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LOCAL GOVERNMENTS and PUBLIC CORPORATION CASES

CHAPTER I
Province of Batangas v. Hon. Alberto Romulo (2004)
Art X of the Constitution markedly increased the powers of the local
governments in order to accomplish the goal of a more meaningful local
autonomy.
Facts:
In 1998, Pres. Estrada issued EO 48 (Establishing a Program for
Devolution Adjustment and Equalization) to "facilitate the process of
enhancing the capacities of LGUs in the discharge of the functions
and services devolved to them by the Natl Govt Agencies
concerned pursuant to the LGC."
The Oversight Committee was constituted and has been tasked to
formulate and issue the appropriate rules and regulations necessary
for its effective implementation.
The Devolution Adjustment and Equalization Fund was created to
address the funding shortfalls of functions and services devolved to
the LGUs and other funding requirements of the program.
The DBM was directed to set aside an amount to be determined by
the Oversight Committee based on the devolution status appraisal
surveys undertaken by the DILG. The initial fund was to be sourced
from the available savings of the natl govt for CY 1998.
For 1999 and the succeeding years, the corresponding amount
required to sustain the program was to be incorporated in the annual
General Appropriations Acts (GAA).
The Oversight Committee has been authorized to issue the
implementing rules and regulations (IRRs) governing the equitable
allocation and distribution of said fund to the LGUs.
The Local Govt Service Equalization Fund (LGSEF) could not be
released to the LGUs without the Oversight Committees prior
approval.
The Oversight Committee laid down guidelines and mechanisms that
the LGUs had to comply with before they could avail of funds from
this portion of the LGSEF.
Petitioners arguments:

The provisos in the GAAs and the OCD resolutions which earmarked the
amount of P5B of the IRA of the LGUs for 1999, 2000 & 2001 for the
LGSEF and imposed conditions for their release, violate the Constitution and
the LGC.
1. Sec 6, Art X of the Constitution mandates that the "just share" of the
LGUs shall be automatically released to them.
2. Secs 18 and 286 of LGC provide that the "just share" of the LGUs
shall be "automatically and directly" released to them "without need
of further action".
3. To subject the distribution and release of the P5B portion of the IRA,
classified as the LGSEF, to compliance by the LGUs with the IRRs,
including the mechanisms and guidelines prescribed by the
Oversight Committee, contravenes the explicit directive of the
Constitution that the LGUs' share in the national taxes "shall be
automatically released to them." The use of the word "shall" must be
given a compulsory meaning.
4. To vest the Oversight Committee with the authority to determine the
distribution and release of the LGSEF, which is a part of the IRA of
the LGUs, is an anathema to the principle of local autonomy as
embodied in the Constitution and the LGC.
5. The possible disapproval by the Oversight Committee of the project
proposals of the LGUs would result in the diminution of the latter's
share in the IRA.
6. The assailed OCD resolutions provided for a different percentage
sharing scheme of the IRA among the LGUs as provided in Sec 285
of the LGC (Provinces 23%; Cities 23%; Municipalities 34%;
and Barangays 20%). Such modifications constitute an illegal
amendment by the executive branch of a substantive law.
Respondents arguments:
The assailed provisos in the GAAs of 1999, 2000 and 2001 and the assailed
resolutions issued by the Oversight Committee are not constitutionally
infirm.
1. Sec 6, Art X of the Constitution does not specify that the "just share"
of the LGUs shall be determined solely by the LGC. The phrase "as
determined by law" in the same Constitutional provision means that
there exists no limitation on the power of Congress to determine
what is the "just share" of the LGUs in the national taxes. In other
words, Congress is the arbiter of what should be the "just share" of
the LGUs in the national taxes.
2. Sec 285 of the LGC, which provides for the percentage sharing of
the IRA among the LGUs, was not intended to be a fixed

determination of their "just share" in the national taxes. Congress


may enact other laws, including appropriations laws such as the
GAAs of 1999, 2000 and 2001, providing for a different sharing
formula. Sec 285 was merely intended to be the "default share" of
the LGUs to do away with the need to determine annually by law
their "just share." However, the LGUs have no vested right in a
permanent or fixed percentage as Congress may increase or decrease
the "just share" of the LGUs in accordance with what it believes is
appropriate for their operation.
3. There is nothing in the Constitution which prohibits Congress from
making such determination through the appropriations laws. If the
provisions of a particular statute, the GAA in this case, are within the
constitutional power of the legislature to enact, they should be
sustained whether the courts agree or not in the wisdom of their
enactment.

Issue: WON the assailed provisos contained in the GAAs of 1999, 2000 and
2001, and the OCD resolutions infringe the Constitution and the LGC (YES)
Held/Ratio:
1987 Constitution
Art X of the Constitution has been devoted to guaranteeing and
promoting the autonomy of LGUs. Sec 2 of Art X reiterates that the
territorial and political subdivisions shall enjoy local autonomy.
Consistent with the principle of local autonomy, the Constitution
confines the President's power over the LGUs to one of general
supervision and not the power of control:
o Drilon v. Lim (enunciated the distinction between the 2
powers): An officer in control lays down the rules in the
doing of an act. If they are not followed, he may, in his
discretion, order the act undone or re-done by his
subordinate or he may even decide to do it himself. The
supervisor or superintendent merely sees to it that the rules
are followed, but he himself does not lay down such rules,
nor does he have the discretion to modify or replace them. If
the rules are not observed, he may order the work done or redone but only to conform to the prescribed rules.
LGC of 1991
Sec 2 of LGC also amplifies the State policy on local autonomy.
Sec 6, Art X of the Constitution reads: LGUs shall have a just share,
as determined by law, in the national taxes which shall be

automatically released to them. This provision mandates that (1) the


LGUs shall have a "just share" in the national taxes; (2) the "just
share" shall be determined by law; and (3) the "just share" shall be
automatically released to the LGUs.
Secs 18 and 286 of LGC also underscore the automatic release of the
LGUs "just share":
o Pimentel v. Aguirre: As a rule, the term "SHALL" (as
provided in Sec 286 of LGC) is a word of command that
must be given a compulsory meaning. The provision is,
therefore, IMPERATIVE.
The entire process involving the distribution and release of the
LGSEF is constitutionally impermissible. The LGSEF is part of the
IRA or "just share" of the LGUs in the national taxes. To subject its
distribution and release to the IRRs, and the guidelines by the
Oversight Committee, makes the release not automatic a flagrant
violation of the constitutional and statutory mandate that the "just
share" of the LGUs "shall be automatically released to them." The
LGUs are placed at the mercy of the Oversight Committee.
The Oversight Committee's authority is limited to the
implementation of LGC, not to supplant or subvert the same. Neither
can it exercise control over the IRA of the LGUs.
The automatic release of the IRA was intended to guarantee and
promote local autonomy as gleaned from the 1986 Constitutional
Commission.
A basic feature of local fiscal autonomy is the constitutionally
mandated automatic release of the shares of LGUs in the national
internal revenue.
Sec 284 of the LGC provides that, beginning the 3rd year of its
effectivity, the LGUs share in the national internal revenue taxes
shall be 40%. This percentage is fixed and may not be reduced
except in the event the national government incurs an
unmanageable public sector deficit" and only upon compliance with
stringent requirements set forth in the same section.
o Increasing or decreasing the IRA of the LGUs or modifying
their percentage sharing therein, which are fixed in the LGC,
are matters of general and substantive law. To permit
Congress to undertake these amendments through the GAAs
would be to give Congress the unbridled authority to unduly
infringe the fiscal autonomy of the LGUs every year.

National Liga ng mga Barangay, represented by Alex David as President


v. Hon. Paredes, DILG, and Manuel Rayos (2004)
Doctrine: The President only has the power of supervision, and not the power
of control, over local government units including the Liga ng mga Barangay.
Facts:
Private respondent Manuel Rayos, as Punong Barangay of one of the
barangays in Caloocan City, filed a petition for prohibition and
mandamus against petitioner Alex David, another Punong Barangay
in Caloocan, who is also the President of the Liga Caloocan Chapter
and the Liga ng mga Barangay National Chapter. The subject of the
case is irregularities in the notice, venue and conduct of the proposed
synchronized Liga ng mga Barangay elections in 1997.
Due to the irregularities, Rayos failed to meet the deadline for the
filing of the Certificate of Candidacy. The elections were held as
scheduled notwithstanding the issuance of a TRO enjoining the
holding of the general membership and election meeting of Liga
Caloocan Chapter. Petitioner David was proclaimed President of the
Liga Caloocan Chapter.
Rayos filed a separate petition for quo warranto against David, the
Presiding Officer of the Sangguinang Panlungsod of Caloocan City,
and DILG Sec. Barbers. Rayos argued that he was elected president
of the Caloocan Chapter in a previously held election pursuant to
Liga Caloocan Chapter Resolution/ Petition. The judge granted the
TRO enjoining David, et. al., from proceeding with the synchronized
elections for the Provincial and Metropolitan Chapters of the Liga.
DILG, through Sec. Barbers, filed a motion to be appointed as
interim caretaker to manage and administer the affairs of the Liga
until a new set of National Liga Officers have been elected. The
DILG invoked the Presidents power of general supervision over all
local government units and the DILG Secs power of general
supervision over all government units pursuant to A.O. No. 267
series of 1992.
David opposed DILGs motion on the ground that its request to be
appointed interim caretaker constitutes undue inference in the
internal affairs of the Liga.
Before the DILGs motion was acted on, the DILG issued a
Memorandum Circular No. 97-176 enjoining all heads of
government units from recognizing David and/ or honoring any of
his pronouncements relating to the Liga.

Public respondent Judge Paredes ruled in favor of DILGs motion


upholding the authority of the DILG to exercise general supervisory
jurisdiction over local government units pursuant to A.O. No. 267
series of 1992. Subsequently, DILG issued Memo Circular No. 97193 providing supplemental guidelines for the synchronized
elections for the provincial, metropolitan, and national chapters.
DILG issued a certificate of appointment in favor of Rayos as
President of Liga ng mga Barangay Caloocan Chapter.

Petitioners argument:
Under A.O. No. 267 series of 1992, the power of general supervision
of the President over local government units does not apply to the
Liga and its chapters because the Liga is not a local government unit.
The order making DILG interim caretaker divested the incumbent
officers and directors of the Liga of their right to their respective
offices without due process of law. Sec. 507 of the Loc. Gov. Code
provides that the Liga shall be governed by its own constitution and
by-laws; pursuant to such, they had a vested right to their elective
positions and may not be removed by mere issuances of the DILG.
Even assuming the Liga could be considered a local government,
there is an absence of legal basis for the appointment the DILG as
interim caretaker.
The actions contemplated by the DILG as interim caretaker go
beyond supervision and constitute control, as it sought and obtained
authority to alter, modify, nullify or set aside actions of the Liga.
Appointment of Rayos as Liga President while David was still
occupying that position which was still subject of the quo
warranto proceedings.
Issuance of DILG Memo Circular 97-173 providing
supplemental guidelines for synchronized elections that replaced
the implementing rules adopted by the Liga pursuant to its
constitution and by-laws and enjoined all heads of government
units from recognizing David and/ or honouring any of his
pronouncements relating to the Liga.
In the case of Taule v. Santos, the Court ruled that the DILG Sec. has
no authority to pass upon the validity or regularity of the election of
officers of the katipunan ng mga barangay or barangay councils.
Respondents arguments:
The Liga members are subject to the power of supervision of the
DILG since the DILG Sec. supervises the acts of local officials by
ensuring that they act within the scope of their prescribed powers and

functions and since members of the various leagues, such as


the Liga in this case, are themselves officials of local government
units.
The DILGs management and administration of the Liga affairs was
limited only to the conduct of the elections; its actions were
consistent with its rule-making power and power of supervision
under existing laws.
The absence of a positive provision of law in support of petitioners
argument against the appointment of DILG as interim caretaker
allows the judge to apply a rule he sees fit pursuant to Art. 9 of the
Civil Code which provides that, if a law is silent, obscure or
insufficient, a judge may apply a rule he sees fit to resolve the issue,
as long as the rule chosen is in harmony with general interest, order,
morals and public policy.

Issue/s:
WON respondent Judge acted with GAD in appointing DILG as
interim caretaker to administer and manage the affairs of the
National Liga Board (YES).
WON the Liga is a government organization that is subject to the
power of supervision of the DILG Sec. over local governments.
WON the designation of DILG as interim caretaker has invested
the DILG with control over the Liga and whether its Memo
Circulars issued before and during its capacity as interim
caretaker involve supervision or control
Held:
On WON the Liga is a government organization subject to the power of
supervision
The barangay serves as the primary planning and implementing unit
of government policies, plans, programs, projects and activities in
the community, and as a forum wherein the collective views of the
people may be expressed, crystallized and considered, and where
disputes may be amicably settled.
The Liga ng mga Barangay is the organization of all barangays. Its
purpose is the determination of the representation of the Liga in
the sanggunians, and the ventilation, articulation, and crystallization
of issues affecting barangay government administration and securing
solutions thereto, through proper and legal means.

The Ligas are primarily governed by the provisions of the Local


Government Code. However, they are empowered to make their
own constitution and by-laws to govern their operations. Sec. 507 of
the
Code
provides:
Sec. 507. Constitution and By-Laws of the Liga and the Leagues. All other matters not herein otherwise provided for affecting the
internal organization of the leagues of local government units shall
be governed by their respective constitution and by-laws which are
hereby made suppletory to the provision of this Chapter: Provided,
That said Constitution and By-laws shall always conform to the
provision of the Constitution and existing laws.
Pursuant to the Local Government Code, the Liga ng mga
Barangay adopted its own Constitution and By-Laws. It provides
rules on jurisdiction over all officers of the Liga. The Liga has also
already promulgated rules for the conduct of its elections.
Section 4, Article X of the Constitution, provides that the President
of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local
governments. The 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions uniformly
differentiate the Presidents power of supervision over local
governments and his power of control of the executive departments
bureaus and offices.
In Mondano v. Silvosa, et al., the Court defined supervision as
overseeing, or the power or authority of an officer to see that
subordinate officers perform their duties, and to take such action as
prescribed by law to compel his subordinates to 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 had
done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment
of the former for that of the latter.
In Taule v. Santos, the Court held that the Constitution permits the
President to wield no more authority than that of checking whether a
local government or its officers perform their duties as provided by
statutory enactments. Supervisory power is the power of mere
oversight over an inferior body; it does not include any restraining
authority over such body.
In the case of Drilon v. Lim, the Court defined the extent of
supervisory power: The supervisor or superintendent merely sees
to it that the rules are followed, but he himself does not lay down
such rules, nor does he have the discretion to modify or replace
them. If the rules are not observed, he may order the work done or
re-done but only to conform to the prescribed rules. He may not

prescribe his own manner for the doing of the act. He has no
judgment on this matter except to see that the rules are followed
In Bito-Onon v. Fernandez, the Court held that the Presidents power
of the general supervision, as exercised therein by the DILG
Secretary as his alter ego, extends to the Liga ng mga Barangay.
In Opinion No. 41, Series of 1995, the Department of Justice ruled
that the liga ng mga barangay is a government organization, being an
association, federation, league or union created by law or by
authority of law, whose members are either appointed or elected
government officials.

On WON the designation of the Liga as caretaker invested DILG with


control over it

Even before the designation, DILG issued Memorandum Circular


No. 97-176, directing local government officials not to recognize
David as the National Liga President and his pronouncements
relating to the affairs of the Liga.
The DILGs prayer for appointment as interim caretaker to manage
and administer the affairs of the Liga, until such time that the new set
of National Liga officers shall have been duly elected and assumed
office reveals the intention of the DILG to take control over the
Liga. Even if said caretakership was contemplated to last for a
limited time, or only until a new set of officers assume office, the
fact remains that it was a conferment of control in derogation of the
Constitution.
While the DILG was designated as caretaker, Sec. Barbers nullified
the results of the Liga elections and laid down the supplemental
guidelines for the 1997 synchronized elections; scheduled dates for
the new provincial, metropolitan and national chapter elections; and
appointed respondent Rayos as president of Liga Caloocan Chapter.
Furthermore, the DILG assumed control when it appointed
respondent Rayos as president of the Liga Caloocan Chapter prior to
the newly scheduled general Liga elections, although petitioner
Davids term had not yet expired. The DILG substituted its choice,
who was Rayos, over the choice of majority of the punong
barangay of Caloocan, who was the incumbent President, petitioner
David.
In this particular case, the most that the DILG could do was review
the acts of the incumbent officers of the Liga in the conduct of the
elections to determine if they committed any violation of the Ligas
Constitution and By-laws and its implementing rules. If the

National Liga Board and its officers had violated Liga rules, the
DILG should have ordered the Liga to conduct another election in
accordance with the Ligas own rules, but not in obeisance to DILGdictated guidelines. Neither had the DILG the authority to remove
the incumbent officers of the Liga and replace them, even
temporarily, with unelected Liga officers.

Municipality of Catbalogan v Director of Lands (1910)


Land that is absolutely required by a municipality for its formation, such as a
lot meant for the construction of a courthouse, is considered patrimonial
property of the municipality and not of the national government.
Facts:
1. The municipal president of Catbalogan, Samar applied to register a
parcel of land with the Court of Land Registration. The parcel was
666.60 square meters. The Catbalogan courthouse was built on the
land.
2. The Director of Lands opposed the registration because the land was
property of the United States and not property of Catbalogan.
3. The lower court ruled in favor of Catbalogan. The Director of Lands,
represented by the Attorney-General, appealed to the Supreme Court.
Petitioners (Municipality of Catbalogan) arguments:
1. The parcel of land was acquired through possession and material
occupation for several years
2. The parcel was being occupied by Catbalogan as a duly organized
municipal corporation.
3. The parcel should be its property by virtue of Chapter 6 of Act 926,
since it
a. Possessed the land
b. Enclosed it with a fence
c. Cultivated it for many years (around 40 to 45 years)
d. Constructed a courthouse, an important municipal building,
on it
Respondents (Director of Lands) arguments:
1. The land was not municipal property; it was property of the Insular
Government. (i.e. the land was State property)
2. The evidence that Catbalogan presented was insufficient and did not
satisfy its claims.
Issue/s:
To whom does the parcel of land belong to, the municipality of
Catbalogan or the Insular Government? Municipality of Catbalogan
Held/Ratio:

The parcel of land belongs to Catbalogan because it is part of its patrimonial


property.
Historical Basis
1. During the beginning of the Spanish occupation, the policy was to
seek out a nucleus of inhabitants and establish pueblos, and later
barrios, with the nucleus of inhabitants at the center.
2. The administrative authority of a province, representing the
Governor-general, had the authority to designate the territory of new
pueblos.
3. The Spanish officials tasked to colonize the Philippines observed the
Laws of the Indies in layouting new towns:
a. Law 6, Title 5, Book 4: within the boundaries of a town,
there must be at least 30 residents, and each resident must
have a house
b. Law 7, Title 5, Book 4: whoever wishes to establish a new
town of only 10-30 residents shall be granted the time and
territory necessary for the purpose and under the same
conditions
c. Law 7, Title 7, book 4: manner of allotment of territory by
the provincial government
i. Allotment of territory for the entire pueblo itself
ii. Allotment of territory for public lands, pastures,
common areas within the pueblo
iii. The remaining area will be divided into 4 parts, 1 for
the principal financier of the pueblo, and 3 for the
rest of the settlers
d. Law 8, Title 7, Book 4: casas reales (municipal buildings),
the cabildo, the concejo, customs buildings, and the like
shall be constructed between the main square and the church
e. Law 14, Title 7, Book 4: viceroys have the authority to
designate common lands, pastures, and public lands for those
pueblos which have none (BUT THEY CANNOT
DESIGNATE AREAS MEANT FOR CHURCHES OR
COURTHOUSES BECAUSE THAT AUTHORITY ONLY
LIES WITH THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT)
f. Law 1, Title 13, Book 4: viceroys have the authority to
designate to each villa and lugar additional lands and lots
which they may need, but the territory must not be
detrimental to a third party and they must send statements of
the designations to the government

4. The municipality of Catbalogan is the provincial seat of Samar. It is


possibly the first and oldest pueblo in the province.
5. The inhabitants of a pueblo, being required to build decent and
habitable municipal buildings by paragraph 92 of the royal
ordinances of February 26, 1768, may be assumed to have built it on
their own ground AFTER the provincial government had designated
territory for it according to the Laws of the Indies.
6. The land designated for a church and the land designated for a
courthouse is considered property of the municipality because no
pueblo can exist administratively without having a church and a
courthouse which represents the seat of its local authority and
municipal government. The area meant for a church or a courthouse
is granted by the provincial government, following the Laws of the
Indies. Thus in this case, the parcel of land in question is patrimonial
property of Catbalogan.
7. The courthouse and the church of a pueblo were always built on
opposite sides of the plaza mayor (the main square). The plaza
mayor was always within the inhabited area of the pueblo while the
common areas or pastures were not. In this case, the parcel of land in
question is well within the plaza mayor of Catbalogan and cannot be
considered a common area or a pasture. The parcel of land is part of
the municipal assets of Catbalogan. It is patrimonial property.
Civil Law Basis
1. That Catbalogan has possession and ownership of the parcel further
weakens the Director of Lands position.
2. According to pertinent laws, a municipal corporation such as
Catbalogan may validly own land:
a. Article 343, Civil Code: property of provinces or towns is
divided into property for public use and patrimonial property
b. Article 344, Civil Code: property for public use in provinces
and towns comprises provincial and town roads, squares,
streets, fountains, public waters, promenades, and public
works of general sercives supported by said towns or
provinces. All other property is patrimonial
c. Section 2 of the Municipal Code:
(a) Pueblos incorporated under this Act shall be designated as
municipalities (municipios), and shall be known respectively by the
names heretofore adopted. Under such names they may sue and be
sued, contract and be contracted with, acquire and hold real and
personal property for the general interest of the municipality, and
exercise all the powers hereinafter conferred upon them.

(b) All property and property rights vested in any pueblo under its
former organization shall continue to be vested in the same
municipality after its incorporation under this Act.
3. Thus, based on these laws, municipalities like Catbalogan have the
right to acquire real and personal property.
4. Catbalogan should be considered the owner of the parcel because
a. upon its founding, it was given the land by the provincial
government. It acquired exclusive ownership of the parcel
for the purposes of erecting a courthouse. The records of the
case show no contrary proof.
b. It had been occupying the property far longer than the period
required for extraordinary prescription based on article 1959
of the Civil Code (occupation period: 40-45 years)
c. The presumption that it had been holding the land as an
owner had not been rebutted
Other Opinions of the Court
1. Catbalogan is the owner regardless of the fact that a document
representing the record of the concession and award of the parcel
was not presented because
a. As a very old municipality, it has undergone many changes
in staff
b. While the original capitan pedaneo may have held the
document, it would not be a surprise if through the course of
his many successors, the document may have been lost
c. It would actually be more of a surprise if the document still
existed
2. Despite the lack of the document, Catbalogans peaceful occupation
of the parcel is more than enough to represent its title.
3. Inapplicable laws and jurisprudence:
a. Law 8, Title 3, Book 6 and Article 53 of the ordinances of
good government
b. Royal decrees of February 28, 1883, August 1, 1883, and
January 17, 1885
c. Doctrine of City of Manila v Insular Government: the parcel
in this case is a building lot absolutely required by
Catbalogan at the beginning of its organization; that case
involved a common area
d. Doctrine of Aguado v City of Manila: Catbalogan, in the
exercise of the right of ownership over its own property, has
a legally recognized independent personality of its own and
is not a mere deligate of the central authority

Mondano v. Silvosa (1955)


Doctrine: Local governments are only under the supervision (not control) of
the executive department. Investigations and any other actions to be taken
against any municipal official shall be made in conformity with the law.
Facts:
! The petitioner is the duly elected and qualified mayor of the municipality
of Mainit, province of Surigao.
! Consolacion Vda. de Mosende filed a sworn complaint with the
Presidential Complaints and Action Committee accusing him of (1) rape
committed on her daughter Caridad Mosende; and (2) concubinage for
cohabiting with her daughter in a place other than the conjugal dwelling.
! The Assistant Executive Secretary indorsed the complaint to the
provincial governor for immediate investigation, appropriate action and
report.
! The petitioner appeared before the provincial governor in obedience to
his summons.
! The provincial governor issued Administrative Order No. 8 suspending
the petitioner from office.
Petitioners arguments:
The petitioner prays for:
1. a writ of prohibition with preliminary injunction to enjoin the
respondents from further proceeding with the hearing of the
administrative case against him and
2. a declaration that the order of suspension issued by the respondent
provincial governor is illegal and without legal effect.
Respondents arguments:
Section 79 (c)of the Revised Administrative Code
! clothes the department head with "direct control, direction, and
supervision over all bureaus and offices under his jurisdiction . . ." and to
that end "may order the investigation of any act or conduct of any person
in the service of any bureau or office under his Department and in
connection therewith may appoint a committee or designate an official
or person who shall conduct such investigations; . . ."
Villena vs. Secretary of Interior
! upheld "the power of the Secretary of Interior to conduct at its own
initiative investigation of charges against local elective municipal
officials and to suspend them preventively," on the board proposition
"that under the presidential type of government which we have adopted

and considering the departmental organization established and continued


in force by paragraph 1, section 11, Article VII, of our Constitution, all
executive and administrative organizations are adjuncts of the Executive
Departments, the heads of the various executive departments are
assistants and agents of the Chief Executive."
Issue/s:
WON the investigation conducted and the suspension imposed by the
provincial board were valid and legal: NO.
Held/Ratio:
Section 10, paragraph 1, Article VII, of the Constitution
! "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 President has been invested with the power of control of all the
executive departments, bureaus, or offices, but not of all local
governments over which he has been granted only the power of general
supervision.
Section 79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code
! The Department head as agent of the President has direct control and
supervision over all bureaus and offices under his jurisdiction, but he
does not have the same control of local governments as that exercised by
him over bureaus and offices under his jurisdiction.
! His authority to order the investigation of any act or conduct of any
person in the service of any bureau or office under his department is
confined to bureaus or offices under his jurisdiction and does not extend
to local governments over which, as already stated, the President
exercises only general supervision.
Paragraph 1, section 10, Article VII, of the Constitution
! "general supervision over all local governments"
Supervision v. Control
Supervision " 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 " the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside
what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to
substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter.

Section 79 (c) of the Revised Administrative Code


! Provincial supervision over municipal officials belongs to the provincial
governor who is authorized to "receive and investigate complaints made
under oath against municipal officers for neglect of duty, oppression,
corruption or other form of maladministration of office, and conviction
by final judgment of any crime involving moral turpitude.
! if the charges are serious, "he shall submit written charges touching the
matter to the provincial board, furnishing a copy of such charges to the
accused either personally or by registered mail, and he may in such case
suspend the officer (not being the municipal treasurer) pending action by
the board, if in his opinion the charge be one affecting the official
integrity of the officer in question."
In the indorsement to the provincial governor the Assistant Executive
Secretary requested immediate investigation, appropriate action and report
on the complaint indorsed to him, and called his attention to section 2193 of
the Revised Administrative Code which provides for the institution of
judicial proceedings by the provincial fiscal upon direction of the provincial
governor. If the indorsement of the Assistant Executive Secretary be taken as
a designation of the provincial governor to investigate the petitioner, then he
would only be acting as agent of the Executive, but the investigation to be
conducted by him would not be that which is provided for in sections 2188,
2189 and 2190 of the Revised Administrative Code.
! The charges preferred against the respondent are not malfeasances or
any of those enumerated or specified in section 2188 of the Revised
Administrative Code,
o Rape and concubinage have nothing to do with the performance
of his duties as mayor nor do they constitute or involve" neglect
of duty, oppression, corruption or any other form of
maladministration of office."
! Yes, the charges may involve moral turpitude, but before the provincial
governor and board may act and proceed in accordance with the
provisions of the Revised Administrative Code referred to, a conviction
by final judgment must precede the filing by the provincial governor of
charges and trial by the provincial board.

Bernardo Hebron v. Eulalio Reyes (1958)


Facts:
1. In the general elections of 1951, Bernardo Hebron (petitioner),
Liberal Party member was elected mayor, and Eulalio Reyes,
Nacionalista Party member, was elected vice mayor of the
municipality of Carmona, Cavite. (Term was then for 4 years).
2. In May 22 or 24, 1954, Mayor Hebron received a communication
from the Office of the President that he will be investigated for
administrative charges against him for alleged oppression, grave
abuse of authority and serious misconduct in office, and suspending
him from office until the termination of the administrative
proceedings against him. The vice mayor was made to assume the
office of acting mayor.
3. Mayor Hebron filed an action for quo warranto alleging that Reyes
was illegally holding the office of mayor of Carmona since no
decision from the Office of the President seemed to be forthcoming
despite the termination of the hearings on the said charges against
Hebron and because of the fact that his term was about to expire yet
he remained suspended.
Respondents Arguments:
1. Respondent argues that the President has control over the
administration of political subdivisions, such as municipalities by
citing Sec. 79 (C ) of the RAC, which gives the department head
direct control over all offices under his jurisdiction and may repeal or
modify the decisions of the chief of said bureaus or offices when
advisable in the public interest, AND Sec. 86 of the said Code gives
the Department of the Interior executive supervision over the
administration of provinces, municipalities, chartered cities, and
other local political subdivisions.
2. The President has an unqualified authority to order an investigation
of any action or conduct of any person in the government services,
per Sec. 64 (c) of the RAC.
3. The president has the power to remove officials conformably to law
from office and to declare vacant the offices held by such removed
officials, and for disloyalty, the president may remove a person at
any time from any position of trust or authority in the government,
per par. b of Sec. 64.
4. Under the Jones Law, the governor general had both control and
supervision over all local governments and as successor to the

5.

6.

7.

8.
9.

governor general, the President likewise has both control and


supervision over the local governments.
Authority of the president over the municipal corporations is not
identical to that of state governors in the US because the president is
executive, with more comprehensive powers, than those of the
governors who are merely chief executives
Municipal corporations in the U.S. have the power of local selfgovernment not given to our own political subdivisions and as such,
our political subdivisions only have autonomy if granted by the
central government, such autonomy being subject to government
control.
The limitation imposed on the President (i.e., non interference in
purely corporate affairs of the local governments) by the general
supervision granted it does not apply to the said governments
political affairs. Basis: Art. I, Sec. 2, RAC, stating that The
Government of the Republic of the Philippines is a term which refers
to the corporate governmental entity through which the functions of
government are exercised throughout the Philippines, including, save
as the contrary appears from the context, the various arms through
which political authority is made effective in the Philippines, whether
pertaining to the central Government or to the provincial or
municipal branches or other form of local government.
Respondent cited the case of Planas v. Gil to show that if the City of
Manila was placed under the direct supervision of the Department of
the Interior, so should Carmona, Cavite.
Respondent cited Villena v. Roque, where the Presidents power of
supervision was invoked to cause charges to be filed against Mayor
Villena.

Issue: W/N a municipal mayor, not charged with disloyalty to the Republic
of the Philippines, may be removed or suspended directly by the President of
the Philippines, regardless of the procedure set forth in sections 2188 to 2191
of the Revised Administrative Code.
Held/Ratio:
1. The Presidents power to remove or suspend local elective officers is
controlled by certain provisions of the Revised Administrative Code
(RAC)
a. Lacson v. Roque President has no inherent power to
remove or suspend local elective officers. Such removal and

suspension are always controlled by the particular law


applicable and its proper construction subject to
constitutional limitation. The president is not empowered by
any law nor by the constitution with sweeping authority to
remove municipal officials.
i. Const. 1935, Art. 7, Sec. 10, par. 1: Presidents
exercise of general supervision over all local
governments does not contemplate control. Also, the
said supervisory authority is qualified by the proviso
as may be provided by law, meaning that the
provision requires legislative implementation (i.e., is
not self-executing).
ii. Revised Administrative Code, Sec. 64 (b) states that
the power to remove should conform to law (i.e., for
any of the causes and in the manner prescribed by
law and procedure) . Such causes are in Sections
2188 to 2191 of the Revised Administrative Code
(RAC).1
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1

SEC.!2188.!Supervisory+authority+of+provincial+governor+over+municipal+officers.!!The!provincial!governor!shall!receive!and!
investigate!complaints!made!under!oath!against!municipal!officers!for!neglect!of!duty,!oppression,!corruption!or!other!form!
of!maladministration!of!office,!and!conviction!by!final!judgment!of!any!crime!involving!moral!turpitude.!For!minor!
delinquency,!he!may!reprimand!the!offender;!and!if!a!more!severe!punishment!seems!to!be!desirable,!he!shall!
submit!written+charges!touching!the!matter!to!the!provincial!board,!furnishing!a!copy!of!such!charges!to!the!accused!either!
personally!or!by!registered!mail,!and!he!may!in!such!case!suspend!the!officer!(not!being!the!municipal!treasurer)!pending!
action!by!the!board,!if!in!his!opinion!the!charge!be!one!affecting!the!official!integrity!of!the!officer!in!question.!Where!
suspension!is!thus!effected!the!written!charges!against!the!officer!shall!be!filed!with!the!board!within!five!days.!
SEC.!2189.!Trial+of+municipal+officer+by+provincial+board.!!When!written!charges!are!preferred!by!a!provincial!governor!
against!a!municipal!officer,!the!provincial!board!shall,!at+its+next+meeting,!regular!or!special,!set!a!day,!hour,!and!place!for!the!
trial!of!the!same!and!notify!the!respondent!thereof;!and!at!the!to!and!place!appointed,!the!board!shall!proceed!to!hear!and!
investigate!the!truth!or!falsity!of!said!charges,!giving!the!accused!official!full!opportunity!to!be!heard!in!his!defense.!The!
hearing!shall!occur!as!soon!as!may!be!practicable,!and!in!case!suspension!has!been!effected,!not+later+than+ten+days+from!the!
date!the!accused!is!furnished!or!has!sent!to!him!a!copy!of!the!charges,!unless!the!suspended!official!shall,!on!sufficient!
grounds,!request!an!extension!of!time!to!prepare!his!defense.!
The+preventive+suspension+of+a+municipal+officer+shall+not+be+for+more+than+thirty+days.+At+the+expiration+of+the+thirty+days,+the+
suspended+officer+shall+be+reinstated+in+office!without!prejudice!to!the!continuation!of!the!proceedings!against!him!until!their!
completion,!unless!the!delay!in!the!decision!of!the!case!is!due!to!the!fault,!neglect,!or!request!of!the!accused,!in!which!case!
the!time!of!the!delay!shall!not!be!counted!in!computing!the!time!of!the!suspension:!Provided,!That!the!suspension!of!the!
accused!may!continue!after!the!expiration!of!the!thirty!days!above!mentioned!in+case+of+conviction!until!the!Secretary!of!the!
Interior!shall!otherwise!direct!or!the!case!shall!finally!be!decided!by!said!Secretary.!
SEC.!2190.!Action+by+provincial+board.!!If,!upon!due!consideration,!the!provincial!board!shall!adjudge!that!the!charges!are!
not!sustained,!the!proceedings!shall!be!dismissed;!if!it!shall!adjudge!that!the!accused!has!been!guilty!of!misconduct!which!
would!be!sufficiently!punished!by!reprimand!or!further!reprimand,!it!shall!direct!the!provincial!governor!to!deliver!such!
reprimand!in!pursuance!of!its!judgment;!and!in!either!case!the!official,!if!suspended,!shall!be!reinstated.!
If!in!the!opinion!of!the!board!the!case!is!one!requiring!more!severe!discipline,!and!in!case!of!appeal,!it!shall!without!
unnecessary!delay!forward!to!the!Secretary!of!the!Interior,!within+eight+days!after!the!date!of!the!decision!of!the!provincial!
board,!certified!copies!of!the!record!in!the!case,!including!the!charges,!the!evidence,!and!the!findings!of!the!board,!to!which!
shall!be!added!the!recommendation!of!the!board!as!to!whether!the!official!ought!to!be!suspended,!further!suspended,!or!
finally!dismissed!from!office;!and!in!such!case!the!board!may!exercise!its!direction!to!reinstate!the!official,!if!suspended.!
The!trial!of!a!suspended!municipal!official!and!the!proceedings!incident!thereto!shall!be!given!preference!over!the!current!
and!routine!business!of!the!board.!
SEC.!2191.!Action+by+Secretary+of+the+Interior.!!Upon!receiving!the!papers!in!any!such!proceedings,!the!Secretary!of!the!
Interior!shall!review!the!case!without+unnecessary+delay+and!shall!make!such!order!for!the!reinstatement,!dismissal,!
suspension,!or!further!suspension!of!the!official,!as!the!facts!shall!warrant!and+shall+render+his+final+decision+upon+the+matter+

iii. Villena v. Roque, on Sec. 2190 of the Revised


Administrative Code (RAC): Sections 2188 to 2190
of the Revised Administrative Code must govern
investigations against and suspensions of municipal
officials, designed precisely to curb the ordering of
indefinite temporary suspension of municipal
officials
iv. Laws governing the suspension or removal of public
officers must be strictly construed in their favor.
Also, the procedure for suspension of an officer,
when specified by law, is deemed mandatory and
must be strictly complied with.
v. The language of Sections 2188 to 2191 of the
Revised Administrative Code frowns upon
prolonged or indefinite suspension of local elective
officials.
b. RAC 2188 policy mandates speedy termination of a case
decreeing suspension in the interest of the public (i.e.,
determination of guilt or innocence of the official w/in the
shortest time possible). Consequently, this requires special
proceedings alone plus the right of appeal, without
technicalities of pleading, practice and procedure.
c. In this case, Hebron was suspended in May 1954, the records
of the investigation was forwarded to the Executive
Secretary in July 1954, but the decision has not been
rendered on May 31, 1955 (when the complaint was filed) or
before the expiration of Hebrons term (December 31, 1955).
Hebrons indefinite suspension was not in accordance
with the provisions of the RAC.
2. [On Respondent Argument 1] The president has control over all
executive departments, bureaus and offices but not of all local
governments, over which he only has supervision.
a. Mondano v. Silvosa Const. 1935, Art. 7, Sec. 10, par. 1,
gives the president control over all executive departments,
bureaus or offices but only the exercise of general
supervision over all local governments. As stated in RAC
Sec. 79 C, the head of the Department of the Interior has
direct control and supervision over all executive bureaus and
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
within+thirty+days+after!the!date!on!which!the!case!was!received.!Disciplinary!suspension!made!upon!order!of!the!Secretary!of!
the!Interior!shall!be!without!pay.!No!final!dismissal!hereinunder!shall!take!effect!until!recommended!by!the!Department!
Head!and!approved!by!the!President!of!the!Philippines.!

offices but does not have the same control over local
governments.
b. The argument that Section 79(C) of the RAC confers upon
the department head the power to order the investigation of
an official of a local government for malfeasance in office
contravenes the provisions ofparagraph 1, section 10, Article
VII, of the Constitution, since the President (and thus, his
agents like the head of the department of the interior) only
has supervision and not control of local governments. The
argument would do away with the distinction between
supervision (overseeing subordinate officers performance of
their duties, necessitating only the taking of actions to make
them perform their duties) and control (power to alter or
modify or set aside the action of a subordinate officer and to
substitute ones judgment for the latters).
c. Sec. 79 (C) of the RAC and Sec. 37 of Act 4007 shows that
Congress lodged the provincial supervision over municipal
officials in the provincial governor who is authorized to
investigate complaints against municipal officers for neglect
of duty, oppression, corruption, maladministration of office
and conviction by final judgment of any crime involving
moral turpitude. Sec. 86 of the RAC does not add to the
power of supervision of the head of the department of the
interior over the administration of municipalities.
d. Gabriel v. Govt of Pampanga President cannot even
disapprove any ordinance or resolution of provincial boards
(except when the same is illegal). The SC used it to reason
that if he cannot even disapprove ordinances of provincial
boards, then moreso can he not substitute his judgment in
lieu of the judgment of municipal councils or provincial
boards.
e. THUS, the word offices used in Sec. 79 (C ), over which
the President has control, cannot be deemed to include local
governments.
3. [On Respondents Argument 2] Despite what seems to be an
unqualified grant of authority to investigate officials of the
government, Sec. 64 (c) of the RAC cannot be construed literally w/o
violating the constitution, as the president does not have an
unqualified power to investigate officials of co-equal branches of
government. The Presidents power to investigate is only in addition
to his general supervisory authority and as such, its application to
municipal corporations would violate the constitutional provision

4.

5.

6.

7.

restricting the authority of the president over local governments to


general supervision
[On Respondent Argument 3] Power of removal of the president
must be exercised conformably to law (i.e., based on RAC 2188 to
2191)
a. Lacson v. Roque: President does not have the inherent power
to remove or suspend municipal officers, for removal and
suspension of public officers are always controlled by the
particular law applicable and its construction is subject to
constitutional limitations.
b. Alejandrino v. Quezon: Power of removal does not imply the
authority to suspend for a substantial period of time (e.g., 1
year). The SC used this to buttress its point that Hebrons
suspension for more than 1 year and 7 mos. as beyond what
is concomitant with the power of removal
Any conflict between Secs. 64 and 79 of the RAC and Secs. 2188 to
2191 of the RAC must be resolved in a way that Secs. 2188 to 2191
of the RAC (being specific provisions setting forth the procedure for
disciplinary actions over municipal officials) must prevail over the
former (w/c deals with powers of the president and department heads
over government officers). Laxamana v. Baltazar adopted this view.
The opportunity of the provincial governor and provincial board to
exercise the administrative powers of both under Secs. 2188 to 2190
of the RAC cannot be subject to repeal or suspension by the
president, without legislation to that effect, since such repeal is
tantamount to control over local governments by the president,
which power is not granted to the president by the constitution.
a. Rodriguez vs. Montinola - the power of general supervision
granted the President, in the absence of any express
provision of law, may not generally be interpreted to mean
that he, or his alter-ego, the Secretary of Finance, may direct
the form and manner in which local officials shall perform or
comply with their duties.
b. Since neither the secretary of the interior nor the president
may disapprove the resolution of a provincial board (because
such is tantamount to control) then neither could also
suspend municipal officials without the administrative
proceedings in Sec. 2188 to 2190 of the RAC.
[On Respondent Argument 4] The principle or philosophy governing
the system of local governments necessitate that the power of the
president over local governments is limited to general supervision as
may be provided by law.

a. Dean Sinco: Supervisory power, when contrasted with


control, is the power of mere oversight over an inferior
body; it does not include any restraining authority over the
supervised party. Hence, the power of general supervision
over local governments should exclude, in the strict sense,
the authority to appoint and remove local officials.The
Congress of the Philippines may pass laws which shall guide
the President in the exercise of his power of supervision over
provinces and municipalities; but it may not pass laws
enlarging the extent of his supervisory authority to the power
of control. To do so would be assuming the right to amend
the Constitution which expressly limits the power of the
President over local governments to general supervision.
b. Deliberations of the committee on provincial and municipal
governments of the Constitutional Convention held in
Manila in 1934 show that there was practical unanimity of
opinion among the delegates that provincial and municipal
governments should enjoy a certain degree of autonomy. It
is, therefore, logical to conclude that the Constitution in
limiting expressly the power of the President over local
governments to mere general supervision expresses a
concession to the general demand for some local autonomy.
8. [On Respondent Argument 5] The argument is immaterial as the case
at bar deals with the president not as akin to an American GovernorGeneral (and thus also possessing the power of control over local
governments) but as President of the Philippines, the Philippines
being a full sovereign state, over local governments created by
Philippine laws. Based on the 1935 Constitution, the president has
less powers over municipal corporations (only general supervision)
compared to those possessed by fomer governors-general.
9. [On Respondent Argument 6] The local governments are subject to
the control NOT of the executive, but of Congress, which has the
authority to prescribe the procedure by which the President may
exercise general supervision over the said local governments.
Congress has control since it has the authority to create or abolish
municipal corporations, define its jurisdiction and functions.
10. [ On Respondent Argument 7] The constitutional provision limiting
the authority of the President over local governments to General
supervision is unqualified and, hence, it applies to all powers of
municipal corporations, corporate and political alike. E.g., municipal
ordinances, enacted under the police power delegated to municipal
corporations, involve the exercise of not corporate, but political

authority but, admittedly, such ordinances are not subject


to presidential control.
a. The corporate functions of local governments have never
been under the control even of Congress, for, in the exercise
of corporate, non-governmental or non-political functions,
municipal corporations stand practically on the same
level,vis-a-vis the National Government or the State as
private corporations. Ergo, the limit of the Presidents power
was created specifically over the local governments political
functions.
b. Villena v. Sec. of the Interior: rejected the argument that the
Sec. of the Interior had authority to suspend a municipal
mayor since the power to suspend is a governmental power
over which the secretary has control (basically, it rejected the
distinction made as to which function exercised by local
governments governmental or corporate cannot be
controlled by the executive)
11. [On Respondent Argument 8] Planas v. Gil is not in point because
Manila also has the status of a province and as such, was under the
direct supervision of the department of the interior, unlike regular
municipalities like Carmona, Cavite (w/c is under the immediate
supervision of the provincial governor). As such, Sections 2188 to
2191 of the RAC are not applicable to Manila, since its charter does
not contain counterparts of the said sections
12. [On respondent Argument 9] Villena v. Roque is different from the
case here because in Villena, the Presidents power of supervision
was invoked to cause the investigation to be made against Villena
because the Provincial Board failed to act on charges against him for
an unreasonable length of time. The invocation of the Presidents
supervisory power was reasonable to ensure that the laws [will] be
faithfully executed. Here, the Provincial Board of Cavite never had
a chance to investigate the charges against Hebron since the office of
the Executive, from the beginning, assumed authority to act on said
charges.Such assumption cannot be justified under the power of
general supervision or the duty imposed on the executive to take care
that laws be faithfully executed.
a. When the Executive Department acted in lieu of the
Provincial Board of Cavite, it sought to control the said
board, prohibiting it from performing its duties under RAC
Secs. 2188 to 2191.
b. Villena v. Sec. of the Interior, J. Villareal Concurrence
Sec. of the Interior is not given the power to suspend a

municipal elective officer pending charges. The power to


suspend cannot be implied even from an arbitrary power to
remove except where the power to remove is limited to
cause. Provincial governors alone are expressly empowered
to suspend municipal officers
i. J. Imperial concurrence The Pres. under Secs. 64
(6) and 2191 of the RAC and Sec. 11 (1), Art. 7,
1935 Const. is vested with the power to expel and
suspend municipal officials for grave misconduct
ii. The majority opinion in this case cited Sec. 2191 of
the RAC as the source of the Executives power to
suspend and remove municipal officials, but the
provisions deals with the said powers on appeal
from a decision of the Provincial Board in
proceedings held under Secs. 2188 and 2190 of the
Code. THUS, it does not serve as authority to
justify a claimed grant of an original power to
suspend either w/o an appeal from a decision of
the provincial board, or w/o proceedings before
the said board calling for the exercise of its
disciplinary functions under the provisions of the
RAC.
13. IN SUM, the procedure in RAC Secs. 2188 to 2191 for suspension
and removal of municipal officials is mandatory. The national govt
executive department may conduct investigations in exercise of its
general supervision over local governments but only as a means to
ascertain whether the provincial governor and the provincial board
should take action
a. The executive may take measures to compel the gov. and
board to take such action but the executive may not deprive
them of the authority conferred them in RAC Secs. 2188 to
2190, for the assumption of those powers by the executive
violates RAC 2191 since the executives authority is only
appellate in character.
Paras Dissent: RAC declares that in addition to the Presidents general
supervisory authority, the Pres. shall have specific powers and duties
expressly conferred or imposed on him by law, including the power to
remove officials from office conformably to law and to order the
investigation of any action or conduct of any person in the government
service. The president has concurrent supervisory authority with the

provincial governor to order an investigation of charges against an elective


municipal official. The limit on the presidents power of removal is that it
must be conformable to law, ie. For a cause provided by law (such as in Sec.
2188 of the RAC). In Planas v. Gil, the presidents power of supervision and
his power of control in relation to ordering the investigation of an elective
municipal official was distinguished. Paras argued that the supervisory
authority to suspend and remove a subordinate official prescribed the
administrative code refers to disciplinary action on account of his misconduct
or malfeasance in office.The act complained of in Mondano vs. Silvosa , has
no reference to the performance of duty on the part of the Mayor and is
therefore not included even under the power of supervision of the Chief
Executive. Thus, Paras argued that the ruling in Planas v. Gil, Villena v. Sec.
of Interior, Lacson v. Roque and Villena v. Roque upholds the explicit
supervisory authority of the President under Sec. 64 of the Revised
Administrative Code to include that of ordering the investigation of elective
municipal officials, and to remove or suspend them conformably to law, and
must not be disturbed.

Ganzon v CA (1991)
Doctrine: For the sake of local autonomy, the legislature is not deprived of
all authority over municipal corporations, in particular, concerning
discipline. The Constitution still allows Congress to include in the local
government code provisions for removal of local officials, which suggest that
Congress may exercise removal powers, and as the existing Local
Government Code has done, delegate its exercise to the President.
Facts:
1. Ten administrative complaints (abuse of authority, oppression, grave
misconduct, disgraceful and immoral conduct, intimidation, culpable
violation of the Constitution, and arbitrary detention) were filed against
Mayor Ganzon of Iloilo City by various personalities.
2. Cabaluna was a clerk in the City Health Office, but was assigned by
Mayor Ganzon to a job suited for a non-career service employee while a
utility worker was appointed to her former position. Mayor Ganzon did
this because Cabaluna was a supporter of Ganzon's rival candidate
Caram.
3. Dr. Ortigoza was assigned by Mayor Ganzon to perform a task not
befitting her position as Assistant City Health Officer of Iloilo City, her
office was padlocked without any explanation, salary was withheld,
given the run-around treatment in the approval of her leave, and was the
object of a well-engineered trumped-up charge in an administrative
complaint filed by Dr. Rodolfo Villegas.
4. Finding probable grounds on both charges, the Secretary of the
Department of Local Government issued a 60 day preventive suspension
order on August 11, 1988 to last until October 11, 1988. Out of the 10,
one of which is an arbitrary detention case filed by Erbite, a Barangay
Tanod appointed by the former mayor of Iloilo. Erbite was arrested
without a warrant of arrest and detained at the City Jail of Iloilo as per
the order of Mayor Ganzon. Prima facie evidence was found to exists
against Mayor Ganzon for the aforementioned case so the Secretary of
the Department of Local Government issued a second 60 day preventive
suspension dated October 11, 1988
5. The Secretary of the Department of Local Government issued another
60-day preventive suspension. This is the third suspension in 20 months.
Vice-Mayor Mansueto Malabor was designated as acting mayor.
6. Mayor Ganzon instituted one action for prohibition against the Secretary
of the Department of Local Government in the RTC. A writ of
preliminary injunction was granted to him.

7. Mayor Ganzon then instituted another action for prohibition in the CA


which were granted.
8. A TRO was issued barring the Secretary of the Department of Local
Government from implementing the suspension orders.
Petitioners arguments: (Note: include petitioners relief, position, and
legal basis)
1. Mayor Ganzon contends that the Secretary of Local Government is
devoid, in any event, of any authority to suspend and remove local
officials.
2. Mayor Ganzon requested the Secretary of the Department of Local
Government to lift his suspension because the suspension orders were
made 90 days before the barangay elections.
3. Mayor Ganzon contends that the 1987 Constitution no longer allows the
President, as the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions did, to exercise the power
of suspension and/or removal over local officials.
a. The Constitution is meant, first, to strengthen self-rule by local
government units and second, by deleting the phrase as may be
provided by law to strip the President of the power of control over
local governments. It is a view, so they contend, that finds support in
the debates of the Constitutional Commission.
4. The 1935 Constitution with regard to this topic was modified.
a. 1935 Constitution - Sec. 10. The President shall have control of all
the executive departments, bureaus, or offices, exercise general
supervision over all Local governments as may be provided by law,
and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
b. 1987 Constitution - 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.
c. Notice that in the 1987 Constitution, the phrase as may be provided
by law was deleted. Mayor Ganzon contends that this is significant
since: (1) the power of the President is "provided by law" and (2)
hence, no law may provide for it any longer.
5. Provisions of the Local Government Code with regard to suspensions
a. Sec. 62. Notice of Hearing. xxx No investigation shall be held
within ninety days immediately prior to an election, and no
preventive suspension shall be imposed with the said period. If
preventive suspension has been imposed prior to the aforesaid
period, the preventive suspension shall be lifted.

b. Sec. 63. Preventive Suspension.2


Respondents arguments: None were mentioned in the case
Issue/s:
1. WON the 1987 Constitution, in deleting the phrase "as may be provided
by law" intend to divest the President of the power to investigate,
suspend, discipline, and/or remove local officials? No.
2. WON the Constitution repealed Sections 62 and 63 of the Local
Government Code? No.
3. WON Mayor Ganzons three preventive suspension orders subsist. Yes.
Held/Ratio: (Note: include legal basis and jurisprudence)
1. Deletion of the phrase as may be provided by law did not mean that the
President was divested the power to investigate, suspend, discipline
and/or remove local officials
a. The omission (of "as may be provided by law") signifies nothing
more than to underscore local governments' autonomy from congress
and to break Congress' "control" over local government affairs.
b. The Constitution did not, however, intend, for the sake of local
autonomy, to deprive the legislature of all authority over municipal
corporations, in particular, concerning discipline.
c. The Constitution still allows Congress to include in the local
government code provisions for removal of local officials, which
suggest that Congress may exercise removal powers, and as the
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2

(1)$Preventive$suspension$may$be$imposed$by$the$Minister$of$Local$Government$if$the$
respondent$is$a$provincial$or$city$official,$by$the$provincial$governor$if$the$respondent$is$
an$elective$municipal$official,$or$by$the$city$or$municipal$mayor$if$the$respondent$is$an$
elective$barangay$official$
(2)$Preventive$suspension$may$be$imposed$at$any$time$after$the$issues$are$joined,$when$
there$is$reasonable$ground$to$believe$that$the$respondent$has$committed$the$act$or$acts$
complained$of,$when$the$evidence$of$culpability$is$strong,$when$the$gravity$of$the$offense$
so$warrants,$or$when$the$continuance$in$office$of$the$respondent$could$influence$the$
witnesses$or$pose$a$threat$to$the$safety$and$integrity$of$the$records$and$other$evidence.$
In$all$cases,$preventive$suspension$shall$not$extend$beyond$sixty$days$after$the$start$of$
said$suspension.$$
(3)$At$the$expiration$of$sixty$days,$the$suspended$official$shall$be$deemed$reinstated$in$
office$without$prejudice$to$the$continuation$of$the$proceedings$against$him$until$its$
termination.$However$'$if$the$delay$in$the$proceedings$of$the$case$is$due$to$his$fault,$
neglect$or$request,$the$time$of$the$delay$shall$not$be$counted$in$computing$the$time$of$
suspension.!

existing Local Government Code has done, delegate its exercise to


the President.3
d. Since local governments remain accountable to the national
authority, the latter may, by law, and in the manner set forth therein,
impose disciplinary action against local officials.
e. Mayor Ganzon cannot rightfully point to the debates of the
Constitutional Commission to defeat the President's powers. The
deliberations are by themselves inconclusive, because although
Commissioner Jose Nolledo would exclude the power of removal
from the President,Commissioner Blas Ople would not.
2. The Constitution did not repeal Sections 62 and 63 of the Local
Government Code
a. "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. In spite of the approval of the
Charter, Batas Blg. 337 is still in force and effect.
b. The Constitution, does nothing more than to break up the monopoly
of the national government over the affairs of local governments and
as put by political adherents, to "liberate the local governments from
the imperialism of Manila." Autonomy, however, is not meant to end
the relation of partnership and inter-dependence between the central
administration and local government units, or otherwise, to user in a
regime of federalism. Local governments, under the Constitution, are
subject to regulation, however limited, and for no other purpose than
precisely, albeit paradoxically, to enhance self- government.
c. "Supervision" and "investigation" are not inconsistent terms;
"investigation" does not signify "control" (which the President does
not have)
3. Mayor Rodolfo Ganzon. may serve the suspension so far ordered, but
may no longer be suspended for the offenses he was charged originally
Since Mayor Ganzon is facing 10 administrative charges, the Mayor is in
fact facing the possibility of 600 days of suspension, in the event that all
10 cases yield prima facie findings.
a. The sole objective of a suspension is simply "to prevent the accused
from hampering the normal cause of the investigation with his
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sec.$3.$The$Congress$shall$enact$a$local$government$code$which$shall$provide$for$a$more$
responsive$and$accountable$local$government$structure$instituted$through$a$system$of$
decentralization$with$effective$mechanisms$of$recall,$initiative,$and$referendum,$allocate$
among$the$different$local$government$units$their$powers,$responsibilities$and$resources,$
and$provide$for$the$qualifications,$election,$appointment$and$removal,$term,$salaries,$
powers$and$functions$and$duties$of$local$officials,$and$all$other$matters$relating$to$the$
organization$and$operation$of$the$local$units.
3

b.
c.
d.
e.

influence and authority over possible witnesses" or to keep him off


"the records and other evidence.
Under the Local Government Code, it cannot exceed sixty days.
Imposing 600 days of suspension which is not a remote possibility
Mayor Ganzon is to all intents and purposes, to make him spend the
rest of his term in inactivity. It is to make his suspension permanent.
The length of his suspension would have, by the time he is
reinstated, wipe out his tenure considerably.
There is no need to inflict on Mayor Ganzon successive suspensions
when apparently, the Secretary has had sufficient time to gather the
necessary evidence to build a case against the Mayor without
suspending him a day longer. The Secretary is exercising that power
oppressively and with a grave abuse of discretion.

Vilas v City of Manila


Factual Circumstance:
Vilas, Trigas, and Aguado are creditors of the City of Manila under Spanish
rule. After the Treaty of Paris and the cession of the Philippines to the United
States, they are now bringing this suit to enforce the said obligation on the
theory that the present City is the same juristic person as the old city. The
Philippine Supreme Court 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.
Argument of Petitioners:
The City of Manila is the same entity as the former municipality under
Spanish rule hence liable.
Argument of Respondents:
The present City of Manila is a different entity hence no longer liable to the
formers obligations since there was change of sovereignty.
Issue: Whether, notwithstanding the cession of the Philippine Islands to
the United States, followed by a reincorporation of the city, the present
municipality is liable for the obligations of the city incurred prior to the
cession to the United States.
Ruling of the Court: Yes
The contention that the liability of the city upon such obligations was
destroyed by a mere change of sovereignty is wrong.
Act 183 of the Philippine Commission which is the present charter of Manila
reads:
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.'
Section 16 grants certain legislative powers to the board, and provides that it
shall take possession of all lands, buildings, offices, books, papers, records,
moneys, credits, securities, assets, accounts, or other property or rights
belonging to the former city of Manila, or pertaining to the business or
interests thereof

Section 69 provides all city ordinances and orders in force at the time of the
passage of this act, and not inconsistent herewith,' until modified or repealed
by ordinances passed under this act.
The assertion of the City of Manila against liability rests upon the supposed
analogy to the doctrine of principal and agent, the death of the principal
(Spain) ending the agency (Ayuntamiento de Manila). Such assertion is false
for it loses sight of the dual character of municipal corporations.
The US Supreme Court cited Lloyd v. New York where it is said:
'The corporation of the city of New York possesses two kinds of powers: one
governmental and public, and to the extent they are held and exercised, is
clothed with sovereignty; the other private, and to the extent they are held
and exercised, is a legal individual. The former are given and used for public
purposes, the latter for private purposes. While in the exercise of the former,
the corporation is a municipal government; and while in the exercise of the
latter, is a corporate legal individual.'
In Chicago Co. v. McGlinn, it was said:
'It is a general rule of public law, recognized and acted upon by the United
States, that whenever political jurisdiction and legislative power 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 or changed by
the new government or sovereign. By the cession, 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. As a matter of course, all laws, ordinances, and
regulations in conflict with the political character, institutions, and
constitution of the new government are at once displaced. Thus, upon a
cession of political jurisdiction and legislative powerand the latter is
involved in the formerto the United States, the laws of the country in
support of an established religion, or abridging the freedom of the press, or
authorizing cruel and unusual punishments, and the like, would at once cease
to be of obligatory force without any declaration to that effect; and the laws
of the country on other subjects would necessarily be superseded by existing
laws of the new government upon the same matters. But with respect to other
laws affecting the possession, use, and transfer of property, and designed to
secure good order and peace in the community, and promote its health and
prosperity, which are strictly of a municipal character, the rule is general, that
a change of government leaves them in force until, by direct action of the
new government, they are altered or repealed.'
The continuity of the corporate city was not inconsistent with military
occupation or the constitution or institutions of the occupying power. Thus,
the articles of capitulation concluded in these words: 'This city, its

inhabitants and its private property of all descriptions, are placed under the
special safeguard of the faith and honor of the American Army.' This was
quoted in President McKinley's instructions of April 7, 1900, to the
Philippine Commission.
The Treaty of Paris reads: 'And it is hereby declared that the relinquishment
or cession, as the case may be, to which the preceding paragraph refers,
cannot in any respect impair the property or rights which by law belong to
the peaceful possession of property of all kinds, of provinces, municipalities,
public or private establishments . . . having legal capacity to acquire and
possess property in the aforesaid territories renounced or ceded, or of private
individuals.' Thus, the property and property rights of municipal corporations
were protected and safeguarded precisely as were the property and property
rights of individuals.
Corporate Identity and Liability were not extinguished as a result of the new
Charter granted by the 1901 Philippine Comission. The inhabitants of the old
city are the incorporators of the new. There is substantially identity of area.
The new corporation is endowed with all of the property and property rights
of the old. It has the same power to sue and be sued which the former
corporation had.
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, to whose property and rights it has succeeded.
In Shapleigh v. San Angelo, supra, this court said in a similar case:
'The state's plenary power over its municipal corporations to change their
organization, to modify their method of internal government, or to abolish
them altogether, is not restricted by contracts entered into by the municipality
with its creditors or with private parties. An absolute repeal of a municipal
charter is therefor effectual so far as it abolishes the old corporate
organization; but when the same or substantially the same inhabitants are
erected into a new corporation, whether with extended or restricted territorial
limits, such new corporation is treated as in law the successor of the old one,
entitled to its property rights, and subject to its liabilities.'

Lidasan vs COMELEC (1967)


Sanchez, J.
FACTS:
The Chief Executive signed into law House Bill 1247, known as RA
4790, Sec1 of which provides:
Sec. 1. Barrios Togaig, Madalum, Bayanga, Langkong,
Sarakan, Kat-bo, Digakapan, Magabo, Tabangao, Tiongko,
Colodan, Kabamakawan, Kapatagan, Bongabong, Aipang,
Dagowan, Bakikis, Bungabung, Losain, Matimos and
Magolatung, (21 in total) in the Municipalities of Butig and
Balabagan, Province of Lanao del Sur, are separated from
said municipalities and constituted into a distinct and
independent municipality of the same province to be known
as the Municipality of Dianaton, Province of Lanao del
Sur. The seat of government of the municipality shall be in
Togaig.
Apparently, 12 of the said barrios are part of Municipalities in
Cotabato and not of Lanao del Sur.
Prompted by the coming elections, COMELEC adopted a resolution
implementing RA 4790 for purposes of establishment of precints,
registration of voters and for other election purposes.
o In effect, 12 barrios in the province of Cotabato are
transferred to the province of Lanao del Sur; thus, changing
the boundaries in thee 2 provinces.
The office of the President, through the Assistant Executive
Secretary, recommended to COMELEC that the operation of the
statute be suspended until clarified by correcting legislation.
o COMELEC, however, issued another resolution declaring
that the statute should be implemented unless declared
unconstitutional by the SC.
Bara Lidasan, a resident and taxpayer of a detached portion of
Cotabato and a qualified voter, filed the original action for certiorari
and prohibition praying that RA 4790 be declared unconstitutional;
and that the COMELEC resolutions be nullified.
Petitioners Argument:
Constitutional requirement violated: that no bill which may be
enacted into law shall embrace more than one subject which shall be
expressed in the title of the bill.
o 2 subjects allegedly effected by RA 4790: Creation of the
Municipality of Dianaton and the separation of several
barrios from Cotabato.

The title of the bill An Act Creating the Municipality of


Dianaton, in the Province of Lanao del Sur provides no
implication of the effect of the law to the Province of
Cotabato.
Respondents Argument:
That the change in the two boundaries of the 2 provinces resulting in
the substantial diminution of territorial limits of Cotabato province is
merely the incidental results of the definition of the boundary of the
Municipality of Dianaton and that therefore, reference to the fact that
portions of Cotabato are taken away need not be expressed in the
title of the law.
That in case RA 4790 is found erroneous, the law may still be
salvaged with reference to the 9 barrios in the municipalities of
Lanao del Sur " that the nullification shall take effect merely on the
12 portions taken away from Cotabato because the title of the law
will anyway cover the 9 barrios actually in the province of Lanao del
Sur.
o

ISSUES:
1. Is RA 4790 unconstitutional?
2. Can the law be salvaged as to the 9 barrios actually in the province
of Lanao del Sur?
RULING:
1. YES, RA 4790 is unconstitutional.
Compliance with the requirement [Art VI, Sec 21 (1), 1987
Consitution] that 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 there of, is imperative. The
constitution does not exact of the Congress to read the entire text of
the bill, thus, the title must be stated in such a way as to sufficiently
express the subject of the statute.
o It does not require that the Congress employ such precision
as to mirror even the minute details of the bill. It suffices if
the title informs the legislators and persons interested of the
nature, scope and consequences of the proposed law and its
operation. The test of sufficiency is whether or not the title is
misleading.
In this case, not a slightest intimation is there that communities in the
adjacent province of Cotabato are incorporated in the new town in
Lanao del Sur. It is not acceptable to say that the dismembering of
the 12 barrios is a necessary incident of the creation of a new town

that it may be reasonable inferred from the title of the law. Change of
boundaries may be made without necessarily creating a new
municipality and vice versa.
o Hume vs. Village of Fruitport: Very similar case, the title of
the act is An act to Incorporate the Village of Fruitport, in
the County of Muskegon. It creates the impression that the
law affects only the County of Muskegon when Sec 1 of the
law included territories of both Muskegon and Ottawa
Michigan. The law was declared void.
2. NO, the law is null and void in its entirety.
We are not to assume that the Congress would still have intended to
create a new town with only the 9 barrios, excluding the 12 as stated
in the bill.
Municipal Corporations perform twin functions:
o They serve as an instrumentality of the State in carrying out
the functions of gvernment
o They act as an agency of the community in the
administration of local affairs " It is in this character that
they are a separate entity acting in their own purposes and
not a subdivision of the State. Thus, several factors
(population, territory and income) come to the fore in the
consideration whether a group is capable of maintaining
itself as an independent municipality.
The bill, having in view the 21 barrios, stated that the territory has
become a progressive community; that the average population is
large; and that the collective income is sufficient to maintain an
independent municipality. Thus, it cannot be said that the Congress
intended to create Dianaton with only 9 barrios instead of the 21.

Republic v City of Davao (2002)


Doctrine: 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. Therefore, LGUs are not excluded from the coverage of PD
1586.
Facts:
The City of Davao filed an application with the Environmental
Management Bureau (EMB), for a Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) for
its proposed project, the Davao City Artica Sports Dome.
The EMB Region XI denied the application, finding that the proposed
project was within an environmentally critical area.
- The City of Davao must undergo the environmental impact assessment
process to secure an Environmental Compliance Certificate, pursuant
to Sec2, PD 1586 (Environmental Impact Statement System) in
relation to Sec4 of PD 1151 (Philippine Environment Policy), before it
can proceed with the construction of its project.
Davao filed a petition for mandamus and injunction with the RTC, alleging
that
1. 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.
2. It was the ministerial duty of the DENR, through the EMB-Region XI,
to issue a CNC in favor of respondent upon submission of the required
documents.
RTC rendered judgment in favor of respondent.
1. There is nothing in PD 1586, in relation to PD 1151 and Letter of
Instruction No. 1179 (prescribing guidelines for compliance with the
EIA system), which requires LGUs to comply with the EIS law. Only
agencies and instrumentalities of the national government, including
government owned or controlled corporations, as well as private
corporations, firms and entities are mandated to go through the EIA
process for their proposed projects which have significant effect on the
quality of the environment. An LGU, not being an agency or
instrumentality of the National Government, is deemed excluded under
the principle of expressio unius est exclusio alterius.
2. The site for the Artica Sports Dome was not within an environmentally
critical area. Neither was the project an environmentally critical one. It
therefore becomes mandatory for the DENR, through the EMB Region
XI, to approve respondents application for CNC after it has satisfied
all the requirements for its issuance.

Petitioner filed MR, which was denied. Petitioner then filed the petition
for review.
Upon change of administration, respondent filed a manifestation
expressing its agreement with petitioner that, indeed, it needs to secure an
ECC for its proposed project.
While the petition has been rendered moot, the court decided to address the
issue raised, for the guidance of the implementors of the EIS law.
Petitioners arguments:
Petitioner: Republic, represented by (1) DENR Secretary Alvarez, (2)
DENR-Region XI Regional Exec Director Baguilat, and (3) DENR-EMBRegion XI Regional Derector, Engr. Lipayon
Petition for review on certiorari assailing the decision of the RTC, which
granted the writ of mandamus and injunction in favor of the City of Davao
The proposed project was within an environmentally critical area. The City
of Davao must undergo the environmental impact assessment process to
secure an Environmental Compliance Certificate, pursuant to Sec2, PD
1586 (Environmental Impact Statement System) in relation to Sec4 of PD
1151 (Philippine Environment Policy), before it can proceed with the
construction of its project
Respondents arguments:
Respondent: City of Davao, represented by Mayor De Guzman
Arguments in the RTC: 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.
It was the ministerial duty of the DENR, through the EMB-Region XI, to
issue a CNC in favor of respondent upon submission of the required
documents.
(RTC in favor of Respondent) There is nothing in PD 1586, in relation to
PD 1151 and Letter of Instruction No. 1179 (prescribing guidelines for
compliance with the EIA system), which requires LGUs to comply with the
EIS law. Only agencies and instrumentalities of the national government,
including government owned or controlled corporations, as well as private
corporations, firms and entities are mandated to go through the EIA
process for their proposed projects which have significant effect on the
quality of the environment.
An LGU, not being an agency or
instrumentality of the National Government, is deemed excluded under the
principle of expressio unius est exclusio alterius.

Issue/s:
W/N LGUs are required to comply with the EIS law (YES)
W/N the site was within an environmentally critical area (NO)

Held/Ratio:

Nature of LGUs
Section 15 of the Local Government Code, defines a local government unit
as 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.
Section 16 of the Local Government Code provides for the duty of the
LGUs to promote the peoples right to a balanced ecology. An LGU, like
the City of Davao, 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.
Section 4 of PD 1586 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 therefore, local government units are
not excluded from the coverage of PD 1586.
Environmentally Critical Area
The arguments, however, presuppose that a project is environmentally
critical or within an environmentally critical area. Respondent 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.
The trial court found that the Artica Sports Dome is not within an
environmentally critical area. Neither is it an environmentally critical
project.
The Environmental Impact Statement System, which ensures
environmental protection and regulates certain government activities
affecting the environment, was established by Presidential Decree No.
1586.
Proclamation No. 2146 was later issued, proclaiming the areas and types of
projects which are regarded as environmentally critical and within the
scope of the Environmental Impact Statement System established under PD
1586.
The Artica Sports Dome in Langub is not among the projects or areas
enumerated above. Neither is it analogous to any of them. Therefore, the
project is not classified as environmentally critical, or within an
environmentally critical area. It is therefore the ministerial duty of the
DENR to issue the Certificate of Non-Coverage.

CHAPTER II
The Province of Negros Occidental v. COA, et al (2010)
Doctrine: LGUs are subject only to the power of general supervision of the
President and the latters authority is limited to seeing to it that rules are
followed and laws are faithfully executed which means that the President
may only point out that rules have not been followed but the President cannot
lay down the rules, neither does he have the discretion to modify or replace
the rules.
Facts:
1. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Negros Occidental passed Resolution
No. 720-A on Dec. 21, 1994 allocating P4,000,000 of its retained
earnings for the hospitalization and health care insurance benefits of
1,949 officials and employees of the province.
o After a public bidding, the Committee on Awards granted the
insurance coverage to Philam Care.
2. The Province of Negros Occidental (represented by its then Governor
Rafael L. Coscolluela) and Philam Care then entered into a Group Health
Care Agreement involving a total payment of P3,760,000 representing
the insurance premiums of its officials and employees which was paid on
January 25, 1996.
3. After a post-audit investigation on January 23, 1997, the Provincial
Auditor issued Notice of Suspension No. 97-001-101 suspending the
premium payment because of lack of approval from the Office of the
President as provided under AO No. 103.
o The Provincial Auditor explained that the premium payment for
health care benefits violated RA 6758 otherwise known as the Salary
Standardization Law.
4. The Province complied with the directive post-facto and sent a letterrequest dated January 12, 1999 to the OP.
5. In a Memorandum dated January 26, 1999, then President Estrada
directed the COA to lift the suspension but only in the amount of
P100,000.
6. However, the Provincial Auditor ignored the directive of the President
and instead issued Notice of Disallowance No. 99-005-101(96) dated
September 10, 1999 stating similar grounds as mentioned in Notice of
Suspension No. 97-001-101.
7. The Province appealed the disallowance to the COA however the latter
affirmed the Provincial Auditors decision to disallow the health benefits.

