreme
Court.

34)
The rule would have been different if the electorate fully aware in fact and in law of a
candidate's disqualification so as to bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety, would
nonetheless cast their votes in favor of the ineligible candidate. In such case, the electorate
may be said to have waived the validity and efficacy of their votes by notoriously misapplying
their franchise or throwing away their votes, in which case, the eligible candidate obtaining
the next higher number of votes may be deemed elected.
35)
But it has not been shown that Labo was notoriously known as an ineligible candidate. On
the contrary, Labo was even allowed by the Comelec to be voted for the office of the city
mayor, since the resolution denying due course to Labo's certificate of candidacy had not yet
become final and subject to the final outcome of this case.
36)
Thus, since Labo is disqualified and Ortega cannot be declared winner, a permanent
vacancy in the contested office has occurred. This should now be filled by the vice-mayor, in
accordance with Sec. 44 of the LGC.
Petitions dismissed.
Frivaldo v. COMELEC89

89
[G.R. No. 120295. June 28, 1996]JUAN G. FRIVALDO, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, and RAUL R. LEE, respondents.
[G.R. No. 123755. June 28, 1996]
RAUL R. LEE, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and JUAN G. FRIVALDO, respondents.

Date: June 28, 1996


Ponente: Panganiban
The case in a nutshell:
FACTS: Frivaldo filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the office of Governor of Sorsogon for the
May 8, 1995 elections. Lee, another candidate, filed a petition with the COMELEC, praying that
Frivaldo be disqualified by reason of not yet being a citizen of the Philippines, and that his COC
be canceled. The COMELEC 2 nd Division granted Lees petition. Frivaldo filed an MR, but it was not
acted upon until after the elections. So his candidacy continued. After the Provincial Board of
Canvassers canvassed the votes, Frivaldo got the highest number of votes while Lee got the 2 nd
highest. Lee filed a supplemental petition with the COMELEC, praying for his proclamation as
Governor. The COMELEC en banc granted Lees petition. Lee was proclaimed governor on June
30, 1995 at 8:30 PM. Frivaldo filed a petition with the COMELEC, praying for the annulment of
Lees proclamation. He alleged that on June 30, 1995 at 2:00 PM, he had taken his oath of
allegiance as a citizen of the Philippines, so he was qualified. The COMELEC 1 st Division granted
Frivaldos petition. Both Lee and Frivaldo filed petitions in the SC, assailing the various
Resolutions that the COMELEC had issued re: their respective petitions.
HELD: Frivaldo is the rightful Governor of Sorsogon. His repatriation was valid and legal. It
seasonably cured his lack of citizenship as to qualify him to be proclaimed and to hold the office
of Governor. The citizenship requirement in the Local Government Code is to be possessed by an
elective official at the latest as of the time he is proclaimed and at the start of the term of office
to which he has been elected. P.D. No. 725 is in full force and effect up to the present, not having
been suspended or repealed expressly nor impliedly at any time, and Frivaldos repatriation by
virtue thereof was properly granted and thus valid and effective. Moreover, by reason of the
remedial or curative nature of the law granting him a new right to resume his political status and
the legislative intent behind it, as well as his unique situation of having been forced to give up
his citizenship and political aspiration as his means of escaping a regime he abhorred, his
repatriation is to be given retroactive effect as of the date of his application therefor, during the
pendency of which he was stateless, he having given up his U. S. nationality. Thus, in
contemplation of law, he possessed the vital requirement of Filipino citizenship as of the start of
the term of office of governor, and should have been proclaimed instead of Lee. Furthermore,
since his reacquisition of citizenship retroacted to August 17, 1994, his registration as a voter of
Sorsogon is deemed to have been validated as of said date as well. Lack of the citizenship
requirement is not a continuing disability or disqualification to run for and hold public office. The
COMELEC has the authority and jurisdiction to hear and decide petitions for annulment of
proclamations. (Other issues were also discussed and are included in the digest.)
Facts:
1) Juan G. Frivaldo filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the office of Governor of Sorsogon in
the May 8, 1995 elections.
2) Raul R. Lee filed a petition with the COMELEC, praying that Frivaldo be disqualified from
seeking or holding any public office or position, by reason of not yet being a citizen of the
Philippines (he was a U.S. citizen) and that his COC be canceled.
3) On May 1, 1995, the COMELEC 2nd Division promulgated a Resolution granting Lees
petition. It declared Frivaldo disqualified from running for Governor on the ground that he
was not a citizen of the Philippines, and canceled his COC.
4) Frivaldo filed an MR, but it was not acted upon until after the elections.
5) Frivaldos candidacy continued, and he was voted for during the elections.
6) The Provincial Board of Canvassers completed the canvass of the election returns. The
Certificate of Votes showed the number of votes obtained by each of the 4 candidates for
Governor. Frivaldo got the highest number of votes, while Lee got the 2 nd highest.
CANDIDATE
NUMBER OF VOTES
Antonio H. Escudero, Jr.
51,060
Juan G. Frivaldo
73,440
Raul R. Lee
53,304
Isagani P. Ocampo
1,925

7) Lee filed a supplemental petition with the COMELEC, praying for his proclamation as the
duly-elected Governor.
8) On May 11, 1995, the COMELEC en banc promulgated a Resolution granting Lees petition.
It directed the Provincial Board of Canvassers to reconvene for the purpose of proclaiming
Lee as the winning candidate for Governor.
9) Lee was proclaimed Governor of Sorsogon on June 30, 1995 at 8:30 PM.
10)
Frivaldo filed a petition with the COMELEC, praying for the annulment of Lees
proclamation, and for his own proclamation. In the alternative, he averred that pursuant to
the 2 Labo v. COMELEC cases, it should be the incumbent Vice Governor, Oscar G. Deri,
who should be proclaimed Governor, not Lee.

a. He alleged that on June 30, 1995, at 2:00 PM, he had taken his oath of allegiance
as a citizen of the Philippines, after his petition for repatriation under P.D. 725 90,
which he had filed with the Special Committee on Naturalization in September 1994,
had been granted. Thus, by the time he received the COMELEC order directing the
Provincial Board of Canvassers to proclaim Lee as Governor, there was no more
legal impediment to his (Frivaldos) proclamation.
11)
The COMELEC 1st Division granted Frivaldos petition, and promulgated a Resolution
holding that Lee was not legally entitled to be proclaimed as duly-elected Governor, as he
had not garnered the highest number of votes. It was Frivaldo who was entitled. He had
garnered the highest number of votes, and was qualified to hold the office of Governor
after reacquiring his citizenship by repatriation.
12)
Lee filed a MR, but this was denied by the COMELEC en banc in another Resolution.
13)
Lee filed a special civil action under Rules 65 and 58 for certiorari and preliminary
injunction in the SC, to review and annul the COMELEC Resolutions. He argued:
a. Frivaldos initiatory petition was so insufficient in form and substance that, in effect,
the COMELEC acted without jurisdiction in taking cognizance of and deciding it.
b. Frivaldos judicially declared disqualification was a continuing condition and
rendered him ineligible to run for, be elected to, and hold the office of Governor.
c. Frivaldos alleged repatriation was neither valid nor retroactive as to cure his
ineligibility and qualify him to hold the office of Governor.
d. The Labo doctrine fully supports the validity of Lees proclamation as duly-elected
Governor.
14)
Frivaldo also filed a petition in the SC, likewise assailing the COMELEC Resolutions,
but on a different ground: that under Sec. 78 of the Omnibus Election Code, the COMELEC
had no jurisdiction to issue the Resolutions since they were not rendered within the
period allowed by law, i.e. not later than 15 days before the election.
Sec. 78. Section 78. Petition to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy
verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a certificate of candidacy may b
by any person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained ther
required under Section 74 hereof is false. The petition may be filed at any time not late
twenty-five days from the time of the filing of the certificate of candidacy and shall be de
after notice and hearing, not later than fifteen days before the election."
15)
The SC consolidated Lee and Frivaldos petitions.
Issue:
1) Who is the rightful Governor of Sorsogon? FRIVALDO.
a. Was Frivaldos repatriation valid and legal? If so, did it seasonably cure his lack of
citizenship as to qualify him to be proclaimed and to hold the office of Governor? If not,
may it be given retroactive effect? If so, from when? IT WAS VALID AND LEGAL. IT
SEASONABLY CURED HIS LACK OF CITIZENSHIP. IT MAY BE GIVEN RETROACTIVE EFFECT.
b. Is Frivaldos judicially declared disqualification for lack of citizenship (in the 1988 and
1992 elections) a continuing bar to his eligibility to run for, be elected to, or hold the
office of Governor in the 1995 elections? NO.
c. Did the COMELEC have jurisdiction over Frivaldos petition, considering that it was not a
pre-proclamation case, an election case, or a quo warranto case? YES.
d. Was Lees proclamation valid? NO.
e. Is Sec. 78 of the Omnibus Election Code mandatory?
Held:
1) Lees petition is hereby DISMISSED. The assailed Resolutions of the respondent
Commission are AFFIRMED.
90
PROVIDING FOR REPATRIATION OF FILIPINO WOMEN WHO HAD LOST THEIR PHILIPPINE CITIZENSHIP BY MARRIAGE TO ALIENS AND OF
NATURAL BORN FILIPINOS

2) Frivaldos petition is also DISMISSED for being moot and academic. In any event, it has no
merit.
Ratio:
1) Frivaldo is the rightful Governor of Sorsogon.
a. Frivaldos repatriation was valid and legal. It seasonably cured his lack of citizenship
as to qualify him to be proclaimed and to hold the office of Governor.
i. The Local Government Code expressly requires Philippine citizenship as a
qualification for elective local officials, including that of Provincial Govenor.

Sec. 39. Qualifications. (a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the P
registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city, or province or, in the case of a
the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, or sangguniang bayan,
where he intends to be elected; a resident therein for at least one (1) year
preceding the day of the election; and able to read and write Filipino or any other loc
or dialect. Xxx
ii. Under Philippine law, citizenship may be reacquired by direct act of Congress,
by naturalization, or by repatriation.
1. Frivaldo told the SC during the oral arguments that he had tried to
resume his citizenship by direct act of Congress. But the bill allowing
him to do so failed to materialize, despite the endorsement of several
members of the House of Representatives, due to the maneuvers of
his political rivals. On the other hand, his attempt at naturalization
was rejected by the SC because of jurisdictional, substantial, and
procedural defects. Now he claims that he successfully reacquired
citizenship by repatriation under P.D. No. 725.
iii. Lees argument: P.D. No. 725 was effectively repealed. Then-President
Aquino, exercising legislative powers under the Transitory Provisions of the
1987 Constitution, forbade the grant of citizenship by Presidential Decree or
Executive Issuances, as the same poses an issue policy best left to the
judgment of the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution. In a
memorandum to the Special Committee on Naturalization constituted for
purposes of P.D. No. 725, she directed them to cease and desist from
undertaking proceedings within their functional area of responsibility. SC
DISAGREED.
1. The memorandum cannot be construed as a law sanctioning or
authorizing a repeal of P.D. No. 725. Laws are repealed only by
subsequent ones. No express repeal was made because the
memorandum did not categorically state that P.D. 725 was being
repealed. On the other hand, it is a basic rule of statutory construction
that repeals by implication are not favored, unless it is convincingly
and unambiguously demonstrated that the two laws are clearly
repugnant and patently inconsistent that they cannot co-exist.
2. The memorandum cannot be regarded as a legislative enactment. Not
every pronouncement of the Chief Executive, even under the Transitory
Provisions of the 1987 Constitution, can be regarded as an exercise of
her law-making powers. At best, it could be treated as an executive
policy addressed to the Special Committee.
iv. Lees argument: irregularities attended Frivaldos repatriation proceedings.
Frivaldos application was filed on June 29, 1995 and approved in just 1 day,
on June 30, 1995. This prevented a judicious review and evaluation of the
merits thereof. Also, he claimed that the Special Committee was
reconstituted solely for Frivaldos personal interest. SC DISAGREED.

1. Frivaldo said (and the Solicitor General confirmed) that he filed his
application with the Office of the President on August 17, 1994.
However, the Special Committee was reconstituted only on June 8,
1995. On June 29, 1995, the Special Committee required him to fill up
and submit a form, which he did. Under these circumstances, it could
not be said that there was indecent haste.
2. The Solicitor General explained during the oral argument that there
were many others who applied and were considered for repatriation.
3. Lee was not able to overcome the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official duty and the presumption of legality in
Frivaldos repatriation. The mere fact that the proceedings were
speeded up is by itself not a ground to conclude that such proceedings
were necessarily tainted. After all, the requirements of repatriation
under P.D. No. 725 are not difficult to comply with. Unlike in
naturalization, where an alien covets a first-time entry into Philippine
political life, in repatriation, the applicant is a former natural-born
Filipino who is merely seeking to reacquire his previous citizenship. In
the case of Frivaldo, he was a natural-born citizen who openly and
faithfully served his country and his province prior to his naturalization
in the U.S. (which he did to escape the Marcos regime).
4. Any contest on the legality of Frivaldos repatriation should have been
pursued before the Special Committee, and, failing there, in the Office
of the President, pursuant to the doctrine of exhaustion of
administrative remedies.
v. Lees argument: even if Frivaldos repatriation was valid, it could only be
effective as of 2:00 PM on June 30, 1995. However, the citizenship
qualification prescribed by the Local Government Code must exist on the
date of his election, if not when the certificate of candidacy is filed, as the
SC said in the previous Frivaldo v. COMELEC case. Both the Local Government
Code and the 1987 Constitution require that only Philippine citizens can run
and be elected to public office. SC DISAGREED.
1. The statement in the previous case was a mere obiter, as the only
issue was whether Frivaldo's naturalization was valid or not, not the
effective date thereof.
2. Under Sec. 39 of the Local Government Code, an elective local official
must be:
a. A citizen of the Philippines;
b. A registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city, or
province where he intends to be elected;
c. A resident therein for at least 1 year immediately preceding the
day of the election;
d. Able to read and write Filipino or any other local language or
dialect.
e. In addition, candidates for the position of governor must be at
least 23 years of age on election day.
3. The law does not specify any particular date or time when the
candidate must possess citizenship, unlike that for residence (at least 1
years residency immediately preceding the day of election) and age
(at least 23 years of age on election day).
4. Philippine citizenship is an indispensable requirement for holding an
elective public office. The purpose of the citizenship qualification is to
ensure that no alien, i.e., no person owing allegiance to another nation,
shall govern our people and our country or a unit of territory thereof.
5. An official begins to govern or to discharge his functions only upon his
proclamation and on the day the law mandates his term of office to
begin. Since Frivaldo re-assumed his citizenship on June 30, 1995, the

same day the term of office of governor began, he was already


qualified to be proclaimed, to hold such office, and to discharge the
functions and responsibilities thereof as of said date.
6. It should be noted that Sec. 39 speaks of qualifications of elective
officials, not of candidates. Why should such qualification be required
at the time of election or at the time of the filing of the certificates of
candidacy?
Such
qualifications
(unless
otherwise
expressly
conditioned, as in the case of age and residence) should thus be
possessed when the elective official begins to govern, i.e., at the time
he is proclaimed and at the start of his term.
vi. An objection raised during oral arguments was that the citizenship
qualification should be possessed at the time the candidate registered as a
voter. After all, Sec. 39, apart from requiring the official to be a citizen, also
specifies that he be a registered voter. And, under the law, a voter must
be a citizen of the Philippines. Therefore, Frivaldo could not have been a
voter, much less a validly registered one, if he was not a citizen at the time of
such registration. SC DISAGREED.
1. If the law intended the citizenship qualification to be possessed prior to
election, consistent with the requirement of being a registered voter,
then it would not have made citizenship a separate qualification. The
law intended citizenship to be a qualification distinct from being a
voter, even if being a voter presumes being a citizen first.
2. The voter requirement was included as another qualification, not to
reiterate the need for nationality, but to require that the official be
registered as a voter in the area or territory he seeks to govern. The
Local Government Code requires an elective official to be a registered
voter. It does not require him to vote actually. Hence, registration, not
the actual voting, is the core of this qualification.
3. Frivaldo has repeatedly emphasized (and Lee has not disputed) that he
is a registered voter of Sorsogon, his registration as a voter has been
sustained as valid by judicial declaration, and he even voted in the May
8, 1995 elections. Clearly, he is a registered voter in the province
where he intended to be elected.
vii. Another reason why citizenship should be reckoned from the date of
proclamation (and not necessarily the date of election or date of filing of the
certificate of candidacy) is because Sec. 253 of the Omnibus Election Code
gives any voter, presumably including the defeated candidate, the
opportunity to question the eligibility of a candidate.
1. This is the only provision of the Omnibus Election Code that authorizes
a remedy (quo warranto) on how to contest before the COMELEC an
incumbents ineligibility arising from failure to meet the qualifications
enumerated under Sec. 39 of the Local Government Code. Such
remedy can be availed of within 10 days after proclamation of the
winning candidate. Hence, it is only at such time that the issue of
ineligibility may be taken cognizance of by the COMELEC.
2. Since, at the time of Lees proclamation (8:30 p.m., June 30, 1995),
Frivaldo was already a citizen, then he should have been the candidate
proclaimed.
b. Frivaldos repatriation may be given retroactive effect as of the date of his
application therefor. During the pendency of his application, he was stateless,
having given up his U.S. citizenship.
i. General rule: laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is
provided. (Art. 4, Civil Code) But there are exceptions, such as when the
statute is curative or remedial in nature, or when it creates new rights.
ii. P.D. No. 725 creates a new right, and also provides for a new remedy. It
creates a right in favour of Filipino women who had lost their Philippine

citizenship by marriage to aliens, and who could not (under the old law) avail
of repatriation until after the death of their husbands or the termination of
their marital status. P.D. No. 725 gave them the right to re-acquire Filipino
citizenship even during their marital coverture. The statute also provided a
right and remedy in favor of other natural-born Filipinos who had lost their
Philippine citizenship but desired to re-acquire it, because prior to the
promulgation of P.D. 725 such former Filipinos would have had to undergo
naturalization.
iii. The retroactivity of P.D. 725 (enacted on June 5, 1975) benefits Frivaldo even
if he lost his Filipino citizenship much later (January 20, 1983) and applied for
repatriation even later (August 17, 1994). It is not just P.D. No. 725 itself
which is given retroactive effect, but even the repatriation granted under said
law. Thus, Frivaldos repatriation on June 30, 1995 is deemed to have
retroacted to the date of his application therefor, August 17, 1994. The
reason for this is that if it was the intent of the legislative authority that the
law should apply to past events, in order to benefit the greatest number of
former Filipinos possible, then there is all the more reason to have the law
apply retroactively to subsequent events. Being a former Filipino who has
served the people repeatedly, Frivaldo deserves a liberal interpretation of
Philippine laws.
c. Frivaldos judicially declared disqualification for lack of citizenship (in the earlier
Frivaldo v. COMELEC case) is NOT a continuing bar to his eligibility to run for, be
elected to, or hold the office Governor in the 1995 elections.
i. Decisions declaring the acquisition or denial of citizenship cannot govern a
person's future status with finality. This is because a person may
subsequently reacquire, or for that matter lose, his citizenship under any of
the modes recognized by law for the purpose.
ii. Every time the citizenship of a person is material or indispensable in a
judicial or administrative case, whatever the corresponding court or
administrative authority decides therein as to such citizenship is generally
not considered res judicata, hence it has to be threshed out again and again,
as the occasion demands. (Lee v. Commissioner of Immigration)
d. The COMELEC has jurisdiction over Frivaldos petition.
i. Sec. 2, Art. IX of the 1987 Constitution gives the COMELEC ample power to
exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the
elections, returns and qualifications of all elective x x x provincial x x x
officials.
ii. The SC has invariably recognized the COMELECs authority to hear and decide
petitions for annulment of proclamations, such as the present case. However,
this power must be exercised within 10 days following the proclamation.
Since Frivaldo's petition was filed only 6 days after Lees proclamation, the
COMELEC correctly acquired jurisdiction over the same.
e. Lees proclamation was NOT valid.
i. Lee tried to cite the case Labo v. COMELEC to support the validity of his
proclamation, but the SC found that the decision actually supported Frivaldo.
Frivaldo in 1995 is in the same situation as Labo was in 1992. The COMELECs
cancellation of his COC was not yet final on election day as there was a
pending MR, so the COMELEC issued a resolution declaring that he could still
be voted for in the elections.
ii. There is no sufficient evidence presented to show that the electorate of

Sorsogon was fully aware in fact and in law of Frivaldos alleged


disqualification as to bring such awareness within the realm of notoriety,
i.e. that the voters intentionally wasted their ballots knowing that, in spite of
their voting for him, he was ineligible.
iii. If Labo has any relevance at all, it is that Vice Goveror Deri, and not Lee,
should be proclaimed, since in losing the election, Lee was obviously not the
choice of the people.
iv. Besides, since Frivaldo seasonably re-acquired his citizenship and obtained
the highest number of votes in the 1995 elections, he should be proclaimed.
f.

Sec. 78 of the Omnibus Election Code is NOT mandatory.


i. Frivaldos claim is now moot and academic, inasmuch as the assailed
COMELEC Resolutions are deemed superseded by the subsequent ones
issued which both upheld his election.

ii. At any rate, Sec. 78 is merely directory, as Sec. 6 of R.A. No. 6646 91
authorizes the COMELEC to try and decide petitions for disqualifications even
after the elections.
ERNESTO S. MERCADO vs. EDUARDO BARRIOS MANZANO and the COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
MENDOZA, J.: G.R. No. 135083 May 26, 1999
cvflores
Short Version:
Facts: Manzano ran for vice-mayor of Makati and obtained the highest number of votes. A
petition was filed to disqualify him alleging that he was a US citizen. Manzano admitted that he
was a US citizen because he was born in the US but said that he is also a Filipino citizen being
born of Filipino parents. COMELEC disqualified Manzano on the ground that the Local Govt Code
disqualifies those with dual citizenship from running for any elective position.
Held: Manzano is qualified to run. The phrase dual citizen must be understood as dual
allegiance. Dual citizenship arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different
laws of two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states.
Dual citizenship is a reality imposed on us because we have no control of the laws on citizenship
of other countries. Persons with dual citizenship are not disqualified to run provided that they
renounce their other citizenship. Manzano by filing his certificate of candidacy has elected his
Philippine citizenship and renounced his US citizenship.

Facts:

Manzano ran for vice mayor of Makati.


A certain Ernesto Mamaril filed a petition for disqualification against Manzano alleging that
Manzano was not a citizen of the Philippines but of the US.
In his answer, Manzano admitted that he is registered as a foreigner with the Bureau of
Immigration but alleged that he is a Filipino citizen because he was born of a Filipino father
and a Filipino mother. He was born in the US and is considered an American citizen under US
laws.
COMELEC granted the petition for disqualification and ordered the cancellation of Manzanos
certificate of candidacy due to his dual citizenship and that according to the Local
Government Code persons with dual citizenship are disqualified from running for any elective
position.
Manzano filed an MR which remained pending even after the May 11, 1998 election.
In the election, Manzano obtained the highest number of votes with 103,853 votes. The other
candidates, Mercado and Daza obtained 100,894 and 54,275 votes, respectively.
Mercado sought to intervene in the case for disqualification.
The COMELEC board of canvassers tabulated the votes but suspended the proclamation.
COMELEC en banc declared Manzano qualified to run. COMELEC found that Manzano was a
natural born Filipino as both of his parents were Filipino but being born in the USA he also
acquired US citizenship by operation of US laws. At the age of 6, Manzano was brought to the
Philippines using an American passport and his parents registered him as an alien with the
Philippine Bureau of Immigration. COMELEC ruled that Manzano did not lose his Philippine

91
AN ACT INTRODUCING ADDITIONAL REFORMS IN THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

citizenship as he did not denounce it and it was a fact that upon reaching the age of majority
he registered himself as a voter.
COMELEC in ruling in favour of Manzano said that in applying election laws, it would be better
to err in favor of the popular choice than be embroiled in complex legal issues involving
private international law which may well be settled before the highest court.
Mercado filed a petition for certiorari.

Issue:
1. Whether Mercado had a right to bring suit. Yes
2. Whether dual citizenship can be a ground for disqualification. No, provided they elect
Philippine citizenship to terminate their status as persons with dual citizenship.
3. Whether Manzano has elected Philippine citizenship. Yes.
Ruling:
1. Manzano argued that Mercado has no legal interest because he is a defeated candidate who
cannot be proclaimed as Vice-Mayor if Manzano be ultimately disqualified. However the SC
ruled that Mercado had a right to bring the present suit. Mercado sought to intervene in the
proceedings before the proclamation of the results of the election and therefore had an
interest in ousting Manzano from the race. Mercados right to intervene is clear from 6 of
R.A. No. 6646 which provides that when a candidate is not declared by final judgment before
an election to be disqualified and is receives the winning number of votes, the Court or
Commission shall continue with the trial and upon motion of the complainant or any
intervenor, may order the suspension of the proclamation of such candidate whenever the
evidence of guilt is strong.
2. The phrase dual citizenship" in R.A. No. 7160 must be understood as referring to "dual
allegiance." For candidates with dual citizenship, it should suffice if, upon the filing of their
certificates of candidacy, they elect Philippine citizenship to terminate their status as persons
with dual citizenship. Dual allegiance is more threatening than dual citizenship which is
seldom intentional and, perhaps, never insidious.
Dual citizenship arises when, as a result of the concurrent application of the different laws of
two or more states, a person is simultaneously considered a national by the said states. Such
a situation may arise when a person whose parents are citizens of a state which adheres to
the principle of jus sanguinis is born in a state which follows the doctrine of jus soli. Dual
citizenship may arise from several situations including:
a. Those born of a Filipino parent in foreign countries which follow the principle of jus soli;
b. Those born in the Philippines of Filipino mothers and alien fathers if by the laws of their
father's' country such children are citizens of that country;
c. Those who marry aliens if by the laws of the latter's country the former are considered
citizens, unless by their act or omission they are deemed to have renounced Philippine
citizenship.
As pointed out by Bernas, dual citizenship is a reality imposed on us because we have no
control of the laws on citizenship of other countries. We recognize a child of a Filipino mother.
But whether she is considered a citizen of another country is something completely beyond
our control.