The COA ruled that under AO No. 103, no government entity,


including a local government unit, is exempt from securing prior
approval from the President granting additional benefits to its
personnel which is in conformity with the policy of standardization
of compensation laid down in RA 6758.
o The COA added that Section 468(a)(1)(viii) of RA 7160 or the Local
Government Code of 1991 relied upon by the Province does not
stand on its own but has to be harmonized with Section 12 of RA
6758.
o Further, the COA stated that the insurance benefits from Philam
Care, a private insurance company, was a duplication of the benefits
provided to employees under the Medicare program which is
mandated by law. -> Being merely a creation of a local legislative
body, the provincial health care program should not contravene but
instead be consistent with national laws enacted by Congress from
where local legislative bodies draw their authority.
8. The COA held the following persons liable: (1) all the 1,949 officials and
employees of the province who benefited from the hospitalization and
health care insurance benefits with regard to their proportionate shares;
(2) former Governor Rafael L. Coscolluela, being the person who signed
the contract on behalf of petitioner as well as the person who approved
the disbursement voucher; and (3) the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
members who passed Resolution No. 720-A.
9. However, the COA did not hold Philam Care and Provincial Accountant
Merly P. Fortu liable for the disallowed disbursement as according to it,
it was unjust to require Philam Care to refund the amount received for
services it had duly rendered since insurance law prohibits the refund of
premiums after risks had already attached to the policy contract.
o

Petitioners arguments: (Note: include petitioners relief, position, and


legal basis)
Petitioner seeks via petition for certiorari to have declared that the COA
acted in grave abuse of discretion in affirming the disallowance of the
benefits and to have such decision set aside.
According to the Province, the payment of the insurance premium for the
health benefits of its officers and employees was not unlawful and
improper since it was paid from an allocation of its retained earnings
pursuant to a valid appropriation ordinance. -> The enactment was a
clear exercise of its express powers under the principle of local fiscal
autonomy which includes the power of LGUs to allocate their resources
in accordance with their own priorities.

Petitioner adds that while it is true that LGUs are only agents of the
national government and local autonomy simply means decentralization,
it is equally true that an LGU has fiscal control over its own revenues
derived solely from its own tax base.
The Provinces aforementioned arguments are consistent with the state
policy of local autonomy as guaranteed by the 1987 Constitution, under
Section 25, Article II and Section 2, Article X, and the Local
Government Code of 1991.
The Province further relied on the Civil Service Commissions
Memorandum Circular No. 33, series of 1997, issued on 22 December
1997 which provided the policy framework for working conditions at the
workplace.
o In said circular, the CSC pursuant to CSC Resolution No. 97-4684
dated 18 December 1997 took note of the inadequate policy on basic
health and safety conditions of work experienced by government
personnel. Thus, under CSC MC No. 33, all government offices
including LGUs were directed to provide a health program for
government employees which included hospitalization services and
annual mental, medical-physical examinations
Later, CSC MC No. 33 was further reiterated in AO No. 402 which took
effect on 2 June 1998. Sections 1, 2, and 4 of AO 402 state:
Section 1.Establishment of the Annual Medical Check-up Program. An
annual medical check-up for government of officials and employees is
hereby authorized to be established starting this year, in the meantime
that this benefit is not yet integrated under the National Health
Insurance Program being administered by the Philippine Health
Insurance Corporation (PHIC).
Section 2.Coverage. x x x Local Government Units are also
encouraged to establish a similar program for their personnel.
Section 4.Funding. x x x Local Government Units, which may establish
a similar medical program for their personnel, shall utilize local funds
for the purpose.
Respondents arguments: (Note: include respondents position, reason for
opposing petitioners claim, jurisprudence, and legal basis)
According to the respondents, the benefits should be disallowed for
contravening AO 103 and RA 6758.
Respondents maintain that although LGUs are afforded local fiscal
autonomy, LGUs are still bound by RA 6758 and their actions are
subject to the scrutiny of the DBM and applicable auditing rules and
regulations enforced by the COA.

Additionally, the grant of additional compensation, like the


hospitalization and health care insurance benefits in the present case,
must have prior Presidential approval to conform with the state policy on
salary standardization for government workers to prevent
discontentment, dissatisfaction and demoralization among government
personnel, national or local, who do not receive, or who receive less,
productivity incentive benefits or other forms of allowances or benefits
under the whereas clauses of AO No. 103.
o Section 1 of AO 103 states that the President authorized all agencies
of the national government as well as LGUs to grant the maximum
amount of P2,000 productivity incentive benefit to each employee
who has rendered at least one year of service as of 31 December
1993.
SECTION 1. All agencies of the National Government including
government-owned and/or -controlled corporations and government
financial institutions, and local government units, are hereby
authorized to grant productivity incentive benefit in the maximum
amount of TWO THOUSAND PESOS (P2,000.00) each to their
permanent and full-time temporary and casual employees, including
contractual personnel with employment in the nature of a regular
employee, who have rendered at least one (1) year of service in the
Government as of December 31, 1993.
o In Section 2, the President enjoined all heads of government offices
and agencies from granting productivity incentive benefits or any
and all similar forms of allowances and benefits without the
Presidents prior approval.
SECTION 2.All heads of government offices/agencies, including
government owned and/or controlled corporations, as well as their
respective governing boards are hereby enjoined and prohibited
from authorizing/granting Productivity Incentive Benefits or any and
all forms of allowances/benefits without prior approval and
authorization via Administrative Order by the Office of the
President. Henceforth, anyone found violating any of the mandates
in this Order, including all officials/agency found to have taken part
thereof, shall be accordingly and severely dealt with in accordance
with the applicable provisions of existing administrative and penal
laws.
o AO 103 also states that all administrative authorizations to grant any
form of allowances/benefits and all forms of additional
compensation usually paid outside of the prescribed basic salary
under R.A. 6758 (Salary Standardization Law) that are inconsistent

with the legislated policy on the matter or are not covered by any
legislative action are revoked.
Issue/s:
WON COA committed GAD in affirming the disallowance of P3,760,000
for premium paid for the hospitalization and health care insurance benefits
granted by the Province of Negros Occidental to its officials and employees
Held/Ratio:(Note: include legal basis and jurisprudence)
Yes, the COA committed GAD in disallowing the benefits granted by the
Province of Negros Occidental.
The Court explained that from a close reading of the provisions of AO
103, the Province did not violate the rule of prior approval from the
President since Section 2 states that the prohibition applies only to
"government offices/agencies, including government-owned and/or
controlled corporations, as well as their respective governing boards"
and that nowhere is it indicated in Section 2 that the prohibition also
applies to LGUs.
According to the court, the requirement then of prior approval from the
President under AO 103 is applicable only to departments, bureaus,
offices and government-owned and controlled corporations under the
Executive branch.
In other words, AO 103 must be observed by government offices under
the Presidents control as mandated by Section 17, Article VII of the
Constitution
Section 17. The President shall have control of all executive
departments, bureaus and offices. He shall ensure that the laws be
faithfully executed.
According to the court, the Province of Negros being an LGU, is merely
under the Presidents general supervision pursuant to Section 4, Article
X of the Constitution:
Section. 4.The President of the Philippines shall exercise general
supervision over local governments. Provinces with respect to
component cities and municipalities, and cities and municipalities with
respect to component barangays shall ensure that the acts of their
component units are within the scope of their prescribed powers and
functions.
The court explained that the Presidents power of general supervision
means the power of a superior officer to see to it that subordinates
perform their functions according to law, which is distinguished from the

Presidents power of control which is the power to alter or modify or set


aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his
duties and to substitute the judgment of the President over that of the
subordinate officer.
o Since LGUs are subject only to the power of general supervision of
the President, the Presidents authority is limited to seeing to it that
rules are followed and laws are faithfully executed which means that
the President may only point out that rules have not been followed
but the President cannot lay down the rules, neither does he have the
discretion to modify or replace the rules.
o Thus, the grant of additional compensation like hospitalization and
health care insurance benefits in the present case does not need the
approval of the President to be valid.
The court added that while it is true that LGUs are still bound by RA
6758, the COA did not clearly establish that the medical care benefits
given by the government at the time under Presidential Decree No.
1519were sufficient to cover the needs of government employees
especially those employed by LGUs.
The SC also held that the Province correctly relied on CSC MC No. 33.
o It explained that the CSC, through CSC MC No. 33, as well as the
President, through AO 402, recognized the deficiency of the state of
health care and medical services implemented at the time.
o RA No. 7875 or the National Health Insurance Act of 1995
instituting a National Health Insurance Program for all Filipinos was
only approved on 14 February 1995 or about two months after the
Prvince of Negros Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed Resolution
No. 720-A. -> Accordingly, even with the establishment of the
NHIP, AO 402 was still issued 3 years later addressing a primary
concern that basic health services under the NHIP either are still
inadequate or have not reached geographic areas like that of
petitioner.
In conclusion, the court said that the grant and release of the
hospitalization and health care insurance benefits given to petitioners
officials and employees were validly enacted through an ordinance
passed by petitioners Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Since the Provinces grant and release of the questioned disbursement
without the Presidents approval did not violate the Presidents directive
in AO 103, the COA then gravely abused its discretion in applying AO
103 to disallow the premium payment for the hospitalization and health
care insurance benefits of petitioners officials and employees.

Petition GRANTED. COA decision REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

Buklod ng Magbubukid sa Lupaing Ramos, Inc. v. E.M. Ramos and


Sons, Inc. (2011)
Doctrine: A state may not impair vested rights by legislative enactment, by
the enactment or by the subsequent repeal of a municipal ordinance, or by a
change in the constitution of the State, except in a legitimate exercise of the
police power.
Facts: (WARNING: Its a lengthy case.)
! Nature: Consolidated Petitions for Review on Certiorari filed by the
Buklod ng Magbubukid Sa Lupaing Ramos, Inc. (Buklod) and the
Department of Agrarian Regorm (DAR), assailing a decisionof the
Court of Appeals in which it declared the parcels of land owned by
E.M. Ramos and Sons, Inc. (EMRASON) in Cavite exempt from the
coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP),
thus, nullifying and setting aside the Decisionof the Office of the
President.
! Several parcels of unirrigated land which form part of a larger
expanse originally owned by the Manila Golf and Country Club was
aquired by EMRASON for the purpose of developing the same into a
residential subdivision known as "Traveller's Life Homes".
! The Municipal Council of Dasmarias, Cavite, acting pursuant to
Republic Act No. 2264, otherwise known as the "Local Autonomy
Act", enacted Municipal Ordinance No. 1 entitled "An Ordinance
Providing Subdivision Regulation and Providing Penalties for
Violation Thereof." EMRASON applied for an authority to convert
and development its property into a residential subdivision. Them
Municipal Council of Dasmarias, Cavite passed Municipal
Ordinance No. 29-A approving EMRASON's application.
! The actual implementation of the subdivision project suffered delay
because the property was mortgaged to, and the titles thereto were in
the possession of, the Overseas Bank of Manila, which during the
period material was under liquidation.
! On June 15. 1988, Republic Act No. 6657, otherwise known as the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law or CARL, took effect,
ushering in a new process of land classification, acquisition and
distribution. Then came the Aquino government's plan to convert the
tenanted neighboring property of the National Development
Company (NDC) into an industrial estate to be managed through a
joint venture scheme by NDC and the Marubeni Corporation. Part of
the overall conversion package called for providing the tenantfarmers, opting to remain at the NDC property, with three hectares

each. However, the size of the NDC property turned out to be


insufficient for both the demands of the proposed industrial project
as well as the government's commitment to the tenant-farmers. To
address this commitment, the Department of Agrarian Reform
(DAR) was thus tasked with acquiring additional lands from the
nearby areas. The DAR earmarked for this purpose the subject
property of EMRASON. DAR Secretary Benjamin Leong sent out
the first of four batches of notices of acquisition, each of which drew
protest from EMRASON.
EMRASON filed with the DARAB separate petitions to nullify the
notices. The Legal Division of DAR rendered a decision declaring as
null and void all the notices of acquisitions, observing that the
property covered thereby is, pursuant to Department of Justice (DOJ)
Opinion No. 44, series of 1990, exempt from CARP. Supposedly,
this was pursuant to a DOJ Opinion rendered by then Justice
Secretary Franklin Drilon, clarifying that lands already converted to
non-agricultural uses before June 15, 1988 were no longer covered
by CARP.
Region IV DAR Regional Director motu propio elevated the case to
the Office of the Agrarian Reform Secretary. DAR Secretary Ernesto
Garilao issued an order affirming the Notices of Acquisition " MR
denied -> Appeal to the Office of the President
Appeal dismissed by OP because EMRASONs property has
supposedly remained agricultural in classification and thus within the
coverage of the CARP because it failed to comply with the
mandatory requirements and conditions of Municipal Ordinance
Nos. 1 and 29-A, specifically, among others, the need for approval of
the National Planning Commission through the Highway District
Engineer, and the Bureau of Lands before final submission to the
Municipal Council and Municipal Mayor, and there was a
certification of the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission
(HSRC) in 1981 and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
(HLRB) in 1992 that the property is agricultural " MR denied "
Petition for Review with the CA
DAR had already prepared Certificates of Land Ownership Award
(CLOAs) to distribute the subject property to farmer-beneficiaries.
However, a writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Court of
Appeals enjoined the release of the CLOAs. Buklod, on behalf of the
alleged 300 farmer-beneficiaries of the subject property, filed a
Manifestation and Omnibus Motion, wherein it moved that it be
allowed to intervene as an indispensable party.
Court of Appeals ruled in favor of EMRASON because the subject

property was already converted/classified as residential by the


Municipality of Dasmarias prior to the effectivity of the CARL. The
appellate court reasoned mainly that the municipality,
conformably with its statutory-conferred local autonomy, had passed
a subdivision measure, I.e., Ordinance No. 1, and had approved in
line thereto, through the medium of Ordinance No. 29-A,
[EMRASON's] application for subdivision, or with like effect
approved the conversion/classification of the lands in dispute as
residential. Significantly, the Municipal Mayor of Dasmarias,
Cavite, in his letter of September 23, 1988 to [EMRASON], clarified
that such conversion conforms with the approved development plan
of the municipality. (If interested in the discussion at CA level,
please read the case)
Petitioners arguments:
! DAR:
o The subject property could be compulsorily acquired by the
State from EMRASON and distributed to qualified farmerbeneficiaries under the CARP since it was still agricultural
land when the CARP became effective on June 15, 1988.
Ordinance Nos. 1 and 29-A, approved by the Municipality of
Dasmarias on July 13, 1971 and July 9, 1972, respectively,
did not reclassify the subject property from agricultural to
non-agricultural. The power to reclassify lands is an inherent
power of the National Legislature under Section 9 of
Commonwealth Act No. 141, otherwise known as the
Public Land Act, as amended, which, absent a specific
delegation, could not be exercised by any local government
unit (LGU). The Local Autonomy Act of 1959 - in effect
when the Municipality of Dasmarias approved Ordinance
Nos. 1 and 29-A - merely delegated to cities and
municipalities zoning authority, to be understood as the
regulation of the uses of property in accordance with the
existing character of the land and structures. It was only
Section 20 of Republic Act No. 7160, otherwise known as
the Local Government Code of 1991, which extended to
cities and municipalities limited authority to reclassify
agricultural lands.
o Even conceding that cities and municipalities were already
authorized in 1972 to issue an ordinance reclassifying lands
from agricultural to non-agricultural, Ordinance No. 29-A of
the Municipality of Dasmarias was not valid since it failed

to comply with Section 3 of the Local Autonomy Act of


1959, Section 16(a) of Ordinance No. 1 of the
Municipality of Dasmarinas, and Administrative Order
No. 152, which all required review and approval of such an
ordinance by the National Planning Commission (NPC).
Subsequent developments further necessitated review and
approval of Ordinance No. 29-A by the Human Settlements
Regulatory Commission (HSRC), which later became the
Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).
Reliance by the Court of Appeals on Natalia Realty, Inc. v.
Department of Agrarian Reformis misplaced because the
lands involved therein were converted from agricultural to
residential use by Presidential Proclamation No. 1637, issued
pursuant to the authority delegated to the President under
Section 71, et seq., of the Public Land Act.

Buklod:
o Prior to Ordinance Nos. 1 and 29-A, there were already laws
implementing agrarian reform, particularly: (1) Republic
Act No. 3844, otherwise known as the Agricultural Land
Reform Code, in effect since August 8, 1963, and
subsequently amended by Republic Act No. 6389 on
September 10, 1971, after which it became known as the
Code of Agrarian Reforms; and (2) Presidential Decree
No. 27, otherwise known as the Tenants Emancipation
Decree, which took effect on November 19, 1972.
Agricultural land could not be converted for the purpose of
evading land reform for there were already laws granting
farmer-tenants security of tenure, protection from ejectment
without just cause, and vested rights to the land they work
on.
o EMRASON failed to comply with Section 36 of the Code
of Agrarian Reforms, which provided that the conversion
of land should be implemented within one year, otherwise,
the conversion is deemed in bad faith. Given the failure of
EMRASON to comply with many other requirements for a
valid conversion, the subject property has remained
agricultural. Simply put, no compliance means no
conversion. In fact, Buklod points out, the subject property
is still declared as "agricultural" for real estate tax purposes.
Consequently, EMRASON is now estopped from insisting
that the subject property is actually "residential."
o Land reform is a constitutional mandate which should be

given paramount consideration. Pursuant to said


constitutional mandate, the Legislature enacted the CARP. It
is a basic legal principle that a legislative statute prevails
over a mere municipal ordinance. " ARGUMENT MOST
RELEVANT TO THE TOPIC
Respondents arguments:
! EMRASON:
o The subject property is exempt from CARP because it had
already been reclassified as residential with the approval of
Ordinance No. 29-A by the Municipality. EMRASON cites
Ortigas & Co., Ltd. Partnership v. Feati Bank and Trust
Co where this Court ruled that a municipal council is
empowered to adopt zoning and subdivision ordinances or
regulations under Section 3 of the Local Autonomy Act of
1959. EMRASON avows that the Municipality of
Dasmarias, taking into account the conditions prevailing in
the area, could validly zone and reclassify the subject
property in the exercise of its police power in order to
safeguard the health, safety, peace, good order, and general
welfare of the people in the locality. EMRASON describes
the whole area surrounding the subject property as
residential subdivisions (i.e., Don Gregorio, Metro Gate,
Vine Village, and Cityland Greenbreeze 1 and 2
Subdivisions) and industrial estates (i.e., Reynolds
Aluminum Philippines, Inc. factory; NDC-Marubeni
industrial complex, San Miguel Corporation-Monterey cattle
and piggery farm and slaughterhouse), traversed by national
highways (i.e., Emilio Aguinaldo National Highway, Trece
Martirez, Puerto Azul Road, and Governor's Drive).
EMRASON mentions that on March 25, 1988, the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Cavite passed
Resolution No. 105 which declared the area where subject
property is located as "industrial-residential-institutional
mix."
o Ordinance No. 29-A of the Municipality of Dasmarias is
valid. Ordinance No. 29-A is complete in itself, and there is
no more need to comply with the alleged requisites which
DAR and Buklod are insisting upon. EMRASON quotes
from Patalinghug v. Court of Appeals that "once a local
government has reclassified an area as commercial, that
determination for zoning purposes must prevail."

Ordinance No. 29-A, reclassifying the subject property, was


approved by the Municipality of Dasmarias on July 9,
1972. Executive Order No. 648, otherwise known as the
Charter of the Human Settlements Regulatory
Commission (HSRC Charter) - which conferred upon the
HSRC the power and duty to review, evaluate, and approve
or disapprove comprehensive land use and development
plans and zoning ordinances of LGUs - was issued only on
February 7, 1981. The exercise by HSRC of such power
could not be applied retroactively to this case without
impairing vested rights of EMRASON.
There is no absolute necessity of submitting Ordinance No.
29-A to the NPC for approval. Based on the language of
Section 3 of the Local Autonomy Act of 1959, which used
the word "may," review by the NPC of the local planning
and zoning ordinances was merely permissive. EMRASON
additionally posits that Ordinance No. 1 of the Municipality
of Dasmarias simply required approval by the NPC of the
final plat or plan, map, or chart of the subdivision, and not of
the reclassification and/or conversion by the Municipality of
the subject property from agricultural to residential. As for
Administrative Order No. 152 dated December 16, 1968, it
was directed to and should have been complied with by the
city and municipal boards and councils. Thus, EMRASON
should not be made to suffer for the non-compliance by the
Municipal Council of Dasmarinas with said administrative
order.
Since the subject property was already reclassified as
residential with the mere approval of Ordinance No. 29-A by
the Municipality of Dasmarinas, EMRASON did not have to
immediately undertake actual development of the subject
property. Reclassification and/or conversion of a parcel of
land are different from the implementation of the conversion.
Buklod members are not farmer-tenants of the subject
property. The subject property has no farmer-tenants
because, as the Court of Appeals observed, the property is
unirrigated and not devoted to any agricultural activity. The
subject property was placed under the CARP only to
accommodate the farmer-tenants of the NDC property who
were displaced by the NDC-Marubeni Industrial Project.
Moreover, the Buklod members are still undergoing a
screening process before the DAR-Region IV, and are yet to

be declared as qualified farmer-beneficiaries of the subject


property. Hence, Buklod members tailed to establish they
already have vested right over the subject property.
Issue/s: Whether the subject property could be placed under the CARP
Held/Ratio: SC affirms the Court of Appeals and rules in favor of
EMRASON.
! CARP coverage limited to agricultural land
o Section 4, Chapter II of the CARL, as amended,24
particularly defines the coverage of the CARP, to wit: SEC.
4. Scope. - The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of
1988 shall cover, regardless of tenurial arrangement and
commodity produced, all public and private agricultural
lands as provided in Proclamation No. 131 and Executive
Order No. 229, including other lands of the public domain
suitable for agriculture: Provided, That landholdings of
landowners with a total area of five (5) hectares and below
shall not be covered for acquisition and distribution to
qualified beneficiaries. More specifically, the following
lands are covered by the CARL: (d) All private lands
devoted to or suitable for agriculture regardless of the
agricultural products raised or that can be raised
thereon. Section 3(c), Chapter I of the CARL further
narrows down the definition of agricultural land that is
subject to CARL to "land devoted to agricultural activity as
defined in this Act and not classified as mineral, forest,
residential, commercial or industrial land." The CARL took
effect on June 15, 1988. To be exempt from the CARL, the
subject property should have already been reclassified as
residential prior to said date.
! The Local Autonomy Act of 1959
o The Local Autonomy Act of 1959, precursor of the Local
Government Code of 1991, provided: SEC. 3. Additional
powers of provincial boards, municipal boards or city
councils and municipal and regularly organized municipal
district councils. - x x x Power to adopt zoning and planning
ordinances. Any provision of law to the contrary
notwithstanding, Municipal Boards or City Councils in
cities, and Municipal Councils in municipalities are hereby
authorized to adopt zoning and subdivision ordinances or
regulations for their respective cities and municipalities

subject to the approval of the City Mayor or Municipal


Mayor, as the case may be. Cities and municipalities may,
however, consult the National Planning Commission on
matters pertaining to planning and zoning.
o The Court observes that the OP, the Court of Appeals, and
even the parties themselves referred to Resolution No. 29-A
as an ordinance. Although it may not be its official
designation, calling Resolution No. 29-A as Ordinance No.
29-A is not completely inaccurate.
# Ortigas & Co. case, the Court found it immaterial
that the then Municipal Council of Mandaluyong
declared certain lots as part of the commercial and
industrial zone through a resolution, rather than an
ordinance, because:Section 3 of R.A. No. 2264,
otherwise known as the Local Autonomy Act,
empowers a Municipal Council "to adopt zoning and
subdivision ordinances or regulations" for the
municipality. Clearly, the law docs not restrict the
exercise of the power through an ordinance.
Therefore, granting that Resolution No. 27 is not an
ordinance, it certainly is a regulatory measure
within the intendment or ambit of the word
"regulation" under the provision. As a matter oi'
fact the same section declares that the power exists
"(A)ny provision of law to the contrary
notwithstanding x x x."
While the subject property may be physically located within an
agricultural zone under the 1981 Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance
of Dasmarinas, said property retained its residential classification.
According to Section 17, the Repealing Clause, of the 1981
Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance of Dasmarinas: "AH other
ordinances, rules or regulations in conflict with the provision of this
Ordinance are hereby repealed: Provided, that rights that have
vested before the effectivity of this Ordinance shall not be
impaired."
o Ayog v. Cusi, Jr.: That vested right has to be respected. It
could not be abrogated by the new Constitution. Section 2,
Article XIII of the 1935 Constitution allows private
corporations to purchase public agricultural lands not
exceeding one thousand and twenty-four hectares.
Petitioners' prohibition action is barred by the doctrine of
vested rights in constitutional law.

The due process clause prohibits the annihilation of vested


rights. "A state may not impair vested rights by legislative
enactment, by the enactment or by the subsequent repeal
of a municipal ordinance, or by a change in the
constitution of the State, except in a legitimate exercise of
the police power"
A law enacted in the exercise of police power to regulate or govern
certain activities or transactions could be given retroactive effect and
may reasonably impair vested rights or contracts. Police power
legislation is applicable not only to future contracts, but equally to
Ihose already in existence. Non-impairment of contracts or vested
rights clauses will have to yield to the superior and legitimate
exercise by the State of police power to promote the health, morals,
peace, education, good order, safety, and general welfare of the
people, x x x.
EMRASON mentions Resolution No. 105, Defining and Declaring
the Boundaries of Industrial and Residential Land Use Plan in the
Municipalities of Imus and Parts of Dasmariflas, Carmona, Gen.
Mariano Alvarez, Gen. Trias, Silang, Tanza, Naic, Rosario, and
Trece Martires City, Province o[ Cavite, approved by the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Cavite on March 25, 1988. The
Sangguniang Panlalawigan determined that "the lands extending
from the said designated industrial areas would have greater
economic value for residential and institutional uses, and would
serve the interest and welfare for the greatest good of the greatest
number of people."50 Resolution No. 105, approved by the HLURB
in 1990, partly reads: Tracts of land in the Municipality of Carmona
from the People's Technology Complex to parts of the Municipality
of Silang, parts of the Municipalities of Dasmarias, General Trias,
Trece Martires City, Municipalities of Tanza and Naic forming the
strip of land traversed by the Puerto Azul Road extending two
kilometers more or less from each side of the road which are hereby
declared as industrial-residential-institutional mix. (Emphases
supplied.)
o There is no question that the subject property is located
within the afore-described area. And even though
Resolution No. 105 has no direct bearing on the
classification of the subject property prior to the CARL - it
taking effect only in 1990 after being approved by the
HLURB - it is a confirmation that at present, the subject
property and its surrounding areas are deemed by the
Province of Cavite better suited and prioritized for industrial
o

and residential development, than agricultural purposes.


CARP exemption:
o Section 4 of R.A. 6657 provides that the CARL shall "cover,
regardless of tenurial arrangement and commodity produced,
all public and private agricultural lands." As to what
constitutes "agricultural land," it is referred to as "land
devoted to agricultural activity as defined in this Act and not
classified as mineral, forest, residential, commercial or
industrial land." The deliberations of the Constitutional
Commission confirm this limitation. "Agricultural lands" arc
only those lands which are "arable and suitable agricultural
lands" and "do not include commercial, industrial and
residential lands."
o Based on the foregoing, it is clear that the undeveloped
portions of the Antipolo Hills Subdivision cannot in any
language be considered as "agricultural lands." These lots
were intended for residential use. They ceased to be
agricultural lands upon approval of their inclusion in the
Lungsod Silangan Reservation. Even today, the areas in
question continue to be developed as a low-cost housing
subdivision, albeit at a snail's pace, x x x The enormity of
the resources needed for developing a subdivision may
have delayed its completion but this does not detract
from the fact that these lands are still residential lands
and outside the ambit of the CARL.

AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, Jr., Sergio Tadeo (Assoc. of Brgy. Captains


of Cabanatuan) and Nelson Alcantara (Brgy. Captain, QC), petitioners,
vs. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY Paquito N. Ochoa and Secretary
Corazon Juliano-Soliman of the DSWD, respondents.
(July 27, 2012)
Doctrine: Complete relinquishment of central government powers on the
matter of providing basic facilities and services cannot be implied as
the Local Government Code itself weighs against it.
The national government is, thus, not precluded from taking a
direct hand in the formulation and implementation of national
development programs especially where it is implemented locally in
coordination with the LGUs concerned.
Facts:
This suit is a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition.
Petitioners question the constitutionality of certain provisions in the Gen.
Appropriations Act of 2011 which allocated P21 Billion for the Conditional
Cash Transfer Program.
In 2007, DSWD started implementing a poverty reduction project named
Ahon Pamilyang Pilipino in selected municipalities and cities.
In 2008, DSWD issued A.O.16 setting the implementing guidelines of
the already renamed project Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)
also referred as CCTP.
CCTP provides cash grants to extreme poor households to allow the
members of the families to meet certain human development goals. DSWD
is the lead implementing agency.
DSWD executed MOAs with participating LGUs outlining the
obligation of both parties during the 5-year implementation period.
Congress provided funding for the project in the amounts of P298K in
2008, P5 Billion in 2009, P10 Billion in 2010, and P21 Billion in 2011.
I. Petitioners arguments:
They claim that the program is a recentralization of government
functions that have already been devolved from the national government to
the local government units.
Petitioners base their claim on Art. II, Sec. 254and Art. X, Sec. 35of the
1987 Constitution in relation to Sec. 17 of the LGC of 1991.

While petitioners admit that that the wisdom of adopting a proverty


reduction strategy such as the CCTP is with the legislature, they take
exception to the manner by which it is being implemented through
DSWD. DSWD has full control over the identification of beneficiaries and
the manner by which services are to be delivered or conditionalities are to be
complied with.
They say that LGUs have the responsibility and functions of
delivering social welfare, agricultural, and health services pursuant to Sec.
17 of the LGC. They assert that the P21 Billion should have been allocated
directly of the LGUs.
II. Respondents arguments: *The Court did not say*
Issue/s:
1. W/N the CCTP violate the said constitutional privisions and the
Local Government Code? NO.
Held/Ratio:
1. The Local Government Code vested upon the LGUs the duties and
functions pertaining to the delivery of basic services and facilities. To
wit:
Sec. 17 (a) Local government units shall endeavor to be self-reliant ..x x
x.. Local government units shall likewise exercise such other powers ..x x x..
as are necessary to efficient and effective provision of the basic services and
facilities.
Sec. 17 (b) Such basic services and facilities include, but are not limited
to, ..x x x..
Sec. 17 (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) hereof, x x
x, programs and services funded by the national government under the
annual General Appropriations Act, x x x , are not covered under this
Section, except in those cases where the local government unit concerned is
duly designated as the implementing agency for such projects, facilities,
programs, and services.
The Court said: The essence of this express reservation of power by the
national government is that [the LGU] has no power over a program for
which funding has been provided by the national government under the
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4

Art. II, Section 25. The State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments.

Art. X, Section 13. Local government units may group themselves, consolidate or
coordinate their efforts, services, and resources for purposes commonly beneficial to
them in accordance with law.

annual general appropriations act, even if the program involves the delivery
of basic services within the jurisdiction of the LGU.
Ganzon vs. CA: the concept of local autonomy does not imply the
conversion of local government units into mini-states.
The Constitution did not intend to sever the relation of partnership and
interdependence between the central administration and local government
units.
Pimentel vs. Aguirre: Under the Philippine concept of local autonomy,
the national government has not completely relinquished all its powers over
local governments, including autonomous regions. Only administrative
powers over local affairs are delegated to political subdivisions. To enable
the country to develop as a whole, the programs and policies effected locally
must be integrated and coordinated towards a common national goal. Thus,
policy-setting for the entire country still lies in the President and Congress.
Limbona vs. Mangelin distinguishes: Decentralization of
Administrationwhen the central government delegates administrative
powers to political subdivisions ..x x x.. it relieves the central government of
the burden of managing local affairs and enables it to concentrate on national
concerns.
Decentralization of Power involves an abdication of political power in
favor of local government units. Decentralization of power is beyond our
constitutional concept of autonomy.

CSC v. Agnes Ouida-Yu (2012)


J. Perlas-Bernabe
Doctrine: The policy of the State with respect to local governments involves
Devolution which is the act by which the national government confers power
and authority upon the various local government units to perform specific
functions and responsibilities.
Facts:
1. Thru the Local Government Code of 1991, the national government
implemented a devolution program which affected the Department of
Health along with other government agencies.
2. Prior to the devolution, Dr. Fortunata Castillo was the:
a. Provincial Health Officer II (PHO II) of the DOH Regional
Office No. IX in Zamboanga City AND
b. Head of both the Basilan Provincial Health Hospital and Public
Health Services
3. Respondent Dr. Agnes Ouida P. Yu was Provincial Health Officer I
(PHO I)
4. Upon the implementation of the devolution program, then Basilan
Governor Salapuddin refused to accept Dr. Castillo as the incumbent
of the PHO II position that was to be devolved to the LGU of Basilan
a. DOH retained Dr. Castillo at the Regional Office No. IX in
Zamboanga City where she would serve the remaining four years
of her public service. She retired in 1996.
5. In 1994, Governor Salapuddin appointed Dr. Yu to the PHO II
position
6. In 1998, Republic Act No. 8543 (An Act Converting the Basilan
Provincial Hospital in the Municipality of Isabela, Province of
Basilan, into a Tertiary Hospital Under the Full Administrative and
Technical Supervision of the Department of Health, Increasing the
Capacity to One Hundred Beds and Appropriating Funds Therefor)
was passed " hospital positions previously devolved to the LGU of
Basilan were re-nationalized and reverted to the DOH
a. The Basilan Provincial Health Hospital was later renamed the
Basilan General Hospital, and the position of PHO II was then
re-classified to Chief of Hospital II.
7. While Dr. Yu was among the personnel reverted to the DOH with the
re-nationalization, she was made to retain her original item of PHO
II instead of being given the re-classified position of Chief of
Hospital II.

8. In 2003, then DOH Secretary Manuel M. Dayrit appointed Dr.


Domingo Remus A. Dayrit to the position of Chief of Hospital II
9. Respondent Dr. Yu filed a letter of protest before the CSC claiming
that she has a vested right to the position of Chief of Hospital II.
Respondents arguments:
a. The position of Chief of Hospital II to which Dr. Dayrit has been
appointed is a mere conversion from the item of PHO II
previously occupied by her
b. When the hospital was re-nationalized, the position of PHO II
was refused re-nationalized by DOH alleging that it was an
LGU-created position, that is, Basilan created it. Thus, instead of
the undersigned being automatically re-appointed and later to be
renamed Chief of Hospital II, pursuant to the Re-Nationalization
Law, she was instead given an appointment still as PHO II but
under a co-terminous status at the Center for Health and
Development, DOH which position the undersigned refused to
accept
10. CSCs rulings/ Petitioners position:
a. CSC granted Dr. Yu's protest and revoked the appointment of
Dr. Dayrit as Chief of Hospital II and Secretary Dayrit was
directed to appoint Dr. Yu to said position
b. Upon MR, the CSC reversed and declared that the position of
PHO II was never devolved to the Provincial Government of
Basilan but was retained by the DOH, hence, the PHO II position
held by Dr. Yu was a newly-created position, therefore, she did
not have a vested right to the Chief of Hospital II
c. Dr. Yu then filed a MR which was denied by the CSC
11. Dr. Yu elevated her case to the CA on petition for review raising the
sole issue of whether the item of PHO II she previously occupied
was a devolved position or a locally created one
a. CA ruled in favor of Dr. Yu
b. The CA cited several letters by DOH officials stating that the
PHO II position was devolved to the local government
Issue:
W/n the court of appeals erred in holding that the pho ii position previously
occupied by respondent Yu is a devolved position"NO
Ratio:
RELEVANT: Re Devolution:

1. Devolution is the act by which the national government confers


power and authority upon the various local government units to
perform specific functions and responsibilities
a. Section 17(i) of the LGCode prescribes the manner of
devolution, as follows:
(i) The devolution contemplated in this Code shall include
the transfer to local government units of the records,
equipment, and other assets and personnel of national
agencies and offices corresponding to the devolved powers,
functions and responsibilities.
Personnel of said national agencies or offices shall be
absorbed by the local government units to which they belong
or in whose areas they are assigned to the extent that it is
administratively viable as determined by the said oversight
committee: Provided, further, That regional directors who
are career executive service officers and other officers of
similar rank in the said regional offices who cannot be
absorbed by the local government unit shall be retained by
the national government, without any diminution of rank,
salary or tenure.
b. To ensure the proper implementation of the devolution process,
then President
Aquino issued Rules and Regulations
Implementing the Transfer of Personnel and Assets, Liabilities
and Records of National Government Agencies Whose Functions
Are To Be Devolved To The Local Government Units And For
Other Related Purposes which states that:
2. The absorption of the NGA personnel by the LGU shall
be mandatory, in which case, the LGUs shall create the
equivalent positions of the affected personnel except when it
is not administratively viable. (emphasis by digester)
3. Absorption is not administratively viable when there is a
duplication of functions unless the LGU opts to absorb the
personnel concerned.
4. The national personnel who are not absorbed by the LGUs
under no. 3 above, shall be retained by the NGA concerned,
subject to civil service law, rules and regulations.
Xxx
12. Except as herein otherwise provided, devolved permanent
personnel shall be automatically reappointed by the local chief
executive concerned immediately upon their transfer which shall
not go beyond June 30, 1992. Xxx

2. IN THIS CASE, based on the cited rules, it was mandatory for


Governor Salapuddin to absorb the position of PHO II, as well as its
incumbent, Dr. Castillo. The only instance that the LGU concerned
may choose not to absorb the NGA personnel is when absorption is
NOT administratively viable, meaning, it would result to duplication
of functions, in which case, the NGA personnel shall be retained by
the national government
a. The absorption is automatic or!involuntary either wholly or to a
major extent so that any activity of the will is largely negligible
" it connotes something mechanical, spontaneous and
perfunctory
3. Governor Salapuddin himself certified that said position was
included in the 1992 OSCAS (Organization, Staffing and
Compensation Action) received from the DBM with its
corresponding budget appropriation
a. He declared that during the formal turn over program in 1993
attended by DOH officials, the item position of PHO II was
among the positions turned over to the Provincial Government
b. Thus, the argument of CSC that only 53 plantilla positions, not
54, were devolved to the local government of Basilan does not
hold water
4. However, Governor Salapuddin refused to reappoint Dr. Castillo to
her devolved position in the LGU which was whimsical on the
Governors part because it lacks legal bases. Nonetheless, this refusal
did not prevent the devolution of Dr.Castillo which, together with
that of the PHO II position, took effect by operation of law
5. To solve his dilemma, Governor Salapuddin requested that Dr.
Castillo be detailed instead at the DOH, which was confirmed by
then Secretary Flavier
a. The drawing of Dr. Castillo's salary from the LGU of Basilan
which Governor Salapuddin claimed to have allowed simply
to accommodate her (Dr. Castillo) was, in fact, a necessary
consequence of her devolution to the LGU and subsequent detail
to the DOH (parent agencies pay the salary of the detailed
employees)
b. A detail is defined and governed by EO29: A detail is the
movement of an employee from one agency to another without
the issuance of an appointment and shall be allowed, only for a
limited period in the case of employees occupying professional,
technical and scientific positions. If the employee believes that
there is no justification for the detail, he may appeal his case to
the Commission. Pending appeal, the decision to detail the

employee shall be executory unless otherwise ordered by the


Commission
6. Had Dr. Castillo felt aggrieved by her detail she could have appealed
to the CSC, but she had not seen fit to question it may because she
only has three more years until her retirement in 1996, and
considering that she obviously would not suffer any diminution in
salary and rank
7. DOH officials categorized her as a devolution non-viable employee
by the mere fact that she was not accepted by the LGU of Basilan
and not because of an actual non-viability
a. Hence, in 1994, when Governor Salapuddin formally manifested
his intention to stop the drawing of Dr. Castillo's salary from the
LGU in anticipation of his appointment of Dr. Yu to the PHO II
position, Dr. Castillo ceased to be a detailed employee at the
DOH Regional Office but was re-absorbed by the DOH as a
devolution non-viable employee and, consequently, paid salaries
and benefits from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund
that had been set aside under the Office of the Secretary of
Health precisely for such employees
(NOT RELEVANT TO TOPIC) Re Abandonment by Dr. Castillo: She did
not abandon her position
1. Abandonment of an office is the voluntary relinquishment of an
office by the holder with the intention of terminating his possession
and control thereof. Two essential elements of abandonment:
a. An intention to abandon and,
b. An overt or 'external' act by which the intention is carried into
effect
2. Governor Salapuddin's refusal to accept Dr. Castillo negates
voluntariness on the part of the latter to let go of her position. The
risk of incurring the ire of a powerful politician effectively tied Dr.
Castillo's hands
3. With Dr. Castillo's re-absorption by the DOH, her devolved position
(PHO II) with the LGU of Basilan was left vacant
a. Dr. Yu was validly appointed to the position of PHO II and
acquired a vested right to its re-classified designation Chief of
Hospital II. She should have been automatically re-appointed by
Secretary Dayrit in accordance with the Guidelines
CONCURRING: Leonardo-De Castro

1. She agrees with the holding on the devolution but she opines that Dr.
Castillo abandoned her position by acquiescence. Abandonment of
office may be by non-user or acquiescence: Non-user refers to a
neglect to use a right or privilege or to exercise an office while
acquiescence is a silent appearance of consent by failure to make any
objection or by submission to an act of which one had knowledge. It
exists where a person knows or ought to know that he is entitled to
enforce his right or to impeach a transaction, and neglects to do so
for such a length of time as would imply that he intended to waive or
abandon his right
2. Dr. Castillos manifest inaction to assert a legal right from 1992 up
to her retirement from government service in 1996 constituted
abandonment by acquiescence. The ponencias position (re
retirement or fear of reprisal from the Governor) is speculative.

San Juan v. Civil Service Commission (1991)


Doctrine: Following the principle of local autonomy, the DBM may only
appoint a Provincial Budget Officer from the list of qualified recommendees
nominated by the Provincial Governor. If none are qualified among them, the
DBM must explain to the Governor why no one met the legal requirements
and ask for new recommendees who have the necessary eligibilities and
qualifications.
Facts:
S Following the vacancy of the position of Provincial Budget Officer
(PBO) of the Province of Rizal, petitioner Rizal Governor Reynaldo
San Juan wrote Director Abella of DBM-Region IV, asking for his
endorsement of the appointment of a certain Dalisay Santos as PBO
of Rizal. She had been acting as PBO for two (2) months.
S Not heeding the request, Director Abella instead recommended to the
DBM the appointment of private respondent Cecilia Almajose as
PBO, on the finding that she was the most qualified (she was the
only CPA among the nominees) following a comparative study of all
Municipal Budget Officers in Rizal.
o DBM Undersecretary Cabaquit agreed, and signed her
appointment papers as PBO of Rizal.
S Not knowing of the appointment, petitioner reiterated his request for
the appointment of Dalisay Santos. To this DBM Regional Director
Galvez replied that Santos and petitioners other recommendees did
not meet the minimum requirements under a Local Budget Circular
and required petitioner to submit at least three (3) other qualified
nominees for PBO.
S Petitioner finally learned of private respondents appointment and
filed a letter-protest with the DBM.
S The DBM Bureau of Legal and Legislative Affairs ruled that DBM
validly exercised its prerogative in appointing private respondent as
PBO since none of the petitioners nominees met the prescribed
requirements, per Local Budget Circular No. 31. The DBM Secretary
denied petitioners MR.
S Petitioner protested the appointment before the Civil Service
Commission, which upheld private respondents appointment.
S Hence, this petition.
Petitioners arguments:
S Petitioner prays for the nullification of the CSC resolutions which
upheld private respondents appointment as PBO of Rizal

S
S

As Governor, petitioner has the sole right and privilege to


recommend the nominees to the position of PBO and that the
appointee should come only from his nominees.
Before the promulgation of EO 112, BP 337 (the old Local
Government Code) vested upon the governor the power to
appoint the PBO. As such, petitioner assumes that the intent
behind the grant of recommendatory powers in EO 112 with
regard to appointments of PBOs is to make his
recommendation part and parcel of the appointment process.
Further, in light of the state policy of local autonomy, his
recommendatory power should be given mandatory application.
Such power cannot be validly defeated by a mere DBM
administrative issuance reserving upon itself the right to fill-up
vacancies in case the governors nominees do not meet DBM
requirements.
E.O. 112, Section 1:
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.

Respondents arguments:
S Respondent argues that in the event the local chief executives
recommendees do not meet the qualifications for the position of
PBO, it may validly exercise its prerogative to fill-in such position.
In doing so, it should not be restricted to the list of recommendees in
the final selection of the appointee, and may consider other nominees
for the position.
S The recommendation of the local chief executive is thus merely
directory, and not a condition sine qua non to the exercise of the
DBM of its appointing prerogative.
S It must be considered that the PBO is a nationalized position under
the control and supervision of the DBM Secretary, and appointees
are primarily the choice of the national appointing official. This is
necessary to preserve and maintain the independence of said officer
from the LGU.
S Local Budget Circular No. 31, Sec. 6.0

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.
Issue/s:
S WoN the Department Head is free to appoint anyone in the event the
persons recommended by the Governor are unqualified.
Held/Ratio:
S NO. THE RECOMMENDATORY POWER OF THE GOVERNOR
IS DIRECTORY, AND THE DBM MAY NOT APPOINT
PERSONS OTHER THAN THOSE RECOMMENDED BY
GOVERNOR SHOULD THEY BE UNQUALIFIED.
S Constitutional policy of local autonomy
o Where a law is capable of two interpretations, one in favor
of centralized power and the other beneficial to local
autonomy, it must be interpreted in favor of autonomy.
o The exercise by local governments of meaningful power and
the establishment of local governments which manage their
own affairs to the fullest extent possible with the least degree
of supervision has been a national goal since the beginning
of the 20th century as can be gleaned from constitutional
provisions and legislation.
# 1987 Const., Art. II, Sec. 25. The state shall ensure
the autonomy of local governments.
# 1987 Const., Art. X, Sec. 2. The territorial and
political subdivisions shall enjoy local autonomy.
o Executive intervention in local government affairs is limited
to supervision which goes no further than overseeing or the
power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate
officers perform their duties, and taking actions to make
them perform their duties should they fail or neglect to do
the same. (Tecson v. Salas)
S Interpreting the recommendatory power of the Governor as purely
directory goes against the spirit of the constitutional provisions on
local autonomy, and ignores the right of local governments to
develop self-reliance and resoluteness in the management of their
own funds.
S As such, Local Budget Circular No. 31, Sec. 6.0 is ultra vires and
must be set aside. The DBM may only appoint A PBO from the list
of qualified recommendees nominated by the Provincial Governor. If
none are qualified among them, the DBM must explain to the

Governor why no one met the legal requirements and ask for new
recommendees who have the necessary eligibilities and
qualifications.
The judicial appointment process may be look at by way of analogy.
A president, in appointing justices and judges, cannot apply the
procedure advanced by the DBM by rejecting all JBC nominees and
appoint another person whom she feels is better qualified. There can
be no reservation of the right to fill up a position with a person of the
appointing powers personal choice.

Pimentel v. Aguirre (2000)


Doctrine: The Constitution vests the President with the power of
supervision, not control, over local government units (LGUs). Such power
enables him to see to it that LGUs and their officials execute their tasks in
accordance with law. While he may issue advisories and seek their
cooperation in solving economic difficulties, he cannot prevent them from
performing their tasks and using available resources to achieve their goals.
He may not withhold or alter any authority or power given them by the law.
Thus, the withholding of a portion of internal revenue allotments legally due
them cannot be directed by administrative fiat.
Facts:
1. This is an original Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition seeking:
a. To annul Section 1 of Administrative Order (AO) No. 372,
insofar as it requires local government units to reduce their
expenditures by 25 percent of their authorized regular
appropriations for non-personal services;
b. To enjoin respondents from implementing Section 4 of the
Order, which withholds a portion of their internal revenue
allotments.
2. On December 27, 1997, the President of the Philippines issued AO
372. The pertinent provisions are as follows:
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
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.
3. On December 10, 1998, Pres. Estrada issued AO 43, amending
Section 4 of AO 372, by reducing to five percent (5%) the amount
of internal revenue allotment (IRA) to be withheld from the LGUs.
Petitioners Arguments: Petitioner contends that the President, in issuing
AO 372, was in effect exercising the power of control over LGUs. The
Constitution vests in the President, however, only the power of general

supervision over LGUs, consistent with the principle of local autonomy.


Petitioner further argues that the directive to withhold ten percent (10%) of
their IRA is in contravention of Section 286 of the Local Government Code
and of Section 6, Article X of the Constitution, providing for thea utomatic
release to each of these units its share in the national internal revenue.
Respondents Arguments: The solicitor general, on behalf of the
respondents, claims on the other hand that AO 372 was issued to alleviate
the "economic difficulties brought about by the peso devaluation" and
constituted merely an exercise of the President's power of supervision over
LGUs. It allegedly does not violate local fiscal autonomy, because it merely
directs local governments to identify measures that will reduce their total
expenditures for non-personal services by at least 25 percent. Likewise, the
withholding of 10 percent of the LGUs IRA does not violate the statutory
prohibition on the imposition of any lien or holdback on their revenue
shares, because such withholding is "temporary in nature pending the
assessment and evaluation by the Development Coordination Committee of
the emerging fiscal situation."
Issue/s: WON whether Section 1 of AO 372, insofar as it "directs" LGUs to
reduce their expenditures by 25 percent and Section 4 of the same issuance,
which withholds 10 percent of their internal revenue allotments, are valid
exercises of the President's power of general supervision over local
governments. (NO)
Held/Ratio:
a. Scope of Presidents Power of Supervision over LGUs
Section 4 of Article X of the Constitution confines the
President's power over local governments to one of general
supervision. It reads as follows: "Sec. 4. The President of
the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local
governments. "
This provision has been interpreted to exclude the power of
control.
Supervision and control are different:
i. In administrative law, supervision means overseeing
or the power or authority of an officer to see that
subordinate officers perform their duties. If the
latter fail or neglect to fulfill them, the former may
take such action or step as prescribed by law to
make them perform their duties. Control, on the
other hand, means the power of an officer to alter or
modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate

officer has done in the performance of his duties


and to substitute the judgment of the former for that
of the latter.
ii. The Chief Executive wielded no more authority
than that of checking whether local governments or
their officials were performing their duties as
provided by the fundamental law and by
statutes. He
cannot
interfere
with
local
governments, so long as they act within the scope of
their authority.
iii. "Supervisory 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,"we said.
iv. Drilon v. Lim:. Officers in control lay down the
rules in the performance or accomplishment of an
act. If these rules are not followed, they may, in
their discretion, order the act undone or redone by
their subordinates or even decide to do it
themselves. On the other hand, supervision does
not cover such authority. Supervising officials
merely see to it that the rules are followed, but they
themselves do not lay down such rules, nor do they
have the discretion to modify or replace them. If
the rules are not observed, they may order the work
done or redone, but only to conform to such
rules. They may not prescribe their own manner of
execution of the act. They have no discretion on
this matter except to see to it that the rules are
followed.
Under our present system of government, executive power is
vested in the President. The members of the Cabinet and
other executive officials are merely alter egos. As such,
they are subject to the power of control of the President, at
whose will and behest they can be removed from office; or
their actions and decisions changed, suspended or
reversed.In contrast, the heads of political subdivisions are
elected by the people. Their sovereign powers emanate
from the electorate, to whom they are directly
accountable. 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. By the same token, the President may not withhold


or alter any authority or power given them by the
Constitution and the law.
b. Extent of Local Autonomy: Hand in hand with the constitutional
restraint on the President's power over local governments is the state
policy of ensuring local autonomy.
Ganzon v. Court of Appeals: local autonomy signified "a
more responsive and accountable local government structure
instituted through a system of decentralization." The grant
of autonomy is intended to "break up the monopoly of the
national government over the affairs of local governments
not to end the relation of partnership and interdependence
between the central administration and local government
units ." Paradoxically, local governments are still subject to
regulation, however limited, for the purpose of enhancing
self-government
Decentralization simply means the devolution of national
administration, not power, to local governments. Local
officials remain accountable to the central government as the
law may provide.
Under the Philippine concept of local autonomy, the
national government has not completely relinquished all its
powers over local governments, including autonomous
regions. Only administrative powers over local affairs are
delegated to political subdivisions. The purpose of the
delegation is to make governance more directly responsive
and effective at the local levels. In turn, economic, political
and social development at the smaller political units are
expected to propel social and economic growth and
development. But to enable the country to develop as a
whole, the programs and policies effected locally must be
integrated and coordinated towards a common national
goal. Thus, policy-setting for the entire country still lies in
the President and Congress
c. Fiscal Autonomy of LGUs
Under existing law, local government units, in addition to
having administrative autonomy in the exercise of their
functions, enjoy fiscal autonomy as well.
Fiscal autonomy means that local governments have the
power to create their own sources of revenue in addition to
their equitable share in the national taxes released by the
national government, as well as the power to allocate their

resources in accordance with their own priorities. It extends


to the preparation of their budgets, and local officials in turn
have to work within the constraints thereof. They are not
formulated at the national level and imposed on local
governments, whether they are relevant to local needs and
resources or not. Hence, the necessity of a balancing of
viewpoints and the harmonization of proposals from both
local and national officials, who in any case are partners in
Sec. 1 may be upheld as an advisory effected in times of
national crisis. However, Section 4 of AO 372 cannot be
upheld. A basic feature of local fiscal autonomy is
the automatic release of the shares of LGUs in the national
internal revenue. This is mandated by no less than the
Constitution. The Local Government Code specifies further
that the release shall be made directly to the LGU concerned
within five (5) days after every quarter of the year and "shall
not be subject to any lien or holdback that may be imposed
by the national government for whatever purpose." As a
rule, the term "shall" is a word of command that must be
given a compulsory meaning. The provision is, therefore,
imperative.
In sum, while Section 1 of AO 372 may be upheld as an
advisory effected in times of national crisis, Section 4
thereof has no color of validity at all. The latter provision
effectively encroaches on the fiscal autonomy of local
governments. Concededly, the President was wellintentioned in issuing his Order to withhold the LGUs IRA,
but the rule of law requires that even the best intentions
must be carried out within the parameters of the
Constitution and the law. Verily, laudable purposes must be
carried out by legal methods.

Tan v. Comelec (1986)


J. Alampay
When the Constitution speaks of the unit or units affected, it means all of
the people of the province (city, municipality, or barangay) if the province
(city, municipality, or barangay) is to be divided or all of the people of two
or more provinces (cities, municipalities, or barangays) if there be a merger.
Congress cannot, by mere legislative fiat, diminish or restrict the unit or
units affected referred to by the Constitution to cities and municipalities
comprising the new province, thereby ignoring the evident reality that there
are other people necessarily affected.
Background
1. BP 885 (an act creating a new provinceNegros del Norte) took effect in
1985. Thereafter, petitioners (residents of Negros Occidental) filed a petition
for prohibition against respondents Comelec and Provincial Treasurer of
Negros Occidental: to enjoin the former from conducting the plebiscite
pursuant to said BP, and to enjoin the latter from disbursing the funds for
said plebiscite. The BP provided that 3 cities and 8 municipalities (all in
northern Negros) would constitute the new province, and that the territorial
area of Negros del Norte would be 4,019 sq. km more or less.
2. The plebiscite was nevertheless conducted (participated in only by a select
few voters, namely the residents of the 3 cities and 8 municipalities of the
proposed new province and not by the voters of the entire Negros Occidental
province), so petitioners filed a supplemental petition (recognizing that their
initial petition to prohibit the conduct of plebiscite had been mooted) this
time to prohibit respondent Comelec from issuing the official proclamation
of the results of the plebiscite, and to compel respondent Comelec to hold
another plebiscite wherein all the voters of the entire province of Negros
Occidental shall be allowed to participate.
3. Sen. Ambrosio Padilla filed a motion that he be allowed to appear as
amicus curiae, which was granted.

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. (Sec. 3, Art. XI, 1973 CONST. [now Sec. 10, Art.
X, 1987 CONST.])
Requisites for Creation. A province may be created if it has
a territory of at least three thousand five hundred square
kilometers, a population of at least five hundred thousand
persons, an average estimated annual income, as certified by
the Ministry of Finance, of not less than ten million pesos for
the last three consecutive years, and its creation shall not
reduce the population and income of the mother province or
provinces at the time of said creation to less than the
minimum requirements under this section. The territory need
not be contiguous if it comprises two or more islands.
The average estimated annual income shall include the
income alloted for both the general and infrastructural funds,
exclusive of trust funds, transfers and nonrecurring income.
(Sec. 197, old Local Government Code [now, see Chap. II,
LGC of 1991])
(b) The following section of BP 885 is void for being contrary to
Sec. 3, Art. XI, 1973 CONST.:
SEC. 4. A plebiscite shall be conducted in the proposed
new province which are the areas affected within a period
of one hundred and twenty days from the approval of this
Act. After the ratification of the creation of the Province of
Negros del Norte by a majority of the votes cast in such
plebiscite, the President of the Philippines shall appoint the
first officials of the province.

Petitioners Position
4. Petitioners argue that:
(a) BP 885 is unconstitutional and it is not in complete accord with
the following provisions of the old LGC and the 1973 Constitution:

Sec. 3, Art. XI, 1973 CONST. contemplates a plebiscite that would


be held in the unit or units affected by the creation of the new
province as a result of the consequent division of and substantial
alteration of the boundaries of the existing province. In this instance,
the voters in the remaining areas of the province of Negros

Occidental should have been allowed to participate in the questioned


plebiscite.
(c) The area which would comprise the new province of Negros del
Norte, would only be about 2,856 square kilometres, evidently lesser
than the minimum area prescribed by the LGC (3,500 sq. km).
Respondents Position
5. In general:
BP 885 should be accorded the presumption of constitutionality /
legality. The said law is not void on its face and the petition does not
show a clear, categorical and undeniable demonstration of the
supposed infringement of the Constitution. The power of the
Batasang Pambansa to enact BP 885 is unquestionable. BP 885 does
not infringe the Constitution because the requisites of the (old) LGC
have been complied with. The case is moot and academic in view of
the proclamation of the new Province of Negros del Norte.
6. In particular:
(a) The remaining cities and municipalities of Negros Occidental not
included in the area of the new Province of Negros del Norte do not
fall within the meaning and scope of the term unit or units
affected, as referred to in Sec. 3, Art. XI, 1973 CONST. (see par.
4[a], supra). BP 885 does not therefore violate the Constitution, per
Paredes v. Executive Secretary(1984) (a plebiscite was conducted
which was participated in exclusively by the people of the barangay
that would constitute the new municipality; heldthat the plebiscite
is valid):
(i) Admittedly, this is one of those cases where the discretion
of the Court is allowed considerable leeway. There is indeed
an element of ambiguity in the use of the expression 'unit or
units affected'. It is plausible to assert as petitioners do that
when certain Barangays are separated from a parent
municipality to form a new one, all the voters therein are
affected. It is much more persuasive, however, to contend
as respondents do that the acceptable construction is for
those voters, who are not from the barangays to be
separated, should be excluded in the plebiscite.

(ii) For one thing, it is in accordance with the settled doctrine


that between two possible constructions, one avoiding a
finding of unconstitutionality and the other yielding such a
result, the former is to be preferred. That which will save,
not that which will destroy, commends itself for acceptance.
After all, the basic presumption all these years is one of
validity.
(iii) Adherence to such philosophy compels the conclusion
that when there are indications that the inhabitants of several
barangays are inclined to separate from a parent municipality
they should be allowed to do so. What is more logical than
to ascertain their will in a plebiscite called for that
purpose. It is they, and they alone, who shall constitute the
new unit. New responsibilities will be assumed. New
burdens will be imposed. A new municipal corporation will
come into existence. Its birth will be a matter of choice
their choice. They should be left alone then to decide for
themselves. To allow other voters to participate will not
yield a true expression of their will. They may even frustrate
it. That certainly will be so if they vote against it for selfish
reasons, and they constitute the majority. That is not to abide
by the fundamental principle of the Constitution to promote
local autonomy, the preference being for smaller units. To
rule as this Tribunal does is to follow an accepted principle
of constitutional construction, that in ascertaining the
meaning of a particular provision that may give rise to
doubts, the intent of the framers and of the people may be
gleaned from provisions in pari materia.
(b) The requisites under the old LGC for the creation of the new
province of Negros del Norte have all been duly complied with.
Contrary to petitioners contention, the requisite area of 3,500 square
kilometers as so prescribed in the LGC for a new province to be
created has been satisfied. BP 885 creating the new province plainly
declares that the territorial boundaries of Negros del Norte comprise
an area of 4,019 sq. km, more or less.
(c) The petition has been rendered moot and academic considering
that a plebiscite has been already conducted and as a result thereof,
the corresponding certificate of canvass indicated that out of 195,134

total votes cast in said plebiscite, 164,734 were in favor of the


creation of Negros del Norte and 30,400 were against it. And
because the affirmative votes cast represented a majority of the total
votes cast in said plebiscite, the Chairman of the Board of
Canvassers proclaimed the new province which shall be known as
Negros del Norte. Therefore, following the proclamation of
Negros del Norte province, the appointments of the officials of said
province created were announced. The case should be dismissed for
having been rendered moot and academic as the creation of the new
province is now a fait accompli.
Ruling of the Court
7. The petition is not moot and academic:
Considering that the legality of the plebiscite itself is challenged
for non-compliance with constitutional requisites, the fact that
such plebiscite had been held and a new province proclaimed and its
officials appointed, the case before Us cannot truly be viewed as
already moot and academic. Continuation of the existence of this
newly proclaimed province which petitioners strongly profess to
have been illegally born, deserves to be inquired into by this
Tribunal so that, if indeed, illegality attaches to its creation, the
commission of that error should not provide the very excuse for
perpetuation of such wrong. For this Court to yield to the
respondents urging that, as there has been fait accompli then this
Court should passively accept and accede to the prevailing situation
is an unacceptable suggestion. Dismissal of the instant petition, as
respondents so propose is a proposition fraught with mischief....
8. Sec. 3, Art. XI, 1973 CONST. requires 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:
It is thus inescapable to conclude that 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. Plain and simple logic will demonstrate that the two
political units would be affected. The first would be the parent
province of Negros Occidental because its boundaries would be

substantially altered. The other affected entity would be composed of


those in the area subtracted from the mother province to
constitute the proposed province of Negros del Norte.
9. In order to conform to the Constitution therefore, the plebiscite must be
participated in by all the residents of Negros Occidental, the parent province,
and the proposed Negros del Norte, the units affected:
No amount of rhetorical flourishes can justify exclusion of the
parent province in the plebiscite because of an alleged intent on the
part of the authors and implementors of the challenged statute to
carry out what is claimed to be a mandate to guarantee and promote
autonomy of local government units. The alleged good intentions
cannot prevail and overrule the cardinal precept that what our
Constitution categorically directs to be done or imposes as a
requirement must first be observed, respected and complied with. No
one should be allowed to pay homage to a supposed fundamental
policy intended to guarantee and promote autonomy of local
government units but at the same time transgress, ignore and
disregard what the Constitution commands in Article XI Section
3 thereof. Respondents would be no different from one who hurries
to pray at the temple but then spits at the Idol therein.
10. The case of Paredes v. Executive Secretaryrelied upon by respondents
should not be applied:
This Court is not unmindful of this solitary case alluded to by
respondents. What is, however, highly significant are the prefatory
statements therein stating that said case is one of those cases where
the discretion of the Court is allowed considerable leeway and that
there is indeed an element of ambiguity in the use of the expression
unit or units affected. The ruling rendered in said 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 ruling in [Paredes] should not be taken as a doctrinal or
compelling precedent when it is acknowledged therein that it is
plausible to assert, as petitioners do, that when certain Barangays are
separated from a parent municipality to form a new one, all the
voters therein are affected.

11. The case of Paredes contained a strong dissent from Justice V. Abad
Santos (when the Constitution speaks of the unit or units affected it means
all of the people of the municipality if the municipality is to be divided such
as in the case at bar or all of the people of two or more municipalities if there
be a merger. I see no ambiguity in the Constitutional provision), reiterated
by him in Lopez, Jr. v. Comelec (1985), involving a referendum which did
not include all the people of Bulacan and Rizal, when such referendum was
intended to ascertain if the people of said provinces were willing to give up
some of their towns to Metropolitan Manila. It is this dissenting opinion
that guided the Court in deciding this case. The rulings in Paredes and
Lopez, Jr. are therefore abandoned.
12. The present case is different from the cases relied upon by respondents:
Opportunity to re-examine the views formerly held in said cases is
now afforded the present Court. The reasons in the mentioned
cases invoked by respondents herein 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.
The environmental facts in the case before Us readily disclose that
the subject matter under consideration is of greater magnitude
with concomitant multifarious complicated problems. In the earlier
case, what was involved was a division of a barangay which is the
smallest political unit in the Local Government Code.
Understandably, few and lesser problems are involved. In the case
at bar, creation of a new province relates to the largest political
unit contemplated in Section 3, Art. XI of the Constitution. To
form the new province of Negros del Norte no less than three cities
and eight municipalities will be subtracted from the parent province
of Negros Occidental. This will result in the removal of
approximately 2,768.4 square kilometers from the land area of an
existing province whose boundaries will be consequently
substantially altered. It becomes easy to realize that the consequent
effects of the division of the parent province necessarily will affect
all the people living in the separate areas of Negros Occidental and
the proposed province of Negros del Norte. The economy of the
parent province as well as that of the new province will be inevitably
affected, either for the better or for the worse. Whatever be the case,
either or both of these political groups will be affected and they are,
therefore, the unit or units referred to in Section 3 of Article XI of

the Constitution which must be included in the plebiscite


contemplated therein.
13. While it is true that in ascertaining the meaning of a particular provision
that may give rise to doubts, the intent of the framers and of the people, may
be gleaned from the provisions in pari materia, it cannot be said that in
wording Sec. 4, BP 885 (see par. 4[b], supra), by mere legislative fiat the
unit or units affected referred in the Constitution can be diminished or
restricted by the Batasang Pambansa to cities and municipalities comprising
the new province, thereby ignoring the evident reality that there are other
people necessarily affected.
Petitioners have averred without contradiction that after the creation
of Negros del Norte, the province of Negros Occidental would be
deprived of the long established Cities of Silay, Cadiz, and San
Carlos, as well as the municipality of Victorias. No controversion
has been made regarding petitioners assertion that the areas of the
Province of Negros Occidental will be diminished by about 285,656
hectares and it will lose seven of the fifteen sugar mills which
contribute to the economy of the whole province. In the language of
petitioners, to create Negros del Norte, the existing territory and
political subdivision known as Negros Occidental has to be
partitioned and dismembered. What was involved was no birth but
amputation. We agree with the petitioners that in the case of
Negros what was involved was a division, a separation; and
consequently, as Sec. 3 of Article XI of the Constitution
anticipates, a substantial alteration of boundary.
Indeed, the terms created, divided, merged, abolished as used
in the constitutional provision do not contemplate distinct situation
isolated from the mutually exclusive to each other. A Province may
becreated where an existing province is divided or two provinces
merged. Such cases necessarily will involve existing unit or
units abolished and definitely the boundary being substantially
altered.
It would thus be inaccurate to state that where an existing
political unit is divided or its boundary substantially altered, as
the Constitution provides, only some and not all the voters in the
whole unit which suffers dismemberment or substantial
alteration of its boundary are affected. Rather, the contrary is
true.

14. The plebiscite conducted is declared null and void. However, the
petitioners prayer that another plebiscite be conducted wherein all voters of
Negros Occidental shall participate cannot be granted for lack of legal basis.
With constitutional infirmity attaching to the subject Batas Pambansa Big.
885 and also because the creation of the new province of Negros del Norte is
not in accordance with the criteria established in the Local Government
Code, the factual and legal basis for the creation of such new province
which should justify the holding of another plebiscite does not exist.
15. The created province of Negros del Norte does not even satisfy the area
requirement in Sec. 197, (old) LGC:
It is of course claimed by the respondents in their Comment to the
exhibits submitted by the petitioners..., that the new province has a
territory of 4,019.95 square kilometers, more or less. This assertion
is made to negate the proofs submitted, disclosing that the land area
of the new province cannot be more than 3,500 square kilometers
because its land area would, at most, be only about 2,856 square
kilometers, taking into account government statistics relative to the
total area of the cities and municipalities constituting Negros del
Norte.
Respondents insist that when Section 197 of the Local Government
Code speaks of the territory of the province to be created and
requires that such territory be at least 3,500 square kilometers, what
is contemplated is not only the land area but also the land and water
over which the said province has jurisdiction and control. It is even
the submission of the respondents that in this regard the marginal sea
within the three mile limit should be considered in determining the
extent of the territory of the new province. Such an interpretation
is strained, incorrect, and fallacious.
The last sentence of the first paragraph of Section 197 is most
revealing. As so stated therein theterritory need not be contiguous if
it comprises two or more islands. The use of the wordterritory in
this particular provision of the Local Government Code and in the
very last sentence thereof, clearly reflects that territory as therein
used, has reference only to the mass of land area and excludes the
waters over which the political unit exercises control.

Said sentence states that the territory need not be contiguous.


Contiguous means (a) in physical contact; (b) touching along all or
most of one side; (c) near, text, or adjacent... Contiguous, when
employed as an adjective, as in the above sentence, is only used
when it describes physical contact, or a touching of sides of two solid
masses of matter. The meaning of particular terms in a statute may
be ascertained by reference to words associated with or related to
them in the statute... Therefore, in the context of the sentence above,
what need not be contiguous is the territory the physical mass of
land area. There would arise no need for the legislators to use the
word contiguous if they had intended that the term territory
embrace not only land area but also territorial waters. It can be safely
concluded that the word territory in the first paragraph of Section
197 is meant to be synonymous with land area only. The words and
phrases used in a statute should be given the meaning intended by
the legislature... The sense in which the words are used furnished the
rule of construction...
16. BP 885 is declared unconstitutional. The proclamation of the new
province of Negros del Norte and the appointment of its officials are declared
null and void.

Tan v. Perena (2005)

Doctrine: There is no dichotomy between affirming the power of the


Sangguniang Bayan and subjecting it to limitations at the same time.
Facts:
History of Laws:
$ PD 449 (Cockfighting Law of 1974) states that only one
cockpit shall be allowed in each city or municipality, except
that in cities or municipalities with a population of over one
hundred thousand, two cockpits may be established,
maintained and operated.
$ Local Government Code of 1991 was subsequently enacted.
Under said law, the municipal sangguniang bayan were
empowered, [a]ny law to the contrary notwithstanding, to
authorize and license the establishment, operation and
maintenance of cockpits, and regulate cockfighting and
commercial breeding of gamecocks.
$ In 1993, Sangguniang Bayan of Municipality of Daanbantayan
Cebu enacted Municipal Ordinance No. 6 which states that
there shall be allowed to operate in the Municipality of
Daanbantayan, Province of Cebu, not more than its equal
number of cockpits based upon the population provided for in
PD 449, provided however, that this specific section can be
amended for purposes of establishing additional cockpits, if the
Municipal population so warrants.
$ Shortly thereafter, the Sangguniang Bayan enacted Ordinance
No. 7 (amending Ordinance No. 6) which states that there shall
be allowed to operate in the Municipality of Daanbantayan,
Province of Cebu, not more than three (3) cockpits.
In 1995, petitioner Tan applied with the Municipal Gamefowl
Commission for the issuance of a permit/license to establish and
operate a cockpit in Sitio Combado, Bagay, in Daanbantayan (Cebu).
At the time of his application, there was already another cockpit in
operation in Daanbantayan, operated by respondent Perea, who was
the duly franchised and licensed cockpit operator in the municipality
since the 1970s. Pereas franchise was valid until 2002. Mayor Te
issued a mayors permit allowing Tan to establish/operate/conduct
the business of a cockpit.
Perena filed a complaint for damages in the RTC.
Perenas arguments (complainant in RTC; respondent in SC)

Respondent Perea alleged that there was no lawful basis for the
establishment of a second cockpit. She claimed that Tan conducted
his cockpit fights not in Combado, but in Malingin, at a site less than
five kilometers away from her own cockpit. She insisted that the
unlawful operation of Tans cockpit has caused injury to her own
legitimate business, and demanded damages of at least Ten
Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) per month as actual damages, One
Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (P150,000.00) as moral damages, and
Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) as exemplary damages. Perea
also prayed that the permit issued by Te in favor of Tan be declared
as null and void, and that a permanent writ of injunction be issued
against Te and Tan preventing Tan from conducting cockfights
within the municipality and Te from issuing any authority for Tan to
pursue such activity.
Perena claimed that the amendment authorizing the operation of not
more than three (3) cockpits in Daanbantayan violated Section 5(b)
of the Cockfighting Law of 1974, which allowed for only one
cockpit in a municipality with a population as Daanbantayan.