Dual allegiance refers to the situation in which a person simultaneously owes, by some
positive act, loyalty to two or more states. Our Constitution provides: "Dual allegiance of
citizens is inimical to the national interest and shall be dealt with by law." In one session in

the 1987 Constitutional Commission, there was a proposition to prohibit or regulate double
citizenship because it implies a double allegiance under a double sovereignty
3. Manzano, in filing his certificate of candidacy has renounce his American citizenship,
effectively removing any disqualification he might have as a dual citizen. The certificate of
candidacy contained the statements that he is a Filipino citizen, that he is not a permanent
resident of or immigrant to a foreign country and that he will support and defend the
constitution of the Philippines and will maintain allegiance thereto. As to the fact that
Manzano is registered as an American citizen in the Bureau of Immigration, the SC said that
until the filing of his certificate of candidacy he had dual citizenship. The acts attributed to
him can be considered simply as the assertion of his American nationality. In Aznar v.
COMELEC, the SC said that the mere fact that he has a Certificate stating he is an American
does not mean that he is not still a Filipino.
Teodulo M. Coquilla v. The Hon. Commission on Elections and Mr. Neil M. Alvarez
31 July 2002
Mendoza, J.

SHORT VERSION: Teodulo Coquilla was a natural-born Filipino who became a naturalized US
citizen, then later on applied for repatriation and reacquired Filipino citizenship. He stayed in his
birthplace, Oras, Eastern Samar, after taking his oath in Nov. 2000, then filed a certificate of
candidacy for mayor of Oras. He won. After his proclamation, the Comelec cancelled his COC on
the ground of material misrepresentation. The SC held that this was proper. He did not comply
with the 1 year residence requirement under the LGC because he can only be considered a
resident since Nov. 2000, when he reacquired Filipino citizenship. This was only 6 months before
the May 2001 elections. His visits to the Philippines when he was still an American citizen did not
count. Residence under the LGC is understood as domicile, and given the circumstances, his
visits to the Philippines were merely temporary and did not show animus manendi. Hence, the
cancellation of his COC was proper.

FACTS:

Teodulo Coquilla was born on Feb. 17, 1938 of Filipino parents in Oras, Eastern Samar. He
grew up and stayed there until 1965, when he joined the US Navy. He was then naturalized
as an American citizen.
o He stayed in the US even after his retirement in 1985. He visited the Philippines
only thrice from 1970-1973 while he was on leave from the Navy.
Oct. 15, 1998: Coquilla came to the Philippines and obtained a residence certificate, but
still made several trips to the US, the last of which was July 6 to Aug. 5, 2000.
Subsequently, he applied for repatriation under RA 8171.
o His application was approved and he took his oath as a Filipino citizen on Nov. 10,
2000.
o Nov. 21, 2000: he applied for registration as a voter of Butnga, Oras, Eastern Samar.
This was also approved.
o Feb. 27, 2001: he filed his certificate of candidacy, wherein he stated that he had
been a resident of Oras for two years.
Neil Alvarez, the incumbent mayor and re-electionist, sought the cancellation of Coquillas
COC on the ground of material misrepresentation by his statement that he had been a

resident for 2 years, when in truth he had resided therein for only about 6 months since
Nov. 10, 2000 when he took his oath as a Filipino citizen.
The Comelec was unable to render a decision before the May 14 elections. Coquilla
received the highest number of votes and was proclaimed Mayor.
July 19, 2001: the 2nd Division of Comelec granted Alvarezs petition and ordered Coquillas
COC cancelled.
o Coquilla filed an MR but this was denied by the Comelec en banc. He then filed a
petition for certiorari with the SC.

ISSUES:
5. Was the 30-day period for appealing the Comelec resolution suspended by the filing of an
MR?
6. Did the Comelec retain jurisdiction to decide the case notwithstanding Coquillas
proclamation?
7. Was Coquilla a resident of Oras, Eastern Samar at least 1 year before the May 14, 2001
elections?
8. Was Comelec justified in cancelling Coquillas COC?
REASONING:
5. Yes the MR tolled the 30-day period of appeal
Rule 19 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure provides that an MR must be filed within 5
days from receipt of the assailed resolution/decision. This MR, if not pro-forma
suspends the period for elevating the case with the SC.
Alvarez argued that the MR was pro-forma.
o SC said it was not. Mere reiteration of the issued raised and passed upon by the
court does not make a motion pro forma; otherwise, the movants remedy would
not be reconsideration but a new trial or some other remedy.
6. Yes the Comelec retained jurisdiction
RA 6646 explicitly provides that if a candidates is not declared disqualified and
receives the winning number of votes in the election, the Comelec shall continue with
the trial and, upon motion, may during the pendency thereof, order the suspension of
the proclamation of such candidate.
7. No Coquilla was not a resident
Sec. 39 of the LGC prescribes a residency requirement of at least 1 year immediately
preceding the day of the election for any elective official.
The term residence is to be understood not in its common acceptation as dwelling,
but rather to domicile or legal residence, that is, the place where a party actually or
constructively has his permanent home, where he, no matter where he may be found
at any time, eventually intends to return and remain (animus manendi).
o A domicile of origin is acquired by every person at birth. It is usually the place
where the childs parents reside and continues until the same is abandoned by
acquisition of new domicile (domicile of choice).
Here, Coquilla lost his domicile of origin in Oras by becoming a US citizen. From then
on until Nov. 10, 2000 when he reacquired Philippine citizenship, he was an alien
without right to reside in the Philippines except as our immigration laws may allow.
o Indeed, residence in the US is a requirement for naturalization.
o Immigration to the US by virtue of a green card which entitles on to reside
permanently in that country constitutes abandonment of domicile in the
Philippines (Caasi v. CA). More so then for naturalization.
Coquilla cannot contend that he was compelled to adopt American citizenship by
reason of his service in the US Armed Forces.

He reacquired Philippine citizenship under RA 8171, which provides for


repatriation of, among others, natural-born Filipinos who lost their citizenship on
account of political or economic necessity, instead of under RA 2630 which
applies to those who lost their Philippine citizenship by accepting commission in
the USAF.
In any case, the fact is, by having been naturalized abroad, he lost his Philippine
citizenship as well as his residence in the Philippines. Until his reacquisition of
Philippine citizenship, he did not reacquire his legal residence in this country.
It is not true that Coquilla reestablished his Philippine residence in 1998 when he
secured a Community Tax Certificate and by constantly declaring to his townmates
of his intention to seek repatriation and run for mayor.
o The status of being an alien and a non-resident can be waived either separately,
when one acquires the status of a resident alien before acquiring Philippine
citizenship, or at the same time when one acquires Philippine citizenship.
o As an alien, an individual may obtain an immigrant visa under the Philippine
Immigration Act and an Immigrant certificate of Residence and thus waive his
status as a non-resident.
o On the other hand, he may acquire Philippine citizenship by naturalization under
Com. Act No. 473, or if he is a former Philippine national, by repatriation or by an
act of Congress, in which case he waives not only his status as an alien but also
his status as a non-resident alien.
In the present case, the only evidence of Coquillas status when he entered the
country on Oct. 15, 1998, Dec. 20, 1998, Oct. 16, 1999 and June 23, 2000 is the
statement Philippine Immigration Balikbayan in his passport.
o A balikbayan includes a former Filipino citizen who had been naturalized in a
foreign conduct and comes or returns to the Philippines and, if so, he is entitled,
among others, to a visa-free entry to the Philippines for 1 year.
o When Coquilla entered the country on the questioned dates, he did so as a visafree balkbayan whose stay was valid for one year only. Hence, he can only be
held to have waived his status as an alien and as a non-resident on Nov. 10, 2000
upon taking his oath as a Filipino citizen. He then lacked the requisite residency to
qualify him for the mayorship of Oras, Eastern Samar.
o

The rulings in Frivaldo v. Comelec and Bengzon III v. HRET are not applicable because
residency was not an issue in those cases.
Contrary to Coquillas assertion, registration as a voter does not bar the filing of a
subsequent case questioning the candidates lack of residency. (Nuval v. Guray)
As Coquilla clearly lacks one of the essential qualifications for running for mayor, not
even the will of a majority or plurality of the voters would substitute for a requirement
mandated by the fundamental law itself. He cannot invoke liberal interpretation of
election laws.
Coquilla cannot claim denial of due process because he was able to file a Verified
Answer, a Memorandum and a Manifestation before the Comelec.
8. Yes Comelec properly cancelled the COC
Coquilla made a false representation of a material fact in his COC, thus rendering it
liable to cancellation under the Omnibus Election Code.
What is involved here is a false statement concerning a candidates qualification for an
office for which he filed the COC. This is a misrepresentation of a material fact
justifying the cancellation of the COC.
RULING: petition dismissed

Mateo Caasi v. CA and Merito C. Miguel


AnecitoCascante v. COMELEC and Merito C. Miguel
Grino-Aquino, J. 8 November 1990/13 November 1990
SV: In these consolidated petitions, Merito C. Miguel is sought to be disqualified for the position
of municipal mayor of Bolinao, on the ground that he is a green card holder, hence a permanent
resident of the US. The SC held that Miguel's application for immigrant status and permanent
residence in the U.S. and his possession of a green card attesting to such status are conclusive
proof that he is a permanent resident of the U.S. Absent irrevocable proof that he had waived
such status before he ran for mayor of Bolinao, he was disqualified to run and, therefore, his
election was null and void.
FACTS:
- These two consolidated petitions were brought for the disqualification under Sec. 68 of the
Omnibus Election Code of Merito Miguel (he had already won) for the position of municipal mayor
of Bolinao, Pangasinan on the ground that he is a green card holder, hence a permanent resident
of the US, not of Bolinao.
a) Cascante v. COMELEC: the COMELEC dismissed three petitions for the disqualification
of Miguel.
i. The COMELEC held that the possession of a green card by Miguel does not
sufficiently establish that he has abandoned his residence in the Philippines.
ii. On the contrary, Miguel has sufficiently indicated his intention to continuously
reside in Bolinao as shown by his having voted in successive elections in the
municipality.
iii. Commissioner Badoy dissented, saying that having admitted to being a green
card holder, it was incumbent upon Miguel to prove that he has waived his status as
a permanent resident or immigrant to be qualified to run for elected office, which
Miguel had not done.
b) Caasi v. CA: the CA dismissed the petition for quo warrantofiled by Caasi, a rival
candidate, to disqualify Miguel.
i. The CA held that it was pointless for the RTC to have heard the case questioning
the qualification of Miguel as resident of the Philippines after the COMELEC has
ruled that he met the basic requirements of citizenship and residence for candidates
to elective local office, considering that RTC decisions on quo warranto under the
Election Code are appealable to the COMELEC.
- In his answer to both petitions, Miguel admitted that he holds a green card issued to him by the
US Immagration Service but denied that he is a permanent resident of the US.
a) He allegedly obtained the green card for convenience that he may freely enter the US
for his periodic medical examination and to visit his children there.
b) He alleged that he is a permanent resident of Bolinao, that he voted in all previous
elections, including the plebiscite for the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, and 1987
congressional elections.
ISSUES/REASONING:
Should Miguel be disqualified on account of his being a green card holder? YES.
1) Despite his vigorous disclaimer, Miguels immigration to the US in 1984 constituted an
abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines.
a) In his Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, Miguel answer to
Question No. 21 regarding his Length of intended stay was Permanently.
b) On its face, the green card issued by the US Department of Justice and Immigration and
Registration Service to Miguel identifies him in clear bold letters as a RESIDENT
ALIEN.
c) He did not go to the US merely to visit his children or doctor there, he entered the US
with the intention to stay there permanently.

2) Section 18, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution provides:


Sec. 18. Public officers and employees owe the State and this Constitution allegiance at all
times, and any public officer or employee who seeks to change his citizenship or acquire
the status of an immigrant of another country during his tenure shall be dealt with by law.
This is not applicable to Miguel for he acquired the status of an immigrant of the US before he
was elected to public office, not during his tenure as mayor of Bolinao.
The law applicable to him is Sec. 68 of the Omnibus Election Code (BP 881) which provides:
SEC. 68. Disqualifications ... Any person who is a permanent resident of or an immigrant to
a foreign country shall not be qualified to run for any elective office under this Code,
unless said person has waived his status as permanent resident or immigrant of a foreign
country in accordance with the residence requirement provided for in the election laws.
To be "qualified to run for elective office" in the Philippines, the law requires that the candidate
who is a green card holder must have "waived his status as a permanent resident or immigrant
of a foreign country." Therefore, his act of filing a certificate of candidacy for elective office in the
Philippines, did not of itself constitute a waiver of his status as a permanent resident or
immigrant of the United States.
The waiver of his green card should be manifested by some act or acts independent of and done
prior to filing his candidacy for elective office in this country. Without such prior waiver, he was
"disqualified to run for any elective office"
The reason for Section 68 of the Omnibus Election Code is not hard to find. Residence in the
municipality where he intends to run for elective office for at least one (1) year at the time of
filing his certificate of candidacy, is one of the qualifications that a candidate for elective public
office must possess (now found in Sec. 39, LGC -ed).
In banning from elective public office Philippine citizens who are permanent residents or
immigrants of a foreign country, the Omnibus Election Code has laid down a clear policy of
excluding from the right to hold elective public office those Philippine citizens who possess dual
loyalties and allegiance.
3) Miguel insists that even though he applied for immigration and permanent residence in the
United States, he never really intended to live there permanently. In other words, he would have
this Court believe that he applied for immigration to the U.S. under false pretenses; that all this
time he only had one foot in the US but kept his other foot in the Philippines.
Even if that were true, this Court will not allow itself to be a party to his duplicity by permitting
him to benefit from it, and giving him the best of both worlds so to speak.
4) Miguel's application for immigrant status and permanent residence in the U.S. and his
possession of a green card attesting to such status are conclusive proof that he is a permanent
resident of the U.S. despite his occasional visits to the Philippines. The waiver of such immigrant
status should be as indubitable as his application for it.
Absent clear evidence that he made an irrevocable waiver of that status or that he surrendered
his green card to the appropriate US authorities before he ran for mayor of Bolinao, he was
disqualified to run for said public office, and, therefore, his election was null and void.
ELECTION OF MERITO C. MIGUEL AS MAYOR OF BOLINAO IS ANNULLED.
Eduardo T. Rodriguez v. COMELEC and Bienvenido O. Marquez, Jr.

24 July 1996
Francisco, J.
Short version: Rodriguez and Marquez ran against each other for the gubernatorial post of
Quezon Province during the 1992 as well as the 1995 elections. Rodriguez won in both instances.
Marquez contended that Rodriguez should have been disqualified from running for and holding
the said position because he is a fugitive from justice, which is a ground for his
disqualification/ineligibility under Sec. 40(e) of the LGC. He alleged that Rodriguez left the United
States where a charge, filed on 12 November 1985, is pending against him before an LA Court.
The Supreme Court, in an earlier decision involving the same parties, held that fugitive from
justice includes not only those who flee after conviction to avoid punishment but likewise those
who, after being charged, flee to avoid prosecution. Here, it said that the definition indicates that
the intent to evade is the compelling factor that animates ones flight from a particular
jurisdiction. There can only be an intent to evade prosecution or punishment when there is
knowledge by the fleeing subject of an already instituted indictment, or of a promulgated
judgment of conviction. Rodriguez cannot fit this concept because his arrival in the Philippines
preceded the filing of the felony complaint in the LA Court and the issuance of the arrest warrant
against him on even date by almost five months. It was thus impossible for him to have known
about such charge and warrant at the time he left the US. Not being a fugitive from justice,
Rodriguez cannot be denied the Quezon Province gubernatorial post.
Facts:
- During the May 1992 elections. Rodriguez and Marquez ran against each other for the
gubernatorial post of Quezon Province. Rodriguez won and was proclaimed the duly-elected
governor.
- Marquez challenged Rodriguez victory via a petition for quo warranto before the COMELEC
(EPC No. 92-28). He alleged that Rodriguez left the United States where a charge, filed on 12
November 1985, is pending against him before a Los Angeles Municipal Court for fraudulent
insurance claims, grand theft and attempted grand theft of personal property. He thus concluded
that Rodriguez is a fugitive from justice, which is a ground for his disqualification/ineligibility
under Sec. 40(e) of the LGC.92

92
Sec. 40. Disqualifications. The following persons are disqualified from running for any elective local position:
xxx
xxx
xxx
(e) Fugitive from justice in criminal or non-political cases here or abroad

- The COMELEC dismissed the petition and subsequently denied a reconsideration thereof.
Marquez then brought the matter before the SC. In resolving the petition for certiorari, the SC, in
Marquez, Jr. v. COMELEC93 declared that, fugitive from justice includes not only those who
flee after conviction to avoid punishment but likewise those who, after being charged, flee to
avoid prosecution.
Whether or not Rodriguez is a fugitive from justice under the above definition
was not passed upon in the previous case. That determination was left by the SC to
COMELEC upon remand of the case to the latter. Rodriquez MR of the previous decision
was denied.
- During the May 1995 elections, Rodriguez and Marquez renewed their rivalry for the position of
governor. This time, Marquez challenged Rodriguez candidacy via a petition for disqualification
before the COMELEC, based on the same allegation that Rodriguez is a fugitive from justice. This
petition for disqualification was filed when Rodriguez petition for certiorari - from where the
Marquez Decision sprung - was still pending before the SC.
- After the Marquez Decision was promulgated, the COMELEC promulgated a Consolidated
Resolution of the two cases and found that Rodriguez was indeed a fugitive from justice based on
the definition stated in the Marquez Decision. This finding was based on an authenticated copy of
the 12 November 1995 warrant of arrest issued against him and an authenticated copy of the
felony complaint.
According to the COMELEC, the authenticated documents submitted by
Marquez show that there was indeed an outstanding warrant against Rodriguez, which
amply proves that the latter is a fugitive from justice. Thus, he was declared disqualified or
ineligible from assuming and performing the functions of Governor of Quezon Province. He
was also declared disqualified from running for the said position in the May 1995 elections.

93
Hereinafter referred to as the Marquez Decision.

- Despite the above pronouncements, Rodriguez was somehow still able to run during the
elections where he again emerged victorious. Marquez filed urgent motions to suspend
Rodriguez proclamation, which the COMELEC granted. This, as well as the aforementioned
COMELEC Consolidated Resolution gave rase to the filing of the present petition for certiorari
before the SC.94 The SC then resolved to direct the COMELEC to designate a Commissioner to
receive and evaluate such legally admissible evidence as both Rodriguez and Marquez may be
minded to present that would support their respective positions on the matter of whether
Rodriguez is indeed a fugitive from justice.
- In its report, the COMELEC made a complete turnaround from its finding in the Consolidated
Resolution and found that Rodriguez is not a fugitive from justice as defined in the Marquez
Decision. In arriving at this conclusion, the COMELEC opined that intent to evade, a material
element of the definition, was absent considering that Rodriguez arrived in the Philippines on 25
June 1985, long before the criminal charge was instituted in the US on 12 November 1985.
The COMELEC report added though that it was not sure whether it applied
the Marquez Decision correctly. It said that in the majority of cases cited in Marquez to
support the definition stated therein, the term fugitive from justice contemplates other
instances not explicitly mentioned. For instance, some cases and authorities simply state
that a person is a fugitive from justice if he commits a crime and thereafter, leaves the
jurisdiction of the court where the crime was committed. It was immaterial whether the
charge against him has already been filed against him at the time of his flight. Thus, the
COMELEC said that it was submitting the final determination of the case to the SC as the
final interpreter of the law.
Issue: Does Rodriguez come within the definition of a fugitive from justice as enunciated in the
Marquez Decision? (No)
Reasoning:
- The definition of a fugitive from justice in Marquez indicates that the intent to evade is the
compelling factor that animates ones flight from a particular jurisdiction. There can only be an
intent to evade prosecution or punishment when there is knowledge by the fleeing subject of an
already instituted indictment, or of a promulgated judgment of conviction.
- Rodriguez cannot fit this concept. The evidence shows that his arrival in the Philippines on 25
June 1985 preceded the filing of the felony complaint in the LA Court on 12 November 1985 and
the issuance on even date of the arrant of arrest, by almost five months. It was thus impossible
for him to have known about such charge and warrant at the time he left the US. The very
essence of a fugitive from justice is nowhere to be found in his circumstances.
- There are other observations made by COMELEC consistent with the above analysis that the
Court found to be equally formidable and worthy to be adopted as part of the present decision.
The said observations are summarized as follows:
Marquez attempted to show Rodriguez intent to evade the law by offering a
voluminous copy of an investigation report on the latters alleged crimes which led to the
filing of the felony complaint. However, the fact remains that investigations of this nature
are shrouded in utmost secrecy to afford law enforcers the advantage of surprise and
effect the arrest of those who would be charged. 95

94
There were plenty of Motions filed at this point. Once such Motion was an Omnibus Motion filed by Marquez before the COMELEC seeking
the annulment of Rodriguez proclamation. Acting on this Motion, the COMELEC nullified Rodriguez proclamation.

The charges against Rodriguez were filed days after his departure from the
US. This shows that he was in good faith. In fact, Rodriguez evidence shows that his
compulsion to return to the Philippines was due to his desire to join and participate
vigorously in the political campaigns against former President Marcos. He began serving as
OIC-Board Member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Quezon in 1986 then he was
elected Governor in 1988 and was re-elected in 1992 and 1995.
Having established his lack of knowledge of the charges to be filed against
him at the time he left the US, it becomes immaterial to determine the exact time that he
was made aware thereof. Besides, there is no law which requires him to travel back to the
US to subject himself to the burden and tedious process of defending himself before the
US courts.

95
It was not explicitly stated but it seems that the conclusion on this point is that Rodriguez couldnt possibly have known about the investigations
because of all the secrecy.

- Marquez and the COMELEC (in its report) seem to urge the SC to re-define fugitive from
justice. However, the doctrine of law of the case 96 forbade the Court from crafting an
expanded re-definition. The Marquez Decision and the instant petition involve the same parties
and issue and stem from the same Resolution promulgated by the COMELEC. Therefore, what
was established as the controlling legal rule in the Marquez decision must govern the instant
petition.
- Not being a fugitive from justice, Rodriguez cannot be denied the Quezon Province
gubernatorial post.
Dispositive: Petition granted.
Dissenting opinion by Justice Vitug:97

96
This doctrine means that whatever is once irrevocably established as the controlling legal rule of decision between the same parties in the same
case continues to be the law of the case, whether correct on general principles or not, so long as the facts on which such decision was predicated
continue to be the facts of the case before the court.

97
Justice Torres, Jr. had a separate concurring opinion largely echoing the reasoning employed by the main opinion.

- There is a dearth of authorities on the proper and legal connotation of the phrase "fugitive from
justice." Neither the Local Government Code nor the deliberations in Congress give much clue to
the legislative intent. It is evident that Congress, not having provided otherwise, must have
intended the ordinary connotation of the term to prevail.
- So taken, it might be understood as referring to one who, having committed or being accused
of having committed a crime in one jurisdiction, cannot be found therein or is absent for any
reason from that jurisdiction that thereby forestalls criminal justice from taking its due course.
The issue is largely a factual matter and in that determination, the motive or reason for his flight
need not be inquired into for what matters is not why he leaves but the fact that he leaves. It
should be reasonable to assume that a person was aware of his own deeds and misdeeds.
- The mere fact that there are pending charges in the United States and that petitioner
Rodriguez is in the Philippines make him a fugitive from justice. Given the factual circumstances,
the present petition therefore must be dismissed.
105. Dela Torre v COMELEC and Marcial Villanueva
Francisco, J.
July 5, 1996
Topic: Elective Officials; Disqualifications
SV: Dela Torre, a candidate for the position of mayor of Cavinti, Laguna, filed a petition for
certiorari to assail the validity of 2 resolutions issued by COMELEC disqualifying him from
running. The ground for his disqualification is Sec. 40(a) LGC which provides the
disqualication for those sentenced by a final judgment for an offense involving moral
turpitude. COMELEC said that since Dela Torre was convicted by final judgment of violating
the Anti-Fencing law, and since the nature of the offense involves moral turpitude, he is
disqualified. Dela Torre argues that, inasmuch as he was granted the probation, Sec. 40(a)
LGC does not apply to him.
Court said that the crime of fencing involves moral turpitude, which is defined as an act
of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private duties which a man owes his fellowmen,
or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty
between man and woman or conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good
morals.
One of the elements of the crime of fencing is that the accused knows or should
have known that the said article, item, object or anything of value has been derived
from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft.
Actual knowledge of the fact that the property is stolen displays the same degree of
malicious deprivation of ones rightful property as that which animated the robbery
or theft which, by their very nature, are crimes of moral turpitude. The same
underlying reason holds even if the fence did not have actual knowledge, but
merely should have known the origin of the property received.
Although the fence and the robber have different levels of participation, both
invaded ones peaceful dominion for gain.
As to his contention that Sec. 40, LGC does not apply to him because of the probation that
was granted, the court ruled that the legal effect of probation is only to suspend the
execution of the sentence and that the disqualification subsists notwithstanding the grant
of probation.

FACTS:

Petitioner Rolando P. Dela Torre via the instant petition for certiorari seeks the nullification of
two resolutions issued by the COMELEC allegedly with grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack of jurisdiction in a case for disqualification filed against him.
There were 2 resolutions issued against him by COMELEC.
The first assailed resolution dated May 6,1995 declared the Dela Torre disqualified from
running for the position of Mayor of Cavinti, Laguna in the last May 8,1995 elections, citing as
the ground therefor, Sec. 40(a), LGC which disqualifies those sentenced by a final judgment
for an offense involving moral turpitude or for an offense punishable by 1 yr or more of
imprisonment within 2 years after serving sentence.
o COMELEC held that documentary evidence established that Dela Torre was found guilty
by the MuTC for violating the Anti-fencing law. RTC affirmed the decision, and his
conviction became final.
o As such, there exists legal grounds to disqualify him as candidate for Mayor. Although
jurisprudence involving the Anti-Fencing law is insufficient, the nature of the offense
under the law certainly involves moral turpitude.
The second assailed resolution, dated August 28, 1995, denied Dela Torres MR.
o Dela Torre argued that Sec. 40(a) LGC does not apply to his case inasmuch as the
probation granted him by MTC which suspended the execution of the judgment of
conviction and all other legal consequences flowing therefrom, rendered inapplicable
Section 40 (a) as well.

ISSUES:
1. Does the crime of fencing involve moral turpitude? (YES, COMELEC did not err in
disqualifying the Dela Torre on the ground that the offense of fencing, which he was convicted of,
involved moral turpitude.)

The Court has consistently adopted Blacks Law Dictionary definition of moral turpitude:
x xx an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private duties which a man owes his
fellowmen, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right
and duty between man and woman or conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or
good morals.
Not every criminal act involves moral turpitude, and it is for this reason that the SC has to
determine what crimes involves this. The Court is guided by one of the general rules that
crimes mala in se involve moral turpitude, while crimes mala prohibita do not.
o [Zari v Flores] Moral turpitude implies something immoral in itself, regardless of the
fact that it is punishable by law or not. It must not be merely mala prohibita, but the
act itself must be inherently immoral. Moral turpitude does notinclude such acts
as are not of themselves immoral but whose illegality lies in their being positively
prohibited.
o But such guideline is sometimes insufficient.
o [IRRI v NLRC] it cannot always be ascertained whether moral turpitude does or does
not exist by merely classifying a crime as malum in se or as malumprohibitum.
There are crimes which are mala in se and yet but rarely involve moral turpitude
and there are crimes which involve moral turpitude and are mala prohibita only. In
the final analysis, whether or not a crime involves moral turpitude is ultimately a
question of fact and frequently depends on all the circumstances surrounding the
violation of the statute.
Since Dela Torre does not assail his conviction and has in effect, admitted all elements of
the crime of fencing, the court proceeded to analyze the elements and it was found that
the crime of fencing involves moral turpitude.
o Fencing in Sec. 2 PD 1612 is the act of any person who, with intent to gain for
himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or
dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any manner deal in any article, item, object or

anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived
from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft.
As can be gleaned from the definition, the elements of the crime are:
1. A crime of robbery or theft has been committed;
2. The accused who is not a principal or accomplice in the crime of robbery or
theft, buys, receives, possesses, keeps, acquires, conceals, sells or disposes,
or buys and sells, or in any manner deals in any article, item, object or
anything of value, which have been derived from the proceeds of the said
crime;
3. The accused knows or should have known that the said article,
item, object or anything of value has been derived from the
proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft; and
4. There is, on the part of the accused, intent to gain for himself or for
another.
Moral turpitude is deducible form the 3rd element because actual knowledge of the
fact that the property is stolen displays the same degree of malicious deprivation of
ones rightful property as that which animated the robbery or theft which, by their
very nature, are crimes of moral turpitude.
Although the participation of each felon in the unlawful taking differs in point
in time and in degree, both the fence and the actual perpetrator/s of the
robbery or theft invaded ones peaceful dominion for gain.
This deliberately reneges in the process private duties they owe their
fellowmen or society in a manner contrary to x xx accepted and
customary rule of right and duty x xx, justice, honesty x xx or good morals.
The duty not to appropriate, or to return, anything acquired either by mistake
or with malice is so basic it finds expression in the Civil Code 98

98
Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give
everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.Article 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or
negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.
Article 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good
customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.
Article 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other means, acquires or comes into
possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.
Article 2154. If something is received when there is no right to demand it, and it was unduly delivered through
mistake, the obligation to return it arises.

The same underlying reason holds even if the fence did not have actual
knowledge, but merely should have known the origin of the property received.
the words should know denote the fact that a person of reasonable
prudence and intelligence would ascertain the fact in the performance of his
duty to another or would govern his conduct upon assumption that such fact
exists
Circumstances normally exist to forewarn, for instance, a reasonably vigilant
buyer that the object of the sale may have been derived from the proceeds of
robbery or theft.
Time and place of sale, nature and condition of goods sold, and the
fact that seller is not regularly engaged in the business of selling goods
may not be in accord with usual practices of commerce. These should
caution the buyer.
This justifies the presumption found in Section 5 of P.D. No. 1612 that mere
possession of any goods, x xx, object or anything of value which has been
the subject of robbery or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing- a
presumption that is, according to the Court, reasonable for no other natural
or logical inference can arise from the established fact of x xx possession of
the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft.

2. Does the grant of probation affect Sec. 40 (a)s applicability? (NO)

The legal effect of probation is only to suspend the execution of the sentence.
Dela Torres conviction of fencing which we have heretofore declared as a crime of moral
turpitude and thus falling squarely under the disqualification found in Section 40 (a),
subsists and remains totally unaffected notwithstanding the grant of probation.
A judgment of conviction in a criminal case ipso facto attains finality when the accused
applies for probation, although it is not executory pending resolution of the application for
probation.

Petition for certiorari DISMISSED. Comelec resolutions AFFIRMED.


106. Magno v. COMELEC99

99
Nestor B. Magno, petitioner, v. Commission on Elections and Carlos C. Montes, respondents

Date: October 4, 2002


Ponente: Corona
The case in a nutshell:
FACTS: Nestor B. Magno was a mayoralty candidate of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija during the May 14,
2001 elections. Carlos C. Montes filed a case for Magnos disqualification, on the ground that he
had been previously convicted by the Sandiganbayan of 4 counts of direct bribery. (On July 25,
1995, he had been sentenced. Thereafter, he had applied for probation. He was discharged on
March 5, 1998.) The COMELEC granted Montes petition and declared that Magno was
disqualified for running for mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections. It Sec. 12 of the Omnibus
Election Code, which explicitly lifts the disqualification to run for an elective office of a person
convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude after 5 years from the service of sentence (i.e. as
Magno was considered to have completed the service of his sentence on March 5, 1998, his 5year disqualification would end only on March 5, 2003). Magnos MR was denied. Magno filed a
petition for review on certiorari in the SC, arguing that 1) direct bribery is not a crime involving
moral turpitude, and 2) the applicable law was Sec. 40 of the Local Government Code, which
imposes only a 2-year disqualification period (i.e. Magnos disqualification expired on March 5,
2000).
HELD: The crime of direct bribery involves moral turpitude. Moral turpitude can be inferred from
the 3rd element of direct bribery (the offender agrees to accept a promise or gift and deliberately
commits an unjust act, or refrains from performing an official duty in exchange for some favors).
It is the Local Government Code which applies. The Omnibus Election Code was approved on
December 3, 1985, while the Local Government Code took effect on January 1, 1992. In case of
irreconcilable conflict between 2 laws, the later enactment must prevail, being the more recent
expression of legislative will. Also, Sec. 40 of the Local Government Code, insofar as it governs
the disqualifications of candidates for local positions, assumes the nature of a special law which
ought to prevail over Sec. 12 of the Omnibus Election Code, which speaks of disqualifications of
candidates for any public office. The intent of the legislature to reduce the disqualification period
of candidates for local positions from 5 years (under the Omnibus Election Code) to 2 years
(under the Local Government Code) is evident. Thus, Magno was NOT disqualified to run for
mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections. Although his crime of direct bribery involved moral
turpitude, his disqualification ceased as of March 5, 2000, and he was therefore under no such
disqualification anymore when he ran for mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections.

Facts:
1) Petitioner Nestor B. Magno was a mayoralty candidate of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija during
the May 14, 2001 elections.
2) On March 21, 2001, private respondent Carlos C. Montes filed a case for Magnos
disqualification, on the ground that he had been previously convicted by the
Sandiganbayan of 4 counts of direct bribery, penalized under Art. 210 of the Revised Penal
Code.
a. On July 25, 1995, Magno had been sentenced to suffer the indeterminate penalty of
3 months and 11 days of arresto mayor as minimum, to 1 year, 8 months, and 21
days of prision correctional as maximum, for each of the 4 counts of direct bribery.
Thereafter, Magno applied for probation. He was discharged on March 5, 1998 upon
order of the Gapan RTC.
3) On May 7, 2001, the COMELEC rendered a decision granting Montes petition. It declared
that Magno was disqualified from running for mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections.
a. It cited Sec. 12 of the Omnibus Election Code, which provides:
Sec. 12. Disqualifications. Any person who has been declared by competent authority insa
incompetent, or has been sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebelli
for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty to more than eighteen
months, or for a crime involving moral turpitude, shall be disqualified to be a candidate a
hold any office, unless he has been given plenary pardon, or granted amnesty.

The disqualifications to be a candidate herein provided shall be deemed removed upo


declaration by competent authority that said insanity or incompetence had been remov
after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence, unless within the
period he again becomes disqualified.
i. Sec. 12 explicitly lifts the disqualification to run for an elective office of a
person convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude after 5 years from the
service of sentence. Inasmuch as Magno was considered to have completed
the service of his sentence on March 5, 1998, his 5-year disqualification
would end only on March 5, 2003.
4) Magno filed an MR, but this was denied.
5) Magno filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 in the SC.
a. He argued that direct bribery is not a crime involving moral turpitude.
b. He claimed that Sec. 40 of the Local Government Code, not Sec. 12 of the Omnibus
Election Code, was the applicable law to the case at bar. Sec. 40 provides:
Sec. 40. Disqualifications. The following persons are disqualified from running for any el
local position:
a) Those sentenced by final judgment for an offense involving moral turpitude or f
offense punishable by one (1) year or more of imprisonment, within two (2) years
serving sentence.

xxx
c. He insisted that he had already served his sentence as of March 5, 1998, when he
was discharged from probation. Such being the case, the 2-year disqualification
period imposed by Sec. 40 of the Local Government Code expired on March 5, 2000.
Thus, he was qualified to run in the May 14, 2001 elections.
6) Sonia Lorenzo was proclaimed by the COMELEC as the duly elected mayor of San Isidro,
Nueva Ecija.
7) Magno filed a supplemental petition in the SC.
a. He assailed the proclamation of Lorenzo, on the ground that the propriety of his
disqualification was still under review by the SC.
b. He asked the SC to declare him as the duly elected mayor instead of Lorenzo.
8) The Solicitor General filed his manifestation and agreed with Magno that the COMELEC
should have applied Sec. 40 of the Local Government Code.
Issue:
1) Does the crime of direct bribery involve moral turpitude? YES.
2) Is it the Omnibus Election Code or the Local Government Code which applies? LOCAL
GOVERNMENT CODE.
3) Was Magno disqualified to run for mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections? NO.
Held: The instant petition is hereby PARTIALLY GRANTED. The challenged resolutions of the
Commission on Elections are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Magnos prayer in his
supplemental petition for his proclamation as the winner in the May 14, 2001 mayoralty elections
in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, not being within the SCs jurisdiction, is hereby denied.
Ratio:.
1) The crime of direct bribery involves moral turpitude.
a. The SC has consistently adopted the definition in Blacks Law Dictionary of moral
turpitude as an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private duties which
a man owes his fellow men, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and
customary rule of right and duty between man and woman or conduct to justice,
honesty, modesty, or good morals.
b. By applying for probation, Magno in effect admitted all the elements of the crime of
direct bribery, namely:
i. The offender is a public officer.

ii. The offender accepts an offer or a promise or receives a gift or present by


himself or through another.
iii. Such offer or promise be accepted or gift or present be received by the public
officer with a view to committing some crime, or in consideration of the
execution of an act which does not constitute a crime but the act must be
unjust, or to refrain from doing something which it is his official duty to do.
iv. The act which the offender agrees to perform or which he executes is
connected with the performance of his official duties.
c. Moral turpitude can be inferred from the 3 rd element of direct bribery.
i. The fact that the offender agrees to accept a promise or gift and deliberately
commits an unjust act, or refrains from performing an official duty in
exchange for some favors, denotes a malicious on the part of the offender to
renege on his duties which he owes his fellowmen and society in general.
ii. The fact that the offender takes advantage of his office and position is a
betrayal of the trust reposed on him by the public. It is a conduct clearly
contrary to the accepted rules of right and duty, justice, honesty, and good
morals.
2) It is the Local Government Code which applies.
a. The Omnibus Election Code was approved on December 3, 1985, while the Local
Government Code took effect on January 1, 1992.
i. It is basic in statutory construction that in case of irreconcilable conflict
between 2 laws, the later enactment must prevail, being the more recent
expression of legislative will. In enacting the later law, the legislature is
presumed to have knowledge of the older law and intended to change it.
b. The repealing clause of Sec. 354 of the Local Government Code states that:
(f) All general and special laws, acts, city charters, decrees, executive orders, proclam
administrative regulations, or part or parts thereof which are inconsistent with any
this Code are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.
i. Sec. 40 of the Local Government Code is deemed to have repealed Sec. 12 of
the Omnibus Election Code.
c. Art. 7 of the Civil Code provides that laws are repealed only by subsequent ones.
When a subsequent law entirely encompasses the subject matter of the former
enactment, the latter is deemed repealed.
i. The Local Government Code is a codified set of laws that specifically applies
to local government units. (David v. COMELEC)
d. Sec. 40 of the Local Government Code specifically and definitively provides for
disqualification of candidates for elective local positions. It is applicable to them
only. On the other hand, Sec. 12 of the Omnibus Election Code speaks of
disqualifications of candidates for any public office. It deals with the election of all
public officers.
i. Sec. 40 of the Local Government Code, insofar as it governs the
disqualifications of candidates for local positions, assumes the nature of a
special law which ought to prevail.
e. The intent of the legislature to reduce the disqualification period of candidates for
local positions from 5 years to 2 years is evident. The cardinal rule in the
interpretation of all laws is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the law.
3) Magno was NOT disqualified to run for mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections.
a. Although his crime of direct bribery involved moral turpitude, his disqualification
ceased as of March 5, 2000, and he was therefore under no such disqualification
anymore when he ran for mayor in the May 14, 2001 elections.
4) The SC pointed out that this was NOT the proper forum to rule on 1) the validity of
Lorenzos proclamation, and 2) the declaration of Magno as the rightful winner. Inasmuch
as Lorenzo had already been proclaimed as the winning candidate, Magnos legal remedy
would have been a timely election protest.

Atty. Miguel M. Lingating v. COMELEC and Cesar B. Sulong


13 November 2002
Mendoza, J.
Short version: Lingating and Sulong were both candidates for the mayoralty of Lapuyan,
Zamboanga del Sur. Lingating filed a petition for the disqualification of Sulong with the Provincial
Election Supervisor pursuant to Sec. 40(b) of the LGC which disqualifies from running for any
elective local position those removed from office as a result of an administrative case. He
alleged that in 1991, during Sulongs first term as Mayor of Lapuyan, the latter was
administratively charged and found guilty by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of violating RA 3019.
He claimed that this decision had become final and executory, thereby depriving him of his right
to run for public office. However, the SC ruled that the decision of the Sanggunian had not
become final. The records show that Sulong filed an MR of the decision and that the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan required the complainant therein to comment. This comment was never filed and
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan had not resolved Sulongs MR. The filing of his MR prevented the
decision from becoming final. There being no final decision finding Sulong guilty of the offenses,
he cannot be deemed disqualified from running for public office.
Facts:

- Lingating and Sulong were both candidates for the mayoralty of Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur
in the May 2001 elections. On 3 May 2001, Lingating filed a petition for the disqualification of
Sulong with the Provincial Election Supervisor pursuant to Sec. 40(b) of the LGC 100 which
disqualifies from running for any elective local position those removed from office as a result of
an administrative case.
Lingating alleged that in 1991, during Sulongs first term as Mayor of
Lapuyan, the latter was administratively charged with having violated the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act and that, on 4 February 1992, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of
Zamboanga del Sur found him guilty of the charges and ordered his removal from office.
Lingating claimed that this decision had become final and executory and consequently
the, the then vice-mayor, Vicente Imbing, took his oath as mayor.
On the other hand, Sulong denied that the decision had become final and
executory. He averred that after he received a copy thereof, he filed an MR and/or notice of
appeal on 18 February 1992 and that thereafter, the complainant in the case was asked to
comment. Sulong claimed that such comment had yet to be filed and that his MR
consequently remained pending.
- The COMELEC was unable to render judgment before the elections. Sulong turned out to be the
winner so he was proclaimed by the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Lapuyan as the duly
elected mayor.
- On 1 August 2001, the COMELECs First Division declared Sulong disqualified stating that the
decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in the administrative case had indeed already become
final and executory, thereby depriving him of his right to run for public office.
- Sulong filed an MR, citing a certification from the Provincial Secretary that the administrative
case has not become final and executory as the final disposition thereof was overtaken by the
local elections of May 1992. Eventually, the COMELEC issued a resolution reversing the earlier
decision insofar as it found Sulong disqualified.
The COMELEC found that despite the 4 February 1992 resolution finding
Sulong guilty of the offenses charged, he was still re-elected in the local elections of the
same year. On May of 1995, he again won the mayoralty elections of Lapuyan. The
COMELEC said that while one of the disqualifications from running in an elective position is
removal from office as a result of an administrative case, this provision no longer applies if
the candidate got re-elected to another term. It cited Aguinaldo v. Santos, and said that
the re-election of the candidate involved is tantamount to a condonation of the decision
which found him guilty of the offenses charged.
- In this petition before the SC, Lingating contends that the COMELEC erred in applying the
Aguinaldo case. In support of his argument, he cited Reyes v. COMELEC, in which it was held that
an elective local executive officer who is removed before the expiration of the term for which he
was elected, is disqualified from being a candidate for a local elective position under Sec. 40 (b)
of the LGC.
Issue: Was Sulong disqualified from running for mayor?

100
Disqualifications. The following persons are disqualified from running for any elective local position:. . . . (b) Those removed from office
as a result of an administrative case;

Reasoning:
- In Reyes, the SC explained that it ruled the way it did in Aguinaldo because there, before the
petition questioning the validity of the administrative decision removing the local officer could be
decided, the latters term of office during which the alleged misconduct was committed had
already expired. Removal cannot extend beyond the term during which the alleged misconduct
was committed. In contrast, the situation in Reyes is such that the administrative case had
become final before the expiration of the officers term. Thus, he was validly removed from office
and, pursuant to Sec. 40(b), he was disqualified from running for reelection.
- However, the Reyes ruling cannot be applied in this case because it appears that the 1992
decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan finding Sulong guilty of the offenses has not become
final.
The records show that Sulong had indeed filed an MR of the decision and that
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan required the complainant therein to comment. This
comment was never filed and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan had not resolved Sulongs
MR. The filing of his MR prevented the decision from becoming final.
While the LGC is silent on the filing of an MR, the same cannot be interpreted
as a prohibition against the filing of the same. The SC has held that as a matter of
exhaustion of administrative remedies, a party in a disbarment proceeding under Rule
139-B, Sec. 12(c) can move for an MR of a resolution of the IBP although Rule 139 does not
so provide.
There is thus no final decision finding Sulong guilty of the offenses charged.
In fact, the Provincial Secretary attested that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan simply
considered the matter as having become moot and academic because it was overtaken
by the local elections of May 1992.

Neither can the succession of the then vice-mayor of Lapuyan, Vicente


Imbing to the officer of Mayorbe considered proof that the decision had become
finalbecause it appears to have been made pursuant to Sec. 68 of the LGC 101 which makes
decisions in administrative cases immediately executory.
Dispositive: Petition dismissed.

Roberto A. Flores, Daniel Y. Figueroa, Rogelio T. Palo, Domingo A. Jadloc, Carlito T.


Cruz, Manuel P. Reyes
22 June 1993
Bellosillo, J.

SHORT VERSION: RA 7227 or the Bases Conversion and Development Act was passed. Sec. 13(d)
mandated that the Mayor of Olongapo City (then Richard Gordon) be appointed as Chairman of
the Board and Chief Executive Officer of SBMA. Petitioners questioned the constitutionality of this
part of RA 7227. The Court held it unconstitutional. The constitutional prohibition is clear No
elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity to any public
office or position during his tenure. However, since the ineligibility attaches only during the
tenure of the elective official, Gordon here may opt to resign as Mayor in order to be eligible as
SBMA Chair. The Court also ruled that Sec. 13(d) infringed on the Presidents power to appoint.
By prescribing only one person, the Mayor of Olongapo, as the sole candidate for the position of
SBMA Chair/CEO, Congress effectively took away the discretion that the President exercises in
choosing his appointees, which such discretion is the heart of the power of appointment. The
questioned proviso in Sec. 13(d) was hence declared unconstitutional and Gordons appointment
null and void.

FACTS:

101
Section 68. Execution Pending Appeal. An appeal shall not prevent a decision from becoming final or executory. The respondent shall be
considered as having been placed under preventive suspension during the pendency of an appeal in the event he wins such appeal. In the event
the appeal results in an exoneration, he shall be paid his salary and such other emoluments during the pendency of the appeal.

This is an original petition with prayer for prohibition, preliminary injunction and TRO
questioning the constitutionality of Sec. 13(d) of RA 7227 102 (Bases Conversion and
Development Act of 1992), under which Mayor Richard Gordon of Olongapo City was
appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
(SBMA).
Petitioners, claiming to be taxpayers, employees of the US Facility in Subic, Zambales, and
officers and member of the Filipino Civilian Employees Association in US Facilities in the
Philippines that the proviso in Sec. 13(d) (underlined in the footnote) infringes on the
following constitutional and statutory provisions:
o That no elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any
capacity to any public office during his tenure (Art. IX-B, Sec. 7, 1987 Consti),
because the Mayor of Olongapo is an elective official and the subject posts are
public offices
o That the President shall appoint all other officers of the Government whose
appointments are not otherwise provided for by law, and those whom he may be
authorized by law to appoint (Art. VII Sec. 16, 1987 Consti), since it was Congress
and not the President who appointed the Mayor to the subject posts
o That this is an election offense under Sec. 261(g) of the Omnibus Election Code,
which provides that no new position shall be created nor any new appointment
made 45 days before a regular election, since Gordons appointment as SBMA Chair
on April 3, 1992 was within the prohibited 45-day period prior to the May 11, 1992
elections.

ISSUE:
Does the proviso in Sec. 13(d) of RA 7227 violate the constitutional proscription against
appointment or designation of elective officials to other government posts? YES

REASONING:
On Art. IX-B Sec. 7

This provision states:


No elective official shall be eligible for appointment or designation in any capacity
to any public office or position during his tenure.
Unless otherwise allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position, no
appointive official shall hold any other office or employment in the Government or any
subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled
corporations or their subsidiaries.
o

This section expresses the policy against the concentration of several public
positions in one person, so that a public officer/employee may serve full-time with
dedication and thus be efficient in the delivery of public service.

102
Sec. 13. (d) Chairman administrator The President shall appoint a professional manager as administrator of the Subic Authority with a
compensation to be determined by the Board subject to the approval of the Secretary of Budget, who shall be the ex-officio chairman of the
Board and who shall serve as the chief executive officer of the Subic Authority: Provided, however, That for the first year of its operations from
the effectivity of this Act, the mayor of the City of Olongapo shall be appointed as the chairman and chief executive officer of the Subic
Authority.

The basic idea is to prevent a situation where a local elective official will work for his
appointment in an executive position in government, and thus neglect his
constituents.
In the present case, the subject proviso directs the President to appoint an elective official,
the Mayor of Olongapo City, to other government posts, i.e. Chair of the Board and CEO of
SBMA).
o Since this is precisely what the constitution seeks to prevent, it needs no stretching
of the imagination to conclude that the proviso contravenes Art. IX-B Sec. 7, first
paragraph.
o The fact that the expertise of an elective official may be most beneficial to the
higher interest of the body politic is of no moment.
o

On Sec. 94 of the LGC

It was argued that Sec. 94 permits the appointment of a local elective official to another
post if so allowed by law or by the primary functions of his office. This contention is
fallacious.
o Sec. 94 is not determinative of the constitutionality of the questioned proviso. No
legislative act can prevail over the law of the land.
o Moreover, since it is the constitutionality of Sec. 94 is not the issue here nor is that
section sought to be declared unconstitutional, the Court need not rule on its
validity.
o Neither can a practice otherwise unconstitutional be invoked as authority for its
validity.
In any case, this argument ignores the difference in the wording of the two paragraphs of
Art. IX-B Sec. 7.
o The second paragraph authorizes the holding of multiple offices by an appointive
official when allowed by law or by the primary functions of his position.
o The first paragraph is more stringent by not providing any exception to the rule
against appointment of an elective official to the government post, except as
recognized in the Consti itself.
The Court looked at the constitutional deliberations and found that this distinction was not
accidental and not without reason.
o The prohibition is more strict with elective officials because in the case of appointive
officials, there may be certain situations where the law should allow them to hold
other positions.
This distinction is clear. The exemption allowed to appointive officials cannot be extended
to elective officials.

On the SBMA positions being ex-officio to the position of Mayor of Olongapo

The Court did not agree. This argument is based on a wrong premise. Congress did not
contemplate making the SBMA posts as ex-officio or automatically attached to the Office
of the Mayor of Olongapo City without need of appointment.
The phrase shall be appointed unquestionably shows the intent to make the SBMA posts
appointive and not merely adjunct to the post of Mayor.
Had that been the legislative intent, Congress would have at least avoided the word
appointed and instead ex officio would have been used.
o Sen. Rene Saguisag remarked that if the Conference Committee just said "the
Mayor shall be the Chairman" then that should foreclose the issue. It is a legislative
choice.

On the Presidents power to appoint

Petitioners assail Sec. 13(d) for being a legislative encroachment on the appointing power
of the President.
An appointment is the designation of a person, by the person or persons having
authority therefor, to discharge the duties of some office or trust, or the selection or
designation of a person, by the person to persons having authority therefor, to fill an office
or public function and discharge the duties of the same.
The power to appoint is, in essence, discretionary. The appointing power has the right of
choice which he may exercise freely according to his judgment, deciding for himself who is
best qualified among those who have the necessary qualifications and eligibilities.
(Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila v. IAC)
o The power of choice is the heart of the power to appoint. It is not a ministerial act of
issuing appointment papers. The choice of the appointee is a fundamental
component of the appointing power.
Hence, when Congress clothes the President with the power to appoint an officer, it cannot
at the same time limit the choice of the President to only one candidate.
o Once the power of appointment is conferred on the President, such conferment
necessarily carries the discretion of whom to appoint. Even on the pretext of
prescribing the qualifications of the officer, Congress may not abuse such power as
to divest the appointing authority, directly or indirectly, or his discretion to pick his
own choice.
o When the qualifications prescribed by Congress can only be met by one individual,
such enactment effectively eliminates the discretion of the appointing power to
choose and constitutes an irregular restriction on the power of appointment.
Here, the proviso limits the appointing authority to only one eligible, i.e. the Mayor of
Olongapo.
Since only one can qualify for the posts in question, the President is precluded from
exercising his discretion to choose whom to appoint.
o Such supposed power of appointment, sans the essential element of choice, is no
power at all and goes against the very nature itself of appointment.