Tans arguments (defendant in RTC, petitioner in SC):


Petitioners asserted that under the Local Government Code of 1991,
the sangguniang bayan of each municipality now had the power and
authority to grant franchises and enact ordinances authorizing the
establishment, licensing, operation and maintenance of cockpits.
Issue/s: Did the Local Government Code sufficiently repeal Section 5(b) of
the Cockfighting Law, vesting as it does on LGUs the power and authority to
issue franchises and regulate the operation and establishment of cockpits in
their respective municipalities, any law to the contrary notwithstanding? NO.
Ratio:
While the Local Government Code expressly repealed several laws,
the Cockfighting Law was not among them. As laws are presumed to
be passed with deliberation and with knowledge of all existing ones
on the subject, it is logical to conclude that in passing a statute it is
not intended to interfere with or abrogate a former law relating to the
same subject matter, unless the repugnancy between the two is not
only irreconcilable but also clear and convincing as a result of the
language used, or unless the latter Act fully embraces the subject
matter of the earlier.
Analyzing the history of the laws in the Philippines from the Spanish

era to the present, it emphasizes that cockfighting should neither be


exploited as an object of commercialism or business enterprise, nor
made a tool of uncontrolled gambling, but more as a vehicle for the
preservation and perpetuation of native Filipino heritage and thereby
enhance our national identity. Given the history of the laws, the
phrase any law to the contrary notwithstanding in the local
government code serves notice, in case it was still doubtful, that it is
the sanggunian bayan concerned alone (not anymore the defunct
Philippine Gamefowl Commission) which has the power to authorize
and license the establishment, operation and maintenance of
cockpits, and regulate cockfighting and commercial breeding of
gamecocks within its territorial jurisdiction.
While the sanggunian retains the power to authorize and license the
establishment, operation, and maintenance of cockpits, its discretion
is limited in that it cannot authorize more than one cockpit per city or
municipality, unless such cities or municipalities have a population
of over one hundred thousand, in which case two cockpits may be
established.
There is no dichotomy between affirming the power and subjecting it
to limitations at the same time. According to the SC: We do not
doubt the ability of the national government to implement police
power measures that affect the subjects of municipal government,
especially if the subject of regulation is a condition of universal
character irrespective of territorial jurisdictions. Cockfighting is one
such condition. It is a traditionally regulated activity, due to the
attendant gambling involved or maybe even the fact that it
essentially consists of two birds killing each other for public
amusement.
A municipal ordinance must not contravene the Constitution or any
statute, otherwise it is void. Ordinance No. 7 unmistakably
contravenes the Cockfighting Law in allowing three cockpits in
Daanbantayan. Thus, no rights can be asserted by the petitioners
arising from the Ordinance.

Batangas CATV, Inc, v. CA, Batangas City Sangguniang Panlungsod &


Batangas City Mayor (2004)
Doctrine: Where there is no express power in the charter of a municipality
authorizing it to adopt ordinances regulating certain matters which are
specifically covered by a general statute, a municipal ordinance, insofar as it
attempts to regulate the subject which is completely covered by a general
statute of the legislature, may be rendered invalid.
Facts:
On July 28, 1986 the Batangas City Sangguniang Panlungsod
enacted Resolution No. 210 granting Batangas CATV permit to
construct, install and operate a CATV in Batangas City. Sec. 8 of the
said resolution authorizes petitioner to charge its subscribers the
maximum rates specified therein. However, any increase of rates
would be subject to the approval of the Panlungsod.
In 1993 petitioner increased its subscriber rates from P88.00 to
P180.00 per month without approval of the Panlungsod. The
Batangas City mayor wrote petitioner a letter threatening to cancel
its permit if it doesnt secure the approval of the Panlungsod for the
rate increase.
Petitioner filed for injunction assailing the Panlungsods authority to
regulate rates charged by CATV operators because under EO 205, it
was the National Telecommunications Commission which had the
sole authority to regulate CATV operation in the Philippines. The
trial court GRANTED the petition holding that the sole agency
which can regulate CATV operations was the NTC and that LGUs
cannot exercise regulatory powers over it without appropriate
legislation.
The CA REVERSED: The Certificate of Authority to operate a
CATV system is granted by the NTC, but this does not preclude the
Panlungsod from regulating the operation of the CATV in their
locality under the powers vested upon it by the LGC of 1983. Sec.
177 (now 457 in RA 7160) provides:
Section 177. Powers and Duties The Sangguniang Panlungsod
shall:
a) Enact such ordinances as may be necessary to carry into effect
and discharge the responsibilities conferred upon it by law, and such
as shall be necessary and proper topromote the prosperity and
general welfare of the community and the inhabitants thereof, and
the protection of property therein;

d) Regulate, fix the license fee for, and tax any business or
profession being carried on and exercised within the territorial
jurisdiction of the city
Under cover of the General Welfare Clause as provided in this
section, LGUs can perform just about any power that will benefit
their constituencies. Thus, local government units can exercise
powers that are: (1) expressly granted; (2) necessarily implied from
the power that is expressly granted; (3) necessary, appropriate or
incidental for its efficient and effective governance; and (4) essential
to the promotion of the general welfare of their inhabitants.
Petitioner filed a petition for review on certiorari.

Petitioners arguments:
While the LGC of 1991 extends to LGUs to perform any act that will
benefit their constituents, it does not authorize them to regulate
CATV operations since pursuant to EO 205, only NTC has that
authority.
Respondents arguments:
Resolution No. 210 was enacted pursuant to Sec. 177(c)&(d) of the
LGC of 1983 which authorizes LGUs to regulate businesses,
including the CATV industry.
Resolution No. 210 is in the nature of a contract between petitioner
and respondents, it being a grant to the former of a franchise to
operate a CATV system. To hold that E.O. No. 205 amended its
terms would violate the constitutional prohibition against impairment
of contracts.
Issue/s: W/N a LGU can regulate the subscriber rates charged by CATV
(cable tv) operators within its territorial jurisdiction. (NO)
Held/Ratio:
1. For more than two decades the NTC has assumed regulatory power over
the CATV industry. Presidential issuances have reinforced the NTCs
powers:
Pres. Marcos issued PD 1512 which granted Sining Makulay the
exclusive franchise to operate CATV system in any place within the
Philippines. It terminated all franchises, permits, or certificated for
CATV systems previously granted by local governments and
national government instrumentalities. Pres. Marcos subsequently
issued letter of instruction 894 vesting upon the Chairman of the
Board of Communications direct supervision over Sining Makulay.
Thereafter he issued EO 546 integrating the Board of

Communications and the Telecommunications Control Bureau to


form the NTC.
Sining Makulays franchise was cut short by the People Power
Revolution. Pres. Aquino issued EO 205 opening the CATV industry
to all. It mandated the NTC to grant Certificates of Authority to
CATV operators and to issue the necessary IRRs.
Pres. Ramos issued EO 436 restating NTCs regulatory powers over
the CATV operations:
Sec. 2 The regulation and supervision of the cable television industry
in the Philippines shall remain vested solely with the National
Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

2. Note, however, that this does not mean LGUs are stripped of their general
power to prescribe regulations under the general welfare clause of the LGC.
When EO 436 decrees that the "regulatory power" shall be vested
"solely" in the NTC, it pertains to the "regulatory power" over those
matters which are peculiarly within the NTCs competence, such as,
the determination of rates, issuance of certificates of authority, etc.
There is no dispute that the Panlungsod has been empowered to enact
ordinances and approve resolutions under the general welfare clause
of the LGC of 1983. It continues to posses such power is clear under
Sec. 16 & 458 of RA 7160 (LGC of 1991).
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.
Like any other enterprise, CATV operation maybe regulated by
LGUs under the general welfare clause, primarily because the CATV
system uses public properties. The physical realities of constructing
CATV system allow an LGU a certain degree of regulation over
CATV operators.
3. However, in enacting Resolution No. 210, the respondents strayed from
the well recognized limits of its power because:
a. It violates the mandate of existing laws.
Resolution No. 210 is an enactment of an LGU acting as an
agent of the national legislature. Necessarily, its act must
reflect and conform to the will of its principal.
US v. Abendan: An ordinance enacted by virtue of the
general welfare clause is valid, unless it contravenes the
fundamental law of the Philippine Islands, or an Act of the

Philippine Legislature, or unless it is against public policy,


or is unreasonable, oppressive, partial, discriminating, or in
derogation of common right.
De la Cruz v. Paraz: 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.
Resolution No. 210 contravenes EO 205 and EO 436 insofar
as it permits respondent Panlungsod to usurp a power
exclusively vested in the NTC, i.e., the power to fix the
subscriber rates charged by CATV operators.
Where the state legislature has made provision for the
regulation of conduct, it has manifested its intention that the
subject matter shall be fully covered by the statute, and that a
municipality, under its general powers, cannot regulate the
same conduct.
o Keller v. State: Where there is no express power in
the charter of a municipality authorizing it to adopt
ordinances regulating certain matters which are
specifically covered by a general statute, a municipal
ordinance, insofar as it attempts to regulate the
subject which is completely covered by a general
statute of the legislature, may be rendered invalid. x
x x Where the subject is of statewide concern, and
the legislature has appropriated the field and
declared the rule, its declaration is binding
throughout the State.
EO 205, a general law, mandates that the regulation of CATV
operations shall be exercised by the NTC, an LGU cannot enact
an ordinance or approve a resolution in violation of the said law.
Municipal ordinances are inferior in status and subordinate to the
laws of the state. An ordinance in conflict with a state law of
general character and statewide application is universally held to
be invalid
Why? Magtajas v. Pryce: Municipal government are only agents
of the national government. The delegate cannot be superior to
the principal.
Contrary to respondents assertions, RA 7160 did not repeal EO
205, impliedly or expressedly.
o It was not included in Sec. 534 of RA 7160 as one of the
laws repealed by the RA.

It was not impliedly repealed as the RA and EO may be


harmonized. The NTC, under EO 205, has exclusive
jurisdiction over matters affecting CATV operation,
including specifically the fixing of subscriber rates, but does
not preclude LGUs from exercising its general power, under
RA 7160, to prescribe regulations to promote the health,
morals, peace, education, good order or safety and general
welfare of their constituents. In effect, both laws become
equally effective and mutually complementary.
As a specialized agency, the NTC is in a better position than the
LGU to regulate given the complexities that characterize the
CATV industry.
o

b. It violates the States deregulation policy over the CATV industry.


When the State declared a policy of deregulation, the LGUs are
bound to follow. To rule otherwise is to render the States policy
ineffective. Being mere creatures of the State, LGUs cannot
defeat national policies through enactments of contrary
measures. In the case at bar, petitioner may increase its
subscriber rates without respondents approval.
4. EO 205 does not violate constitutional prohibition against non-impairment
of contracts.
There is no law specifically authorizing the LGUs to grant franchises
to operate CATV system. Whatever authority the LGUs had before
had been withdrawn when Pres. Marcos issued PD 1512 "terminating
all franchises, permits or certificates for the operation of CATV
system previously granted by local governments."
The protection of the constitutional provision as to impairment of the
obligation of a contract does not extend to privileges, franchises and
grants given by a municipality in excess of its powers, or ultra vires.

Province of Rizal vs. Executive Secretary (2005)


Doctrine: The Local Government Code gives to local government units all
the necessary powers to promote the general welfare of their inhabitants.
Facts:
In 1988, the respondent Secretaries of DPWH and DENR and the
Governor of the Metropolitan Manila Commission (MMC) entered into a
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which provides that the DENR agrees
to allow MMC to utilize its land property located in San Mateo as a sanitary
landfill site.
In 1989, the Sangguniang Bayan of San Mateo wrote MMC, DPWH,
the Presidential Task Force on Solid Waste Management, Executive
Secretary Macaraig. The letter pointed out that it had recently passed a
Resolution banning the creation of dumpsites for Metro Manila within its
jurisdiction. Petitioners also asked that they suspend and temporarily hold in
abeyance all and any part of their operations with respect to the San Mateo
Landfill Dumpsite. No action was taken on the letters.
It turns out that the land subject of the MOA and owned by the
DENR was part of the Marikina Watershed Reservation Area. Therefore the
officers of the Community Environment and Natural Resource Office
(CENRO) submitted a memorandum which stated that the dumping site
which is confined within the watershed reservation is in violation of the
Revised Forestry Code. It recommended that the MMC dumping site must
be totally stopped and discouraged without any political intervention and
delay in order to save our healthy ecosystems.
In 1990, CENRO submitted another Investigation Report stating that
there was no permit issued to the MMC to utilize these portions of land for
dumping purposes and that the use of the areas as dumping site greatly
affects the ecological balance and environmental factors in the community.
The DENR Environmental Management Bureau granted the Metro Manila
Authority (formerly MMC) an Environmental Compliance Certificate for the
operation of a 2 hectare garbage dumpsite.
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) also sent a letter
to MMA conveying its reservations on the choice of the sites for solid waste
disposal inside the watershed of Laguna Lake. DENR Undersecretary Roque
suspended the ECC of MMA because upon site investigation at the San
Mateo Landfill Site, there was ground slumping and erosion which resulted
from the improper development of the site.
In 1993, DENR Secretary Alcala sent MMA a letter stating that after
a series of investigations by field officials of the DENR, the agency realized

that the MOA entered into is a very costly error because the area agreed to be
a garbage dumpsite is inside the Marikina Watershed Reservation.
In 1995, the Sangguniang Bayan of San Mateo issued a Resolution
expressing a strong objection to the planned expansion of the landfill
operation and requesting President Ramos to disapprove the draft
Presidential Proclamation segregating 71.6 hectares from Marikina
Watershed Reservation for the landfill site in San Mateo.
Despite various objections and recommendations raised by
government agencies, the Office of the President signed Proclamation No.
635 (Excluding from the Marikina Watershed Reservation Certain Parcels of
Land Embraced Therein for Use as Sanitary Landfill Sites And Similar
Waste Disposal under the Administration of the MMDA) setting aside parts
of the Marikina Watershed Reservation for use as a sanitary landfill and
similar waste disposal applications. This was due to the garbage crisis
plaguing Metro Manila and its environs.
Petitioners arguments:
The Province of Rizal, the municipality of San Mateo and various
concerned citizens assailed the legality and constitutionality of Proclamation
No. 635. The CA denied their petition for certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus with application for a TRO. Petitioners, pending appeal, filed a
Motion for TRO pointing out that the effects of the El Nino phenomenon
would be aggravated by the relentless destruction of the Marikina Watershed
Reservation, cutting down thousands of mature fruit trees and forest trees,
and leveling hills and mountains to clear the dumping area. Garbage disposal
operations are also conducted on a 24 hour basis with toxic and infectious
wastes intensifying the air, ground and water pollution.
* In 1999, because of the gravity of the situation and the likelihood that
violence will erupt among the parties, President Estrada issued a
Memorandum ordering the closure of the dumpsite on December 31, 2000.
The MMDA entered into MOA with the Provincial Government of Rizal, the
Municipality of San Mateo and the City of Antipolo where the latter agreed
to further extend the use of the dumpsite until its permanent closure in 2000.
Respondents arguments:
Respondents point out that the Marikina Watershed Reservation, and
thus the San Mateo Site, is located in the public domain. Therefore, neither
the Province of Rizal nor the municipality of San Mateo has the power to

control or regulate its use since properties of this nature belong to the
national, and not to the local governments.
Issue: W/N the San Mateo Landfill will remain permanently closed (YES)
Held/Ratio:
The San Mateo site has adversely affected its environs and sources of
water should always be protected. According to the cases of Collado v. CA
and Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation v. CA, the most important
product of a watershed is water, which is one of the most important human
necessities. Protection of watersheds is an intergenerational responsibility
that needs to be answered now.
The Administrative Code of 1987 and EO No 192 entrust the DENR
with the guardianship and safekeeping of the Marikina Watershed
Reservation. However, although the DENR, a government agency, owns the
Marikina Reserve and has jurisdiction over it, this power is not absolute, but
is defined by the declared policies of the State, and is subject to the law and
higher authority. Section 2, Title XIV, Book IV of the Administrative Code
states:
1) The DENR shall be primarily responsible for the implementation
of the foregoing policy.
2) It shall, subject to law and higher authority, be in charge of
carrying out the States constitutional mandate to control and
supervise the exploration, development, utilization and conservation
of the countrys natural resources.
The Local Government Code gives to local government units all the
necessary powers to promote the general welfare of their inhabitants. The
municipal mayors acted within the scope of their powers, and were in fact
fulfilling their mandate. Section 16 allows every local government unit to
exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom,
as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and
effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the
general welfare, which involve promoting health and safety, enhancing the
right of the people to a balanced ecology and preserving the comfort and
convenience of their inhabitants.
Also, under the LGC, two requisites must be met before a national
project that affects the environmental and ecological balance of local
communities can be implemented: prior consultation with the affected local

communities and prior approval of the project by the appropriate sanggunian.


Lack of either requisite makes the projects implementation illegal.

Veloso v COA (2011)


Doctrine: The COA is endowed with enough latitude to determine, prevent
and disallow irregular, unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or
unconscionable expenditures of government funds.
Facts:
The City Council of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 8040, An
Ordinance Authorizing the Conferment of Exemplary Public Service
Award to Elective Local Officials of Manila Who Have Been
Elected for 3 Consecutive Terms in the Same Position. It was
approved on Aug 23, 2002.
Sec 2 of said Ordinance provides: The EPSA shall consist of a
Plaque of Appreciation, retirement and gratuity pay remuneration
equivalent to the actual time served in the position for three (3)
consecutive terms, subject to the availability of funds as certified by
the City Treasurer.
A total of P9,923,257 was given to former councilors (petitioners in
this case) based on said Ordinance.
Atty. Espina, the Supervising Auditor of the City of Manila, issued
an Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) stating that the payment
to former councillors of Manila is without legal basis and such
amount is excessive and tantamount to double compensation.
Petitioners filed before the Legal and Adjudication Office (LOA)Local of the COA a Motion to Lift the Notice of Disallowance. The
LOA-Local granted the motion, holding that the monetary reward
given to former councilors can be one of gratuity and therefore
cannot be considered as double compensation.
The COA reversed the decision of the LOA-Local.
Petitioners arguments:
COA committed grave abuse of discretion in nullifying Ordinance
8040 because such act is essentially a judicial function.
The power and authority of the COA to audit government funds and
accounts does not carry with it in all instances the power to disallow
a particular disbursement.
The monetary award given to former councilors was intended or
given in return for the exemplary service rendered by its recipients.
Citing Guevara v Gimenez, petitioners claim that the COA has no
discretion or authority to disapprove payments. COAs remedy is to
bring to the attention of the proper administrative officer such
expenditures that, in its opinion, are irregular unnecessary, excessive

or extravagant. This case was decided under the 1935 Constitution


but petitioners argue that the same principle should be applied in this
case.
The grant of the retirement and gratuity pay remuneration is a valid
exercise of the powers of Sangguniang Panlungsod set forth in RA
7610.

Respondents arguments:
The COA recognizes the local autonomy of LGUs. However, the
Salary Standardization Law (SSL) sets limitations thereof.
There is no specific law passed by Congress which ordains the
conferment of such monetary reward or gratuity to the former
councilors.
Issues: (1) [TOPICAL]w/n the COA has the authority to disallow the
disbursement of local government funds (YES)
(2) w/n the COA committed grave abuse of discretion in affirming
the disallowance of the monetary award given to former councillors as
authorized by Ordinance No. 8040 (NO)
Held/Ratio: LGUs, though granted local fiscal autonomy, are still within
the audit jurisdiction of the COA.
(1) The ruling in Guevara has already been overturned by the Court
in Caltex Philippines, Inc v COA. Under the 1987 Constitution, the
COA is vested with the authority to determine whether government
entities comply with laws and regulations in disbursing government
funds, and to disallow illegal or irregular disbursements of these
funds.
Sec 2, par 2, Art IX-D of the 1987 Constitution provides: The
Commission shall have exclusive authority, subject to the limitations
in this Article, to define the scope of its audit and examination,
establish the techniques and methods required therefor, and
promulgate accounting and auditing rules and regulations,
including those for the prevention and disallowance of irregular,
unnecessary,
excessive,
extravagant,
or
unconscionable
expenditures, or uses of government funds and properties.
Section 11, Chapter 4, Subtitle B, Title I, Book V of the
Administrative Code on 1987 states the same principle.
Based on its mandate as the guardian of public funds, the COA is
vested with broad powers over all accounts pertaining to
government revenue and expenditures and the uses of public funds
and property.

(2) The power of the Sangguniang Panlungsod is limited by Sec 81


of RA 7610 which provides: The compensation of local officials and
personnel shall be determined by the sanggunian concerned:
Provided, That the increase in compensation of elective local
officials shall take effect only after the terms of office of those
approving such increase shall have expired: Provided, further, That
the increase in compensation of the appointive officials and
employees shall take effect as provided in the ordinance authorizing
such increase; Provided however, That said increases shall not
exceed the limitations on budgetary allocations for personal services
provided under Title Five, Book II of this Code: Provided finally,
That such compensation may be based upon the pertinent provisions
of Republic Act Numbered Sixty-seven fifty-eight (R.A. No. 6758),
otherwise known as the Compensation and Position Classification
Act of 1989.
The IRR of RA 7610 states the Constitutional provision that no
elective or appointive local official or employee shall receive
additional, double, or indirect compensation, unless specifically
authorized by law, nor accept without the consent of the Congress,
any present, emoluments, office, or title of any kind from any foreign
government.
In Yap v COA, the Court held that the additional allowances and
benefits must be shown to be necessary or relevant to the fulfillment
of the official duties and functions of the government officers and
employees. Thus, the monetary award given to petitioners is
excessive and tantamount to double and additional compensation.

NOTE: The SC decided in favor of the COA but ruled that the petitioners
need not refund the monetary award received by petitioners.

PROVINCE OF BATANGAS vs. ROMULO (2004)


Doctrine: Local autonomy 'means a more responsive and accountable local
government structure instituted through a system of decentralization.' Local
autonomy includes both administrative and fiscal autonomy.

5.

Facts:
1. On December 7, 1998, then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada issued
Executive Order (E.O.) No. 48 entitled Establishing a program for
devolution, adjustment and equalization.
a. The program was established to "facilitate the process of
enhancing the capacities of local government units (LGUs)
in the discharge of the functions and services devolved to
them by the National Government Agencies concerned
pursuant to the Local Government Code."
b. The Oversight Committee (referred to as the Devolution
Committee in E.O. No. 48) constituted under Section 533(b)
of Republic Act No. 7160 (The Local Government Code of
1991) has been tasked to formulate and issue the appropriate
rules and regulations necessary for its effective
implementation
2. In Republic Act No. 8745, otherwise known as the GAA of 1999, the
program was renamed as the Local Government Service Equalization
Fund (LGSEF).
3. The Oversight Committee (with then Executive Secretary Ronaldo
B. Zamora as Chairman) passed Resolution Nos. OCD-99-003,
OCD-99-005 and OCD-99-006. Under the allocation scheme
adopted pursuant to Resolution No. OCD-99-005, the Five Billion
pesos LGSEF was to be allocated as determined by the committee.
4. Aside from the criteria for eligibility released by the Oversight
Committee, the LGUs were required to identify the projects eligible
for funding under the one-billion-peso portion of the LGSEF and
submit the project proposals thereof and other documentary
requirements to the DILG for appraisal.
a. The guidelines required (a) the LGUs to identify the projects
eligible for funding based on the criteria laid down by the
Oversight Committee; (b) the LGUs to submit their project
proposals to the DILG for appraisal; (c) the project proposals
that passed the appraisal of the DILG to be submitted to the
Oversight Committee for review, evaluation and approval. It
was only upon approval thereof that the Oversight

6.

7.

8.
9.

10.
11.

12.

Committee would direct the DBM to release the funds for


the projects.
On July 5, 2000, then President Estrada issued a Memorandum
authorizing then Executive Secretary Zamora and the DBM to
implement and release the 2.5 billion pesos LGSEF for 2000 in
accordance with Resolution No. OCD-2000-023.
Thereafter, the Oversight Committee, now under the administration
of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, promulgated Resolution No.
OCD-2001-29. Under this resolution, the amount of one billion pesos
of the LGSEF was to be released in accordance with paragraph 1 of
Resolution No. OCD-2000-23, to complete the 3.5 billion pesos
allocated to the LGUs, while the amount of 1.5 billion pesos was
allocated for the LAAP.
In view of the failure of Congress to enact the general appropriations
law for 2001, the GAA of 2000 was deemed re-enacted, together
with the IRA of the LGUs therein and the proviso earmarking five
billion pesos thereof for the LGSEF.
On January 9, 2002, the Oversight Committee adopted Resolution
No. OCD-2002-001 allocating the five billion pesos LGSEF for
2001.
Upon receipt of a copy of the above resolution, Gov. Mandanas
wrote to the individual members of the Oversight Committee seeking
the reconsideration of Resolution No. OCD-2002-001. He also wrote
to Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo urging her to disapprove said resolution
as it violates the Constitution and the Local Government Code of
1991.
But on January 25, 2002, Pres. Macapagal-Arroyo approved
Resolution No. OCD-2002-001.
The Province of Batangas, represented by its Governor, Hermilando
I. Mandanas, filed the present petition for certiorari, prohibition and
mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, as amended, to
declare as unconstitutional and void certain provisos contained in the
General Appropriations Acts (GAA) of 1999, 2000 and 2001, insofar
as they uniformly earmarked for each corresponding year the amount
of five billion pesos (P5,000,000,000.00) of the Internal Revenue
Allotment (IRA) for the Local Government Service Equalization
Fund (LGSEF) and imposed conditions for the release thereof.
Named as respondents are Executive Secretary Alberto G. Romulo,
in his capacity as Chairman of the Oversight Committee on
Devolution, Secretary Emilia Boncodin of the Department of Budget
and Management (DBM) and Secretary Jose Lina of the Department
of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Petitioners Argument:
1. The petitioner submits that the assailed provisos in the GAAs and the
OCD resolutions, insofar as they earmarked the amount of five
billion pesos of the IRA of the LGUs for 1999, 2000 and 2001 for
the LGSEF and imposed conditions for the release thereof, violate
the Constitution and the Local Government Code of 1991.
Section 6, Article X of the Constitution is invoked as it mandates
that the "just share" of the LGUs shall be automatically released
to them. Sections 18 and 286 of the Local Government Code of
1991, which enjoin that the "just share" of the LGUs shall be
"automatically and directly" released to them "without need of
further action" are, likewise, cited.
The petitioner posits that to subject the distribution and release
of the five-billion-peso portion of the IRA, classified as the
LGSEF, to compliance by the LGUs with the implementing rules
and regulations, including the mechanisms and guidelines
prescribed by the Oversight Committee, contravenes the explicit
directive of the Constitution that the LGUs' share in the national
taxes "shall be automatically released to them." The petitioner
maintains that the use of the word "shall" must be given a
compulsory meaning.
o To further buttress this argument, the petitioner contends
that to vest the Oversight Committee with the authority
to determine the distribution and release of the LGSEF,
which is a part of the IRA of the LGUs, is an anathema
to the principle of local autonomy as embodied in the
Constitution and the Local Government Code of 1991.
# The petitioner cites as an example the
experience in 2001 when the release of the
LGSEF was long delayed because the Oversight
Committee was not able to convene that year
and no guidelines were issued therefor. Further,
the possible disapproval by the Oversight
Committee of the project proposals of the LGUs
would result in the diminution of the latter's
share in the IRA.
o Another infringement alleged to be occasioned by the
assailed OCD resolutions is the improper amendment to
Section 285 of the Local Government Code of 1991 on
the percentage sharing of the IRA among the LGUs.
Said provision allocates the IRA as follows: Provinces

23%; Cities 23%; Municipalities 34%; and


Barangays 20%.8 This formula has been improperly
amended or modified, with respect to the five-billionpeso portion of the IRA allotted for the LGSEF, by the
assailed OCD resolutions as they invariably provided for
a different sharing scheme. The modifications allegedly
constitute an illegal amendment by the executive branch
of a substantive law.
Respondents Argument:
1. The respondents, through the Office of the Solicitor General, urge
the Court to dismiss the petition on procedural and substantive
grounds. On the latter, the respondents contend that the assailed
provisos in the GAAs of 1999, 2000 and 2001 and the assailed
resolutions issued by the Oversight Committee are not
constitutionally infirm.
The respondents advance the view that Section 6, Article
X of the Constitution does not specify that the "just
share" of the LGUs shall be determined solely by the
Local Government Code of 1991.
In other words, Congress is the arbiter of what should be
the "just share" of the LGUs in the national taxes.
Section 285 of the Local Government Code of 1991 was
merely intended to be the "default share" of the LGUs to
do away with the need to determine annually by law
their "just share." However, the LGUs have no vested
right in a permanent or fixed percentage as Congress
may increase or decrease the "just share" of the LGUs in
accordance with what it believes is appropriate for their
operation
2. The petition has already been rendered moot and academic as it no
longer presents a justiciable controversy. The IRAs for the years
1999, 2000 and 2001, have already been released and the
government is now operating under the 2003 budget.
3. Finally, the petitioner allegedly has no legal standing to bring the suit
because it has not suffered any injury. In fact, the petitioner's "just
share" has even increased.
Issues:
1. WON the petitioner has legal standing or locus standi to file the
present suit? (YES)
2. WON the issue had been rendered moot and academic? (NO)

3. [TOPIC] WON the assailed provisos contained in the GAAs of 1999,


2000 and 2001, and the OCD resolutions infringe the Constitution
and the Local Government Code of 1991? (YES)
Held: Petition is GRANTED. The assailed provisos in the General
Appropriations Acts of 1999, 2000 and 2001, and the assailed OCD
Resolutions, are declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL
1. The Court holds that the petitioner possesses the requisite standing to
maintain the present suit.
The petitioner, a local government unit, seeks relief in order to
protect or vindicate an interest of its own, and of the other LGUs.
This interest pertains to the LGUs' share in the national taxes or the
IRA.
2. The substantive issue needs to be resolved notwithstanding the
supervening events.
Supervening events, whether intended or accidental, cannot prevent
the Court from rendering a decision if there is a grave violation of
the Constitution. Even in cases where supervening events had made
the cases moot, the Court did not hesitate to resolve the legal or
constitutional issues raised to formulate controlling principles to
guide the bench, bar and public.
Another reason justifying the resolution by this Court of the
substantive issue now before it is the rule that courts will decide a
question otherwise moot and academic if it is "capable of repetition,
yet evading review.
3. In sum, while Section 1 of AO 372 may be upheld as an advisory effected
in times of national crisis, Section 4 thereof has no color of validity at all.
The latter provision effectively encroaches on the fiscal autonomy of local
governments.
Consistent with the principle of local autonomy, the Constitution
confines the President's power over the LGUs to one of general
supervision. This provision has been interpreted to exclude the
power of control. The distinction between the two powers was
enunciated in Drilon v. Lim:
An officer in control lays down the rules in the doing of an
act. If they are not followed, he may, in his discretion, order
the act undone or re-done by his subordinate or he may even
decide to do it himself. Supervision does not cover such
authority. The supervisor or superintendent merely sees to it
that the rules are followed, but he himself does not lay down
such rules, nor does he have the discretion to modify or
replace them. If the rules are not observed, he may order the

work done or re-done but only to conform to the prescribed


rules. He may not prescribe his own manner for doing the
act. He has no judgment on this matter except to see to it that
the rules are followed
The Local Government Code of 199120 was enacted to flesh out the
mandate of the Constitution.21 The State policy on local autonomy is
amplified in Section 2 thereof:
Sec. 2. Declaration of Policy. (a) It is hereby declared the
policy of the State that the territorial and political
subdivisions of the State shall enjoy genuine and meaningful
local autonomy to enable them to attain their fullest
development as self-reliant communities and make them
more effective partners in the attainment of national goals.
Toward this end, the State shall provide for a more
responsive and accountable local government structure
instituted through a system of decentralization whereby local
government units shall be given more powers, authority,
responsibilities,
and
resources.
The
process
of
decentralization shall proceed from the National
Government to the local government units.
Section 6, Article X of the Constitution mandates that (1) the LGUs
shall have a "just share" in the national taxes; (2) the "just share"
shall be determined by law; and (3) the "just share" shall be
automatically released to the LGUs. The Local Government Code of
1991, among its salient provisions, underscores the automatic release
of the LGUs' "just share" in this wise
Section 4 of AO 372 cannot, however, be upheld because a basic
feature of local fiscal autonomy is the automatic release of the shares
of LGUs in the National internal revenue.
o This is mandated by no less than the Constitution.
o The Local Government Code specifies further that the
release shall be made directly to the LGU concerned within
five (5) days after every quarter of the year and "shall not be
subject to any lien or holdback that may be imposed by the
national government for whatever purpose." As a rule, the
term "SHALL" is a word of command that must be given a
compulsory meaning. The provision is, therefore,
IMPERATIVE.
4. To the Court's mind, the entire process involving the distribution and
release of the LGSEF is constitutionally impermissible. It violates the
principle of local autonomy mandated under our Constitution.

The LGSEF is part of the IRA or "just share" of the LGUs in the
national taxes. To subject its distribution and release to the vagaries
of the implementing rules and regulations, including the guidelines
and mechanisms unilaterally prescribed by the Oversight Committee
from time to time, as sanctioned by the assailed provisos in the
GAAs of 1999, 2000 and 2001 and the OCD resolutions, makes the
release not automatic, a flagrant violation of the constitutional and
statutory mandate that the "just share" of the LGUs "shall be
automatically released to them."
Indeed, the Oversight Committee exercising discretion, even control,
over the distribution and release of a portion of the IRA, the LGSEF,
is an anathema to and subversive of the principle of local autonomy
as embodied in the Constitution. Moreover, it finds no statutory basis
at all as the Oversight Committee was created merely to formulate
the rules and regulations for the efficient and effective
implementation of the Local Government Code of 1991 to ensure
"compliance with the principles of local autonomy as defined under
the Constitution."
o The Oversight Committee's authority is undoubtedly limited
to the implementation of the Local Government Code of
1991, not to supplant or subvert the same. Neither can it
exercise control over the IRA, or even a portion thereof, of
the LGUs.
The concept of local autonomy was explained in Ganzon v. Court of
Appeals in this wise:
As the Constitution itself declares, local autonomy 'means a
more responsive and accountable local government structure
instituted through a system of decentralization.' The
Constitution, as we observed, does nothing more than to
break up the monopoly of the national government over the
affairs of local governments and as put by political
adherents, to "liberate the local governments from the
imperialism of Manila." Autonomy, however, is not meant to
end the relation of partnership and interdependence between
the central administration and local government units, or
otherwise, to usher in a regime of federalism. The Charter
has not taken such a radical step. Local governments, under
the Constitution, are subject to regulation, however limited,
and for no other purpose than precisely, albeit paradoxically,
to enhance self-government.
Local autonomy includes both administrative and fiscal autonomy.

The fairly recent case of Pimentel v. Aguirre is particularly


instructive. The Court declared therein that local fiscal
autonomy includes the power of the LGUs to, inter alia,
allocate their resources in accordance with their own
priorities.
Increasing or decreasing the IRA of the LGUs or modifying their
percentage sharing therein, which are fixed in the Local Government
Code of 1991, are matters of general and substantive law. To permit
Congress to undertake these amendments through the GAAs, as the
respondents contend, would be to give Congress the unbridled
authority to unduly infringe the fiscal autonomy of the LGUs, and
thus put the same in jeopardy every year.
o

ACORD v. Executive Secretary Zamora (2005)


Petitioner/s: Alternative Center for Organizational Reforms and
Development, Inc. (ACORD), et al.
Respondent/s: Hon. Ronaldo Zamora, In His Capacity As Executive
Secretary, Hon. Benjamin Diokno, In His Capacity As Secretary, Department
of Budget and Management, Hon. Leonor Magtolis-Briones, In Her Capacity
As National Treasurer, and the Commission on Audit.
Doctrine: A basic feature of local fiscal autonomy is the automatic release of
the shares of LGUs in the national internal revenue.
Facts: (SC En Banc; Ponente: Carpio-Morales, J.; Nature: Petitions for
Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus with Application for Temporary
Restraining Order)
1. Pursuant to Sec. 22, Art. VII of the Constitution mandating the President
to submit to Congress a budget of expenditures within 30 days before the
opening of every regular session, then Pres. Estrada submitted the National
Expenditures Program for Fiscal Year 2000.
In the said Program, the Pres. proposed an Internal Revenue
Allotment (IRA) of P121,778,000,000 following the formula
provided for in Sec. 284 of the Local Government Code (LGC).
The President approved House Bill No. 8374. This bill became R.A.
No. 8760, An Act Appropriating Funds for the Operation of the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines from January One to
December Thirty-One, Two Thousand, and for Other Purposes.
(General Appropriations Act or GAA for the Year 2000).
o The act provides under XXXVII. Allocations to Local
Government Units that the IRA for local government units
shall amount to P111,778,000,000.
o Under the heading LIV. Unprogrammed Fund, it is provided
that an amount of P10 Billion, apart from the
P111,778,000,000 mentioned above, shall be used to fund
the IRA, which amount shall be released only when the
original revenue targets submitted by the President to
Congress can be realized based on a quarterly assessment to
be conducted by certain committees which the GAA
specifies: the Development Budget Coordinating Committee,
the Committee on Finance of the Senate, and the Committee
on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
o Thus, while the GAA appropriates P111,778,000,000 of IRA
as Programmed Fund, it appropriates a separate amount of

P10 Billion of IRA under the classification of


Unprogrammed Fund, the latter amount to be released only
upon the occurrence of the condition stated in the GAA.
2. Supreme Court: A number of NGOs and people's organizations, along
with 3 barangay officials filed the petition at bar against respondents
challenging the constitutionality of above-quoted provision of XXXVII
referred to by petitioners as Section 1, XXXVII (A), and LIV Special
Provisions 1 and 4 of the GAA (the GAA provisions).
Although the effectivity of the Year 2000 GAA has ceased, the Court
proceeded to resolve the issues raised in the present case, it being
impressed with public interest.
Batangas v. Romulo: Supervening events, whether intended or
accidental, cannot prevent the Court from rendering a decision if
there is a grave violation of the Constitution. Even in cases where
supervening events had made the cases moot, the Court did not
hesitate to resolve the legal or constitutional issues raised to
formulate controlling principles to guide the bench, bar and public.
Another reason justifying the resolution by this Court of the
substantive issue now before it is the rule that courts will decide a
question otherwise moot and academic if it is capable of repetition,
yet evading review. For the GAAs in the coming years may contain
provisos similar to those now being sought to be invalidated, and yet,
the question may not be decided before another GAA is enacted.
Petitioners argument/s: The petitioners ask that the XXXVII and LIV
Special Provisions 1 and 4 of the Year 2000 GAA be declared
unconstitutional because the GAA violated this constitutional mandate when
it made the release of IRA contingent on whether revenue collections could
meet the revenue targets originally submitted by the President, rather than
making the release automatic.
Respondents argument/s: The above constitutional provision is addressed
not to the legislature but to the executive, hence, the same does not prevent
the legislature from imposing conditions upon the release of the IRA.
Respondents thus infer that the subject constitutional provision merely
prevents the executive branch of the government from unilaterally
withholding the IRA, but not the legislature from authorizing the executive
branch to withhold the same. In the words of respondents, This essentially
means that the President or any member of the Executive Department cannot
unilaterally, i.e., without the backing of statute, withhold the release of the
IRA.

Issue/s: W/N the questioned provisions violate the constitutional injunction


that the just share of local governments in the national taxes or the IRA shall
be automatically released. (YES.)
Held/Ratio:
1. Ruling: The petition is granted. XXXVII and LIV Special Provisions 1
and 4 of the Year 2000 GAA are declared unconstitutional insofar as they
set apart a portion of the IRA, in the amount of P10 Billion, as part of the
unprogrammed fund.
2. Constitutionality of the GAA Provisions
Article X, Section 6 of the Constitution: SECTION 6. Local
government units shall have a just share, as determined by law, in
the national taxes which shall be automatically released to them.
Petitioners and respondents cite the exchange between
Commissioner Davide and Commissioner Nolledo in the
deliberations of the Constitutional Commission on Sec. 6, Art. X of
the Constitution. In the exchange of statements, it is clear that
although Commissioners Davide and Nolledo held different views
with regard to the proper wording of the constitutional provision,
they shared a common assumption that the entity which would
execute the automatic release of internal revenue was the executive
department. Commissioner Davide referred to the national
government as the entity that collects and remits internal revenue.
Similarly, Commissioner Nolledo alluded to the Budget Officer, who
is clearly under the executive branch.
As the Constitution lays upon the executive the duty to automatically
release the just share of local governments in the national taxes, so it
enjoins the legislature not to pass laws that might prevent the
executive from performing this duty. To hold that the executive
branch may disregard constitutional provisions which define its
duties, provided it has the backing of statute, is virtually to make the
Constitution amendable by statute a proposition which is patently
absurd.
If the framers intended to allow the enactment of statutes making the
release of IRA conditional instead of automatic, then Article X,
Section 6 of the Constitution would have been worded differently.
Since, under Art. X, Sec. 6 of the Constitution, only the just share of
local governments is qualified by the words as determined by law,
and not the release thereof, the plain implication is that Congress is
not authorized by the Constitution to hinder or impede the automatic
release of the IRA.

Batangas v. Romulo:
o The Court interpreted Art. X, Sec. 6 of the Constitution as
follows: When parsed, it would be readily seen that this
provision mandates that (1) the LGUs shall have a just
share in the national taxes; (2) the just share shall be
determined by law; and (3) the just share shall be
automatically released to the LGUs.
o Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines
automatic as involuntary either wholly or to a major extent so
that any activity of the will is largely negligible; of a reflex
nature; without volition; mechanical; like or suggestive of an
automaton. Further, the word automatically is defined as in
an automatic manner: without thought or conscious intention.
Being automatic, thus, connotes something mechanical,
spontaneous and perfunctory.
o While automatic release implies that the just share of the local
governments determined by law should be released to them as a
matter of course, the GAA provisions, on the other hand,
withhold its release pending an event which is not even certain
of occurring. To rule that the term "automatic release"
contemplates such conditional release would be to strip the term
automatic of all meaning.
o The only possible exception to mandatory automatic release of
the IRA is if the national internal revenue collections for the
current fiscal year is less than 40 percent of the collections of the
preceding third fiscal year, in which case what should be
automatically released shall be a proportionate amount of the
collections for the current fiscal year. The adjustment may even
be made on a quarterly basis depending on the actual collections
of national internal revenue taxes for the quarter of the current
fiscal year.
Pimentel v. Aguirre: A basic feature of local fiscal autonomy is the
automatic release of the shares of LGUs in the national internal
revenue.
The Court recognizes that the passage of the GAA provisions by
Congress was motivated by the laudable intent to lower the budget
deficit in line with prudent fiscal management.
o Pimentel v. Aguirre: The rule of law requires that even the best
intentions must be carried out within the parameters of the
Constitution and the law. Verily, laudable purposes must be
carried out by legal methods.

CHAPTER III
Aldaba vs. COMELEC (2010)
Doctrine: First, certifications on demographic projections can be issued only
if such projections are declared official by the National Statistics
Coordination Board. Second, certifications based on demographic
projections can be issued only by the NSO Administrator or his designated
certifying officer. Third, intercensal population projections must be as of the
middle of every year.
Facts:
Bulacan was previously represented in Congress by four legislative
districts. The first legislative district comprised of Malolos City and
other municipalities.
On May 1, 2009, RA 9591 lapsed into law, which amended Malolos
City Charter by creating a separate legislative district for the city.
At the time the legislative bills for RA 9591 were filed in Congress
in 2007, the population of Malolos was only 223,069. However, the
bills relied on an undated certification issued by a Regional Director
of the NSO that the projected population of Malolos will be 254,030
by the year 2010, using the population growth rate of 3.78 between
1995 to 2000.
Petitioners arguments:
Petitioners are taxpayers, registered voters, and residents of Malolos
City.
They filed this original action for prohibition contending that RA
9591 is unconstitutional for failing to meet the minimum population
threshold of 250,000 for a city to merit representation in Congress, as
per Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of
the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution.

Respondents arguments:
The Office of the Solicitor General contended that Congress use of
projected population is non-justiciable because it involves a
determination on the wisdom of the standard adopted by the
legislature to determine compliance with a constitutional
requirement.

Issue: WON RA 9591 is unconstitutional.


Held/Ratio: YES. It violates Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987
Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987
Constitution.
Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution requires that for a
city to have a legislative district, the city must have a population of
at least two hundred fifty thousand.
The legislative bill cites the undated Certification of Regional
Director Alberto N. Miranda of Region III of the NSO as authority
that the population of the City of Malolos will be 254,030 by the
year 2010. This certification, which is based on demographic
projections, is without legal effect because Regional Director
Miranda has no basis and no authority to issue the Certification.
Pursuant to Section 6 of E.O. 135: First, certifications
on demographic projections can be issued only if such projections
are declared official by the National Statistics Coordination
Board. Second, certifications based on demographic projections can
be issued only by the NSO Administrator or his designated certifying
officer. Third, intercensal population projections must be as of the
middle of every year.
o All these requirements are absent in the present case.
Also, the 2007 Census places the population of Malolos at 223,069
as of 1 August 2007. Based on a growth rate of 3.78%, the
population of Malolos will grow to only 248,365 as of 1 August
2010. Even if the growth rate is compounded yearly, the population
of Malolos of 223,069 as of 1 August 2007 will grow to only
249,333 as of 1 August 2010.
Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution
provides:
Any province that may be created, or any city whose population
may hereafter increase to more than two hundred fifty thousand shall
be entitled in the immediately following election
Therefore, a city that has attained a population of 250,000 is entitled
to a legislative district only in the immediately following
election. In short, a city must first attain the 250,000 population,
and thereafter, in the immediately following election, such city shall
have a district representative.
There is no showing in the present case that the City of Malolos has
attained or will attain a population of 250,000, whether actual or
projected, before the 10 May 2010 elections.

Navarro v. Ermita (2010)


Doctrine:
R.A. No. 9355 failed to comply with either the territorial or the population
requirement for the creation of the Province of Dinagat Islands.
The Constitution clearly mandates that the creation of local government
units must follow the criteria established in the Local Government Code.Any
derogation of or deviation from the criteria prescribed in the Local
Government Code violates Sec. 10, Art. X of the Constitution.
Hence, R.A. No. 9355 is unconstitutional for its failure to comply with the
criteria for the creation of a province prescribed in Sec. 461 of the Local
Government Code.
Facts:
The mother province of Surigao del Norte was created and established under
R.A. No. 2786 on June 19, 1960. The province is composed of three main
groups of islands: (1) the Mainland and Surigao City; (2) Siargao Island and
Bucas Grande; and (3) Dinagat Island, which is composed of seven
municipalities, namely, Basilisa, Cagdianao, Dinagat, Libjo, Loreto, San
Jose, and Tubajon.
Based on the official 2000 Census of Population and Housing conducted by
the National Statistics Office (NSO),2the population of the Province of
Surigao del Norte as of May 1, 2000 was 481,416, broken down as follows:
Mainland
281,111
Surigao City
118,534
Siargao Island & Bucas Grande 93,354
Dinagat Island
106,951
Under Section 461 of R.A. No. 7610 (LGC), a province may be created if
it has an average annual income of not less than P20 million based on 1991
constant prices as certified by the Department of Finance, and a population of
not less than 250,000 inhabitants as certified by the NSO, or a contiguous
territory of at least 2,000 square kilometers as certified by the Lands
Management Bureau. The territory need not be contiguous if it comprises
two or more islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities, which do not
contribute to the income of the province.
On April 3, 2002, the Office of the President, through its Deputy Executive
Secretary for Legal Affairs, advised the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the

Province of Surigao del Norte of the deficient population in the proposed


Province of Dinagat Islands.
In July 2003, the Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte conducted a
special census, with the assistance of an NSO District Census Coordinator, in
the Dinagat Islands to determine its actual population in support of the house
bill creating the Province of Dinagat Islands. The special census yielded a
population count of 371,576 inhabitants in the proposed province. The NSO,
however, did not certify the result of the special census. On July 30, 2003,
Surigao del Norte Provincial Governor Robert Lyndon S. Barbers issued
Proclamation No. 01, which declared as official, for all purposes, the 2003
Special Census in Dinagat Islands showing a population of 371,576.
The Bureau of Local Government Finance certified that the average annual
income of the proposed Province of Dinagat Islands for calendar year 2002
to 2003 based on the 1991 constant prices was P82,696,433.23. The land area
of the proposed province is 802.12 square kilometers.
On August 14, 2006 and August 28, 2006, the Senate and the House of
Representatives, respectively, passed the bill creating the Province of
Dinagat Islands. It was approved and enacted into law as R.A. No. 9355 on
October 2, 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
On December 2, 2006, a plebiscite was held in the mother Province of
Surigao del Norte to determine whether the local government units directly
affected approved of the creation of the Province of Dinagat Islands into a
distinct and independent province comprising the municipalities of Basilisa,
Cagdianao, Dinagat, Libjo (Albor), Loreto, San Jose, and Tubajon. The result
of the plebiscite yielded 69,943 affirmative votes and 63,502 negative votes.
On December 3, 2006, the Plebiscite Provincial Board of Canvassers
proclaimed that the creation of Dinagat Islands into a separate and distinct
province was ratified and approved by the majority of the votes cast in the
plebiscite.6
On January 26, 2007, a new set of provincial officials took their oath of
office following their appointment by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Another set of provincial officials was elected during the synchronized
national and local elections held on May 14, 2007. On July 1, 2007, the
elected provincial officials took their oath of office; hence, the Province of
Dinagat Islands began its corporate existence.

Petitioners arguments:
(1) The proposed Province of Dinagat Islands 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. It has a
total land area of only 802.12 square kilometers, which falls short of the
statutory requirement of at least 2,000 square kilometers. Moreover, based on
the NSO 2000 Census of Population, the total population of the proposed
Province of Dinagat Islands is only 106,951, while the statutory requirement
is a population of at least 250,000 inhabitants.
(2) When the Implementing Rules and Regulations conflict with the law that
they seek to implement, the law prevails. In enacting R.A. No. 9355 into law,
the House of Representatives and the Senate erroneously relied on paragraph
2 of Article 9 of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local
Government Code of 1991, which states that "[t]he land area requirement
shall not apply where the proposed province is composed of one (1) or more
islands." The preceding italicized provision contained in the Implementing
Rules and Regulations is not expressly or impliedly stated as an exemption to
the land area requirement in Section 461 of the Local Government Code.
Respondents arguments:
(1) The Province of Dinagat Islands met the legal standard for its creation.
First, the Bureau of Local Government Finance certified that the
average annual income of the proposed Province of Dinagat Islands
for the years 2002 to 2003 based on the 1991 constant prices
was P82,696,433.25.
Second, the Lands Management Bureau certified that though the land
area of the Province of Dinagat Islands is 802.12 square kilometers,
it is composed of one or more islands; thus, it is exempt from the
required land area of 2,000 square kilometers under paragraph 2 of
Article 9 of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local
Government Code.
Third, in the special census conducted by the Provincial Government
of Surigao del Norte, with the assistance of a District Census
Coordinator of the NSO, the number of inhabitants in the Province of
Dinagat Islands as of 2003, or almost three years before the
enactment of R.A. No. 9355 in 2006, was 371,576, which is more
than the minimum requirement of 250,000 inhabitants.
(2) Governor Ace S. Barbers contends that although the result of the special
census conducted by the Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte on
December 2, 2003 was never certified by the NSO, it is credible since it was

conducted with the aid of a representative of the NSO. He alleged that the
lack of certification by the NSO was cured by the presence of NSO officials,
who testified during the deliberations on House Bill No. 884 creating the
Province of Dinagat Islands, and who questioned neither the conduct of the
special census nor the validity of the result.
Issues:
(1) WON RA 9355, creating the new province of Dinagat Islands, complied
with the constitution and statutory requirements under section 461 of the
LGC of 1991.
(2) WON the creation of Dinagat as a new province by the respondents is an
act of gerrymandering.
(3) WON the result of the plebiscite is credible and truly reflects the mandate
of the people.
Held/Ratio:
(1) NO. (The Court first discusses the constitutional requirements before it
moves on to discuss the statutory requirements.)
CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT
The constitutional provision on the creation of a province in Section 10,
Article X of the Constitution states:
SEC. 10. No province, city, municipality, or barangay 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
approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the
political units directly affected."
Pursuant to the Constitution, the Local Government Code of 1991 prescribed
the criteria for the creation of a province, thus:
SEC. 461. Requisites for Creation. -- (a) A province may be
created if it has an average annual income, as certified by
the Department of Finance, of not less than Twenty million
pesos (P20,000,000.00) based on 1991 constant prices
and either of the following requisites:
(i) a contiguous territory of at least two thousand (2,000)
square kilometers, as certified by the Lands Management
Bureau; or
(ii) a population of not less than two hundred fifty thousand
(250,000) inhabitants as certified by the National Statistics
Office:

Provided, That, the creation thereof shall not reduce the


land area, population, and income of the original unit or
units at the time of said creation to less than the minimum
requirements prescribed herein.
(b) The territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two
(2) or more islands or is separated by a chartered city or
cities which do not contribute to the income of the province.
(c) The average annual income shall include the income
accruing to the general fund, exclusive of special funds,
trust funds, transfers, and non-recurring income.15
As a clarification of the territorial requirement, the Local Government Code
requires a contiguous territory of at least 2,000 square kilometers, as certified
by the Lands Management Bureau. However, the territory need not be
contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more islands or is separated by a
chartered city or cities that do not contribute to the income of the province.
If a proposed province is composed of two or more islands, does
"territory," under Sec. 461 of the Local Government Code, include not
only the land mass above the water, but also that which is beneath it?
The Supreme Court cites the case of Tan v. COMELEC to resolve the
question. Respondents in Tan insisted that when the Local Government Code
speaks of the required territory of the province to be created, what is
contemplated is not only the land area, but also the land and water over
which the said province has jurisdiction and control. The respondents
submitted that in this regard, the marginal sea within the three mile limit
should be considered in determining the extent of the territory of the new
province.
The Court in Tan stated that "[s]uch an interpretation is strained, incorrect
and fallacious." It held:
The last sentence of the first paragraph of Section 197 is
most revealing. As so stated therein the "territory need not
be contiguous if it comprises two or more islands." The use
of the word territory in this particular provision of the Local
Government Code and in the very last sentence thereof,
clearly, reflects that "territory" as therein used, has
reference only to the mass of land area and excludes the
waters over which the political unit exercises control.

Said sentence states that the "territory need not be


contiguous." Contiguous means (a) in physical contact; (b)
touching along all or most of one side; (c) near, [n]ext, or
adjacent (Webster's New World Dictionary, 1972 Ed., p.
307). "Contiguous," when employed as an adjective, as in
the above sentence, is only used when it describes physical
contact, or a touching of sides of two solid masses of matter.
x x x Therefore, in the context of the sentence above, what
need not be "contiguous" is the "territory" the physical
mass of land area. There would arise no need for the
legislators to use the word contiguous if they had intended
that the term "territory" embrace not only land area but also
territorial waters. x x x
The discussion of the Court in Tan on the definition and usage of the terms
"territory," and "contiguous," and the meaning of the provision, "The
territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two or more islands,"
contained in Sec. 197 of the former Local Government Code, which provides
for the requisites in the creation of a new province, is applicable in this case
since there is no reason for a change in their respective definitions, usage,
or meaning in its counterpart provision in the present Local Government
Code contained in Sec. 461 thereof.
The territorial requirement in the Local Government Code is adopted in the
Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991
(IRR), thus:
ART. 9. Provinces.(a) Requisites for creationA
province shall not be created unless the following requisites
on income and either population or land area are present:
(1) Income An average annual income of not less than
Twenty Million Pesos (P20,000,000.00) for the immediately
preceding two (2) consecutive years based on 1991 constant
prices, as certified by DOF. The average annual income shall
include the income accruing to the general fund, exclusive of
special funds, special accounts, transfers, and nonrecurring
income; and
(2) Population or land area - Population which shall not be
less than two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) inhabitants,
as certified by National Statistics Office; or land area which
must be contiguous with an area of at least two thousand
(2,000) square kilometers, as certified by LMB. The territory
need not be contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more

islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities which do


not contribute to the income of the province. The land area
requirement shall not apply where the proposed province is
composed of one (1) or more islands. The territorial
jurisdiction of a province sought to be created shall be
properly identified by metes and bounds.
However, the IRR went beyond the criteria prescribed by Section 461 of the
Local Government Code when it added the italicized portion above stating
that "[t]he land area requirement shall not apply where the proposed province
is composed of one (1) or more islands." Nowhere in the Local Government
Code is the said provision stated or implied. Under Section 461 of the Local
Government Code, the only instance when the territorial or land area
requirement need not be complied with is when there is already compliance
with the population requirement.

Although the Provincial Government of Surigao del Norte conducted a


special census of population in Dinagat Islands in 2003, which yielded a
population count of 371,000, the result was not certified by the NSO as
required by the Local Government Code. Moreover, respondents failed to
prove that with the population count of 371,000, the population of the
original unit (mother Province of Surigao del Norte) would not be reduced to
less than the minimum requirement prescribed by law at the time of the
creation of the new province.
Respondents contended that the lack of certification by the NSO was cured
by the presence of the officials of the NSO during the deliberations on the
house bill creating the Province of Dinagat Islands, since they did not object
to the result of the special census conducted by the Provincial Government of
Surigao del Norte.

Hence, the Court holds that the provision in Sec. 2, Art. 9 of the IRR stating
that "[t]he land area requirement shall not apply where the proposed province
is composed of one (1) or more islands" is null and void.

The contention of respondents does not persuade, because although the


NSO representative to the Committee on Local Government deliberations
dated November 24, 2005 did not object to the result of the provincial
governments special census, which was conducted with the assistance of an
NSO district census coordinator, it was agreed by the participants that the
said result was not certified by the NSO, which is the requirement of the
Local Government Code. Moreover, the NSO representative, Statistician II
Ma. Solita C. Vergara, stated that based on their computation, the population
requirement of 250,000 inhabitants would be attained by the Province of
Dinagat Islands by the year 2065. The computation was based on the growth
rate of the population, excluding migration.

STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS UNDER SECTION 461 OF THE LGC


OF 1991

In fine, R.A. No. 9355 failed to comply with either the territorial or the
population requirement for the creation of the Province of Dinagat Islands.

R.A. No. 9355 expressly states that the Province of Dinagat Islands "contains
an approximate land area of eighty thousand two hundred twelve hectares
(80,212 has.) or 802.12 sq. km., more or less, including Hibuson Island and
approximately forty-seven (47) islets x x x." R.A. No. 9355, therefore, failed
to comply with the land area requirement of 2,000 square kilometers.

The Constitution clearly mandates that the creation of local government


units must follow the criteria established in the Local Government Code.Any
derogation of or deviation from the criteria prescribed in the Local
Government Code violates Sec. 10, Art. X of the Constitution.

The Constitution requires that the criteria for the creation of a province,
including any exemption from such criteria, must all be written in the Local
Government Code. There is no dispute that in case of discrepancy between
the basic law and the rules and regulations implementing the said law, the
basic law prevails, because the rules and regulations cannot go beyond the
terms and provisions of the basic law.

The Province of Dinagat Islands also failed to comply with the population
requirement of not less than 250,000 inhabitants as certified by the NSO.
Based on the 2000 Census of Population conducted by the NSO, the
population of the Province of Dinagat Islands as of May 1, 2000 was only
106,951.

Hence, R.A. No. 9355 is unconstitutional for its failure to comply with the
criteria for the creation of a province prescribed in Sec. 461 of the Local
Government Code.
(2) The argument of petitioners is unsubstantiated. "Gerrymandering" is a
term employed to describe an apportionment of representative districts so
contrived as to give an unfair advantage to the party in power.

Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas, a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission,


defined "gerrymandering" as the formation of one legislative district out of
separate territories for the purpose of favoring a candidate or a party. The
Constitution proscribes gerrymandering, as it mandates each legislative
district to comprise, as far as practicable, a contiguous, compact and adjacent
territory.
As stated by the Office of the Solicitor General, the Province of Dinagat
Islands consists of one island and about 47 islets closely situated together,
without the inclusion of separate territories. It is an unsubstantiated allegation
that the province was created to favor Congresswoman Glenda EcleoVillaroman.
Disposition:
Republic Act No. 9355 (An Act Creating the Province of Dinagat Islands),
is hereby declared unconstitutional. The proclamation of the Province of
Dinagat Islands and the election of the officials thereof are declared NULL
and VOID. The provision in Article 9 (2) of the Rules and Regulations
Implementing the Local Government Code of 1991 stating, "The land area
requirement shall not apply where the proposed province is composed of one
(1) or more islands," is declared NULL and VOID.

NAVARRO v. ERMITA (2011)


It must be borne in mind that the central policy considerations in the creation
of local government units are economic viability, efficient administration,
and capability to deliver basic services to their constituents, and the criteria
prescribed by the Local Government Code (LGC), i.e., income, population
and land area, are all designed to accomplish these results. In this light,
Congress, in its collective wisdom, has debated on the relative weight of each
of these three criteria, placing emphasis on which of them should enjoy
preferential consideration. Without doubt, the primordial criterion in the
creation of local government units, particularly of a province, is economic
viability. This is the clear intent of the framers of the LGC.
FACTS:
1. In 2006, RA 9355 (An Act Creating the Province of Dinagat Islands) was
approved into law.
2. Comelec conducted a plebiscite for the ratification of the creation of the
new province. Plebiscite yielded 69,943 affirmative votes and 63,502
negative votes.
3. In the synchronized elections of May 14, 2007, the Dinagatnons elected
their new set of provincial officials.
4. Petitioners Rodolfo Navarro, Victor Bernal and Rene Medina, former
political leaders of Surigao del Norte filed before the SC a petition for
certiorari and prohibition challenging the constitutionality of RA 9355.
5. On February 2010, the Court rendered its Decision granting the petition
and declaring RA 9355 unconstitutional for failure to comply with the
requirements on population and land area for the creation of a province
under the LGC.
6. Comelec issued Resolution No. 87906. COMELEC Resolution 8790
declared that if the decision on the 2010 case was declared final and
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6

RESOLUTION NO. 8790

WHEREAS, Dinagat Islands, consisting of seven (7) municipalities, were


previously components of the First Legislative District of theProvince of Surigao
del Norte. In December 2006 pursuant to Republic Act No. 9355, the Province of
Dinagat Island[s] was created and its creation was ratified on 02 December 2006 in
the Plebiscite for this purpose;
WHEREAS, as a province, Dinagat Islands was, for purposes of the May
10, 2010 National and Local Elections, allocated one (1) seat for Governor, one (1)
seat for Vice Governor, one (1) for congressional seat, and ten (10) Sangguniang
Panlalawigan seats pursuant to Resolution No. 8670 dated 16 September 2009;

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court in G.R. No. 180050 entitled Rodolfo
Navarro, et al., vs. Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, as representative of the
President of the Philippines, et al. rendered a Decision, dated 10 February 2010,
declaring Republic Act No. 9355 unconstitutional for failure to comply with the
criteria for the creation of a province prescribed in Sec. 461 of the Local
Government Code in relation to Sec. 10, Art. X, of the 1987 Constitution;
WHEREAS, respondents intend to file Motion[s] for Reconsideration on
the above decision of the Supreme Court;
WHEREAS, the electoral data relative to the: (1) position for Member,
House of Representatives representing the lone congressional district of Dinagat
Islands, (2) names of the candidates for the aforementioned position, (3) position
for Governor, Dinagat Islands, (4) names of the candidates for the said position, (5)
position of the Vice Governor, (6) the names of the candidates for the said
position, (7) positions for the ten (10) Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members and,
[8] all the names of the candidates for Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members, have
already been configured into the system and can no longer be revised within the
remaining period before the elections on May 10, 2010.
NOW, THEREFORE, with the current system configuration, and
depending on whether the Decision of the Supreme Court in Navarro vs. Ermita is
reconsidered or not, the Commission RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to
declare that:
a.

If the Decision is reversed, there will be no problem since the


current system configuration is in line with the reconsidered
Decision, meaning that the Province of Dinagat Islands and
the Province of Surigao del Norte remain as two (2) separate
provinces;

b.

If the Decision becomes final and executory before the


election, the Province of Dinagat Islands will revert to its previous
status as part of the First Legislative District, Surigao del Norte.
But because of the current system configuration, the ballots for the
Province of Dinagat Islands will, for the positions of Member,
House of Representatives, Governor, Vice Governor and
Members, Sangguniang Panlalawigan, bear only the names of the
candidates for the said positions.
Conversely, the ballots for the First Legislative District of Surigao
del Norte, will, for the position of Governor, Vice Governor,
Member, House of Representatives, First District of Surigao del
Norte and Members, Sangguniang Panlalawigan, show only
candidates
for
the
said
position. Likewise,
the
whole Province of Surigao del Norte, will, for the position of
Governor and Vice Governor, bear only the names of the
candidates for the said position[s].
Consequently, the voters of the Province of Dinagat Islands will
not be able to vote for the candidates of Members, Sangguniang
Panlalawigan, and Member, House [of] Representatives, First
Legislative District, Surigao del Norte, and candidates for
Governor and Vice Governor for Surigao del Norte. Meanwhile,
voters of the First Legislative District of Surigao del Norte, will

executory, the Dinagat Islands would revert to its former status as a nonprovince. Consequently, the results of the May 2010 elections would
have to be nullified, and a special election would have to be conducted
for various positions (Governor, Vice-Governor, etc) for Surigao del
Norte. Hence the intervenors became real parties in interest with the
declaration finality of the 2010 case decision. (Hence, the imperative to
grant this Urgent Motion.)
7. Movants-intervenors filed their motion for leave to intervene and to file
motion for reconsideration. SC denied.
8. On October 5, 2010, the Court issued an order for Entry of Judgment
stating that the decision in this case had become final and executory on
May 18, 2010.
9. Hence, this Urgent Motion to Recall Entry of Judgment.
INTERVENORS-MOVANTS Position:
The passage of RA 9355 (An Act Creating the Province of Dinagat Islands)
operates as act of Congress amending Section 461 of the LGC.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
not be able to vote for Members, Sangguniang Panlalawigan and
Member, House of Representatives, Dinagat Islands. Also, the
voters of the wholeProvince of Surigao del Norte, will not be able
to
vote
for
the
Governor
and
Vice
Governor, Dinagat Islands. Given this situation, the Commission
will postpone the elections for Governor, Vice Governor,
Member, House of Representatives, First Legislative District,
Surigao del Norte, and Members, Sangguniang Panlalawigan,
First Legislative District, Surigao del Norte, because the election
will result in [a] failure to elect, since, in actuality, there are no
candidates for Governor, Vice Governor, Members, Sangguniang
Panlalawigan, First Legislative District, and Member, House of
Representatives, First Legislative District (with Dinagat Islands)
of Surigao del Norte.
c.

If the Decision becomes final and executory after the election, the
Province of Dinagat Islands will revert to its previous status as
part of the First Legislative District of Surigao del Norte. The
result of the election will have to be nullified for the same reasons
given in Item b above. A special election for Governor, Vice
Governor, Member, House of Representatives, First Legislative
District of Surigao del Norte, and Members, Sangguniang
Panlalawigan,
First
District,
Surigao
del
Norte
(with Dinagat Islands) will have to be conducted.

xxxx
SO ORDERED.

The exemption from territorial contiguity, when the intended province


consists of two or more islands, includes the exemption from the application
of the minimum land area requirement.
The Operative Fact Doctrine is applicable.
Relief Sought: Recall entry of judgment dated October 29, 2010 and
Reconsideration of such decision which upheld the unconstitutionality of RA
9355
Legal Basis:
Section 461 of the LGC
Requisites for Creation.
(a) A province may be created if it has an average annual income, as
certified by the Department of Finance, of not less than Twenty
million pesos (P20,000,000.00) based on 1991 constant prices and
either of the following requisites:
(i) a contiguous territory of at least two thousand (2,000)
square kilometers, as certified by the Lands Management
Bureau; or
(ii) a population of not less than two hundred fifty thousand
(250,000) inhabitants as certified by the National Statistics
Office:
Provided, That, the creation thereof shall not reduce the land
area, population, and income of the original unit or units at
the time of said creation to less than the minimum
requirements prescribed herein.
(b) The territory need not be contiguous if it comprise two (2) or
more islands or is separated by a chartered city or cities which do not
contribute to the income of the province.
(c) The average annual income shall include the income accruing to
the general fund, exclusive of special funds, trust funds, transfers and
non-recurring income.
Article 9 of the LGC IRR
ART. 9. Provinces.(a) Requisites for creationA province shall not be
created unless the following requisites on income and either population or
land area are present:
(1) IncomeAn average annual income of not less than Twenty Million
Pesos (P20,000,000.00) for the immediately preceding two (2) consecutive
years based on 1991 constant prices, as certified by DOF. The average

annual income shall include the income accruing to the general fund,
exclusive of special funds, special accounts, transfers, and nonrecurring
income; and
(2) Population or land areaPopulation which shall not be less than two
hundred fifty thousand (250,000) inhabitants, as certified by National
Statistics Office; or land area which must be contiguous with an area of at
least two thousand (2,000) square kilometers, as certified by LMB. The
territory need not be contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more islands or is
separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute to the income
of the province. The land area requirement shall not apply where the
proposed province is composed of one (1) or more islands. The territorial
jurisdiction of a province sought to be created shall be properly identified by
metes and bounds.
RESPONDENTs Opposition: RA 9355 (An Act Creating the Province of
Dinagat Islands) should be nullified for being unconstitutional.
When RA 9355 was passed, Dinagat had a land area of 802.12 sq. km. only
and a population of only 106,951. The law on the matter (Section 461 of the
LGC) requires that the province to be created either has 1) a continuous
territory of at least 2,000 sq. km., as certified by the Lands Management
Bureau; or 2) a population of at least 250,000 inhabitants as certified by the
NSO.
Legal Basis:
Section 10, Article X of the Constitution
No province, city, municipality, or barangay 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
approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units
directly affected.
Section 461 of the LGC(see above)
ISSUE: WON the creation of the Province of Dinagat Islands is valid despite
failure to meet the requirements for the creation of a province as stated under
Section 461 of the LGC (The Court considered the first two arguments of the
intervenors-movants)
HELD/RATIO:
The passage of RA 9355 (An Act Creating the Province of Dinagat Islands)
operates as act of Congress amending Section 461 of the LGC.

With the formulation of the LGC-IRR, which amounted to both executive


and legislative construction of the LGC, the many details to implement the
LGC had already been put in place, which Congress understood to be
impractical and not too urgent to immediately translate into direct
amendments to the LGC. But Congress, recognizing the capacity and
viability of Dinagat to become a full-fledged province, enacted R.A. No.
9355, following the exemption from the land area requirement, which, with
respect to the creation of provinces, can only be found as an express
provision in the LGC-IRR. In effect, pursuant to its plenary legislative
powers, Congress breathed flesh and blood into that exemption in Article
9(2) of the LGC-IRR and transformed it into law when it enacted R.A. No.
9355 creating the Island Province of Dinagat. The acts of Congress, in
passing RA 9355, definitively show the clear legislative intent to incorporate
into the LGC that exemption from the land area requirement
The exemption from territorial contiguity, when the intended province
consists of two or more islands, includes the exemption from the application
of the minimum land area requirement.
With respect to the creation of barangays, land area is not a requisite
indicator of viability. However, with respect to the creation of municipalities,
component cities, and provinces, the three (3) indicators of viability and
projected capacity to provide services, i.e., income, population, and land
area, are provided for.
But it must be pointed out that when the local government unit to be created
consists of one (1) or more islands, it is exempt from the land area
requirement as expressly provided in Section 442 and Section 450 of the
LGC if the local government unit to be created is a municipality or a
component city, respectively. This exemption is absent in the enumeration of
the requisites for the creation of a province under Section 461 of the LGC,
although it is expressly stated under Article 9(2) of the LGC-IRR.
There appears neither rhyme nor reason why this exemption should apply to
cities and municipalities, but not to provinces. In fact, considering the
physical configuration of the Philippine archipelago, there is a greater
likelihood that islands or group of islands would form part of the land area of
a newly-created province than in most cities or municipalities.
It is, therefore, logical to infer that the genuine legislative policy decision
was expressed in Section 442 (for municipalities) and Section 450 (for

component cities) of the LGC, but was inadvertently omitted in Section 461
(for provinces). Thus, when the exemption was expressly provided in Article
9(2) of the LGC-IRR, the inclusion was intended to correct the congressional
oversight in Section 461 of the LGCand to reflect the true legislative
intent. It would, then, be in order for the Court to uphold the validity of
Article 9(2) of the LGC-IRR.
Consistent with the declared policy to provide LGUs genuine and meaningful
local autonomy, contiguity and minimum land area requirements for
prospective LGUs should be liberally construed in order to achieve the
desired results. Moreover, such a very restrictive construction could trench
on the equal protection clause as it actually defeats the purpose of local
autonomy and decentralization as enshrined in the Constitution..
The provision in Article 9(2) of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the
Local Government Code of 1991 stating, The land area requirement shall
not apply where the proposed province is composed of one (1) or more
islands, is declared VALID. Accordingly, Republic Act No. 9355 (An Act
Creating the Province of Dinagat Islands) is declared as VALID and
CONSTITUTIONAL, and the proclamation of the Province of Dinagat
Islands and the election of the officials thereof are declared VALID.

League of Cities vs. COMELEC (2008)


Doctrine:
The criteria for in the creation of LGUs must be in the Local Government
Code and no other law. Exemptions from the application of such criteria
must also be in the LGC>
Facts:
During the 11th Congress, Congress did not act on bills converting 24
municipalities into cities.
During the 12th Congress, Congress enacted R.A. No. 9009 (took
effect on 30 June 2001). RA 9009 amended Sec. 450 of the LGC by
increasing the annual income requirement for conversion of a
municipality into a city from P20M to P100M.
After the effectivity of R.A. 9009, the House of Representatives of
the 12th Congress adopted Joint Resolution No. 29, which sought to
exempt the 24 municipalities (those whose cityhood bills were not
approved in the 11th Congress, see above) from the P100M income
requirement.
The 12th Congress ended without the Senated approving Joint
Resolution No. 29.
During the 13th Congress, Joint Resolution No. 29 (in the 12th
Congress) was readopted as Joint Resolution No. 1. Senated failed to
approve the Joint Resolution No. 1.
Sixteen (16) municipalities filed individual cityhood bills which
contained a common provision exemoting them from the P100M
income requirement.
Senate and HoR approved the cityhood bills. The cityhood bills
lapsed into law (Cityhood Laws).
Petitioners arguments:
For Issue 1:
The Cityhood Laws unconstitutional for violation of Section 10, Article X of
the Constitution.
For Issue 2:
The wholesale conversion of municipalities into cities will reduce the share
of existing cities in the Internal Revenue Allotment because more cities will
share the same amount of internal revenue set aside for all cities under
Section 285 of the Local Government Code.
For Issue 3:

The Cityhood Laws unconstitutional for violation of the equal protection


clause.
Respondents arguments: None.
Issue 1:
Whether the Cityhood Laws violate Section 10, Article X7of the Constitution
(Yes)
Held/Ratio:
The Constitution is clear. The creation of local government units
must follow the criteria established in the Local Government Code
and not in any other law. There is only one Local Government
Code. Congress 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, nondiscriminatory criteria found solely in the Local Government Code.
Any derogation or deviation from the criteria prescribed in the Local
Government Code violates Section 10, Article X of the Constitution.
RA 9009 amended Section 450 of the LGC and increased the income
requirement to P100M. Section 450, as amended by RA 9009, does
not contain any exemption from this income requirement.
The Cityhood Laws, all enacted after the effectivity of RA 9009,
explicitly exempt respondent municipalities from the increased
income requirement in Section 450 as amended by RA 9009.
Such exemption clearly violates Section 10, Article X of the
Constitution and is thus patently unconstitutional. To be valid, such
exemption must be written in the Local Government Code and not in
any other law, including the Cityhood Laws.
Issue 2:
Whether the Cityhood Laws violate Section 6, Article X8 of the Constitution
(Yes)
Held/Ratio:
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7
No province, city, municipality, or barangay shall 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 approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.
(Emphasis supplied)
8
Local government units shall have a just share, as determined by law, in the national taxes which shall
be automatically released to them. (Emphasis supplied)

Uniform and non-discriminatory criteria as prescribed in the Local


Government Code are essential to implement a fair and equitable
distribution of national taxes to all local government units.
If the criteria in creating local government units are not uniform and
discriminatory, there can be no fair and just distribution of the
national taxes to local government units.
A city with an annual income of only P20 million, all other criteria
being equal, should not receive the same share in national taxes as a
city with an annual income of P100 million or more.
The criteria prescribed in the LGC (land area, population and
income), are material in determining the just share of local
government units in national taxes.
Since the Cityhood Laws do not follow the income criterion in
Section 450 of the Local Government Code, they prevent the fair and
just distribution of the Internal Revenue Allotment in violation of
Section 6, Article X of the Constitution.

requirement. Municipalities with pending cityhood bills in the 11th


Congress might even have lower annual income than municipalities
that did not have pending cityhood bills.
Not rationally related to a legitimate government objective Municipalities with pending cityhood bills in the 11th Congress might
even have lower annual income than municipalities that did not have
pending cityhood bills. In short, the classification criterion not
rationally related to the purpose of the law which is to prevent
fiscally non-viable municipalities from converting into cities.
Limited to existing conditions - The fact of pendency of a cityhood
bill in the 11th Congress limits the exemption to a specific condition
existing at the time of passage of RA 9009. That specific condition
will never happen again.
Not applicable to all similarly situated - Municipalities with the same
income as the 16 respondent municipalities cannot convert into
cities, while the 16 respondent municipalities can.

Dissenting opinion:Vitug, J.
Issue 3:
Whether the Cityhood Laws violate the equal protection clause (Yes)
Held/Ratio:
The exemption provision merely states, Exemption from Republic
Act No. 9009 The City of x x x shall be exempted from the
income requirement prescribed under Republic Act No. 9009. This
one sentence exemption provision contains no classification
standards or guidelines differentiating the exempted municipalities
from those that are not exempted.
The exemption will be based solely on the fact that the 16
municipalities had cityhood bills pending in the 11th Congress when
RA 9009 was enacted.
To be valid, the classification in the present case must be based on
substantial distinctions, rationally related to a legitimate government
objective which is the purpose of the law,9[23] not limited to
existing conditions only, and applicable to all similarly situated.
No substantial distinction - The mere pendency of a cityhood bill in
the 11th Congress is not a material difference to distinguish one
municipality from another for the purpose of the income
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!

The Cityhood laws merely carry out the intent of R.A. No. 9009.
Hence, they are in accordnce with the criteria established in the
LGC pursuant to Section 10, Art. X of the Constitution.

League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) v COMELEC (2009)


Doctrine:
1. Code under Art. X, Section 10 does not refer solely to the LGC.
2. Deliberations of the Congress on unapproved bills or resolutions are
extrinsic aids.
Facts:
Consolidated petitions for prohibition were filed assailing the
constitutionality of 16 laws (cityhood laws) converting 16 municipalities into
cities and seeking to enjoin the COMELEC from conducting plebiscites
pursuant to the said cityhood laws.
Petitioners arguments:
1. Under Sec. 10, Art. X of the 1987 Constitution, the creation of
political subdivisions must be in accordance with the criteria
established under the local government code. The indicators or
criteria must be written only in the local government code and not in
any other statute. In this case, the criteria are under the LGC of 1991
and the cityhood laws that exempted the respondent LGUs from the
income standard spelled out in the amendatory RA 9009 violates the
Constitution.
The deliberations during the 11th and/or 12th Congress particularly
those on the unapproved resolution exempting from RA 9009 certain
municipalities, are without significance and would not qualify as
extrinsic aids in construing cityhood laws since the said laws were
passed during the 13th Congress.
2. The special treatment granted under the cityhood laws violates the
equal protection clause.
Issue/s:
1) Whether or not the required vote set forth in the aforesaid Sec.
4(2), Art. VIII is limited only to the initial vote on the petition or
also to the subsequent voting on the motion for reconsideration
2) Whether or not the cityhood laws violate Sec. 10, Art. X of the
Constitution;
3) Whether or not the cityhood laws violate the equal protection
clause

Held/Ratio:
1. No. The supposedly infringed provision is not a new constitutional
provision. It is a substantial reproduction of Art. XI, Sec. 3 of the
1973 constitution. The code similarly referred to in the 1973 and
1987 constitutions is clearly but a law Congress enacted. The
rationale 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 (Court noted Fr. Bernas explanation on the same).
The Court also noted that at the time of the enactment of the 1987
Constitution, BP 337, the then LGC was still in place. Had the
framers intended to isolate the embodiment of the criteria only in the
LGC, then they would have referred to BP337. Moreover, they
would not have provided for the enactment by Congress of a new
LGC.
Consistent with its plenary power, Congress can, via either a
consolidated set of laws or single-subject enactment, impose the
criteria of viability and the same need not be embodied in the local
government code. Pursuing the contention of petitioners that the
criteria may not be provided for in any other law would result in the
conclusion that RA 9009 is also unconstitutional which is illogical
since they used the said law as an argument for the alleged
unconstitutionality of the cityhood laws.
Court also discussed that even assuming that conversion shall be in
accordance with the criteria set forth in the LGC, the petitioners
constitutional objections would still be untenable since RA 9009
intended the lgus covered by the cityhood laws to be exempt from
the P100 Million income criterion. The following is the discussion of
the Court on its exemption angle:
Originally, 164 of BP 337 provided as requirement an average
regular annual income of at least 10 Million pesos. This was
superseded by 450 of the LGC which provided for at least 20
Million pesos and was further amended by RA 9009 which provided
that there should be an average annual income of at least 100 Million
pesos for the last 2 consecutive years.
Looking at the deliberations, the Court stated that the rationale
behind the enactment of RA 9009 is the mad rush of municipalities

wanting to be converted into cities. Congress, however, knew of the


pendency of several bills on cityhood at the time of such
deliberations and has deliberated that the bills would not be affected
(records of the deliberations).

sponsorship speech on the cityhood bills. 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 qualification for
city status using the criteria under the LGC before its amendment.

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. [Court: The intent is the essence of the law and
the primary rule of construction is to ascertain and to give effect to
that intent. Torres v. Limjap]
Court also used presumption of constitutionality.

Germane to the purpose of the law: the exemption was meant to


reduce the inequality occasioned by the passage of RA 9009. The
laws positively promoted the equality and eliminated the inequality
between the respondent municipalities and the 33 others whose
cityhood bills were enacted during the 11th Congress. Note that all
the aforementioned municipalities were all found to be qualified
before the passage of RA 9009.

Debates, deliberations and proceedings of Congress and the steps


taken in the enactment of the law were part of the legislative history
and may be consulted, if appropriate, as aids in the interpretation of
the law. They are only immaterial if Congress is not a continuing
legislative body.

Court: to deny the same rights and privileges to the respondent


municipalities is tantamount to denying the respondent
municipalities the protective mantle of the equal protection clause.
Thus, resulting in an absurd situation where an alleged violation is
remedied by another violation the same clause.

2. No. Artificial persons are entitled to protection only insofar as their


property is concerned (Smith, Bell & Co. v. Natividad (1919)). In
this case, no deprivation of property results by virtue of the
enactment of the cityhood laws. The claim that there would be a
reduction of IRA is presumptuous since the IRA is yet to be
allocated. Municipalities cannot also claim violation of the equal
protection clause since conversion would only affect its status as a
political unit.

The non-retroactive effect of RA 9009 is not limited in application


only to conditions existing at the time of its enactment. The common
exemption clause in the cityhood laws is an application of the nonretroactive effect of RA 9009. It is not a declaration of rights but a
mere declaration of prior qualification and/or compliance with the
non-retroactive effect of RA 9009. Uniform exemption would apply
to municipalities that had pending cityhood bills before the passage
of RA 9009 and were compliant with then 450 of the LGC. It is
hard to imagine, however, if there are still municipalities out there
belonging in context to the same class as the respondent lgus.

There is reasonable classification. Requisites: a) rest on substantial


distinctions; (b) germane to the purpose of the law; c) not limited to
the existing conditions only; and d) apply equally to all members of
the same class.
The favorable treatment accorded the lgus subject of the cityhood
laws rests on substantial distinctions. 1) Lgus have pending bills
before the passage of RA 9009; 2) years before the enactment of RA
9009, they had already met the income criterion under the LGC; 3) it
would be unfair to change the rules in the middle of the game
(note: the process of conversion has already span 3 Congresses
because of events such as the impeachment of then Pres. Estrada, the
jueteng investigation, and the subsequent EDSA events that are not
controlled by the municipalities) Court citing Senator Lims

The existence of cities consequent to the approval of the creating, but


challenged, cityhood laws in the plebiscites held in the affected lgus
is now an operative fact. The operative fact doctrine provides another
reason for upholding the constitutionality of the cityhood laws.
Dissenting opinion: The dissent only discussed procedural matters as
regards tie-vote on a motion for reconsideration and the finality of the
November 18 decision.

League of Cities of the Philippines vs. COMELEC (2010)


b.

Doctrine: Section 10, Article X of the Constitution expressly provides


that no x x x city shall be created x x x except in accordance with the
criteria established in the local government code. This provision can
only be interpreted in one way, that is, all the criteria for the creation of cities
must be embodied exclusively in the Local Government Code. In this case,
the Cityhood Laws, which are unmistakably laws other than the Local
Government Code, provided an exemption from the increased income
requirement for the creation of cities under Section 450 of the Local
Government Code, as amended by RA 9009. Clearly, the Cityhood Laws
contravene the letter and intent of Section 10, Article X of the Constitution.
Facts: This case involves the 18 November 2008 decision of the Supreme
Court En Banc which struck down 16 Cityhood Laws for violating Section
10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution and the equal protection clause. After
the finality of the 18 November 2008 Decision the Court En
Banc unprecedentedly reversed its decision by upholding the
constitutionality of the Cityhood Laws in the Decision of 21 December 2009.
This case is a result of the reexamination of the Court of the motions for
reconsideration filed before it and finds that such are meritorious and
accordingly reinstates the 18 November 2008 Decision declaring the 16
Cityhood Laws unconstitutional.
Petitioners arguments: *NOTE: This case is a continuation of the 2008
and 2009 decisions. The arguments presented by both parties were no
longer discussed in detail. The focus of the decision is the analysis of the
court.
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration regarding the December 21,
2009 decision of the SC reiterating their stand that the 16 Cityhood Laws are
unconstitutional for being:
a.

Violative of Section 10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution


which provides that:
No province, city, municipality, or barangay shall 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
approval by a majority of the votes cast in a plebiscite in the
political units directly affected. (Emphasis supplied)

There is no substantial distinction between municipalities


with pending cityhood bills in the 11th Congress and
municipalities that did not have pending bills. The mere
pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress is not a
material difference to distinguish one municipality from
another for the purpose of the income requirement. The
pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress does not
affect or determine the level of income of a municipality.

Respondents arguments: NONE DISCUSSED


Issue/s:
1. WoN the 16 Cityhood laws are unconsitutional
2. WoN the operative fact doctrine made the 16 cityhood laws in
question constitutional.
Held/Ratio:
FIRST ISSUE:
YES. The Constitution is clear. The creation of local government units must
follow the criteria established in the Local Government Code and not in any
other law. The Constitution requires Congress to stipulate in the Local
Government Code all the criteria necessary for the creation of a city,
including the conversion of a municipality into a city. Thus Congress 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 Local Government Code. Any derogation or
deviation from the criteria prescribed in the Local Government Code violates
Section 10, Article X of the Constitution.
RA 9009 amended Section 450 of the Local Government Code to increase
the income requirement from P20 million to P100 million for the creation of
a city. Hence, there is a new requirement for all municipalities desiring to
become a city to satisfy the P100 million income requirement there being no
exemption provided in the amendment.
The Cityhood Laws, all enacted after the effectivity of RA 9009, explicitly
exempt respondent municipalities from the increased income requirement in
Section 450 of the Local Government Code, as amended by RA 9009. Such

exemption clearly violates Section 10, Article X of the Constitution and is


thus patently unconstitutional. To be valid, such exemption must be written
in the Local Government Code and not in any other law, including the
Cityhood Laws.
On the issue of equal protection relating to municipalities with pending
cityhood bills in the 11th Congress and municipalities that did not have
pending bills the SC held that the mere pendency of a cityhood bill in the
11th Congress is not a material difference to distinguish one municipality
from another for the purpose of the income requirement.
The pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress does not affect or
determine the level of income of a municipality. The classification
criterion mere pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress is not
rationally related to the purpose of the law which is to prevent fiscally
non-viable municipalities from converting into cities. Limiting the
exemption to the new income requirement only to the 16 municipalities who
had pending cityhood bills violates the requirement that the classification
must apply to all similarly situated. Municipalities with the same income as
the 16 respondent municipalities cannot convert into cities, while the 16
respondent municipalities can.
______________________________________________________________
_______________________________
SECOND ISSUE:
NO. Under the operative fact doctrine, the law is recognized as
unconstitutional but the effects of the unconstitutional law, prior to its
declaration of nullity, may be left undisturbed as a matter of equity and fair
play.
The view of the minority that an unconstitutional law, if already
implemented prior to its declaration of unconstitutionality by the Court, can
no longer be revoked and its implementation must be continued despite being
unconstitutional will open the floodgates to the wanton enactment of
unconstitutional laws and a mad rush for their immediate implementation
before the Court can declare them unconstitutional.
The operative fact doctrine is a rule of equity. As such, it must be applied
as an exception to the general rule that an unconstitutional law produces no
effects. It can never be invoked to validate as constitutional an
unconstitutional act as stated in Planters Products, Inc. v. Fertiphil
Corporation where the Court held that:
The general rule is that an unconstitutional law is void. It
produces no rights, imposes no duties and affords no

protection. It has no legal effect. It is, in legal


contemplation, inoperative as if it has not been passed.
Being void, Fertiphil is not required to pay the levy. All
levies paid should be refunded in accordance with the
general civil code principle against unjust enrichment. Xxx

League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) v COMELEC, (Feb 2011)


Doctrine: The enactment of the Cityhood Laws is an exercise by Congress of
its legislative power. The LGC is a creation of Congress through its lawmaking powers. Congress has the power to alter or modify it as it did when it
enacted R.A. No. 9009 and when it enacted the Cityhood Laws. Congress
deemed it wiser to exempt respondent municipalities from belatedly imposed
modified income requirement in order to uphold its higher calling of putting
flesh and blood to the very intent and thrust of the LGC, which is countryside
development and autonomy.
Facts:
Petitions for prohibition were filed by the League of Cities of the Philippines
assailing the constitutionality of 16 laws converting the municipality covered
thereby into a component city (Cityhood Laws), and seeking to enjoin the
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) from conducting plebiscites pursuant
to the subject laws.
In the Decision dated November 18, 2008, the Court En Banc granted the
petitions and struck down the Cityhood Laws as unconstitutional for
violating Sections 10 and 6, Article X, and the equal protection clause. In the
Resolution dated March 31, 2009, the Court En Banc, denied the first motion
for reconsideration. On April 28, 2009, the Court En Banc issued a
Resolution, with a vote of 6-6,4 which denied the second motion for
reconsideration for being a prohibited pleading.
In its June 2, 2009 Resolution, the Court En Banc clarified its April 28, 2009
Resolution. In the present case, the Court voted on the second motion for
reconsideration filed by respondent cities. In effect, the Court allowed the
filing of the second motion for reconsideration. Thus, the second motion for
reconsideration was no longer a prohibited pleading. However, for lack of the
required number of votes to overturn the 18 November 2008 Decision and 31
March 2009 Resolution, the Court denied the second motion for
reconsideration in its 28 April 2009 Resolution.5
In another Decision dated December 21, 2009, the Court En Banc declared
the Cityhood Laws as constitutional.
On August 24, 2010, the Court En Banc, through a Resolution resolved the
Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration and Motion to Annul the Decision
of December 21, 2009, filed by petitioners, and the Ad Cautelam Motion for
Reconsideration filed by petitioners-in-intervention, reinstating the
November 18, 2008 Decision.
Considering these circumstances where the Court En Banc has twice changed
its position on the constitutionality of the 16 Cityhood Laws, and especially
taking note of the novelty of the issues involved in these cases, the Motion

for Reconsideration of the Resolution dated August 24, 2010 deserves


favorable action by this Court
Petitioners arguments:
Both the November 18, 2008 Decision and the August 24, 2010
Resolution impress that the Cityhood Laws violate the equal protection
clause enshrined in the Constitution. Further, it was also ruled that Section 6,
Article X was violated because the Cityhood Laws infringed on the just
share that petitioner and petitioners-in-intervention shall receive from the
national taxes (IRA) to be automatically released to them.
There is no substantial distinction between municipalities with pending
cityhood bills in the 11th Congress and municipalities that did not have
pending bills, such that the mere pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th
Congress is not a material difference to distinguish one municipality from
another for the purpose of the income requirement.
Issue/s:
1) Whether the 16 Cityhood Bills violate Article X, Section 10 of the
Constitution?
2) Whether the Cityhood Laws violate Section 6, Article X and the
equal protection clause of the Constitution?
Held/Ratio:
a. The 16 Cityhood Bills do not violate Article X, Section 10 of the
Constitution.
Article X, Section 10 provides No province, city, municipality, or
barangay 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 approval by a majority of the votes cast
in a plebiscite in the political units directly affected.
Prior to the amendment, Section 450 of the LGC required only an average
annual income of at least P20, 000,000.00 for the last two (2) consecutive
years. Before R.A. No. 9009, was introduced by Senator Pimentel, there were
57 bills filed for conversion of 57 municipalities into component cities.
During the 11th Congress (June 1998-June 2001), 33 of these bills were
enacted into law, while 24 remained as pending bills. Among these 24 were
the 16 municipalities that were converted into component cities through the
Cityhood Laws.
Notwithstanding that the 11th and 12th Congress failed to act upon the
pending cityhood bills, both the letter and intent of Section 450 of the LGC,

as amended by R.A. No. 9009, were carried on until the 13th Congress, when
the Cityhood Laws were enacted. The exemption clauses found in the
individual Cityhood Laws are the express articulation of that intent to exempt
respondent municipalities from the coverage of R.A. No. 9009.
Congress saw the wisdom of exempting respondent municipalities from
complying with the higher income requirement imposed by the amendatory
R.A. No. 9009. These municipalities have proven themselves viable and
capable to become component cities of their respective provinces. They were
centres of trade and commerce, points of convergence of transportation, rich
havens of agricultural, mineral, and other natural resources, and flourishing
tourism spots.
The enactment of the Cityhood Laws is an exercise by Congress of its
legislative power. Legislative power is the authority, under the Constitution,
to make laws, and to alter and repeal them. The Constitution, as the
expression of the will of the people in their original, sovereign, and unlimited
capacity, has vested this power in the Congress of the Philippines. The grant
of legislative power to Congress is broad, general, and comprehensive. The
legislative body possesses plenary powers for all purposes of civil
government. Any power, deemed to be legislative by usage and tradition, is
necessarily possessed by Congress, unless the Constitution has lodged it
elsewhere. In fine, except as limited by the Constitution, either expressly or
impliedly, legislative power embraces all subjects, and extends to matters of
general concern or common interest.
Without doubt, the LGC is a creation of Congress through its law-making
powers. Congress has the power to alter or modify it as it did when it enacted
R.A. No. 9009. Such power of amendment of laws was again exercised when
Congress enacted the Cityhood Laws. When Congress enacted the LGC in
1991, it provided for quantifiable indicators of economic viability for the
creation of local government unitsincome, population, and land area.
Congress deemed it fit to modify the income requirement with respect to the
conversion of municipalities into component cities when it enacted R.A. No.
9009, imposing an amount of P100 million, computed only from locallygenerated sources. However, Congress deemed it wiser to exempt respondent
municipalities from such a belatedly imposed modified income requirement
in order to uphold its higher calling of putting flesh and blood to the very
intent and thrust of the LGC, which is countryside development and
autonomy, especially accounting for these municipalities as engines for
economic growth in their respective provinces.
R.A. No. 9009 amended the LGC. But it is also true that the Cityhood Laws
amended R.A. No. 9009 through the exemption clauses found therein. Since
the Cityhood Laws explicitly exempted the concerned municipalities
from the amendatory R.A. No. 9009, such Cityhood Laws are, therefore,

also amendments to the LGC itself. For this reason, we reverse the
November 18, 2008 Decision and the August 24, 2010 Resolution on their
strained and stringent view that the Cityhood Laws, particularly their
exemption clauses, are not found in the LGC.
b. There was valid classification, and the Cityhood Laws do not violate the
equal protection clause.
The equal protection clause of the 1987 Constitution permits a valid
classification, provided that it: (1) rests on substantial distinctions; (2) is
germane to the purpose of the law; (3) is not limited to existing conditions
only; and (4) applies equally to all members of the same class.
The determination of the existence of substantial distinction with respect to
respondent municipalities does not simply lie on the mere pendency of their
cityhood bills during the 11th Congress. The existence of substantial
distinction with respect to respondent municipalities covered by the Cityhood
Laws is measured by the purpose of the law, not by R.A. No. 9009, but by
the very purpose of the LGC, as provided in its Section 2 (a), thus
SECTION 2. Declaration of Policy.(a) It is hereby declared the
policy of the State that the territorial and political subdivisions of the
State shall enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to enable
them to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities
and make them more effective partners in the attainment of national
goals. Toward this end, the State shall provide for a more responsive
and accountable local government structure instituted through a
system of decentralization whereby local government units shall be
given more powers, authority, responsibilities and resources. The
process of decentralization shall proceed from the National
Government to the local government units.
Substantial distinction lies in the capacity and viability of respondent
municipalities to become component cities of their respective provinces.
Congress, by enacting the Cityhood Laws, recognized this capacity and
viability of respondent municipalities to become the States partners in
accelerating economic growth and development in the provincial regions,
which is the very thrust of the LGC, manifested by the pendency of their
cityhood bills during the 11th Congress and their relentless pursuit for
cityhood up to the present. Truly, the urgent need to become a component
city arose way back in the 11th Congress, and such condition continues to
exist.
The justness in the act of Congress in enacting the Cityhood Laws becomes
obvious considering that 33 municipalities were converted into component
cities almost immediately prior to the enactment of R.A. No. 9009. In the
enactment of the Cityhood Laws, Congress merely took the 16 municipalities
covered thereby from the disadvantaged position brought about by the abrupt

increase in the income requirement of R.A. No. 9009, acknowledging the


privilege that they have already given to those newly-converted component
cities, which prior to the enactment of R.A. No. 9009, were undeniably in the
same footing or class as the respondent municipalities. Congress merely
recognized the capacity and readiness of respondent municipalities to
become component cities of their respective provinces.
Congress, who holds the power of the purse, in enacting the Cityhood Laws,
only sought the well-being of respondent municipalities, having seen their
respective capacities to become component cities of their provinces,
temporarily stunted by the enactment of R.A. No. 9009. By allowing
respondent municipalities to convert into component cities, Congress desired
only to uphold the very purpose of the LGC, i.e., to make the local
government units enjoy genuine and meaningful local autonomy to enable
them to attain their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make
them more effective partners in the attainment of national goals, which is
the very mandate of the Constitution.
Dissenting opinion: CARPIO
As I have consistently opined, the 16 Cityhood Laws are
unconstitutional.
First, the 16 Cityhood Laws violate Section 10, Article X of the 1987
Constitution. The Constitution is clear. The creation of local government
units must follow the criteria established in the Local Government Code and
not in any other law. There is only one Local Government Code. The
Constitution requires Congress to stipulate in the Local Government Code all
the criteria necessary for the creation of a city, including the conversion of a
municipality into a city. Congress cannot write such criteria in any other law,
like the Cityhood Laws.
RA 9009 amended Section 450 of the Local Government Code to
increase the income requirement from P20 million to P100 million for the
creation of a city. This took effect on 30 June 2001. Hence, from that
moment the Local Government Code required that any municipality desiring
to become a city must satisfy the P100 million income requirement. Section
450 of the Local Government Code, as amended by RA 9009, does not
contain any exemption from this income requirement.
In enacting RA 9009, Congress did not grant any exemption to
respondent municipalities, even though their cityhood bills were pending in
Congress when Congress passed RA 9009. The Cityhood Laws, all enacted
after the effectivity of RA 9009, explicitly exempt respondent municipalities
from the increased income requirement in Section 450 of the Local
Government Code, as amended by RA 9009. Such exemption violates

Section 10, Article X of the Constitution and is thus patently


unconstitutional. To be valid, such exemption must be written in the Local
Government Code and not in any other law, including the Cityhood Laws.
Second, the 16 Cityhood Laws violate the equal protection clause of
the Constitution.
There is no substantial distinction between municipalities with
pending cityhood bills in the 11th Congress and municipalities that did not
have pending bills. The mere pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th
Congress is not a material difference to distinguish one municipality from
another for the purpose of the income requirement. The pendency of a
cityhood bill in the 11th Congress does not affect or determine the level of
income of a municipality. In short, the classification criterionmere
pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11thCongressis not rationally related to
the purpose of the law which is to prevent fiscally non-viable municipalities
from converting into cities.
Moreover, the fact of pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th
Congress limits the exemption to a specific condition existing at the time of
passage of RA 9009. That specific condition will never happen again. This
violates the requirement that a valid classification must not be limited to
existing conditions only.
In addition, limiting the exemption only to the 16 municipalities violates the
requirement that the classification must apply to all similarly situated.
Municipalities with the same income as the 16 respondent municipalities
cannot convert into cities, while the 16 respondent municipalities can. The
exemption provision found in the Cityhood Laws, even if it were written in
Section 450 of the Local Government Code, would still be unconstitutional
for violation of the equal protection clause.
I vote to DENY the motion for reconsideration of the Resolution
dated 24 August 2010.

League of Cities of the Philippines v COMELEC (April 12, 2011)

Doctrine: Congressclearly intended that the LGUs covered by the Cityhood


Laws be exempted from the coverage of RA 9009.
Facts:
The Resolution promulgated on February 15, 2011 granted the
Motion for Reconsideration of the respondents presented against the
Resolution dated August 24, 2010, reversed the Resolution dated
August 24, 2010, and declared the 16 Cityhood Laws constitutional.
Under consideration is the Ad Cautelam Motion for Reconsideration
filed by the petitioners vis--vis the Resolution promulgated on
February 15, 2011.
Petitioners arguments:
The Court could no longer modify, alter, or amend its judgment
declaring the Cityhood Laws unconstitutional due to such judgment
having long become final and executory.
o The controversy on the Cityhood Laws ended with the
April 28, 2009 Resolution denying the respondents
second motion for reconsideration vis--vis the November
18, 2008 Decision for being a prohibited pleading, and in
view of the issuance of the entry of judgment on May 21,
2009.
o Modifying, altering or amending the judgment would
thereby violate rules of procedure, and the principles of res
judicata and immutability of final judgments.
The Cityhood Laws violated Section 6 and Section 10 of Article X of
the Constitution, as well as the Equal Protection Clause and the right
of local governments to a just share in the national taxes.
The new income requirement of P100 million from locally generated
sources is not arbitrary because it is not difficult to comply with.
There exists no issue with respect to the cityhood of its member
cities, considering that they became cities in full compliance with the
criteria for conversion at the time of their creation.
Respondents arguments:
Motion To Amend Resolution Of April 28, 2009 etc. was not another
MR of the November 18, 2008 Decision, because it assailed the
April 28, 2009 Resolution with respect to the tie-vote on the
respondents Second MR.

The Motion To Amend Resolution Of April 28, 2009 etc. was filed
on May 14, 2009, which was within the 15-day period from their
receipt of the April 28, 2009 Resolution; thus, the entry of judgment
had been prematurely made.
The requirements under RA 9009 do not apply to cityhood bills
already pending with Congress upon the enactment of RA 9009.
Respondent complied with the requirements in the LGC before the
enactment of RA 9009.

Issue/s:
1. WON the Court could still modify, alter or amend its resolution
dated April 28, 2009, denying the respondents motion for
reconsideration of its November 18, 2008 Decision.
2. WON the Cityhood Laws violated Section 6 and Section 10 of
Article X of the Constitution as well as the Equal Protection Clause
and the right of local governments to a just share in the national
taxes.
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes.
The Court traced the events leading up to the questioned Resolution.
o 28 April 2009 Resolution:
# The Court ruled in favour of the petitioners saying
that the MR to the 31 March 2009 Resolution is
denied by a vote of 6-6. The Cityhood Laws are
unconstitutional.
# Second MR of the 18 November 2008 is denied for
being a prohibited pleading. No further pleadings
shall be entertained.
o 2 June 2009 Resolution: clarification to the 28 April 2009
Resolution.
# Although as a rule, a second motion for
reconsideration is a prohibited pleading pursuant to
Section 2, Rule 52 of the Rules of Civil Procedure10,
when a motion for leave to file and admit a second
motion for reconsideration is granted by the Court,
the Court therefore allows the filing of the second
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
10
"No second motion for reconsideration of a judgment or final resolution by the same party shall be
entertained."

motion for reconsideration and thus will is no longer


be considered a prohibited pleading.
# In the present case, the Court voted on the second
motion for reconsideration filed by respondent cities.
In effect, the Court allowed the filing of the second
motion for reconsideration. However, for lack of the
required number of votes to overturn the 18
November 2008 Decision and 31 March 2009
Resolution, the Court denied the second motion for
reconsideration in its 28 April 2009 Resolution.
# Expunged, among others, the respondents Motion
to Amend Resolution of April 28, 2009.
o 21 December 2009 Resolution: declared the Cityhood
Laws as constitutional.
# Granted respondents MR of the 2 June 2009
Resolution which asserted that their Motion To
Amend Resolution Of April 28, 2009 etc. was not
another MR of the November 18, 2008 Decision,
because it assailed the April 28, 2009 Resolution
with respect to the tie-vote on the respondents
Second MR.
o 24 August 2010 Resolution: reinstated 18 November 2008
Decision.
o 15 February 2011: (herein assailed resolution) declared the
Cityhood laws as constitutional.
Therefore, the June 2, 2009 Resolution clarified, the respondents
Second MR was not a prohibited pleading in view of the Courts
voting and acting on it having the effect of allowing the Second MR
The same permitting effect occurred upon consideration of how the
Court acted on the parties motions.
Moreover, by issuing the Resolutions dated September 29, 2009 and
November 17, 2009, the Court: (a) rendered ineffective the tie-vote
under the Resolution of April 28, 2009 and the ensuing denial of the
Motion for Reconsideration of the Resolution of March 31, 2009 for
lack of a majority to overturn; (b), re-opened the Decision of
November 18, 2008 for a second look under reconsideration
(which led to the 21 Dec 2009 Decision); and (c) lifted the directive
that no further pleadings would be entertained.
The Court has frequently disencumbered itself under extraordinary
circumstances from the shackles of technicality in order to render
just and equitable relief.

On whether the principle of immutability of judgments and bar by


res judicata apply herein, suffice it to state that the succession of the
events recounted herein indicates that the controversy about the 16
Cityhood Laws has not yet been resolved with finality.
2. No
Congress clearly intended that the local government units covered by
the Cityhood Laws be exempted from the coverage of R.A. No.
9009. The responses of Senator Pimentel during the deliberations
(October 5, 2000) on Senate Bill No. 2157 made it obvious that R.A.
No. 9009 would not apply to the conversion bills then pending
deliberation in the Senate during the 11th Congress.
R.A. No. 9009 took effect on June 30, 2001, when the 12th Congress
was incipient. By reason of the clear legislative intent to exempt, the
House of Representatives adopted Joint Resolution No. 29, entitled
Joint Resolution to Exempt Certain Municipalities Embodied in Bills
Filed in Congress before June 30, 2001 from the coverage of
Republic Act No. 9009. However, the Senate failed to act on Joint
Resolution No. 29. Even so, the House of Representatives readopted
Joint Resolution No. 29 as Joint Resolution No. 1 during the 12th
Congress. Again, the Senate failed to approve Joint Resolution No.
1.
The conversion bills of the respondents were individually filed in the
House of Representatives, and were all unanimously and favorably
voted upon by the Members of the House of Representatives and
were likewise unanimously approved by the Senate.
o The acts of both Chambers of Congress show that the
exemption clauses ultimately incorporated in the Cityhood
Laws are but the express articulations of the clear legislative
intent to exempt the respondents, without exception, from
the coverage of R.A. No. 9009.
o R.A. No. 9009, and, by necessity, the LGC, were amended,
not by repeal but by way of the express exemptions being
embodied in the exemption clauses.
Contrary to petitioners contention the P100 million requirement
from locally generated sources is difficult to comply with.
o As indicated in the Resolution of February 15, 2011, fiftynine (59) existing cities had failed as of 2006 to post an
average annual income of P100 million.
o The large number of existing cities, virtually 50% of them,
still unable to comply with the P100 million threshold
income five years after R.A. No. 9009 took effect.

(RE: EPC) The local government units covered by the Cityhood


Laws belong to a class of their own.
o They have proven themselves viable and capable to become
component cities of their respective provinces.
o They are and have been centers of trade and commerce,
points of convergence of transportation, rich havens of
agricultural, mineral, and other natural resources, and
flourishing tourism spots.
The contention that there exists no issue with respect to the cityhood
of petitioners member cities is too sweeping.
o The Court points out that the previous income requirement
of P20 million was definitely not insufficient to provide the
essential government facilities, services, and special
functions vis--vis the population of a component city.
o They also stressed that the increased income requirement
ofP100 million was not the only conclusive indicator for any
municipality to survive and remain viable as a component
city. And the imposition of the income requirement of P100
million from local sources under R.A. No. 9009 was
arbitrary11.
o While the Constitution mandates that the creation of local
government units must comply with the criteria laid down in
the LGC, it cannot be justified to insist that the Constitution
must have to yield to every amendment to the LGC despite
such amendment imminently producing effects contrary to
the original thrusts of the LGC to promote autonomy,
decentralization, countryside development, and the
concomitant national growth.
o Moreover, if we were now to adopt the stringent
interpretation of the Constitution the petitioners are
espousing, the conversion laws of the recently converted
cities San Juan and Navotas should also be struck down for
being unconstitutional.
# There is no indication of compliance with the
requirements imposed by the LGC, for, although the
two local government units concerned presumably
complied with the income requirement of P50
million under Section 452 of the LGC and the
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11

When! the! sponsor! of! the! law! chose! the! specific! figure! of!P100! million,! no! research! or! empirical! data!
buttressed! the! figure.! Nor! was! there! proof! that! the! proposal! took! into! account! the! afterSeffects! that!
were!likely!to!arise.!!

income requirement of P100 million under the


amended Section 450 of the LGC, they obviously
did not meet the requirements set forth under Section
453 of the LGC12
# The President had not classified San Juan and
Navotas as highly urbanized cities upon proper
application and ratification in a plebiscite by the
qualified voters therein.
# San Juan also did not qualify as a highly urbanized
city because it had a population of only 125,558,
contravening the required minimum population of
200,000 under Section 452 of the LGC.
(RE: IRA) The petitioners right to a just share in the national taxes
is not violated.
o The share of local government units is a matter of percentage
under Section 285 of the LGC13, not a specific amount, and
is also dependent on the number of existing cities, such that
when the number of cities increases, then more will divide
and share the allocation for cities.
o The allocation by the National Government is not a constant,
and can either increase or decrease.This a necessary
consequence of Section 285 and Section 286 of the LGC.
o Since the Cityhood Laws were adjudged as not violative of
the Constitution and the LGC, the respondents are thus also
entitled to their just share in the IRA allocation for cities.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
12

Section!453.!Duty!to!Declare!Highly!Urbanized!Status.It!shall!be!the!duty!of!the!President!to!declare!a!
city! as! highly! urbanized! within! thirty! (30)! days! after! it! shall! have! met! the! minimum! requirements!
prescribed!in!the!immediately!preceding!Section,!upon!proper!application!therefor!and!ratification!in!a!
plebiscite!by!the!qualified!voters!therein.!
13
Specifically, the share of the cities is 23%, determined on the basis of population (50%), land area
(25%), and equal sharing (25%).

Aquino III and Robredo vs. COMELEC (April 7, 2010)


Doctrine: Section 5(3) of Article VI of the Constitution requires a 250,000
minimum population only for a city to be entitled to a representative, but not
so for a province.
Population is just one of several other factors to be determined to compose a
legislative district in a province.
Facts: Senator Benigno Aquino III and Mayor Jesse Robredo question the
constitutionality of RA 9716 via petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under
Rule 65.There were originally four legislative districts in Camarines Sur each
with a population exceeding 250,000. RA 9716 reapportioned the
composition of the first and second legislative district of the province of
Camarines Sur thereby creating an additional legislative district. This left the
first legislative district with a population of only 176,383 from its original
417,304.
Petitioners arguments:
Save in the case of a newly created province, the constitution
requires that each legislative district created by Congress must be
supported by a minimum population of at least 250,000 in order to
be valid.
o Article VI Sec. 5 (3) Each legislative district shall comprise, as
far as practicable, contiguous, compact, and adjacent territory.
Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty
thousand, or each province, shall have at least one
representative.
o Intent of the framers of the 1987 constitution was to create a
population minimum of 250,000 per legislative district.
# When the Constitutional Commission fixed the original
number of district seats in the House of Representatives
to 200, they took into account the projected national
population of 55,000,000 in 1986.
# 55 million people represented by 200 district
representatives translates to roughly 250,000 people for
every one (1) representative.

RA 9716 violates the principle of proportional representation


provided in Article VI, Sec 5 par (1), (3) and (4) of the Constitution.14
Respondents arguments:
Substantive matter:
There is an apparent distinction between cities and provinces
drawn by Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.
o The existence of a 250,000 population condition but
only as to the creation of a legislative district in a city
and not to a province.
Procedural:
The petitioners should not have availed of Certiorari and Prohibition
as a remedy but should have filed a petition for Declaratory Relief
because it was to declare a law unconstitutional.
Petitioners have no locus standi as they have not proven that they
will incur any substantial injury by the implementation of the law.

Issue/s:
1. W/N: RA 9716 is unconstitutional for creating a legislative district in a
province with a population less than 250,000. NO.
2. W/N: A petition for declaratory relief was the proper action in court and
W/N: petitioners have locus standi. NO.
Held/Ratio:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
14

Article!VI!!Sec!!5.!(1)!The!House!of!Representatives!shall!be!composed!of!not!more!than!
two!hundred!and!fifty!members,!unless!otherwise!fixed!by!law,!who!shall!be!elected!
from!legislative!districts!apportioned!among!the!provinces,!cities!and!the!Metropolitan!
Manila!area!in!accordance!with!the!number!of!their!respective!inhabitants,!and!on!the!
basis!of!a!uniform!and!progressive!ratio,!and!those!who,!as!provided!by!law,!shall!be!
elected!through!a!partySlist!system!of!registered!national,!regional!and!sectoral!parties!
or!organizations.!
!(3)!Each!legislative!district!shall!comprise,!as!far!as!practicable,!contiguous,!compact,!
and!adjacent!territory.!Each!city!with!a!population!of!at!least!two!hundred!fifty!
thousand,!or!each!province,!shall!have!at!least!one!representative!
!(4)!Within!three!years!following!the!return!of!every!census,!the!Congress!shall!make!a!
reapportionment!of!legislative!districts!based!on!the!standards!provided!in!this!section.!

1. Section 5(3) of Article VI of the Constitution requires a 250,000


minimum population only for a city to be entitled to a representative,
but not so for a province.
Any law duly enacted by Congress carries with it the presumption of
constitutionality. There must be a clear showing that a specific
provision of the constitution has been violated to be declared
unconstitutional. There is no provision requiring a 250,000 minimum
population requirement for the creation of a legislative district.
The second sentence of Section 5(3), Article VI of the Constitution
provides: "Each city with a population of at least two hundred fifty
thousand, or each province, shall have at least one representative.
The use of a comma to separate the phrase "each city with a
population of at least two hundred fifty thousand" from the phrase
"or each province" means that the 250,000 minimum population is
only required for a city, but not for a province.
Mariano Jr. Vs. Comelec: Issue was the constitutionality of a law
converting the Municipality of Makati to a Highly Urbanized City.
Said law also created an additional legislative district. The Mariano
case limited the application of the 250,000 minimum population
requirement for cities only to its initial legislative district. While
Section 5(3), Article VI of the Constitution requires a city to have a
minimum population of 250,000 to be entitled to a representative, it
does not have to increase its population by another 250,000 to be
entitled to an additional district.
Sec.461 of LGC Requisites for Creation. (a) A province may be
created if it has an average annual income, as certified by the
Department of Finance, of not less than Twenty million pesos
(P20,000,000.00) based on 1991 constant prices and either of the
following requisites:
(i) a contiguous territory of at least two thousand (2,000) square
kilometers, as certified by the Lands Management Bureau; OR
(ii) a population of not less than two hundred fifty thousand
(250,000) inhabitants as certified by the National Statistics Office.
- the requirement of population is not an indispensable requirement,
but is merely an alternative addition to the indispensable income
requirement.
Records of the Constitutional Commission show population was not
the sole determinant of the creation of a legislative district. Other
factors were considered.
The factors mentioned during the deliberations on House Bill No.
4264 to be considered in the creation of legislative districts:
(a) the dialects spoken in the grouped municipalities;

(b) the size of the original groupings compared to that of the


regrouped municipalities;
(c) the natural division separating the municipality subject of the
discussion from there configured District One; and
(d) the balancing of the areas of the three districts resulting from the
redistricting of Districts
The Constitution, does not require mathematical exactitude or rigid
equality as a standard in gauging equality of representation. x x x. To
ensure quality representation through commonality of interests and
ease of access by the representative to the constituents, all that the
Constitution requires is that every legislative district should
comprise, as far as practicable, contiguous, compact and adjacent
territory. Bagabuyo vs. COMELEC
2. The issue is of transcendental importance, the rules of procedure must be
set aside. Jaworski vs. Pagcor.

Dissenting opinion: Carpio J,


RA 9716 is unconstitutional for going against Sec. 5 Art. VI of the
1987 Constitution for the creation of legislative districts.
o Section 5(4) of Article VI mandates that "Congress shall
make a reapportionment of legislative districts based on the
standards" fixed in Section 5. These constitutional standards,
as far as population is concerned, are: (1) proportional
representation; (2) minimum population of 250,000 per
legislative district; (3) progressive ratio in the increase of
legislative districts as the population base increases; and (4)
uniformity in apportionment of legislative districts "in
provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area."
o The constitutional standard of proportional representation is
rooted in equality in voting power -- that each vote is worth
the same as any other vote,
o In terms of legislative redistricting, this means equal
representation for equal numbers of people or equal voting
weight per legislative district.
Section 5(1), Article VI of the 1987 Constitution provided that
Members of the House "shall be elected from legislative districts in
accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on
the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio x x x."

on the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio" - the rule on


proportional representation shall apply uniformly in the
apportionment of every legislative district.
"on the basis of a uniform x x x ratio"- means that the ratio of one
legislative district for every given number of people shall be applied
uniformly in all apportionments, whether in provinces or cities or in
metro manila.
The law goes against democracy and the republican system of
government.
That the Constitution never meant to exclude provinces from the
requirement of proportional representation is evident in the opening
provision of Section 5(1), which states:
The House of Representatives shall be composed of x x x members,
x x x, who shall be elected from legislative districts apportioned
among the provinces, cities, and the Metropolitan Manila area in
accordance with the number of their respective inhabitants, and on
the basis of a uniform and progressive ratio x x x."
Mariano vs. Comelec and Bagabuyo vs. Comelec is inapplicable
because when it was acting as a constitutional commission it
exercised absolute power to relax the standards in Section 5, Article
VI.
The Court in Mariano v. COMELEC took note of the certification
by the NSO that at the time of the enactment of RA 7854, the
population of Makati City was 508,174, entitling it to two
representatives

Concurring and Dissenting


Carpio-Morales
Concurs with the ponencia as to the transcendental issue
Substantive portion petitioners rely on both Article VI, Section 5 (3)
but also on Section 5 (1) of the same Article. Both provisions must
be read together in light of the constitutional requirements of
population and contiguity.
Section 5 (3) of Article VI disregards the 250,000 population
requirement only with respect to existing provinces whose
population does not exceed 250,000 or to newly created provinces
under the Local Government Code (as long as the income and
territory requirements are met).
Nothing in Mariano reflects that the Court disregarded the 250,000
population requirement as it merely stated that Makatis legislative
district may still be increased as long as the minimum population
requirement is met.

Bagabuyo vs. Comelec and Mariano vs. Comelec were both wrongly
interpreted as the population of the legislative districts at the time
were above 250,000
The Local Government Code likewise is not in point since Section
461 thereof tackles the creation of a province and not the
reapportioning of a legislative district based on increasing
population.

MMDA v. Bel-Air Village Association (BAVA)


Doctrine: Unlike its predecessor the MMA, the MMDA has more limited
powers which does not include police power. Not being a political
subdivision as well, MMDA is limited to the administration and
implementation of basic services provided in its charter within the Metro
Manila Area
Facts: MMDA through a letter notified BAVA that the former is requesting
the latter to open Neptune Street (A private road owned by BAVA) to the
public. On the same day of the receipt of the letter BAVA was informed that
the perimeter wall separating the subdivision from the adjacent Kalayaan
Avenue would be demolished. BAVA prayed for the issuance of a
temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction enjoining the opening
of Neptune Street and prohibiting the demolition of the perimeter wall. It was
granted but the issuance of preliminary injunction was denied. On appeal to
the CA however, the injunction was granted
Petitioners arguments: MMDA claims that it has the authority to open
Neptune Street to public traffic because it is an agent of the state endowed
with police power in the delivery of basic services in Metro Manila. One of
these basic services is traffic management which involves the regulation of
the use of thoroughfares to insure the safety, convenience and welfare of the
general public. It is alleged that the police power of MMDA was affirmed by
this Court in the consolidated cases of Sangalang v. Intermediate Appellate
Court. From the premise that it has police power, it is now urged that there is
no need for the City of Makati to enact an ordinance opening Neptune street
to the public.
Respondents arguments: MMDA has no authority to order the opening of
Neptune Street, a private subdivision road and cause the demolition of its
perimeter walls. It held that the authority is lodged in the City Council of
Makati by ordinance.
Issue: W/N MMDA under its charter has authority to open Neptune Street
with the intent to ease traffic in the Makati area without any ordinance.
Held: No. It is not the MMDA that has been given police power by the
legislature but the local governments through its respective legislative

bodies. MMDA is only given development authority for administration of


metro-wide15 services in Metro Manila.
The powers of the MMDA are limited to the following acts: 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. Even the Metro Manila Council has not been
delegated any legislative power. Unlike the legislative bodies of the local
government units, 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.
The MMDA is, as termed in the charter itself, a "development authority." It
is an agency created for the purpose of laying down policies and coordinating
with the various national government agencies, peoples organizations, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector for the efficient and
expeditious delivery of basic services in the vast metropolitan area. All its
functions are administrative in nature and these are actually summed up in
the charter itself Sec. 2. 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."
Contrary to petitioners claim, the two Sangalang cases do not apply to the
case at bar. Firstly, both involved zoning ordinances passed by the municipal
council of Makati and the MMC. In the instant case, the basis for the
proposed opening of Neptune Street is contained in the notice of December
22, 1995 sent by petitioner to respondent BAVA, through its president. The
notice does not cite any ordinance or law, either by the Sangguniang
Panlungsod of Makati City or by the MMDA, as the legal basis for the
proposed opening of Neptune Street. Petitioner MMDA simply relied on its
authority under its charter "to rationalize the use of roads and/or
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
15

"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." There are seven (7) basic metro-wide services and
the scope of these services cover the following: (1) development planning; (2)
transport and traffic management; (3) solid waste disposal and management; (4)
flood control and sewerage management; (5) urban renewal, zoning and land use
planning, and shelter services; (6) health and sanitation, urban protection and
pollution control; and (7) public safety.

thoroughfares for the safe and convenient movement of persons."


Rationalizing the use of roads and thoroughfares is one of the acts that fall
within the scope of transport and traffic management. By no stretch of the
imagination, however, can this be interpreted as an express or implied grant
of ordinance-making power, much less police power.
Secondly, the MMDA is not the same entity as the MMC in Sangalang.
Although the MMC is the forerunner of the present MMDA, an examination
of Presidential Decree (P. D.) No. 824, the charter of the MMC, shows that
the latter possessed greater powers which were not bestowed on the present
MMDA.
In the deliberations of R.A 7924 (Bill creating the MMDA) it was pointed
out that the MMDA does not have its own political subdivision, it has no
political personality, no power to tax, no police power. It is only a council,
it is an organization of political subdivision, powers, no, which is not
imbued with any political power.
MMDA is not a political unit of government. 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. This was
explicitly stated in the last Committee deliberations prior to the bills
presentation to Congress.
It is thus beyond doubt that the MMDA is not a local government unit or a
public corporation endowed with legislative power. It is not even a "special
metropolitan political subdivision" as contemplated in Section 11, Article X
of the Constitution. The creation of a "special metropolitan political
subdivision" requires the approval by a majority of the votes cast in a
plebiscite in the political units directly affected. R. A. No. 7924 was not
submitted to the inhabitants of Metro Manila in a plebiscite. The Chairman of
the MMDA is not an official elected by the people, but appointed by the
President with the rank and privileges of a cabinet member. In fact, part of
his function is to perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the
President, whereas in local government units, the President merely exercises
supervisory authority. This emphasizes the administrative character of the
MMDA.
Clearly then, the MMC under P. D. No. 824 is not the same entity as the
MMDA under R. A. No. 7924. Unlike the MMC, the MMDA has no power

to enact ordinances for the welfare of the community. It is the local


government units, acting through their respective legislative councils, that
possess legislative power and police power. In the case at bar, the
Sangguniang Panlungsod 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 and the respondent Court of Appeals
did not err in so ruling.
No Dissenting Opinion

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. Dante Garin


Doctrine: MMDA is not a political unit of government.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
Facts:
1. Dante O. Garin, a lawyer, was issued a traffic violation receipt
(TVR) and his drivers license confiscated for parking illegally along
Gandara Street, Binondo, Manila.
2. Printed on the TVR: 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.
3. GARIN addressed a letterto then MMDA Chairman Prospero Oreta
requesting the return of his drivers license, and expressing his
preference for his case to be filed in court.
4. Garin did not receive a reply.
Petitioners arguments: (Note: include petitioners relief, position, and
legal basis)
1. Garin filed the original complaint with application for preliminary
injunction, contending that, in the absence of any implementing
rules and regulations, Sec. 5(f) of Rep. Act No. 7924 grants the
MMDA unbridled discretion to deprive erring motorists of their
licenses, pre-empting a judicial determination of the validity of the
deprivation, thereby violating the due process clause of the
Constitution.
2. Garin contended that the provision violates the constitutional
prohibition against undue delegation of legislative authority,
allowing as it does the MMDA to fix and impose unspecified and
therefore unlimited - fines and other penalties on erring motorists.
3. In support of his application for a writ of preliminary injunction,
Garin alleged that he suffered and continues to suffer great and
irreparable damage because of the deprivation of his license and
that, absent any implementing rules from the Metro Manila Council,
the TVR and the confiscation of his license have no legal basis.

Respondents arguments: (Note: include respondents position, reason for


opposing petitioners claim, jurisprudence, and legal basis)
1. MMDA, represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, pointed
out that the powers granted to it by Sec. 5(f) of Rep. Act No. 7924
are limited to the fixing, collection and imposition of fines and
penalties for traffic violations, which powers are legislative and
executive in nature; the judiciary retains the right to determine the
validity of the penalty imposed.
2. MMDA further argued that the doctrine of separation of powers does
not preclude admixture of the three powers of government in
administrative agencies.
3. ]MMDA reiterates and reinforces its argument in the court below and
contends that a license to operate a motor vehicle is neither a
contract nor a property right, but is a privilege subject to reasonable
regulation under the police power in the interest of the public safety
and welfare.
4. MMDA further argues that revocation or suspension of this privilege
does not constitute a taking without due process as long as the
licensee is given the right to appeal the revocation.
5. To buttress its argument that a licensee may indeed appeal the taking
and the judiciary retains the power to determine the validity of the
confiscation, suspension or revocation of the license, the petitioner
points out that under the terms of the confiscation, the licensee has
three options:
1. To voluntarily pay the imposable fine,
2. To protest the apprehension by filing a protest with
the MMDA Adjudication Committee, or
3. To request the referral of the TVR to the Public
Prosecutors Office.
Issue/s: WON Sec. 5(f) of Rep. Act No. 7924 grants MMDA the power to
confiscate and suspend or revoke drivers licenses without need of any other
legislative enactment
Held/Ratio:No
1. We restate here the doctrine in Metro Manila Development Authority
v. Bel-Air Village Association, Inc.as it applies to the case at bar:
police power, as an inherent attribute of sovereignty, is the power
vested by the Constitution in the legislature to make, ordain, and
establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and
ordinances, either with penalties or without, not repugnant to the

2.

3.
4.

5.

6.

Constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the
commonwealth, and for the subjects of the same.
Having been lodged primarily in the National Legislature, it cannot
be exercised by any group or body of individuals not possessing
legislative power. The National Legislature, however, may delegate
this power to the president and administrative boards as well as the
lawmaking bodies of municipal corporations or local government
units (LGUs).
Our Congress delegated police power to the LGUs in the Local
Government Code of 1991.
Metropolitan or Metro Manila is a body composed of several local
government units. With the passage of Rep. Act No. 7924 in 1995,
Metropolitan Manila was declared as a "special development and
administrative region" and the administration of "metro-wide" basic
services affecting the region placed under "a development authority"
referred to as the MMDA.
a. . . . [T]he powers of the MMDA are limited to the following
acts: 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. Even the Metro Manila
Council has not been delegated any legislative power.
Unlike the legislative bodies of the local government units, 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. The MMDA is, as termed in the charter itself, a
"development authority." It is an agency created for the purpose of
laying down policies and coordinating with the various national
government agencies, people's organizations, non-governmental
organizations and the private sector for the efficient and
expeditious delivery of basic services in the vast metropolitan
area. All its functions are administrative in nature and these are
actually summed up in the charter itself.
Clearly, the MMDA is not a political unit of government. 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.

7. Insofar as Sec. 5(f) of Rep. Act No. 7924 is understood by the lower
court and by the petitioner to grant the MMDA the power to
confiscate and suspend or revoke drivers licenses without need of
any other legislative enactment, such is an unauthorized exercise of
police power.
8. 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 petitioner is not
precluded and in fact 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, traffic
engineering services and traffic education programs.
9. This is consistent with our ruling in Bel-Air that the MMDA is a
development authority 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, which may enforce, but not enact, ordinances.
10. This is also consistent with the fundamental rule of statutory
construction that a statute is to be read in a manner that would
breathe life into it, rather than defeat it,[and is supported by the
criteria in cases of this nature that all reasonable doubts should be
resolved in favor of the constitutionality of a statute.[

THE METROPOLITAN MANILADEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY


and BAYANI FERNANDO as Chairman of the Metropolitan Manila
Development
Authority,
Petitioners, versus
VIRON
TRANSPORTATION CO., INC., Respondent.
HON. ALBERTO G. ROMULO, Executive Secretary, the
METROPOLITAN MANILADEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY and
BAYANI FERNANDO as Chairman of the Metropolitan
Manila Development Authority, Petitioners, - versus MENCORP
TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM, INC., Respondent. (15 August 2007)
Carpio-Morales, J.
Doctrine:The MMDA cannot order the closure of respondents terminals
not only because no authority to implement the Project has been granted
nor legislative or police power been delegated to it, but also because the
elimination of the terminals does not satisfy the standards of a valid police
power measure.
Petitioner: MMDA, Bayani Fernando in his capacity as Chairman of MMDA
Respondent/s: Viron Transportation Co., and MencorpTransportation
System, bus companies
Facts:
President Arroyo issued EO 179 in February of 2003. It referred to
the plan recommended by MMDA to decongest traffic in the
Metro Manila Area by removing bus terminals along major
thoroughfares and instead replacing them with 4 interim
intermodal terminals integrating exisiting transport modes.
MMDA is designated as the implementing body of EO 179. This was
referred to as the Greater Manila Mass Transport System Project (the
Project).
Pursuant to the E.O., the Metro Manila Council (MMC), the
governing board and policymaking body of the MMDA, issued
Resolution No. 03-07 series of 20037 expressing full support of
the Project. Recognizing the imperative to integrate the different
transport modes via the establishment of common bus parking
terminal areas, the MMC cited the need to remove the bus
terminals located along major thoroughfares of Metro Manila.
RTC OF MANILA: On February 24, 2003, Viron Transport Co., Inc.
(Viron), a domestic corporation engaged in the business of public
transportation with a provincial bus operation, filed a petition for
declaratory relief before the RTC of Manila.

In its petition which was docketed as Civil Case No. 03-105850,


Viron alleged that the MMDA, through Chairman Fernando,
was "poised to issue a Circular, Memorandum or Order closing,
or tantamount to closing, all provincial bus terminals along
EDSA and in the whole of the Metropolis under the pretext of
traffic regulation." This impending move, it stressed, would mean
the closure of its bus terminal in Sampaloc, Manila and two others in
Quezon City. Viron insisted that the authority of MMDA does not
include the power to direct provincial bus operators to abandon their
existing bus terminals to thus deprive them of the use of their
property. Viron then asked the trial court to construe the scope,
extent, and limitation of the power of the MMDA to regulate under
RA 7924 (the act creating the MMDA). Meanwhile, Mencorp.
Transportation was another bus company who also filed a case
asking for the declaration of unconstitutionality of EO 179.
The two petitions were subsequently consolidated and RTC Manila
Br. 26 first ruled for MMDA, upholding the constitutionality of
RA 7924 and that EO 179 is a valid exercise of police power BUT
eventually declared EO 179 unconstitutional and also denied
MMDA's reconsideration, hence the present case.
ISSUES
Petitioners
Respondents
SC RULING
Arguments
Arguments
(MMDA)
(Viron
Transportation,
Mencorp
Transportation)
1. Is there a
There is NO There
is The project, as could
justiciabl
be gleaned from the
justiciable
justiciable
e
MMDA's
answer
controversy in
controversy
controver
itself,
is
not
anymore
this case, since
in this case
sy in this
or
there
is
since
the anticipatory
case?
nothing in the
MMDA has conjectural so the
removal of the bus
body of EO
begun
SC: YES.
179
which
implementati terminals is not
just
a
mentions/orde
on of EO179. anymore
proposal
but
an
rs
the
impending action on
CLOSURE
the part of MMDA.
and
Respondents have
ELIMINATI
the
right
to
ON of bus
challenge the EO's
terminals
constitutionality.
along
the

major roads of
Metro Manila.
Viron
and
Mencorp
failed
to
produce any
letter
or
communicatio
n from the
Executive
Department
apprising the
bus
companies of
an immediate
plan to close
their
bus
terminals.
MMDA also
insists that the
EO is a mere
administrative
issuance, and
therefore
creates
no
relation to third
persons
(but
the Court here
ruled that the
EO
will
definitely
affect
third
persons, since
the creation of
mass
transportation
terminals will
entail
the
removal
of
existing
bus
terminals that
belong to the

The EO clearly
provides MMDAs
plan to decongest
traffic
by
ELIMINATING
the bus terminals
now located along
the major roads of
Metro Manila and
providing
more
access
to
mass
transport system by
creating
mass
transport facilities.
The E.O. was made
effective
immediately.
The
MMDAs
resolve
to
immediately
implement
the
Project
is
also
evident
from
telltale
circumstances,
foremost of which
was the passage by
the
MMC
of
Resolution No. 0307, Series of 2003
expressing its full
support
of
the
immediate
implementation of
the Project.
Under
the
circumstances, for
respondents to wait
for
the
actual

bus
companies.)

2. Does the
MMDA
have the
authority
to close
the
existing
bus
terminals
, as per
EO 179?
SC: NO.

The real issue


concerns
the
Presidents
authority
to
undertake or to
cause
the
implementation
of the Project.
They assert that
the authority of
the President is
derived from E.O.
No.
125,
"Reorganizing the
Ministry
of
Transportation and
Communications
Defining
its
Powers
and
Functions and for
Other Purposes,"
her residual power
and/or E.O. No.
292,
otherwise

Respond
ents posit that
the MMDA is
devoid
of
authority
to
order
the
elimination of
their
bus
terminals
under the E.O.
which,
they
argue,
is
unconstitution
al because it
violates both
the
Constitution
and the Public
Service
Act;
and that neither
is the MMDA
clothed
with
such authority
under R.A. No.
7924.

issuance by the
MMDA of an order
for the closure of
respondents bus
terminals would be
foolhardy for, by
then, the proper
action to bring
would no longer be
for
declaratory
relief which, under
Section 1, Rule 6of
the Rules of Court,
must
be
brought before there
is a breach or
violation of rights.
(See ruling below
this table)

known as the
Administrative
Code of 1987.

They add that the


E.O. is also a
valid exercise of
the police power.
SC Ruling on Second Issue:
According to EO 125, then President Aquino mandated the DOTC to
be the primary policy, planning, programming, coordinating,
implementing, regulating and administrative entity to promote,
develop and regulate networks of transportation and
communications. The grant of authority to the DOTC includes
the power to establish and administer comprehensive and
integrated programs for transportation and communications.
It is the DOTC Secretary who has the authority to issue such
orders, rules, regulations and other issuances as may be
necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the law. Since
the DOTC Secretary has the power to establish and administer
programs and projects for transportation, it follows that the President
has the same authority to implement The Project as in the present
case. Such authority springs from the Presidents power of control
over all executive departments as well as the obligation for the
faithful execution of the laws under Article VII, Section 17 of the
Constitution, as reflected in the Admin Code.
MMDA has no police power, let alone legislative power.
In light of the administrative nature of its powers and functions,
the MMDA is devoid of authority to implement the Project as
envisioned by the EO; hence it could not have been validly
designated by the President to undertake the Project.
It follows that the MMDA cannot validly order the elimination of
the respondents terminals.
Police power rests primarily with the legislature, such power
may be delegated, as it is in fact increasingly being delegated. By
virtue of a valid delegation, the power may be exercised by the
President and administrative boards as well as by the lawmaking
bodies of municipal corporations or local government under an
express delegation by the LGC of 1991.
While it is true that it is within the authority of the President to order
implementation of the Project,the designation of the MMDA as the

implementing agency for the Project may not be sustained. It


is ultra vires, there being no legal basis therefor.
Under the provisions of EO 125 (Admin Code), it is the DOTC and
not the MMDA which is authorized to establish and implement a
project such as the one presented in this case. Thus, the President,
although authorized to establish or cause the implementation of the
Project, must exercise the authority through the instrumentality of
the DOTC which, by law, is the primary implementing and
administrative entity in the promotion, development and regulation
of networks of transportation, and the one so authorized to establish
and implement a project such as the Project in question.
By designating the MMDA as the implementing agency of the
Project, the President clearly overstepped the limits of the authority
conferred by law, rendering E.O. No. 179 ultra vires.
RA 7924 (Act creating the MMDA) also does not specifically grant
the MMDA any power that has been delegated to it by EO 179.
In Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) v. Bel-Air
Village Association, Inc, the Court has settled that the scope of the
function of MMDA as an administrative, coordinating and policysetting body.
Unlike the legislative bodies of the local government
units, 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. The MMDA is, as termed in the charter itself, a
development authority. It is an agency created for the
purpose of laying down policies and coordinating with
the various national government agencies, peoples
organizations, non-governmental organizations and the
private sector for the efficient and expeditious delivery of
basic services in the vast metropolitan area. All its
functions are administrative in nature and these are
actually summed up in the charter itself. (emphasis
supplied by SC)
Court also mentions the ruling in Metropolitan Manila
Development Authority v. Garin that the MMDA is not
vested with police power.
Even assuming arguendo that police power was delegated to the
MMDA, its exercise of such power does not satisfy the two tests of a
valid police power measure, thatthe police power legislation must be

firmly grounded on public interest and welfare and a reasonable


relation must exist between the purposes and the means.
In Lucena Grand Central Terminal, Inc. v. JAC Liner, Inc., two city
ordinances were passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Lucena,
directing public utility vehicles to unload and load passengers at the
Lucena Grand Central Terminal, which was given the exclusive
franchise to operate a single common terminal. Declaring that no
other terminals shall be situated, constructed, maintained or
established
inside
or
within
the
city
of Lucena,
the sanggunian declared as inoperable all temporary terminals
therein.
The ordinances were challenged before this Court for being
unconstitutional on the ground that, inter alia, the measures
constituted an invalid exercise of police power, an undue taking of
private property, and a violation of the constitutional prohibition
against monopolies.
Citing De la Cruz v. Parasand Lupangco v. Court of Appeals, this
Court held that the assailed ordinances were characterized by
overbreadth, as they went beyond what was reasonably necessary to
solve the traffic problem in the city. And it found that the
compulsory use of the Lucena Grand Terminal was unduly
oppressive because it would subject its users to fees, rentals and
charges.
Measures calculated to promote the safety and convenience of the
people using the thoroughfares by the regulation of vehicular traffic
present a proper subject for the exercise of police power.
Finally, an order for the closure of respondents terminals is not in
line with the provisions of the Public Service Act. The establishment,
as well as the maintenance of vehicle parking areas or passenger
terminals, is generally considered a necessary service to be provided
by provincial bus operators like respondents, hence, the investments
they have poured into the acquisition or lease of suitable terminal
sites. Eliminating the terminals would thus run counter to the
provisions of the Public Service Act.
Dispositive: WHEREFORE, the Petition is, in light of the foregoing
disquisition, DENIED. E.O. No. 179 is declared NULL and VOID for
being ultra vires.

Disomangcop v Datumanong (2005)


Doctrine: Autonomous regions find their basis in the Constitution. Once
these regions have their Organic Acts voted upon favorably in a plebiscite,
the National Government, including the Congress, has limited control over
them. Some powers are ceded in favor of the autonomy of these regions.
Once powers have been devolved to the region, the Central Agency cannot
"take back" such devolved powers by virtue of Department Orders or
Republic Acts. Such action would result to an amendent to the Organic Act
which should also be subjected to a plebiscite.
Petitioner: Arsadi Disomangcop and Ramir Dimalotang, Officer-in-Charge
and District Engineer/Engineer II, respectively, of the First Engineering
District of DPWH-ARMM
Respondent: Simeon Datumanong and Emilia Boncodin, Sec of DPWH and
DBM, respectively
Facts:
1. Pursuant to the Constitutional mandate, RA 6734 was enacted
creating ARMM. In the plebiscite, only Lanao Del Sur,
Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-tawi voted in favor, and so the four
provinces became ARMM.
2. Then President Aquino, by November 6, 1990, had already signed 7
EOS devolving to ARMM the powers of 7 cabinet departments,
namely: (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 natural
resources.
3. Nine years later, then Sec of DPWH Vigilar issued Dept. Order 119
creating the Marawi Sub-District Engineering Office. Two years
later, President Estrada signed into law RA 8999 establishing an
Engineering District in Lanao del Sur.
4. Later on Congress passed RA 9054 which strengthened ARMM's
organic law (amended RA 6734). It was ratified in a plebiscite held
on Aug 14, 2001. RA 6734 and RA 9054 are collectively referred to
as the ARMM Organic Acts.
5. Petitioners filed a petition with then DPWH Secretary Datumanong
seeking to revoke DO 119. No action was taken on this petition.
6. Petitioners filed this petition in their capacity as Officer-in-Charge
and District Engineer/Engineer II, respectively, of the First
Engineering District of the Department of Public Works and

Highways, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DPWHARMM) in Lanao del Sur.