On the eligibility of an elective official for appointment

Since the ineligibility of an elective official for appointment remains all throughout his
tenure or during his incumbency, he may resign first from his elective post to cast off the
constitutionally-attached disqualification before he may be considered fit for appointment.
o As long as he is an incumbent, an elective official remains ineligible for appointment
to another public office.
Where an incumbent elective official was, notwithstanding his ineligibility, appointed to
other government posts, he does not automatically forfeit his elective office nor remove
his ineligibility imposed by the Constitution.
o On the contrary, since an incumbent elective official is not eligible to the appointive
position, his appointment or designation thereto cannot be valid in view of his
disqualification or lack of eligibility.
This should be distinguished from Art. VI Sec. 13, prohibiting any legislator from holding
any other office in the government during his term without forfeiting his seat in Congress.
o The difference between the two provisions is significant in the sense that incumbent
national legislators lose their elective posts only after they have been appointed to
another government office, while other incumbent elective officials must first resign
their posts before they can be appointed, thus running the risk of losing the elective
post as well as not being appointed to the other post.

In this case, Gordon, as an incumbent elective official, is ineligible for appointment as


Chair and CEO of the SBMA. Hence, his appointment cannot be sustained. However, he
remains Mayor of Olongapo.
o He may be considered a de facto officer as to SBMA. Hence, any and all per diems,
allowances and other emoluments which may have been received by him pursuant
to such appointment may be retained by him.
Mayor Gordon has a choice of resigning as Mayor in order to be eligible as SBMA Chair and
CEO. However, the Court has no choice but to rule that the proviso is unconstitutional.

RULING: proviso declared unconstitutional; Gordons appointment declared invalid, null and void
Perfecto V. Galido v Comelec and Saturnino R. Galeon
Jan 18, 1991
Padilla, J.

Short version:Galeon and Galido both ran for Mayor. Galido won. Galeon filed an election
protest with the RTC, which ruled in favor of Galido. Galeon appealed the RTC decision to the
Comelec, which reversed the RTC decision. Galido appealed the Comelec decision to the SC.
Galeon contends that final decisions, orders or rulings of the COMELEC in election contests
involving elective municipal offices are final and executory, and not appealable, based on the
Constitution. The SC, however, agreed with Galido and held that that while decisions with respect
to barangay and municipal officials are final and immediately executory and, therefore, not
appealable, that does not rule out the possibility of an original special civil action for certiorari,
prohibition, or mandamus. However, the petition is dismissed because Galeon had already
assumed office and thus, the petition for prohibition is moot and academic.

Facts:

Perfecto Galido and SaturninoGaleon both ran for Mayor in the Municipality of GarciaHernandez, Province of Bohol during the January 1988 local elections
Galido.was proclaimed duly-elected Mayor of Garcia-Hernandez, by the Municipal Board of
Canvassers.
Galeon then filed an election protest before the RTC of Bohol
The RTC upheld the proclamation of Galidoas the duly-elected Mayor of Garcia-Hernandez, by
a majority of eleven (11) votes.
Galeon appealed the RTC decision to the Comelec.
The Comelec first division reversed the RTC decision and declared Galeon the duly-elected
mayor by a plurality of five (5) votes.
Galidos MR was denied the Comelec en banc, which affirmed the First Division decision. The
COMELEC held that the fifteen (15) ballots in the same precinct containing the initial "C" after
the name "Galido" were marked ballots and, therefore, invalid.
o It relied on the rule that where a word or a letter recurs in a pattern or system to mark
and identify ballots, the ballots containing the same should be rejected as marked
ballots, and the introduction of evidence aliunde is not necessary when the repetition of
a word or letter in several ballots in the same precinct constitutes a clear and convincing
proof of a design to identify the voters.
Thus, Galido filed a petition for certiorari and injunction with the SC.

The SC first dismissed the petition for failure to comply with paragraph 4 of the Court's
Circular No. 1-88103.The MR on this was denied with finality.
Undaunted, Galidofiled this petition for certiorari and injunction with prayer for a restraining
order, containing the same allegations and legal issues as the previous petition.
The SC issued the TRO and required the Comelec and Galeon to file comment.
Galido moved to dismiss, on the ff. grounds:

103
Requires that a petition shall contain a verified statement of the date when notice of the questioned judgment,
order or resolution was received and the date of receipt of the denial of the motion for reconsideration, if any was
filed.

Final decisions, orders or rulings of the COMELEC in election contests involving elective
municipal offices are final andexecutory, and not appealable, citing Article IX (C), Section
2(2), paragraph 2 of the 1987 Constitution 104, as implemented by the Rules of Procedure
promulgated by the COMELEC, particularly Part VII Rule 39, Section 2 105.
o 2. The petition involves pure questions of fact as they relate to appreciation of evidence
(ballots) which is beyond the power of review of Supreme Court
o 3. Exactly the same petition involving identical allegations, grounds and legal issues
was already dismissed with finality.
In his Reply to the Comment, Galidocontended that:
o

104
Decisions, final orders, or ruling of the Commission on election contests involving elective municipal and barangay
offices shall be final, executory, and not appealable.

105
Sec. 2. Non-reviewable decisions. Decisions in appeals from courts of general or limited jurisdiction in election
cases relating to the elections, returns, and qualifications of municipal and barangay official are not appealable.

Based on Article IX (A), Section 7106 of the 1987 Constitution, and Article VIII, Section 1,
since judicial power is vested in one Supreme Court, the present petition can still be
brought to the Supreme Court by certiorari. He contends that this petition is not an
ordinary appeal contemplated by the Rules of Court or by provision of the Constitution.

106
Sec. 7. Each Commission shall decide by a majority vote of all its Members any case or matter brought before it
within sixty days from the date of its submission for decision or resolution. A case or matter is deemed submitted
for decision or resolution upon the filing of the last pleading, brief, or memorandum required by the rules of the
Commission or by the Commission itself Unless otherwise provided by this Constitution or by law, any decision,
order, or ruling of each Commission may be brought to the Supreme Court on certiorari by the aggrieved party
within thirty days from receipt of a copy thereof.

The petition involves pure questions of law, since it involvesthe correct interpretation of
Section 211. No. 10107 of the Omnibus Election Code. According to him, it has been held
before that in the appreciation of ballots where there is no evidence aliundeof a purpose
to identify the ballots, the same should not be invalidated as marked ballots. Thus, the
COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it disregarded the cited decisions of
this Court and declared that the suffix "C" after the name Galido was in reality a
countersign and not a mere erroneous initial.
The dismissal with finality of the first petition did not refer to the merits of the petition.

Issue: May the Comelec decision be brought to the SC through a petition for certiorari? YES

Ratio:
1) The Comelechas exclusive original jurisdiction over all contests relating to the elections,
returns, and qualifications of all elective regional, provincial, and city officials and has
appellate jurisdiction over all contests involving elective municipal officials decided by trial
courts of general jurisdiction or involving elective barangay officials decided by trial courts of
limited jurisdiction, under Article IX (C), Section 2 (2), paragraph 1 of the 1987 Constitution.
2) The Court agrees with Galido in citing Article IX (A) Section 7.
3) The fact that decisions, final orders or rulings of the Commission on Elections in contests
involving elective municipal and barangay offices are final, executory and not appealable,
does not preclude a recourse to this Court by way of a special civil action of certiorari.
4) The SC quoted proceedings in the Constitutional Commission on the matter. They just wanted
to say that the decision should be immediately executory, and final was just meant to
distinguish it from mere interlocutory orders.
5) It should be understood that while decisions with respect to barangay and municipal officials
are final and immediately executory and, therefore, not appealable, that does not rule out the
possibility of an original special civil action for certiorari, prohibition, or mandamus, as the
case may be, under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
6) However, the COMELEC did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess
of jurisdiction in rendering the questioned decision.
7) The COMELEC has the inherent power to decide an election contest on physical evidence,
equity, law and justice, and apply established jurisprudence in support of its findings and
conclusions; and that the extent to which such precedents apply rests on its discretion, the
exercise of which should not be controlled unless such discretion has been abused to the
prejudice of either party.
8) The petition for prohibition has also become moot and academic, because Galeon had already
assumed the position of Mayor of Garcia-Hernandez as the duly-elected mayor of the
municipality by virtue of the COMELEC decision.
Petition dismissed. TRO lifted.
JUAN GARCIA RIVERA v COMELEC
12 July 1991
Padilla, ponente
SHORT VERSION:
107

10. The erroneous initial of the first name which accompanies the correct surname of a candidate, the erroneous initial
of the surname accompanying the correct first name of the candidate, or the erroneous middle initial of the candidate
shall not annul the vote in favor of the latter.

Rivera filed a special civil action for certiorari questioning a Comelec decision on who should be
the mayor of Guinobatan, Albay. His opponent said the action should be allowed since under the
Constitution, Comelec decisions on election contests involving elective municipal and barangay
officials to be final, executory and not appealable. The SC said that the Constitution didnt mean
deprive the SC of the power to review Comelec decisions, so the petition should be allowed.
However, there was no grave abuse of discretion in this case, so Riveras petition was dismissed.
FACTS:
Juan Garcia Rivera and Juan Mitre Garcia II were candidates for Mayor of Guinobatan,
Albay. Rivera was proclaimed mayor by 10 votes.
o Garcia filed an election protest with the RTC.
The RTC ruled that Garcia obtained 6376 votes as against Riveras 6222
(difference of 154 votes).
o On appeal to the Comelec, Comelecs first division affirmed the RTCs decision with
the modification that Garcia won by 153 votes.
o The Comelec en banc affirmed the decision of the first decision, though it said that
Garcias winning margin was 123 votes.
Garcia discharged the duties and functions of mayor by virtue of a writ of execution, until
the SC issued a TRO upon Riveras motion.
Rivera filed a petition for certiorari with the SC questioning the Comelec en banc decision.
o Garcia opposed the decision on the ground that under the Constitution, decisions of
the Comelec on election contests involving elective municipal and barangay officials
were final, executory and not appealable (Art. IX-C 2 (2) second sentence).
ISSUE:
did Comelec decisions in election contests involving elective municipal and barangay
officials, being final and executory and not appealable, preclude the filing of a special civil
action of certiorari? NO
REASONING:
This was similar to Galido v Comelec.
o The fact that decisions, final orders or rulings of the Commission on Elections in
contests involving elective municipal and barangay offices are final, executory and
not appealable, does not preclude a recourse to this Court by way of a special civil
action of certiorari.
o In Galido, the SC reviewed the proceedings of the Constitutional Commission where
Comm. Regalado said that: while these decisions with respect to barangay and
municipal officials are final and immediately executory and, therefore, not
appealable, that does not rule out the possibility of an original special civil action for
certiorari, prohibition, or mandamus, as the case may be, under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court.
Flores v Comelec:
o Obviously, the provision of Article IX-C, Section 2(2) of the Constitution that
"decisions, final orders, or rulings of the Commission on election contests involving
elective municipal and barangay offices shall be final, executory, and not
appealable" applies only to questions of fact and not of law.
o That provision was not intended to divest the Supreme Court of its authority to
resolve questions of law as inherent in the judicial power conferred upon it by the
Constitution.
IN THE PRESENT CASE:
o Rivera filed the petition because he alleged that the Comelec en banc committed
grave abuse of discretion in affirming the first divisions decision.
o The Comelecs decision wasnt arrived at capriciously or whimsically; it
painstakingly reevaluated the questioned 67 ballots.

The evaluation of the ballots is a factual determination.


In a petition for certiorari, findings of fact of administrative bodies are final
unless grave abuse of discretion has marred such factual determinations.

RULING: petition dismissed


SEPARATE OPINIONS
Regalado, concurring
The authorized modes of appeal (ordinary appeal, appeal by petition for review on
certiorari under Rule 45, petition for review under BP Blg 129) were unavailable for
decisions, orders or rulings of constitutional commissions such as the Comelec.
However, these decisions werent invulnerable to original civil actions of certiorari,
prohibition or mandamus invoking the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
o This was because no appeal or any other plain, speedy or adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law lies from said adjudication.
Narvasa, dissenting
General rule: any order, ruling or judgment of the COMELEC may be thus appealed, or
sought to be reviewed through the extraordinary remedy of certiorari under Rule 65.
o Except: the final, executory and unappealable character of the COMELEC's rulings,
orders or decisions in election contests involving elective municipal and barangay
offices, is pronounced not by statute or presidential issuance, but by the
Constitution itself.
Benjamin Borja, Jr. (Petitioner) vs Comelec, and Jose Capco, Jr. (Respondents)
Date: September 3, 1998
Ponente: Mendoza, J.

Short Version:
Facts: Capco is vice-mayor of Pateros. He became mayor by operation of law upon death of the
incumbent mayor. Thereafter, he was consecutively elected twice as mayor. When he tried to run
for mayor for the third consecutive time, Borja opposed. Borja argued that the Constitution
prohibits local elective officials from running after having served 3 consecutive terms; and that
Capco had already served 3 terms, counting as first term his succession to mayorship.
Held: The term limit for elective local officials must be taken to refer to the right to be elected as
well as the right to serve in the same elective position. Consequently, it is not enough that a
local official has served 3 consecutive terms; he must also have been elected to the same
position for the same number of times before the disqualification can apply. Thus, Capco is not
disqualified.

Facts:
- Jose Capco, Jr. was elected vice-mayor of Pateros on January 18, 1988 for a term ending June
30, 1992. On September 2, 1989, he became mayor, by operation of law, upon the death of the

incumbent, Cesar Borja.


- On May 11, 1992, Capco ran and was elected mayor for a term of three years which ended on
June 30, 1995. On May 8, 1995, he was reelected mayor for another term of three years ending
June 30, 1998.
- On March 27, 1998, Capco filed a certificate of candidacy for mayor of Pateros for the May 11,
1998 elections. Benjamin Borja, Jr., who was also a candidate for mayor, sought Capcos
disqualification on the theory that the latter would have already served as mayor for three
consecutive terms, and therefore ineligible to serve for another term.
- Comelec 2nd Division declared Capco disqualified from running for reelection as mayor.
However, Comelec en banc, voting 5-2, declared Capco eligible to run. Comelec said:
The three-term limitation refers to the term of office for which the local official was elected. It
made no reference to succession to an office to which he was not elected
- Capco was voted for in the elections, receiving 16,558 votes against Borjas 7,773 votes, and
was proclaimed elected by the Municipal Board of Canvassers.
- Borja filedd the present petition for certiorari to nullify the Comelec resolution declaring Capco
eligible to run. He contends that Capcos service as mayor from September 2, 1989 to June 30,
992 should be considered one term, and since Capco thereafter served 2 more terms as mayor,
he should be considered to have served 3 consecutive terms within the contemplation of Art X,
Sec 8 of the Constitution and Sec 43(b) of the LGC.

Issue/Reasoning:
Issue: Whether Capco is barred from running for having served 3 consecutive terms (No)
- Policies embodied in Art X, Sec 8 of the Constitution: to prevent the establishment of political
dynasties; and to enhance the people's freedom of choice. To consider, therefore, only stay in
office regardless of how the official came to that office whether by election or by succession
would be to disregard the second purpose of the constitutional provision.
- The members of the Constitutional Commission were as much concerned with preserving the
freedom of choice of the people as they were with preventing the monopolization of political
power. They rejected a proposal by Commissioner Garcia that after serving three consecutive
terms there should be no further reelection. Instead, they adopted the alternative proposal of
Commissioner Monsod that such officials be simply barred from running for the same position in
the succeeding election following the expiration of the third consecutive term.
- In discussing term limits, the drafters of the Constitution did so on the assumption that the
officials concerned were serving by reason of reelection.
- A fundamental tenet of representative democracy is that the people should be allowed to
choose their leaders. To bar the election of a local official because he has already served three
terms, although the first as a result of succession by operation of law, would violate this
principle.
- A textual analysis supports the ruling that constitutional provision contemplates service by local

officials for three consecutive terms as a result of election because it speaks of the term served
as one for which [the official] was elected.
- The purpose of the provision is to prevent a circumvention of the limitation on the number of
terms an elective official may serve. Conversely, if he is not serving a term for which he was
elected because he succeeds to the position, such official cannot be considered to have fully
served the term.
- Reference is made to Bernas comment on Art VI, Sec 7 where states that if one is elected
Representative to serve the unexpired term of another, that unexpired term, no matter how
short, will be considered one term for the purpose of computing the number of successive terms
allowed.
- However, there is a difference between a vice-mayor and a member of the HOR. The vicemayor succeeds as mayor by operation of law; the Representative is elected to fill the
vacancy. Thus, the Representative serves a term for which he was elected.
- Borja cites Art VII, Sec 4 on the succession of the Vice-president to the presidency, and seeks to
apply the provision by analogy to the vice-mayor.
- However, the absence of a similar provision in Art X, Sec 8 on elective local officials shows
the difference between the two cases.
- Also, the Vice-President is elected primarily to succeed the President in the event of the
position's vacancy. Electors choose as Vice-President the candidate who they think can fill the
Presidency in the event of vacancy. Hence, service in the presidency for more than 4 years
may rightly be considered as service for a full term. This is not the case of the vice-mayor
who, under the LGC, has distinct powers and functions from the mayor.
- The term limit for elective local officials must be taken to refer to the right to be elected as well
as the right to serve in the same elective position. Consequently, it is not enough that he has
served 3 consecutive terms; he must also have been elected to the same position for the same
number of times before the disqualification can apply.
- The Court then presented 3 scenarios on the application of the provision.

Dispositive:
Petition dismissed.
ROMEO LONZANIDA v COMELEC
28 July 1999
Gonzaga-Reyes, ponente
petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of a Comelec resolution
SHORT VERSION:
Lonzanida had been elected for his third term as mayor of San Antonio, Zambales in 1995.
However, an election protest led to his proclamation being declared null and void. So he ran
again in 1998. His opponent wanted to have him disqualified as he had already served three
terms as the mayor. The SC ruled that he had not yet been disqualified. First, he was not duly
elected as mayor in 1995 considering the Comelec ordered him to vacate his post. Second, he
did not fully serve the 1995-1998 term.

FACTS:
Romeo Lonzanida served two terms as the municipal mayor of San Antonio, Zambales.
o He was proclaimed the winner of the mayoralty race in the May 1995 elections.
o However, his proclamation was contested by Juan Alvez, his opponent.
Alvez filed an election protest before the Zambales RTC.
The RTC ruled in Alvezs favor and declared a failure of election for the office
of mayor of San Antonio.
Both parties appealed to the Comelec.
o The Comelec ruled in Alvezs favor, and so Alvez assumed office.
In the 1998 elections, Lonzanida filed his certificate of candidacy again.
o His opponent Eufemio Muli filed a petition to disqualify him on the ground that he
had served three consecutive terms in the same post.
o The Comelec disqualified Lonzanida.
ISSUE:
was Romeo Lonzanida disqualified from running as mayor in the 1998 elections? NO
REASONING:
The records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission show that the three-term limit which is
now embodied in section 8, Art. X of the Constitution was initially proposed to be an
absolute bar to any elective local government official from running for the same position
after serving three consecutive terms.
o The said disqualification was primarily intended to forestall the accumulation of
massive political power by an elective local government official in a given locality in
order to perpetuate his tenure in office.
o The delegates also considered the need to broaden the choices of the electorate of
the candidates who will run for office, and to infuse new blood in the political arena
by disqualifying officials from running for the same office after a term of nine years.
The drafters however, recognized and took note of the fact that some local government
officials run for office before they reach forty years of age; thus to perpetually bar them
from running for the same office after serving nine consecutive years may deprive the
people of qualified candidates to choose from.
o As finally voted upon, it was agreed that an elective local government official should
be barred from running for the same post after three consecutive terms.
o After a hiatus of at least one term, he may again run for the same office.
Borja v Comelec: Two conditions for the application of the disqualification must concur: 1)
that the official concerned has been elected for three consecutive terms in the same local
government post and 2) that he has fully served three consecutive terms.
The two requisites were absent in the present case.
o Lonzanida was previously elected and served two consecutive terms as mayor of
San Antonio Zambales prior to the May 1995 mayoral elections.
In the May 1995 elections he again ran for mayor of San Antonio, Zambales
and was proclaimed winner.
He assumed office and discharged the rights and duties of mayor until March
1998 when he was ordered to vacate the post by reason of the COMELEC
decision dated November 13, 1997 on the election protest against Lonzanida
which declared his opponent Juan Alvez, the duly elected mayor of San
Antonio.
Alvez served the remaining portion of the 1995-1998 mayoral term.
o FIRST: Lonzanida couldnt have been considered as having been duly elected in the
1995 elections.
After a re-appreciation and revision of the contested ballots the COMELEC
itself declared by final judgment that petitioner Lonzanida lost in the May

1995 mayoral elections and his previous proclamation as winner was


declared null and void.
His assumption of office as mayor cannot be deemed to have been by
reason of a valid election but by reason of a void proclamation.
It has been repeatedly held by this court that a proclamation subsequently
declared void is no proclamation at all and while a proclaimed candidate may
assume office on the strength of the proclamation of the Board of Canvassers
he is only a presumptive winner who assumes office subject to the final
outcome of the election protest.
SECOND: He didnt fully serve the 1995-1998 term.
The second sentence of the constitutional provision states, Voluntary
renunciation of office for any length of time shall not be considered as an
interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which he was
elected.
The clear intent of the framers of the constitution to bar any attempt to
circumvent the three-term limit by a voluntary renunciation of office and at
the same time respect the peoples choice and grant their elected official full
service of a term is evident in this provision.
Voluntary renunciation of a term does not cancel the renounced term in
the computation of the three term limit; conversely, involuntary
severance from office for any length of time short of the full term
provided by law amounts to an interruption of continuity of service.

RULING: petition granted


#rbm
Raymundo Adormeo v. COMELEC v. Ramon Talaga, Jr.
4 February 2002
Quisumbing, J.
Short version: Ramon Talaga, Jr. was elected as mayor of Lucena City in May 1992 and he served
the full term. He was re-elected during the 1995 elections and again served the full term. During
the 1998 elections, he lost to Bernard Tagarao. In the recall election of May 12, 2000, he again
won and served Tagarao's unexpired term. Adormeo and Talaga were candidates for mayor of in
the May 14, 2001 elections. Adormeo filed a "Petition to Deny Due Course to or Cancel Certificate
of Candidacy and/or Disqualification" with the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor against
Talaga. He contended that, in view of the circumstances, Talaga's candidacy constituted a
violation of Sec. 8, Art. X of the Constitution, as well as of Sec. 43 (b) of the LGC, both of which
provide that local elective officials are only allowed to serve three consecutive terms. The
Supreme Court disagreed with his contention. The term limit for elective local officials must be
taken to refer to the right to be elected as well as the right to serve in the same elective position.
It is not enough that an individual has served three consecutive terms in an elective local office
for he must also have been elected to the same position for the same number of times before
the disqualification can apply. Therefore, Talaga is not disqualified from running for mayor again.
Facts:
- Ramon Talaga, Jr. was elected as mayor of Lucena City in May 1992 and he served the full term.
He was re-elected during the 1995 elections and again served the full term. During the 1998
elections, he lost to Bernard Tagarao. In the recall election of May 12, 2000, he again won and
served Tagarao's unexpired term.

- Adormeo and Talaga were the only candidates who filed their certificates of candidacy for
mayor of Lucena City in the May 14, 2001 elections. Adormeo filed a "Petition to Deny Due
Course to or Cancel Certificate of Candidacy and/or Disqualification" with the Office of the
Provincial Election Supervisor, Lucena City, against Talaga.

According to Adormeo, Talaga's candidacy constituted a violation of Sec. 8,


Art. X of the 1987 Constitution108 considering that the latter was elected and had served as
city mayor for three consecutive terms as follows: (1) in the election of May 1992, where
he served the full term; (2) in the election of May 1995, where he again served the full
term; and (3) in the recall election of May 12, 2000, where he served the unexpired term
of Tagarao.
On the other hand, Talaga alleged that he had only served two consecutive
terms. He pointed out that his defeat in the 1998 elections to Tagarao interrupted the
"consecutiveness" of his years as mayor and thus, his mayorship was not for three
consecutive terms of three years each. He further argued that his service from May 12,
2000 until June 30, 2001 was not a "full term" as contemplated by the Constitution and the
law.
- The COMELEC First Division found merit in Adormeo's arguments and so, it ordered that
Talaga's Certificate of Candidacy be withdrawn and/or cancelled.
- Talaga filed an MR, essentially reiterating his aforementioned arguments. Despite Adormeo's
Opposition to the MR, the COMELEC en banc ruled in favor of Talaga and reversed the ruling of
the First Division. After the votes were canvassed on May 19, 2001, Talaga was proclaimed as the
duly elected Mayor. Hence, the present petition before the Supreme Court.
Issue: Was Talaga disqualified to run for mayor? (No)
Reasoning:
- The issue in this case hinges on whether, as provided by the Constitution, Talaga has already
served three consecutive terms as Mayor of Lucena City.
Adormeo raised similar arguments as the ones he raised before the
COMELEC. He further said that Talaga's candidacy would violate, not only the Constitution,
but also Sec. 43 (b) of the LGC.109

108
Section 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law, shall be three years and no
such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered
as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was elected.

109
Section 43. Term of Office. (b) No local elective official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same position. Voluntary renunciation of the
office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective
official concerned was elected.