Petitioners Side:
1. Petitioners assert that they will suffer actual injury as a result of the
DO 119 and the RA.
2. The explanatory note to House Bill No. 995 (H.B. 995) from which
the law originated is questionable. Prior to the sponsorship of the
law, no public hearing nor consultation with the DPWH-ARMM was
made. The House Committee on Public Works and Highways
(Committee) failed to invite a single official from the affected
agency.
3. D.O. 119 was issued with grave abuse of discretion and that it
violates the constitutional autonomy of the ARMM. They point out
that the challenged Department Order has tasked the Marawi SubDistrict Engineering Office with functions that have already been
devolved to the DPWH-ARMM First Engineering District in Lanao
del Sur.
Respondents Side:
1. Petitioners have no legal standing to assail the constitutionality of the
law and the department order. They note that petitioners have no
personal stake in the outcome of the controversy.
2. The powers of the autonomous regions did not diminish the
legislative power of Congress.
3. DO 119 was issued pursuant to EO 124 signed and approved by Pres.
Aquino in her residual legislative powers.
ISSUES:
1. WON petitioners have legal standing to assail DO 119 and RA 8999.
2. WON RA 8999 is unconstitutional.
3. WON the Autonomous Regional Government (ARG) of the ARMM
was given the control and supervision of the DPWH within the area.
4. WON DO 119 is unconstitutional
Held:
1. YES. Petitioners 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. Thus, it is not far-fetched that the creation of the
Marawi Sub-District Engineering Office under D.O. 119 and the
creation of and appropriation of funds to the First Engineering

District of Lanao del Sur as directed under R.A. 8999 will affect the
powers, functions and responsibilities of the petitioners and the
DPWH-ARMM. As the two offices have apparently been endowed
with functions almost identical to those of DPWH-ARMM First
Engineering District in Lanao del Sur, it is likely that petitioners are
in imminent danger of being eased out of their duties and, not
remotely, even their jobs. Such injury is direct and immediate. Thus,
they can legitimately challenge the validity of the enactments subject
of the instant case.
2. YES ( but note that the court said that it was not necessary to declare
R.A. No. 8999 unconstitutional for the adjudication of the case
because the challenged law never became operative and was
superseded or repealed by a subsequent enactment.) - The ARMM
Organic Acts are deemed a part of the regional autonomy scheme.
While they are classified as statutes, the Organic Acts are more than
ordinary statutes because they enjoy affirmation by a plebiscite.
Hence, the provisions thereof cannot be amended by an ordinary
statute, such as R.A. 8999 in this case. The amendatory law has to be
submitted to a plebiscite.
a. The court noted the deliberations of the concom regarding
the requirement of a plebiscite and concluded that the first
ARMM Organic Act, R.A. 6074 (first ARMM Organic Act),
as implemented by E.O. 426, devolved the functions of the
DPWH in the ARMM which includes Lanao del Sur (minus
Marawi City at the time) to the Regional Government. By
creating an office with previously devolved functions, R.A.
8999, in essence, sought to amend R.A. 6074. The
amendatory law should therefore first obtain the approval of
the people of the ARMM before it could validly take effect.
Absent compliance with this requirement, R.A. 8999 never
became operative.
b. The court also held that it may be resolved on the reasoning
that R.A. 8999 was impliedly repealed and superseded by
R.A. 9054 (second ARMM Organic Act). Where a statute of
later date clearly reveals an intention on the part of the
legislature to abrogate a prior act on the subject, that
intention must be given effect.
c. R.A. 9054 is anchored on the 1987 Constitution. It advances
the constitutional grant of autonomy by detailing the powers
of the ARMM covering, among others, Lanao del Sur and
Marawi City, one of which is its jurisdiction over regional
urban and rural planning. R.A. 8999, however, ventures to

reestablish the National Governments jurisdiction over


infrastructure programs in Lanao del Sur. R.A. 8999 is
patently inconsistent with R.A. 9054, and it destroys the
latter laws objective.
3. YES.
a. 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.
b. In the Philippine setting, 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. Their
political struggle highlights their unique cultures and the
unresponsiveness of the unitary system to their aspirations.
Regional autonomy is also a means towards solving existing
serious peace and order problems and secessionist
movements.
c. However, the creation of autonomous regions does not
signify the establishment of 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 selfdetermination exercised by the local government unit vis-vis the central government.
d. To implement this, a necessary prerequisite of autonomy
would be decentralization. In Cordillera Broad Coalition v.
Commission on Audit, it was said that the creation of
autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and the
Cordilleras, which is peculiar to the 1987 Constitution,
contemplates the grant of political autonomy and not just
administrative autonomy to these regions. And by regional
autonomy, the framers intended it to mean meaningful and
authentic regional autonomy.
e. To this end, Section 16, Article X limits the power of the
President over autonomous regions. In essence, the provision
also curtails the power of Congress over autonomous
regions.
f. This is true for subjects over which autonomous regions
have powers, as specified in Sections 18 and 20, Article X of

the 1987 Constitution. Expressly not included therein are


powers over certain areas. Worthy of note is that the area of
public works is not excluded and neither is it reserved for the
National Government.
g. Section 1 and 2 of E.O. 426 officially devolved the powers
and functions of the DPWH in ARMM to the Autonomous
Regional Government (ARG). Also, Congress itself through
in section 20, Article VI of R.A. 9054 transferred and
devolved the administrative and fiscal management of public
works and funds for public works to the ARG. The
devolution of the powers and functions of the DPWH in the
ARMM and transfer of the administrative and fiscal
management of public works and funds to the ARG are
meant to be true, meaningful and unfettered.
h. With R.A. 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 E.O. 426, have been previously devolved to the
DPWH-ARMM, First Engineering District in Lanao del Sur.
i. E.O. 426 clearly ordains the transfer of the control and
supervision of the offices of the DPWH within the ARMM
to the ARG. Among its other functions, the DPWH-ARMM,
under the control of the Regional Government shall be
responsible for highways, flood control and water resource
development systems, and other public works within the
ARMM. Its scope of power includes the planning, design,
construction and supervision of public works. According to
R.A. 9054, the reach of the Regional Government enables it
to appropriate, manage and disburse all public work funds
allocated for the region by the central government.
j. The continued enforcement of R.A. 8999, therefore, 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, elsewise the Organic Acts desire
for greater autonomy for the ARMM in accordance with the
Constitution would be quelled.
4. YES.
a. D.O. 119 creating the Marawi Sub-District Engineering
Office which has jurisdiction over infrastructure projects
within Marawi City and Lanao del Sur is violative of the
provisions of E.O. 426 which was issued pursuant to RA
6734( the first ARMM Organic Act). E.O. 426 sought to

b.

c.

d.

e.

implement the transfer of the control and supervision of the


DPWH within the ARMM to the Autonomous Regional
Government.
The office created under D.O. 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 E.O. 426. The department order, in effect, takes back
powers which have been previously devolved under the said
executive order. D.O. 119 runs counter to the provisions of
E.O. 426.
The fact that the department order was issued pursuant to
E.O. 124signed and approved by President Aquino in her
residual legislative powersis of no moment. It is a finelyimbedded principle in statutory construction that a special
provision or law prevails over a general one
E.O. No. 124, upon which D.O. 119 is based, is a general
law reorganizing the Ministry of Public Works and
Highways while E.O. 426 is a special law transferring the
control and supervision of the DPWH offices within ARMM
to the Autonomous Regional Government. The latter statute
specifically applies to DPWH-ARMM offices. E.O. 124
should therefore give way to E.O.
Also, in the repealing clause of R.A. 9054 (the 2nd ARMM
Organic Act) states that all laws, decrees, orders, rules and
regulations, and other issuances or parts thereof, which are
inconsistent with this Organic Act, are hereby repealed or
modified accordingly. With the repeal of E.O. 124 which is
the basis of D.O. 119, it necessarily follows that D.O. 119
was also rendered functus officio by the ARMM Organic
Acts.

Dispositive:
Writs of certiorari and prohibition are GRANTED.
Mandamus DENIED.

SEMA v. COMELEC (2008)


Doctrine: ARMM Regional Assembly has no power to create provinces and
cities because their creation necessarily includes the creation of legislative
districts, which only Congress can create.
FACTS:
The Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution apportioned two
legislative districts for the Province of Maguindanao. The first legislative
district consists of Cotabato City and eight municipalities. Maguindanao
forms
part
of
the
ARMM. Although
under
the
Ordinance, Cotabato City forms part of Maguindanaos first legislative
district, it is not part of the ARMM but of Region XII.
The ARMM Regional Assembly, exercising its power to create
provinces under Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, enacted Muslim
Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 201 (MMA Act 201) creating
the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan composed of the eight municipalities in
the first district of Maguindanao. Cotabato City, although part of
Maguindanaos
first
legislative
district,
is
not
part
of
theProvince of Maguindanao.
The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cotabato City requested the
COMELEC to clarify the status of Cotabato City in view of the conversion
of the First District of Maguindanao into a regular province under MMA
Act 201.
The COMELEC issued Resolution No. 7902, subject of these
petitions,
renaming
the
legislative
district
in
question
as
Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City (formerly First District of
Maguindanao with Cotabato City).
ISSUES:
Procedural
a. whether the writs of Certiorari, Prohibition, and Mandamus are proper to
test the constitutionality of COMELEC Resolution No. 7902; and
b. whether the proclamation of respondent Dilangalen as representative
of Shariff Kabunsuan Province with Cotabato City mooted the petition.

Substantive

c. whether Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, delegating to the ARMM


Regional Assembly the power to create provinces, cities, municipalities
and barangays, is constitutional
d. whether COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is valid for maintaining the
status quo in the first legislative district of Maguindanao, despite the
creation of the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan out of such district
(excluding Cotabato City).
PETITIONERS ARGUMENTS:
a.
b.
c. Constitutional: Sec 19, Art VI of RA 9054 is a valid delegation by
Congress to the ARMM of the power to create provinces under Section
20 (9), Article X of the Constitution granting to the autonomous regions,
through their organic acts, legislative powers over other matters as may
be authorized by law for the promotion of the general welfare of the
people of the region; it is a valid amendment to Section 6 of RA 7160;
if construed literally, it would contravene the Constitution. Thus, Section
19 should be construed as prohibiting the Regional Assembly from
prescribing standards x x x that do not comply with the minimum
criteria under RA 7160.
d. NO. Shariff Kabunsuan is entitled to one representative in Congress
under Section 5 (3), Article VI of the Constitution and Section 3 of the
Ordinance appended to the Constitution. Thus, the COMELEC acted
without or in excess of its jurisdiction in issuing Resolution No. 7902
which maintained the status quo in Maguindanaos first legislative
district
- Felwa v. Salas stated that when a province is created by statute, the
corresponding representative district comes into existence neither by
authority of that statute which cannot provide otherwise nor by
apportionment, but by operation of the Constitution, without a
reapportionment; (b) Felwa v. Salas stated that when a province is
created by statute, the corresponding representative district comes
into existence neither by authority of that statute which cannot
provide otherwise nor by apportionment, but by operation of the
Constitution, without a reapportionment;

RESPONDENTs ARGUMENTS:
a. Sema wrongly availed of the writ of certiorari to nullify COMELEC
Resolution No. 7902 because the COMELEC issued the same in the
exercise of its administrative, not quasi-judicial, power and
b. Semas prayer for the writ of prohibition became moot with the
proclamation of respondent Didagen P. Dilangalen on 1 June 2007 as
representative of the legislative district of Shariff Kabunsuan Province
with Cotabato City.
c. Unconstitutional: (1) the power to create provinces was not among those
granted to the autonomous regions under Section 20, Article X of the
Constitution and (2) the grant under Section 19, Article VI of RA
9054 to the ARMM Regional Assembly of the power to prescribe
standards lower than those mandated in Section 461 of RA 7160 on the
creation of provinces contravenes Section 10, Article X of the
Constitution and the Equal Protection Clause

SUPREME COURT RULING:


(a) The writs of Certiorari and Mandamus are inappropriate. However, the
Court has long recognized that the writ of Prohibition is appropriate to
test the constitutionality of election laws, rules and regulations.
(b) NO. Respondent Dilangalens proclamation does not moot the petition.
This case does not concern respondents election. Rather, it involves an
inquiry into the validity of COMELEC Resolution No. 7902, as well as
the constitutionality of MMA Act 201 and Sec. 19, Article VI of RA
9054.
(c) Sec. 19, Art VI of RA 9054 is unconstitutional. Thus, MMA Act 201 is
void.
Section 19, Article VI of RA 9054, insofar as it grants to the ARMM
Regional Assembly the power to create provinces and cities, is void for
being contrary to Section 5 of Article VI and Section 20 of Article X of the

Constitution, as well as Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the


Constitution. Only Congress can create provinces and cities because the
creation of provinces and cities necessarily includes the creation of
legislative districts, a power only Congress can exercise under Section 5,
Article VI of the Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to
the Constitution.
(d) COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is valid.
Felwa does not apply to the present case because in Felwa the new
provinces were created by a national law enacted by Congress itself. Here,
the new province was created merely by a regional law enacted by the
ARMM Regional Assembly
The ARMM Regional Assembly cannot create a province without a
legislative district because the Constitution mandates that every province
shall have a legislative district.
Moreover, the ARMM Regional Assembly cannot enact a law creating a
national office like the office of a district representative of Congress because
the legislative powers of the ARMM Regional Assembly operate only within
its territorial jurisdiction as provided in Section 20, Article X of the
Constitution. Thus, we rule that MMA Act 201, enacted by the ARMM
Regional Assembly and creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan, is void.
-

What Felwa teaches is that the creation of a legislative district by


Congress does not emanate alone from Congress power to
reapportion legislative districts, but also from Congress power to
create provinces which cannot be created without a legislative
district. Thus, when a province is created, a legislative district is
created by operation of the Constitution because the Constitution
provides that each province shall have at least one representative
in the House of Representatives. This does not detract from the
constitutional principle that the power to create legislative districts
belongs exclusively to Congress. It merely prevents any other
legislative body, except Congress, from creating provinces because
for a legislative body to create a province such legislative body must
have the power to create legislative districts. In short, only an act of

Congress can trigger the creation of a legislative district by operation


of the Constitution. Thus, only Congress has the power to create, or
trigger the creation of, a legislative district.
WHEREFORE, we declare Section 19, Article VI of Republic Act No.
9054 UNCONSTITUTIONAL insofar as it grants to the Regional Assembly
of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao the power to create
provinces and cities. Thus, we declare VOID Muslim Mindanao Autonomy
Act No. 201 creating the Province of Shariff Kabunsuan. Consequently, we
rule that COMELEC Resolution No. 7902 is VALID.

Kida vs Senate (2011)


Doctrine: Synchronizing ARMM elections to coincide with the countrys
regular national and local elections is not violative of the Constitution and of
the autonomy of the ARMM. RA 10153 is constitutional
Facts:
S Consti Art. X Secs. 15-22 mandated the creation of autonomous
regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras
S On Aug 1, 1989, RA 6734 (An Act Providing for an Organic Act
for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) was enacted. A
plebiscite was held on Nov. 6, 1990 and the ARMM was fully
established (Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi Tawi
assented). The said law scheduled the first regular elections for the
regional officials of the ARMM on a date not earlier than 60 days
nor later than 90 days after its ratification
S RA 9054 (An Act to Strengthen and Expand the Organic Act for the
ARMM, Amending for the Purpose Republic Act No. 6734) was
enacted, which provided further refinement in the basic ARMM
structure first defined in the original organic act, and reset the regular
elections for the ARMM regional officials to the second Monday of
September 2001.
S RA 9140 was then passed on June 22, 2001, resetting the first regular
elections originally scheduled under RA 9054, to November 26,
2001.
S RA 9054 was ratified in a plebiscite on August 14, 2001, and Basilan
and Marawi joined ARMM
S RA 9333 was passed to reset the ARMM elections to the 2nd Monday
of August 2005, and reset on the same date every 3 years thereafter.
This RA was not ratified.
S So, following RA 9333, the next ARMM regional elections should
have been held on August 8, 2011. COMELEC had begun
preparations for these elections and had accepted certificates of
candidacies for the various regional offices to be elected.
S But on June 30, 2011, RA 10153 (An Act Providing for the
Synchronization of the Elections in the Autonomous Region in
Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with the National and Local Elections
and for Other Purposes) was passed. It reset the ARMM elections
from August 8, 2011 to the second Monday of May 2013 and every 3
years thereafter to coincide with the countrys regular national and
local elections. Said law also granted the President the power to
appoint officers-in-charge (OICs) for the Office of the Regional

S
S

Governor, the Regional Vice-Governor, and the Members of the


Regional Legislative Assembly, who shall perform the functions
pertaining to the said offices until the officials duly elected in the
May 2013 elections shall have qualified and assumed office.
COMELEC stopped the preparations for the ARMM election after
RA 10153 was enacted
Several petitions for certiorari, mandamus, and prohibition
challenged the validity of RA 10153, even while it was in the form
of House Bill No 4146 and Senate Bill No 2756. The SC issued a
TRO enjoining the implementation of RA 10153 and ordering the
incumbent elective officials of ARMM to continue to perform their
functions should these cases not be decided by the end of their term
on September 30, 2011.

Petitioners arguments (in general):


(Petitioners are Datu Michael Abas Kida, in his personal capacity and as
representative of MAGUINDANAO FEDERATION OF AUTONOMOUS
IRRIGATORS ASSOCIATION, INC., Congressman Edcel Lagman as
HReps member, Atty. Romulo Macalintal, Louis Barok Biraogo, some
ARMM voters, and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (a
political party with candidates in the ARMM regional elections))
S The petitioners assailing RA 9140, RA 9333, and RA 10153 assert
that these laws amend RA 9054 and thus, have to comply with the
supermajority vote and plebiscite requirements prescribed under
Sections 1 and 3, Article XVII of RA No. 9094 in order to become
effective.
S The petitions assailing RA 10153 further maintain that it is
unconstitutional for its failure to comply with the three-reading
requirement of Section 26(2), Article VI of the Constitution. Also
cited as grounds are the alleged violations of the right of suffrage of
the people of ARMM, as well as the failure to adhere to the elective
and representative character of the executive and legislative
departments of the ARMM.
S the petitioners challenged the grant to the President of the power to
appoint OICs to undertake the functions of the elective ARMM
officials until the officials elected under the May 2013 regular
elections shall have assumed office. Corollarily, they also argue that
the power of appointment also gave the President the power of
control over the ARMM, in complete violation of Section 16, Article
X of the Constitution.

Respondents arguments:
(Respondents are the Senate, then COMELEC Chairman Sixto Brillantes,
Senate President Enrile, HReps Speaker Belmonte, DBM Secretary Abad,
Executive Secretary Ochoa, etc. represented by the OSG)
Basic argument: RA 10153 is valid
the Constitution mandates synchronization, citing the Transitory
Provisions of the Constitution (Art XVIII Secs 1, 2, 5 on the
elections of the Members of Congress, the President and the VicePresident.
RA 9333 does not constitute an amendment to RA 9054, as it
merely filled the void left by RA 9054 in failing to schedule the
succeeding regular elections in the ARMM. Thus, the twin
requirements in RA 9054 in the enactment of the assailed laws are
irrelevant.
o Alternatively, the plebiscite requirement in RA 9054 is
limited only to cover amendatory laws affecting
substantive matters, as opposed to
administrative
concerns such as fixing election dates
The supermajority requirement is unconstitutional as (1) save in
exceptional cases not applicable to the present petitions, the
Constitution only requires a simple majority of a quorum in each
House of Congress to enact, amend or repeal laws; and (2) the rule
against the passage of irrepealable laws.
the Presidents authority under RA 10153 to appoint OICs is
pursuant to Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution authorizing
the President to appoint those whom he may be authorized by law
to appoint.
The granting of the President control over the ARMM is analogous
to Section 7, Article XVIII of the Constitution, authorizing the
President for a limited period to appoint sectoral representatives in
the House of Representatives.
Congress chose to authorize under RA 10153 the President to
appoint OICs who will hold office until 30 June 2013, so the
legislative mandate must be respected
Issues:
I. Whether the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of
elections (YES, impliedly)
II. Whether the passage of RA No. 10153 violates Section 26(2), Article VI
of the 1987 Constitution (NO)
III. Whether the passage of RA No. 10153 requires a supermajority vote and
plebiscite

A. Does the postponement of the ARMM regular elections


constitute an amendment to Section 7, Article XVIII of RA No.
9054? (NO)
B. Does the requirement of a supermajority vote for amendments or
revisions to RA No. 9054 violate Section 1 and Section 16(2),
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and the corollary doctrine on
irrepealable laws? (YES)
C. Does the requirement of a plebiscite apply only in the creation of
autonomous regions under paragraph 2, Section 18, Article X of the
1987 Constitution? (YES)
IV. Whether RA No. 10153 violates the autonomy granted to the ARMM
(NO)
V. Whether the grant of the power to appoint OICs violates the
Constitution (NO)
VI. Whether the proposal to hold special elections is constitutional and legal.
Held/Ratio:
The SC dismissed the petitions and upheld the constitutionality of RA 10153
in toto
I. Whether the 1987 Constitution mandates the synchronization of
elections (YES, impliedly)
Respondent OSGs argument:
S the Constitution mandates synchronization, citing the Transitory
Provisions of the Constitution (Art XVIII Secs 1, 2, 5)
Court:
S agreed with the OSG
S such Transitory Provisions show the intent of the framers for
Congress to synchronize national and local elections. Such can also
be seen from the ConCom deliberations
S The objective behind setting a common termination date for all
elective officials, done among others through the shortening the
terms of the twelve winning senators with the least number of votes,
is to synchronize the holding of all future elections whether
national or local to once every 3 years
S Osmena vs COMELEC: from the wording of the above-mentioned
Sections, 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.

The ARMM elections should be included among the elections to be


synchronized as it is a local election based on the wording and
structure of the Constitution. The SC used the principal in statutory
construction that the words used should be understood in the sense
that they have in common use and given their ordinary meaning,
except when technical terms are employed, in which case the
significance thus attached to them prevails (People vs Derilo)
local ordinarily means something that primarily serves the needs of
a particular limited district, often a community or minor political
subdivision. ARMM regional elections for governor, vice-gov, and
regional assembly representatives are thus covered
Under the Consti, autonomous regions are considered one of the
forms of local governments, as evident from Article X entitled
Local Government, especially Secs 15-21. Sec 1 Art X specifically
provides that an autonomous region is considered a form of local
government

II. Whether the passage of RA No. 10153 violates Section 26(2), Article
VI of the 1987 Constitution (NO)
Petitioners arguments:
S RA 10153 is invalid for its alleged failure to comply with Consti
Section 26(2), Article VI (which provides that before bills passed by
either the House or the Senate can become laws, they must pass
through three readings on separate days. The exception is when the
President certifies to the necessity of the bills immediate enactment)
S no necessity existed for the immediate enactment of these bills since
there was no public calamity or emergency that had to be met
Court:
S Tolentino vs Sec of Finance: The presidential certification dispensed
with the requirement not only of printing and distribution but also
that of three readings on separate days
S Here, records show that the President wrote to the Speaker of the
HReps to certify the necessity of the immediate enactment of a law
synchronizing the ARMM elections with the national and local
elections.
S The Tolentino case also said that the factual basis of presidential
certification of bills, which involves doing away with procedural
requirements designed to insure that bills are duly considered by
members of Congress, certainly should elicit a different standard of
review, i.e., not a judicial review

S
S
S

Both the HReps and the Senate recognized the Presidents


certification so they enacted RA 10153
There is nothing to justify judicial review here
In any case, despite the Presidents certification, the two-fold
purpose that underlies the requirement for three readings have been
met: (1) to inform the legislators of the matters they shall vote on and
(2) to give them notice that a measure is in progress through the
enactment process. Legislative deliberations show that both
advocates and the opponents of the proposed measure had sufficient
opportunities to present their views

III. Whether the passage of RA No. 10153 requires a supermajority vote


and plebiscite
A. Does the postponement of the ARMM regular elections
constitute an amendment to Section 7, Article XVIII of RA No.
9054? (NO)
Petitioners argument:
S RA 9333 and RA 10153 did not comply with RA 9054 Art XVII Sec
1 (reamendment or revision by Congress upon 2/3 separate voting of
Senate and HReps) and Sec 3 (amendment effective only when
approved by a majority vote in plebiscite)
Court:
S There is no amendment of RA 9054
S RA 9054 only provides for the schedule of the first ARMM elections
and does not fix the date of the regular elections. There is then a need
for Congress to fix the date of the subsequent ARMM elections,
which it did in RA 9333 and RA 10153. They are not amendments;
they only filled a gap in RA 9054
S ARMM-related legislations (RA 7647, RA 8176, RA 8746, RA
8753, and RA 9012) were all enacted to fix the dates of the ARMM
elections independent of the organic acts. We can thus see the
intent of Congress to treat the laws which fix the date of the
subsequent ARMM elections as separate and distinct from the
Organic Acts
B. Does the requirement of a supermajority vote for amendments or
revisions to RA No. 9054 violate Section 1 and Section 16(2), Article VI
of the 1987 Constitution and the corollary doctrine on irrepealable laws?
(YES)

Assuming that RA 9333 and RA 110153 did amend RA 9054, the


supermajority (2/3) voting requirement in RA 9054 Art XVII Sec 1
is unconstitutional as it gives RA 9054 the character of an
irrepealable law by requiring more than what the Constitution
demands.
Consti Art VI Sec 16(2) only requires that as long as majority of the
members of the HReps or the Senate are present, these bodies have
the quorum needed to conduct business and hold session. Within a
quorum, a vote of majority is generally sufficient to enact laws or
approve acts.
RA 9054 requires a vote of no less than two-thirds (2/3) of the
Members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate, voting
separately, in order to effectively amend it. This is higher than what
the Consti requires.
City of Davao vs GSIS: Perpetual infallibility is not one of the
attributes desired in a legislative body, and a legislature which
attempts to forestall future amendments or repeals of its enactments
labors under delusions of omniscience

C. Does the requirement of a plebiscite apply only in the creation of


autonomous regions under paragraph 2, Section 18, Article X of the
1987 Constitution? (YES)
S Consti Art X Sec 18 only states that the plebiscite is required only
for the creation of autonomous regions and for determining which
provinces, cities and geographic areas will be included in the
autonomous regions. Thus, only amendments to, or revisions of, the
Organic Act constitutionally-essential to the creation of autonomous
regions i.e., those aspects specifically mentioned in the
Constitution which Congress must provide for in the Organic Act
require ratification through a plebiscite. These amendments to the
Organic Act are those that relate to: (a) the basic structure of the
regional government; (b) the regions judicial system, i.e., the
special courts with personal, family, and property law jurisdiction;
and, (c) the grant and extent of the legislative powers
constitutionally conceded to the regional government under Section
20, Article X of the Constitution
S The date of the ARMM elections is not an amendment that would
require a plebiscite to be effective
IV. Whether RA No. 10153 violates the autonomy granted to the
ARMM (NO)

S
S
S
S

synchronization of national and local elections is a constitutional


mandate that Congress must provide for and this synchronization
must include the ARMM elections
RA 7166 is already existing and it provides for the synchronization
of local elections with the national and congressional elections
What RA 10153 did is just to reiterate this synching
To achieve synchronization, Congress necessarily has to reconcile
the schedule of the ARMMs regular elections (which should have
been held in August 2011 based on RA 9333) with the fixed
schedule of the national and local elections (fixed by RA 7166 to be
held in May 2013)

During the oral arguments, the Court identified the three options open to
Congress in order to resolve this problem. These options are:
(1) to allow the elective officials in the ARMM to remain in office in
a hold over capacity, pursuant to Section 7(1), Article VII of RA
9054, until those elected in the synchronized elections assume office;
(2) to hold special elections in the ARMM, with the terms of those
elected to expire when those elected in the synchronized elections
assume office; or
(3) to authorize the President to appoint OICs, pursuant to Section 3
of RA 10153, also until those elected in the synchronized elections
assume office.
V. Whether the grant of the power to appoint OICs violates the
Constitution (NO)
As to the three options:
First Option: Holdover Option Unconstitutional
S Violates Consti Art X Sec 8 (The term of office of elective local
officials shall be three years)
S Since elective ARMM officials are local officials, they are covered
and bound by the three-year term limit prescribed by the
Constitution; they cannot extend their term through a holdover.
S The Consti must prevail over other laws, as in this case re: term of
local officials
S Osmena vs COMELEC: the legislature cannot, by an act postponing
the election to fill an office the term of which is limited by the
Constitution, extend the term of the incumbent beyond the period as
limited by the Constitution

There is the argument that the holdover period is effectively another


term mandated by Congress, the net result is for Congress to create a
new term and to appoint the occupant for the new term. This is a
circumvention of the Consti and cannot be allowed. Congress cannot
also create a new term and effectively appoint the occupant of the
position for the new term. This is effectively an act of appointment
by Congress and an unconstitutional intrusion into the constitutional
appointment power of the President
There are cases where the Court ruled that the elective officials
could hold on to their positions in a hold over capacity (Sambarani v.
COMELEC, Adap v. Comelec, and Montesclaros v. Comelec) but
they are only to elective barangay or sangguniang kabataan officials
whose terms of office are not explicitly provided for in the
Constitution
This case is regarding ARMM Governor, the ARMM ViceGovernor, and the members of the Regional Legislative Assembly
whose terms fall within the three-year term limit set by Section 8,
Article X of the Constitution.
Assuming that the holdover is permissible (RA 9054 Art VII Sec 7),
the rule of holdover can only apply as an available option where no
express or implied legislative intent to the contrary exists; it cannot
apply where such contrary intent is evident
Congress, in passing RA 10153, made it explicitly clear that it had
the intention of suppressing the holdover rule that prevailed under
RA 9054 by completely removing this provision

Second Option: Holding of Special Election COMELEC has no


authority to order such
S The power to fix the date of elections is essentially legislative in
nature (Sec 8 Art VI; Sec 4(3) Art VII, Sec 3 Art X)
S The foregoing provisions support the conclusion that no elections
may be held on any other date for the positions of President, Vice
President, Members of Congress and local officials, except when so
provided by another Act of Congress, or upon orders of a body or
officer to whom Congress may have delegated either the power or
the authority to ascertain or fill in the details in the execution of that
power
S Congress has already decided to postpone the scheduled August
2011 elections and setting another date May 13, 2011 for
regional elections synchronized with the presidential, congressional
and other local elections. By so doing, Congress itself has made a
policy decision in the exercise of its legislative wisdom that it shall

S
S

S
S

not call special elections as an adjustment measure in synchronizing


the ARMM elections with the other elections.
The judiciary cannot contravene this legislative act because doing so
would constitute judicial legislation
the constitutional power of the COMELEC, in contrast with the
power of Congress to call for, and to set the date of, elections, is
limited to enforcing and administering all laws and regulations
relative to the conduct of an election. Statutorily, COMELEC has no
power to call for the holding of special elections unless pursuant to a
specific statutory grant. There is only one case under BP 881 Secs 5
and 6 which allow the COMELEC to postpone elections, and that is
when there is a failure of elections due to (a) violence, (b) terrorism,
(c) loss or destruction of election paraphernalia or records, (d) force
majeure, and (e) other analogous causes of such a nature that the
holding of a free, orderly and honest election should become
impossible in any political subdivision
the postponement of the ARMM elections is by law, and is pursuant
to the constitutional mandate of synchronization of national and
local elections.
Even assuming that it is legally permissible for the Court to compel
the COMELEC to hold special elections, no legal basis likewise
exists to rule that the newly elected ARMM officials shall hold
office only until the ARMM officials elected in the synchronized
elections shall have assumed office.
Not even Congress and certainly not this Court, has the authority to
fix the terms of elective local officials in the ARMM for less, or
more, than the constitutionally mandated three years as this tinkering
would directly contravene Section 8, Article X of the Constitution as
we ruled in Osmena.

Third Option: President to appoint OICs valid


S the power to appoint is essentially executive in nature, and the
limitations on or qualifications to the exercise of this power should
be strictly construed; these limitations or qualifications must be
clearly stated in order to be recognized
S the appointing power is embodied in Section 16, Article VII of the
Constitution. This provision classifies into 4 groups the officers that
the President can appoint
o First, the heads of the executive departments; ambassadors;
other public ministers and consuls; officers of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines, from the rank of colonel or naval

S
S
S

captain; and other officers whose appointments are vested in


the President in this Constitution;
o Second, all other officers of the government whose
appointments are not otherwise provided for by law;
o Third, those whom the President may be authorized by
law to appoint; and
o Fourth, officers lower in rank whose appointments the
Congress may by law vest in the President alone
This case falls under the third category. The Presidents authority to
appoint OICs comes from RA 10153
Petitioners argument: the Constitution requires that the ARMM
executive and legislative officials to be elective and representative
of the constituent political units.
Court: this problem arose only from a mistaken appreciation of the
law. RAN 10153 does not amend RA 9054 in terms of structure of
government. What RA No. 10153 in fact only does is to appoint
officers-in-charge for the Office of the Regional Governor, Regional
Vice Governor and Members of the Regional Legislative Assembly
who shall perform the functions pertaining to the said offices until
the officials duly elected in the May 2013 elections shall have
qualified and assumed office. This power is far different from
appointing elective ARMM officials for the abbreviated term ending
on the assumption to office of the officials elected in the May 2013
elections. In short, RA 10153 provides only for synchronization of
elections and for the interim measures that must in the meanwhile
prevail
The proper question is: given the plain unconstitutionality of
providing for a holdover and the unavailability of constitutional
possibilities for lengthening or shortening the term of the elected
ARMM officials, is the choice of the Presidents power to appoint
for a fixed and specific period as an interim measure, and as
allowed under Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution an
unconstitutional or unreasonable choice for Congress to make?
The answer is NO. Synchronization will temporarily disrupt the
election process in a local community, the ARMM, as well as the
communitys choice of leaders, but this will take place under a
situation of necessity and as an interim measure in the manner that
interim measures have been adopted and used in the creation of local
government units and the adjustments of sub-provinces to the status
of provinces. These measures, too, are used in light of the wider
national demand for the synchronization of elections

The representative character of the chosen leaders need not


necessarily be affected by the appointment of OICs as this
requirement is really a function of the appointment process; only the
elective aspect shall be supplanted by the appointment of OICs. In
this regard, RA No. 10153 significantly seeks to address concerns
arising from the appointments by providing, under Sections 3, 4 and
5 of the assailed law, concrete terms in the Appointment of OIC, the
Manner and Procedure of Appointing OICs, and their Qualifications.

Other Constitutional Concerns raised in the oral arguments


S Argument: upholding the constitutionality of RA 10153 would set a
dangerous precedent of giving the President the power to cancel
elections anywhere in the country, thus allowing him to replace
elective officials with OICs.
o NO. The Congress here was the one who cancelled the
elections. If RA 10153 cancelled the regular August 2011
elections, it was for a very specific and limited purpose the
synchronization of elections. It was a temporary means to a
lasting end the synchronization of elections.
S Argument: Vacuum of governance in the ARMM for 21 months
o Mindanao history is fraught with violence. It would be
reckless to assume that the presence of an acting ARMM
Governor, an acting Vice-Governor and a fully functioning
Regional Legislative Assembly can be done away with even
temporarily. The appointment of OICs under the present
circumstances is an absolute necessity.
o Menzon vs Petilla: President has the power to appoint OICs.
Especially here, leaving the positions of ARMM Governor,
Vice Governor, and members of the Regional Legislative
Assembly vacant for 21 months, or almost 2 years, would
clearly cause disruptions and delays in the delivery of basic
services to the people, in the proper management of the
affairs of the regional government, and in responding to
critical developments that may arise.
S Argument: while synchronization may be constitutionally
mandated, it cannot be used to defeat or to impede the autonomy that
the Constitution granted to the ARMM
o this is contrary to a basic principle in constitutional
construction ut magis valeat quam pereat: that the
Constitution is to be interpreted as a whole, and one mandate
should not be given importance over the other except where

the primacy of one over the other is clear (Ang-Angco vs


Castillo)
o Synchronization is an interest that is as constitutionally
entrenched as regional autonomy. Congress reconciled these
two in enacting RA 10153. Regional autonomy will be
respected instead of being sidelined, as the law does not in
any way alter, change or modify its governing features,
except in a very temporary manner and only as necessitated
by the attendant circumstances.
Argument: ARMM elections should not be synchronized with the
national and local elections in order to maintain the autonomy of the
ARMM and insulate its own electoral processes from the rough and
tumble of nationwide and local elections.
o while autonomous regions are granted political autonomy,
the framers of the Constitution never equated autonomy with
independence. The ARMM as a regional entity thus
continues to operate within the larger framework of the State
and is still subject to the national policies set by the national
government, save only for those specific areas reserved by
the Constitution for regional autonomous determination.
o ConCom delibs on Section 17, Article X: autonomy is a
measure of self-government within the larger political
framework of the nation
o the autonomy granted to the ARMM cannot be invoked to
defeat national policies and concerns. Since the
synchronization of elections is not just a regional concern
but a national one, the ARMM is subject to it; the regional
autonomy granted to the ARMM cannot be used to exempt
the region from having to act in accordance with a national
policy mandated by no less than the Constitution.

Dissent by Carpio
Position:
S RA 9333 is constitutional.
S RA 10153, as to the synchronization, is constitutional. However, the
Presidents power to appoint OICs (Secs 3-5) in place of elective
ARMM officials, is unconstitutional.
S RA 9054 Sec 7(1) Art VII, authorizing ARMM elective officials to
hold over until the election and qualification of their successors, and
Secs 1 and 3 Art XVII unconstitutional

Ratio:
S Congress found sufficient in passing RA 10153 the factual bases
cited by Pres. Aquino certification of HB 4146 and SB 2756 as
emergency measures. There is no reason to depart from Tolentino vs
Sec of Finance
S RA 9333 and RA 10153 supplement RA 9054. RA 9054 only
provided for the first ARMM elections in Sec 7 Art XVIII. Congress,
in the exercise of its plenary legislative power, provided for the
scheduling of the succeeding regular elections by enacting RA 9333.
RA 10153 was enacted pursuant to the same power. The original
ARMM Organic Act, RA 6734, also only confined itself to the first
regular elections, so there arose the issue of the succeeding elections
that needed to be legislated on by Congress. RA 9333 and RA 10153
are therefore separate, stand-alone statutes that do not amend any
provision of RA 9054.
S RA 9140 pertains only to the fixing of the date of the plebiscite for
(Sec 1) and the schedule of the first regular ARMM elections (Sec 2)
of RA 9054. After the plebiscite and the elections were held in 2001,
RA 9140 is rendered functus officio and thus there is no need to
review its validity
S Assuming that RA 9333 and RA 10153 indeed amended RA 9054 as
petitioners vigorously insist, there is still no need to comply with the
requisites laid down in RA 9054 for laws amending said law,
because the requirements are unconstitutional. The 2/3 supermajority
vote (both houses voting separately, 2/3 majority required)
requirement is unconstitutional as it requires more votes than the
Consti (Sec 16 (2), Art VI which requires only a simple majority of
each house to do business). It also violates the doctrine barring the
passage of irrepealable laws as a current Congress cannot limit or
reduce the plenary legislative power of succeeding Congresses by
requiring a higher vote threshold than what the Constitution requires
to enact, amend or repeal laws. No law can be passed fixing such a
higher vote threshold because Congress has no power, by ordinary
legislation, to amend the Constitution. The simple majority
requirement was based on practice, so it is almost impossible to get a
2/3 supermajority presence, much less supermajority vote. The
autonomy of ARMM does not extend to shackling Congress
S A plebiscite is mandatory only in approving creation or expansion of
the ARMM (Consti Art X, Secs 10 as to creation and 18 as to
altering boundaries of LGUs). RA 9054, although it mandates in Sec
3 Art XVII the holding of a plebiscite to approve any amendment to

or revision of its provisions, cannot be literally interpreted. Such


plebiscite requirement must be limited to the creation or expansion
of ARMM, otherwise, it would expand the scope of the subject
matter that the Constitution requires to be submitted to a plebiscite,
which is not allowed.
ARMM elections can be synchronized with existing national and
local elections as ARMM is an LGU falling under Art X of the
Consti. That Article on Local Governments provide for the term and
election of local officials.
However, Congress power to synchronize national and local
elections does not include the appointment of OICs in place of
elective officials. The positions declared by the Consti as elective
must be filled up by election, not by appointment. Appointment to
these elective offices will violate the Constitution
RA 10153 Secs 3-5 (power of President to appoint OICs in the
ARMM) are unconstitutional. ARMM is an LGU to be headed by
elected officials. There is no bar to holding a special election for the
21-month gap caused by the synchronization. RA 6734, the ARMM
Organic Act, as amended by RA 9054, mandated popular election for
the executive and legislative officials of ARMM, as the
implementation of Art X Sec 18 of the Consti. RA 10153 would, in
effect, negate the implementation in RA 9054 by making the
executive and legislative offices in the ARMM appointive. Though
said provisions of RA 10153 mirrored the appointive powers of Pres.
Cory in the Freedom Constitution, the factual circumstances are
different now and such cannot be applied in the present case.
Although Art VII Sec 16 gives the President the power to appoint, he
may only exercise that on appointive offices, not elective ones. He
may however appoint an OIC ARMM Governor based on Sec 4 Art
X of the Consti (general supervision powers) pending the holding of
special local elections to keep the essential government services
functioning. There is no absolute necessity to appoint OICs in the
ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly as there is an automatic
reenactment of the ARMM bdget is the Regional Legislative
Assembly fails to pass the appropriation bill.
Sec 7(1) Art VII of RA 9054 authorizes the hold over of ARMM
officials until the successors are elected. That is unconstitutional as
Sec 8 Art X of the Consti provides that the term of office of elective
local officials (except barangay officials) is limited to three years.
RA 9054 is thus an indirect contravention of the constitution as it
extends the term of the ARMM officials. We follow the case of
Osmea which said that it is not competent of the legislature to

extend the term of officers by providing that they shall hold over
until their successors are elected and qualified where the
[C]onstitution hasprescribed the term. The reason is twofold:
First, the power of Congress to fix the terms of public offices stems
from (1) its inherent power to create such public offices or (2) a
constitutionally delegated power to that effect. Thus, if a public
office is created by the Constitution with a fixed term, or if the term
of a public office created by Congress is fixed by the Constitution,
Congress is devoid of any power to change the term of that office.
Holdovers are also contrary to democratic republicanism as they
indirectly contravene the holding of periodic elections. The other
laws postponing the elections in the ARMM had holdover provisions
but that is immaterial now because the validity of those laws were
never challenged.
The basis for holding special elections is Sec 5 BP 881, which says
that COMELEC can hold special elections when for any serious
cause, the holding of an election becomes impossible in any political
subdivision

Dissent by Velasco
Position
S I agree with the Carpio dissent that Congress power to synchronize
elections does not include the power to authorize the President to
appoint officers-in-charge in place of elective officials
S There should be a holdover of the ARMM officials pending the
holding of the special elections and the election and qualification of
their successors. The appointment of an OIC is unconstitutional.
Ratio
S RA 9054 Sec 7(1) Art VII provides for the holdover of the
incumbent. The decision used the case of Osmea vs COMELEC to
declare that provision unconstitutional. However, the issue in that
case is about the desynchronization of elections, not the holdover.
Thus, the discussion on holdover is only obiter.
S Assuming that such was not an obiter, still, the present case and
Osmea do not have the same factual circumstances, so Osmea
cannot be applied based on stare decisis.
o In Osmea, RA 7065 provided for synchronization of the
national and local elections in 1995 but it also prescribed
that the national elections will be held in May, 1992 while

the local elections will be held in November 1992. There is


also no provision for the President to appoint OICs.
Meanwhile, in RA 10153, the law provided for
synchronization in May 2013 but suspended the elections
scheduled in August, 2011 and authorized the President to
appoint OICs.
o the Court in Osmea said that the holdover of elective
officials espoused by RA 7065 violated Sec. 2, Art. XVIII
and Sec. 8, Art. X of the Constitution by adopting and
applying certain selected American jurisprudence as cited in
AmJur and CJS. However, the cited American cases are
actually inapplicable to Osmea and the present case as they
say that in the absence of constitutional restrictions, outgoing
officers are entitled to holdover until such time as their
successors will qualify
Many American cases laid down the rule allowing holdover of
officials beyond the term set by the Constitution as long as there is
no constitutional proscription against it. The Osmea case did not
completely quote AmJur. Osmea quoted only it is not competent
for the legislature to extend the term of officers by providing that
they shall hold over until their successors are elected and qualified
where the constitution has in effect or by clear implication prescribed
the term which has no application to the instant case, because the
cases upon which it is anchored are factually dissimilar to the present
case. The second sentence in the annotation saying that when the
legislature has the power to fix the commencement of the term, a
provision for holding over under such circumstances is not in
violation of a constitutional provision that the term of no officer shall
be extended to a longer period than that for which he is elected or
appointed, and such a provision is not violative of a constitutional
provision that the legislature shall not create any office, the tenure of
which shall be longer than a prescribed number of years ... however
applies squarely to RA 9054 Sec. 7, Art. VII
RA 6734 did not provided for the commencement of the term of the
Governor, Deputy Governor and the Members of the Regional
Legislative Assembly of ARMM. Congress thus enacted RA 9054 to
fix the date of the elections. That law also provided for the holdover
of said officials until their successors shall have been duly elected
and qualified. Following the jurisprudence in CJS, the holdover
provision of RA 9054 is valid
neither Sec. 2, Art. XVIII or Sec. 8, Art. X of the Constitution
contain any provision against a holdover by an elective local official

of his office pending the election and qualification of his successor.


Thus, the Constitution does not bar a holdover situation.
Accordingly, Congress may legislate what elective positions can be
accorded holdover privilege of the incumbent officials.
The Constitution also gave the legislature (1) the power to create the
executive and legislative offices in the ARMM, with the sole
limitation that they be elective and representative, and therefore, (2)
the authority to determine the commencement of the term of the
ARMM local officials. Hence, in conformity with the American
cases as cited in CJS, the holdover clause in Sec. 7(1), Art. VII of
RA 9054 is constitutional
AmJur also provides that a holdover occasioned by a legislation
postponing an election, which is not passed for the sole purpose of
extending official terms but which merely effects an extension as an
incidental result, is valid
A holdover is not technically an extension of the term of the officer
but a recognition of the incumbent as a de facto officer, which is
made imperative by the necessity for a continuous performance of
public functions. He is not a de jure officer during the holdover
period as he holds the office only temporarily until the vacancy can
be filled by competent authority
Adap vs COMELEC: the application of the holdover principle
preserves continuity in the transaction of official business and
prevents hiatus in government pending the assumption of a successor
into office
RA 9054, by providing a holdover of the incumbent officials did
NOT extend the term of said officials as it merely provided for a
procedure in case the scheduled elections for one reason or another
do not push through and COMELEC resets the elections pursuant to
its power under Sec. 5 of the Omnibus Election Code (BP 881)
the power of holdover in the imagined statute does NOT lengthen the
prescribed terms of offices of said officials under the Constitution,
unless said law also postpones the elections as in RA 10153. In such
a case, I agree that the postponement of the elections and the
attendant holdover provision are clear contraventions of the
Constitution. In RA 9054, however, the elections are fixed but with
the corollary holdover provision in case elections are not held.
while the LGC does not authorize the holdover of elective officials,
there is nothing to prevent Congress from subsequently enacting a
law that effectively amends the general law for local governments
and empowers, pursuant to its law making power under the
Constitution, local officials to hold over in case of failure of

S
S

elections or in case all the elective officials failed to qualify. RA


9054 did not violate the Constitution, because there is no prohibition
in the Constitution against the holdover of elective officials.
Consequently, Congress by law may provide for holdover as it did in
RA 9054 and other laws postponing elections in the ARMM,
namely, RA 7647, RA 8746, RA 8753, RA 8953 and RA 9140.
To allow the President to appoint the ARMM Governor pending the
holding of the special elections is invalid for violating the
Constitutional mandate on the ARMM organic act to make the
executive and legislative officers be elective positions (Art X Sec
18(1)). Any appointment of a governor is invalid in view of this
Constitutional mandate. Art VII Sec 16 provides that the appointing
power of the President is limited only to appointive offices. Thus,
Secs 3-5 of RA 10153 is unconstitutional as it deprives the ARMM
electorate of the right to choose their governor and legislator.
The holdover provision will not affect the elective and representative
nature of the contested offices as there are definite periodic elections
provided by law, and the holdover is only a stopgap solution
If we are to ensure democratic values, then the holding over of a duly
elected official is undeniably the proper remedial action than the
appointment of OICs who were not elected by the people and were
merely chosen by the President whose choices may be viewed,
rightly or wrongly, as biased, he being the titular head of the
administration political party.
the appointment of a person by the President thwarts the popular will
by replacing the person who has been previously elected by the
ARMM electorate to govern them. On the other hand, an approval of
the holdover of the incumbents pending the election and qualification
of their successsors is a ratification of the constitutional right of the
people of the ARMM to select the their own officials
the authority granted the President to appoint the ARMM Governor
cannot be excused by an expanded interpretation of the Presidents
power of general supervision over local governments as it is basic
that general supervision does NOT authorize the President or any
of his alter egos to interfere with local affairs (Pimentel vs Aguirre)

o
o

o
o

o
February 28, 2012 Resolution
S Synchronization mandate includes ARMM elections
o While the Constitution does not expressly instruct Congress
to synchronize the national and local elections, the intention

can be inferred from the following provisions of the


Transitory Provisions (Article XVIII) of the Constitution
ConCom delibs on these provisions contemplated the 1992
elections as the first actual synchronized elections from the
President to the municipal officials. After 1992, there shall
be an election every three years
We reiterate Osmena vs COMELEC: the Constitution has
mandated synchronized national and local elections
The ARMM is not mentioned specifically in the transitory
provisions because it was not yet created at that time, but
that does not mean that it is not covered by said
constitutional provisions. The Consti is a continuing
instrument to govern
Besides, Consti Art X Sec 1 on Local Government shows
the intention of the Consti to classify autonomous regions
such as ARMM as local governments
That the Constitution mentions only the national
government and the local governments, and does not
make a distinction between the local government and the
regional government, is particularly revealing, betraying
as it does the intention of the framers of the Constitution to
consider the autonomous regions not as separate forms of
government, but as political units which, while having more
powers and attributes than other local government units, still
remain under the category of local governments. Since
autonomous regions are classified as local governments, it
follows that elections held in autonomous regions are also
considered as local elections.
Using verba legis (that is, wherever possible, the words
used in the Constitution must be given their ordinary
meaning except where technical terms are employed.),
local (something that primarily serves the needs of a
particular limited district, often a community or minor
political subdivision) in local elections would cover
ARMM
the fact that the ARMM possesses more powers than other
provinces, cities, or municipalities is not enough reason to
treat the ARMM regional elections differently from the
other local elections. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos
distinguire debemus. When the law does not distinguish, we
must not distinguish

RA No. 10153 does not amend RA No. 9054


o RA 9054 only provides for the first ARMM elections, and
not the succeeding regular ARMM elections. In providing
for the date of the regular ARMM elections, RA 9333 and
RA 10153 clearly do not amend RA 9054 since these laws
do not change or revise any provision in RA No. 9054. In
fixing the date of the ARMM elections subsequent to the
first election, RA 9333 and RA 10153 merely filled the gap
left in RA 9054.
o It cannot be implied from RA 9054 that the succeeding
elections are to be held three years after the date of the first
ARMM regional elections because this would be enlarging
the scope of the statute.
o Since RA 10153 does not amend, but merely fills in the gap
in RA 9054, there is no need for RA 10153 to comply with
the amendment requirements set forth in Article XVII of RA
9054.
Supermajority vote requirement makes RA No. 9054 an
irrepealable law
o the supermajority vote requirement set forth in Section 1,
Article XVII of RA 9054 is unconstitutional for violating the
principle that Congress cannot pass irrepealable laws.
o Where the legislature, by its own act, attempts to limit its
power to amend or repeal laws, the Court has the duty to
strike down such act for interfering with the plenary powers
of Congress.
o Duarte vs Dade: This (current) legislature cannot bind a
future legislature to a particular mode of repeal. It cannot
declare in advance the intent of subsequent legislatures or
the effect of subsequent legislation upon existing statutes.
o each House of Congress has the power to approve bills by a
mere majority vote, provided there is quorum. In requiring
all laws which amend RA 9054 to comply with a higher
voting requirement than the Constitution provides (2/3 vote),
Congress, which enacted RA 9054, clearly violated the very
principle which we sought to establish in Duarte.
o We highlight an important point in the Carpio dissent:
Section 1, Article XVII of RA 9054 erects a high vote
threshold for each House of Congress to surmount,
effectively and unconstitutionally, taking RA 9054 beyond
the reach of Congress amendatory powers. One Congress

cannot limit or reduce the plenary legislative power of


succeeding Congresses by requiring a higher vote threshold
than what the Constitution requires to enact, amend or repeal
laws. No law can be passed fixing such a higher vote
threshold because Congress has no power, by ordinary
legislation, to amend the Constitution.
S

Plebiscite requirement in RA No. 9054 overly broad


o Section 18, Article X of the Constitution provides that [t]he
creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when
approved by majority of the votes cast by the constituent
units in a plebiscite called for the purpose This means that
only amendments to, or revisions of, the Organic Act
constitutionally-essential to the creation of autonomous
regions i.e., those aspects specifically mentioned in the
Constitution which Congress must provide for in the
Organic Act[21] require ratification through a plebiscite.
o While we agree with the petitioners underlying premise that
sovereignty ultimately resides with the people, we disagree
that this legal reality necessitates compliance with the
plebiscite requirement for all amendments to RA No. 9054.
For if we were to go by the petitioners interpretation of
Section 18, Article X of the Constitution that all
amendments to the Organic Act have to undergo the
plebiscite requirement before becoming effective, this would
lead to impractical and illogical results hampering the
ARMMs progress by impeding Congress from enacting
laws that timely address problems as they arise in the region,
as well as weighing down the ARMM government with the
costs that unavoidably follow the holding of a plebiscite
o Presidential appointments of OICs under Sec 3 of RA 10153
does not change the basic structure of the ARMM regional
government, and thus does not have to be ratified by a
plebiscite

Unconstitutionality of the holdover provision


o The clear wording of Section 8, Article X of the Constitution
expresses the intent of the framers of the Constitution to
categorically set a limitation on the period within which all
elective local officials can occupy their offices. We have
already established that elective ARMM officials are also
local officials; they are, thus, bound by the three-year term

limit prescribed by the Constitution. It, therefore, becomes


irrelevant that the Constitution does not expressly prohibit
elective officials from acting in a holdover capacity. Short of
amending the Constitution, Congress has no authority to
extend the three-year term limit by inserting a holdover
provision in RA 9054. Thus, the term of three years for local
officials should stay at three (3) years, as fixed by the
Constitution, and cannot be extended by holdover by
Congress.
Even assuming that a holdover is constitutionally
permissible, and there had been statutory basis for it (namely
Section 7, Article VII of RA 9054), the rule of holdover can
only apply as an available option where no express or
implied legislative intent to the contrary exists; it cannot
apply where such contrary intent is evident.
Congress, in passing RA 10153 and removing the holdover
option, has made it clear that it wants to suppress the
holdover rule expressed in RA 9054. Congress, in the
exercise of its plenary legislative powers, has clearly acted
within its discretion when it deleted the holdover option, and
this Court has no authority to question the wisdom of this
decision, absent any evidence of unconstitutionality or grave
abuse of discretion. It is for the legislature and the executive,
and not this Court, to decide how to fill the vacancies in the
ARMM regional government which arise from the
legislature complying with the constitutional mandate of
synchronization.

COMELEC has no authority to hold special elections


o Section 5 and Section 6 of BP 881 address instances
where elections have already been scheduled to take place
but do not occur or had to be suspended because
of unexpected and unforeseen circumstances,
such
as
violence,
fraud,
terrorism,
and other
analogous
circumstances.
o In contrast, the ARMM elections were postponed by law,
in furtherance
of the
constitutional
mandate
of
synchronization of national and local elections. Obviously,
this does not fall under any of the circumstances
contemplated by Section 5 or Section 6 of BP 881.

o
o

RA 10153 has already fixed the date for the next ARMM
elections and the COMELEC has no authority to set a
different election date.
Even assuming that the COMELEC has the authority to
hold special elections, and this Court can compel the
COMELEC to do so, there is still the problem of having to
shorten the terms of the newly elected officials in order to
synchronize the ARMM elections with the May 2013
national and local elections. Obviously, neither the Court
nor the COMELEC has the authority to do this, amounting
as it does to an amendment of Section 8, Article X of the
Constitution, which limits the term of local officials to three
years.

Presidents authority to appoint OICs


o The power to appoint has traditionally been recognized as
executive in nature based on Section 16, Article VII of the
Constitution
o This is an improvement from the 1935 Consti counterpart:
while in the 1935 Constitution, the various appointments the
President can make are enumerated in a single sentence, the
1987 Constitution enumerates the various appointments the
President is empowered to make and divides the
enumeration in two sentences. Thus, in the 1987 Consti,
there are 4 groups of appointees (please see discussion in the
2011 case)
o Any limitation on or qualification to the exercise of the
Presidents appointment power should be strictly construed
and must be clearly stated in order to be recognized. Given
that the President derives his power to appoint OICs in the
ARMM regional government from law, it falls under the
classification of presidential appointments covered by the
second sentence of Section 16, Article VII of the
Constitution; the Presidents appointment power thus rests
on clear constitutional basis.
o There is no incompatibility between the Presidents power
of supervision over local governments and autonomous
regions, and the power granted to the President, within the
specific confines of RA 10153, to appoint OICs.

RA No. 10153 as an interim measure

Congress enacted RA 10153 primarily to heed the


constitutional mandate to synchronize the ARMM regional
elections with the national and local elections. To do this,
Congress had to postpone the scheduled ARMM elections
for another date, leaving it with the problem of how to
provide the ARMM with governance in the intervening
period, between the expiration of the term of those elected
in August 2008 and the assumption to office twenty-one
(21) months away of those who will win in the
synchronized elections on May 13, 2013.
we have to judge RA 10153 by the standard of
reasonableness in responding to the challenges brought
about by synchronizing the ARMM elections with the
national and local elections. In other words, given the plain
unconstitutionality of providing for a holdover and the
unavailability of constitutional possibilities for lengthening
or shortening the term of the elected ARMM officials, is the
choice of the Presidents power to appoint for a fixed and
specific period as an interim measure, and as allowed under
Section 16, Article VII of the Constitution an
unconstitutional or unreasonable choice for Congress to
make?

Executive is not bound by the principle of judicial courtesy


o Petitioner questions the propriety of the appointment by the
President of Mujiv Hataman as acting Governor and Bainon
Karon as acting Vice Governor of the ARMM. They argue
that since our previous decision was based on a close vote of
8-7, and given the numerous motions for reconsideration
filed by the parties, the President, in recognition of the
principle of judicial courtesy, should have refrained from
implementing our decision until we have ruled with finality
on this case.
o the principle of judicial courtesy is based on the hierarchy of
courts and applies only to lower courts in instances where,
even if there is no writ of preliminary injunction or TRO
issued by a higher court, it would be proper for a lower court
to suspend its proceedings for practical and ethical
considerations. In other words, the principle of judicial
courtesy applies where there is a strong probability that the
issues before the higher court would be rendered moot and
moribund as a result of the continuation of the proceedings

in the lower court or court of origin. Consequently, this


principle cannot be applied to the President, who represents
a co-equal branch of government. To suggest otherwise
would be to disregard the principle of separation of powers,
on which our whole system of government is founded upon
the fact that our previous decision was based on a slim vote
of 8-7 does not, and cannot, have the effect of making our
ruling any less effective or binding. Regardless of how close
the voting is, so long as there is concurrence of the majority
of the members of the en banc who actually took part in the
deliberations of the case, a decision garnering only 8 votes
out of 15 members is still a decision of the Supreme Court
en banc and must be respected as such.

Case (Ordillo vs COMELEC)


Doctrine: Congress never intended that a single province may constitute the
autonomous region.
Facts:
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 RA6766 entitled "An Act Providing for an
Organic Act for the Cordillera Autonomous Region"
Results of the plebiscite showed that the creation of the Region was
approved by a majority of 5,889 votes in only the Ifugao Province
and was overwhelmingly rejected by 148,676 votes in the rest of the
provinces and city above-mentioned
COMELEC issued Resolution No. 2259 stating that the Organic Act
for the Region has been approved and/or ratified by majority of the
votes cast only in the province of Ifugao
Secretary of Justice issued a memorandum for the President
reiterating the COMELEC resolution and providing that, the
province of Ifugao being the only province which voted favorably, it
alone, legally and validly constituted the CAR
Congress enacted RA 6861 setting the elections in the CAR of
Ifugao
Even before the issuance of the COMELEC resolution, the Executive
Secretary issued a Memorandum granting authority to wind up the
affairs of the Cordillera Executive Board and the Cordillera Regional
Assembly created under EO 220
Ordillo et al then filed a petition with COMELEC to declare the nonratification of the Organic Act for the Region
President issued AO 160 declaring that the Cordillera Executive
Board and Cordillera Regional Assembly and all the offices created
under EO 220 were abolished in view of the ratification of the
Organic Act
Petitioners arguments:
Relief: (1) 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 Republic
Act No. 6861 and prohibit and restrain the respondents from
implementing the same and spending public funds for the purpose
and (2) declare Executive Order No. 220 constituting the Cordillera
Executive Board and the Cordillera Regional Assembly and other

offices to be still in force and effect until another organic law for the
Autonomous Region shall have been enacted by Congress and the
same is duly ratified by the voters in the constituent units
Position: There can be no valid Cordillera Autonomous Region in
only one province
Legal Basis: Constitution and Republic Act No. 6766 require that the
said Region be composed of more than one constituent unit

Respondents arguments:
Position: Ifugao alone may validly constitute CAR
Jurisprudence: Abbas vs COMELEC. The Abbas case laid down the
rate on the meaning of majority in the phrase "by majority of the
votes cast by the constituent units called for the purpose" found in
the Constitution, Article X, Section 18. It stated: ". . . [I]t is thus
clear that what is required by the Constitution is 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 hence, ". . .
[i]t is believed that the creation of the Cordillera Autonomous
Region (CAR) as mandated by R.A. No. 6766 became effective upon
its approval by the majority of the votes cast in the province of
Ifugao. And considering the proviso in Section 13 (a) that only the
provinces and city voting favorably shall be included in the CAR, the
province of Ifugao being the only province which voted favorably
can, alone, legally and validly constitute the CAR."
Legal Basis: Constitution, Article X, Section 18
Issue/s: Whether or not the province of Ifugao alone may validly constitute
CAR?
Held/Ratio: NO
Violative of the Constitution
o The sole province of Ifugao cannot validly constitute the
Cordillera Autonomous Region primarily because Article X,
Section 15 of the 1987 Constitution is clear that: "There shall
be created autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao and in
the Cordillera consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities
and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive
historical and cultural heritage, economic and social
structures, and other relevant characteristics within the
framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty
as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the

Philippines". The keywords provinces, cities,


municipalities and geographical areas connote that "region"
is to be made up of more than one constituent unit. The term
"region" used in its ordinary sense means two or more
provinces. Ifugao is a province by itself. To become part of a
region, it must join other provinces, cities, municipalities,
and geographical areas. It joins other units because of their
common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage,
economic and social structures and other relevant
characteristics. The Constitutional requirements are not
present in this case
Contrary to the language and intent of RA 6766
o Also, a reading of the provisions of Republic Act No. 6766
strengthens the petitioner's position that the Region cannot
be constituted from only one province. Article III, Sections 1
and 2 of the Statute provide that the Cordillera Autonomous
Region is to be administered by the Cordillera government
consisting of the Regional Government and local
government units. Congress thus never intended that a single
province may constitute the autonomous region while Article
V, Sections 1 and 4 of Republic Act 6766 vest the legislative
power in the Cordillera Assembly whose members shall be
elected from regional assembly districts apportioned among
provinces and the cities composing the Autonomous Region.
If we follow the respondent's position, the members of such
Cordillera Assembly shall then be elected only from the
province of Ifugao creating an awkward predicament of
having two legislative bodies the Cordillera Assembly
and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan exercising their
legislative powers over the province of Ifugao. And since
Ifugao is one of the smallest provinces in the Philippines,
population-wise, it would have too many government
officials for so few people. Article XII, Section 10 of the law
creates a Regional Planning and Development Board
composed of the Cordillera Governor, all the provincial
governors and city mayors or their representatives, two
members of the Cordillera Assembly, and members
representing the private sector. The Board has a counterpart
in the provincial level called the Provincial Planning and
Development Coordinator. If it takes only one person in the
provincial level to perform certain functions while on the
other hand it takes an entire Board to perform almost the

same tasks in the regional level, it could only mean that a


larger area must be covered at the regional level. The
respondent's theory of the Autonomous Region being made
up of a single province must, therefore, fail. Article XXI,
Section 13 (B) (c) alloting the huge amount of Ten Million
Pesos (P10,000,000.00) to the Regional Government for its
initial organizational requirements cannot be construed as
funding only a lone and small province. These sections of
Republic Act No. 6766 show that a one province Cordillera
Autonomous Region was never contemplated by the law
creating it.
The Abbas case is not applicable. It established the rule to follow on
which provinces and cities shall comprise the autonomous region in
Muslim Mindanao which is, consequently, the same rule to follow
with regard to the autonomous region in the Cordillera. However,
there is nothing in the Abbas decision which deals with the issue on
whether an autonomous region, in either Muslim Mindanao or
Cordillera could exist despite the fact that only one province or one
city is to constitute it

Cordillera Broad Coalition vs. COA


Petition to assail constitutionality of EO 220
The Constitution outlines a complex procedure for the creation of an
autonomous region in the Cordilleras. A Regional Consultative Commission
shall first be created. The President shall then appoint the members of a
Regional Consultative Commission from a list of nominees from multisectoral bodies. The commission shall assist the Congress in preparing the
organic act for the autonomous region. The first Congress under the 1987
Constitution within eighteen months shall pass the organic act from the time
of its organization and enactment into law. Thereafter there shall be held a
plebiscite for the approval of the organic act. Only then, after its approval in
the plebiscite, shall the autonomous region be created.
Petitioners: Cordillera Broad Coalition, Yaranon and Bautista assisted by
their spouses, Brett and Hamada
Respondents: COA, Exec. Secretary Macaraig, Sec. of Finance Hon. Jayme,
Sec. of Budget and Management Carague, OIC National Treasurer Cajucom
Facts:
1. April 1986: Fr. Conrado M. Balweg, S.V.D., broke off on ideological
grounds from the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its
military arm the New People's Army (NPA).
2. President Aquino called on all revolutionary forces to a peace
dialogue. The CPLA heeded this call of the President.
3. September 13, 1986: After the preliminary negotiations, President
Aquino and some Cabinet members flew to Mt. Data in the
Mountain Province and signed with Fr. Balweg (as Commander of
the CPLA) and Ama Mario Yag-ao (as President of Cordillera
Bodong Administration, the civil government of the CPLA) a
ceasefire agreement that signified the cessation of hostilities.
4. 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.
5. March 27, 1987: Ambassador Pelaez (acting as Chief Negotiator of
the government) flew to the Mansion House, Baguio City, and
signed with Fr. Balweg (as Chairman of the Cordillera panel) a joint
agreement.

6. Pursuant to the above joint agreement, EO220 was drafted by a panel


of the Philippine government and of the representatives of the
Cordillera people.
7. July 15, 1987: President Corazon C. Aquino signed the joint draft
into law, known now as EO220.
8. EO220 created the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), which
covers the provinces of Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga-Apayao and
Mountain Province and the City of Baguio.
9. Petitioners filed petitions to assail the constitutionality of EO220.
10. During the pendency of this case, RA6766 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 EO220 and its
transitory nature is reinforced in Art. XXI of RA 6766.
Issue:
Petitioner
By issuing EO220, the President, in the exercise of her legislative powers
prior to the convening of the first Congress under the 1987 Constitution, has
virtually pre-empted Congress from its mandated task of enacting an organic
act and created an autonomous region in the Cordilleras.
SC: EO220 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 and the creation of an autonomous region. In
short, it prepares the ground for autonomy. As the creation of an autonomous
region will take time, the President has deemed it fit to provide for some
measures to address the urgent needs of the Cordilleras.
CAR is "the interim autonomous region in the Cordilleras.
SC: The Constitution provides for a basic structure of government in the
autonomous region composed of an elective executive and legislature, and
special courts with personal, family and property law jurisdiction. Using this
as a guide, we find that EO220 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.
2. Issue: EO220 contravenes the Constitution by creating a new territorial
and political subdivision.

SC: 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. Neither is it vested with the powers that are normally granted
to public corporations, ex. The power to sue and be sued, the power to own
and dispose of property, the power to create its own sources of revenue, etc.
CAR was created primarily to coordinate the planning and implementation of
programs and services in the covered areas.
3. Issue: The creation of the CAR contravened the constitutional guarantee of
the local autonomy for the provinces (Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, KalingaApayao and Mountain Province) and city (Baguio City) that compose the
CAR.
SC: The constitutional guarantee of local autonomy in the Constitution refers
to the administrative autonomy of local government units or, the
decentralization of government authority. The creation of autonomous
regions in Muslim Mindanao and the Cordilleras contemplates the grant of
political autonomy and not just administrative autonomy these regions.
Dispositive: Dismissed for lack of merit.

Bagabuyo vs COMELEC
Dec 8, 2008
Doctrine: The criteria established under Section 10, Article X of the 1987
Constitution only apply when there is a creation, division, merger, abolition
or substantial alteration of boundaries of a province, city, municipality, or
barangay and does not apply to mere legislative apportionement.
Facts:
Cagayan de Oro was originally composed of one legislative district. In 2006
RA 9371 increased the CDOs legislative districts from one to two. For the
election of May 2007, Cagayan de Oro's voters would be classified as
belonging to either the first or the second district, depending on their place of
residence. The constituents of each district would elect their own
representative to Congress as well as eight members of the Sangguniang
Panglungsod. COMELEC then issued Resolution 7837 implementing RA
9371.
Bagabuyo assailed the validity of the said law and he went immediately to
the Supreme Court. He was contending that the 2nd district was created
without a plebiscite which was required by the Constitution.
Petitioners arguments:
Nature and relief prayed for: Petition for certiorari, prohibition, and
mandamus,with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order
and a writ of preliminary injunction to prevent the COMELEC from
Resolution No. 7837 on the ground that Republic Act No. 9371 - the law that
Resolution No. 7837 implements - is unconstitutional
Position:
1. RA 9371 is unconstitutional because it constitutes as a creation,
division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of
cities under Section 10, Article X of the Constitution which requires
that a plebiscite be held.
2. RA 9371 violates the principle of equality of representation. The
distribution of the legislative districts is unequal. District 1 has only
93,719 registered voters while District 2 has 127,071. District 1 is
composed mostly of rural barangays while District 2 is composed
mostly of urban barangay.

Respondents arguments:
1) the petitioner did not respect the hierarchy of courts, as the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) is vested with concurrent jurisdiction over cases assailing the
constitutionality of a statute;
2) R.A. No. 9371 merely increased the representation of Cagayan de Oro
City in the House of Representatives and Sangguniang Panglungsod
pursuant to Section 5, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and was not in any
way create, divide, merge, bolish, or substantially alter the boundaries of
Cagayan de Oro.
Issue/s:
1) Did the petitioner violate the hierarchy of courts rule; if so, should the
instant petition be dismissed on this ground?
2) Does R.A. No. 9371 merely provide for the legislative reapportionment of
Cagayan de Oro City, or does it involve the division and conversion of a
local government unit?
3) Does R.A. No. 9371 violate the equality of representation doctrine?
Held/Ratio:
1)The case was considered as sufficiently important as to constitute an
exception to the hierarchy of courts rule.
2) RA 9371 merely provides for legislative re-apportionment and thus a
plebiscite is not required in the case at bar.
RA 9371 merely increased the representation of Cagayan de Oro City in the
House of Representatives and Sangguniang Panglungsod pursuant to Section
5, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution; the criteria established under Section
10, Article X of the 1987 Constitution only apply when there is a creation,
division, merger, abolition or substantial alteration of boundaries of a
province, city, municipality, or barangay; in this case, no such creation,
division, merger, abolition or alteration of boundaries of a local government
unit took place; and R.A. No. 9371 did not bring about any change in
Cagayan de Oros territory, population and income classification; hence, no
plebiscite
R.A. No. 9371 is, on its face, purely and simply a reapportionment legislation
passed in accordance with the authority granted to Congress under Article
VI, Section 5(4) of the Constitution. Its core provision - Section 1 - provides:
SECTION 1. Legislative Districts. - The lone legislative district of
the City of Cagayan de Oro is hereby apportioned to commence in
the next national elections after the effectivity of this Act.