- In Borja, Jr. v. COMELEC, it was held that the term limit for elective local officials must be taken
to refer to the right to be elected as well as the right to serve in the same elective position.
Consequently, it is not enough that an individual has served three consecutive terms in an
elective local office for he must also have been elected to the same position for the same
number of times before the disqualification can apply.
- An example from the Borja case: Suppose B is elected mayor and, during his first term, he is
twice suspended for misconduct for a total of 1 year. If he is twice reelected after that, can he
run for one more term in the next election? Yes, because he has served only two full terms
successively.
- In Lonzanida v. COMELEC, it was held that two conditions for the application of the
disqualification must concur: (1) that the official concerned has been reelected for three
consecutive terms in the same local government post; and (2) that he has fully served three
consecutive terms.
- Accordingly, COMELEC's ruling that Talaga was not elected for 3 consecutive terms should be
upheld for the continuity of his mayorship was disrupted by his defeat in the 1998 elections.
- To bolster his case, Adormeo adverts to the comment of Fr. Bernas on Sec. 8, Art. X of the
Constitution, to the effect that "if one is elected representative to serve the unexpired term of
another, that unexpired, no matter how short, will be considered one term for the purpose of
computing the number of successive terms allowed."
However, Fr. Bernas' comment is pertinent only to members of the House of
Representatives. Unlike LGUs, there is no recall election provided for members of
Congress.
- Adormeo also contends that Talaga's victory in the recall election should be deemed a violation
of Sec. 8, Art. X of the Constitution as "voluntary renunciation."
- The Court disagreed. In Lonzanida, it was said that voluntary renunciation of office for any
length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of service for the full
term for which he was elected. Voluntary renunciation of a term does not cancel the renounced
term in the computation of the three-term limit; conversely, involuntary severance from office for
any length of time short of the full term provided by law amounts to an interruption of continuity
of service.
Dispositive: Petition dismissed.
Digested by Ramon Rocha IV
Victorino Dennis M. Socrates, Mayor of Puerto Princesa City v Comelec, the
Preparatory Recall Assembly (PRA) of Puerto Princesa City, PRA Interim Chairman
PunongBrgy. Mark David Hagedorn, PRA Interim Secretary PUnongBrgy. Benjamin
Jarilla, PRA Chairman and Presiding Officer PunongBrgy. Earl S. Buenviaje and PRA
Secretary PunongBrgy. Carlos Aballa Jr.
Vicente S. Sandoval Jr. v Comelec
Ma. Flores P. Adovo, Mercy E. Gilo and BienvenidoOllave, Sr., v Comelec and Edward S.
Hagedorn

November 12, 2002


Carpio, J.

Short version:Socrates was elected Mayor of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, but the barangay
officials convened themselves into a Preparatory Recall Assembly (PRA) to initiate his recall, due
to their loss of confidence in Socrates. They issued a Recall Resolution and the Comelec
scheduled a recall election. Edward Hagedorn, who had previously served as Mayor for 3 terms,
filed his certificate of candidacy in the recall election. Petitions were filed seeking to disqualify
Hagedorn, due to the 3-term limit in the Constitution and the LGC. Socrates also sought to have
the Recall Resolution nullified, citing procedural infirmities in how the PRA was convened. The SC
ruled against Socrates. The findings of fact of the Comelec state that notices were properly sent
and that Socrates himself had been properly informed of all the proceedings. There is no reason
to overturn these findings. As to Hagedorn, the SC held that he was qualified to run. What the
Constitution prohibits is an immediate reelection for a fourth term following three consecutive
terms. The Constitution does not prohibit a subsequent reelection for a fourth term as long as the
reelection is not immediately after the end of the third consecutive term. A recall election midway in the term following the third consecutive term is a subsequent election but not an
immediate reelection after the third term. Hagedorn is not running for immediate reelection
following his three consecutive terms as mayor which ended on June 30, 2001. Hagedorn's
continuity of service as mayor was involuntarily interrupted from June 30, 2001 to September 24,
2002 during which time he was a private citizen. Involuntary severance from office for any length
of time interrupts continuity of service and prevents the service before and after the interruption
from being joined together to form a continuous service or consecutive terms.

Facts:

Three petitions have been consolidated here, all of them seeking the reversal of the
resolutions issued by the Comelec in relation to the recall election for mayor of Puerto Princesa
City, Palawan.
On July 2, 2002, 312 out of 528 members of the then incumbent barangay officials of the
Puerto Princesa convened themselves into a Preparatory Recall Assembly (PRA), to initiate the
recall of Victorino Dennis M. Socrates who assumed office as Puerto Princesa's mayor on June
30, 2001.
Mark David M. Hagedorn, president of the Association of Barangay Captains, was designated
as interim chair of the PRA.
The PRA passed Resolution No. 01-02 (Recall Resolution) which declared its loss of confidence
in Socrates and called for his recall. The PRA requested the COMELEC to schedule the recall
election for mayor within 30 days from receipt of the Recall Resolution.
Socrates filed with the COMELEC a petition to nullify and deny due course to the Recall
Resolution.
The Comelec en banc ruled against Socrates and dismissed his petition for lack of merit.
The COMELEC gave due course to the Recall Resolution and scheduled the recall election on
September 7, 2002.
The COMELEC en banc promulgated Resolution No. 5673 prescribing the calendar of activities
and periods of certain prohibited acts in connection with the recall election. The COMELEC
fixed the campaign period from August 27, 2002 to September 5, 2002 or a period of 10 days.
Edward M. Hagedorn filed his certificate of candidacy for mayor in the recall election.

Ma. Flores F. Adovo and Merly E. Gilofiled a petition with the COMELEC, to disqualify Hagedorn
from running in the recall election and to cancel his certificate of candidacy. BienvenidoOllave,
Sr. filed a petition-in-intervention also seeking to disqualify Hagedorn. Genaro V. Manaay filed
another petition, docketed as SPA No. 02-539, against Hagedorn alleging substantially the
same facts and involving the same issues.
The petitions contend that "Hagedorn is disqualified from running for a fourth consecutive
term, having been elected and having served as mayor of the city for three (3) consecutive full
terms immediately prior to the instant recall election for the same post."
The Comelec First Division dismissed the petitions. It declaredHagedorn qualified to run in the
recall election. It also reset the recall election from September 7, 2002 to September 24, 2002.
The COMELEC en banc denied the MRs of Adovo and Gilo and affirmed that Hagedorn was
qualified to run.

G.R. No. 154512

Socrates seeks to nullify the COMELEC en banc resolution which gave due course to the Recall
Resolution and scheduled the recall election on September 7, 2002.
He alleges that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in upholding the Recall Resolution,
citing legal infirmities surrounding the convening of the PRA and its issuance of the Recall
Resolution:
o (1) Not all members of the PRA were notified of the meeting to adopt the resolution;
o (2) The proof of service of notice was palpably and legally deficient;
o (3) The members of the PRA were themselves seeking a new electoral mandate from
their respective constituents;
o (4) the adoption of the resolution was exercised with grave abuse of authority; and
o (5) The PRA proceedings were conducted in a manner that violated his and the public's
constitutional right to information.

G.R. No. 154683

Sandoval, Jr. seeks to annul COMELEC Resolution No. 5673 insofar as it fixed the recall
election on September 7, 2002, giving the candidates only a ten-day campaign period. He
prayed that the COMELEC be enjoined from holding the recall election on September 7, 2002
and that a new date be fixed giving the candidates at least an additional 15 days to
campaign.
The SC enjoined the COMELEC from implementing Resolution No. 5673 insofar as it fixed the
date of the recall election on September 7, 2002. The Court directed the COMELEC to give the
candidates an additional fifteen 15 days from September 7, 2002 within which to campaign.
Accordingly, the COMELEC en banc issued Resolution No. 5708 giving the candidates an
additional 15 days from September 7, 2002 within which to campaign. Thus, the COMELEC
reset the recall election to September 24, 2002.

G.R. Nos. 155083-84

Petitioners Adovo, Gilo and Ollave assail the COMELEC's resolutions declaring Hagedorn
qualified to run for mayor in the recall election. They also prayed for the TRO to enjoin the
proclamation of the winning candidate in the recall election.
The SC ordered the COMELEC to desist from proclaiming any winning candidate in the recall
election until further orders from the Court.

In the meantime, Hagedorn garnered the highest number of votes in the recall election with
20,238 votes. Rival candidates Socrates and Sandoval obtained 17,220 votes and 13,241
votes, respectively.
Hagedorn filed motions to lift the order restraining the COMELEC from proclaiming the
winning candidate and to allow him to assume office to give effect to the will of the
electorate.

Issues:
1) Did the COMELEC commit grave abuse of discretion in giving due course to the Recall
Resolution and scheduling the recall election for mayor of Puerto Princesa? NO
2) IsHagedorn is qualified to run for mayor in the recall election? YES
3) Did the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in fixing a campaign period of only 10
days? Already moot and academic because of the SC Resolution and COMELEC Resolution No.
5708 granting an additional 15 days for the campaign period.
Ratio:
Validity of the Recall Resolution.
1) Socrates argues that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion in upholding the
Recall Resolution despite the absence of notice to 130 PRA members and the defective
service of notice to other PRA members.
2) The COMELEC, however, found that on various dates, in the month of June 2002, the
proponents for the Recall of incumbent City Mayor Victorino Dennis M. Socrates sent notices
of the convening of the PRA to its members, pursuant to Section 70 of the LGC. Copies of the
said notice and proof of service for each of the noticeswere submitted in evidence.
3) Notices were likewise posted in conspicuous places particularly at the Barangay Hall, as
shown by pictures. Broadcast mass media was also used in the dissemination of the
convening of the PRA.
4) The City Election Officer of Puerto Princesa City in her Certification certified that upon a
'thorough and careful verification of the signatures appearing in PRA Resolution 01-02, x xx
the majority of all members of the PRA concerned approved said resolution.' She likewise
certified 'that not a single member/signatory of the PRA complained or objected as to the
veracity and authenticity of their signatures.'
5) The Provincial Election Supervisor of Palawan, Atty. UrbanoArlando, in his Indorsement, stated,
'upon proper review, all documents submitted are found in order.'
6) The Acting Director IV, Region IV, submitted the following recommendations:'This Office, after
evaluating the documents filed, finds the instant Petition sufficient in form and substance.
That the PRA was validly constituted and that the majority of all members thereof approved
Resolution No. 01-02 calling for the recall of MayorVictorino Dennis M. Socrates.'
7) This Court is bound by the findings of fact of the COMELEC on matters within the competence
and expertise of the COMELEC, unless the findings are patently erroneous.
8) There is no reason to hold that the COMELEC's findings of fact are patently erroneous.
9) Socrates also claims that the PRA members had no authority to adopt the Recall Resolution on
July 2, 2002 because a majority of PRA members were seeking a new electoral mandate in the
barangay elections scheduled on July 15, 2002.
a. This argument deserves scant consideration considering that when the PRA members
adopted the Recall Resolution their terms of office had not yet expired. They were all de
jure sangguniang barangay members with no legal disqualification to participate in the
recall assembly.
10)
Socrates contends that the manner private respondents conducted the PRA proceedings
violated his constitutional right to information on matters of public concern. However, he

admits receiving notice of the PRA meeting and of even sending his representative and
counsel who were present during the entire PRA proceedings.
11)
Proponents of the recall election submitted to the COMELEC the Recall Resolution, minutes
of the PRA proceedings, the journal of the PRA assembly, attendance sheets, notices sent to
PRA members, and authenticated master list of barangay officials in Puerto Princesa. Socrates
had the right to examine and copy all these public records in the official custody of the
COMELEC, and he does not claim that the COMELEC denied him this right.
a. Thus, there is no legal basis in Socrates' claim that respondents violated his
constitutional right to information on matters of public concern.
Hagedorns qualification for Mayor in the recall election

12)
The three-term limit rule for elective local officials is found in Section 8, Article X 110 of the
Constitution. This three-term limit rule is reiterated in Section 43 (b) of the LGC. 111"
13)
These constitutional and statutory provisions have two parts.
a. The first part provides that an elective local official cannot serve for more than three
consecutive terms. The clear intent is that only consecutive terms count in determining the
three-term limit rule.
b. The second part states that voluntary renunciation of office for any length of time does not
interrupt the continuity of service. The clear intent is that involuntary severance from office
for any length of time interrupts continuity of service and prevents the service before and
after the interruption from being joined together to form a continuous service or consecutive
terms.
14)
After three consecutive terms, an elective local official cannot seek immediate reelection
for a fourth term. The prohibited election refers to the next regular election for the same
office following the end of the third consecutive term.
15)
Any subsequent election, like a recall election, is no longer covered by the prohibition for
two reasons.
a. First, a subsequent election like a recall election is no longer an immediate reelection
after three consecutive terms.
b. Second, the intervening period constitutes an involuntary interruption in the continuity of
service.
16)
When the framers of the Constitution debated on the term limit of elective local officials,
the question asked was whether there would be no further election after three terms, or
whether there would be "no immediate reelection" after three terms.
17)
What the Constitution prohibits is an immediate reelection for a fourth term following three
consecutive terms. The Constitution, however, does not prohibit a subsequent reelection for a
fourth term as long as the reelection is not immediately after the end of the third consecutive
term. A recall election mid-way in the term following the third consecutive term is a
subsequent election but not an immediate reelection after the third term.
18)
Neither does the Constitution prohibit one barred from seeking immediate reelection to
run in any other subsequent election involving the same term of office. What the Constitution
prohibits is a consecutive fourth term.
19)
The debates in the Constitutional Commission evidently show that the prohibited election
referred to by the framers of the Constitution is the immediate reelection after the third term,
not any other subsequent election.
20)
If the prohibition on elective local officials is applied to any election within the three-year
full term following the three-term limit, then Senators should also be prohibited from running
in any election within the six-year full term following their two-term limit, considering that the
constitutional provision on the term limit of Senators is worded exactly like the term limit of
elective local officials.
21)
The framers of the Constitution thus clarified that a Senator can run after only three years
following his completion of two terms. The framers expressly acknowledged that the
prohibited election refers only to the immediate reelection, and not to any subsequent
110
Section 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be determined by law,
shall be three years and no such official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation
of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the
full term for which he was elected."

111
Section 43. Term of Office. (a) x xx(b) No local elective official shall serve for more than three (3) consecutive terms
in the same position. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an
interruption in the continuity of service for the full term for which the elective official was elected."

election, during the six-year period following the two term limit. They did not intend "the
period of rest" of an elective official who has reached his term limit to be the full extent of the
succeeding term.
22)
In the case of Hagedorn, his candidacy in the recall election on September 24, 2002 is not
an immediate reelection after his third consecutive term which ended on June 30, 2001. The
immediate reelection that the Constitution barred Hagedorn from seeking referred to the
regular elections in 2001. Hagedorn did not seek reelection in the 2001 elections.
23)
Hagedorn was elected for three consecutive terms in the 1992, 1995 and 1998 elections
and served in full his three consecutive terms as mayor of Puerto Princesa.
24)
From June 30, 2001 until the recall election on September 24, 2002, the mayor of Puerto
Princesa was Socrates. During the same period, Hagedorn was simply a private citizen. This
period is clearly an interruption in the continuity of Hagedorn's service as mayor, not because
of his voluntary renunciation, but because of a legal prohibition. Hagedorn's three consecutive
terms ended on June 30, 2001.
25)
Hagedorn's new recall term from September 24, 2002 to June 30, 2004 is not a seamless
continuation of his previous three consecutive terms as mayor.
26)
The nearly 15-month period he was out of office, although short of a full term of three
years, constituted an interruption in the continuity of his service as mayor. The Constitution
does not require the interruption or hiatus to be a full term of three years. The clear intent is
that interruption "for any length of time," as long as the cause is involuntary, is sufficient to
break an elective local official's continuity of service.
27)
Adormeo v Comelec and Talaga was heavily quoted: The period an elective local official is
out of office interrupts the continuity of his service and prevents his recall term from being
stitched together as a seamless continuation of his previous two consecutive terms.
28)
Adormeo established the rule that the winner in the recall election cannot be charged or
credited with the full term of three years for purposes of counting the consecutiveness of an
elective official's terms in office.
29)
Hagedorn's recall term does not retroact to include the tenure in office of Socrates. To
consider Hagedorn's recall term as a full term of three years, retroacting to June 30, 2001,
despite the fact that he won his recall term only last September 24, 2002, is to ignore reality.
30)
To make Hagedorn's recall term retroact to June 30, 2001 creates a legal fiction that
unduly curtails the freedom of the people to choose their leaders through popular elections.
The concept of term limits is in derogation of the sovereign will of the people to elect the
leaders of their own choosing. Term limits must be construed strictly to give the fullest
possible effect to the sovereign will of the people.
31)
Borja, Jr. v. Comelec was also cited: The members of the Constitutional Commission were
as much concerned with preserving the freedom of choice of the people as they were with
preventing the monopolization of political power.
32)
A necessary consequence of the interruption of continuity of service is the start of a new
term following the interruption. An official elected in recall election serves the unexpired term
of the recalled official. This unexpired term is in itself one term for purposes of counting the
three-term limit. This is clear from the following discussion in the Constitutional Commission:
33)
SUMMARY of why Hagedorn is qualified to run
a. Hagedorn is not running for immediate reelection following his three consecutive terms
as mayor which ended on June 30, 2001;
b. Hagedorn's continuity of service as mayor was involuntarily interrupted from June 30,
2001 to September 24, 2002 during which time he was a private citizen;
c. Hagedorn's recall term from September 24, 2002 to June 30, 2004 cannot be made to
retroact to June 30, 2001 to make a fourth consecutive term because factually the recall
term is not a fourth consecutive term; and
d. Term limits should be construed strictly to give the fullest possible effect to the right of
the electorate to choose their leaders.
Petitions dismissed. TRO lifted.

Davide, Jr., Concurring and dissenting

The ponencia is then correct when it holds that the three-term limit bars an immediate
reelection for a fourth term. But he disagreesthatHagedorn he did not seek an immediate
reelection for a fourth term because he was not a candidate for reelection in the May 2001
election.
What would have been his fourth term by virtue of the May 2001 election was for the
period from 30 June 2001 to 30 June 2004. The flaw in the ruling results from an apparent
confusion between term and election, the root cause of which is the attempt to distinguish
"voluntary renunciation" of office from "involuntary severance" from office and the term of
office to which it relates.
The dichotomy made in the ponencia between "voluntary renunciation of the office" and
"involuntary severance from office" is unnecessary, if not misplaced. From the discussion
in the ponencia, the latter is made to apply to the banned term, i.e., the fourth term
immediately following three consecutive terms. Haggedorn cannot have suffered
"involuntary severance from office" because there was nothing to be severed; he was not
a holder of an office either in a de jure or de facto capacity.
He knew he was disqualified from seeking a third reelection to office. Disqualification is not
synonymous with involuntary severance.
Even if we concede that involuntary severance is an act which interrupts the continuity of
a term for purposes of applying the three-term principle the rule laid down in Lonzanida
vs. COMELEC, such caseis not applicable in the case of Hagedorn. The involuntary
severance in Lonzanida referred to one that took place during any of the three terms;
hence, the term during which it occurred should be excluded in the computation.
In the case of Hagedorn, no such involuntary severance took place during any of his three
terms brought about by his election in 1992 and reelections in 1995 and 1998.
The voluntary renunciation referred is one that takes place at any time during either the
first, second, or third term of the three consecutive terms.The purpose of the provision is
to prevent an elective local official from voluntarily resigning from office for the purpose of
circumventing the rule on the belief that the term during which he resigned would be
excluded in the counting of the three-term rule. In the case of Hagedorn, even if he
voluntarily resigned on his third term, he would still be barred from seeking reelection in
the May 2001 election.
Adormeo is also not applicable, because Talaga did not win his second reelection bid, or
his third term. Hagedorn here has already served three successive terms.

Puno, J., concurring

Same arguments as majority


Private respondent Hagedorn is not disqualified from running in the September 24, 2002
recall election as the disqualification under Art. X, Sec. 8 of the Constitution applies to the
regular mayoralty election succeeding the third consecutive term served. Nor is he
precluded from serving the unexpired portion of the 2001-2004 mayoralty term as this is
not service of a prohibited fourth consecutive full term.
Melanio Mendoza, and Mario Mendoza (Petitioners) vs
Comelec, and Leonardo Roman (Respondents)112

112
There is no majority in this case. Those who voted to dismiss the petition had different reasons for doing so; same with those who
voted to grant the petition. Thus, there is no main opinion. The petition was dismissed because by vote of

Date: December 17, 2002


Short Version:
Facts: Roman was elected as Governor in a recall election. Thereafter, he was elected to
the same position in two consecutive regular elections. Immediately after his last term, he
ran and was again elected as Governor. The petitioners seek Roman's disqualification
arguing that his election in the recall election should be counted as one term, thus when
he tried to run again for the same position, he had already served 3 terms, and is
therefore disqualified by the Constitution.
Held: 8 justices voted to dismiss the petition and uphold the election of Roman, while 7
voted to grant the petition. For different reasons, the 8 justices who voted to dismiss did
not consider the recall election of Roman as one term for the purpose of counting the
three-consecutive term limitation.
Facts:113

113
Taken from the opinion of Sandoval-Gutierrez.

- Leonardo Roman held the post of Governor of Bataan a number of times


- From 19861988, he was appointed OIC Governor by President Aquino and served up to
1988.
- From 19881992, he was elected Governor and served up to 1992.
- From 19941995, he was elected Governor during the recall election in 1993, assumed
office on 28 June 1994 and served up to 1995.
- From 19951998, he was elected Governor and served up to 1998.
- From 19982001, he was elected Governor and served up to 2001.
- On 22 February 2001, Roman filed a COC for the same post for the 14th May 2001
regular elections. On 16 May 2001, he was proclaimed by the Provincial Board of
Canvassers of Bataan.
- On May 25, 2001, Melanio Mendoza and Mario Ibarra, residents and registered voters of
Tenejero, Balanga, Bataan, filed with the Comelec en banc a petition for quo warranto.
They alleged that Roman has served as governor of Bataan for 3 consecutive terms
counted from his assumption of office by virtue of the 1993 recall election, and is thus
disqualified to seek a fourth term for the same position in 2001.
- Comelec dismissed the petition on the ground that the 1993 recall election cannot be
counted as a full term, thus should not be considered in applying the three-term limit.
- Hence, Mendoza and Ibarra filed with the SC the present petition for certiorari.
- On February 26, 2002, Congressman Enrique Garcia, Jr. of the 2nd district of Bataan filed
a petition-in-intervention which was admitted by this Court. As a registered voter and
Representative of his district, he joins petitioners in questioning the eligibility of Roman.
- Roman contends that he is eligible to run in the May 14, 2001 elections "for the Office of
Governor in the Province of Bataan" since he did not serve the full 19921995 term; what
he served was only "the unexpired portion of Governor Enrique Tet Garcias 1992 to 1995
term." 7 In support of his contention respondent Roman cites Lonzanida v. Comelec 8
which held that the official concerned should have fully served three consecutive terms in
the same local government post for the three-term limit to apply.
- OSG argued that the petition should be dismissed on the ground that a recall election is
not a regular election. As such, service of an official elected in a recall election should not
be counted as a full term.
- Relevant legal provisions: Sec 8, Art X of the Constitution; and Sec 43 of the LGC.
Issue:
Whether Roman's election in the recall elections is considered an election for a full-term
for the purpose of applying the three-term limit.
Dispositive:
Petition dismissed, by vote of 8 against 7.
Vitug, J., joined by Ynares-Santiago, J., voted to DISMISS:
- 2 conditions that must concur in order that the three-consecutive term limit can apply:
(1) the elective local official has been elected for 3 consecutive terms to the same local
government position; and
(2) the official has served 3 consecutive full terms, albeit a voluntary renunciation of the
office shall not be deemed to be an interruption in the continuity of the service for the full
term for which he is elected.
- The constitutional provision contemplates a continuous full 3-year term before the
proscription can apply.

- The Constitutional Commission, in its deliberations, referred to a full nine (9) years of
service for each elective local government official in the application of the prohibition,
envisioning at the same time a continuous and uninterrupted period of nine years by
providing for only one exception, i.e., when an incumbent voluntarily gives up the office.
- A winner who dislodges in a recall election an incumbent elective local official merely
serves the balance of the latters term of office; it is not a full three-year term. On the
other hand, an incumbent elective local official against whom a recall election is initiated
and who nevertheless wins must be viewed as a continuation of the term of office, and not
as a break in reckoning his three consecutive terms.
-In Lonzanida v Comelec it was held that: Voluntary renunciation of a term does not
cancel the renounced term in the computation of the three-term limit; conversely,
involuntary severance from office for any length of time short of the full term provided by
law amounts to an interruption of continuity of service.
- Since the involuntary severance from the service which results in the incumbents being
unable to finish his term of office because of his ouster through valid recall proceedings
negates "one term" for purposes of applying the three-term limit, it stands to reason that
the balance of the term assumed by the newly elected local official in a recall election
should not also be held to be one term in reckoning the three-term limit.
- A recall election term, not being a full three-year term, is not to be counted or used as a
basis for the nine-year full three-term limit.
- The law involved is a limitation on the right of suffrage. Roman has won the election with
a comfortable margin against his closest opponent. Where a candidate appears to be the
clear choice of the people, doubts on his eligibility must be resolved to respect and carry
out the paramount will of the electorate.
Mendoza, J., joined by Quisumbing, J., voted to DISMISS:
- In Borja v Comelec it was held that the constitutional provision contemplates instances
where an individual has not only fully served three consecutive terms in the same elective
local office but has also been elected to the same position for the same number of times.
Borja was applied to a recall election in Lonzanida v Comelec. Borja was again applied in
Adormeo v Comelec.
- In all those cases, the Court did not count the term during which succession took place or
a recall election was held in determining whether an elective local official had served for
more than three consecutive terms.
- However, Socrates v Comelec in effect overruled these precedents by ruling that a city
mayor, who had served for three consecutive terms, was qualified to run in a recall
election held in the following term because of an "interruption" in the service caused by
the holding of a regular election.
- Mendoza dissented in that case because his opinion is that a local official is qualified to
run in the recall election not because of any interruption in the continuity of his service,
but because the term for which he was elected was less than three years.
- In applying the three-term limit, the term during which succession takes place or a recall
election is held should not be counted, either with the three consecutive terms preceding,
or with the three consecutive terms succeeding, such term. It should not be counted not
because of any interruption in the continuity of the service, but because such term is for
less than three years. Hence, the unexpired portion of a term, whether filled by succession
or by election in a recall, cannot be considered one full term. Thus, in the case of Roman,
his last election is valid.

- There is no reason why the result of this case should be different from Borja simply
because in this case, the official became such by virtue of election in a recall. Succession
and recall election are alike. They are both modes of succession for the purpose of
automatically filling permanent vacancies in elective local offices to prevent a hiatus in
office. The local official who succeeds to the office or is elected in a recall simply finishes
the term of his predecessor.
- The Constitution does not really prohibit service for more than three terms if continuity of
service is interrupted by means other than the voluntary renunciation of the incumbent. To
hold otherwise would result in limiting an elective local officials term to less than three
years, which is contrary to the Constitution.
Panganiban, J., joined by Puno, J., voted to DISMISS:
- The dissenters (those who voted to grant the petition) overriding concern is the
possibility that an elective local official may be elected to and hold the same position
longer than three consecutive terms. However, such concern is largely misplaced.
- The ruling in Borja v Comelec permitted Borja to hold the same office for an
uninterrupted period totaling 11 years and 10 months. How different is that case from the
present one? The apparent distinction between succession to office and a recall election
does not make a real difference.
- Does not agree that a recall term must be deemed one full term for purposes of
computing the number of successive terms allowed. Under this theory, Roman is
disqualified from running for reelection in 2001, and would in effect cut short his service to
less than nine years and thereby effectively shortchange his constituents. It would in
effect uphold legalism over the peoples will.
- The dissenters place much weight on the opinion expressed by then Commissioner
Davide during the Constitutional Commission discussions. However, there is nothing in
that exchange that would support the claim that the recall term of an elective local official
must be treated as one term, in the same manner as the term of office of a senator or a
congressman who wins in a special election is deemed as such.
- This pronouncement in Socrates cannot be regarded as controlling insofar as the instant
case is concerned. In that case, the main issue was whether a recall election that took
place after the fourth consecutive election had taken place was to be deemed an
"immediate reelection" to a fourth term, to which the Court answered "No".
- Socrates did not include the question of whether a recall term should be considered one
term for purposes of reckoning term limits. Therefore, the Courts statement that a recall
term is one term for purposes of counting the three-term limit may be regarded merely as
an obiter dictum.
- The concept of term limits is a restraint on the sovereign will of the people. Term limits
must thus be construed delicately to prevent them from unduly subverting the manifest
sovereign will of the electorate.
- Term limits should refer and strictly apply to the normal or expected duration of electoral
terms, barring unexpected or unforeseen contingencies such as acts of nature or political
upheavals as in this case.
- After having won the last election by an overwhelming margin, Roman is unarguably the
choice of the voters. The Court cannot simply turn a deaf ear to, much less stifle, the
peoples voice. Elections and the contests attendant thereto involve public interest of the
highest priority. Thus, technicalities and procedural barriers should not be allowed to
stand, if they constitute an obstacle to the determination of the true will of the electorate
in the choice of their elective officials.

- In applying election laws, it would be far better to err in favor of popular sovereignty than
to be right in complex but little understood legalisms.
- Petitioners have not clearly demonstrated that the ineligibility of the respondent
governor is so patently antagonistic to constitutional and legal principles that overriding it
and thereby giving effect to the peoples will would ultimately be more prejudicial to the
democratic fundamentals and juristic traditions of our country.
- In Socrates, Panganiban voted with the majority, not so much because of the strict legal
rationalization, but because the ponencia therein upheld the clear choice of the people.
- By the same token, to unseat Roman would constitute an unwelcome judicial imposition
upon the people.
Azcuna, J., joined by Bellosillo, J., voted to DISMISS:
- The rule is the fundamental tenet of representative democracy that the people should be
allowed to choose those whom they please to govern them. The exception is the term limit
provided for in the Constitution. Thus, in applying the exception, it must be strictly
construed.
- The constitutional provision applies only if the official has served 3 consecutive terms in
full. Consequently, service of less than a full term, be it succession or recall election, does
not count in determining whether such official has served three consecutive terms.
- When the conditions of the constitutional provision obtain, the prohibition sets in and
what is prohibited is not simply an "immediate reelection", as contended by the majority in
Socrates v Comelec, but rather serving for more than 3 consecutive terms, i. e., service in
the immediately following term, the fourth term.
- In reference to the prohibited service, it is not required that it be for the full term. What is
proscribed is service, of any length, during the prohibited term, for such would still
constitute service for more than three consecutive terms.
- In Socrates, Azcuna joined the separate opinion of the Chief Justice, as he agreed that
once an elected local official has served 3 consecutive terms in full, that person cannot
serve for any time during the immediately following term, whether by immediate
reelection or by recall election.
- In the present case, Romans election as governor in the recall election of 1992 should
not be counted as one full term. For the disqualification to attach, 3 consecutive terms
must be served in full. This is the exception to the rule, so it must be strictly complied
with. Service for less than a full term, except only in case of voluntary renunciation, should
not be counted to determine the existence of the disqualification.
Sandoval-Gutierrez, J., joined by Davide, C.J., and Austria-Martinez, Corona,
Callejo, JJ., voted to GRANT petition:
- The constitutional and statutory provisions on term limits make no distinction as to the
nature of the election whether regular, special or recall elections. Where the law does not
distinguish, the courts should make no distinction. These provisions do not confine the
three-term rule to regular elections only. They include any election (such as recall election)
for the same position.
- Borja v Comelec: The term served must therefore be one for which [the official
concerned] was elected. The purpose of this provision is to prevent a circumvention of the
limitation on the number of terms an elective local official may serve
- Claudio v Comelec held that "election" includes recall "by means of which voters decide
whether they should retain their local official or elect his replacement.

- The Constitutional Commission discussion involving Commissioners Davide and Suarez


reveal that being elected through a special election is already considered one term. While
the said discussion specifically refers to special elections for Senators and
Representatives, the same principle equally applies to a recall term of local officials.
- The Constitution limits the service of elective local officials to a total of nine consecutive
years. To exclude the service of such official who won the recall election would certainly
permit a circumvention of the purpose of the three-term rule, since he may hold the same
elective position longer than three consecutive terms, or more than the maximum nine
consecutive years.
- The object of the three-term limit is to forestall the accumulation of massive political
power by an elective local official. Another purpose is to broaden the choices of the
electorate. The courts, in construing the Constitution, should consider the object sought to
be accomplished by its adoption, and the evils, if any, sought to be prevented or
remedied.
- Socrates v Comelec: unexpired term is in itself one term for purposes of counting the
three-term limit... local official who serves a recall term should know that (such) term is in
itself one term although less than three years. This is the inherent limitation he takes by
running and winning in the recall election.
- There is a settled distinction between term and tenure.
- Term means the time during which the officer may claim to hold the office as a matter of
right.
- Tenure represents the period during which the incumbent actually holds office.
- Tenure may be shorter than term for reasons within or beyond the power of the
incumbent. In the case of Roman, his tenure was only for the remaining term of the
recalled official, but his election is still for a particular term inasmuch as during the
unserved period of the recalled official, he has a claim to hold such office as a matter of
right. His service for the remaining period is considered tenure for the full term for which
he was elected.
- The Philippine Constitution is a solemn covenant made by all the Filipinos to govern
themselves. Sandoval-Gutierrez cannot understand why the majority has allowed the will
of Romans constituency to prevail over the will of the entire Filipino people, thus
completely disregarding the purpose of the constitutional three-term limit rule.
Carpio, J., joined by Carpio-Morales, J., voted to GRANT petition:
- Based on the Constitutional Commission deliberations, the framers intended a recall
term, which is the unexpired term of the recalled official, to be considered as one term for
counting term limits.
- While the exchange between Commissioners Davide and Suarez referred specifically to
special elections for Senators and Representatives, the same principle applies with equal
force to the recall term of elective local officials. To hold otherwise would allow a local
official to be elected, and to serve, for more than nine consecutive years in the same
position.
- The framers unmistakably intended that elective local officials should not be elected to
serve continuously for more than nine years in the same position. The Constitutional
Commission records reveal that the three-term limit of Representatives and local officials
was clearly understood to mean a maximum period of nine consecutive years.
- To rule that a recall term should be totally ignored in counting the three-term limit will
allow local officials to be elected to serve for more than nine consecutive years contrary to
the intent of the framers.

- The Constitution does not require a public official, whether elective or appointive, to
serve his full term in order to be disqualified from re-election or reappointment.
- If the Vice-President succeeds to the Presidency to serve an unexpired term of more than
four years, he is disqualified from running for President.
- One appointed to serve the unexpired term of a member of the CSC or the Comelec is
disqualified from reappointment even if the unexpired term is less than the full term of
seven years.
- The instant case is not a situation where the official succeeded by operation of law to the
office and served the unexpired term of his predecessor as in Borja v Comelec.
- A recall term of an official who is re-elected in the next two regular elections is not
interrupted by any term of another official. Thus, such recall term should be counted in
computing the three-term limit.
- To consider a recall term as a stray term will encourage a person disqualified because of
the three-term limit to agitate for the recall of his immediate successor. This will remove
the stability of the term of office of his immediate successor, and subject the people to too
many elections within a short period.
- The vote of the people of Bataan, while overwhelmingly for Roman, cannot overcome the
vote of the people of the entire Philippines when they ratified the Constitution that
mandates the three-term limit. Besides, the constitutional issue must be resolved without
regard to the circumstance that Roman won overwhelmingly, for the issue could also have
been raised in a case where the margin of victory was whisker-thin.

Governor Emilio M.R. Osmea,et. al. v. Commission on Elections, Hon. Oscar M. Orbos,
Executive Secretary, Hon. Guillermo Carague, Secretary of the Department of Budget
and Management and Hon. Rosalina S. Cajucom
30 July 1991
Paras, J.

SHORT VERSION: Petitioners assail the constitutionality of RA 7056, which provides that
incumbent local elective officials shall hold over beyond June 30, 1992 and serve until their
successors shall have been duly elected, is violative of the Consti. The SC agreed with the
petitioners. The Consti clearly mandates the holding of synchronized elections on the second
Monday of May 1992, but RA 7056 provides for 2 elections: one in May and one in November
1992. The Consti also mandates that the first local officials elected under the 1987 Consti will
serve until June 30, 1992, but under RA 7056 they will hold over beyond June 30, 1992 until their
successors are elected and qualified. The Consti also states that the term of local elective
officials is 3 years. But under RA 7056, if the elections is held in Nov. 1992, the officials will only
be serving for 2 years and 7 months. For all these, the SC held RA 7056 unconstitutional.

FACTS:

This petition assails the constitutionality of RA 7056, or An Act Providing for the National
and Local Elections in 1992, Pave the Way for Synchronized and Simultaneous Elections
Beginning 1995, and Authorizing Appropriations Therefor.

Petitioners assert that the 2nd paragraph of Sec. 3 of RA 7056providing that all incumbent
provincial, city and municipal officials shall hold over beyond June 30, 1992 and serve until
their successors shall have been duly elected violates Art. XVIII Sec. 3. 114

114
There were a lot of other grounds raised, but this is the one pertinent to the topic in the syllabus.

ISSUE:
9. Is RA 7056 valid?
REASONING:
9. No
The Court quoted Art. XVIII Sec. 2 and 5 of the 1987 Constitution, which synchronize
the terms of office of Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, the local
officials, the President and the Vice-President have been synchronized to end on the
same hour, date and year noon of June 30, 1992.
It is likewise evident from the wording of the provisions that the term of
synchronization is used synonymously as the phrase holding simultaneously since
this is the precise intent in terminating their office tenure on the same day or occasion.
o This common termination date will synchronize future elections to once every
three years.
The Court also quoted the proceedings in the Constitutional Commission.
o Commissioner Davide proposed that the only way to effect the first synchronized
electionwould mean, necessarily, a bonus of two years to the Members of the
Lower House and a bonus of two years to the local elective officials.
o The first national and local officials to be elected in 1987 shall continue in office
for 5 years, until 1992, assuming that the term of the President will be 6 years
from 1986. From 1992, there will again be national, local and presidential
elections. This time, in 1992, the President shall have a term until 1998 and while
the next 12 senators shall serve until 1995, and then the local officials elected in
1992 will serve until 1995. From then on, there will be an election every 3 years.
Based on these, it becomes very evident that the Constitution has mandated a
synchronized national and local election prior to Juen 30, 1992, more specifically as
provided for in Art. XVIII Sec. 5 on the 2nd Monday of May, 1992.
The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, is fixed by the
Constitution at 3 years.
o The incumbents were elected in Jan. 1988. Therefore, their term would have
expired on Feb. 2, 1991. However, the Consti, their term was adjusted to expire at
noon of June 30, 1992.
Under RA 7056 provides for two separate elections in 1992: an election for President,
Vice President and 24 senators and all members of the House of Representatives on
the second Monday of May, and an election of all provincial, city and municipal officials
on the second Monday of November, 1992.
o The purpose of this is to start, as much as practicable, the synchronization of the
elections so that the process can be completed in the 1995 elections with the
result that beginning 1995 there shall be only one simultaneous regular elections
for national and local elective officials every 3 years.
With the clear mandate of the 1987 Consti to hold synchronized or simultaneous
national and local elections in the second Monday of May 1992, RA 7056 is clearly
violative of the Consti, particularly Art. XVIII Sec. 2 and 5, because it provides for the
holding of a desynchronized election.
RA 7056 is also violative of the Consti for the following reasons:
o Consti Art. XVIII Sec. 2 provides that the local official first elected under the 1987
Consti shall serve until noon of June 30, 1992. But under RA 7056 Sec. 3, the
incumbent local officials shall hold over beyond June 30, 1992 and shall serve
until their successors shall have been duly elected and qualified.

It is not competent for the legislature to extend the term of officers by


providing that they shall hold over until their successors shall have been
duly elected and qualified where the consti has in effect or by clear
implication prescribed the term shall begin, there is no legislative authority
to continue the office beyond that period, even though the successors fail to
qualify with the time.
o Consti Art. X Sec. 8 provides that the term of local elective officials except
barangay officials shall be 3 years. But if the local election will be held on the
second Monday of Nov. 1992 under RA 7056, those to be elected will be serving
for only 2 years and 7 months (Nov. 30, 1992-June 30, 1995).
o Consti Art. IX Sec. 9 provides that the campaign period will be 90 days before
election until 30 days thereafter. In special cases, the Comelec can alter the
period. But under RA 7056, the campaign period for presidential and vice
presidential elections is 130 days before the election; for senatorial elections, 90
days; and for elections for members of the House, 45 days.
All these the postponement of the holding of a synchronized national and local
election from 1992 to 1995, the hold-over provision for incumbent local officials, the
reduction of the term of office of local officials to be elected on the second Monday of
November, and the change in the campaign periods are violative of the 1987
Constitution.

RULING: RA 7056 declared unconstitutional, null and void


Leyte Acting Vice-Governor Aurelio D. Menzon v. Leyte Acting Governor Leopoldo E.
Petilla in his capacity as Chief Executive of the Province of Leyte and Head of
SangguniangPanlalawigan and Leyte Provincial Treasurer Florencio Luna
Gutierrez, Jr., J. 20 May 1991
SV: Menzon, a senior SangguniangPanlalwigan member, was appointed acting Vice Governor of
the Province of Leyte by the Secretary of Local Government. The SangguniangPanlalawigan, on
the strength of an opinion issued by an USEC Rubillar of the Department of Local Government,
issued Resolution No. 505 where it held invalid the appointment of Menzon. Rubillar clarified that
the designation of Menzon did not contradict the stand they had on the matter. As such, the
Regional Director of the Department of Local Government requested Petilla, the acting Governor,
to modify Resolution No. 505. Neither Petilla nor the SangguniangPanlalawigan heeded this
request. Menzon thus filed a case with the SC to compel Petilla and the Provincial Treasurer of
Leyte to pay him his salary as acting Vice Governor. The SC initially dismissed his petition so
Menzon filed an MR.
The SC held that Menzon was properly appointed. The Local Government Code is silent on the
mode of succession in the event of a temporary vacancy in the Office of the Vice-Governor.
However, the silence of the law must not be understood to convey that a remedy in law is
wanting.Under the circumstances of this case and considering the silence of the Local
Government Code, the Court ruled that, in order to obviate the dilemma resulting from an
interregnum created by the vacancy, the President, acting through her alter ego, the Secretary of
Local Government, may remedy the situation. The SCthus declared valid the temporary
appointment extended to the petitioner to act as the Vice-Governor. The exigencies of public
service demanded nothing less than the immediate appointment of an acting Vice-Governor.
FACTS:
- 16 Feb 1988: by virtue of the fact that no Governor had been proclaimed in the province of
Leyte (the governor-elect, Larazzabal, was embroiled in an election protest), the Secretary of
Local Government Luis Santos designated Leopoldo E. Petilla (Vice Governor elect) as Acting
Governor.

- 25 Mar 1988: Aurelio Menzon, a senior member of the SangguniangPanlalawigan, was also
designated by Sec. Santos to act as the Vice-Governor of the province of Leyte.
- 29 May 1989: Provincial Administrator Quintero inquired from the USEC of the Department of
Local Government, Jacinto Rubillar, Jr., as to the legality of the appointment of Menzon to act as
the Vice-Governor of Leyte.
a) In his reply, USEC Rubillar stated that since BP 337 has no provision relating to succession
in the Office of the Vice-Governor in case of a temporary vacancy, the appointment
ofMenzon is not necessary
b) The Vice Governor (Petilla) who is temporarily performing functions of the Governor, could
concurrently assume the functions of both offices.
- As a result of USEC Rubillars reply, the SangguniangPanlalawigan issued Resolution No. 505
where it held invalid the appointment of Menzon as acting Vice Goveror of Leyte.
- Menzon sought clarification from USEC Rubillar regarding his opinion. Rubillar clarified that:
a) The designation of Menzondoes not contradict the stand they had on the matter.
b) The fact that Menzon was temporarily designated to perform the functions of the vice
governor could not be considered that he succeeded to the office of the vice governor.
c) It was up to the discretion of the appointing authority and the prevailing circumstances in
a given area to decide the necessity of designating an official to temporarily perform the
functions of a particular public office.
d) The peculiar situation in Leyte calls for the designation of the Sangguniang Member
(Menzon) to act as vice governor temporarily.
- In view of the clarificatory letter of USEC Rubillar, the Regional Director the Department of Local
Government, Region 8, wrote a letter to Petilla requesting that Resolution No. 505 be modified
accordingly.
This request was reiterated in a subsequent letter.
However, despite several letters of request, Petilla and the SangguniangPanlalawigan refused to
correct Resolution No. 505 and to pay Menzon the emoluments attached to the Office of ViceGovernor.
- 12 Nov 1989: Menzon filed before this Court a petition for certiorari and mandamus, seeking
the nullification of Resolution No. 505 and for the payment of his salary for his services as the
acting Vice Governor.
a) Meanwhile, the governorship of Leyte was settled and AdelinaLarrazabal was proclaimed
Governor of the province of Leyte.
b) During the pendency of the petition, the provincial treasurer of Leyte, Florencio Luna,
allowed the payment to Menzon of his salary as acting Vice Governor (P17,710).
- 28 Aug 1990: SC dismissed the petition filed by Menzon.
a) By virtue of this resolution, Petilla requested Governor Larrazabal to direct Menzon to pay
back to the province all the emoluments and compensation which he received while acting
as Vice Governor.
- 21 Sep 1990: Menzon filed an MR of the SC resolution.
ISSUES/REASONING:
Was there a vacancy in the position of Vice-Governor in the Province of Leyte? YES.
1) The law on Public Officers is clear on the matter. There is no vacancy whenever the office is
occupied by a legally qualified incumbent. A sensucontrario, there is a vacancy when there is
no person lawfully authorized to assume and exercise at present the duties of the
office.

Applying the definition of vacancy to this case, it can be readily seen that the office of the ViceGovernor was left vacant when the duly elected Vice-Governor LeopoldoPetilla was appointed
Acting Governor.
There is no satisfactory showing that LeopoldoPetilla, notwithstanding his succession to the
Office of the Governor, continued to simultaneously exercise the duties of the Vice-Governor.
The nature of the duties of a Provincial Governor call for a full-time occupant to discharge
them.The fact that the Secretary of Local Government was prompted to appoint the Menzon
shows the need to fill up the position of Vice Governor during the period it was vacant.
The Department Secretary had the discretion to ascertain whether or not the Provincial Governor
should devote all his time to that particular office. Moreover, it is doubtful if the Provincial Board,
unilaterally acting, may revoke an appointment made by a higher authority.
Was the appointment of Menzon as acting Vice Governor by the Secretary of Local
Government proper? YES.
1) The Local Government Code is silent on the mode of succession in the event of
a temporary vacancy in the Office of the Vice-Governor. However, the silence of the law must not
be understood to convey that a remedy in law is wanting.
The circumstances of the case reveal that there is indeed a necessity for the appointment of an
acting Vice-Governor. For about two years after the gubernatorial elections, there had been
no de jure permanent Governor for the province of Leyte, Governor AdelinaLarrazabal, at that
time, had not yet been proclaimed due to a pending election case before the Commission on
Elections.
The two-year interregnum which would result from the respondents' view of the law is disfavored
as it would cause disruptions and delays in the delivery of basic services to the people and in the
proper management of the affairs of the local government of Leyte. Definitely, it is
incomprehensible that to leave the situation without affording any remedy was ever intended by
the Local Government Code.
Under the circumstances of this case and considering the silence of the Local Government Code,
the Court ruled that, in order to obviate the dilemma resulting from an interregnum created by
the vacancy, the President, acting through her alter ego, the Secretary of Local Government,
may remedy the situation.
The SCthus declared valid the temporary appointment extended to the petitioner to act as the
Vice-Governor. The exigencies of public service demanded nothing less than the immediate
appointment of an acting Vice-Governor.
2) The appointment of the petitioner, moreover, is in full accord with the intent behind the Local
Government Code. There is no question that Section 49 in connection with Section 52 of the
Local Government Code shows clearly the intent to provide for continuity in the performance of
the duties of the Vice-Governor.
The Local Government Code provides for the mode of succession in case of a permanent
vacancy, viz:
Section 49:In case a permanent vacancy arises when a Vice-Governor assumes the Office
of the Governor, . . . refuses to assume office, fails to qualify, dies, is removed from office,
voluntary resigns or is otherwise permanently incapacitated to discharge the functions of
his office the sangguniangpanlalawigan . . . member who obtained the highest number of
votes in the election immediately preceding, . . . shall assume the office for the unexpired

term of the Vice-Governor. . . .


By virtue of the surroundings circumstance of this case, the mode of succession provided for
permanent vacancies may likewise be observed in case of a temporary vacancy in the same
office. In this case, there was a need to fill the vacancy. The petitioner is himself the member of
the SangguniangPanlalawigan who obtained the highest number of votes. The Department
Secretary acted correctly in extending the temporary appointment.
3) And finally, even granting that the President, acting through the Secretary of Local
Government, possesses no power to appoint the petitioner, at the very least, the petitioner is
a de facto officer entitled to compensation.
a) The appointment has the color of validity, he was appointed by no less than the alter ego
of the President, the Secretary of Local Government. Menzon also took his oath before
Senator Alberto Romulo
b) Respondents themselves acknowledged the validity of Menzons appointment and dealt
with him as such.
c) It was only when the controversial Resolution No. 505 was passed by the same persons
that the validty of the appointment was made an issued and the recognition withdrawn.
Upon the principle of public policy on which the de facto doctrine is based and basic
considerations of justice, it would be highly iniquitous to now deny him the salary due him for the
services he actually rendered as the acting Vice-Governor of the province of Leyte.
MR GRANTED. The additional compensation which the petitioner has received, in the
amount exceeding the salary authorized by law for the position of Senior Board
Member, shall be considered as payment for the actual services rendered as acting
Vice-Governor and may be retained by him.
120. Docena v. Sangguniang Panlalawigan 115

115
AGUSTIN B. DOCENA, petitioner, vs. THE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF EASTERN SAMAR, GOVERNOR LUTGARDO B. BARBO,
VICE GOVERNOR CAMILO A. CAMENFORTE, BOARD MEMBERS MARCOS ALIDO, NONATO GERNA, ISMAEL KHO, MARCELINO C. LIBANAN,
NICOLAS PIMENTEL, GENEROSO YU and ATTY. SOCRATES B. ALAR, respondents.

Date: July 25, 1991


Ponente: Cruz
The case in a nutshell:
FACTS: Capito, a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Eastern Samar (SPES), died in
office. Local Government Secretary Santos appointed Docena to succeed him. Pursuant thereto,
Docena took his oath of office before House Speaker Mitra, and assumed office. For reasons
unknown, Secretary Santos later appointed Alar to the position already occupied by Docena. The
SPES passed a Resolution recognizing Alar, not Docena, as Capitos legitimate successor.
Howeve, the SPES was in effect reversed by Secretary Santos, who recalled Alars appointment
via letter. Secretary Santos action was affirmed in a First Indorsement signed by his Head
Executive Assistant. The SPEC reacted by passing another Resolution, reiterating its previous
recognition of Alar. The Provincial Prosecutor also rendered an opinion that Secretary Santos
recall order was void ab initio because Alars right to the office had been vested. Secretary
Santos issued another recall order, this time to Docena. Docena filed a petition for mandamus in
the SC compel the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Governor Lutgardo B. Barbo, Vice Governor
Camilo A. Camenforte, and Alar to recognize and admit him as a lawfully appointed member of
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Eastern Samar.
HELD: Docena is the lawfully appointed member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. His
appointment having been issued and accepted earlier, and he having already assumed office, he
could not thereafter be just recalled and replaced to accommodate Alar. From the tenor of the
appointment extended to Docena, there is no question that it was intended to be permanent, to
fill the permanent vacancy caused by Capitos death. As such, it was to be valid for the
unexpired portion of Capitos term. The appointment had been accepted by Docena, who had in
fact already assumed office as a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, as per certification
of the Provincial Secretary. For all legal intents and purposes, his appointment had already
become complete and enforceable at the time it was supposed to have been superseded by
the appointment in favor of Alar. Docena had already acquired security of tenure in the position
and could be removed therefrom only for any of the causes, and conformably to the procedure,
prescribed by the Local Government Code. These requirements could not be circumvented by the
simple process of recalling his appointment.