Henceforth, barangays Bonbon, Bayabas, Kauswagan, Carmen,


Patag, Bulua, Iponan, Baikingon, San Simon, Pagatpat, Canitoan,
Balulang, Lumbia, Pagalungan, Tagpangi, Taglimao, Tuburan,
Pigsag-an, Tumpagon, Bayanga, Mambuaya, Dansulihon,
Tignapoloan and Bisigan shall comprise the first district while
barangays Macabalan, Puntod, Consolacion, Camaman-an, Nazareth,
Macansandig, Indahag, Lapasan, Gusa, Cugman, FS Catanico,
Tablon, Agusan, Puerto, Bugo and Balubal and all urban barangays
from Barangay 1 to Barangay 40 shall comprise the second district.
Under these wordings, no division of Cagayan de Oro City as a political and
corporate entity takes place or is mandated. Cagayan de Oro City politically
remains a single unit and its administration is not divided along territorial
lines. Its territory remains completely whole and intact; there is only the
addition of another legislative district and the delineation of the city into two
districts for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives.
Thus, Article X, Section 10 of the Constitution does not come into play and
no plebiscite is necessary to validly apportion Cagayan de Oro City into two
districts.
3) No it does not violate the equality of protection clause.
The law clearly provides that the basis for districting shall be the number of
the inhabitants of a city or a province, not the number of registered
voters therein.
The petitioner, unfortunately, did not provide information about the actual
population of Cagayan de Oro City. However, we take judicial notice of the
August 2007 census of the National Statistics Office which shows
thatbarangays comprising Cagayan de Oro's first district have a total
population of 254,644, while the second district has 299,322 residents.
Undeniably, these figures show a disparity in the population sizes of the
districts.a The Constitution, however, does not require mathematical
exactitude or rigid equality as a standard in gauging equality of
representation.In fact, for cities, all it asks is that "each city with a population
of at least two hundred fifty thousand shall have one representative," while
ensuring representation for every province regardless of the size of its
population.

Samson vs. Aguirre (1999)

Facts:

Petitioner had the burden of proof to overcome the legal presumption


that Congress considered all the legal requirements under the Local
Government Code of 1991 in passing R.A. 8535.
Petition is devoid of any pertinent document supporting petitioners
claim that R.A. 8535 is unconstitutional.

President Ramos signed into law RA 8535, creating the City of


Novaliches out of 15 barangays of Quezon City.

Issue/s:

Petitioners arguments:

Is RA 8535 unconstitutional? NO.

Petitioner Moises S. Samson, incumbent councilor of the first district of


Quezon City, seeks the following reliefs:
that RA 8535 be declared unconstitutional,
that the Executive Secretary be enjoined from ordering the
implementation of RA 8535
that the COMELEC be enjoined from holding a plebiscite for the
creation of the City of Novaliches,
that the Department of Budget and Management be enjoined from
disbursing funds for said plebiscite.
issuance of a preliminary injunction or TRO,

Held/Ratio: (Note: include legal basis and jurisprudence)

Doctrine: (see sections in bold and italics)

Every statute is presumed valid. Every law is presumed to have


passed through regular congressional processes. A person asserting the
contrary has the burden of proving his allegations clearly and unmistakably.
(Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers Union)
The Local Government Code and Rules and Regulations
Implementing the Code provide for the creation of a local government unit
or its conversion from one level to another level based on verifiable
indicators.

According to petitioner, RA 8535 is unconstitutional because:


a) it failed to conform to the criteria established by the Local
Government Code particularly, Sections 7, 11(a) and 450(a), as to the
requirements of income, population and land area; seat of government; and
no adverse effect to being a city of Quezon City, respectively, and its
Implementing Rules as provided in Article 11(b)(1) and (2), as to furnishing
a copy of the Quezon City Council of barangay resolution; and
b) The said law will in effect amend the Constitution.
Petitioner says that according to the minutes of the public hearings conducted
by the Senate Committee on Local Government on the proposed charter of
the City of Novaliches, certifications as to income, population, and land area
were not presented to Congress during the deliberations, and that there is no
certification attesting to the fact that the mother LGU Quezon City would not
be adversely affected by the creation of the City of Novaliches
Respondents arguments:

A city shall not be created unless the following requisites on income and
either population or land area are present:
(1)
Income an average annual income of not less than
(P20,000,000.00), for immediately preceding two (2) consecutive
years.
(2) Population or land area not less than (150,000) inhabitants, as
certified by NSO; or land area which must be contiguous with an
area of at least (100) square kms, as certified by LMB. The territory
need not be contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more islands or is
separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute to the
income of the province. The land area requirement shall not apply
where the proposed city is composed of one (1) or more islands.
The creation of a new city shall not reduce the land area, population, and
income of the original LGU or LGUs at the time of said creation to less than
the prescribed minimum requirements.

The bill that eventually became RA 8535 originated in the House of


Representatives. Petitioner did not present any proof that no certifications
were submitted to the House Committee on Local Government. The
presumption stands that the law passed by Congress had complied with all
the requisites therefor.
Present during the public hearings held by the Senate Committee on
Local Government were resource persons from different government offices
including the Bureau of Local Government Finance and the National
Statistics Office, who estimated that the income and population requirements
will be met and exceeded by the proposed City of Novaliches. There is no
need to consider the land area since under the Local Government Code, the
proposed city must comply with requirements as regards income and
population or land area. Compliance with either requirement, in addition to
income, is sufficient. The official statements of these resource persons,
who were present with other officers armed with official statistics and
reference materials, could serve the same purpose contemplated by law
requiring certificates.
The omission of providing for a seat of government is not fatal to
the validity of RA 8535. Under Section 12 of the Local Government Code,
the City of Novaliches can still establish a seat of government after its
creation. The Code provides:

is indicative of the non-existence of such negative issues. Moreover, in the


plebiscite as contemplated on R.A. 8535, all persons concerned will
obviously have the opportunity to raise those issues even before they vote
on the principal question of the cityhood of Novaliches.
That the Quezon City Council was not furnished a copy of the
petition of concerned barangays calling for the creation of the City of
Novaliches will also not render invalid RA8535. The Quezon City Council
members are obviously aware of the petition. The matter has been widely
publicized in the mass media.
The proposed creation of the City of Novaliches will not result in a
prohibited amendment of the Constitution. The ordinance appended to the
Constitution merely apportions the seats of the House of Representatives to
the different legislative districts in the country. Nowhere does it provide that
Metro Manila shall forever be composed of only 17 cities and municipalities
as claimed by petitioner.

SAMSON vs. AGUIRRE, 315 SCRA 53


Facts:

SECTION 12. Government Centers. Provinces, cities, and


municipalities shall endeavor to establish a government center where
offices, agencies, or branches of the National Government, local
government units, or government-owned or controlled corporations
may, as far as practicable, be located. xxx
While Section 12 speaks of the site of government centers, such site
can very well also be the seat of government, from where governmental and
corporate service shall be delivered.
Petitioner failed to present any concrete evidence with regard to the
alleged adverse effect on Quezon City by the creation of the City of
Novaliches. Quezon City Mayor Ismael Mathay, Jr., was present during
the deliberations of the Senate Committee on Local Government, and made
no mention of anything concerning such adverse effects. The fact that he
did not raise any adverse issue during the public hearings on RA 8535,
stressing instead his concern on the matter of inclusion of all Quezon City
voters in the plebiscite that would decide the fate of the City of Novaliches,

President Ramos signed into law RA 8535, creating the City of


Novaliches out of 15 barangays of Quezon City.
Petitioners arguments:
Petitioner Moises S. Samson, incumbent councilor of the first district of
Quezon City, seeks the following reliefs:
that RA 8535 be declared unconstitutional,
that the Executive Secretary be enjoined from ordering the
implementation of RA 8535
that the COMELEC be enjoined from holding a plebiscite for the
creation of the City of Novaliches,
that the Department of Budget and Management be enjoined from
disbursing funds for said plebiscite.
issuance of a preliminary injunction or TRO,
According to petitioner, RA 8535 is unconstitutional because:

a) it failed to conform to the criteria established by the Local


Government Code particularly, Sections 7, 11(a) and 450(a), as to the
requirements of income, population and land area; seat of government; and
no adverse effect to being a city of Quezon City, respectively, and its
Implementing Rules as provided in Article 11(b)(1) and (2), as to furnishing
a copy of the Quezon City Council of barangay resolution; and
b) The said law will in effect amend the Constitution.
Petitioner says that according to the minutes of the public hearings conducted
by the Senate Committee on Local Government on the proposed charter of
the City of Novaliches, certifications as to income, population, and land area
were not presented to Congress during the deliberations, and that there is no
certification attesting to the fact that the mother LGU Quezon City would not
be adversely affected by the creation of the City of Novaliches
Respondents arguments:
Petitioner had the burden of proof to overcome the legal presumption
that Congress considered all the legal requirements under the Local
Government Code of 1991 in passing R.A. 8535.
Petition is devoid of any pertinent document supporting petitioners
claim that R.A. 8535 is unconstitutional.

(1)
Income an average annual income of not less than
(P20,000,000.00), for immediately preceding two (2) consecutive
years.
(2) Population or land area not less than (150,000) inhabitants, as
certified by NSO; or land area which must be contiguous with an
area of at least (100) square kms, as certified by LMB. The territory
need not be contiguous if it comprises two (2) or more islands or is
separated by a chartered city or cities which do not contribute to the
income of the province. The land area requirement shall not apply
where the proposed city is composed of one (1) or more islands.
The creation of a new city shall not reduce the land area, population, and
income of the original LGU or LGUs at the time of said creation to less than
the prescribed minimum requirements.
The bill that eventually became RA 8535 originated in the House of
Representatives. Petitioner did not present any proof that no certifications
were submitted to the House Committee on Local Government. The
presumption stands that the law passed by Congress had complied with all
the requisites therefor.

Every statute is presumed valid. Every law is presumed to have


passed through regular congressional processes. A person asserting the
contrary has the burden of proving his allegations clearly and unmistakably.
(Victoriano v. Elizalde Rope Workers Union)

Present during the public hearings held by the Senate Committee on


Local Government were resource persons from different government offices
including the Bureau of Local Government Finance and the National
Statistics Office, who estimated that the income and population requirements
will be met and exceeded by the proposed City of Novaliches. There is no
need to consider the land area since under the Local Government Code, the
proposed city must comply with requirements as regards income and
population or land area. Compliance with either requirement, in addition to
income, is sufficient. The official statements of these resource persons,
who were present with other officers armed with official statistics and
reference materials, could serve the same purpose contemplated by law
requiring certificates.

The Local Government Code and Rules and Regulations


Implementing the Code provide for the creation of a local government unit
or its conversion from one level to another level based on verifiable
indicators.

The omission of providing for a seat of government is not fatal to


the validity of RA 8535. Under Section 12 of the Local Government Code,
the City of Novaliches can still establish a seat of government after its
creation. The Code provides:

A city shall not be created unless the following requisites on income and
either population or land area are present:

SECTION 12. Government Centers. Provinces, cities, and


municipalities shall endeavor to establish a government center where

Issue/s: Is RA 8535 unconstitutional? NO.


Held/Ratio:

offices, agencies, or branches of the National Government, local


government units, or government-owned or controlled corporations
may, as far as practicable, be located. xxx
While Section 12 speaks of the site of government centers, such site
can very well also be the seat of government, from where governmental and
corporate service shall be delivered.
Petitioner failed to present any concrete evidence with regard to the
alleged adverse effect on Quezon City by the creation of the City of
Novaliches. Quezon City Mayor Ismael Mathay, Jr., was present during
the deliberations of the Senate Committee on Local Government, and made
no mention of anything concerning such adverse effects. The fact that he
did not raise any adverse issue during the public hearings on RA 8535,
stressing instead his concern on the matter of inclusion of all Quezon City
voters in the plebiscite that would decide the fate of the City of Novaliches,
is indicative of the non-existence of such negative issues. Moreover, in the
plebiscite as contemplated on R.A. 8535, all persons concerned will
obviously have the opportunity to raise those issues even before they vote
on the principal question of the cityhood of Novaliches.
That the Quezon City Council was not furnished a copy of the
petition of concerned barangays calling for the creation of the City of
Novaliches will also not render invalid RA8535. The Quezon City Council
members are obviously aware of the petition. The matter has been widely
publicized in the mass media.
The proposed creation of the City of Novaliches will not result in a
prohibited amendment of the Constitution. The ordinance appended to the
Constitution merely apportions the seats of the House of Representatives to
the different legislative districts in the country. Nowhere does it provide that
Metro Manila shall forever be composed of only 17 cities and municipalities
as claimed by petitioner.

Robert Tobias vs. Hon. Benjamin Abalos (1994)


The inhabitants of San Juan were properly excluded from the plebiscite as
they had nothing to do with the change of status of neighboring
Mandaluyong.
Facts:
Prior to the enactment of RA 7675 (An Act Converting the
Municipality of Mandaluyong into a Highly Urbanized City to be
known as the City of Mandaluyong), the municipalities of
Mandaluyong and San Juan belonged to only 1 legislative district.
Hon. Ronaldo Zamora, the incumbent congressional rep. of this
legislative district, sponsored the bill which eventually became RA
7675. Pres. Ramos signed RA 7675 into law on Feb 9, 1994.
A plebiscite was held on Apr 10, 1994, pursuant to the LGC. The
people of Mandaluyong were asked whether they approved of the
conversion of the Municipality of Mandaluyong into a highly
urbanized city as provided under RA 7675. The turnout at the
plebiscite was only 14.41% of the voting population.
Nevertheless, 18,621 voted "yes" whereas 7,911 voted "no." By
virtue of these results, RA 7675 was deemed ratified and in effect.
Petitioners arguments:
RA 7675, viz. Art. VIII, Sec 49 is unconstitutional for being violative of the
Constitution.
1. RA 7675 contravenes with the "one subject-one bill" rule, as
enunciated in Art VI, Sec 26(1) of the Constitution (see Held/Ratio
#1).
2. There is no mention in RA 7675 of any census to show that
Mandaluyong and San Juan had each attained the minimum
requirement of 250,000 inhabitants to justify their separation into 2
legislative districts (see Held/Ratio #2).
3. RA 7675 violates the present limit on the number of representatives
as set forth in Art VI, Sec 5(1) of the Constitution (see Held/Ratio
#3).
4. Sec 49 of RA 7675 preempts the right of Congress to reapportion
legislative districts (see Held/Ratio #4).
5. (TOPICAL) The people of San Juan should have been made to
participate in the plebiscite on RA 7675 as it involved a change in
their legislative district (see Held/Ratio #5).
6. RA 7675 has resulted in "gerrymandering" (see Held/Ratio #6).

Respondents arguments:
1. The statutory conversion of Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized
city with a population of not less than 250,000 complies with the "1
city-1 representative" proviso in the Constitution: Each city with a
population of at least 250,000, or each province, shall have at least 1
representative" [Art VI, Sec 5(3)].
2. With regards to gerrymandering, Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, the author
of RA 7675, is the incumbent rep of the former San
Juan/Mandaluyong district. By dividing San Juan/Mandaluyong,
Rep. Zamora's constituency has been diminished, which could hardly
be considered as favorable to him.
Issue: WON the plebiscite was held pursuant to Sec 10 of the LGC (YES)
Held/Ratio:
1. The creation of a separate congressional district for Mandaluyong is
not a subject separate and distinct from the subject of its conversion
into a highly urbanized city but is a natural and logical consequence
of its conversion into a highly urbanized city.
2. It is not required that all laws emanating from the legislature must
contain all relevant data considered by Congress in the enactment of
said laws.
3. Art VI, Sec 5(1) of the Constitution shows that the present limit of
250 members is not absolute. The Constitution clearly provides that
the House of Rep shall be composed of not more than 250 members,
"unless otherwise provided by law." It means that the present
composition of Congress may be increased, if Congress itself so
mandates through a legislative enactment. Thus, the increase in
congressional representation mandated by RA 7675 is constitutional.
4. It was Congress itself which drafted, deliberated upon and enacted
RA 7675, including Sec 49 thereof. Congress cannot possibly
preempt itself on a right which pertains to itself.
5. (TOPICAL) The principal subject involved in the plebiscite was the
conversion of Mandaluyong into a highly urbanized city. The matter
of separate district representation was only ancillary thereto. Thus,
the inhabitants of San Juan were properly excluded from the
plebiscite as they had nothing to do with the change of status of
Mandaluyong.
6. Respondent Sol-Gen is correct (see Respondents arguments #2).

Municipality of San Narciso Quezon, et. al. v. Hon. Mendez, et. al. (1994)
Doctrine: 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, subject to the usual qualification against impairment of vested
rights.
Facts:
In 1959, President Garcia issued E.O. 353 creating the municipal
district of San Andres Quezon by segregating some barrios from the
municipality of San Narciso. In 1965, E.O. 174 officially recognized
San Andres to have gained the status of a fifth class municipality.
In 1989, the municipality of San Narciso filed a petition for quo
warranto against the officials of San Andres. The petition sought the
declaration of nullity of E.O. 353 and prayed that the local officials
be permanently ordered to refrain from performing the duties and
functions of their respective offices.
Petitioners argument:
E.O. 353 as a presidential act was a clear usurpation of the inherent
powers of the legislature (Pelaez v. Auditor General).
An unconstitutional act is not a law, creates no office and is
inoperative such as though it has never been passed.
Sec. 442 (d) of the Loc. Gov. Code (reproduced below) was
inapplicable to the municipality of San Andres since the enactment
referred to legally existing municipalities and not to those whose
mode of creation had been void ab initio.
Even assuming that the enactment of the Loc. Gov. Code converted
the municipality of San Andres into a de facto municipality,
petitioner municipality had acquired a vested right to seek the
nullification of Executive Order No. 353 since the petition for quo
warranto had been filed prior to the passage of said law.
Respondents arguments:
Since it was at the instance of petitioner municipality that the
municipality of San Andres was given life through E.O. 353,
petitioner municipality is estopped from questioning the creation of
the new municipality.
Because the municipality of San Andres has been in existence since
1959, its corporate personality could no longer be assailed.

Petitioner municipality was not the proper party to bring the action in
a petition for quo warranto, the State acting through the Solicitor
General being the proper one.
The case has become moot and academic with the enactment of the
Loc. Gov. Code, specifically citing Sec. 442 (d):
Municipalities existing as of the date of the effectivity of this
Code shall continue to exist and operate as such. Existing
municipal districts organized pursuant to presidential
issuances or executive orders and which have their
respective set of elective municipal officials holding office at
the time of the effectivity of this Code shall henceforth be
considered as regular municipalities.

Issue/s:
WON the enactment of the Loc. Gov. Code converted the
municipality of San Andres, which was created by an Executive
Order, into a de facto municipal corporation (YES)
Held:
It was only after almost 30 years that the municipality of San Narciso
decided to challenge the legality of E.O. 353. In the meantime, San
Narciso and San Andres began and continued to exercise the powers
and authority of a duly created local government unit. Public interest
demands that a quo warranto proceeding challenging the legality of a
political subdivision must be timely raised.
Granting that E.O. 353 was void for being an unconstitutional
delegation of legislative power, peculiar circumstances in this case
evidences that San Andres has attained a status of a de facto
municipal corporation.
San Andres had been in existence for more than 6 years when Pelaez
v. Auditor General was promulgated. The ruling could have sounded
the call for a similar declaration of the unconstitutionality of E.O.
353.
Certain governmental acts evidences the States recognition of the
continued existence of San Andres.
After 5 years as a municipal district, E.O. 174 classified it as a
fifth class municipality.
Sec. 31 of BP. 129 considered San Andres to have been covered
by the 10th Municipal Circuit Court of San Francisco-San Andres
for the province of Quezon.
Under the ordinance apportioning the seats of the House of
Representatives, San Andres has been considered to be one of

the 12 municipalities composing the Third District of the


province of Quezon.
Sec. 442 (d) of the Loc. Gov. Code gives the effect 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.
Indeed, 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, subject to
the usual qualification against impairment of vested rights.

Navarro v Executive Secretary (2010)


Doctrine: Allegations of fraud and irregularities during the
plebiscite cannot be resolved in a special civil action for certiorari
Facts:
1. PGMA approved into law R.A. No. 9355 (An Act Creating the Province
of Dinagat Islands).
2. COMELEC conducted the mandatory plebiscite for the ratification of the
creation of the province under the Local Government Code (LGC) which
resulted in the approval of the people from both the mother province
of Surigao del Norte and the Province of Dinagat Islands (Dinagat).
a. Whether the local government units directly affected approved of
the creation of the Province of Dinagat Islands into a distinct and
independent province comprising the municipalities of Basilisa,
Cagdianao, Dinagat, Libjo (Albor), Loreto, San Jose, and Tubajon.
b. The result of the plebiscite yielded 69,943 affirmative votes and
63,502 negative votes.
3. Petitioners Navarro, Bernal and Medina as taxpayers filed a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeking to nullify RA
9355 for being unconstitutional.
Petitioners arguments:
1. Navarro, Bernal and Medina prayed that R.A. No. 9355 be declared
unconstitutional, and that all subsequent appointments and elections to
the new vacant positions in the newly created Province of Dinagat
Islands be declared null and void. They also prayed for the return of the
municipalities of the Province of Dinagat Islands and the return of the
former districts to the mother Province of Surigao del Norte.
2. Navarro, Bernal and Medina allege that the creation of the Dinagat
Islands as a new province, if uncorrected, perpetuates an illegal act of
Congress, and unjustly deprives the people of Surigao del Norte of a
large chunk of its territory, Internal Revenue Allocation and rich
resources from the area.
3. Navarro, Bernal and Medina contend that the 100% turnout of voters in
the precincts of San Jose, Basilisa, Dinagat, Cagdianao and Libjo was
contrary to human experience, and that the results were statistically
improbable. Petitioners admit that they did not file any electoral protest
questioning the results of the plebiscite, because they lacked the means to
finance an expensive and protracted election case.

Respondents arguments:
1. Respondent Governor Geraldine B. Ecleo-Villaroman of the Province of
Dinagat Islands contends that Navarro, Bernal and Medina do not have
the legal standing to question the constitutionality of the creation of the
Province of Dinagat, since they have not been directly injured by its
creation and are without substantial interest over the matter in
controversy.
2. Governor Ecleo-Villaroman alleges that the petition is moot and
academic because the existence of the Province of Dinagat Islands has
already commenced; hence, the petition should be dismissed.
Issue: WON the result of the plebiscite is credible and truly reflects the
mandate of the people. Yes.
Held/Ratio:
1.
Allegations of fraud and irregularities in the conduct of a plebiscite are
factual in nature; hence, they cannot be the subject of this special civil
action for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, which is a
remedy designed only for the correction of errors of jurisdiction,
including grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction.
2. Navarro, Bernal and Medina should have filed the proper action with the
Commission on Elections. However, Navarro, Bernal and Medina
admittedly chose not to avail themselves of the correct remedy.

CHAPTER IV
Calanza v. PICOP (2009)
Doctrine: Sangunniang Panlungsods exercise original jurisdiction over
boundary disputes. The RTC exercises appellate jurisdiction over said
disputes.
Facts:
! Petitioners filed with the Mines and Geo-Sciences Development Service
of the DENR of Davao City applications for small-scale mining permits
for the purpose of extracting gold.
! The governor of Davao Oriental approved the applications and issued six
small-scale mining permits
! The mining areas applied for by petitioners were within PICOPs
logging concession area under Timber License Agreements. Petitioners
negotiated with PICOP for their entry but were turned down on the ff
grounds:
o PICOP has the exclusive right of occupation, possession and
control over the area being a logging concessionaire thereof;
o Petitioners 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.
Petitioners arguments:
Petitioners filed a Complaint with the RTC of Davao Oriental for Injunction
with Prayer for the Issuance of a Restraining Order, Damages and Attorneys
Fees against PICOP.
! Prayer: PICOP or its agent be enjoined from preventing and prohibiting
them from entering into the mining site.
Respondents arguments:
PICOP: RTC of Davao Oriental has no jurisdiction over the complaint:
! The issuance of petitioners permits were void ab initio for violating
Section 5 of Republic Act No. 7076, otherwise known as the Peoples
Small-Scale Mining Act of 1991, which allegedly prohibits the issuance
of mining permits over areas covered by forest rights such as TLAs or
forest reservations unless their status as such is withdrawn by the
competent authority.
Issue/s:
WON the RTC of Davao Orinetal has jurisdiction: NO.

Held/Ratio:
There is boundary dispute when a portion or the whole of the territorial area
of a Local Government Unit (LGU) is claimed by two or more LGUs.
Section 118 of the 1991 Local Government Code
! Sec. 118. Jurisdictional Responsibility for Settlement of Boundary
Dispute. Boundary disputes between and among local government
units shall, as much as possible, be settled amicably. To this end:
(a) Boundary disputes involving two (2) or more barangays in the
same city or municipality shall be referred for settlement to
the sangguniang panlungsod or sangguniang bayan concerned.
(b) Boundary disputes involving two (2) or more municipalities
within the same province shall be referred for settlement to
the sangguniang panlalawigan concerned.
(c) Boundary disputes involving municipalities or component
cities of different provinces shall be jointly referred for
settlement to the sanggunians of the provinces concerned.
(d) Boundary disputes involving a component city or municipality on
the one hand and a highly urbanized city on the other, or two (2) or
more highly urbanized cities, shall be jointly referred for settlement
to the respective sanggunians of the parties.
(e) In the event the sanggunian fails to effect an amicable settlement
within sixty (60) days from the date the dispute was referred thereto,
it shall issue a certification to that effect. Thereafter, the dispute shall
be formally tried by the sanggunian concerned which shall decide
the issue within sixty (60) days from the date of the certification
referred to above.
*Sanggunians = the provincial boards of the different provinces
Section 119 of the 1991 Local Government Code
! Appeal. - Within the time and manner prescribed by the Rules of Court,
any party may elevate the decision of the sanggunian concerned to the
proper Regional Trial Court having jurisdiction over the area in dispute x
x x.
The RTC does not have original nor appellate jurisdiction.
! 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.

! Neither can the RTC assume original jurisdiction over the boundary
dispute since the Local Government Code allocates such power to the
sangguniang panlalawigans of Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur.
___
Other issue:
Petitioners small-scale mining permits are legally questionable.
Republic Act No. 7076
! Approval of the applications for mining permits and for mining contracts
are vested in the Provincial/City Mining Regulatory Board.
! The governor of Davao Oriental is not competent to issue the permits.

City of Pasig v. COMELEC and Municipality of Cainta, Province of


Rizal
Municipality of Cainta, Province of Rizal v. COMELEC City of Pasig
(1999)
Facts:
1. Petitions in this case concern the propriety of suspension of
plebiscite proceedings pending the resolution of boundary disputes
between Cainta and Pasig City. The City of Pasig claims the
proposed Barangay Karangalan and proposed Barangay Napico as
areas under its jurisdiction while Cainta claims the proposed
barangays encroached upon areas within its jurisdiction
2. The City Council of Pasig passed and approved Ordinance 21, Series
of 1996, creating Barangay Karangalan upon the petition of residents
of Karangalan Village to be segregated from Barangays Manggahan
and Dela Paz. Plebiscite on the creation of the barangay was set.
3. City of Pasig also issued Ordinance 52, Series of 1996 creating
Barangay Napico, with a plebiscite also set.
4. Cainta sought to suspend or cancel the plebiscites and filed petitions
with the COMELEC.
5. COMELEC ruled in favor of Cainta and ordered the plebiscite for
Barangay Karangalan to be held in abeyance. The COMELEC
dismissed Caintas petition with respect to the plebiscite for the
creation of Barangay Napico for being moot, as the creation of the
said barangay has been ratified and pparoved by majority of the
votes cast in a plebiscite.
Cainta Argument: The proposed barangays involve areas included in the
boundary dispute subject of a pending case before RTC of Antipolo, Br. 74
for settlement of boundary dispute, so plebiscites should be suspend or
cancelled until the pending case has been decided by the court.
Pasig Argument: No prejudicial question is posed by the boundary dispute
since a prejudicial question contemplates a civil and criminal action and does
not come into play where both cases are civil, as in the instant case
Issue: W/N the plebiscites scheduled for the creation of Barangays
Karangalan and Napico should be suspended or cancelled in view of the
pending boundary dispute between the two local governments.

Held/Ratio: YES
1. The civil case involving the boundary dispute between Cainta and
Pasig presents a prejudicial question w/c must first be decided before
the plebiscites for the creation of the barangays may be held.
a. Vidad v. RTC of Negros Oriental - In the interest of good
order, courts can suspend action on one case pending the
final outcome of another case closely interrelated or linked
to the first.
b. City of Pasig cannot deny that portions of the areas covered
by the proposed barangays are included in the boundary
dispute case pending before the Regional Trial Court of
Antipolo. Whether the areas in controversy shall be decided
as within the territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of
Cainta or the City of Pasig has material bearing to the
creation of the proposed Barangays Karangalan and
Napico.
i. Requisite for the creation of a barangay is for its
territorial jurisdiction to be properly identified by
metes and bounds or by more or less permanent
natural boundaries.
ii. Mariano, Jr. v. Commission on Elections
The boundaries [of a local government unit] must
be clear for they define the limits of the territorial
jurisdiction of a local government unit. It can
legitimately exercise powers of government only
within
the
limits
of
its
territorial
jurisdiction. Beyond these limits, its acts are ultra
vires.
2. Holding of a plebiscite with respect to Barangay Napico does not
render Caintas petition moot since the issues in Caintas petition
before COMELEC against the holding of a plebsicite is still pending
before the RTC of Antipolo.
a. Tan v. Commission on Elections Fact that plebiscite has
been held a new province proclaimed and its officials
appointed does not mean that the court cannot inquire into
the legality of the existence of the said new province.
DISPOSITIVE: Plebiscite on the creation of Barangay Karangalan must be
held in abeyance pending the resolution of the boundary dispute between
Cainta and Pasig in RTC Antipolo, and the plebiscite ratifying the creation of
Barangay Napico should be set aside.

MUNICIPALITY OF KANANGA, Represented by its Mayor, Hon.


GIOVANNI M. NAPARI, petitioner, vs. Hon. FORTUNITO L.
MADRONA, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Ormoc City
(Branch 35); and the CITY OF ORMOC, Represented by its Mayor,
Hon. EUFROCINO M. CODILLA SR.,respondents. (2003)

(d) Boundary disputes involving a component city or municipality


on the one hand and a highly urbanized city on the other, or two (2)
or more highly urbanized cities, shall be jointly referred for
settlement to the respective sanggunians of the parties.
(e) In the event the sanggunian fails to effect an amicable
settlement within sixty (60) days from the date the dispute was
referred thereto, it shall issue a certification to that effect.
Thereafter, the dispute shall be formally tried by the sanggunian
concerned which shall decide the issue within sixty (60) days from
the date of the certification referred to above.

Doctrine: Since there is no legal provision specifically governing jurisdiction


over boundary disputes between a municipality and an independent
component city, it follows that regional trial courts have the power and the
authority to hear and determine such controversy.
Facts:

Respondents arguments:

A boundary dispute arose between the Municipality of Kananga and


the City of Ormoc. By agreement, the parties submitted the issue to amicable
settlement. No amicable settlement was reached. The City of Ormoc filed
before the RTC of Ormoc City a complaint to settle the boundary dispute.
Petitioner municipality filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the court has
no jurisdiction over the subject matter, but the RTC denied the same.

In denying the petitioner's Motion to Dismiss, respondent held that:

Petitioners arguments:
Petitioner seeks to annul the Order issued by the RTC of Ormoc City
(Branch 35), denying the motion to dismiss.
Peitioner argues that:
the respondent court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter
of the claim;
there is no cause of action; and
a condition precedent for filing the complaint has not been
complied with

it had jurisdiction over the action under BP 129


Section 118 of the Local Government Code had been substantially
complied with, because both parties already had the occasion to meet
and thresh out their differences; both agreed to elevate the matter to
the trial court via a resolution.
Section 118 governed venue; hence, the parties could waive and
agree upon it under Section 4(b) of Rule 4 of the Rules of Court.

Issue / Held:
Whether respondent court may exercise original jurisdiction over the
settlement of a boundary dispute between a municipality and an
independent component city. YES
Ratio:
On the application of Section 118 of the LGC

Petitioner asserted in its Motion to Dismiss that Ormoc was an


independent chartered city, so Section 118 of the 1991 Local Government
Code (LGC) applies. It provides:
Sec. 118. Jurisdictional Responsibility for Settlement of Boundary
Disputes. Boundary disputes between and among local
government units shall, as much as possible, be settled amicably. To
this end:
xxx

Both parties aver that the governing law at the time of the filing of
the Complaint is Section 118 of the 1991 Local Government Code (LGC),
Under this provision, the settlement of a boundary dispute between a
component city or a municipality on the one hand and a highly urbanized city
on the other -- or between two or more highly urbanized cities -- shall be
jointly referred for settlement to the respective sanggunians of the local
government units involved.

There is no question that Kananga is a municipality constituted under


Republic Act No. 542.12. However, Ormoc is not a highly urbanized, but an
independent component, city created under Republic Act No. 179.
Sec. 89. Election of provincial governor and 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.
Under Section 451 of the LGC, a city may be either component or
highly urbanized. Ormoc is deemed an independent component city, because
its charter prohibits its voters from voting for provincial elective officials. It
is a city independent of the province. In fact, it is considered a component,
not a highly urbanized, city of Leyte in Region VIII by both BP 643, which
calls for a plebiscite; and the Omnibus Election Code, which apportions
representatives to the defunct Batasang Pambansa. There is neither a
declaration by the President of the Philippines nor an allegation by the parties
that it is highly urbanized.
Inasmuch as Section 118 of the LGC finds no application to the
instant case, the general rules governing jurisdiction should then be used. The
applicable provision is found in Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, otherwise known
as the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, as amended by Republic Act
No. 7691.
Since there is no law providing for the exclusive jurisdiction of any
court or agency over the settlement of boundary disputes between a
municipality and an independent component city of the same province,
respondent court committed no grave abuse of discretion in denying the
Motion to Dismiss. RTCs have general jurisdiction to adjudicate all
controversies except those expressly withheld from their plenary powers.
They have the power not only to take judicial cognizance of a case instituted
for judicial action for the first time, but also to do so to the exclusion of all
other courts at that stage. Indeed, the power is not only original, but also
exclusive.]
On condition precedent
A joint session was held, but no amicable settlement was reached. A
resolution to that effect was issued, and the sanggunians of both local

government units mutually agreed to bring the dispute to the RTC for
adjudication.

CHAPTER V

Issue/s: W/N a mayor can be compelled by mandamus to issue a business


permit.

Rimando v Naguilan Emission Testing Center


Held/Ratio:
Doctrine: A mayor cannot be compelled by mandamus to issue a business
permit because it is a discretionary act.
Facts:
Naguilan Emission (The Company) represented by its President Llarenas
filed a mandamus case before the RTC against Mayor Rimando of
Naguilian, La Union to compel the latter to issue a business permit.
The Company has been operating its Emission Testing business on a
previously government owned lot since 2005 which was already certified by
DENR to be alienable and disposable. In 2007 the Company applied for
renewal of business license but the mayor refused unless the company signs a
contract of lease with the municipality.
The RTC denied the petition ruling that the Municipality owned the lot hence
it had the right to compel a contract of lease based on the Revenue Code of
the Municipality. Also, the granting of a business permit is discretionary
hence it is not subject to an action of mandamus.
The CA disagreed saying that first the action is already moot since the
business period has already lapsed. Also the tax declaration in favor of the
Municiaplity was insufficient basis to require the contract of lease. Also
Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 2007-81 was void for failing to comply
with the LGC. CA held that the mayor cannot be held liable for damages
since it was the performance of official duties covered under the presumption
of good faith. Eitherway the action has been mooted since the term of the
mayor has already expired.
Petitioners arguments: (Note: include petitioners relief, position, and
legal basis)
Mayor Rimando in his MR argued that a petition for mandamus is not the
proper vehicle to determine the issue on the ownership of the subject land.
Respondents arguments: (Note: include respondents position, reason for
opposing petitioners claim, jurisprudence, and legal basis)
Same arguments as in the facts above. The case did not discuss Naguilans
arguments in detail.

No.
The SC agreed with the CA that the petition for mandamus has already
become moot and academic owing to the expiration of the period intended to
be covered by the business permit. The demanded permit for 2008-2009 has
already been superseded by the passage of time and the expiration of the
petitioners term as mayor.
Also, a mayor cannot be compelled by mandamus to issue a business permit
since the exercise of the same is a delegated police power hence,
discretionary in nature as pronounced in Roble Arrastre v Villaflor citing
Section 444(b)(3)(iv) of the LGC. As Section 444(b)(3)(iv) so states, the
power of the municipal mayor to issue licenses is pursuant to Section 16 of
the LGC (The General Welfare Clause)
Section 444(b)(3)(iv) of the Local Government Code of 1991, whereby the
power of the respondent mayor to issue license and permits is circumscribed,
is a manifestation of the delegated police power of a municipal corporation.
Necessarily, the exercise thereof 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.
Dissenting opinion: (if any)

Gancayco vs City Government of QC and MMDA (2011)


Sereno, J.
FACTS:
Retired Justice Gancayco bought a parcel of land along EDSA.
At the time when there was yet not Building Code, the QC council
issued Ordinace No. 2904, entitled An Ordinance Requiring the
Construction of Arcades, for Commercial Buildings to be
Constructed in Zones Designated as Business Zones in the Zoning
Plan of QC, and providing Penalties in Violation thereof.
o An Arcade is any portion of a building above the first floor
projecting over the sidewalk beyond the first storey wall
used as protection for pedestrians against rain or sun.

Under the Ordinance, the city council required that the


arcade is to be created by constructing the wall of the ground
floor facing the sidewalk a few meters away from the
property line. Thus, the building owner is not allowed to
construct his wall up to the edge of the property line, thereby
creating a space or shelter under the first floor. In effect,
property owners relinquish the use of the space for use as an
arcade for pedestrians, instead of using it for their own
purposes.
The ordinance covered the property of Justice Gancayco.
o Sometime in 1965, Justice Gancayco sought the exemption
of a two-storey building being constructed on his property
from the application of Ordinance No. 2904 that he be
exempted from constructing an arcade on his property.
o City Council acted favorably on Justice Gancaycos request
and issued Resolution No. 7161, S-66, subject to the
condition that upon notice by the City Engineer, the owner
o

shall, within reasonable time, demolish the enclosure of said


arcade at his own expense when public interest so demands.
Decades after, in March 2003, the MMDA conducted operations to
clear obstructions along the sidewalk of EDSA in Quezon City
pursuant to Metro Manila Councils (MMC) Resolution No. 02-28,
Series of 2002 which authorized the MMDA and local government
units to clear the sidewalks, streets, avenues, alleys, bridges, parks
and other public places in Metro Manila of all illegal structures and
obstructions.
o MMDA sent a notice of demolition to Justice Gancayco
alleging that a portion of his building violated the National
Building Code of the Philippines (Building Code) in relation
to Ordinance No. 2904. The MMDA gave him 15 days to
clear the portion of the building that was supposed to be an
arcade along EDSA.
o Justice Gancayco did not comply with the notice. After the
lapse of the 15 days, the MMDA proceeded to demolish the
party wall, or what was referred to as the wing walls, of
the ground floor structure. At the time of the demolition, the
affected portion of the building was being used as a
restaurant.
Justice Gancayco filed a petition for TRO/Preliminary Injunction
seeking to prohibit the MMDA and City Government of QC from
demolishing his property.

Petitioners Arguments:
That the ordinance authorized the taking of private property without
due process of law and just compensation, because the construction
of an arcade will require 67.5 square meters from the 375 square
meter property.
That the ordinance was selective and discriminatory in its scope and
application when it allowed the owners of the buildings located in
the Quezon City-San Juan boundary to Cubao Rotonda, and Balete to
Seattle Streets to construct arcades at their option (questioning the
zoning created by QC).
Alternately, he prayed for the payment of just compensation should
the court hold the ordinance valid.
Respondents Arguments:
That the ordinance was a valid exercise of police power, regulating
the use of property in a business zone. It is not an exercise of the

power of eminent domain that will entitle the petitioner just


compensation.
That Justice Gancayco could not seek the nullification of an
ordinance that he had already violated, and that the ordinance
enjoyed the presumption of constitutionality.

ISSUE: WON the ordinance is constitutional (a valid exercise of police


power)
RULING: YES!
MMDA v. Bel-Air Village Association: Police power is an inherent
attribute of sovereignty. It has been defined as the power vested by
the Constitution in the legislature to make, ordain, and establish all
manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes and ordinances,
either with penalties or without, not repugnant to the Constitution, as
they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the
commonwealth, and for the subjects of the same. The power is
plenary and its scope is vast and pervasive, reaching and justifying
measures for public health, public safety, public morals, and the
general welfare. It bears stressing that police power is lodged
primarily in the National Legislature. It cannot be exercised by any
group or body of individuals not possessing legislative power. The
National Legislature, however, may delegate this power to the
President and administrative boards as well as the lawmaking bodies
of municipal corporations or local government units. Once delegated,
the agents can exercise only such legislative powers as are conferred
on them by the national lawmaking body.
o Is there a valid delegation of police power in this case? YES!
# Congress expressly granted the city government,
through the city council, police power by virtue of
Republic Act No. 537, or the Revised Charter of
Quezon City.
# On the powers of the city government to regulate the
construction of buildings, the Charter also expressly
provided that the city government had the power to
regulate the kinds of buildings and structures that
may be erected within fire limits and the manner of
constructing and repairing them.
o Is the issuing of a zoning ordinance a valid exercise of the
police power delegated? YES!
# Social Justice Society v. Atienza: The power to
establish zones for industrial, commercial and

residential uses is derived from the police power


itself and is exercised for the protection and benefit
of the residents of a locality.
In the case at bar, it is clear that the primary objectives of the city
council of Quezon City when it issued the questioned ordinance
ordering the construction of arcades were the health and safety of the
city and its inhabitants; the promotion of their prosperity; and the
improvement of their morals, peace, good order, comfort, and the
convenience. These arcades provide safe and convenient passage
along the sidewalk for commuters and pedestrians, not just the
residents of Quezon City. More especially so because the contested
portion of the building is located on a busy segment of the city, in a
business zone along EDSA.
OBITER: MMDA illegally demolished the property of Justice
Gancayco. The penalty prescribed by Ordinance No. 2904 itself does
not include the demolition of illegally constructed buildings in case
of violations. Instead, it merely prescribes a punishment of a fine of
not more than two hundred pesos (P200.00) or by imprisonment of
not more than thirty (30) days, or by both such fine and
imprisonment at the discretion of the Court.

The Learning Child and Spouses Alfonso v Ayala Alabang Homeowners


Association (2010)
Facts:
1. Ayala Land, Inc. sold a parcel of land to the spouses Yuson. Spouses
Yuson subsequently sold the same to the spouses Alfonso. A Deed of
Restrictions was annotated in TCT No. 149166 issued to the spouses
Alfonso, as had been required by ALI, indicating that: "the property shall
be used exclusively for... a preparatory (nursery and kindergarten)
school, which may include such installations as an office for school
administration, playground and garage for school vehicles."
2. Ayala Land turned over the right and power to enforce the restrictions on
the property to the Ayala Alabang Village Association.
3. Spouses Alfonso opened The Learning Child Center Pre-school, a
preparatory school initially consisted of nursery and kindergarten classes.
Later, TLC was expanded to include a grade school program, the School
of the Holy Cross, which provided additional grade levels as the pupils
who initially enrolled advanced.
4. AAVA wrote several letters to TLC and the spouses Alfonso, (1)
protesting the TLCs and the spouses Alfonsos violation of the Deed of
Restrictions, (2) requesting them to comply with the same, and (3)
ordering them to desist from operating the grade school and from
operating the nursery and kindergarten classes in excess of the two
classrooms allowed by the ordinance.
5. AAVA filed with the RTC an action for injunction,
(1) alleging breach of contract by the defendant spouses, particularly of
the Deed of Restrictions, the contents of which likewise appear in the
Deed of Absolute Sale.
(2) It also alleged violation of
(a) MMC Ordinance No. 81-01, otherwise known as the
Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance for the National Capital Region,
which classified Ayala Alabang Village for zoning purposes as a
low-density residential area, or R-1, thereby limiting the use of the
subject property to the establishment or operation of a nursery and
kindergarten school, which should not exceed two classrooms, and
(b) Barangay Ordinance No. 03, Series of 1991, prohibited parking
on either side of any street measuring eight meters in width. TLC
is adjacent to Balabac and Cordillera Streets, which are both less
than eight meters in width. AAVA prayed that defendants be
restrained from continuing the operation of the school.
RTC
rendered
its Decision in favor of AAVA, ruling that the operation
6
of the grade school and the nursery and kindergarten classes in excess of two

classrooms was in violation of a contract to which the defendants are bound.


The restrictions were an easement which an owner of a real estate may
validly impose. Furthermore, by allowing parking on either side of the streets
adjacent to the school, the defendants likewise violated Barangay Ordinance
No. 3.
7 TLC and the spouses Alfonso filed a MR, alleging that with the passage
of Muntinlupa Zoning Ordinance No. 91-39 reclassifying the subject
property as institutional, there ceased to be a legal basis for the RTC to
uphold the Deed of Restrictions on the title of the spouses Alfonso.
8 The RTC agreed with the spouses Alfonso and set aside its earlier
Decision, ruling that with the reclassification by Muntinlupa Zoning
Ordinance No. 91-39 of the subject property, the earlier residential
classification can no longer be enforced.
9 Citing Ortigas & Co. Limited Partnership v. Feati Bank & Trust Co.,
while non-impairment of contracts is constitutionally guaranteed, the rule is
not absolute since it has to be reconciled with the legitimate exercise of
police power by the municipality.
10 AAVA moved for a reconsideration of the above RTC Order, which the
RTC denied.
11 AAVA filed a Notice of Appeal. The CA set aside the RTC Resolution,
reinstating the earlier RTC decision.
12 TLC and the spouses Alfonso moved for a reconsideration. The CA
denied the MR.
13 TLC and the spouses Alfonso filed Petition for Review with the SC.
14 The Municipality of Muntinlupa passed Resolution No. 94-179
correcting an alleged typographical error in the description of a parcel of land
under the heading Institutional Zone in Appendix B of Ordinance No. 9139, adjusting the description Lot 25, Block 1, Phase V, Ayala Alabang to
Lot 25, Block 3, Phase V, Ayala Alabang. Lot 25, Block 3, Phase V is the
subject property wherein TLC is located.
15 The Municipality wrote a letter to the Metropolitan Manila Zoning
Administration Office, informing the latter of the enactment of Muntinlupa
Resolution No. 94-179. The Municipality filed a Petition for the approval of
Resolution No. 94-179 with the HLURB.
16 HLURB issued its Resolution, deferring action and remanding the same
to the Sanguniang Bayan of Muntinlupa for the conduct of the required
public hearings as mandated by the Uniform Guidelines for Rezoning of the
Metro Manila Area.
17 Resolution No. 94-179 is not a case of a mere correction of an error but
an actual rezoning of the property into an institutional area, and therefore
remanded the same to the Sanguniang Bayan of Muntinlupa for the conduct
of the required public hearings.

18 The Municipality of Muntinlupa, TLC and the spouses Alfonso appealed


the HLURB Resolution to the Office of the President.
19 OP rendered its Decision, holding that Resolution No. 94-179 is a mere
rectifying issuance to an alleged typographical error in Ordinance No. 91-39,
and therefore does not need for its validity compliance with the mandatory
requirements of notice and hearing.
20 The OP likewise ruled that Ayala Corporation agreed that the lot (shall)
be used for school and related activities, thereby effectively freeing the
appellants from the deed restriction that the Lots (shall) be used exclusively
for residential purposes.
21 The Muntinlupa Zoning Ordinance itself classifies the area occupied by
the appellants school as an institutional zone and not a residential area.
22 AAVA and the adjacent property owners filed a Petition for Review with
the CA. The CA agreed with the Office of the President that being merely a
rectifying issuance and not a rezoning enactment, the questioned Resolution
did not have to comply with the mandatory requirements of notice and
hearing.
23 However, the CA found the OP to have exceeded its authority when it
ruled that the Deed of Restrictions had lost its force and effect in view of the
passage of Ordinance No. 91-39.
Petitioners arguments:
Petitioner: The Learning Child Inc and Sps Alfonso, owners of TLC
Effect of Ordinance No. 91-39:
TLC and the spouses Alfonso insist on the applicability of Ortigas in
the case at bar, and likewise cited Presley v. Bel-Air Village
Association, Inc. in order to drive home its point that reclassification of
properties is a valid exercise of the states police power, with which
contractual obligations should be reconciled.
Deed of Restrictions: The AAVA had allegedly abrogated said restrictions
by its own acts.
1. AAVA Village Manager admitted bthat AAVA had previously
approved the proposed construction of a school building with 24 classrooms
2. While the case was submitted for resolution with the CA, AAVA
authorized the construction of a new school building extension.
3. ALI itself requested the reclassification of the subject property as
institutional
4. ALI assented to the reclassification of the subject property to
institutional

Respondents arguments:
Respondents: AAVA
Muntinlupa Resolution No. 94-179:
Muntinlupa Resolution No. 94-179 is not a mere rectifying enactment
and that Notice and hearing are required under the Uniform Guidelines
for the Rezoning of the Metropolitan Manila Area, contained in
Resolution No. 12, series of 1991, of the then Metropolitan Manila
Commission.
Even assuming arguendo that there was a typographical error in the
said zoning ordinance, the proper remedy is to legislate a new zoning
ordinance, following all the formalities therefor, citing the leading case
of Resins, Incorporated v. Auditor General.
The power to evaluate, approve or disapprove zoning ordinances lies
with the HLURB under Article IV, Section 5(b) of Executive Order
No. 648. The decisions of administrative agencies on matters
pertaining to their jurisdiction will generally not be disturbed by the
courts.
Effect of Ordinance No. 91-39:
Even where the exercise of police power is valid, the same does not
operate to automatically negate all other legal relationships in existence
since the better policy is to reconcile the conflicting rights and to
preserve both instead of nullifying one against the other, citing the case
of Co v. Intermediate Appellate Court.[37] AAVA thus adopt the
finding of the Court of Appeals that even assuming that the subject
property has been validly reclassified as an institutional zone, there is
no real conflict between the Deed of Restrictions and said
reclassification.
Issue/s:
1. W/N Muntinlupa Resolution No. 94-179 is valid;
2. W/N TLC and the spouses Alfonso should be enjoined from continuing the
operation of a grade school in the subject property.
a. W/N Muntinlupa Municipal Ordinance No. 91-39, as allegedly
corrected by Muntinlupa Resolution No. 91-179, has the effect of nullifying
the provisions of the Deed of Restrictions on the subject property; and
b. W/N AAVA is estopped from enforcing the Deed of Restrictions.

Held/Ratio:
Validity of Muntinlupa Resolution No. 94-179. Muntinlupa Resolution No.
94-179, being a mere corrective issuance, is not invalidated by the lack of
notice and hearing as AAVA contends.
The purpose of Muntinlupa Resolution No. 94-179 is clearly set forth in its
whereas clauses. There was indeed a typographical error in Appendix B of
Ordinance No. 91-39 is the fact that both the Official Zoning Map of
Muntinlupa and that of the Ayala Alabang Village show that the subject
property, described as Lot 25, Block 3, Phase V of Ayala Alabang is
classified as institutional.
Neither the Official Zoning Map of
Muntinlupa nor that of the Ayala Alabang Village classify Lot 25, Block
1, Phase V of Ayala Alabang as institutional.
Resins was decided on the principle of separation of powers, that the
judiciary should not interfere with the workings of the executive and
legislative branches of government. In Resins, there is a presumption of
regularity in favor of the enrolled bill, which the courts should not
speculate on. In the case at bar, it is the curative Muntinlupa Resolution
No. 94-179 which is entitled to a presumption of regularity.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the Decision of the OP, which had set aside
the HLURB ruling. The authority of the HLURB is subordinate to that of
the OP and the acts of the former may be set aside by the latter. The
HLURB and the then MMC were both tasked to regulate the rezoning of
the Metropolitan Manila area. The then Municipality of Muntinlupa
submitted Resolution No. 94-179 to both the HLURB and the MMC for
their appropriate action. The MMC approved Muntinlupa Resolution No.
94-179, and this approval should be given more weight than the
disapproval of the HLURB since it was the MMC itself which issued the
Uniform Guidelines for the Rezoning of the Metropolitan Manila Area
(MMC Resolution No. 12, Series of 1991), the issuance alleged by AAVA
to have been violated by the Municipality of Muntinlupa.
Effect of Ordinance No. 91-39, as corrected by Resolution No. 94-179 to the
Deed of Restrictions
The RTC cited the Ortigas case and held that the earlier residential
classification can no longer be enforced due to the reclassification by
Muntinlupa Municipal Ordinance No. 91-39 of the subject property.

In Ortigas, the restriction of exclusive use for residential purposes was


contained in the Deeds of Sale of the subject properties at the
insistence of developer Ortigas & Co. and was annotated in the
corresponding titles thereof. Feati Bank and Trust Co. eventually
acquired the subject properties from the successor-in-interest of the
original buyers; the deeds of sale and the TCTs issued likewise
reflected the same restriction. The then Municipal Council of
Mandaluyong passed a Resolution declaring the area to which the
subject property is situated as an industrial and commercial zone.
Ortigas & Co. later on sued Feati Bank, seeking an injunction to
restrain the latter from completing a commercial bank building on the
premises. The Court held that the Mandaluyong Resolution was passed
in the exercise of police power. Since the motives behind the passage
of the questioned resolution is reasonable, and it being a legitimate
response to a felt public need, not whimsical or oppressive, the nonimpairment of contracts clause of the Constitution will not bar the
municipalitys exercise of police power.
The CA set aside the RTC Resolution and reinstated the original RTC
Decision enjoining TLC and the spouses Alfonso from the operation of the
school beyond nursery and kindergarten classes with a maximum of two
classrooms. The CA held that there is no conflict between the Deed of
Restrictions, which limited the use of the property for the establishment of
a preparatory school, and the provisions of the Muntinlupa Zoning
Ordinance No. 91-39, which reclassified the subject property as
institutional.
The Court of Appeals continued that there are valid grounds for it not to
apply the Ortigas case cited by the RTC Resolution, holding that while the
subject property in said case was found in an area classified as industrial
and commercial, a study of the location of defendants school would
clearly reveal that the same is situated within a residential area the
exclusive Ayala Alabang Village.
The restriction limits the use of the subject property for preparatory
(nursery and kindergarten) school, without regard to the number of
classrooms. The two-classroom limit is actually imposed by MMC
Ordinance No. 81-01, the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance for the
National Capital Region, which classified Ayala Alabang Village as a low
density residential area or an R-1 zone.

The principal permitted uses of a low-density residential area or R-1


zone, is that no building, structure or land used, and no building or
structure shall be erected or altered in whole or in part except for one or
more of the following:" Nursery and kindergarten schools, provided that
they do not exceed two (2) classrooms."
However principal uses of an institutional site include "Nursery and
kindergarten schools;"
In the Ortigas case the Court ruled that "since it is now unprofitable, nay a
hazard to the health and comfort, to use Lots Nos. 5 and 6 for strictly
residential purposes, defendants-appellees should be permitted, on the
strength of the resolution promulgated under the police power of the
municipality, to use the same for commercial purposes. "
In the case at bar, the subject property, though declared as an institutional
lot, nevertheless lies within a residential subdivision and is surrounded by
residential lots. The area surrounding TLC did not undergo a radical
change similar to that in Ortigas but rather remained purely residential to
this day. The lot occupied by TLC is located along one of the smaller roads
within the subdivision. With its operation of both a preparatory and grade
school, TLCs student population had already swelled to around 350
students at the time of the filing of this case. The greater traffic generated
by TLCs expanded operations will affect the adjacent property owners
enjoyment and use of their own properties.
AAVAs and ALIs insistence on (1) the enforcement of the Deed of
Restrictions or (2) the obtainment of the approval of the affected residents
for any modification of the Deed of Restrictions is reasonable. The then
Municipality of Muntinlupa did not appear to have any special justification
for declaring the subject lot as an institutional property. The Municipal
Planning and Development Officer of Muntilupa, testified that in declaring
the subject property as institutional the municipality simply adopted the
classification used in a zoning map purportedly submitted by ALI itself.
It is therefore proper to reconcile the apparently conflicting rights of the
parties. In Ortigas, the court ruled that "the zoning ordinance, while valid
as a police measure, was not intended to affect existing rights protected by
the impairment clause. It is always a wise policy to reconcile apparently

conflicting rights under the Constitution and to preserve both instead of


nullifying one against the other."
Deed of Restrictions. It cannot be said that AAVA abrogated the Deed of
Restrictions. Neither could it be deemed estopped from seeking the
enforcement of said restrictions.
Estoppel by deed is a bar which precludes one party from asserting as
against the other party and his privies any right or title in derogation of the
deed, or from denying the truth of any material facts asserted in it."
TLC and the spouses Alfonso failed to prove by clear and convincing
evidence the gravity of AAVAs acts so as to bar the latter from insisting
compliance with the Deed of Restrictions.
The alleged assent of AAVA to the construction of additional classrooms is
not at all inconsistent with the provisions of the Deed of Restrictions,
which merely limit the use of the subject property exclusively for the
establishment and maintenance thereon of a preparatory (nursery and
kindergarten) school which may include such installations as an office for
school administration, playground and garage school vehicles.
There was no intention on the part of AAVA to abrogate the Deed of
Restrictions nor to waive its right to have said restrictions enforced. A
thorough examination of the records of the case furthermore shows that
AAVA consistently insisted upon compliance with the Deed of
Restrictions

Ortigas & Co. v. FEATI Bank (1979)


NOTE: THE G.R. NO. AND DATE PROVIDED IN THE SYLLABUS
PERTAINS TO A DIFFERENT CASE. !
Doctrine: While non-impairment of contracts is constitutionally guaranteed,
the rule is not absolute, since it has to be reconciled with the legitimate
exercise of police power
Facts:
Plaintiff Ortigas is a limited partnership and defendant Feati Bank and
Trust Co. is a corporation duly organized and existing in accordance with
the laws of the Philippines.
o Ortigas & Co. is engaged in real estate business, developing and
selling lots to the public, particularly the Highway Hills Subdivision
along EDSA, Mandaluyong, Rizal.
On March 4, 1952, plaintiff, as vendor, and Augusto Padilla y Angeles
and Natividad Angeles, as vendees, entered into separate agreements of
sale on installments over two parcels of land, known as Lots Nos. 5 and
6, Block 31, of the Highway Hills Subdivision, situated at Mandaluyong,
Rizal.
On July 19, 1962, the said vendees transferred their rights and interests
over the aforesaid lots in favor of one Emma Chavez and upon
completion of payment of the purchase price, Ortigas & Co. executed the
corresponding deeds of sale in favor of the latter.
Both the agreements (of sale on installment) and the deeds of sale
contained the stipulations or restrictions which were later annotated in
the TCTs covering the lands in issue stating that:
1. The parcel of land subject of this deed of sale shall be used the
Buyer exclusively for residential purposes, and she shall not be
entitled to take or remove soil, stones or gravel from it or any other
lots belonging to the Seller.
2. All buildings and other improvements (except the fence) which
may be constructed at any time in said lot must be, (a) of strong
materials and properly painted, (b) provided with modern sanitary
installations connected either to the public sewer or to an approved
septic tank, and (c) shall not be at a distance of less than 2 meters
from its boundary lines.
Eventually, defendant-appellee FEATI Bank acquired Lots Nos. 5 and 6,
with TCT Nos. 101613 and 106092 issued in its name, respectively and
the building restrictions were also annotated therein.
Ortigas & Co. claims that the restrictions annotated in the TCTs were
imposed as part of its general building scheme designed for the

beautification and development of the Highway Hills Subdivision which


forms part of the big landed estate of plaintiff-appellant where
commercial and industrial sites are also designated or established.
FEATI Bank, upon the other hand, maintains that the area along the
western part of EDSA from Shaw Boulevard to Pasig River, has been
declared a commercial and industrial zone, per Resolution No. 27, dated
February 4, 1960 of the Municipal Council of Mandaluyong, Rizal. 9
o According to FEATI, Ortigas 'completely sold and transferred to
third persons all lots in said subdivision facing EDSA" and the
subject lots thereunder were acquired by it "only on July 23, 1962
or more than 2 years after the area ... had been declared a
commercial and industrial zone ...
On or about May 5, 1963, FEATI Bank began laying the foundation and
commenced the construction of a building on Lots Nos. 5 and 6, to be
devoted to banking purposes, but which it claims could also be devoted
to, and used exclusively for, residential purposes.
The following day, Ortigas & Co. demanded in writing that FEATI Bank
stop the construction of the commercial building on the said lots.
o FEATI Bank refused to comply with the demand, contending that the
building was being constructed in accordance with the zoning
regulations, it having filed building and planning permit applications
with the Municipality of Mandaluyong, and it had accordingly
obtained building and planning permits to proceed with the
construction.
Ortigas & Co. filed a case against FEATI Bank before the trial court.
TC: upheld the position of FEATI Bank and dismissed the complaint,
holding that the subject restrictions were subordinate to Municipal
Resolution No. 27. It predicated its conclusion on the exercise of police
power of the said municipality, and stressed that private interest should
"bow down to general interest and welfare. " In short, it upheld the
classification by the Municipal Council of the area along EDSA as a
commercial and industrial zone, and held that the same rendered
"ineffective and unenforceable" the restrictions in question as against
FEATI Bank. The TC decision further emphasized that it "assumes said
resolution to be valid, considering that there is no issue raised by either
of the parties as to whether the same is null and void.
After its MR was denied, Ortigas & Co. filed a notice of appeal before
the SC there being only a question of law.

Petitioners arguments:
In its brief before the SC, Ortigas & Co. claims that the TC erred when
it sustained the view that Resolution No. 27, series of 1960 of the

Municipal Council of Mandaluyong, Rizal is valid because it did so in


the exercise of its police power and when it did not consider in its
decision the non-impairment of contractual obligations (pursuant to the
Constitution).
Respondents arguments:
Claims that Resolution No. 27 of the Municipal Council of
Mandaluyong, Rizal declaring the area involved as a commercial and
industrial zone is a valid exercise of police power pursuant to the
Constitution and can supersede contractual stipulations of the parties
involved.

o
Issue/s:
1. WON Resolution No. 27 is a valid exercise of police power
2. WON said Resolution can nullify or supersede the contractual
obligations assumed by FEATI Bank
Held/Ratio:
1. According to the SC, it is not proper to decide upon WON the TC erred
in sustaining the validity of Resolution No. 27 as an exercise of police
power because in the first place, the validity of the said resolution was
never questioned before the lower court.
The court said that as a rule, a question of law or of fact which may be
included in an appellant's assignment of errors if those have been raised
in the court below, and are within the issues framed by the parties so that
the other party may not be taken by surprise. ->For it is well-settled that
issues or defenses not raised or properly litigated or pleaded in the Court
below cannot be raised or entertained on appeal.
The court noted that in this particular case, the validity of the resolution
was admitted at least impliedly, in the stipulation of facts below when
plaintiff-appellant did not dispute the same.
o The only controversy left as stated by the TC was WON the
resolution of the Municipal Council of Mandaluyong prevails over
the restrictions constituting as encumbrances on the lots in question.
o Having admitted the validity of the subject resolution below, even if
impliedly, Ortigas & Co. cannot now change its position on appeal.
Furthermore, even assuming arguendo that it was not yet too late for
Ortigas & Co. to raise the issue of the invalidity of the municipal
resolution in question, the court was still of the opinion that its posture is
unsustainable.
o Section 3 of R.A. No. 2264 (Local Autonomy Act) empowers a
Municipal Council "to adopt zoning and subdivision ordinances or
regulations"; for the municipality.

Clearly, the law does not restrict the exercise of the power through
an ordinance. -> Thus, granting that Resolution No. 27 is not an
ordinance, it certainly is a regulatory measure within the intendment
or ambit of the word "regulation" under the provision.
The court noted that an examination of Section 12 of the same law
which prescribes the rules for its interpretation likewise reveals that
the implied power of a municipality should be "liberally construed in
its favor" and that "(A)ny fair and reasonable doubt as to the
existence of the power should be interpreted in favor of the local
government and it shall be presumed to exist."
The same section further mandates that the general welfare clause be
liberally interpreted in case of doubt, so as to give more power to
local governments in promoting the economic conditions, social
welfare and material progress of the people in the community.
The only exceptions under Section 12 are existing vested rights
arising out of a contract between "a province, city or municipality on
one hand and a third party on the other," in which case the original
terms and provisions of the contract should govern. -> However, the
court said that the exceptions clearly do not apply in this case.

2. Yes, it can.
According to the court, while non-impairment of contracts is
constitutionally guaranteed, the rule is not absolute, since it has to be
reconciled with the legitimate exercise of police power (i.e., "the power
to prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, education,
good order or safety and general welfare of the people).
o The court said that police power is "the most essential, insistent, and
illimitable of powers" and "in a sense, the greatest and most powerful
attribute of government, the exercise of the power may be judicially
inquired into and corrected only if it is capricious, 'whimsical, unjust
or unreasonable, there having been a denial of due process or a
violation of any other applicable constitutional guarantee.
o Philippine Long Distance Company vs. City of Davao, et al. ->police
power "is elastic and must be responsive to various social conditions;
it is not, confined within narrow circumscriptions of precedents
resting on past conditions; it must follow the legal progress of a
democratic way of life."
o Vda. de Genuino vs. The Court of Agrarian Relations, et al., "We do
not see why public welfare when clashing with the individual right to
property should not be made to prevail through the state's exercise of
its police power.

The SC said that Resolution No. 27 was obviously passed by the


Municipal Council of Mandaluyong, Rizal in the exercise of police
power to safeguard or promote the health, safety, peace, good order and
general welfare of the people in the locality.
o It explained that judicial notice may be taken of the conditions
prevailing in the area, especially where lots Nos. 5 and 6 are located
which not only front the highway; industrial and commercial
complexes have flourished about the place while EDSA supports an
endless stream of traffic and the resulting activity, noise and
pollution are hardly conducive to the health, safety or welfare of the
residents in its route.
o Having been expressly granted the power to adopt zoning and
subdivision ordinances or regulations, the municipality of
Mandaluyong, through its Municipal council, was reasonably, if not
perfectly, justified under the circumstances, in passing the subject
resolution.
As to the scope of police power, the court cited Calalang v. Williams et
al:
o (citing Dobbins v. Los Angeles) 'the right to exercise the police
power is a continuing one, and a business lawful today may in the
future, because of changed situation, the growth of population or
other causes, become a menace to the public health and welfare, and
be required to yield to the public good.'
o (citing People v. Pomar ) it was observed that 'advancing civilization
is bringing within the scope of police power of the state today things
which were not thought of as being with in such power yesterday.
Therefore, the state, in order to promote the general welfare, may
interfere with personal liberty, with property, and with business and
occupations. -> Persons may be subjected to all kinds of restraints and
burdens, in order to secure the general comfort health and prosperity of
the state and to this fundamental aim of our Government, the rights of the
individual are subordinated.
As for the need to reconcile the non-impairment clause of the
Constitution and the valid exercise of police power, the court cited the
US case of Helvering v. Davisthe conflict "between one welfare and
another, between particular and general was resolved as follows: Nor is
the concept of the general welfare static. Needs that were narrow or
parochial a century ago may be interwoven in our day with the wellbeing of the nation What is critical or urgent changes with the times.
According to the court, since the motives behind the passage of
Resolution No. 27 are reasonable, and it being a " legitimate response to
a felt public need," not whimsical or oppressive, the non-impairment of

contracts clause of the Constitution will not bar the municipality's proper
exercise of the power.
o It noted that police power legislation then is not likely to succumb to
the challenge that thereby contractual rights are rendered nugatory."
o Philippine American Life Ins. Co. v. Auditor General, Liberation
Steamship Co., Inc. v. Court of Industrial Relations and Maritime
Company of the Philippines v. Reparations Commission ->were also
cited by the court in support of its positionthat laws and reservation
of essential attributes of sovereign power are read into contracts
agreed upon by the parties.
The court also rejected Ortigas & Co.s unqualified reliance on American
jurisprudence and authorities to bolster its theory that the municipal
resolution in question cannot nullify or supersede the agreement of the
parties embodied in the sales contract, as that, it claims, would impair the
obligation of contracts in violation of the Constitution.
According to the court, the views set forth in American decisions and
authorities are not per se controlling in the Philippines, the laws of which
must necessarily be construed in accordance with the intention of its own
lawmakers and such intent may be deduced from the language of each
law and the context of other local legislation related thereto.
In conclusion, the court said that it is clear that even if the subject
building restrictions were assumed by the FEATI Bank as vendee of Lots
Nos. 5 and 6, the contractual obligations so assumed cannot prevail over
Resolution No. 27, of the Municipality of Mandaluyong, which has
validly exercised its police power through the said resolution.
Trial Court decision AFFIRMED.
Dissenting opinion:
ABAD SANTOS, J.
Asserts that Resolution No. 27 cannot be described as promotive of the
health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety and general
welfare of the people of Mandaluyong because accordingly, its effect is
the opposite.
o According to Justice Abad Santos, for the serenity, peace and quite
of a residential section would by the resolution be replaced by the
chaos, turmoil and frenzy of commerce and industry.
o Furthermore, to characterize the ordinance as an exercise of police
power would be retrogressive because it will set back all the efforts
of the Ministry of Human Settlements to improve the quality of life
especially in Metro Manila.

He concluded by saying that since Resolution No, 2-1 was not enacted in
the legitimate exercise of police power, it cannot impair the restrictive
covenants which go with the lands that were sold by the Ortigas & Co.

Social Justice Society v. Atienza, Jr. (2007)


Doctrine: Example of an LGU exercise of police power"Ordinance No.
8027 was enacted right after the Philippines, along with the rest of the world,
witnessed the horror of the September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers of
the World Trade Center in New York City. The objective of the ordinance is
to protect the residents of Manila from the catastrophic devastation that will
surely occur in case of a terrorist attack on the Pandacan Terminals. No
reason exists why such a protective measure should be delayed.
Facts:
S Nature: Original petition for mandamus in which petitioners Social
Justice Society (SJS), Vladimir Alarique T. Cabigao and Bonifacio
S. Tumbokon seek to compel respondent Hon. Jose L. Atienza, Jr.,
mayor of the City of Manila, to enforce Ordinance No. 8027.
S On November 20, 2001, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Manila
enacted Ordinance No. 8027. Respondent mayor approved the
ordinance. Ordinance No. 8027 was enacted pursuant to the police
power delegated to local government units, a principle described as
the power inherent in a government to enact laws, within
constitutional limits, to promote the order, safety, health, morals and
general welfare of the society. Ordinance No. 8027 reclassified the
area described therein from industrial to commercial and directed the
owners and operators of businesses disallowed under Section 1 to
cease and desist from operating their businesses within six months
from the date of effectivity of the ordinance. Among the businesses
situated in the area are the so-called "Pandacan Terminals" of the oil
companies Caltex (Philippines), Inc., Petron Corporation and
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation.
S However, on June 26, 2002, the City of Manila and the Department
of Energy (DOE) entered into a memorandum of understanding
(MOU) with the oil companies in which they agreed that "the scaling
down of the Pandacan Terminals [was] the most viable and
practicable option."
S The Sangguniang Panlungsod ratified the MOU in Resolution No.
97. In the same resolution, the Sanggunian declared that the MOU
was effective only for a period of six months starting July 25, 2002.
Thereafter, on January 30, 2003, the Sanggunian adopted Resolution
No. 13 extending the validity of Resolution No. 97 and authorizing
Mayor Atienza to issue special business permits to the oil companies.
Resolution No. 13, s. 2003 also called for a reassessment of the
ordinance.
S Petitioners filed this original action for mandamus praying that

Mayor Atienza be compelled to enforce Ordinance No. 8027 and


order the immediate removal of the terminals of the oil companies.
Petitioners arguments:
S Respondent has the mandatory legal duty, under Section 455 (b) (2)
of the Local Government Code (RA 7160), to enforce Ordinance
No. 8027 and order the removal of the Pandacan Terminals of the oil
companies.
Respondents arguments:
S Ordinance No. 8027 has been superseded by the MOU and the
resolutions.
S The ordinance and MOU are not inconsistent with each other and
that the latter has not amended the former. MOU did not in any way
prevent him from enforcing and implementing it. MOU should be
considered as a mere guideline for its full implementation." Court
notes that this is inconsistent with the first argument
Issue/s:
S WON a petition for mandamus is a proper remedy
S WON the MOU and Resolution Nos. 97, s. 2002 and 13, s. 2003 of
the Sanggunian can amend or repeal Ordinance No. 8027
Held/Ratio: Petition granted. Respondent Hon. Jose L. Atienza, Jr., as
mayor of the City of Manila, is directed to immediately enforce Ordinance
No. 8027.
S Under Rule 65, Section 3 of the Rules of Court, a petition for
mandamus may be filed when any tribunal, corporation, board,
officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act
which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office,
trust or station. Mandamus is an extraordinary writ that is employed
to compel the performance, when refused, of a ministerial duty that
is already imposed on the respondent and there is no other plain,
speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. The
petitioner should have a well-defined, clear and certain legal right to
the performance of the act and it must be the clear and imperative
duty of respondent to do the act required to be done. Mandamus will
not issue to enforce a right, or to compel compliance with a duty,
which is questionable or over which a substantial doubt exists. The
principal function of the writ of mandamus is to command and to
expedite, not to inquire and to adjudicate; thus, it is neither the office
nor the aim of the writ to secure a legal right but to implement that
which is already established. Unless the right to the relief sought is
unclouded, mandamus will not issue.