Facts:
1) Luis B. Capito, who been elected to and was serving as a member of the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan of Eastern Samar (SPES), died in office. Petitioner Agustin B. Docena was
appointed to succeed him.
2) Docenas appointment was issued on November 19, 1990, by Secretary Luis T. Santos of
the Department of Local Government.
3) Pursuant to Secretary Santos appointment, Docena took his oath of office before Speaker
Ramon V. Mitra of the House of Representatives on November 22, 1990, and assumed
office as member of the SPES on November 26, 1990.
4) The record does not show why, but on November 27, 1990, private respondent Socrates B.
Alar was appointed, also by Secretary Santos, to the position already occupied by Docena.
5) On December 18, 1990, the SPES passed Resolution No. 75, recognizing Alar, rather than
Docena, as Capitos legitimate successor.
6) The following day, the SPES was in effect reversed by Secretary Santos, in a letter
addressed to Alar wherein he declared that:

Xxx

It appearing from perusal of records that an appointment dated November 19, 1990 was
already issued to Mr. AGUSTIN DOCENA as member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of
Eastern Samar, vice: Luis Capito, the appointment issued to you dated November 27,
1990 as member of the same sanggunian, is hereby recalled effective the date of issue.
Xxx
7) Secretary Santos action was affirmed in a First Indorsement dated January 4, 1991, signed
by Head Executive Assistant Arturo V. Agundo of the Department of Local Government, in
which he declared by authority of the Secretary that:

1. Records show that the Secretary has appointed Mr. Agustin B. Docena as Sangguniang
Panlalawigan Member as of November 19, 1990; the Secretary has extended another
appointment to the same post in favor of Atty. Socrates Alar on November 27, 1990; the
Secretary, on December 19, 1990, has recalled the appointment of Atty. Socrates Alar on
the basis of the earlier appointment extended in favor of Mr. Docena.
In view of the foregoing, the appointment of Mr. Agustin Docena stands and should be
recognized.
8) The SPES reacted by passing Resolution No. 1 dated January 8, 1991, where it reiterated
its previous recognition of Alar and declared that the recall order issued by Secretary
Santos, dated December 19, 1990, recalling the appointment of Atty. Alar has no legal
basis in fact and in law and issued to fit his whimsical, capricious and wishy-washy desires
to the detriment of decency and due process of law.
9) On the same date, Provincial Prosecutor Dario S. Labrador had rendered an opinion that
Secretary Santos recall order was void ab initio because Alars right to the office had
been vested.
10)
On February 20, 1991, Secretary Santos issued another recall order, this time
addressed to Docena. In a letter, he declared that:

Please be informed that the appointment extended to you as Member of the


Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Eastern Samar, last November 19, 1990 is hereby recalled
effective immediately.
You are hereby directed to turn-over the office to Mr. Socrates Alar who was appointed by
this Department on November 27, 1990, immediately upon receipt hereof.
11)
Docena filed a petition for mandamus in the SC compel the SPES Governor Lutgardo
B. Barbo, Vice Governor Camilo A. Camenforte, and Alar to recognize and admit him as a
lawfully appointed member of the SPES. He also sought to hold them officially and
personally liable in damages for their refusal to do so in spite of his clear title to the
disputed office.
12)
Pending resolution of the case, the SC issued a TRO on January 31, 1991, enjoining
both Docena and Alar from assuming the office of member of the SPES.
Issues:
1) Who is the lawfully appointed member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Eastern
Samar? DOCENA.

2) Is a petition for mandamus the proper remedy? YES.


3) Should damages be awarded? NO.
Held: The petition is GRANTED. The petitioner is DECLARED the lawfully appointed member of
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Eastern Samar, which is hereby DIRECTED to admit or reinstate
him as such. The temporary restraining order dated January 31, 1991, is LIFTED. No costs.
Ratio:
1) Docena is the lawfully appointed member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Eastern
Samar.
a. The pertinent legal provision is Section 50 of the Local Government Code, which
provides:

Sec. 50. Permanent Vacancies in Local Sanggunians. In case of permanent vacan


the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, sangguniang baya
sangguniang barangay, the President of the Philippines, upon recommendation o
Minister of Local Government, shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy i
sangguniang panlalawigan and the sangguniang panlungsod; the governor, in the
of sangguniang bayan members; or the city or municipal mayor, in the ca
sangguniang barangay members. Except for the sangguniang barangay, the appo
shall come from the political party of the sanggunian member who caused the vac
and shall serve the unexpired term of the vacant office.
b. According to Docena, he and Capito ran for the provincial board in the 1988
elections under the banner of Lakas ng Bansa. Later, they both joined the Laban ng
Demokratikong Pilipino under the leadership of Speaker Mitra, who administered the
oath of office to him when he was appointed to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan on
November 19, 1990. He argued that that he had a preferential right to the disputed
office even on equitable grounds, because he placed 9 th in the election, next to
Capito, compared to Alar, who did not even run for the office.
c. According to the respondents, the appointment in Docenas favor on November 19,
1990, had been superseded by the appointment in favor of Alar on November 27,
1990, and the recall of the second appointment on December 19, 1990, was null
and void ab initio for lack of previous hearing.
d. The SC ruled in favour of Docena. His appointment having been issued and
accepted earlier, and he having already assumed office, he could not thereafter be
just recalled and replaced to accommodate Alar.
i. From the tenor of the appointment extended to Docena on November 19,
1990, there is no question that it was intended to be permanent, to fill the
permanent vacancy caused by Capitos death. As such, it was to be valid for
the unexpired portion of Capitos term, i.e. until noon of June 30, 1992, in
accordance with Article XVIII, Section 2, of the 1987 Constitution.
ii. The appointment had been accepted by Docena, who had in fact already
assumed office as a member of the SPES, as per certification of the Provincial
Secretary. For all legal intents and purposes, his appointment had already
become complete and enforceable at the time it was supposed to have been
superseded by the appointment in favor of Alar.
iii. No reason was given for the recall of Docenas appointment (or for that

matter, the recall of Alar's appointment). It appears that after appointing


Docena and later twice sustaining his title to the office, Secretary Santos
simply had a change of heart and decided to award the position to Alar. This
is not the way things are done in a democracy.
iv. The appointment was permanent in nature, and for the unexpired portion of
Capitos term. Docena had already acquired security of tenure in the position
and could be removed therefrom only for any of the causes, and conformably
to the procedure, prescribed by the Local Government Code. These
requirements could not be circumvented by the simple process of recalling
his appointment.
v. Whatever gave the SPES the impression that Docenas appointment was
revocable at will was not based on careful legal study.
1. The Provincial Prosecutors opinion that the office had "become vested"
in Alar suffers from the same flaw and a lack of understanding of the
nature of a public office.
2. Political rather than legal considerations seem to have influenced the
action of the provincial government in rejecting Docenas claim despite
its obvious merit.
2) A petition for mandamus is the proper remedy.
a. The respondents argued that Docena have sought to enforce his claimed right in a
petition not for mandamus but for quo warranto, as his purpose is to challenge
Alars title to the disputed office. But that is only secondary in this case. The real
purpose of the present petition is to compel the SPES to recognize and admit
Docena as a member by virtue of a valid appointment extended to him by the
Secretary of Local Government.
b. Mandamus is employed to compel the performance of a ministerial duty to which
the petitioner is entitled. In arguing that the recognition and admission of Docena is
not a ministerial duty, the respondents are asserting the discretion to review, and if
they so decide, reject, the Secretarys appointment. They have no such authority.
i. What they should have done was reserve their judgment, leaving it to the
courts to decide which of the conflicting claims should be upheld. As a local
legislative body subject to the general supervision of the President of the
Philippines, the SPES had no discretion to rule on the validity of the decisions
of the Secretary of Local Government acting as her alter ego.
c. Even assuming that the proper remedy is a petition for quo warranto, the SC may in
its own discretion consider the present petition as such and deal with it accordingly.
We find that as a petition for quo warranto, it complies with the prescribed
requirements, to wit, that it be filed on time and by a proper party asserting title to
the office also claimed by the respondent. Acting thereon, we hold that Docena has
proved his right to the disputed office and could not be legally replaced by Alar.
3) Damages should NOT be awarded, as there no sufficient proof to overcome the
presumption that the respondents acted in good faith, albeit erroneously.
a. Nevertheless, Docena is entitled to the payment of the salaries and other benefits
appurtenant to the office of a member of the SPES, from the time of his assumption
of office and until he is actually admitted or reinstated.
CONRADO DE RAMA v COURT OF APPEALS
28 February 2001
Ynares-Santiago, ponente
petition for certiorari of a Court of Appeals decision

SHORT VERSION:
Mayor De Rama sought to recall the appointments of 14 municipal employees on the ground that
they were midnight appointees in violation of the Constitution. The SC said that the prohibition
only applied to Presidential employees. Appointments to positions in the civil service are a legal
right that can only be recalled for cause and with notice and hearing.
FACTS:
When Conrado de Rama assumed office as mayor of Pagbilao, Quezon, he wrote a letter to
the Civil Service Commission, seeking to recall of the appointments of 14 municipal
employees.
o He said the appointments were midnight appointments of the former mayor and
thus in violation of Art VII 15 of the Constitution.
o The CSC denied the request for the recall of the appointments.
o The CA affirmed the CSC decision.
ISSUE:
should the appointments made by the outgoing mayor be recalled? NO
REASONING:
The prohibition under Art VII 15 applied only to presidential appointments.
o There was no law that prohibited local elective officials from making appointments
during the last days of his or her tenure.
De Ramas other grounds for the recall were not raised in his original appeal, but in his
supplemental pleading, consolidated appeal and motion for reconsideration.
o Thus, they were deemed waived when he failed to raise them at the earliest
opportunity and failed to present supporting documents.
Upon the issuance of an appointment and the appointees assumption of the position in
the civil service, he acquires a legal right which cannot be taken away either by
revocation of the appointment or by removal except for cause and with previous notice
and hearing.
o Moreover, it is well-settled that the person assuming a position in the civil service
under a completed appointment acquires a legal, not just an equitable, right to the
position.
o This right is protected not only by statute, but by the Constitution as well, which
right cannot be taken away by either revocation of the appointment, or by removal,
unless there is valid cause to do so, provided that there is previous notice and
hearing.
The appointment of the employees could only be recalled on the ff grounds, none of which
were raised by De Rama:
o (a) Non-compliance with the procedures/criteria provided in the agencys Merit
Promotion Plan;
o (b) Failure to pass through the agencys Selection/Promotion Board;
o (c) Violation of the existing collective agreement between management and
employees relative to promotion; or
o (d) Violation of other existing civil service law, rules and regulations.
RULING: petition denied
#rbm
GR No. 127116: Alex David v. COMELEC, et al.
GR No. 128039: Liga ng mga Barangay Quezon City Chapter v. COMELEC and DBM
8 April 1997

Panganiban, J.
Short version: The petitioners filed these cases before the SC alleging that Sec. 43 (c) of the LGC,
insofar as it fixes the term of office of local elective officials to 3 years, is unconstitutional.
Instead, they urge that the applicable law is RA 6679, which fixed the said term of office to 5
years. The SC held that: (1) the LGC governs this case considering that it was enacted later than
RA 6679; (2) the Constitution expressly left Congress full discretion to fix the length of the term
of office in accordance with the exigencies of public service; and (3) the petitioners are estopped
from asking for any term other than that which they ran for and were elected to, under the law
governing their very claim to such offices: namely, RA 7160.
Facts:
- In his capacity as barangay chairman of Barangay 77, Zone 7, Kalookan City and as president
of the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas, David filed a petition for prohibition with the SC to
prohibit the holding of the barangay election scheduled on the second Monday of May 1997.
- Later, the Liga ng mga Barangay also filed a petition before the SC for certiorari to declare as
unconstitutional:
Sec. 43 (c) of the LGC, which reads: The term of office of barangay officials
and members of the sangguniang kabataan shall be for three (3) years, which shall begin
after the regular election of barangay officials on the second Monday of May 1994;
COMELEC Resolution Nos. 2880 and 2887 fixing the date of the holding of
the barangay elections on May 12, 1997;
The budgetary appropriation of P400 million contained in the GAA of 1997
intended to defray the costs in holding the 1997 barangay elections.
- The SC consolidated the two petitions considering that they raise the same ultimate issue,
namely, how long is the term of office of barangay officials?
The petitioners contend that under Sec. 2 of RA 6653, the term of office of
barangay officials was set to 5 years. This was reiterated in RA 6679.
They further contend that although Sec. 43 of the LGC reduced the term of al
local elective officials to 3 years, such reduction does not apply to barnagay officials
because: (1) RA 6679 is a special law applicable only to barangays while the LGC is a
general law which applies to all other LGUs; (2) the LGC does not expressly nor impliedly
repeal RA 6679 insofar as the term of barangay officials is concerned; (3) while Sec. 8 of
Article X of the 1987 Constitution fixes the term of elective local officials at three years,
the same provision states that the term of barangay officials shall be determined by law;
and (4) thus, it follows that the constitutional intention is to grant barangay officials any
term, except three years.
The COMELEC defends its assailed Resolutions and maintains that the LGCs
repealing clause includes all laws, whether general or special. It also contended that the
petitioners cannot claim a term of more than 3 years since they were elected under the
aegis of the LGC of 1991.
-

The Court invited Sen. Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. as amicus curiae. In his brief, he
urged the SC to deny the petitions because (1) the Local [Government] 116 Code repealed
both RA 6679 and 6653; (2) the legislative intent is to shorten the term of barangay
officials to three years; (3) the barangay officials should not have a term longer than that
of their administrative superiors, the city and municipal mayors; and (4) barangay officials
are estopped from contesting the applicability of the three-year term provided by the LGC
as they were elected under the provisions of said Code.
Issues:
- Which between RA 7160 and RA 6679 governs the term of office of barangay officials? (RA
7160)
- Is RA 7160, insofar as it shortened the term to only three years, constitutional? (Yes)
- Are the petitioners estopped from claiming a term other than that provided under RA 7160 (Yes)
Reasoning:
Brief historical background of barangay elections
- As a unit of government, the barangay antedated the Spanish conquest of the Philippines. The
word barangay is derived from the Malay balangay, a boat which transported the Malays to
these shores. The barangay was ruled by a dato who exercised absolute powers of government.
- The Spaniards kept the barnagay as the basic structure of government but power was
centralized nationally in the governor general and locally in the encomiendero and later, in the
alcalde mayor and the gobernadorcillo. The dato or rajah was much later renamed cabeza de
barangay, who was elected by the local citizens possessing property.
- After the Americans colonized the Philippines, the barangays became known as barrios,
which were granted autonomy by the original Barrio Charter, RA 2370 and formally recognized as
quasi-municipal corporations by the Revised Barrio Charter, RA 3590.
- During the martial law regime, the barrios were renaed barangays but their basic
organization and functions remained the same. Pursuant to BP 222, a punong barangay and six
kagawads were elected who were to serve a term of six years. The LGC of 1983 also fixed the
term of local elective officials at 6 years.
- The Omnibus Election Code provided for the same term. As earlier stated, RA 6643 cut the term
of office to five years and the punong barangay was to be chosen from among themselves by
seven kagawads, who in turn were to be elected at large by the barangay electorate.
- RA 6679 was then enacted. Under this law, the term of office still remained fixed at five years
but the manner of election of the punong barangay changed. It provided that the candidate for
kagawad who obtains the highest number of votes shall be the punong barangay.
- Finally, under the LGC of 1991, the term of office of barangay officials was fixed at three years.
The composition of the Sangguniang Barangay and the manner of electing officials were also
altered, inter alia, the barangay chairman was to be elected directly by the electorate.
RA 7160 governs the term of office of local elective officials
- The intent and design of the legislature to limit the term of barangay officials to only three (3)
years as provided under the Local Government Code emerges as bright as the sunlight.
116
The case said Local Autonomy Code. Tingin ok dapat Local Government Code talaga.

First, RA 7160 was enacted later than RA 669. It is basic that in case of an
irreconciliable conflict between two laws of different vintages, the later enactment
prevails. Considering the conflict between the two laws insofar as the term of office is
concerned, RA 7160 should prevail.
Second, the manner of election of the barangay chairman is different under RA
6679 and the LGC. Again, the latter law should prevail.
Third, during the barangay elections held on May 9, 1994, the voters actually and
directly elected one punong barangay and seven kagawads. If the thesis of the petitioners
is upheld, it follows that all the punong barangays were elected illegally and thus, David
cannot claim to be a validly elected barangay chairman, much less president of the
national league of barangays which he purports to represent in this petition. It then
necessarily follows also that he is not the real party-in-interest and on that ground, his
petition should be summarily dismissed.
Fourth, in enacting the GAA of 1997, Congress appropriated P400 million to cover
expenss for the holding the barangay elections of 1997. Likewise, under Sec. 7, RA 8189,
Congress ordained that a general registration of voters shall be held immediately after the
said barangay elections. These are clear and express contemporaneous statements of
Congress that barangay officials shall be elected in accordance with Sec. 43 (c) of the LGC.
Fifth, in Paras v. COMELEC, it was said that the next regular election involving the
barangay office concerned is barely seven (7) months away, the same having been
scheduled in May, 1997. This judicial decision, per Article 8 of the Civil Code, is now a
part of the legal system of the Philippines.
Sixth, the petitioners incorrectly invoked the doctrine of generalia specialibus non
derogant. The petitioners may be correct in stating that RA 6679 is a special law but RA
7160 is not necessarily a general law. The latter is a special law insofar as it governs the
term of office of barangay officials. Furthermore, RA 7160 should prevail because its
repealing clause expressly states that all general and special laws which are inconsitent
with it are repealed or modified accordingly.
Three-year term not repugnant to the Constitution
Sec. 8, Article X of the Constitution states:
SEC. 8. The term of office of elective local officials, except barangay officials, which shall be
determined by law, shall be three years, and no such official shall serve for more than three
consecutive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be
considered as an interruption in the continuity of his service for the full term for which he was
elected.
Petitioner Liga ng mga Barangay Quezon City Chapter posits that by excepting barangay
officials whose term shall be determined by law from the general provision fixing the term of
elective local officials at three years, the Constitution thereby impliedly prohibits Congress
from legislating a three-year term for such officers.
However, the SC found this theory logically and legally flawed. The Constitution
did not expressly prohibit Congress from fixing any term of office for barangay officials. In
fact, it left Congress full discretion to fix such term in accordance with the exigencies of
public service. That this was the intention of the framers of the Constitution is reflected in
the records of the Constitutional Commission.

Petitioners are estopped from challenging their three-year terms


The COMELEC submitted, as part of its evidence, Annex A, which is the certificate of candidacy
of David. It expressly stated that he was running for the office of punong barangay. The
COMELEC also submitted Annex B, which showed the number of votes garnered by David (112)
as well as the candidates for kagawad. 117

117
Ruben Maglona garnered the highest number of votes for kagawad at 150.

If, as claimed by the petitioners, the applicable law is RA 6679, then David could not have been
elected as barangay chairman because under this law, the punong barangay was not to be
elected directly. Furthermore, Ruben Maglona should have been the punong barangay
considering that he obtained the highest number of votes among the kagawads.
The sum total of these absurdities in the petitioners theory is that barangay officials are
estopped from asking for any term other than that which they ran for and were elected to, under
the law governing their very claim to such offices: namely, RA 7160.
Dispositive: Petitions denied.
Digested by Ramon Rocha IV
Zonsayda L. Alinsug v RTC-Negros Occidental, Rolando P. Ponsica as Municipal Mayor
of Escalante, Negros Occidental; Municipality of Escalante, Negros Occidental, and
Patricio A. Alvarez as Municipal Treasurer of Escalante, Negros Occidental
August 23, 1993
Vitug, J.

Short version:Alinsug sued the Municipal Mayor and Treasurer, for suspending her for an
alleged act of insubordination. The Mayor and Treasurer filed an answer to the petition, through a
private practitioner. Alinsug filed a motion to have the answer expunged expunged from the
record, on the ground they should have been represented by either the municipal legal officer or
the provincial legal officer or prosecutor. The RTC and SC ruled against Alinsug. It held that while
the law allows a private counsel to be hired by a municipality only when the municipality is an
adverse party in a case involving the provincial government or another municipality or city within
the province, this rule does not cover the situation when the public officials are the ones being
sued. If the petitions contain allegations that the acts being done are already beyond the
respondents official capacities, then they may be represented by private counsel, to be paid
from their own personal funds.

Facts:

Zonsayda L. Alinsug, was a regular employee of the municipal government of Escalante,


Negros Occidental, when she received a permanent appointment as Clerk III in the office of
the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator of the same municipality.
She received an order from the newly proclaimed mayor, Rolando P. Ponsica, detailing her to
the Office of the Mayor. In compliance with the order, she reported there the following day.
One day,Zonsayda absented herself from work allegedly to attend to family matters. She had
asked permission from the personnel officer but not from the mayor.
Mayor Ponsicathen issued Office Order No. 31, suspending Zonsayda for one month and one
day for "a simple misconduct . . . which can also be categorized as an act of insubordination."
The order also stated that the suspension "carries with it forfeiture of . . . benefits such as . . .
salary and PERA and leave credits during the duration of its effectivity."
Zonsayda filed with the RTC a petition for injunction with damages and prayer for temporary
restraining order and preliminary injunction against Mayor Ponsica and the municipal
treasurer. SheThe petitioner alleged that since her family supported Mayor Ponsica's rival in

the previous elections, her suspension was an act of "political vendetta". Further alleging that
said respondents' acts were "malicious, illegal, unwarranted, wrongful and condemnable",
petitioner prayed for the following reliefs:
Mayor Ponsica and the municipal treasurer filed an answer to the petition, through private
practitioner Samuel SM Lezama, alleging that the Alinsug had not exhausted administrative
remedies and that her suspension was in accordance with law. They filed a counterclaim for
moral damages in the amount of P200,000.00, exemplary damages for P50,000.00, and
attorney's fees of P30,000.00, plus appearance fee of P500.00.
Alinsug then filed a motion, praying that the answer be disregarded and expunged from the
record, and that the respondents be all declared in default on the ground that since the
respondents were sued in their official capacities, "not including their private capacities," they
should have been represented by either the municipal legal officer or the provincial legal
officer or prosecutor as provided for by Sec. 481 (b) [i] and [3] of the LGC. It also cited Sec. 1
of Rep. Act No. 10 and Art. 177 of the RPC which penalizes usurpation of public authority.
The respondents opposed the motion. Manifesting that the municipality of Escalante has no
legal officer, they asserted that both the LGC and the Administrative Code of 1987 do not
have any provision "relative to the duty of any provincial legal officer or prosecutor to
represent a municipality or its officials in suits filed against them by an employee or a private
individual." They contended that it was "unnecessary to provide such a provision because
there (exist) administrative and judicial rulings sustaining the validity of the employment of a
private counsel by municipal officials. Moreover, since the petitioner prayed for the award of
moral damages," on the strength of this Court's ruling in Albuera v. Torrens, 3their hiring of a
private counsel was justified.
Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Daniel M. Villaflor entered his appearance as "counsel for
Rolando P. Ponsica and Patricio A. Alvarez in their official capacities."
The RTC deniedAlinsugs motion to declare the respondents in default and motion to expunge
respondents' answer from the record. It also denied the MR, holding that Alinsugs move to
declare respondents in default "for having retained a private counsel" was not legally
sustainable because:
o The appointment of a legal officer was optional on the part of the municipal government,
based on the 3rd paragraph of Art. 481 of the LGC, and
o The municipality of Escalante had not, in fact, designated any such legal officer
Hence, this petition for certiorari with the SC.

Issues:Can a private counsel represent municipal officials sued in their official capacities? YES

Ratio:
1) Sec. 443 (b) of the LGCprovides that, in addition to the officials enumerated in the first
paragraph thereof, the mayor may appoint, among other officials enumerated therein, a
municipal legal officer. Section 481, Article 11 of Title V, states that "(t)he appointment of a
legal officer shall be mandatory for the provincial and city governments and optional for the
municipal government."
2) As part of his functions, he shall:(i) Represent the local government unit in all civil actions and
special proceedings wherein the local government unit or any official thereof, in his official
capacity, is a party: Provided, that in actions or proceedings where a component city or
municipality is a party adverse to the provincial government or to another component city or
municipality, a special legal officer may be employed to represent the adverse party;
3) The law allows a private counsel to be hired by a municipality only when the municipality is
an adverse party in a case involving the provincial government or another municipality or city
within the province.
4) History of the provision:

a. Ruling in De Guia v. The Auditor General:The municipality's authority to employ a private


attorney is expressly limited only to situations where the provincial fiscal would be
disqualified to serve and represent it.
b. Ramos v. Court of Appeals:A municipality may not be represented by a private law firm
which had volunteered its services gratis, in collaboration with the municipal attorney
and the fiscal, as such representation was violative Sec. 1683 of the old Administrative
Code. The municipality should not be burdened with expenses of hiring a private lawyer"
and that "the interests of the municipality would be best protected if a government
lawyer handles its litigations.
5) But these proscriptions do not necessarily include public officials. It can happen that a
government official, ostensibly acting in his official capacity and sued in that capacity, is later
held to have exceeded his authority.
6) On the one hand, his defense would have then been funded by the people's money which
ordinarily should have been his personal expense. On the other hand, personal liability can
attach to him without his having had the benefit of assistance of a counsel of his own choice.
7) In the discharge of governmental functions, "municipal corporations are responsible for the
acts of its officers, except if and when, the only to the extent that, they have acted by
authority of the law, and in conformity with the requirements thereof." (Correa v CFI of
Bulacan)
8) It has been held that if rigid adherence to the law on representation of local officials in court
actions could deprive a party of his right to redress for a valid grievance, the hiring of a
private counsel would be proper.
9) In another case, it was said that a provincial governor sued in his official capacity may engage
the services of private counsel when "the complaint contains other allegations and a prayer
for moral damages, which, if due from the defendants, must be satisfied by them in their
private capacity." (Albuera v Torres)
10)
In the same light, a public official who is sued in a criminal case is actually sued in his
personal capacity inasmuch as his principal, the State, can never be the author of a wrongful
act, much less commit a crime.
11)
The issues hinges on the nature of the action and the relief that is sought.
12)
While the petition was filed against respondents as public officials, its allegations were also
aimed at questioning certain acts that can bring the case beyond the coverage of official
functions, because of the allegation regarding the political vendetta, which would be a
constitute political harassment and persecution, acts of vindictiveness, a grave abuse of
executive discretion, etc. The petition then went on to claim moral and exemplary damages,
as well as litigation expenses.
13)
Moral damages cannot generally be awarded unless they are the proximate result of a
wrongful act or omission. Exemplary damages, on the other hand, are not awarded if the
defendant had not acted in a wanton, oppressive or malevolent manner nor in the absence of
gross or reckless negligence.
14)
A public official, who in the performance of his duty acts in such fashion, does so in excess
of authority, and his actions would be ultra viresthat can result in personal liability.
15)
Thus the respondents were not improperly represented by a private counsel, whose legal
fees shall be for their own account.
Petition dismissed.
Municipality of Pililla, Rizal (Petitioner) vs CA; Hon. Arturo Molave, RTC presiding
judge; and Philippine Petroleum Corporation (Respondents)
Date: June 28, 1994
Ponente: Regalado, J.