SJS states that it is a political party registered with the


Commission on Elections and has its offices in Manila. It
claims to have many members who are residents of Manila.
The other petitioners, Cabigao and Tumbokon, are allegedly
residents of Manila.
# A mandamus proceeding concerns a public right and
its object is to compel a public duty, the people who
are interested in the execution of the laws are
regarded as the real parties in interest and they need
not show any specific interest. Besides, as residents
of Manila, petitioners have a direct interest in the
enforcement of the citys ordinances. Respondent
never questioned the right of petitioners to institute
this proceeding.
o The Local Government Code imposes upon respondent the
duty, as city mayor, to "enforce all laws and ordinances
relative to the governance of the city." One of these is
Ordinance No. 8027. As the chief executive of the city, he
has the duty to enforce Ordinance No. 8027 as long as it has
not been repealed by the Sanggunian or annulled by the
courts. He has no other choice. It is his ministerial duty to do
so.
# In Dimaporo v. Mitra, Jr. : These officers cannot
refuse to perform their duty on the ground of an
alleged invalidity of the statute imposing the duty.
The reason for this is obvious. It might seriously
hinder the transaction of public business if these
officers were to be permitted in all cases to question
the constitutionality of statutes and ordinances
imposing duties upon them and which have not
judicially been declared unconstitutional. Officers of
the government from the highest to the lowest are
creatures of the law and are bound to obey it.
No need to resolve the second issue.
o Assuming that the terms of the MOU were inconsistent with
Ordinance No. 8027, the resolutions which ratified it and
made it binding on the City of Manila expressly gave it full
force and effect only until April 30, 2003. Thus, there is
nothing that legally hinders respondent from enforcing
Ordinance No. 8027.
o Ordinance No. 8027 was enacted right after the Philippines,
along with the rest of the world, witnessed the horror of the
o

September 11, 2001 attack on the Twin Towers of the World


Trade Center in New York City. The objective of the
ordinance is to protect the residents of Manila from the
catastrophic devastation that will surely occur in case of a
terrorist attack on the Pandacan Terminals. No reason exists
why such a protective measure should be delayed.

(Feb. 13, 2008)


SOCIAL JUSTICE SOCIETY (SJS), Vladimir Alarique T. Cabigao and
Bonifacio S. Tumbokon, petitioners,
vs.
Jose L. ATIENZA, JR., Mayor of City of Manila, respondent.
Intervenors: Department of Energy (representing the Government), Chevron
Phil., Petron and Pilipinas Shell (oil companies).
Doctrine: In the exercise of police power, property rights of individuals
may be subjected to restraints and burdens in order to fulfill the
objectives of the government.
However, the interference must be reasonable and not
arbitrary.
Facts:
This is a Motion for Reconsideration filed by intervenors Dept. of
Energy and the oil companies of the Courts decision on March 7, 2007.
The original action was a Petition for Mandamusfiled by SJS, Cabigao
and Tumbokon, seeking to compel Mayor Atienza to enforce Ordinance
8027. The ordinance reclassified an area covering the Pandacan Oil
Terminals of the oil companies from Industrial II to Commercial I. It also
directed the businesses which are disallowed under the new classification to
cease and desist from operating their businesses within six months from the
effectivity date.
Hence, this motion to intervene and MR.
The oil companies bring to the Couts attention that a case has been filed
by these oil companies in the Manila RTC 39 for the annulment of the
Ordinance 8027 and injunctive reliefs, which the RTC granted.
Thereafter, Manila city council passed another Ordinance known as
Manila Comprehensive Land Use Plan which was approved by the Mayor.
Because of this, the oil companies withdrew their complaint in RTC 39. Shell
and Chevron filed new cases in branch 20 , and Petron filed a new case in
branch 41.
Injunctive reliefs were prayed for against the new Ordinance which the
RTC branch 41 granted.
During the oral arguments, the parties also submitted to the Supreme
Court the issue of the constitutionality of Ordinance 8027, notwithstanding
the same issue is pending in the RTC.
NOTE: The question of constitutionality is the main issue dealing with
Powers of the Local Government.
I. Oil Companies arguments:

The oil companies mainly argue that the Ordinance is unfair and
oppressive since it does not only regulate but also absolutely prohibits them
from doing business.
It is also unfair and oppressive because they have already invested
billions of Pesos in the depot and its closure will result in huge losses in
income and tremendous costs in constructing new facilities.
They also take the position that the ordinance has discriminated against
them despite the fact many buildings in Pandacan do not comply with the
building code.
They also argue that 8027 is inconsistent with the DOE Act of 1992 and
the Oil Deregulation Law of 1998. They say that the legislature have
declared it a policy to ensure a continuous, adequate, and economic supply
of energy and that the DOE is empowered to administer programs for
distrbution, conservation, stockpiling, storage of energy resources. 8027
allegedly frustrates this state policy and
II. Respondents arguments:
Oil companies are merely prohibited from conducting operations in the
Pandacan area. They are not prohibited from conducting business in
appropriate zones in the City of Manila.
Respondent likewise counter that DOEs regulatory power does not
preclude LGUs from exercising their police power.
Issue/s:
2. W/N intervenors should be allowed to intervene?
3. W/N Branch 39 and Branch 41s injunctive reliefs are legal impediments
to the execution of the 2007 decision?
4. W/N the new Ordinance 8119 (Comprehensive Land Use Plan) is an
impediment to execution of Supreme Court 2007 decision?
5. W/N the Ordinance 8027 is constitutional?
Held/Ratio:
2. YES, they should be allowed to intervene because they have a real
interest. (non-topical)
3. No, the injunctive reliefs are not legal impediments to the execution of
the 2007 decision. While the intervenors were rightly granted the
injunctive reliefs by the RTC to prevent irreparable injury, the mere fact
that the ordinance is alleged to be unconstitutional or invalid will not
entitle a party to have its enforcement enjoined. The presumption is all in
favor of validity. (non-topical)

4. No, the new Ordinance 8119 did not supersede Ordinance 8027.
The Court was not informed of the new ordinance before it issued its
2007 decision. The law which direct the city courts to take judicial notice of
city ordinances is to take discretion away from the judge, it is not intended to
direct the court to actively search and monitor passed ordinances.
Also, the Court agrees with respondent that Ord. 8119 was merely meant
to carry over 8027s purpose. As can be gleaned from the minutes of the city
council sessions.
5. Yes, it is constitutional.
For an ordinance to be valid, it must be within the corporate powers of
the LGU to enact and 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.
Ordinance 8027 was passed by the city council in the exercise of its
police power. This power flows from the recognition that salus populi est
suprema lex (the welfare of the people is the supreme law).
Sec. 16 of the LGC is the General Welfare clause which states: Every
local government shall exercise the powers expressly granted. ..x x x.. the
preservation and enrichment of culture, promote health and safety, enhance
the right of the people to a balanced ecology
LGUs like the City of Manila exercise police power through their
respective legislative bodies. Sec. 458 of the LGC gives the power to enact
ordinances to the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
Sec 458 (2) (a) (viii) of the LGC grants the Sanggunian the power to
reclassify land within the jurisdiction of the city.
Police power of the city is also granted in the Revised Charter of Manila,
Sec. 18: To enact all ordinances it may deem necessary and proper for the
sanitation and safety, . general welfare of the city
In the exercise of police power, property rights of individuals may be
subjected to restraints and burdens in order to fulfill the objectives of the
government.
However, the interference must be reasonable and not arbitrary.
The Court agrees with the respondent that the oil companies are not
absolutely prohibited. As to the issue of loss of profits the court said that in

the exercise of police power, there is a limitation on or restriction of property


interests to promote public welfare which involves no compensable taking.
The restriction imposed to protect lives, public health and safety
from danger is not a taking. It is merely the prohibition or abatement of a
noxious use which interferes with paramount rights of the public.
Police power proceeds from the principle that every holder of property,
however absolute and unqualified may be his title, holds it under the implied
liability that his use of it shall not be injurious to the equal enjoyment of
others having an equal right to the enjoyment of their property, nor injurious
to the right of the community.
The properties of the oil companies and other businesses situated in the
affected area remain theirs. Only their use is restricted although they can be
applied to other profitable uses permitted in the commercial zone.
As to the argument that the ordinance has discriminated against the oil
companies, the court said: An ordinance based on reasonable classification
does not violate the constitutional guaranty of the equal protection of the
law.
The law may treat and regulate one class differently from another class
provided there are real and substantial differences to distinguish one class
from another.
There is reasonable classification here.
The ordinance is not inconsistent with the DOE Act and Oil
Deregulation. Nothing it the said statutes prohibits the City of Manila from
enacting ordinances in the exercise of its police power. The principle of local
autonomy is enshrined in the Consitution: The State shall ensure the
autonomy of local governments.
Likewise, the power of the President over local governments is one of
general supervision and NOT control. Thus, the President or his alter-egos,
department heads, cannot interfere with the activities of the local
governments, so long as they are within their authority.

Lucena Grand Terminal v. JAC (2005)


J. Carpio-Morales

prohibiting the government from granting to any third party a


franchise to operate a terminal is ultra vires
b. Ordinance 1778 is null and void as an invalid, oppressive and
unreasonable exercise of the police power
c. Petitioners MR was denied
7. CA affirmed RTC

Doctrine: To be a valid exercise of police power, an ordinance must have a


lawful subject (public interest) and lawful method (reasonably necessary). IN
THIS CASE, while the ordinances have valid a subject, that is for public
safety, the method used (i.e. banning of terminals) is characterized by
overbreadth.
Facts:
(Note: Respondent/ Petitioners arguments embedded, but indicated, in the
Ratio)
1. Respondent, JAC Liner, Inc., a common carrier operating buses
which ply various routes to and from Lucena City filed a petition for
prohibition and injunction against the City of Lucena, its Mayor, the
Sangguniang Panlungsod of Lucena before the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Lucena City
a. Petitioner Lucena Grand Terminal allowed to intervene
b. Note that JAC also operates a terminal for its buses in Lucena
2. Respondent JAC assails the constitutionality of City Ordinance Nos.
1631 and 1778 based on the following GROUNDS:
a. invalid exercise of police power
b. an undue taking of private property, and
c. a violation of the constitutional prohibition against monopolies
3. Ordinance No. 1631 grants the Lucena Grand Terminal an exclusive
franchise to construct, finance, establish, operate, and maintain a
common bus-jeepney terminal facility in the City of Lucena for 25
years (renewable for the same period). During its existence, the City
Government shall not grant any third party any privilege and/or
concession to operate a bus, mini-bus and/or jeepney terminal.
4. Ordinance No. 1778 prohibits all buses, mini-buses and out-of-town
passenger jeepneys from entering the city without proceeding to the
common terminal, for picking-up and/or dropping of their
passengers. All temporary terminals in the City are declared
inoperable and no other terminals shall be situated inside or within
the City shall be allowed.
5. The purpose of these ordinances, as the Explanatory Note explains
is to alleviate the worsening traffic condition in Lucena
6. Ruling of the RTC:
a. Ordinance 1631 is a valid exercise of police power insofar as it
grants a franchise to Lucena Grand Terminal. But the provision

Issues: Whether the trial court has jurisdiction over the case, it not having
furnished the Office of the Solicitor General copy of the orders it issued
therein " YES
Whether Lucena properly exercised its police power when it enacted the
subject ordinances" NO
Ratio:
On Jurisdiciton (IRRELEVANT)
1. Petitioners argument: the trial court failed to serve a copy of its
assailed orders upon the Office of the Solicitor General, it never
acquired jurisdiction over the case. Petitioner cited the Rules of
Court.16
2. SC: These Rules did not constitute jurisdictional defects. In fact,
Rule 3, Section 22 gives the courts in any action involving the
validity of any ordinance, inter alia, discretion to notify the
Solicitor General. ection 4 of Rule 63, which more specifically deals
with cases assailing the constitutionality, not just the validity, of a
local government ordinance, directs that the Solicitor General shall
also be notified and entitled to be heard. Respondent actually
served a copy of its petition upon the Office of the Solicitor General
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
16

SEC.!22.!Notice+to+the+Solicitor+General.In!any!action!involving!the!validity!of!any!treaty,!law,!
ordinance,!executive!order,!presidential!decree,!rules!or!regulations,!the!court!in$its$discretion,!may!
require!the!appearance!of!the!Solicitor!General!who!may!be!heard!in!person!or!through!representative!
duly!designated!by!him.!(Emphasis!and!underscoring!supplied)!!
SEC.!3.!Notice+on+Solicitor+General.!!In!any!action!which!involves!the!validity!of!a!statute,!executive!
order!or!regulation,!or!any!other!governmental!regulation,!the!Solicitor!General!shall!be!notified!by!the!
party!assailing!the!same!and!shall!be!entitled!to!be!heard!upon!such!question.!
SEC. 4. Local government ordinances. In any action involving the validity of a local government
ordinance, the corresponding prosecutor or attorney of the local government unit involved shall be
similarly notified and entitled to be heard. If such ordinance is alleged to be unconstitutional, the
Solicitor General shall also be notified and entitled to be heard.

on October 1, 1998, two days after it was filed. The Solicitor


General has issued a Certification to that effect
On Validity (RELEVANT)
1. The local government may be considered as having properly
exercised its police power only if the following requisites are met:
a. the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those
of a particular class, require the interference of the State, and
(Lawful subject)
b. the means employed are reasonably necessary for the attainment
of the object sought to be accomplished and not unduly
oppressive upon individuals (Lawful method)
2. There is a lawful subject " traffic congestion is a public concern, a
menace to public safety according to Calalang v. Williams. Public
welfare, then, lies at the bottom of the enactment of said law, and the
state in order to promote the general welfare may interfere with
personal liberty
3. Respondents argument"The ordinances were enacted to benefit the
private interest of petitioner
a. SC: No evidence to support allegation of improper motivation
4. But improper means was employed for being characterized by
overbreadth
a. They go beyond what is reasonably necessary to solve the traffic
problem. Also, since the compulsory use of the terminal operated
by petitioner would subject the users thereof to fees, rentals and
charges, such measure is unduly oppressive, as correctly found
by the appellate court
b. The traffic congestion was caused by the indiscriminate loading
and unloading of passengers but terminals per se do not,
however, impede or help impede the flow of traffic. If terminals
lack adequate space such that bus drivers are compelled to load
and unload passengers on the streets instead of inside the
terminals, then reasonable specifications for the size of terminals
could be instituted, with permits to operate the same denied
those which are unable to meet the specifications.
5. Petitioners arguments:
a. Other solutions for the traffic problem have already been tried
but proven ineffective (bus owners and operators to put up their
terminals outside the poblacion of Lucena City but it only
resulted in the relocation of terminals to other well-populated

barangays, thereby giving rise to traffic congestion in those


areas)
Supreme Court: Sangguniang Panlungsod could have defined,
among other considerations, in a more precise manner, the area
of relocation to avoid such consequences.
b. The challenged ordinances were enacted pursuant to the power
of the Sangguniang Panlungsod to [r]egulate traffic on all
streets and bridges; prohibit encroachments or obstacles thereon
Supreme Court: The buses, NOT the terminals are encroaching
upon public roads. The power then of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod to prohibit encroachments and obstacles does not
extend to terminals.
c. Terminals are public nuisances
Supreme Court: The operation of terminals is a legitimate
business which, by itself, cannot be said to be injurious to the
rights of property, health, or comfort of the community. Even if
they are, they are at most they are nuisance per accidens, not per
se.Unless a thing is nuisance per se, however, it may not be
abated via an ordinance, without judicial proceedings, as was
done in the case at bar
d. The ordinances have actually been proven effective in easing
traffic congestion
Supreme Court: Whether an ordinance is effective is an issue
different from whether it is reasonably necessary. It is its
reasonableness, not its effectiveness, which bears upon its
constitutionality. If the constitutionality of a law were measured
by its effectiveness, then even tyrannical laws may be justified
whenever they happen to be effective.
6. With respect to resolutions of various barangays in Lucena City
supporting the establishment of a common terminal, the SC said that
the weight of popular opinion must be balanced with that of an
individuals rights, as the right of JAC in this case

Parayno v. Jovellanos (2006)


Doctrine:A local government is considered to have properly exercised its
police powers under the General Welfare clause given the concurrence of the
following: (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.
Facts:
S Petitioner owned a gasoline filling station in Calasiao, Pangasinan.
S Some residents petitioned the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Calasiao
for the closure or transfer of the station to another location on
account of health and safety risks.
S Following the investigation of municipal officers, the SB issued
Resolution No. 50, recommending to the Mayor the closure or
transfer of the gasoline station, due to the following:
o Violation of Sec. 44 of the Official Zoning Code of Calasiao,
which prohibits the placement of gasoline service stations
within 100m away from any school, church or hospital, as it
lies within 100m from a school and a church;
o The station is in a thickly populated area, thus endangering
the lives and safety of people;
o Residents are exposed to the irritating smell of gasoline,
leading to of colds, asthma, coughs, etc.
o It hampers the flow of traffic.
S Petitioner filed an action for prohibition and mandamus before RTC
Dagupan, which dismissed the same on the ground that it would
endanger the lives and safety of people should it catch fire.
S Petitioner elevated the case to the CA, which likewise dismissed the
same.
S Hence, this appeal.
Petitioners arguments:
S Petitioner prays for the reversal of the CA judgment dismissing her
petition for prohibition and for the issuance of an injunction against
the SB resolution calling for the closure or transfer of her gasoline
station.
S Petitioners business is a gasoline FILLING station, not a gasoline
SERVICE station. Hence, it is not within the ambit of Sec. 44. The
principle of ejusdem generis does not operate to take her business

S
S

within the coverage of the same provision because the law clearly
intended to make a distinction between the two.
The closure or transfer of her gas station is an invalid exercise of the
municipalitys police powers.
An HLURB case filed against her predecessor by the private
respondent had resolved the same issues in favor of the former, and
had thus effectively barred this action based on the principle of res
judicata.

Respondents arguments:
S While Sec. 44 does not expressly mention gasoline filling stations, a
gasoline filling station falls within the formers coverage following
the principle of ejusdem generis.
S The municipality itself was not a party to the HLURB decision,
hence one of the requisites for the application of res judicata was not
met.
Issue/s:
S WoN gasoline filling stations falls under the contemplation of Sec. 44
of the zoning regulations;
S WoN the Municipality properly exercised its police power;
S WoN the action is barred by res judicata per the HLURB decision.
Held/Ratio:
NO, THE LAW CLEARLY MADE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN GASOLINE
FILLING STATIONS AND GASOLINE SERVICE STATIONS. EJUSDEM
GENERIS IS NOT APPLICABLE.
NO, THE MUNICIPALITY IMPROPERLY EXERCISED ITS POLICE
POWER UNDER THE GENERAL WELFARE CLAUSE
S Under the LGCs General Welfare Clause (Sec. 16), a municipality
has the power to take actions and enact measures to promote the
health and general welfare of its constituents.
Section 16. General Welfare. Every local
government unit shall exercise the powers expressly
granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well
as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for
its efficient and effective governance, and those
which are essential to the promotion of the general
welfare
within
their
respective
territorial
jurisdictions. Local government units shall ensure
and support, among other things, the preservation

and enrichment of culture, promote health and


safety, enhance the right of the people to a
balanced ecology, encourage and support the
development of appropriate and self-reliant scientific
technological capabilities, improve public morals,
enhance economic prosperity and social justice,
promote full employment among their residents xxx.
A local government is considered to have properly exercised its
police powers given the concurrence of the following requisites:
o The interests of the public generally, as distinguished from
those of a particular class, require the interference of the
state; (refers to EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE) and
o The means employed are reasonably necessary for the
attainment of the object sought to be accomplished and not
unduly oppressive. (refers to DUE PROCESS CLAUSE)
(Lucena Grand Central Terminal v. JAC Liner [2005])
In the instant case, the Municipality of Calasiao failed to comply
with the due process clause.
o In making the claim that the station was within 100m from a
school or church, records do not show that any attempt at
measurement was made, notwithstanding the importance of
such fact in ascertaining the existence of a zoning violation.
None of the municipal offices tapped to investigate did so.
o It sought to abate the gas station as a nuisance without
judicial proceedings which is only possible when dealing
with a nuisance per se (i.e. one affecting the immediate
safety of persons and property). A gas station is not such a
nuisance, and hence cannot be closed down or transferred
summarily.

YES, THE ISSUES IN THIS CASE ARE BARRED BY THE PREVIOUS


HLURB DECISION BASED ON THE PRINCIPLE OF RES JUDICATA.

White Light Corp v. City of Manila (2009)


Doctrine: The promotion of public welfare and a sense of morality among
citizens deserves the full endorsement of the judiciary provided that such
measures do not trample rights this Court is sworn to protect. The police
measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into private rights. The
Ordinance makes no distinction between places frequented by patrons
engaged in illicit activities and patrons engaged in legitimate actions. Thus it
prevents legitimate use of places where illicit activities are rare or even
unheard of.
Facts:
1. This petition concerns a Manila city ordinance (Ordinance No. 7744)
entitled An Ordinance Prohibiting Short-Time Admission, ShortTime17 Admission Rates, and Wash-Up Rate Schemes in Hotels,
Motels, Inns, Lodging Houses, Pension Houses, and Similar
Establishments in the City of Manila prohibiting motels and inns
within the Ermita-Malate area from offering short-time admission as
well as pro-rated or wash up rates for such abbreviated stays. The
constitutional rights to liberty, due process and equal protection of
law are assailed.
2. Malate Tourist and Development Corporation (MTDC), owner of
Victoria Court Malate, filed a complaint for declaratory relief with
preliminary injunction against the respondent City of Manila
represented by Mayor Lim before the RTC. Thereafter, petitioners
White Light Corporation (WLC), Titanium Corporation (TC) and
Sta. Mesa Tourist and Development Corporation (STDC) filed a
motion to intervene and to admit attached complaint-in-intervention,
which was approved by the RTC. These 3 companies are
components of the Anito Group of Companies, which owns and
operates several hotels and motels in Metro Manila.
3. RTC notified the SolGen of the proceedings pursuant to the ROC.
4. MTDC withdrew from the case.
5. RTC issued a TRO directing the City to cease and desist from
enforcing the ordinance. Thereafter, RTC issued a writ of
preliminary injunction ordering the city to desist from the
enforcement of the Ordinance. Later, the SolGen filed his Comment
arguing that the Ordinance is constitutional.
6. RTC declared that the ordinance is null and void as:
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
17

Less than 12 hours or renting out of rooms more than 2x a day

a.

It strikes at the personal liberty of the individual


guaranteed and jealously guarded by the Constitution.
b. Reference was made to the provisions of the Constitution
encouraging private enterprises and the incentive to needed
investment, as well as the right to operate economic
enterprises.
c. The illicit relationships the Ordinance sought to dissuade
could nonetheless be consummated by simply paying for a
12-hour stay.
7. CA reversed the decision as the Ordinance as it did not violate the
right to privacy or the freedom of movement:
a. It only penalizes the owners or operators of establishments
that admit individuals for short time stays.
b. The virtually limitless reach of police power is only
constrained by having a lawful object obtained through a
lawful method. The lawful objective of the Ordinance is
satisfied since it aims to curb immoral activities. There is a
lawful method since the establishments are still allowed to
operate.
c. The adverse effect on the establishments is justified by the
well-being of its constituents in general.
d. Liberty is regulated by law.
8. Hence, this appeal.
Petitioners arguments:
1. MTDC: Declare Ordinance unconstitutional insofar as it includes
motels and inns as prohibited establishments. As owners of Victoria
Court in Manila, it was authorized by Presidential Decree (P.D.) No.
259 to admit customers on a short time basis as well as to charge
customers wash up rates for stays of only three hours.
2. WLC, TC, STDC: the Ordinance directly affects their business
interests as operators of drive-in-hotels and motels in Manila
3. Petitioners argued that the Ordinance is unconstitutional and void
since
a. It violates the right to privacy and the freedom of movement
b. It is an invalid exercise of police power
c. It is an unreasonable and oppressive interference in their
business
Respondents arguments:
1. The Ordinance is a legitimate exercise of police power pursuant to:

a. Section 458 (4)(iv) of the Local Government Code, which


confers on cities, among other local government units the
power to regulate the establishment, operation and
maintenance of cafes, restaurants, beerhouses, hotels, motels,
inns, pension houses, lodging houses and other similar
establishments, including tourist guides and transports
b. Article III, Section 18(kk) of the Revised Manila Charter,
thus: to enact all ordinances it may deem necessary and
proper for the sanitation and safety, the furtherance of the
prosperity and the promotion of the morality, peace, good
order, comfort, convenience and general welfare of the city
and its inhabitants, and such others as be necessary to carry
into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred by
this Chapter; and to fix penalties for the violation of
ordinances which shall not exceed two hundred pesos fine or
six months imprisonment, or both such fine and
imprisonment for a single offense
Issue/s: WON Ordinance 7744 is valid (NO, ORDINANCE IS
UNCONSTITUTIONAL)
Held/Ratio:The police measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary
intrusion into private rights. The Ordinance makes no distinction between
places frequented by patrons engaged in illicit activities and patrons engaged
in legitimate actions. Thus it prevents legitimate use of places where illicit
activities are rare or even unheard of. 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 rooted in the police power as
conferred on local government units by the LGC through such implements as
the general welfare clause.
All three ordinances concerning the regulation of motels,
inns, and other establishments in the City of Manila were
enacted with a view of regulating public morals including
particular illicit activity in transient lodging establishments.
This is another case about the extent to which the State can
intrude into and regulate the lives of its citizens.
a. Validity of an Ordinance:
i.
Philippine jurisprudence: For an ordinance to be valid, it must not
only be within the corporate powers of the local government unit to
enact and pass according to the procedure prescribed by law. The
test of a valid ordinance is as follows:(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;
(6) Must not be unreasonable.
ii.
Validity on substantive due process grounds Carolene Products
case: Since the judiciary would defer to the legislature unless there
is a discrimination against a discrete and insular minority or
infringement of a fundamental rights, standards of judicial review
were established:
Strict scrutiny for laws dealing with freedom of the mind or
restricting the political process
o Focus is on the presence of compelling, rather than
substantial, governmental interest and on the absence
of less restrictive means for achieving that interest.
o In terms of judicial review of statutes or ordinances,
strict scrutiny refers to the standard for determining
the quality and the amount of governmental interest
brought to justify the regulation of fundamental
freedoms Strict scrutiny is used today to test the
validity of laws dealing with the regulation of speech,
gender, or race as well as other fundamental rights as
expansion from its earlier applications to equal
protection. The United States Supreme Court has
expanded the scope of strict scrutiny to protect
fundamental rights such as suffrage,judicial
accessand interstate travel.
o
Rational basis standard of review for economic legislation
o Laws or ordinances are upheld if they rationally
further a legitimate governmental interest
Heightened or immediate scrutiny for evaluating
classifications based on gender and legitimacy.
o Governmental interest is extensively examined and
the availability of less restrictive measures is
considered
b. Police power: Police power 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.
It is based upon the concept of necessity of the State and its
corresponding right to protect itself and its people.Police power has
been used as justification for numerous and varied actions by the

State. These range from the regulation of dance halls, movie


theaters, gas stations and cockpits. The scope of police power is best
demonstrated by the fact that in its hundred or so years of presence in
our nations legal system, its use has rarely been denied.
The apparent 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 the police power of the State. Yet the desirability
of these ends do not sanctify any and all means for their
achievement.
Those means must align with the Constitution, and our emerging
sophisticated analysis of its guarantees to the people.

c. Right to Liberty: Note that the rights contemplated in this case encompass
not only the rights of the owners of the establishments but also those of their
patrons. The rights at stake herein fall within the same fundamental rights to
liberty upheld in City of Manila v. Hon. Laguio, Jr.
Liberty is "the right to exist and the right to be free from
arbitrary restraint or servitude. The term cannot be dwarfed
into mere freedom from physical restraint of the person of
the citizen, but 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." In accordance with this case, the rights of
the citizen to be free to use his faculties in all lawful ways; to
live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any
lawful calling; and to pursue any avocation are all deemed
embraced in the concept of liberty.
Roth v. Board of Regents: the term denotes not merely
freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the
individual to contract, to engage in any of the common
occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry,
establish a home and bring up children, to worship God
according to the dictates of his own conscience, and
generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized as
essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. In a
Constitution for a free people, there can be no doubt that the
meaning of "liberty" must be broad indeed.
d. General Welfare [TOPICAL]
The Ordinance prevents the lawful uses of a wash rate
depriving patrons of a product and the petitioners of lucrative
business ties in with another constitutional requisite for the

legitimacy of the Ordinance as a police power measure. It


must appear that the interests of the public generally, as
distinguished from those of a particular class, require an
interference with private rights and the means must
be reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the
purpose and not unduly oppressive of private rights.
It must also be evident that no other alternative for the
accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of private
rights can work. More importantly, a reasonable relation
must exist between the purposes of the measure and the
means employed for its accomplishment, for even under the
guise of protecting the public interest, personal rights and
those pertaining to private property will not be permitted to
be arbitrarily invaded.
Lacking a concurrence of these requisites, the police measure
shall be struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into private
rights. As held in Morfe v. Mutuc, the exercise of police
power is subject to judicial review when life, liberty or
property is affected.However, this is not in any way meant to
take it away from the vastness of State police power whose
exercise enjoys the presumption of validity.
A plain reading of section 3 of the Ordinance shows it makes
no classification of places of lodging, thus deems them all
susceptible to illicit patronage and subject them without
exception to the unjustified prohibition.
Those still steeped in Nick Joaquin-dreams of the grandeur
of Old Manila will have to accept that Manila like all
evolving big cities, will have its problems. Urban decay is a
fact of mega cities such as Manila, and vice is a common
problem confronted by the modern metropolis wherever in
the world. The solution to such perceived decay is not to
prevent legitimate businesses from offering a legitimate
product. Rather, cities revive themselves by offering
incentives for new businesses to sprout up thus attracting the
dynamism of individuals that would bring a new grandeur
to Manila.
The behavior which the Ordinance seeks to curtail is already
prohibited and could in fact be diminished simply by
applying existing laws. Less intrusive measures such as
curbing the proliferation of prostitutes and drug dealers
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. These measures would have minimal intrusion on the
businesses of the petitioners and other legitimate merchants.
Further, it is apparent that the Ordinance can easily be
circumvented by merely paying the whole day rate without
any hindrance to those engaged in illicit activities. Moreover,
drug dealers and prostitutes can in fact collect wash rates
from their clientele by charging their customers a portion of
the rent for motel rooms and even apartments.
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. The State is a leviathan
that must be restrained from needlessly intruding into the
lives of its citizens. However well-intentioned the Ordinance
may be, it is in effect an arbitrary and whimsical intrusion
into the rights of the establishments as well as their patrons.
The Ordinance needlessly restrains the operation of the
businesses of the petitioners as well as restricting the rights
of their patrons without sufficient justification. The
Ordinance rashly equates wash rates and renting out a room
more than twice a day with immorality without
accommodating innocuous intentions
The promotion of public welfare and a sense of morality
among citizens deserves the full endorsement of the
judiciary provided that such measures do not trample
rights this Court is sworn to protect.The notion that the
promotion of public morality is a function of the State is as
old as Aristotle. The advancement of moral relativism as a
school of philosophy does not de-legitimize the role of
morality in law, even if it may foster wider debate on which
particular behavior to penalize. It is conceivable that a
society with relatively little shared morality among its
citizens could be functional so long as the pursuit of sharply
variant
moral
perspectives
yields
an
adequate
accommodation of different interests.
Our democracy is distinguished from non-free societies not
with any more extensive elaboration on our part of what is
moral and immoral, but from our recognition that the
individual liberty to make the choices in our lives is innate,
and protected by the State. Independent and fair-minded
judges themselves are under a moral duty to uphold the
Constitution as the embodiment of the rule of law, by reason

of their expression of consent to do so when they take the


oath of office, and because they are entrusted by the people
to uphold the law.
Even as the implementation of moral norms remains an
indispensable complement to governance, that prerogative is
hardly absolute, especially in the face of the norms of due
process of liberty. And while the tension may often be left to
the courts to relieve, it is possible for the government to
avoid the constitutional conflict by employing more
judicious, less drastic means to promote morality.

Albon v. Fernando (2006)


J. Corona
LGUs have police power to prescribe reasonable regulations to protect the
lives, health, and property of their constituents and maintain peace and order
within their respective territorial jurisdictions. Part of this police power is to
enact ordinances, such as ordinances providing for the funding of repairs of
sidewalks. In this connection, sidewalks are considered public property.
Sidewalks of private residential subdivisions are private property and may
not be publicly funded , unless they have been donated by the subdivision
owner to the local government.
Background
1. The City of Marikina undertook public works projects to widen, clear, and
repair the existing sidewalks of Marikina Greenheights Subdivision. It was
undertaken by the city government pursuant to an ordinance, like other
infrastructure projects relating to roads, streets, and sidewalks previously
undertaken by the city.

5. Hence this petition.


Petitioners Position
6. Petitioner argued before the RTC that:
(a) It was unconstitutional and unlawful for respondents to use
government equipment and property, and to disburse public funds of
the City of Marikina for the grading, widening, clearing, repair and
maintenance
of
the
existing
sidewalks
ofMarikinaGreenheights Subdivision, for the reason that said
sidewalks are private property, the subdivision being owned by a
private corporation. Thus, the city government could not use public
resources on them, and in doing so, respondents violated the
constitutional proscription against the use of public funds for private
purposes (Sec. 9, Art. VI), as well as Sec. 335 and 336, LGC, and
the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
(b) There was no appropriation for the project.

2. Petitioner Albon then filed a taxpayers suit for certiorari, prohibition, and
injunction with damages with the RTC of Marikina against respondents (City
Mayor Bayani Fernando, City Engineer Alfonso Espirito, Asst. City
Engineer Anaki Maderal, and City Treasurer Natividad Cabalquinto).
3. The trial court dismissed petitioners action, ruling that the city
government of Marikina was authorized to carry out the undertaking
pursuant to its inherent police power. Citing White Plains Association v.
Legaspi (1991) [heldthat when (a strip of land) was withdrawn from the
commerce of man as the open space required by law to be devoted for the use
of the general public, its ownership was automatically vested in the (LGU)
and/or the Republic of the Philippines, without need of paying any
compensation to (the developer), although it is still registered in the latters
name. Its donation by the owner/developer is a mere formality], the court a
quo classified the roads and sidewalks inside the Marikina Greenheights
Subdivision as public property. Petitioners MR was denied.
4. Petitioners petition for certiorari, prohibition, injunction, and damages
before the CA was likewise dismissed. The appellate court ruled that the
questioned ordinance was valid and that the sidewalks of the subdivision
were public property, giving imprimatur to the trial courts ruling. His MR
was also denied.

Respondents Position
7. None (N.B. the Court did not seem to have required the respondents to
comment, or if it did and the respondents actually submitted their comment,
nothing regarding their position was mentioned by the Court at all).
Ruling of the Court
8. LGUs, like the City of Marikina, have police power:
Like all LGUs, the City of Marikina is empowered to enact
ordinances for the purposes set forth in the Local Government Code
(RA 7160). It is expressly vested with police powers delegated
to LGUs under the general welfare clause of RA 7160 (Sec. 16
thereof). With this power, LGUs may prescribe reasonable
regulations to protect the lives, health, and property of their
constituents and maintain peace and order within their
respective territorial jurisdictions.
Cities and municipalities also have the power to exercise such
powers and discharge such functions and responsibilities as may be

necessary, appropriate or incidental to efficient and effective


provisions of the basic services and facilities, including infrastructure
facilities intended primarily to service the needs of their residents
and which are financed by their own funds. These infrastructure
facilities include municipal or city roads and bridges and similar
facilities.
9. The lower courts were correct in holding that the questioned ordinance is
valid:
There is no question about the public nature and use of the
sidewalks in theMarikinaGreenheights Subdivision. One of the
whereas clauses of PD 1216 (Defining Open Space in Residential
Subdivisions and Amending Section 31 of PD 957 Requiring
Subdivision Owners to Provide Roads, Alleys, Sidewalks and
Reserve Open Space for Parks or Recreational Use), which amended
PD 957 (Regulating the Sale of Subdivision Lots and
Condominiums, Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof) declares
that open spaces, roads, alleys and sidewalks in a residential
subdivision are for public use and beyond the commerce of man.
In conjunction herewith, PD957, as amended by PD 1216, mandates
subdivision owners to set aside open spaces which shall be
devoted exclusively for the use of the general public.
Thus, the trial and appellate courts were correct in upholding
the validity of [the questioned ordinance]. It was enacted in the
exercise of the City of Marikinas police powers to regulate the use
of sidewalks...
10. The lower courts however erred when they invoked White Plains
Association (1991):
The ruling in the 1991 White Plains Association decision relied on
by both the trial and appellate courts was modified by this Court in
1998 in White Plains Association v. Court of Appeals. CitingYoung
v. City of Manila(1941) this Court held in its 1998 decision that
subdivision streets belonged to the owner until donated to the
government or until expropriated upon payment of just
compensation.
The word street, in its correct and ordinary usage, includes not
only the roadway used for carriages and vehicular traffic generally

but also the portion used for pedestrian travel. The part of the street
set aside for the use of pedestrians is known as a sidewalk.
Moreover, under subdivision laws, lots allotted by subdivision
developers as road lots include roads, sidewalks, alleys and planting
strips. Thus, what is true for subdivision roads or streets applies to
subdivision sidewalks as well. Ownership of the sidewalks in a
private subdivision belongs to the subdivision owner/developer
until it is either transferred to the government by way of
donation or acquired by the government through expropriation.
11. Sec. 335, LGC is clear and specific that no public money or property
shall be appropriated or applied for private purposes, in consonance with the
fundamental principle in local fiscal administration that local government
funds and monies shall be spent solely for public purposes (Sec. 305[b],
LGC):
In Pascual v. Secretary of Public Works(1960)the Court laid down
the test of validity of a public expenditure: it is the essential
character of the direct object of the expenditure which must
determine its validity and not the magnitude of the interests to be
affected nor the degree to which the general advantage of the
community, and thus the public welfare, may be ultimately
benefited by their promotion. Incidental advantage to the public or
to the State resulting from the promotion of private interests and the
prosperity of private enterprises or business does not justify their aid
by the use of public money.
In Pascual, the validity of RA 920 (An Act Appropriating Funds
for Public Works) which appropriated P85,000 for the construction,
repair, extension and improvement of feeder roads within a
privately-owned subdivision was questioned. The Court held that
where the land on which the projected feeder roads were to be
constructed belonged to a private person, an appropriation made by
Congress for that purpose was null and void.
In Young v. City of Manila (1941) the City of Manila undertook the
filling of low-lying streets of the Antipolo Subdivision, a privatelyowned subdivision. The Court ruled that as long as the private owner
retained title and ownership of the subdivision, he was under the
obligation to reimburse to the city government the expenses incurred
in land-filling the streets.

12. The subdivision laws provide that it is the registered owner or


developer of a subdivision who has the responsibility for the maintenance,
repair and improvement of road lots and open spaces of the subdivision prior
to their donation to the concerned LGU. The owner or developer shall be
deemed relieved of the responsibility of maintaining the road lots and open
space only upon securing a certificate of completion and executing a deed of
donation of these road lots and open spaces to the LGU.
Therefore, the use of LGU funds for the widening and improvement
of privately-owned sidewalks is unlawful as it directly contravenes
Section 335 of RA 7160. This conclusion finds further support from
the language of Section 17 of RA 7160 which mandatesLGUs to
efficiently and effectively provide basic services and facilities. The
law speaks of infrastructure facilities intended primarily to service
the needs of the residents of the LGU and which are funded out of
municipal funds. It particularly refers to municipal roads and
bridges and similar facilities.
Applying the rules of ejusdem generis, the phrase similar facilities
refers to or includes infrastructure facilities like sidewalks owned by
the LGU. Thus, RA 7160 contemplates that only the construction,
improvement, repair and maintenance of infrastructure facilities
owned by the LGU may be bankrolled with local government
funds.
13. There are factual matters that need to be addressed:
Clearly, the question of ownership of the open spaces (including the
sidewalks) in Marikina Greenheights Subdivision is material to the
determination of the validity of the challenged appropriation and
disbursement made by the City of Marikina. Similarly significant is
the character of the direct object of the expenditure, that is, the
sidewalks.
Whether V.V. Soliven, Inc. [private corporation who owns
Marikina Greenheights Subdivision] has retained ownership of the
open spaces and sidewalks or has already donated them to the City
of Marikina, and whether the public has full and unimpeded access
to the roads and sidewalks of Marikina Greenheights Subdivision,
are factual matters. There is a need for the prior resolution of these

issues before the validity of the challenged appropriation and


expenditure can be determined.
14. The case is therefore remanded.

City of Manila v. Chinese Community (1919)


Doctrine: When the statute does not designate the property to be taken nor
how may be taken, then the necessity of taking particular property is a
question for the courts.
Facts:
In 1916, the City of Manila presented a petition in the Court of First
Instance, praying that certain lands, therein particularly described, be
expropriated for the purpose of constructing a public improvement
(extension of Rizal Avenue).
Defendants (Chinese Community, Tambuntind, De Delgado, etc)
conteds (a) that no necessity existed for said expropriation and (b)
that the land in question was a cemetery, which had been used as
such for many years, and was covered with sepulchres and
monuments, and that the same should not be converted into a street
for public purposes.
CoFI: denied the expropriation.
Petitioners arguments:
Once it has established the fact, under the law, that it has authority to
expropriate land, it may expropriate any land it may desire; that the
only function of the court in such proceedings is to ascertain the
value of the land in question; that neither the court nor the owners of
the land can inquire into the advisible purpose of purpose of the
expropriation or ask any questions concerning the necessities
therefor; that the courts are mere appraisers of the land involved in
expropriation proceedings, and, when the value of the land is fixed
by the method adopted by the law, to render a judgment in favor of
the defendant for its value.
Section 248 of the Charter of Manila gives the Supreme Court
authority to inquire into the right of expropriation on the part of the
plaintiff. If the Supreme Court on appeal shall determine that no
right of expropriation existed, it shall remand the cause to the Court
of First Instance with a mandate that the defendant be replaced in the
possession of the property and that he recover whatever damages he
may have sustained by reason of the possession of the plaintiff.
It is contended on the part of the plaintiff that the phrase in said
section, "and if the court shall find the right to expropriate exists,"
means simply that, if the court finds that there is some law
authorizing the plaintiff to expropriate, then the courts have no other

function than to authorize the expropriation and to proceed to


ascertain the value of the land involved; that the necessity for the
expropriation is a legislative and not a judicial question.
Respondents arguments:
There exists no necessity for the construction of the road. It was not
necessary or expedient to expropriate said land for street purposes.
Existing street and roads furnished ample means of communication
for the public in the district covered by such proposed expropriation.
That the plaintiff was without right or authority to expropriate said
cemetery or any part or portion thereof for street purposes; and that
the expropriation, in fact, was not necessary as a public
improvement.
Issue/s: WON the court may inquire into and and hear proof upon, the
necessity of the expropriation proceedings by the city of Manila. Yes. When
the statute does not designate the property to be taken nor how may be taken,
then the necessity of taking particular property is a question for the courts.
Held/Ratio:
According to its Charter (Sect 2429 of Act No. 2711), the city of
Manila has authority to expropriate private lands for public purposes.
Whether the courts can intervene except for the purpose of
determining the value of the land in question depends largely upon
particular constitutional or statutory provisions.
$ If the legislature under proper authority should grant the
expropriation of a certain or particular parcel of land for some
specified public purpose, that the courts would be without
jurisdiction to inquire into the purpose of that legislation.
$ If, upon the other hand, however, the Legislature should grant
general authority to a municipal corporation to expropriate
private land for public purposes, we think the courts have
ample authority in this jurisdiction.
The power of the court is not limited to examine the statutes simply
for the purpose of ascertaining whether a law exists authorizing the
petitioner to exercise the right of eminent domain and whether or not
a law exists permitting the plaintiff to expropriate.
$ 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.
$ The court can also determine if the right or authority is being
exercised in accordance with the law. In this case there, two

conditions imposed upon the authority of the City: (1) the


land must be private and (2) the purpose must be public
Wheeling, etc. R. R. Co. vs. Toledo, Ry, etc., Co (U.S. Case): But
when the statute does not designate the property to be taken nor how
may be taken, then the necessity of taking particular property is a
question for the courts. Where the application to condemn or
appropriate is made directly to the court, the question (of necessity)
should be raised and decided in limene.
Whether the purpose for the exercise of the right of eminent domain
is public, is a question of fact. The courts were granted by law the
the right to inquire into, and hear proof upon those questions.
The general power to exercise the right of eminent domain must not
be confused with the right to exercise it in a particular case. The
power of the legislature to confer, upon municipal corporations and
other entities within the State, general authority to exercise the right
of eminent domain cannot be questioned by the courts, but that
general authority of municipalities or entities must not be confused
with the right to exercise it in particular instances. The moment the
municipal corporation or entity attempts to exercise the authority
conferred, it must comply with the conditions accompanying the
authority. The necessity for conferring the authority upon a
municipal corporation to exercise the right of eminent domain is
admittedly within the power of the legislature. But whether or not the
municipal corporation or entity is exercising the right in a particular
case under the conditions imposed by the general authority, is a
question which the courts have the right to inquire into.
The conflict in the authorities upon the question whether the
necessity for the exercise of the right of eminent domain is purely
legislative and not judicial, arises generally in the wisdom and
propriety of the legislature in authorizing the exercise of the right of
eminent domain instead of in the question of the right to exercise it
in a particular case (Creston Waterworks Co. vs. McGrath U.S.
Case)
Furthermore, the record does not show conclusively that the plaintiff
has definitely decided that their exists a necessity for the
appropriation of the particular land described in the complaint.
Exhibits clearly indicate that the municipal board believed at one
time that other land might be used for the proposed improvement,
thereby avoiding the necessity of distributing the quiet resting place
of the dead.
Also, the city of Manila cannot appropriate it for public use. The city
of Manila can only expropriate private property. The cemetery in

question seems to have been established under governmental


authority, may be used by the general community of Chinese. The
cemetery is public property.
Dissenting opinion:
1. Street:
It may be admitted that, upon the evidence before us, the projected
condemnation of the Chinese Cemetery is unnecessary and perhaps illconsidered. Nevertheless I concur with Justice Moir in the view that the
authorities of the city of Manila are the proper judges of the propriety of the
condemnation and that this Court should have nothing to do with the
question of the necessity of the taking.
2. Moir
It is a right of the city government to determine whether or not it will
construct streets and where, and the court's sole duty was to see that the value
of the property was paid the owners after proper legal proceedings
ascertaining the value.

Favis v. City of Baguio & the Shell Company of the Phils, Ltd. (1969)
Doctrine: To determine whether a municipal body has a power to vacate or
withdraw a street from public use, look at its charter. If empowered, the city
council is the authority competent to determine whether or not a certain
property is still necessary for public use.
Facts:
Antonio Favis bought a parcel of land (Lot 2E3B3B2) from the
Assumption Convent, Inc. The said lot is bounded on the southwest
by Lot 2E3B3B1 (proposed road) owned by Assumption Convent,
Inc. and part of subdivision plan PSD 2179.
Simultaneous with the sale, Assumption donated to the Baguio City
Lot 2E3B3B1 for road purposes. This donated road was used by
Favis as his means of egress and ingress from his residence to a
public street (Lapu-Lapu St).
Lapu-Lapu St. is actually Lot 27 in the amendatory plan and is a
portion of a big tract of land known as Baguio Market subdivision,
registered in the name of the city.
From its intersecting point with Dagohoy Street and going
northward, Lapu-Lapu Street is 8 m wide. It abruptly ends as it meets
portions of two lots the donated road aforementioned and the lot
owned by Olmina Fernandez. Fernandez' lot is fenced, with
buildings; and there is a sharp depression of at least 2 meters at the
precise point it meets Lapu-Lapu Street. Ocular inspection conducted
by the trial court disclosed that at the exact connecting point of
Lapu-Lapu Street and the donated road (which leads to appellant's
land), the road opening is only 2.5 meters wide.
Lot 25 (400 sq m) of the Baguio Market Subdivision is northernmost
in said subdivision. Immediately next to it, to the north, is the lot of
Olmina Fernandez aforesaid. As far back as June, 1947, the City, by
virtue of Resolution No. 115 of the City Council of Baguio leased
this Lot 25 to Shell for a ten-year period renewable for another ten
years. Shell constructed thereon a service station.
In 1961, the City Council of Baguio passed Resolution No. 132
authorizing the City thru its Mayor to lease to Shell two parcels of
land: Lot 25 of the Market Subdivision (Lot A on sketch plan) & a
parcel of land containing an area of 100 sq. m. more or less, marked
as "Lot B" on the sketch plan. Note: Lot 25 (Lot A) is the same lot
leased to Shell way back in June, 1947 and the lease of Lot B is
merely an addition. This additional area taken from Lapu-Lapu
Street is 5 m wide and 20 meters long and abuts Lot 25.

Subsequently, the City, thru its Mayor entered into a formal contract
of lease with Shell.
Shell filed for a building permit to construct a bigger station on the
leased premises. The Office of the City Engineer noted that Lot B is
for public use, and may not be leased.
Antonio C. Favis lodged a letter-protest against the additional lease
made in favor of Shell. He claimed that it would diminish the width
of Lapu-Lapu Street to five meters only; that it would destroy the
symmetry of the said street thus making it look very ugly; and that
the City was bereft of authority to lease any portion of its public
streets in favor of anyone.
The City Council of Baguio passed Resolution No. 215, amending
Resolution No. 132 by converting that "portion of Lapu-Lapu Street
lying southeast from Lot B of the sketch plan beginning at this
portion's intersection with Dagohoy Street, into an alley 5.00 meters
wide (4 m. now in actual use); declaring for this purpose, that said
Lot B shall not be a part of this alley.
Favis commenced suit for the annulment of the lease contract with
damages. He prayed that (1) defendants be ordered to stop, remove
and/or demolish whatever constructions had been introduced at the
additional leased area on Lapu-Lapu Street; (2) the building permit
and contract of lease entered into by and between the defendants be
cancelled and revoked for being null and void; and (3) defendants be
directed to pay damages. Favis filed a complaint for the restoration
of
the original measurement (8 m wide) of the dead end.
Issue: W/N the resolutions are valid. (YES)

Petitioners arguments: (Respondents argument were not restated in the


case)
1. The questioned resolutions narrowed down, much to his prejudice, the
width of Lapu-Lapu Street at its connecting point with the donated road
which, in turn, leads to his land. The reduction of the usable width from 8 m
to 4 m cannot be done because said resolutions violate EO 113 issued by
Pres. Magsaysay:
IV. MUNICIPAL ROADS: All highways not included in the above
classifications, Municipal and city roads shall have a right-of-way of not less
than ten (10) meters; provided that the principal streets of town sites located
on public lands shall have a width of sixty (60) meters and all other streets a
width of not less than fifteen (15) meters.

HELD:
The 2.5 meter opening connecting the donated road and Lapu-Lapu
Street has always been that wide since the donated road was opened.
The occupancy by Shell of a portion of the road right-of-way did not
in any way put appellant to any more inconvenience than he already
had.
The resolutions in question do not have the effect of decreasing the
width of the opening because said opening is far from the leased
portion of Lapu-Lapu St. The said leased portion is on the left side of
Lapu-Lapu Street, whereas the opening lies on the right uppermost
part of Lapu-Lapu Street. That leased strip does not reach said
opening.
The EO could not have been violated because even before its
promulgation, Lapu-Lapu St. was only 8 m wide, and the said EO
did not demand widening to 10 m of existing streets. Doing so would
have entailed huge expenditure on municipal corporations as well
which have streets less than 10 meters wide for compensation for the
expropriation of private property would have to be given.

2. The city council does not have the power to close city streets like LapuLapu St. He asserts that since municipal bodies have no inherent power to
vacate or withdraw a street from public use, there must be a specific grant by
the legislative body to the city or municipality concerned.
HELD:
The city is explicitly empowered to close a city street pursuant to
subsection (L) of Sec. 2558 of the Baguio Charter which grants it the
power:
To provide for laying out, opening, extending, widening,
straightening, closing up, constructing, or regulating, in whole or in
part, any public plaza, square, street, sidewalk, trail, park,
waterworks, or water remains, or any cemetery, sewer, sewer
connection or connections, either on, in, or upon public or private
property
Unson v. Lacson illustrates the converse rule. In that case there was
no legal provision specifically vesting in the City of Manila the
power to close Callejon del Carmen. The significance of this silence
becomes apparent when contrasted with section 2246 of the Revised
Administrative Code, explicitly vesting in municipal councils of
regularly organized municipalities the power to close any
municipal road, street, alley, park or square, provided that persons
prejudiced thereby are duly indemnified, and that the previous

approval of the Department Head shall have been secured. The


express grant of such power to the aforementioned municipalities
and the absence of said grant to the City of Manila lead to no other
conclusion than that the power was intended to be withheld from the
latter.
Appellant may not challenge the city council's act of withdrawing a
strip of Lapu-Lapu Street at its dead end from public use and
converting the remainder thereof into an alley. These are acts well
within the ambit of the power to close a city street.
The city council is the authority competent to determine whether or
not a certain property is still necessary for public use. Such power to
vacate a street or alley is discretionary. And the discretion will not
ordinarily be controlled or interfered with by the courts, absent a
plain case of abuse or fraud or collusion. Faithfulness to the public
trust will be presumed.
Deemed as material factors which a municipality must consider in
deliberating upon the advisability of closing a street are: "the
topography of the property surrounding the street in the light of
ingress and egress to other streets; the relationship of the street in the
road system throughout the subdivision; the problem posed by the
'dead end' of the street; the width of the street; the cost of rebuilding
and maintaining the street as contrasted to its ultimate value to all of
the property in the vicinity; the inconvenience of those visiting the
subdivision; and whether the closing of the street would cut off any
property owners from access to a street."
Factors considered by the City Council of Baguio in vacating a
portion of Lapu-Lapu St: that portion of the road does not have much
traffic, being in fact a dead end street and the conversion of this
portion would neither prejudice nor damage any person or property;
in the subdivision scheme of the burned area of the City Market
Subdivision, already approved by the City Council, provision was
made for another road behind Lapu-Lapu Street interesecting
Dagohoy Street; the 2.5 opening is sufficient for Plaintiff to enter
and exit from the lot he purchased & the present road rendered
narrow is sufficient for the needs of the plaintiff; and that the portion
leased to Shell Company was not necessary for public use.
Since the leased strip of 100 square meters was withdrawn from
public use, it necessarily follows that such leased portion becomes
patrimonial property (Art. 422 of the CC). Therefore, it may be given
in lease. Note that among the charter powers given the City of
Baguio (Sec. 2541) is to "lease real property, for the benefit of the
city"

3. Appellant argues that by reducing the original width of Lapu-Lapu Street,


his entrance and exit to and from his property has become very difficult; it
was now impossible for his big trucks and trailers to turn around; it made the
area around it very dangerous in case of fire; and that it has caused perpetual
danger, annoyance, irreparable loss and damage to the public in general &
plaintiff in particular.
HELD:
The general rule is that 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. To warrant recovery of damages, the
property owner must show that the situation is such that he has
sustained special damages.
No private right of appellant has been invaded. In fact, the court has
found that the remaining portion of Lapu-Lapu St., is sufficient for
the needs of appellant and that the leased portion subject of this suit
was not necessary for public use. Furthermore, it is physically
impossible to connect Lapu-Lapu Street in its entire width 8 m
with the area donated to the City because the only outlet between
them is 2.5 m wide.
Also, appellant has testified that turning around at the original LapuLapu St. or at the junction of Lapu-Lapu St. and the donated road has
not been tried before and that his trucks actually do their
maneuvering at the intersection of Dagohoy Street and Lapu-Lapu
Street.
The Constitution does not undertake to guarantee to a property
owner the public maintenance of the most convenient route to his
door. When he acquires city property, he does so in tacit recognition
of these principles. If, subsequent to his appreciation, 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.

Power to Open and Close Roads; Factors to Consider in Vacating a Street


Sangalang vs. Intermediate Appellate Court (1989)
Doctrine: The opening of streets to traffic by the Mayor which was warranted
by the demands of common good is a valid exercise of police power.
Facts:
Petitioner Bel-Air Village Association (BAVA) allege that Jupiter
Street is for the exclusive use of Bel-Air Village residents.
Petitioner also relies on its ownership of the streets which it should
not be deprived without due process of law and without just
compensation.

Respondents allege that upon the instructions of Mayor Nemesio T.


Yabut, studies were made by the other respondents on the feasibility
of opening streets in Bel-Air Village calculated to alleviate traffic
congestions along the public streets adjacent to Bel-Air Village.
Respondents also claim that the representatives of petitioner,
particularly its president, Rufino Santos had agreed to the opening of
Bel-Air Village streets. Regarding Jupiter Street, the Municipality
opened it because public welfare demanded its opening which
allegation the petitioner never questioned. With respect to Orbit
Street, whose opening was temporarily suspended, it was opened
only after another meeting attended by Rufino Santos who agreed to
the opening of the street from J.P. Rizal Avenue up to Imelda
Avenue and later up to Jupiter Street, subject to certain conditions.
Respondents specifically cited Section 44 of the Land Registration
Act No. 496.

Issue: W/N the Mayor of Makati could have validly opened Jupiter and Orbit
Streets to vehicular traffic (YES)
Held/Ratio:
The Supreme Court cited its ruling in a prior case also entitled
Sangalang vs. IAC, that the opening of Jupiter Street was warranted by the
demands of the common good, in terms of traffic decongestion and public
convenience. The opening of Orbit Street is also upheld for the same
rationale.
BAVAs claims that the demolition of the gates at Orbit and Jupiter
Streets amounts to deprivation of property without due process of law or

expropriation without just compensation are without merit. The act of the
Mayor falls within the police power. Police power, unlike the power of
eminent domain, is exercised without provisions for just compensation.
The fact that the opening up of Orbit Street to vehicular traffic has
led to the loss of privacy of Bel-Air residents, does not render the exercise of
police power unjustified. The duty of a local executive is to take care of the
needs of the greater number, in many cases, at the expense of the minority.

Figuracion v Libi (2007)


Doctrine: The Resolutions issued by Cebu City, in exercise of its regular and
official functions, constitute clear and positive evidence of the intention of
Cebu City to return or reconvey to the former owner, by way of sale, the
portion of the expropriated property.
Facts:
Galileo Figuracion was the owner of Lot No. 899-D-2 in Cebu City.
In 1948, the local government of Cebu City expropriated the said
lot, consisting of 474 sq. m., to be part of N. Escario Street. Cebu
City paid P23,700 for this lot.
The Cebu City Resolution No. 330 was passed, approving the
reconveyance to Isagani Figuracion, successor-in-interest of Galileo
Figuracion, of the unused portion of Lot 899-D-2. This unused
portion was designated as Lot 899-D-2-A, consisting of 84 sq. m.
2 years later, a resurvey was conducted and it was found out that Lot
899-D-2-A actually measures 130 sq. m. Therefore, the Sangguniang
Panlungsod issued Resolution No. 2345 approving the reconveyance
of 130 sq. m. of Lot 899-D-2.
[First Case]The respondents were using Lot 899-D-2-A and refused
to vacate the same despite demand. Petitioners filed a complaint for
unlawful detainer in the MTC.
o MTC declared petitioners entitled to the possession of said
lot and ordered respondents to remove the fence they had
constructed therein. RTC and the CA affirmed.
[Second Case] Respondents filed a complaint for easement, asking
that they be granted a right of way over the said lot. However,
respondents amended their complaint twice, resulting in a different
cause of action. The amended complaint prayed for the annulment
of Resolutions No. 330 and 2345, the deed of sale in favor of Isagani
Figuracion and the TCT.
o RTC decided in favor of respondents, nullifying Resolutions
No. 330 and 2345, the Deed of Sale and the TCT. CA
affirmed.
Petitioners arguments (regarding the second case):
The complaint filed by the respondents is barred by the MTC
decision in the first case, as affirmed by the RTC and CA.
Petitioners also challenge the legal standing of respondents to
question the Sangguniang Panlungsod resolutions.

Respondents arguments:
When they bought Lot No. 899-D-1, they did so in the belief that
they had an outlet to Escario Street through Lot No. 899-D-2, then
owned by the local government of Cebu City.
Lot 899-D-2, being a road lot, cannot be the subject of sale since it is
outside the commerce of man.
Issue: w/n respondents have a legal standing to question the reconveyance of
Lot 899-D-2-A (NO)
[TOPICAL] w/n the reconveyance of the subject lot by Cebu City to
the petitioners is valid (YES)
Held/Ratio:
Respondents have no interest in the title or possession of Lot No
899-D-2-A. They are not the proper parties to file for annulment of
petitioners title.
The case filed by respondents is for reversion of the subject lot.
Reversion is a proceeding by which the State seeks the return of
lands of the public domain or the improvements thereon through the
cancellation of private title erroneously or fraudulently issued over
it.
Section 101 of the Public Land Act states: All actions for the
reversion to the government of lands of the public domain or
improvements thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor General or
the officer acting in his stead, in the proper courts, in the name of
the Commonwealth [now Republic] of the Philippines.
The sole interest of the respondents is in the use of the property as
access to Escario Street. Such interest is merely tangential to any
issue regarding the ownership and possession of the property. It is
not sufficient to vest legal standing to respondents to sue for the
reversion of the property.
[TOPICAL]
The general rule is local roads used for public service are considered
public property under the absolute control of Congress. However,
under Section 10, Chapter II of the Local Government Code, the
Congress delegated to political subdivisions some control of local
roads.
Section 21 of the LGC provides: Closure and Opening of Roads-(a)
A local government unit may, pursuant to an ordinance,
permanently or temporarily close or open any local road, alley,

park, or square falling within its jurisdiction: Provided, however,


That in case of permanent closure, such ordinance must be
approved by at least two-thirds (2/3) of all the members of the
sanggunian, and when necessary, an adequate substitute for the
public facility that is subject to closure is provided.
Through RA 3857, the Revised Charter of Cebu City, the Congress
delegated to said political subdivision the following authority to
regulate its city streets: Section 31. Legislative powers. Any
provision of law and executive orders to the contrary
notwithstanding, the City Council shall have the following
legislative powers: xx to close any city road, street, alley, boulevard,
avenue, park or square. Property thus withdrawn from public
servitude may be used or conveyed for any purpose for which other
real property belonging to the city may be lawfully used or
conveyed.
The other requirement for a valid reconveyance is establishing that
the former owner or his successors-in-interest have the right to
repurchase said property.
o As held by the Court in Fery v Municipality of Cabanatuan:
When private land is expropriated for a particular public
use, and that particular public use is abandoned, does the
land so expropriated return to its former owner? The
answer to that question depends upon the character of the
title acquired by the expropriator, whether it be the State, a
province, a municipality, or a corporation which has the
right to acquire property under the power of eminent
domain. If, for example, land is expropriated for a
particular purpose, with the condition that when that
purpose is ended or abandoned the property shall return to
its former owner, then, of course, when the purpose is
terminated or abandoned the former owner reacquires the
property so expropriated. If, for example, land is
expropriated for a public street and the expropriation is
granted upon condition that the city can only use it for a
public street, then, of course, when the city abandons its use
as a public street, it returns to the former owner, unless
there is some statutory provisions to the contrary. If, upon
the contrary, however, the decree of expropriation gives to
the entity a fee simple title, then, of course, the land
becomes the absolute property of the expropriator, whether
it be the State, a province, or municipality, and in that case

the non-user does not have the effect of defeating the title
acquired by the expropriation proceedings.
The Court also held in Moreno v Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Authority that where there is preponderant evidence of the existence
of a right to repurchase, the former owner of an expropriated
property is entitled to exercise such option once the public purpose
for which the local government initially intended the expropriated
property is abandoned or not pursued.
It was also held in the cases Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Authority v CA, Reyes v National Housing Authority and Air
Transportation Office v Gopuco, Jr. that where there is insufficient
evidence that the former owners of expropriated properties were
granted the right to repurchase the same, the latter may not insist on
recovering their properties even when the public purpose for which
said properties were expropriated is abandoned.
There can be no doubt that Cebu City repudiated its right to use the
subject lot for other public purpose. Instead, it recognized the right
of the former owner or his successor-in-interest to repurchase the
same.

POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN


SPOUSES YUSAY vs. COURT OF APPEALS, CITY MAYOR AND
CITY COUNCIL OF MANDALUYONG CITY (2011)
Doctrine: Section 19 of RA 7160 categorically requires that the local chief
executive act pursuant to an ordinance in order to exercise the power of
eminent domain.
Facts:
1. The petitioners owned a parcel of land with an area of 1,044 square
meters situated between Nueve de Febrero Street and Fernandez
Street in Barangay Mauway, Mandaluyong City. Half of their land
they used as their residence, and the rest they rented out to nine other
families.
2. On October 2, 1997, the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Mandaluyong
City adopted Resolution No. 552, Series of 1997, to authorize then
City Mayor Benjamin S. Abalos, Sr. to take the necessary legal steps
for the expropriation of the land of the petitioners for the purpose of
developing it for low cost housing for the less privileged but
deserving city inhabitants.
3. Notwithstanding that the enactment of Resolution No. 552 was but
the initial step in the Citys exercise of its power of eminent domain
granted under Section 19 of the Local Government Code of 1991, the
petitioners became alarmed, and filed a petition for certiorari and
prohibition in the RTC, praying for the annulment of Resolution No.
552 due to its being unconstitutional, confiscatory, improper, and
without force and effect.
4. On January 31, 2001, the RTC ruled in favor of the City and
dismissed the petition for lack of merit, opining that certiorari did not
lie against a legislative act of the City Government. However, on
February 19, 2002, the RTC, acting upon the petitioners motion for
reconsideration, set aside its decision and declared that Resolution
No. 552 was null and void.
5. In its decision promulgated on October 18, 2002, the CA concluded
that the reversal of the January 31, 2001 decision by the RTC was
not justified because Resolution No. 552 deserved to be accorded the
benefit of the presumption of regularity and validity absent any
sufficient showing to the contrary.

Petitioners Argument:
1. Petitioners insists that the terms "resolution" and "ordinance" are
synonymous and that the resolution issued by the Sangguniang
Panglungsod is a prerequisite in its exercise of the power of eminent
domain. Hence such issue can adjudicated.
2. Petitioner also argues that its Sangguniang Bayan passed an
ordinance on October 11, 1994 which reiterated its Resolution No.
93-35, Series of 1993, and ratified all the acts of its mayor regarding
the subject expropriation.
Issues:
1. WON certiorari lies to assail the issuance of a resolution by the
Sanggunian Panglungsod? (NO)
2. WON the petition should be dismissed? (YES)
Held: SC affirms the decision promulgated on October 18, 2002 in CAG.R. SP No. 70618.
1. Certiorari does not lie to assail the issuance of a resolution by the
Sanggunian Panglungsod.
Certiorari did not lie against the Sangguniang Panglungsod, which
was not a part of the Judiciary settling an actual controversy
involving legally demandable and enforceable rights when it adopted
Resolution No. 552, but a legislative and policy-making body
declaring its sentiment or opinion
Nor did the Sangguniang Panglungsod abuse its discretion in
adopting Resolution No. 552. To demonstrate the absence of abuse
of discretion, it is well to differentiate between a resolution and an
ordinance.
2. The fact that there is no cause of action is evident from the face of the
Complaint for expropriation which was based on a mere resolution. The
absence of an ordinance authorizing the same is equivalent to lack of cause
of action. Consequently, the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error
in affirming the trial courts Decision which dismissed the expropriation suit.
A resolution like Resolution No. 552 that merely expresses the
sentiment of the Sangguniang Panglungsod is not sufficient for the
purpose of initiating an expropriation proceeding.
Thus, the following essential requisites must concur before an LGU
can exercise the power of eminent domain:
1. 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.

2. The power of eminent domain is exercised for public use,


purpose or welfare, or for the benefit of the poor and the
landless.
3. There is payment of just compensation, as required under
Section 9 Article III of the Constitution and other pertinent
laws.
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 municipal ordinance is different from a resolution. 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.
o 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. In a clear divergence from the
previous Local Government Code, Section 19 of RA 7160
categorically requires that the local chief executive act
pursuant to an ordinance.
The argument of the petitioner that its Sangguniang Bayan passed an
ordinance on October 11, 1994 which reiterated its Resolution No.
93-35, Series of 1993, and ratified all the acts of its mayor regarding
the subject expropriation, is of no merit.
o In the first place, petitioner merely alleged the existence of
such an ordinance, but it did not present any certified true
copy thereof. In the second place, petitioner did not raise this
point before this Court. In fact, it was mentioned by private
respondent, and only in passing.
In view of the absence of the proper expropriation ordinance
authorizing and providing for the expropriation, the petition for
certiorari filed in the RTC was dismissible for lack of cause of
action.
3. Prohibition does not lie against expropriatio.n
The rule and relevant jurisprudence indicate that prohibition was not
available to the petitioners as a remedy against the adoption of
Resolution No. 552, for the Sangguniang Panglungsod, by such
adoption, was not exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial
functions, but only expressing its collective sentiment or opinion.
o Here, however, the remedy of prohibition was not called for,
considering that only a resolution expressing the desire of
the Sangguniang Panglungsod to expropriate the petitioners
property was issued. As of then, it was premature for the

petitioners to mount any judicial challenge, for the power of


eminent domain could be exercised by the City only through
the filing of a verified complaint in the proper court.
Before the City as the expropriating authority filed such verified
complaint, no expropriation proceeding could be said to exist. Until
then, the petitioners as the owners could not also be deprived of their
property under the power of eminent domain

Province of Camarines Sur v. CA (1993)


Petitioner/s: Province of Camarines Sur, Represented by Gov. Luis R.
Villafuerte and Hon. Benjamin V. Panga (as Presiding Judge of RTC Branch
33 at Pili, Camarines Sur)
Respondent/s: Court of Appeals (Third Division); Ernesto San Joaquin and
Efren San Joaquin (San Joaquins)

Doctrine: The power of expropriation is superior to the power to distribute


lands under the land reform program.
Facts: (SC First Division; Ponente:Quiason, J.; Nature: Appeal by
Certiorari)
1. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province (SP) of Camarines Sur
(Camarines Sur) passed Resolution No. 129, which authorizes the
Provincial Governor to purchase or expropriate property contiguous to
the provincial capitol site. (Purpose of expropriation: To establish a pilot
farm for non-food and non-traditional agricultural crops and a housing
project for provincial government employees.)
2. RTC, Pili, Camarines Sur (presided by the Hon. Panga):
2 separate cases for expropriation: Filed by Camarines Sur (through
its Governor) pursuant to the Resolution against the San Joaquins.
Motion for the issuance of a writ of possession filed by Camarines
Sur: The San Joaquins failed to appear.
Motion to dismiss (MTD) filed by the San Joaquins:
o Ground: Inadequacy of the price oered for their property.
o Denied. RTC authorized Camarines Sur to take possession of the
property upon the deposit with the Clerk
of
Court
of
P5,714.00.
Writ of possession issued by the RTC.
2 Motions filed by the San Joaquins: Motion for relief from the
order, authorizing Camarines Sur to take possession of their property
and Motion to admit an amended MTD; Both motions denied.
3. Court of Appeals
San Joaquins prayer (Private respondents in the SC):
o That Resolution No. 129 of the SP be declared null and
void;
o That the complaints for expropriation be dismissed; and
o That the following orders be set aside (a) denying the MTD, (b)
allowing Camarines Sur to take possession of the property
subject of the expropriation, and (c) denying the motion to
admit the amended MTD.