Short Version:
Facts: Judgment was rendered against PPC in favor of the Municipality. Atty. Mendiola, private
counsel of the municipality, moved to execute judgment. Later the municipality, through the
mayor, made a compromise with PPC. Atty. Mendiola still moved for execution of the judgment.
His authority to represent the municipality was questioned.
Held: Under the RAC and the Local Autonomy law, only the provincial fiscal and the municipal
attorney can represent a province or municipality in their lawsuits; private attorneys cannot
represent a province or municipality in lawsuits, unless the fiscal is disqualified to act in favor the
local government.

Facts:
- RTC rendered judgment in favor of the Municipality of Pililla against Philippine Petroleum
Corporation (PPC), ordering the latter to pay business tax, storage permit fees, mayor's permit,
and sanitary inspection fees to the municipality. Eventually, the SC affirmed with modification the
said judgment. The judgment became final and executory, and the records were remanded to the
trial court for execution.
- In connection with the execution of said judgment, Atty. Felix Mendiola filed a motion in behalf
of the municipality with the RTC for the examination of PPC's gross sales for certain years for the
purpose of computing the tax on business.
- PPC manifested that Pililla Mayor Nicomedes Patenia received from it the sum of
P11,457,907.00 as full satisfaction of the judgment. Thus, RTC issued an order denying the
motion for examination and execution of judgment on the ground that the judgment had already
been satisfied.
- MR filed by Atty. Mendiola claiming that the total liability of PPC is P24,176,599.00; and that the
mayor could not waive the balance which represents the taxes due under the judgment, and over
which judgment the law firm of Atty. Mendiola had registered two liens for consultancy services
and attorneys' fees which amount to more than P12M. Trial court denied MR. Atty. Mendiola,
again ostensibly in behalf of the municipality, filed a petition for certiorari with the SC, which
petition was referred to the CA.
- PPC questioned Atty. Mendiola's authority to represent the municipality. CA dismissed the
petition for having been filed by a private counsel in violation of law and jurisprudence, but
without prejudice to the filing of a similar petition by the municipality through the proper
provincial or municipal legal officer.
- MR denied. Hence the present petition with the SC.

Issue/Reasoning:
Issue: Whether Atty. Mendiola has the authority to file a petition in behalf of the municipality (No)
- Ramos v CA, reiterated by Cebu v IAC: private attorneys cannot represent a province or
municipality in lawsuits.

- Under Sec 1683118 of the RAC, complemented by Sec 3119 of RA 2264 (Local Autonomy Law) only
the provincial fiscal and the municipal attorney can represent a province or municipality in their
lawsuits. The provision is mandatory. The municipality's authority to employ a private lawyer is
expressly limited only to situations where the provincial fiscal is disqualified to represent it.
- In the instant case, there is no showing that the provincial fiscal is disqualified to act as counsel
for the municipality, hence the appearance of private counsel is without authority of law.
- The fiscal's refusal to represent the municipality is not a legal justification for employing the
services of private counsel. A fiscal cannot refuse to perform his functions on grounds not
provided for by law. The municipality should have requested the Secretary of Justice to appoint
an acting provincial fiscal in place of the provincial fiscal who has declined to handle and
prosecute its case.
- The municipality itself opposed Atty. Mendiola's motion for execution of his lien.
- Contrary to his contention, the legality of Atty. Mendiola's representation can be questioned at
any stage of the proceedings.
- Assuming that the representation of Atty. Mendiola was duly authorized, said authority is
deemed been revoked when the municipality, through the mayor and without Atty. Mendiola's
participation, entered into a compromise agreement with PPC.

Dispositive:
Petition denied.

Antonio C. Ramos, Rosalinda M. Perez, Norma C. Castillo and Baliuag Market Vendors
Association v. Court of Appeals, Hon. Camilo O. Montesa, Jr., in his capacity as
Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan, Branch 19, and the Municipality
of Baliuag
03 March 1997
Panganiban, J.

SHORT VERSION: Petitioners filed a case against the municipality of Baliuag, Bulacan to
invalidate some ordinances. Atty. Romanillos, a private lawyer, entered his appearance as
collaborating counsel of the Provincial Fiscal and the Provincial Attorney. The petitioners
questioned Atty. Romanilloss personality to represent the municipality. Meanwhile, Atty.
118
In part: The provincial fiscal shall represent the province and any municipality... When the provincial fiscal is disqualified to serve any
municipality or other political subdivision of a province, a special attorney may be employed by its council.

119
In part: the municipal attorney... shall act as legal counsel of the municipality...

Romanillo withdrew from the case and the Provincial Attorney, Atty. Regalado, assumed the
proceedings the private lawyer had undertaken. The SC held that a municipality cannot be
represented by private counsel in lawsuits. Only the provincial fiscal and the municipal attorney
can represent a province or municipality. The municipalitys authority to employ a private lawyer
is limited only to situations where the provincial fiscal is disqualified to represent it, namely: (1) if
and when original jurisdiction of case involving the municipality is vested in the Supreme Court;
(2) when the municipality is a party adverse to the provincial government or to some other
municipality in the same province; or (3) when, in a case involving the municipality, he, or his
wife, or child, is pecuniarily involved, as heir legatee, creditor or otherwise. None of these
exceptions were present in this case. However, the Court also said that this did not mean that
the entire proceedings participated in by Atty. Romanillo were null and void. The assumption by
Atty. Regalado of the entire proceedings made it valid. A municipality may adopt the work
already performed in good faith by the private lawyer, which work is beneficial to it, provided
that no injustice is thereby heaped on the adverse party, andthat no compensation in any guise
is paid therefor by said municipality to the private lawyer. Unless so expressly adopted, the
private lawyers work cannot bind the municipality.

FACTS:

Petitioners filed a petition for the Declaration of Nullity of Municipal Ordinances Nos. 91
and 7 and the lease over a commercial arcade to be constructed in Baliuag, Bulacan.
o The Municipality of Baliuag opposed the petition. The Provincial Fiscal appeared in
court as counsel for the municipality during the hearing on the motion for the
issuance of a preliminary injunction.
o The Provincial Fiscal and the Provincial Attorney, Oliviano D. Regalado, filed an
Answer on behalf of the municipality.
At the pre-trial conference, Atty. Roberto Romanillos appeared, manifesting that he was
counsel for the municipality.
o Atty. Romanillos later filed a motion to dissolve injunction and a motion to admit an
Amended Answer.
Provincial Attorney Atty. Regalado appeared as collaborating counsel. But it was Atty.
Romanillos who submitted the Reply to the petitioners opposition to the municipalitys
motion to dissolve injunction. It was also Atty. Romanillos who submitted a written formal
offer of evidence for the municipality.
In one hearing, the petitioners questioned the personality of Atty. Romanillos to appear as
counsel of the municipality. They later filed a motion to disqualify Atty. Romanillos from
appearing as counsel for the municipality and to declare null and void the proceedings
participated in and undertaken by Atty. Romanillos.
o Meanwhile, Atty. Romanillos and Atty. Regalado filed a joint motion stating, among
others, that Atty. Romanillos was withdrawing as counsel for the municipality and
that Atty. Regalado was adopting the entire proceedings participated in by Atty.
Romanillos.
The RTC judge denied the petitioners motion to disqualify Atty. Romanillos.
o The judge deemed the petition moot and academic in light of Atty. Romanillos
withdrawal as counsel.
o Also, petitioners failed to file a timely objection to Atty. Romanillos appearance,
when he had been clear about appearing on behalf of the municipality from the very
beginning.
Petitioners elevated the case to the CA. The CA dismissed. Hence the present petition to
the SC.

ISSUES:
10.Can a municipality be represented by a private counsel?
11.Are the proceedings null and void?
REASONING:
10.No private counsel cannot represent a municipality
It has been settled that private attorneys cannot represent a province or municipality
in lawsuits. (Province of Cebu v. IAC)

Under Sec. 1683 of the Revised Administrative Code 120, complemented by Sec. 3
of the Local Autonomy Law, only the provincial fiscal and the municipal attorney
can represent a province or municipality in their lawsuits.
o The provision is mandatory. The municipalitys authority to employ a private
lawyer is expressly limited only to situations where the provincial fiscal is
disqualified to represent it.
o For this exception to apply, the fact that the provincial fiscal was disqualified to
handle the case must appear on record.
o The provincial fiscals functions as legal officer and adviser for the civil case of a
province and corollarily, of the municipalities thereof, were subsequently
transferred to the provincial attorney.
These provisions show that only the provincial fiscal, provincial attorney and municipal
attorney should represent a municipality in its lawsuits. Only in exceptional cases may
a private attorney be hired by a municipality to represent it in lawsuits.
o Instances when the provincial fiscal is disqualified to represent in court a
particular municipality:
o if and when original jurisdiction of case involving the municipality is vested in the
Supreme Court
o when the municipality is a party adverse to the provincial government or to some
other municipality in the same province
o when, in a case involving the municipality, he, or his wife, or child, is pecuniarily
involved, as heir legatee, creditor or otherwise
A municipality may not be represented by a private law firm which had volunteered its
services gratis, in collaboration with the municipal attorney and the fiscal, as such
representation was violative of Sec. 1683 of the old Admin Code. (Ramos v. CA)
o This strict coherence to the letter of the law appears to have been dictated by the
fact that the municipality should not be burdened with expenses of hiring a
private lawyer and that the interests of the municipality would be best
protected if a government lawyer handles its litigations.
None of the foregoing exceptions is present in this case.
Atty. Romanillos entered his appearance as collaborating counsel of the provincial
prosecutor and the provincial attorney.
o This collaboration is contrary to law and should not have been recognized as
legal.
o The fact that the municipal attorney and the fiscal are supposed to collaborate
with a private law firm does not legalize the latters representation of the
municipality. While a private prosecutor is allowed in criminal cases, an analogous
arrangement is not allowed in civil cases wherein a municipality is the plaintiff.
Private lawyers may not represent municipalities on their own. Neither may they do so
even in collaboration with authorized government lawyers.
o This is anchored on the principle that only accountable public officers may act for
an in behalf of public entities and that public funds should not be expended to
hire private lawyers.
this does not invalidate the proceedings undertaken by the private counsel
The adoption by Atty. Regalado of the proceedings participated in by Atty. Romanillos
validated the said proceedings.
o

11.No

120

Sec. 1683. Duty of fiscal to represent provinces and provincial subdivisions in litigation. The provincial fiscal
shall represent the province and any municipality or municipal district thereof in any court, except in cases where
original jurisdiction is vested in the Supreme Court or in cases where the municipality or municipal district in
question is a party adverse to the provincial government or to some other municipality or municipal district in the
same province. When the interests of a provincial government and of any political division thereof are opposed, the
provincial fiscal shall act on behalf of the province.When the provincial fiscal is disqualified to serve any
municipality or other political subdivision of a province, a special attorney may be employed by its council.

It does not appear that the adoption of proceedings participated in or undertaken by


Atty. Romanillos when he was private counsel for the municipality of Baliuag would
have resulted in any substantial prejudice to petitioners interest.
Requiring new trial on the mere legal technicality that the municipality wasnot
represented by a legally authorized counsel would not serve the interest of justice.
o This Court does not see any injustice committed against petitioners by the
adoption of the work of private counsel nor any interest of justice being served by
requiring retrial of the case by the duly authorized legal representative of the
town.
In sum, although a municipality may not hire a private lawyer to represent it in
litigations, in the interest of substantial justice, the Court holds that a municipality may
adopt the work already performed in good faith by such private lawyer, which work is
beneficial to it, provided:
o that no injustice is thereby heaped on the adverse party,and
o that no compensation in any guise is paid therefor by said municipality to the
private lawyer.
Unless so expressly adopted, the private lawyers work cannot bind the municipality.

RULING: petition denied

Digest by Rix
126. Salalima v Guingona121

121
ROMEO R. SALALIMA, DANILO S. AZAA, JUAN VICTORIA, LORENZO REYEG, ARTURO OSIA, CLENIO CABREDO, VICENTE GO, SR.,
RAMON FERNANDEZ, JR., MASIKAP FONTANILLA, WILBOR RONTAS and NEMESIO BACLAO, petitioners, vs. HON. TEOFISTO T.
GUINGONA, JR., in his capacity as the Executive Secretary, VICTOR R. SUMULONG, RENATO C. CORONA and ANGEL V. SALDIVAR, in
their capacity as Members of the Ad Hoc Committee, MAYOR NAOMI C. CORRAL, KGD. FRANCISCO ALARTE, MAYOR ANTONIO
DEMETRIOU; and DOMINADOR LIM, JESUS JAMES CALISIN, EVELYN SILVERIO, SILVERIO COPE, TOBIAS BETITO, MANUEL LANUZA, JAMES
ENRICO SALAZAR, RODOLFO ANTE, JUAN RIVERA, MARCIAL TUANQUI, DR. SALVADOR SAMBITAN, ATTY. EUTIQUIO NEPOMUCENO, in
their capacity as ACTING GOVERNOR, ACTING VICE-GOVERNOR, and ACTING MEMBERS OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF
ALBAY, respectively,

May 22, 1996


Davide, Jr.
Topics: Appointive Local Officials Common to all municipalities, cities and Provinces; LGUs cannot
hire private counsel& Disciplinary Actions; Discipline over Local Appointive Officials
SV: The Province of Albay (Province) assessed real property taxes on National Power Corp (NPC).
NPC refused to pay so the province sold its properties at a public auction, and the province was
the winning bidder. Later on, NPC filed a case with the SC, and the SangguniangPanlalawigan
authorized the Mayor to enter into a retainer contract with a private law firm to handle the case
in SC. The Mayor entered into a retainer contract with Atty. Jesus Cornago and Cortes & Reyna
Law Firm. SC decided in favor of the Province. Subsequently, pursuant to the retainer contract,
the Province made several payments to Atty. Cornago and the law firm amounting to P7M. The Ad
Hoc committee of the Office of the President recommended the petitioners suspensions.
Afterwards, GovSalalima was re-elected on May 1992, and the Office of the President suspended
him for an alleged administrative offense committed during his first term. Likewise, some of the
other petitioners were re-elected and were suspended for an offense committed in the previous
term.
HELD for Topic: Appointive Local Officials Common to all municipalities, cities and Provinces;
LGUs cannot hire private counsel
In hiring private lawyers to represent the Province of Albay, respondents exceeded their authority
and violated the LGC. Sec. 481, LGC says that generally, it is the legal officer who represents the
province. It is only in actions or proceedings where a component city or municipality is a party
adverse to the provincial government or to another component city or municipality that a special
legal officer may be employed to represent the adverse party. Besides, the entire transaction was
attended by several irregularities.
HELD for Topic: Disciplinary Actions; Discipline over Local Appointive Officials
Salalima and the other petitioners could no longer be held administratively liable because public
officials cannot be subject to disciplinary action for administrative misconduct committed during
a prior term. The administrative liabilities they incurred in their prior terms are extinguished. The
underlying theory is that each term is separate from other terms, and that the reelection to office
operates as a condonation of the officers previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the
right to remove him therefor.
FACTS:
Petitioners seek to annul AO 153, which approves the findings of the Ad Hoc Committee
holding petitioners (who were elective officials in the province of Albay) liable in several
administrative cases filed with the Office of the President, namely O.P. Cases Nos:
o 5450 - administrative charges filed by Tabaco Mayor Antonio Demetriou against
Governor Romeo Salalima for violation of - Section 60, pars. (c) and (d) of the Local
Government Code, Section 3, par. (g) of Republic Act No. 3019, and the provisions of PD
No. 1594, as amended.

o
o
o

5470 -charge for malversation and consistent & habitual violation of pars. (c) and (d) 122
of Sec. 60, LGC, and
5471 - administrative complaint filed by the Tiwi Mayor Naomi Corral against Albay
Governor Romeo Salalima et al for abuse of authority and oppression under Sec. 60
(c) and (e), LGC
5469 - administrative complaint filed against Albay Governor Romeo Salalima
et al relative to the retainer contract for legal services entered into between
the Province of Albay, on the one hand, and Atty. Jesus R. Cornago and the
Cortes & Reyna Law Firm, on the other, and the disbursement of public fund
in payment thereof
Salalima et al were held to be liable for grave abuse of authority under
Sec. 60(e), LGC
**this digest only contains findings of the Ad Hoc Committee in OP 5469
OP 5469 Recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee

The province of Albay assessed real property taxes on National Power Corporation
(NPC)covering the period from 11 June 1984 up to 10 March 1987 amounting to
P214,845,184.76
o NPC refused to pay, so the Province sold at public auction its properties consisting of
geothermal power plants, buildings, machinery and other improvements located at Tiwi
and Daraga, Albay.
o The province was the sole and winning bidder at the auction sale.
NPC failed to redeem its properties sold at the auction, so the Province petitioned the RTC to
issue a writ of possession over the same.
Later on, NPC filed a petition with the SC, questioning the validity of the auction sale
conducted by the Province. It contends that its properties are not subject to real property tax.
o The province, through the legal officer of the Province (Atty Romulo Ricafort) filed its
comment on the NPC petition with the SC
The AlbaySangguniangPanlalawigan adopted a resolution authorizing the Governor to engage
the services of a Manila-based law firm to handle the case against NPC.
o Atty. Jesus Cornago entered his appearance as the collaborating counsel and such entry
bore the conformity of the Governor.
o Atty. Cortes of the Cortes & Reyna Law Firm sent the Governor a letterinforming him
that Atty. Jesus R. Cornago, as collaborating counsel for the Province, has filed a
memorandum with the Supreme Court, suggesting that a retainer agreement be signed
between the Province, on the one hand, and Atty. Cornago and Cortes & Reyna Law
Firm, on the other hand.
o The conditions of the retainer agreement are the ff:
Acceptance fee of P50K while the case is pending with the SC
Contingent fee equivalent to 18% of the value of the property (P214M)which is
subject of the case (amounting to P38.5M) payable to the firm in case it obtains
a favorable judgment from the SC
Expenses for photocopies of Memos, motions, documentary evidence, and for
mailing will be for the account of the province also.
The AlbaySangguniangPanlalawigan passed another resolution authorizing the Governor to
sign and confirm the retainer contract with Cortes & Reyna law firm.
o Gov. Salalima signed the retainer agreement.

122
LGC, Sec. 60 (c) Dishonesty, oppression, misconduct in office, gross negligence, or dereliction of duty; (d) Commission
of any offense involving moral turpitude or an offense punishable by at least prision mayor;

[SC] dismissed the NPC petition and upheld the auction sale conducted by the province to
answer for NPCs tax liabilities.
Several payments amounting to P7,380,410.31 were then made by the province to Atty
Cortes and AttyCornago.
o Subsequently, the Provincial Auditor informed the Governor that these payments made
by the Province as Attys fees have been disallowed by the COA with the ff. notation:
Total payments of P7,380,410.31 are disallowed for lack of the requisite
prior written conformity and acquiescence of the Solicitor General x xx
as well as the written concurrence of the Commission on Audit as
provided for and required under COA Circular No. 86-255 dated April 2, 1986, re:
Inhibition against employment by government: agencies and instrumentalities x
xx of private lawyers to handle their legal cases
A complaint was filed against Gov. Salalima et al docketed as OP Case 5469 relative to the
retainer contract for legal services. It alleges that:
o By entering into the retainer agreement with private lawyers and paying P7M+,
Salalima et al violated several provisions of law which warrants the imposition of
administrative penalties against them. 123

123
It is to be noted that respondents Victoria, Reyeg, Cabredo, Marcellana and Osia were not yet members of the
SangguniangPanlalawigan when Resolution No. 129 was passed. However, the complaint alleges that these respondents were
named in the complaint because they approved the supplemental budget/appropriation ordinances providing for the payment of
the attorneys fees.

----------In light of these findings by the Ad-Hoc Committee, the President suspended the respondents
without pay.

ISSUES:
1. Did respondents Gov. Salalima et al abuse their authority in entering into the
retainer agreement and in making payments pursuant thereto? (YES)

In hiring private lawyers to represent the Province of Albay, respondents exceeded their
authority and violated the LGC and the doctrine in the case of [Mun. of Bocaue v Manotok]
o Sec. 481, LGC requires the appointment of a legal officer for the province, and his
functions include the [representation] of the LGU in all civil actions and special
proceedings wherein the local government unit or any official thereof, in his official
capacity is a party; Provided, That, in actions or proceeding where a component
city or municipality is a party adverse to the provincial government or to
another component city or municipality, a special legal officer may be
employed to represent the adverse party.
o [Municipality of Bocaue, et al. v. Manotok] LGUs cannot be represented by private
lawyers and it is solely the Provincial Fiscal who can rightfully represent them.
This ruling applies squarely to the case at hand because Sec. 481, LGC is based
on Sec. 1681 RAC, which was the subject of interpretation in this case.

Moreover, the entire transaction was attended by irregularities.


o First, the disbursements to the lawyers were disallowed on the ground that these were
made without the prior written conformity of the Solicitor General and the written
concurrence of the Commission on Audit (COA) as required by COA Circular No. 86-255
Although the respondents presented the SolGens conformity, such was obtained
after the disbursements were already made.
What is required by the circular is a prior written conformity and acquiescence of
the SolGen.
o Another irregularity is the lawyers because the retainer contract was entered into with
a party not authorized by the Sanggunian Resolution. In entering into such retainer
contract, the Governor exceeded his authority under the resolution.
The Sanggunian Resolution authorized the respondent Governor to sign and
confirm a retainer contract for legal services with the Cortes & Reyna Law Firm.
BUT the retainer contract was entered not only with that law firm, but also with
Atty. Cornago. The law firm and Atty. Cornago are 2 separate entities, and this is
evident from the retainer contract. 124

124
As collaborating counsels for the respondents in the aforementioned case, our law firm and that of Atty. Jesus R. Cornago
request that you pay us an Acceptance Fee of FIFTY THOUSAND (P50,000.00) PESOS, while the aforementioned case is
pending in the Supreme Court.

Also, Cortes & Reyna law firm did not appear as counsel for the Province, but 6 of the
10 pay checks amounting to more than P3.6M were issued in favor of the law firm.
It was only Atty. Cornago who appeared as collaborating counsel of record of the
Province in the Supreme Court case
Even the Solicitor General, in his letter to respondent Governor dated 15 July
1993, noted that the Province is represented in the Supreme Court by Attys.
RicafortCornago and Glenn Manahan but not by the Cortes & Reyna Law Firm.
Also, the memorandum with the Supreme Court filed for the Province was signed
by Atty. Cornago and not by the Cortes & Reyna Law Firm
The attorneys fees of P38.5M agreed upon by Gov. Salalima were not only
unreasonable but also unconscionable, considering the labor and time involved, the
skill and experience called for in the performance of the services and the professional
character and social standing of the lawyers.
The word unconscionable, as applied to attorneys fee, means nothing more
than that the fee contracted for, standing alone and unexplained would be
sufficient to show that an unfair advantage had been taken of the client, or that
a legal fraud had been taken of the client, or that a legal fraud had been
perpetrated on him.
Besides, Atty. Ricafort had already filed a comment which covers the basic issues
raised in the petition. When Atty. Cornago filed an appearance, the petition was
already been given due course by the SC and the only pleading to be filed by the
parties before the Court would issue the decision was a memorandum. Surely,
this could not be worth P38.5M
Also, the professional character & social standing of Atty. Cornago are not such
as would merit that amount of fee for legal services.
During the hearing, Gov. Salalima admitted that he had hired Atty.
Cornago because they were schoolmates at San Beda College. In the
minutes of the hearing, it was revealed that both Gov. Salalima and Atty.
Cornago were members of the same fraternity in San Beda.
Governor hired Atty. Cornago not on the basis of his competency and
standing in the legal community but purely for personal reasons.
Likewise, the standing of the Cortes & Reyna Law Firm is not such as would merit
P38.5 million for one memorandum, which, in this case, it had not even filed
because it was not the counsel of record.
By allowing such scandalously exorbitant attorneys fees which is patently
disadvantageous to the government, respondents betrayed a personal bias to
the lawyers involved and committed abuse of authority.
Parenthetically, the retainer contract containing the exorbitant attys fees may
be violative of the ff.
COA Circular No. 85-55-A : prohibiting irregular, unnecessary, excessive or
extravagant expenditures or uses of funds;
Sec. 3 (e) and (g) of R.A. No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act)

Finally, the Committee again applies in this case, as was applied in OP Case No. 5470, the rule
of joint responsibility as enunciated under Sec. 305(1) of the Local Government Code.

2. Did the AO 153 deprive the petitioners of their office without procedural and
substantive due process? (NO)

Sec. 66(b)125 sets the limits to the penalty of suspension i.e. it should not exceed 6 months or
the unexpired portion of the term of office of the respondent for every administrative offense
o An administrative offense means every act or conduct or omission which amounts to,
or constitutes, any of the grounds for disciplinary action.

125

SEC. 66. Form and Notice of Decision. - x xx(b) The penalty of suspension shall not exceed the unexpired term of the
respondent or a period of six (6) months for every administrative offense, nor shall said penalty be a bar to the
candidacy of the respondent so suspended as long as he meets the qualifications for the office.

The offenses for which suspension may be imposed are enumerated in Section
60126 of the LGC. An elective local official may be removed from office on these
grounds by order of the proper court.

Assuming that the findings and conclusions of the Office of the President in each of the
subject four administrative cases are correct, it committed no GAD in imposing the penalty of
suspension, although the aggregate thereof exceeded 6 mos and the unexpired portion of the
petitioners term of office.
o The fact remains that the suspension imposed for each administrative offense did not
exceed six months and there was an express provision that the successive service of
the suspension should not exceed the unexpired portion of the term of office of the
petitioners.

3. Can the petitioners still be held liable for the anomalous retainer contract? (NO)

GovSalalima was already re-elected on May 1992, and the Office of the President suspended
him for an alleged administrative offense committed during his first term. Likewise, some of
the other petitioners were re-elected and were suspended for an offense committed in the
previous term.

COURT: Salalima and the other petitioners could no longer be held administratively liable
because public officials cannot be subject to disciplinary action for administrative misconduct
committed during a prior term. The administrative liabilities they incurred in their prior terms
are extinguished.
o

126
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
(g)
(h)

[Pascual v Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija] Since there is no precedent in this


jurisdiction, American authorities were resorted to, and the weight of authority seems
to incline to the rule denying the right to remove one from office because of
misconduct during a prior term.

The underlying theory is that each term is separate from other terms, and that
the reelection to office operates as a condonation of the officers previous
misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor.

The Court should never remove a public officer for acts do