That an order be issued to restrain the RTC from enforcing the


writ of possession, and thereafter to issue a writ of injunction.
Solicitor General (asked by the CA to give his Comment to the
petition):
o There was no need for the approval by the Oce of the President
of the exercise by the SP of the right of eminent domain
under Section 9 of the Local Government Code (LGC) (B.P. Blg.
337).
o Camarines Sur must rst secure the approval of the Department
of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of the plan to expropriate the lands
of petitioners for use as a housing project.
CA set aside the RTC orders: (a) allowing Camarines Sur to take
possession of San Joaquins lands; and (b) denying the admission of
the amended MTD.
CA ordered the RTC: To suspend the expropriation proceedings
until
after
Camarines Sur shall have submitted the requisite
approval of the DAR to convert the classication of the property of
the private respondents from agricultural to non-agricultural land.
o

Petitioners argument(s): The petitioner asks for the CA decision to be set


aside and for the expropriation of the said property to be allowed based on
the following.
It has the authority to initiate the expropriation proceedings under
Sections 4 and 7 LGC.
The expropriations are for a public purpose.
Its exercise of the power of eminent domain cannot be restricted by
the provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law or CAR
Law (R.A. No. 6657), particularly Section 65 thereof, which requires
the approval of the DAR before a parcel of
land
can
be
reclassied from an agricultural to a non-agricultural land.
Respondents argument(s): The Province of Camarines Sur must comply
with Section 65 CAR Law and must rst secure the approval of the DAR of
the plan to expropriate the lands of the San Joaquins.
Issue/s: W/N the expropriation of agricultural lands by local government
units (LGU) is subject to the prior approval of the Secretary of the Agrarian
Reform, as the implementator of the agrarian reform program. (NO.)
Held/Ratio:
1. Ruling:
Petition granted and the CA decision set aside insofar as it:

Nullies the RTC's order allowing the Province of


Camarines
Sur
to
take
possession
of
private
respondents' property;
o Orders the trial court to suspend the expropriation proceedings;
and
o Requires the Province of Camarines Sur to obtain the approval of
the DAR to convert or reclassify private respondents
property from agricultural to non-agricultural use.
CA decision is affirmed insofar as it sets aside the RTC order
(denying the amended MTD of the private respondents).
2. The expropriation of agricultural lands by LGU is not subject to the
prior approval of the DAR.
Heirs of Juancho Ardana v. Reyes: The Court viewed the
power of expropriation as superior to the power to distribute lands
under the land reform program.
Joslin Mfg. Co. v. Providence: In delegating the power to
expropriate, the legislature may retain certain control or impose
certain restraints on the exercise thereof by the local governments.
o While such delegated power may be a limited authority, it is
complete within its limits. Moreover, the limitations on the
exercise of the delegated power must be clearly expressed, either
in the law conferring the power or in other legislations.
Section 9 LGC: This does not intimate in the least that LGUs must
rst secure the approval of the DAR for the conversion of
lands from agricultural to non-agricultural use, before they can
institute the necessary expropriation proceedings.
CAR Law: There is no provision, which expressly subjects the
expropriation of agricultural lands by LGUs to the control of the
DAR.
Sec. 65 CAR Law: This was the closest provision of law that the
CA could cite to justify the intervention of the DAR in
expropriation matters. The opening, adverbial phrase of the
provision sends signals that it applies to lands previously placed
under the agrarian reform program as it speaks of "the lapse of ve
(5) years from its award."
Rules on conversion of agricultural lands found in Secs. 4 (k) and
5 (1) E.O No. 129 - A, Series of 1987: This cannot be the source of
the authority of the DAR to determine the suitability of a
parcel of agricultural land for the purpose to which it would be
devoted by the expropriating authority. While those rules
vest on the DAR the exclusive authority to approve or
disapprove conversions of agricultural lands for residential,
o

commercial or industrial uses, such authority is limited to


the applications for reclassication submitted by the land owners
or tenant beneciaries.
Schulman v. People: Statutes conferring the power of eminent
domain to political subdivisions cannot be broadened or
constricted by implication
To sustain the CA would mean that the local government units can
no longer expropriate agricultural lands needed for the construction
of roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, etc, without rst applying for
conversion of the use of the lands with the DAR, because all of
these projects would naturally involve a change in the land use. In
eect, it would then be the DAR to scrutinize whether the
expropriation is for a public purpose or public use.
U.S. Ex Rel Tennessee Valley Authority v. Welch and State ex rel
Twin City Bldg. and Invest. Co. v. Houghton: It is the legislative
branch of the LGU 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
Other Issue/s:
1. Validity of Resolution No. 129.
When the CA ordered the suspension of the proceedings until the
Camarines Sur shall have obtained the authority of the DAR to
change the classication of the lands sought to be expropriated
from agricultural to non-agricultural use, it assumed that the
resolution is valid and that the expropriation is for a public purpose
or public use.
2. The expropriation of the property authorized by the Resolution is for
a public purpose.
Heirs of Juancho Ardano v. Reyes (1983) and Sumulong v.
Guerrero (1987):
o 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.
o Old concept: The condemned property must actually be used by
the general public (e.g. roads, bridges, public plazas, etc.) before
the taking thereof could satisfy the constitutional requirement of
public use.
o New concept: Public use means public advantage, convenience
or benet, which tends to contribute to the general welfare and

the prosperity of the whole community, like a resort complex for


tourists or housing project.
Sumulong v. Guerrero:Housing is a basic human need. Shortage in
housing is a matter of state concern since it directly and signicantly
aects public health, safety, the environment and in sum the general
welfare.
The establishment of a pilot development center would inure to
the direct benet and advantage of the people of the Province of
Camarines Sur. Once operational, the center would make available to
the community invaluable information and technology on
agriculture, shery and the cottage industry. Ultimately, the
livelihood of the farmers, shermen and craftsmen would be
enhanced. The housing project also satises the public purpose
requirement of the Constitution.
3. The fears of private respondents that they will be paid on the basis of
the valuation declared in the tax declarations of their property, are
unfounded.
Municipality of Talisay v. Ramirez (1990): The rules for determining
just compensation are those laid down in Rule 67 of the Rules of
Court, which allow private respondents to submit evidence on what
they consider shall be the just compensation for their property.

Masikip vs. Pasig City (2006)


Doctrine: The right to take private property for public purposes necessarily
originates from the necessity and the taking must be limited to such
necessity.
Facts:
Lourdes Dela Paz Masikip (petitioner) owns a parcel of land with an
area of 4,521 square meters located at Caniogan, Pasig City.
Pasig City (respondent) notified petitioner of its intention to
expropriate a 1,500 square meter portion of her property to be used
for the sports development and recreational activities of the
residents of Barangay Caniogan. This was pursuant to Ordinance No.
42 enacted by the then Sangguniang Bayan of Pasig.
Petitioner refused.
Subsequently, respondent filed with the trial court a complaint for
expropriation.
The trial court ruled in favor of respondent on the ground that there
is a genuine necessity to expropriate the property for the sports and
recreational activities of the residents of Pasig. CA affirmed.
Petitioners arguments:
Petitioner filed this petition for review on certiorari assailing the
decision of the CA.
Petitioner contends that respondent failed to establish a genuine
necessity which justifies the condemnation of her property. While
she does not dispute the intended public purpose, nonetheless, she
insists that there must be a genuine necessity for the proposed use
and purposes.
According to petitioner, there is already an established sports
development and recreational activity center at Rainforest Park in
Pasig City, fully operational and being utilized by its residents,
including those from Barangay Caniogan.
Respondents arguments:
Respondent maintains that there is a genuine necessity to expropriate
the property for the sports and recreational activities of the residents
of Pasig.
Issue: WON Pasig City has established genuine necessity for expropriating
petitioners property.
Held/Ratio: NO. There is no genuine necessity.
US v. Toribio: This Court defined the power of eminent domain as
the right of a government to take and appropriate private property to

public use, whenever the public exigency requires it, which can be
done only on condition of providing a reasonable compensation
therefor.
Section 19 of the Local Government Code of 1991 prescribes the
delegation by Congress of the power of eminent domain to local
government units and lays down the parameters for its exercise, thus:
SEC. 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, purpose or
welfare for the benefit of the poor and the landless, upon payment of
just compensation, pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution and
pertinent laws
The right to take private property for public purposes necessarily
originates from the necessity and the taking must be limited to
such necessity.
City of Manila v. Chinese Community of Manila:The very
foundation of the right to exercise eminent domain is a genuine
necessity and that necessity must be of a public character. Moreover,
the ascertainment of the necessity must precede or accompany and
not follow, the taking of the land.
City of Manila v. Arellano Law College: 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 the property owner consistent with such benefit.
Applying this standard, we hold that respondent has failed to
establish that there is a genuine necessity to expropriate petitioners
property.
Our scrutiny of the records shows that the Certification issued by the
Caniogan Barangay Council, the basis for the passage of Ordinance
No. 42, indicates that the intended beneficiary is the Melendres
Compound Homeowners Association, a private, non-profit
organization, and not the residents of Caniogan. It can be gleaned
that the members of the said Association are desirous of having their
own private playground and recreational facility. Petitioners lot is
the nearest vacant space available.
The purpose is, therefore, not clearly and categorically public. The
necessity has not been shown, especially considering that there exists
an alternative facility for sports development and community
recreation in the area, which is the Rainforest Park, available to all
residents of Pasig City, including those of Caniogan.

BARANGAY SINDALAN, et al. v. CA et al. (2007)


Doctrine:
The power of eminent domain can only be exercised for public use and with
just compensation. Taking an individuals private property is a deprivation
which can only be justified by a higher goodwhich is public useand can
only be counterbalanced by just compensation. Without these safeguards,
the taking of property would not only be unlawful, immoral, and null and
void, but would also constitute a gross and condemnable transgression of an
individuals basic right to property as well.
Petitioner: BARANGAY SINDALAN, SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA,
rep. by BARANGAY CAPTAIN ISMAEL GUTIERREZ
Respondent: CA, JOSE MAGTOTO III, and PATRICIA SINDAYAN
(Registered owners of the parcel of land sought to be
expropriated)
Facts:
Pursuant to a resolution passed by the barangay council, petitioner Barangay
Sindalan, San Fernando, Pampanga, represented by Barangay Captain Ismael
Gutierrez, filed a Complaint for eminent domain against respondent spouses
Jose Magtoto III and Patricia Sindayan.
Petitioner sought to convert a portion of respondents land into Barangay
Sindalans feeder road, claiming that respondents property was the most
practical and nearest way to the municipal road. Pending the resolution of
the case at the trial court, petitioner deposited an amount equivalent to the
fair market value of the property.
Respondents alleged that the expropriation of their property was for private
use, that is, for the benefit of the homeowners of Davsan II Subdivision,
instead of the residents of Sitio Paraiso.
Prior to the filing of the expropriation case, said subdivision was linked to
MacArthur Highway through a pathway across the land of a certain Torres
family. Before the passage of the barangay resolution, the wives of the
subdivision owner and the barangay captain had proposed buying a right-ofway for the subdivision across a portion of respondents property. These
prospective buyers, however, never returned after learning the price that the
respondents ascribed to their property.

Trial court ruled in favor of petitioners. CA reversed and set aside the
decision of the trial court.
Petitioner filed petition for review on certiorari before Supreme Court
Issue:
WON the proposed exercise of the power of eminent domain is for a public
purpose.
Petitioners argument:
The taking of the property is for public use.
Respondents counter-argument:
Expropriation of their property was for private use, that is, for the benefit of
the homeowners of Davsan II Subdivision.
SC Ruling:
The exercise of the power of eminent domain is constrained by two
constitutional provisions: (1) that private property shall not be taken for
public use without just compensation, and (2) that no person shall be
deprived of his/her life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
In this jurisdiction, public use is defined as whatever is beneficially
employed for the community.
Petitioners Argument:
There are at least 80 houses in the place and about 400 persons will be
benefited with the use of a barangay road.
SC Ruling:
While the number of people who use or can use the property is not
determinative of whether or not it constitutes public use or purpose, the
factual milieu of the case reveals that the intended use of respondents lot is
confined solely to the Davsan II Subdivision residents and is not exercisable
in common. Worse, the expropriation will actually benefit the subdivisions
owner who will be able to circumvent his commitment to provide road access
to the subdivision, and also be relieved of spending his own funds for a rightof-way.
Considering that the residents who need a feeder road are all subdivision lot
owners, it is the obligation of the Davsan II Subdivision owner to acquire a
right-of-way for them.

Public funds can be used only for a public purpose.


Digested by: MYD
LOCGOV 066
JESUS IS LORD CHRISTIAN SCHOOL FOUNDATION, INC. v.
MUNICIPALITY (now CITY) OF PASIG, METRO MANILA (2005)
Eminent domain is strictly construed against the State or agent exercising it.
The State has the burden of showing that it complied with the requirements of
law (Section 19 of the LGC as well as Article 33 of the IRR). The
requirements are 1. ordinance 2. public use 3. just compensation 4. written,
valid, and definite offer refused by property owner. There was no valid and
definite offer in this case.
FACTS:
The Municipality of Pasig (Pasig) decided to expropriate 51 sq. m. out of
the 1,791 sq. m. property of the Cuangcos to make an access road from
E.R. Santos Street to Bgy. Sto Tomas Bukid, Pasig. The purpose for this
is so that fire trucks could pass through in case of conflagration.
The Sangguniang Bayan of Pasig approved an ordinance authorizing
Mayor to initiate expropriation proceedings. Engr. Jose Reyes sent a letter
inviting Cuancos to his office to discuss the project and the price.
The municipality filed an expropriation complaint and deposited 15% of
the market value of the land with the RTC, based on the latest tax
declaration.
RTC issued a writ of possession over the property.
Municipality caused the annotation of a notice of lis pendens at the dorsal
portion of the TCT under the name of JILCSFI which purchased the
property.
Municipality constructed the cemented road. It was called Damayan
Street.
Cuancos responded that the land has already been sold to JILSCFI.
JILSCFI intervened.
RTC held that there was substantial compliance with a valid offer
requirement under Sec. 19 of the LGC.
CA affirmed the RTC order. MR denied.
ISSUE/S:
1) WON the municipality complied with Sec. 19 of the LGC requiring a
valid and definite offer to acquire the property prior to the filing of
the complaint - NO

2) WON the property which is already intended to be used for public


purposes may still be expropriated by the respondent - YES
3) WON the requisites for an easement for right-of-way under Articles
649 to 657 of the NCC may be dispensed with - NO
PETITIONERs Position:
The law requires a valid and definite offer and that such offer was not
accepted as a condition precedent for the filing of an expropriation
complaint.
o The photocopy of the letter of Engr. Reyes cannot be
considered because the trial court did not admit it in
evidence. Assuming such letter was admissible, mere notice
of intent to purchase is not equivalent to an offer to
purchase.
Eminent domain must be strictly construed against the power exercising it
as it is necessarily in derogation of the property rights of a person.
The local government should comply with the requirements of easement
of right-of-way; hence the road must be established at the point least
prejudicial to the owner of the property.
If the property is already devoted to another public use, its expropriation
should not be allowed.
Relief Sought: Reconsideration of RTC decision declaring the municipality
of Pasig as having the right to expropriate and take possession of the subject
property
Legal Basis: Sec. 19 of the LGC
RESPONDENTs Opposition:
CA already resolved the issues raised.
The Ching Cuancos were deemed to have admitted that an offer had been
made because they failed to specifically deny the allegation in the
complaint.
Legal Basis: Sec. 19 of the LGC; Art. 33 of the IRR of the LGC
HELD/RATIO:
1. NO.
The right of eminent domain is usually understood to be an ultimate right of
sovereign power to appropriate any property within its territorial sovereignty
for a public purpose.

The exercise of the right of eminent domain is necessarily in derogation of


private rights. It is one of the harshest proceedings known to the law. The
authority to condemn is to be strictly construed in favour of the owner and
against condemnor.
Art. 19 of the LGC provides the legal basis for the grant of power of eminent
domain to local governments. The following are the requisites for the valid
exercise of the eminent domain by a LGUs:
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.
2. The power of eminent domain is exercised for public use, purpose or
welfare, or for the benefit of the poor and the landless.
3. There is payment of just compensation, as required under Section 9,
Article III of the Constitution, and other pertinent laws.
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.
Article 35 of the IRR of the LGC requires that the offer be in writing. It shall
specify the property to be acquired, the reasons for its acquisition, and the
price offered. The purpose of the offer is to encourage settlements and
voluntary acquisition of property to avoid the expense and delay of a court
action. The right to an offer is a substantial right of the property owner, not
merely pro forma.
In this case, no offer was made. The municipality offered the letter only to
prove its desire or intent to acquire the property for a right-of-way. The letter
is merely an invitation for one of the co-owners, Lorenzo Ching Cuanco, to a
conference to discuss the project and the price that may be mutually
acceptable to both parties.
The annotation of the notice of lis pendens at the dorsal portion of the TCT is
NOT substantial compliance with the requisite of valid offer. The notice of
lis pendens is a notice to the whole world of the pendency of an action
involving the same property and a warning that those who acquire an interest
in the property do so at their own risk. Also, the lis pendens was annotated
long after the complaint had been filed in the RTC against the Ching
Cuancos.
As can be gleaned from their answer to the complaint, the Ching Cuancos
specifically denied the allegation for want of sufficient knowledge to form a

belief as to its correctness. (Sec. 10, Rule 8 of the Rules of Court)


2) YES. Public use experiences constant growth. Whatever is beneficially
employed for the community is a public use. That only a few would actually
benefit from the expropriation of property does not necessarily diminish the
essence and character of public use.
3) YES. They need not comply with the NCC requirements on easements.
Pasig just needs to show that there is a need for the road and indeed there is
based on the testimonies of several residents that there are no vehiclepassable roads currently in the area. However, the problem here is that the
RTC did not perform an ocular inspection to verify these statements, thus its
findings of fact were disregarded by the Supreme Court.
Petition granted in favor of JILSCFI.

Antonio vs. Geronimo (2005)


Doctrine:
Expropriation has no binding legal effect unless a formal expropriation
proceeding has been instituted.
Facts:
The parcels of land subject of this case were involved in an unlawful
detainer suit in the MTC.
o Catolos, the registered owner of the parcels of land, instituted an
action for unlawful detainer against Antonio et. A (petitioners).
o Catolos allowed petitioners stay on the lots without requiring
them to pay rental on the condition that they will vacate upon
demand. They did not vacate despite Catolos demand.
o MTC Judge Geronimo decided in favor of Catolos. MTC
issued a writ of demolition of the properties on said lots.
Partial demolition had already taken place (i.e. case was already at the
execution stage) when the Sangguniang Bayan of Rizal, Antipolo passed
two Resolutions: 1) Resolution No. 61-95 authorized the Mayor to
acquire the properties for expropriation for public purposes/socialized
housing and 2) Resolution No. 88-95 authorized Mayor to secure
financing for the acquisition of the land.
SBayan passed another resolution requesting the MTC that the
demolition be held in abeyance.
Demolition proceeded despite the resolution.
Petitioners filed a Motion to Stay Execution on the ground that
supervening events have rendered the execution unjust and inequitable.
MTC denied this motion.
Petitioners filed a R65 petition for certiorari to set aside the order
denying the motion to stay execution and to enjoin respondents from
continuing with the demolition.
Petitioners arguments:
For Issue 1:
The resolution decreeing expropriation of the property subject of the
ejectment case filed by the Sangguniang Bayan constitutes a
supervening event which makes execution of the ejectment decision
unjust and impractical.
For Issue 2:
Commonwealth Act No. 538 does not require that an action for
expropriation be filed in court before the suspension of the action for

ejectment shall be automatically suspended . It shall be sufficient


where the competent authority advises in writing the owner of the
intention of the government to acquire his land.
For Issue 3:
The requirement on the payment of rents as a precondition to the
availment of the benefits of suspension under Commonwealth Act
No. 538 does not apply to them because they were allowed by
private respondent to occupy the premises without paying rent.
Respondents arguments:
For Issue 2:
CA No. 538 applies only to cases wherein expropriation proceedings
are filed. The two Sbayan Resolutions expressing expressing the
intent to expropriate the properties evinced merely an intention to
expropriate and not the actual expropriation proceeding.
For Issue 3:

Assuming that there exists an expropriation proceeding, petitioners


still cannot avail of the automatic suspension of the ejectment case
because they failed to pay their current rentals and deposit them with
the court.

Issue 1:
Whether the issuance of the Resolutions for expropriation by an LGU
constitutes a supervening event so as to suspend the writ of execution in an
ejectment case (No)
Held/Ratio:
The general rule is if judgment is rendered against the defendant, it is
immediately executory. Among the exceptions is the occurrence of
supervening events which have brought about a material change in
the situation of the parties and would make the execution inequitable.
Local government units may exercise the power of eminent domain,
subject to the limitation embodied under the law. There are two
relevant laws, the LGC and RA No. 7279 (UDHA).
The requirements for the valid exercise of the power of eminent
domain under Sec. 19 of LGC are the following:

1. An ordinance authorizing the local chief executive to


exercise pursue expropriation proceedings over a particular
private property;
o 2. power of ED is exercised for public use, purpose or
welfare, or for the benefit of the poor and the landless;
o 3. payment of just compensation, as required under
Constitution, and laws;
o 4. valid and definite offer previously made to the owner but
not accepted.
o No ordinance was passed by the SBayan, only Resolutions. In its
stead were Resolution Nos. 61-95 and 88-95.
No ordinance, mere resolution
o Resolution is not the same as an ordinance. Municipality of
Paranaque v. V.M. Realty Corporation and Heirs of Suguitan v. City
of Mandaluyong:
# A local government unit cannot authorize an
expropriation of private property through a mere
resolution. 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. An ordinance
possesses a general and permanent character, but a
resolution is temporary in nature. Additionally, the two
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 member.
# 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. The power of eminent domain necessarily
involves a derogation of a fundamental or private right
of the people. Accordingly, the manifest change in the
legislative language from "resolution" under the BP
337 to "ordinance" under RA 7160 demands a strict
construction.
o

Non-compliance with other requirements of law


o Assuming arguendo that instead of resolutions, an ordinance was passed,
the taking of the private property did not comply with other requirements
of law.
o The UDHA is the governing law in the the local expropriation of
property for purposes of urban land reform and housing. (See Sec.

9. Priorities in the Acquisition of Land18 and Sec. 10. Modes of Land


Acquisition19)
The records do not show compliance with the abovementioned rules in
expropriation for socialized housing. No attempt was made to acquire
the first five (5) lands mentioned in Section 9. Neither were the other
modes of acquisition exhausted, as mandated by Section 10. An
examination of the resolutions readily shows that the purpose for which
they were passed is to save petitioners from the impending demolition.

Issue 2:
Whether a formal expropriation proceeding has to be filed for an
expropriation to have binding legal effect (Yes)
[NB: The Court looked at a list of laws enacted afterCommonwealth Act No.
538 (1940) and the rationale behind them to determine whether C.A. No. 358
applies only to cases where there exist actual expropriation proceedings.20]
Section 5 of R.A. 1162: From the approval of said Act and until the
expropriation herein provided, no ejectment proceedings shall be
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
o

18

Sec. 9. Priorities in the Acquisition of Land. Lands for socialized housing shall be
acquired in the following order:
(a) Those owned by the government or any of its subdivisions, instrumentalities, or agencies,
including government-owned or -controlled corporations and their subsidiaries;
(b) Alienable lands of the public domain;
(c) Unregistered or abandoned and idle lands;
(d) Those within the declared Areas for Priority Development, Zonal Improvement Program
sites, and Slum Improvement and Resettlement Program sites which have not yet been
acquired;
(e) Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services or BLISS sites which have not yet
been acquired; and
(f) Privately-owned lands.
Where open-site development is found more practicable and advantageous to the beneficiaries,
the priorities mentioned in this section shall not apply. The local government units shall give
budgetary priority to on-site development of government lands.
19
Sec. 10. Modes of Land Acquisition.The modes of acquiring lands for purposes of this Act shall
include, among others, community mortgage, land swapping, land assembly or consolidation, land
banking, donation to the government, joint-venture agreement, negotiated purchase, and expropriation:
Provided, however, That expropriation shall be resorted to only when other models of acquisition have
been exhausted: Provided, further, That where expropriation is resorted to, parcels of land owned by small
property owners shall be exempted for purposes of this Act: Provided, finally, That abandoned property,
as herein defined, shall be reverted and escheated to the State in a proceeding analogous to the procedure
laid down in Rule 91 of the Rules of Court.
For the purpose of socialized housing, government-owned and foreclosed properties shall be acquired by
the local government units, or by the National Housing Authority primary through negotiated purchase:
Provided, That qualified beneficiaries who are actual occupants of the land shall be given the right of first
refusal.
20

Sec.! 1! of! Commonwealth! Act! No.! 538! (1940):! When! the! Government! seeks! to! acquire,! through!
purchase! or! expropriation! proceedings,! lands! belonging! to! any! estate! or! chaplaincy! (capellania),! any!
action!for!ejectment!against!the!tenants!occupying!said!lands!shall!be!automatically!suspended!xxx!

instituted or prosecuted against any tenant or occupant if he pays his


current rentals.
o The interpretation of Section 5 of R.A. 1162 by the Court is
that an action for ejectment is deemed suspended only when
an expropriation proceeding is actually commenced.
o Teresa Realty v. Potenciano: The remedies granted to
tenants under section 5, Republic Act No. 1162 or its
amendment, do not and can not apply where expropriation
proceedings have not been commenced under pain of
unconstitutionality.
Congress approved another similar law, Republic Act No. 2616,
Section 4.
o J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals, et al. and
Republic of the Philippines v. J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc., et.
al.: The Court imposed guidelines for the implementation of
R.A. No. 2616, such that an ejectment proceeding cannot be
barred or suspended unless an action for expropriation is
actually filed.
o Familara v. J.M. Tuason: To hold that the mere declaration
of an intention to expropriate, without instituting the
corresponding proceeding therefor before the courts, with
assurance of just compensation, would already preclude the
exercise by the owner of his rights of ownership over the
land, or bar the enforcement of any final ejectment order that
the owner may have obtained against any intruder into the
land, is to sanction an act which is indeed confiscatory and
therefore offensive to the Constitution. For it must be
realized that in a condemnation case, it is from the
condemnor's taking possession of the property that the owner
is deprived of the benefits of ownership, such as possession,
management and disposition thereof. Before that time, the
proprietary right of the owner over his property must be
recognized.
Cuatico v. Court of Appeals: The Court struck down Republic Act
No. 3453 21for being confiscatory because it allows the continuance
of the occupation of the land on the part of the tenant indefinitely
even if no expropriation proceedings are taken or contemplated, thus
taking from the owner his property without compensation and

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
21
SEC. 4.
Upon approval of this amendatory Act, no ejectment proceedings shall be instituted or
prosecuted against the present occupants of any lot in said Tatalon Estate, and no ejectment proceedings
already commenced shall be continued xxx

depriving him of his dominical rights of ownership over it without


due process in violation of the Constitution.
Issue 3:
Whether the benefit of suspension of the ejectment case under C.A.
358 is available to persons who do not pay rentals with permission
of the owner of the property (No)
o

Javier v. Araneta: C.A. 538 refers to a tenant when it talks


about who may avail of the benefits of the suspension. The
word tenant does not include a squatter, because a
squatter is a person who settles or locates on land,
inclosed or uninclosed, with no bona fide claim or
color of title, and without the consent of the owner; and it
does not appear that petitioner has paid to the land owner
the current rents as they became due or has deposited the
same with the court where the action for ejectment has been
instituted.
Only tenants who have been in faithful payment of rentals
may invoke the benefits under CA No. 358.

ORTEGA v CITY OF CEBU (2009)


Doctrine:
Stages of Expropriation-1) Determination of the authority of the
plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain and the propriety
of its exercise in the context of the facts involved in the suit; 2)
Determination by the court of the just compensation for the property
sought to be taken.
Though the ascertainment of just compensation is a judicial
prerogative, the appointment of commissioners to ascertain just
compensation for the property sought to be taken is a mandatory
requirement in expropriation cases.
An ordinance appropriating public funds is required for the payment
of just compensation. The remedy for collecting just compensation
(absent any ordinance appropriating funds) is through mandamus,
not garnishment.
Facts:
One-half of the land owned by the Ortega spouses was expropriated
by the City of Cebu through Ordinance No. 1519 (giving authority to
the Mayor to expropriate and appropriating P3, 248, 400.00 or P1,
150.oo/sq. meter
The amount will be charged against Account No. 8-93-310,
Continuing Appropriation, Account No. 101-8918-334, repurchase
of lots for various projects. The value of the land was determined by
the Cebu City Appraisal Committee in Resolution No. 19, series of
1994, dated April 15, 1994.
A complaint for Eminent domain was filed with the RTC by the City
of Cebu
o March 13, 1998 Decision: declared that Cebu had authority
to take the property and fixed the just compensation at P31,
416, 000.00 or P11, 000/ sq. m
o This became final and executory for failure of the City of
Cebu to appeal.
o A Writ of Execution was issued. RTC subjected Account
No. 101-8918-334 under garnishment to collect P3, 284,
400.00 pursuant to Ord. No. 1519
City of Cebu filed Omnibus Motion to Stay Execution, Modification
of Judgment and Withdrawal of the Case.
o contended that the price set by the RTC as just compensation
to be paid to the Spouses Ortega is way beyond the reach of
its intended beneficiaries for its socialized housing program.

DENIED.
MR: DENIED (thereafter they appealed to the CA)

While the appeal was pending with the CA, a Notice of Garnishment
to Philippine Postal Bank, P. del Rosario and Junquera Branch Cebu
City, was served garnishing Cebu Citys bank deposit therein.
o The City of Cebu filed before the RTC a Motion to Dissolve,
Quash or Recall the Writ of Garnishment
o Contended that Account No. 101-8918-334 is not actually an
existing bank account and that the garnishment of Cebu
Citys bank account with Philippine Postal Bank was illegal,
because government funds and properties may not be seized
under writ of execution or garnishment to satisfy such
judgment, on obvious reason of public policy.
o DENIED
MR: DENIED
CA: partially granted appeal
Motion to Stay Execution was granted
Motion to Modify Judgment and Withdraw from the Expropriation
Proceedings was denied.

Petitioners arguments:
Decision dated March 13, 1998 was already final and executory.
Garnishment was proper for they were entitled to compensation
based on the March 13, 1998 Decision
Respondents arguments:
Omnibus Motion to Stay Execution, Modification of Judgment and
Withdrawal of the (Expropriation) Case should be allowed.
o the just compensation fixed by the RTC is too high, and the
intended expropriation of the Spouses Ortegas property is
dependent on whether Cebu City would have sufficient
funds to pay for the same.
The garnishment of accounts with the Philippine Postal Bank was
illegal.
o appropriated for a different purpose by its Sangguniang
Panglungsod
o government funds and properties may not be seized under
writ of execution or garnishment to satisfy such judgment,
on obvious reason of public policy.

Issue/s:

1. Whether the CA erred in affirming the RTCs denial of Cebu Citys


Omnibus Motion to Modify Judgment and to be allowed to Withdraw from
the Expropriation Proceedings.
2. Whether the deposit of Cebu City with the Philippine Postal Bank,
appropriated for a different purpose by its Sangguniang Panglungsod, can be
subject to garnishment as payment for the expropriated lot covered by City
Ordinance No. 1519.

Held/Ratio:
1. NO, the CA did not err in denying the Omnibus Motion to Modify
Judgment and Motion to Withdraw from the Expropriation
Proceedings.

Section 4, Rule 67 of the Rules of Court on Expropriation22 shows


that basically there are 2 stages in expropriation proceedings: 1)
Determination of the authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power
of eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in the context of
the facts involved in the suit; 2) Determination by the court of the
just compensation for the property sought to be taken.
An order of expropriation denotes the end of the first stage of
expropriation. Its end then paves the way for the second stagethe
determination of just compensation, and, ultimately, payment. An
order by the trial court fixing just compensation does not affect a
prior order of expropriation.

Cebu City cannot claim that it is entitled to withdraw just because


the compensation fixed by the RTC is allegedly too high.
o It is well-settled in jurisprudence that the determination of
just compensation is a judicial prerogative.
o Though the ascertainment of just compensation is a judicial
prerogative, the appointment of commissioners to ascertain
just compensation for the property sought to be taken is a
mandatory requirement in expropriation cases. While it is
true that the findings of commissioners may be disregarded
and the trial court may substitute its own estimate of the
value, it may only do so for valid reasons; that is, where the
commissioners have applied illegal principles to the
evidence submitted to them, where they have disregarded a
clear preponderance of evidence, or where the amount
allowed is either grossly inadequate or excessive.23

2. NO, the deposit of Cebu City with the Philippine Postal Bank cannot
be subjected to garnishment.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

22

SEC.!4.!Order!of!expropriation.!!If!the!objections!to!and!the!defenses!against!the!right!of!the!plaintiff!
to!expropriate!the!property!are!overruled,!or!when!no!party!appears!to!defend!as!required!by!this!Rule,!
the!court!may!issue!an!order!of!expropriation!declaring!that!the!plaintiff!has!a!lawful!right!to!take!the!
property!sought!to!be!expropriated,!for!the!public!use!or!purpose!described!in!the!complaint,!upon!the!
payment!of!just!compensation!to!be!determined!as!of!the!date!of!the!taking!of!the!property!or!the!filing!
of!the!complaint,!whichever!came!first.!

A!final!order!sustaining!the!right!to!expropriate!the!property!may!be!appealed!by!any!party!aggrieved!
thereby.!Such!appeal,!however,!shall!not!prevent!the!court!from!determining!the!just!compensation!to!
be!paid.!
After!the!rendition!of!such!an!order,!the!plaintiff!shall!not!be!permitted!to!dismiss!or!discontinue!the!
proceeding!except!on!such!terms!as!the!court!deems!just!and!equitable.!

Thus, the Cebu City can no longer ask for modification of


the judgment (March 13, 1998), much less, withdraw its
complaint, after it failed to appeal even the first stage of the
expropriation proceedings.

The proper remedy of the Spouses Ortega is to file a mandamus24


case against Cebu City in order to compel its Sangguniang
Panglungsod to enact an appropriation ordinance for the satisfaction
of their claim.
It should also be noted that the Philippine Postal Bank issued a
Certification certifying that Account No. 8-93-310 (Continuing
Account) and Account No. 101-8918-334 are not bank account
numbers with Philippine Postal Bank.
It is a settled rule that government funds and properties may not be
seized under writs of execution or garnishment to satisfy judgments,
based on obvious consideration of public policy. Disbursements of
public funds must be covered by the corresponding appropriation as
required by law. The functions and public services rendered by the
State cannot be allowed to be paralyzed or disrupted by the diversion

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
23
24

NPC v dela Cruz and Porform Dev. Corp. v Phil. Natl. Railways
Municipality of Makati v CA

of public funds from their legitimate and specific objects, as


appropriated by law.
the trial court has no authority to garnish the Municipalitys other
bank account absent any showing that an ordincance has been passed
appropriating from its public funds an amount corresponding to the
balance due25

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
25

Municipality of Makati v CA

ONGSUCO VS. MALONES (2009)


Doctrine:
A case where the issue raised is a purely legal question, well within the
competence; and the jurisdiction of the court and not the administrative
agency is an exception to the rule on exhaustion of administrative remedies.
The revenues of a local government unit do not consist of taxes alone, but
also other fees and charges.Rentals and goodwill fees are revenues and for it
to be valid must comply with the requirements in section 186 of the LGC.
Section 186 of the Local Government Code prescribes that the public hearing
be held prior to the enactment by a local government unit of an ordinance
levying taxes, fees, and charges. Subsequent efforts to comply with such
requirement cannot validate an ordiance.
Facts: This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 assailing the
Decision of the Court of Appeals which affirmed the RTC decision
dismissing the special civil action for Mandamus/Prohibition with Prayer for
Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary
Injunction, filed by petitioners Evelyn Ongsuco and Antonia Salaya against
respondent Mayor Mariano Malones of the Municipality of Maasin, Iloilo.
Petitioners are stall holders at the Maasin Public Market. The Office
of Respondent informed petitioners of a meeting scheduled on 11 August
1998 concerning the municipal public market. On 17 August 1998,
the Sangguniang Bayan of Maasin approved Municipal Ordinance No. 9801, entitled The Municipal Revised Revenue Code. The Code contained a
provision for increased rentals for the stalls and the imposition of goodwill
fees in the amount of P20,000.00 and P15,000.00 for stalls located on the
first and second floors of the municipal public market, respectively. The
same Code authorized respondent to enter into lease contracts over the said
market stalls and incorporated a standard contract of lease for the stall
holders at the municipal public market.
On 18 September 1998, the Sangguniang Bayan of Maasin approved
Resolution No. 68 moving to have the meeting dated 11 August
1998 declared inoperative as a public hearing, because majority of the
persons affected by the imposition of the goodwill fee failed to agree to the
said measure. However this resolution was vetoed by respondent. Another
purported public hearing was held on 22 January 1999.

On 9 June 1999, respondent then wrote a letter to petitioners


informing them that they were occupying stalls in the newly renovated
municipal public market without any lease contract, as a consequence of
which, the stalls were considered vacant and open for qualified and interested
applicants.
The RTC ruled that petitioners could not avail themselves of the
remedy of mandamus or prohibition. It reasoned that mandamus would not
lie in this case where petitioners failed to show a clear legal right to the use
of the market stalls without paying the goodwill fees imposed by the
municipal government. They also dismissed the case for failure of petitioners
to exhaust administrative remedies. This was affirmed by the CA.
Petitioners arguments:
Petitioners filed before the RTC a Petition for Prohibition/Mandamus, with
Prayer for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of
Preliminary Injunction. They argued that:
1. A public hearing was mandatory in the imposition of goodwill
fees. According to Section 186 of the Local Government Code
an ordinance levying taxes, fees, or charges shall not be enacted
without any prior hearing conducted for the purpose.
2. Municipal Ordinance No. 98-01, imposing goodwill fees, is
invalid on the ground that the conferences held on 11 August
1998 and 22 January 1999 could not be considered public
hearings.
According to Article 277(b)(3) of the Implementing Rules and
Regulations of the Local Government Code:
(3) The notice or notices shall specify the date or
dates and venue of the public hearing or hearings. The
initial public hearing shall be held not earlier than ten
(10) days from the sending out of the notice or notices,
or the last day of publication, or date of posting thereof,
whichever is later.
The letter from respondent was sent to stall holders on 6 August
1998 and the meeting was held on 11 August 1998, only five
days after notice.

Respondents arguments:
Respondent on the other hand argued that:
1. Municipal Ordinance No. 98-01is not per se a tax or revenue
measure, but involves the operation and management of an
economic enterprise of the Municipality of Maasin thus, there
was no mandatory requirement to hold a public hearing for the
enactment thereof.
2. Even granting that a public hearing was required, respondent
insisted that public hearings took place on 11 August
1998 and 22 January 1999.

or charges, subject to the provisions of this


Rule. Such taxes, fees, or charges shall accrue
exclusively to the LGU.
Article 221(g) of the Local Government Code of 1991 defines
charges as:
XXX (g) Charges refer to pecuniary liability, as rents or
fees against persons or property.
Evidently, the revenues of a local government unit do not consist of
taxes alone, but also other fees and charges. And rentals and
goodwill fees, imposed by Municipal Ordinance No. 98-01 for the
occupancy of the stalls at the municipal public market, fall under the
definition of charges. For the valid enactment of ordinances
imposing charges Section 186 of the Local Government Code must
be complied with:

Issue/s:
Whether or not there is a need to exhaust administrative remedies
Whether or not a public hearing pursuant to sec. 186 of the LGC is
required for the municipal revenue code to be valid?
3. Whether or not there was a valid public hearing?
1.
2.

Section 186. Power to Levy Other Taxes, Fees or


Charges.xxx
Provided,
further, That
the
ordinance levying such taxes, fees or charges shall
not be enacted without any prior public hearing
conducted for the purpose.

Held/Ratio:
1.

2.

NO/NONE. - The rule on the exhaustion of administrative remedies


is intended to preclude a court from arrogating unto itself the
authority to resolve a controversy, the jurisdiction over which is
initially lodged with an administrative body of special
competence. Thus, a case where the issue raised is a purely legal
question, well within the competence; and the jurisdiction of the
court and not the administrative agency, would clearly constitute an
exception. In this case, the parties are not disputing any factual
matter, the sole issue petitioners raised before the RTC was
whether Municipal Ordinance No. 98-01 was valid and enforceable
despite the absence, prior to its enactment, of a public hearing held in
accordance with Article 276 of the Implementing Rules and
Regulations of the Local Government Code. This is undoubtedly a
pure question of law, within the competence and jurisdiction of the
RTC to resolve.
YES. - Article 219 of the Local Government Code provides that:
Article 219. Power to Create Sources of Revenue.
Consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy,
each LGU shall exercise its power to create its own
sources of revenue and to levy taxes, fees,

And according Section 277 of the Implementing Rules and


Regulations of the Local Government Code the publication of Tax
Ordinance and Revenue Measures require written notices and public
hearing which shall not be held earlier than ten (10) days from the
sending out of the notice or notices, or the last day of publication, or
date of posting thereof, whichever is later.
3.

NO/NONE. - There is no dispute herein that the notices sent to


petitioners and other stall holders at the municipal public market
were sent out on 6 August 1998, informing them of the supposed
public hearing to be held on 11 August 1998. Even assuming that
petitioners received their notice also on 6 August 1998, the public
hearing was already scheduled, and actually conducted, only five
days later, on 11 August 1998 which contravenes Article 277(b)(3)
of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Local Government
Code

The defect in the enactment of Municipal Ordinance No. 98 was not


cured when another public hearing was held on 22 January
1999, after the questioned ordinance was passed by the Sangguniang
Bayan and approved by respondent on 17 August 1998. Section 186
of the Local Government Code prescribes that the public hearing be
held prior to the enactment by a local government unit of an
ordinance levying taxes, fees, and charges.

GSIS v CITY TREASURER and CITY ASSESSOR of the CITY OF


MANILA, (2009)
Doctrine: GSIS enjoys full tax exemption. As an instrumentality of the
national government, it is itself not liable to pay real estate taxes assessed by
the City of Manila. Following the beneficial use rule, however, accrued
real property taxes are due from the Katigbak property, leased as it is to a
taxable entity. But the corresponding liability for the payment thereof
devolves on the taxable beneficial user.
Facts:
Petitioner GSIS owned two parcels of land, one located at Katigbak, Manila,
and the other, at Concepcion cor. Arroceros Sts., also in Manila. Both the
GSIS and the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila occupy the ConcepcionArroceros property, while the Katigbak property was under lease.
The City Treasurer of Manila send a letter to GSIS informing them of the
unpaid real property taxes due on the GSIS properties for years 1992 to
2002, as follows: (a) PhP 54,826,599.37 for the Katigbak property; and (b)
PhP 48,498,917.01 for the Concepcion-Arroceros property. The letter warned
of the inclusion of the subject properties in the scheduled October 30, 2002
public auction of all delinquent properties in Manila should the unpaid taxes
remain unsettled before that date.
The City Treasurer of Manila issued separate Notices of Realty Tax
Delinquency for the GSIS properties, with a warning of seizure and/or sale.
GSIS wrote back emphasizing the GSIS exemption from all kinds of taxes,
including realty taxes, under RA 8291.
GSIS filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for a
restraining and injunctive relief before the Manila RTC. GSIS prayed for the
nullification of the assessments thus made and that respondents City of
Manila officials be permanently enjoined from proceedings against GSIS
property. GSIS later amended its petition to include the fact that: (a) the
Katigbak property has, since November 1991, been leased to and occupied
by the Manila Hotel Corporation (MHC), which has contractually bound
itself to pay any realty taxes that may be imposed on the subject property;
and (b) the Concepcion-Arroceros property is partly occupied by GSIS and
partly occupied by the MeTC of Manila.
Petitioners arguments:
Petitioners posture that both its old charter, Presidential Decree No. (PD)
1146, and present charter, RA 8291 or the GSIS Act of 1997, exempt the
agency and its properties from all forms of taxes and assessments, inclusive
of realty tax

Respondents arguments:
Respondents counter that GSIS may not successfully resist the citys notices
and warrants of levy on the basis of its exemption under RA 8291, real
property taxation being governed by RA 7160 or the Local Government
Code of 1991
Issue/s:
3) Whether GSIS under its charter is exempt from real property
taxation;
4) Assuming that it is so exempt, whether GSIS is liable for real
property taxes for its properties leased to a taxable entity
5) Whether the properties of GSIS are exempt from levy.
Held/Ratio:
GSIS is exempt from Real Property Tax
In 1936, in Commonwealth Act No. (CA) 186, the GSIS was set up as a nonstock corporation. Section 26 of CA 186 provided exemption from any legal
process and liens but only for insurance policies and their proceeds. In 1977,
PD 1146, (Revised Government Service Insurance Act of 1977), provided for
an expanded insurance system for government employees. Sec. 33 thereof
held that the System, its assets, revenues including all accruals thereto, and
benefits paid, shall be exempt from all taxes, assessments, fees, charges or
duties of all kinds
In 1991, RA 7160, provided the exercise of local government units (LGUs)
of their power to tax, the scope and limitations thereof, and the exemptions
from taxations. The general provision on withdrawal of tax exemption
privileges in Sec. 193 of the LGC, and the special provision on withdrawal of
exemption from payment of real property taxes in the last paragraph of the
succeeding Sec. 234, provides:
SEC. 193. Withdrawal of Tax Exemption Privileges. Unless
otherwise provided in this Code, tax exemptions or incentives
granted to, or presently enjoyed by all persons, whether natural or
juridical, including government-owned or -controlled corporations,
except local water districts, cooperatives duly registered under R.A.
No. 6938, non-stock and non-profit hospitals and educational
institutions, are hereby withdrawn upon the effectivity of this Code.
SEC. 234. Exemption from Real Property Tax. x x x Except as
provided herein, any exemption from payment of real property tax
previously granted to, or presently enjoyed by, all persons, whether
natural or juridical, including all government-owned or controlled
corporation are hereby withdrawn upon the effectivity of this Code.

The Congress withdrew, subject to certain defined exceptions, tax


exemptions granted prior to the passage of RA 7160. The full tax exemption
granted to GSIS under PD 1146, particular insofar as realty tax is concerned,
was deemed withdrawn.
RA 8291 took effect in 1997. Under it, the full tax exemption privilege of
GSIS was restored. Sec. 39 of RA 8291 reads:
GSIS, its assets, revenues including all accruals thereto, and benefits
paid, shall be exempt from all taxes, assessments, fees, charges or
duties of all kinds. These exemptions shall continue unless expressly
and specifically revoked and any assessment against the GSIS as of
the approval of this Act are hereby considered paid.
Real property taxes assessed and due from GSIS are thus considered paid.
1) GSIS an instrumentality of the National Government
In Manila International Airport Authority v. Court of Appeals, a case
involving real estate tax assessments by a Metro Manila city on the real
properties administered by MIAA, argues for the non-tax liability of GSIS
for real estate taxes. There, the Court held that MIAA does not qualify as a
GOCC, not having been organized either as a stock corporation, its capital
not being divided into shares, or as a non-stock corporation because it has no
members. MIAA is rather an instrumentality of the National Government
and, hence, outside the purview of local taxation by force of Sec. 133 of the
LGC providing in context that unless otherwise provided, local
governments cannot tax national government instrumentalities. And as the
Court pronounced in Manila International Airport Authority, the airport lands
and buildings MIAA administers belong to the Republic of the Philippines,
which makes MIAA a mere trustee of such assets.
Likewise, while created under CA 186 as a non-stock corporation, GSIS is
not a GOCC. Second, the subject properties under GSISs name are likewise
owned by the Republic. The GSIS is but a mere trustee of the subject
properties which have either been ceded to it by the Government or acquired
for the enhancement of the system. Third, GSIS manages the funds for the
life insurance, retirement, survivorship, and disability benefits of all
government employees and their beneficiaries. This undertaking constitutes
an essential and vital function of the government.
2) the leased Katigbak property shall be taxable pursuant to the beneficial
use principle
Sec. 234(a), exempts from real estate taxes real property owned by the
Republic, unless the beneficial use of the property is, for consideration,

transferred to a taxable person. This exemption, however, must be read in


relation with Sec. 133(o) of the LGC, which prohibits LGUs from imposing
taxes or fees of any kind on the national government, its agencies, and
instrumentalities. Thus read together, the provisions allow the Republic to
grant the beneficial use of its property to an agency or instrumentality of the
national government. Such grant does not necessarily result in the loss of the
tax exemption. The tax exemption the property of the Republic or its
instrumentality carries ceases only if, as stated in Sec. 234(a) of the LGC of
1991, beneficial use thereof has been granted, for a consideration or
otherwise, to a taxable person. GSIS, as a government instrumentality, is
not a taxable juridical person under Sec. 133(o) of the LGC. GSIS, however,
lost in a sense that status with respect to the Katigbak property when it
contracted its beneficial use to MHC, a taxable person. As declared in
Testate Estate of Concordia T. Lim, the unpaid tax attaches to the property
and is chargeable against the taxable person who had actual or beneficial use
and possession of it regardless of whether or not he is the owner. Actual use
refers to the purpose for which the property is principally or predominantly
utilized by the person in possession thereof. Being in possession and having
actual use of the Katigbak property since November 1991, MHC is liable for
the realty taxes assessed over the Katigbak property from 1992 to 2002.
3) GSIS Properties is Exempt from Levy
The clear import of the third paragraph of Sec. 39, RA 8291 provides:
SEC. 39. Exemption from Tax, Legal Process and Lien. x x x.
The funds and/or the properties referred to herein as well as the
benefits, sums or monies corresponding to the benefits under this Act
shall be exempt from attachment, garnishment, execution, levy or
other processes issued by the courts, quasi-judicial agencies or
administrative bodies
The governing law, RA 8291, in force at the time of the levy prohibits it.
And in the final analysis, the proscription against the levy extends to the
leased Katigbak property, the beneficial use doctrine, notwithstanding.

Quezon City v Bayan Telecommunications, Inc.,(2006)


Doctrine: Congress may grant an exemption, previously withdrawn through
the enactment of the LGC, through subsequent legislation since the grant of
taxing powers to lgus under the Constitution and teh LGC does not affect the
power of Congress to grant exemptions.
Facts:
Bayantel is a legislative franchise holder under RA 3259 to establish and
operate radio stations for domestic telecommunications, radiophone,
broadcasting and telecasting. 14 of RA 3259 reads:
Section 14. (a) The grantee shall be liable to pay the same taxes on
its real estate, buildings and personal property, exclusive of the
franchise, as other persons or corporations are now or hereafter may
be required by law to pay.
(b) The grantee shall further pay to the Treasurer of the Philippines
each year, within ten days after teh audit and approval of the
accounts as prescribed in this Act, one and one-half per centum of all
gross receipts from the business transacted under this franchise by
the said grantee.
On July 20, 1992, Congress enacted RA 7633 which amended the original
franchise. The said contained the following provision:
Sec. 11 The grantee, its successors or assigns shall be liable to pay
the same taxes on their real estate, buildings and personal property,
exclusive of this franchise, as other persons or corporations are now
or hereafter may be required by law to pay. In addition thereto, the
grantee, its successors or assigns shall pay a franchise tax equivalent
to three percent (3%) of all gross receipts of the telephone or other
telecommunications businesses transacted under this franchise by the
grantee, its successors or assigns and the said percentage shall be in
lieu of all taxes on this franchise or earnings hereof. Provided, that
the grantee, its successors or assigns shall continue to be liable for
income taxes payable under Title II of the National Internal Revenue
Code...
In 1993, QC, pursuant to its taxing power under 5, Article X of the
Constitution, in relation to 232 of the LGC enacted City Ordinance No. SP-

91, S-93 otherwise known as the Quezon City Revenue Code (QCRC). 6 of
the QCRC reiterated the withdrawal of exemption under 234 of the LGC.
On March 16, 1995, RA 7925, otherwise known as the Public
Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines was enacted. 23 of RA
7925 provides:
Sec. 23. Equality of Treatment in the Telecommunications Industry.
Any advantage, favor, privilege, exemption, or immunity granted
under existing franchise, or may hereafter may be granted, shall ipso
facto become part of previously granted telecommunications
franchises sand shall be accorded immediately and unconditionally
to eht grantees of such franchises. Provided, however, That the
foregoing shall neither apply to nor affect provisions of
telecommunications franchises concerning territory covered by the
franchise, the life span of the franchise, or the type of service
authorized by the franchise. [Note: The Court did not discuss this in
the decision except as part of the facts]
On January 7, 1999, Bayantel wrote the office of the City Assessor seeking
the exclusion of its real properties in the city from the roll of taxable real
properties. This request was denied. Bayantel appealed to the Local Board of
Assessment Appeals.
Because Bayantel did not pay the real property tax assessed. Notices of
delinquency for the amount of P43,878,208.18, were sent by the QC
Treasurer. This was followed by the issuance of several warrants of levy
against Bayantels properties with the public auction scheduled on July 30,
2002.
Threatened with the imminent loss, Bayantel withdrew their appeal and
instead filed with the QC RTC a petition for prohibition with an urgent
application for a temporary restraining order.
Petitioners arguments:
1. Bayantel failed to avail itself of the administrative remedies provided
for under the LGC. The appeal mechanics constitute as Bayantels
plain and speedy remedy
2. The language of 11 of RA 7633 is neither clear nor unequivocal.
Bayantel was in no time given any express exemption from the
payment of real property tax.

Respondents arguments:
1. The appeal to the LBAA is not a speedy and adequate remedy.
2. Bayantel is only liable to pay the same taxes, as any other persons or
corporations on all its real or persona properties, exclusive of its
franchise.
Note: RTC: owing to the phrase exclusive of the franchise found in 11 of
RA 7633 = exemption or properties used actually, directly and exclusivey in
the conduct of its business under the franchise.
Issue/s:
4) Whether or not Bayantel is required to exhaust all
administrative remedies before seeking judicial relief with the
trial court
5) Whether or not Bayantels real properties in QC are exempt
from real property taxes under its legislative franchise
Held/Ratio:
3. No. Petitions for prohibition are governed by the provision of Rule
65 of the Rules of Court. In this case, with the reality that Bayantels
real properties were already levied upon on account of its nonpayment of real estate taxes, the appeal to the LBAA is not a speedy
and adequate remedy within the context of 2 of Rule 65.
Moreover, Court held, citing Ty v. Trampe, one of the recognized
exceptions to the exhaustion of administrative remedies rule is when
only legal issues are to be resolved.
Note: The Court did not overlook the fact that an appeal to the
LBAA requires prior payment under protest of the amount of the
taxes assessed. However, the Court noted that with the prevailing
Asian financial crisis the said amount would have been difficult to
raise up and thus, the appeal may not be considered as a plain,
speedy and adequate remedy.
4. 11 of RA 7633 is an express and real intention on the part of
Congress to remove from the LGCs delegated taxing power, all of
Bayantels properties that are actually, directly, and exclusively used
in the pursuit of its franchise.
The Court noted that 14 of RA 3259 grants an exemption in favor
of Bayantel. According to the Court, the legislative intent expressed

in the phrase exclusive of this franchise cannot be construed other


than distinguishing between 2 sets of properties: a) those actually,
directly, and exclusively used in its radio or telecommunications
business, and b) those properties which are not so used. This section
grants to lgus the power to tax teh franchisees properties falling
under the second category (Note: under the 1935 and 1973
Constitutions the power solely depended upon an enabling law).
However, the delegation under the same is limited to impositions
over properties not falling under the first category. Ultimately,
properties falling under the first category are exempt from taxes.
However, such exemption was expressly withdrawn by the
enactment of the LGC, specifically 234.
The Court also noted that by virtue of 5, Art. X of the Constitution,
lgus are empowered to levy taxes and pursuant to this power QC
enacted the QCRC. However, such enactment does not effectively
withdrew the tax exemption enjoyed by Bayantel since the power of
lgus to tax is limited.
Mactan Cebu Internation Airport Authority Case: The power to tax is
primarily vested in the Congress; however, in our jurisdiction, it may
be exercised by the local legislative bodies, no longer merely by
valid delegation as before, but pursuant to direct authority conferred
by Section 5, Article X of the Constitution.
Fr. Bernas, Commissioner of the 1986 Constitutional Commission:
Section 5 does not change the doctrine that municipal corporations
do not possess inherent powers of taxation. What it does is to confer
municipal corporations a general power to levy taxes and otherwise
create sources of revenue. Xxx The important legal effect of Section
5 is thus to reverse the principle that doubts are resolved against
municipal corporations.
The power of QC to tax is limited by 232 of the LGC. Under the
said provision, the Legislature highlighted its power to thereafter
exempt certain realties from the taxing power of the lgu.
PLDT v. City of Davao: The grant of taxing powers to local
government units under the Constitution and the LGC does not affect
the power of Congress to grant exemptions...

Aware that the LGC has already withdrawn Bayantels former


exemption, Congress opted to pass RA 7633 using exactly the same
defining phrase exclusive of this franchise which was the basis for
Bayantels exemption prior to the LGC. The Court views this
subsequent legislation as an express and real intention on the part of
Congress to once again remove from the LGCs delegated taxing
power all of Bayantels properties that are actually, directly
exclusively used in the pursuit of its franchise.

Manila International Airport Authority vs. CA (City of Paranaque)


(July 20, 2006)
Doctrine: Government Instrumentalities are exempt from real estate tax that
are imposable by the local government unless. The only exception is when
the legislature clearly intended to tax government instrumentalities for the
delivery of essential public services for sound and compelling policy
considerations. There must be express language in the law empowering local
governments to tax national government instrumentalities.
Facts:
MIAA operates NAIA in Paranaque City under EO 903 (as
amended) or the MIAA Charter.
The OGCC issued Opinion no. 061 which stated that the LGC of
1991 withdrew the exemption to Real Estate Tax granted by Sec. 21
of the MIAA charter.
Paranaque city sent final notices of Tax Delinquency for the taxable
years 1992-2001.
The city of Paranaque through its city treasurer issued warrants of
levy on the airport lands and buildings. The Mayor of Paranaque
threatened to sell the property at public auction.
Petitioners sought a clarification of the Op. no. 061. OGCC issues
Opinion no. 141 stating that Sec. 206 of the LGC requires those
exempt from real estate tax to show proof of the exemption. Such
proof was Sec. 21 of the MIAA charter.
MIAA filed with the CA a petition for prohibition and injunction
with preliminary injunction and TRO to restrain the City of
Paranaque from imposing real estate tax and levying against and
auctioning for public sale the Airport lands and buildings.
CA dismissed the case on procedural grounds (fling beyond 60-day
reglementary period). MRs were denied. Hence present petition for
review
Meanwhile, the City of Paraaque posted notices of auction sale in
theBarangay Halls of three barangays, in the public market of
another barangay and in the main lobby of the Paraaque City Hall.
The City of Paraaque published the notices in the 3 and 10 January
2003 issues of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a newspaper of general
circulation in the Philippines.
The notices announced the public auction sale of the Airport Lands
and Buildings to the highest bidder on 7 February 2003, 10:00 a.m.,
at the Legislative Session Hall Building of Paraaque City.
A TRO was issued the day before the auction

Petitioners arguments:
Title to the real properties is under the name of MIAA but the real
owner of the property is the Republic of the Philippines as they are
for the benefit of the general public. They are thus inalienable and
not subject to real estate tax by local governments.
Sec. 21 of the MIAA charter exempts it from paying real estate tax.
Sec 234 of the LGC also exempts it from paying Real Estate Tax
since the real owner of the airport land and buildings Is the Republic
of the Philippines.
Exempt from taxation on the principle that the government cannot
tax itself.
Respondents arguments:
Sec. 193 of the LGC expressly withdrew the tax exempt privileges
of government owned and controlled corporations
Statutory construction: the express mention of one person, thing, or
act excludes all others.
Mactan International Airport vs. Marcos LGC has withdrawn the
exemption from real estate tax granted to international airports.
The deletion of the phrase "any government-owned or controlled so
exempt by its charter" in Section 234(e) of the Local Government
Code withdrew the real estate tax exemption of government-owned
or controlled corporations. The deleted phrase appeared in Section
40(a) of the 1974 Real Property Tax Code enumerating the entities
exempt from real estate tax.
Sec. 193 of LGC withdraws all tax exemptions from all persons
whether juridical or natural.
Issue: W/N: MIAA is exempt from Real Estate Tax imposed by the local
government? YES
Held/Ratio:
1. MIAA is not a government owned and controlled corporation it is an
instrumentality of the government
A GOCC is not exempt from real estate tax. A GOCC is defined
under the administrative code of 1987 as an agency organized as a
stock or a non-stock corporation.
MIAA is not a stock corporation because it has no capital stock
divided into shares. It is not a non-stock corporation because it has
no members.(as required by the corp code)
MIAA is a government instrumentality vested with corporate
powers.

Section 2(10) of the Introductory Provisions of the Administrative


Code
defines
a
government
"instrumentality"
as
follows:(10) Instrumentality refers to any agency of the National
Government, not integrated within the department framework, vested
with special functions or jurisdiction by law, endowed with some if
not all corporate powers, administering special funds, and enjoying
operational autonomy, usually through a charter.
A government instrumentality falls under Section 133(o) of the
Local Government Code, which states: SEC. 133. Common
Limitations on the Taxing Powers of Local Government Units.
Unless otherwise provided herein, the exercise of the taxing powers
of provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays shall not extend to
the levy of the following:x x x x (o) Taxes, fees or charges of any
kind on the National Government, its agencies and
instrumentalities and local government units
Section 133(o) recognizes the basic principle that local governments
cannot tax the national government, which historically merely
delegated to local governments the power to tax.
While the 1987 Constitution now includes taxation as one of the
powers of local governments, local governments may only exercise
such power "subject to such guidelines and limitations as the
Congress may provide."
When Congress grants an exemption to a national government
instrumentality from local taxation, such exemption is construed
liberally in favor of the national government instrumentality
There is no point in national and local governments taxing each
other, unless a sound and compelling policy requires such transfer of
public funds from one government pocket to another.
There is also no reason for local governments to tax national
government instrumentalities for rendering essential public services
to inhabitants of local governments. The only exception is when the
legislature clearly intended to tax government instrumentalities for
the delivery of essential public services for sound and compelling
policy considerations. There must be express language in the law
empowering local governments to tax national government
instrumentalities. Any doubt whether such power exists is resolved
against local governments.
2. Real Property owned by the Republic is not Taxable
SEC. 234. Exemptions from Real Property Tax. The following are
exempted from payment of the real property tax:
(a) Real property owned by the Republic of the Philippines or
any of its political subdivisions except when the beneficial use

thereof has been granted, for consideration or otherwise, to a


taxable person;
This exemption should be read in relation with Section 133(o) of the
same Code, which prohibits local governments from imposing
"[t]axes, fees or charges of any kind on the National Government, its
agencies and instrumentalities x x x
3. No Withdrawal of Tax Exemption under Sec. 193 of LGC
Sec. 193 provides withdrawal of tax exemptions for all persons
juridical and natural unless provided by the code. IT is provided
under Sec. 133 (o) that instrumentalities are exempt from taxes
imposed by the LGC
Dissenting opinion: Tinga J.
Case should have been decided in accordance with the Mactan
Precedent which said that as a General Rule: (Sec 133) the taxing
powers of local government units cannot extend to the levy of "taxes,
fees and charges of any kind on the National Government, its
agencies and instrumentalities, and local government units.
Exceptions: (Sec.234 (a)) when the beneficial use of real property is
granted to a taxable person.
The exemptions from real property taxes are enumerated in Section
234, which specifically states that only real properties owned "by the
Republic of the Philippines or any of its political subdivisions" are
exempted from the payment of the tax. Clearly, instrumentalities or
GOCCs do not fall within the exceptions under Section 234.
The full text of Admin Code includes GOCCs as government
instrumentalities.
MIAA is a GOCC and is thus subject to tax.

Quezon City and the City Treasurer v. ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp


Doctrine:
Facts: The QC revenue code imposed a franchise tax26 on businesses
operating within its jurisdiction. R.A 7966 granted ABS-CBN a franchise
which included a provision stating that the grantee, its successors or assigns,
shall pay a franchise tax equivalent to three percent (3%) of all gross receipts
of the radio/television business transacted under this franchise by the grantee,
its successors or assigns, and the said percentage tax shall be in lieu of all
taxes on this franchise or earnings thereof. ABS-CBN developed the
opinion that it should not be liable to pay taxes and paid under protest the
local franchise tax imposed by QC.
Petitioners arguments: Quezon City argued that the "in lieu of all taxes"
provision in R.A. No. 9766 could not have been intended to prevail over a
constitutional mandate which ensures the viability and self-sufficiency of
local government units. Further, that taxes collectible by and payable to the
local government were distinct from taxes collectible by and payable to the
national government, considering that the Constitution specifically declared
that the taxes imposed by local government units "shall accrue exclusively to
the local governments." Lastly, the City contended that the exemption
claimed by ABS-CBN under R.A. No. 7966 was withdrawn by Congress
when the Local Government Code (LGC) was passed. Section 193 of the
LGC provides:
Section 193. Withdrawal of Tax Exemption Privileges. - Unless otherwise
provided in this Code, tax exemptions or incentives granted to, or presently
enjoyed by all persons, whether natural or juridical, including governmentowned or -controlled corporations, except local water districts, cooperatives
duly registered under R.A. 6938, non-stock and non-profit hospitals and
educational institutions, are hereby withdrawn upon the effectivity of this
Code.
Respondents arguments: Claims that the franchise tax was
unconstitutional and because of the phrase in lieu of all taxes it is no longer
liable for franchise tax
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
26

ten percent (10%) of one percent (1%) for 1993-1994, twenty percent (20%) of one
percent (1%) for 1995, and thirty percent (30%) of one percent (1%) for 1996 and
the succeeding years thereafter, of gross receipts and sales derived from the
operation of the business in Quezon City during the preceding calendar year

RTC ruled that the "in lieu of all taxes" provision contained in Section 8 of
R.A. No. 7966 absolutely excused ABS-CBN from the payment of local
franchise tax imposed under Quezon City Ordinance No. SP-91, S-93. The
intent of the legislature to excuse ABS-CBN from payment of local franchise
tax could be discerned from the usage of the "in lieu of all taxes" provision
and from the absence of any qualification except income taxes. Had
Congress intended to exclude taxes imposed from the exemption, it would
have expressly mentioned so in a fashion similar to the proviso on income
taxes.
CA dismissed the petition of Quezon City and its Treasurer. According to the
appellate court, the issues raised were purely legal questions cognizable only
by the Supreme Court.
Issue: W/N ABS-CBN was liable for franchise tax despite the phrase in lieu
of all taxes in its charter
Held: Yes. The "in lieu of all taxes" provision in its franchise does not
exempt ABS-CBN from payment of local franchise tax. First, The present
controversy essentially boils down to a dispute between the inherent taxing
power of Congress and the delegated authority to tax of local governments
under the 1987 Constitution and effected under the LGC of 1991.
The power of the local government of Quezon City to impose franchise tax is
based on Section 151 in relation to Section 137 of the LGC. Such taxing
power by the local government, however, is limited in the sense that
Congress can enact legislation granting exemptions. In the case of Philippine
Long Distance Telephone Company, Inc. (PLDT) vs. City of Davao, the SC
has upheld the power of Congress to grant exemptions over the power of
local government units to impose taxes. There, the Court wrote:
"Indeed, the grant of taxing powers to local government units under the
Constitution and the LGC does not affect the power of Congress to grant
exemptions to certain persons, pursuant to a declared national policy. The
legal effect of the constitutional grant to local governments simply means
that in interpreting statutory provisions on municipal taxing powers, doubts
must be resolved in favor of municipal corporations."
Congress has the inherent power to tax, which includes the power to grant
tax exemptions. On the other hand, the power of Quezon City to tax is
prescribed by Section 151 in relation to Section 137 of the LGC which
expressly provides that notwithstanding any exemption granted by any law or

other special law, the City may impose a franchise tax. It must be noted that
Section 137 of the LGC does not prohibit grant of future exemptions.
Second, The "in lieu of all taxes" provision in the franchise of ABS-CBN
does not expressly provide what kind of taxes ABS-CBN is exempted from.
It is not clear whether the exemption would include both local, whether
municipal, city or provincial, and national tax. What is clear is that ABSCBN shall be liable to pay three (3) percent franchise tax and income taxes
under Title II of the NIRC. But whether the "in lieu of all taxes provision"
would include exemption from local tax is not unequivocal.
As adverted to earlier, the right to exemption from local franchise tax must
be clearly established and cannot be made out of inference or implications
but must be laid beyond reasonable doubt. Verily, the uncertainty in the "in
lieu of all taxes" provision should be construed against ABS-CBN. ABSCBN has the burden to prove that it is in fact covered by the exemption so
claimed. ABS-CBN miserably failed in this regard.
The cases cited by ABS-CBN differ from the case at bar because in the said
cases, the franchises were expressly exempt. Since ABS-CBN failed to
justify its claim for exemption from local franchise tax, by a grant expressed
in terms "too plain to be mistaken" its claim for exemption for local franchise
tax must fail.
Lastly, ABS-CBN's claims for exemption must fail on twin grounds. First,
the "in lieu of all taxes" clause in its franchise failed to specify the taxes the
company is sought to be exempted from. Neither did it particularize the
jurisdiction from which the taxing power is withheld. Second, the clause has
become functus officio because as the law now stands, ABS-CBN is no
longer subject to a franchise tax. It is now liable for VAT since R.A. No.
8424 was passed confirming the 10% VAT liability of radio and/or television
companies with yearly gross receipts exceeding P10,000,000.00.
No Dissenting Opinion

Quezon City v. Bayan Telecommunications


Doctrine: Under Sec. 232 of the Local Government Code, the Legislature
highlighted its power to thereafter exempt certain realties from the taxing
power of local government units. An interpretation denying Congress such
power to exempt would reduce the phrase "not hereinafter specifically
exempted" as a pure jargon, without meaning whatsoever.
Facts:
1. Bayantel is a legislative franchise holder under Republic Act (Rep.
Act) No. 3259 to establish and operate radio stations for domestic
telecommunications, radiophone, broadcasting and telecasting.
2. Of relevance to this controversy is the tax provision of Rep. Act No.
3259, embodied in Section 14 thereof, which reads: SECTION 14.
(a) The grantee shall be liable to pay the same taxes on its real estate,
buildings and personal property, exclusive of the franchise, as other
persons or corporations are now or hereafter may be required by law
to pay.
3. Local Government Code of 1991" (LGC), took effect. Section 232 of
the Code grants local government units within the Metro Manila
Area the power to levy tax on real properties.
4. Barely few months after the LGC took effect, Congress enacted Rep.
Act No. 7633, amending Bayantels original franchise.
5. It is undisputed that within the territorial boundary of Quezon City,
Bayantel owned several real properties on which it maintained
various telecommunications facilities.
6. In 1993, the government of Quezon City, pursuant to the taxing
power vested on local government units by Section 5, Article X of
the 1987 Constitution, infra, in relation to Section 232 of the LGC,
supra, enacted City Ordinance No. SP-91, S-93, otherwise known as
the Quezon City Revenue Code (QCRC), imposing, under Section 5
thereof, a real property tax on all real properties in Quezon City, and,
reiterating in its Section 6, the withdrawal of exemption from real
property tax under Section 234 of the LGC, supra. Furthermore,
much like the LGC, the QCRC, under its Section 230, withdrew tax
exemption privileges in general.
7. Conformably with the Citys Revenue Code, new tax declarations for
Bayantels real properties in Quezon City were issued by the City
Assessor and were received by Bayantel.
8. Bayantel wrote the office of the City Assessor seeking the exclusion
of its real properties in the city from the roll of taxable real
properties. With its request having been denied, Bayantel interposed

9.

10.

11.

12.

an appeal with the Local Board of Assessment Appeals (LBAA).


And, evidently on its firm belief of its exempt status, Bayantel did
not pay the real property taxes assessed against it by the Quezon City
government.
Quezon City Treasurer sent out notices of delinquency for the total
amount ofP43,878,208.18, followed by the issuance of several
warrants of levy against Bayantels properties preparatory to their
sale at a public auction set on July 30, 2002.
Threatened with the imminent loss of its properties, Bayantel
immediately withdrew its appeal with the LBAA and instead filed
with the RTC of Quezon City a petition for prohibition with an
urgent application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or
writ of preliminary injunction, thereat docketed as Civil Case No. Q02-47292, which was raffled to Branch 227 of the court.
Lower Court: came out with its challenged Decision of June 6, 2003,
the dispositive portion of which reads:
a. WHEREFORE, premises considered, pursuant to the
enabling franchise under Section 11 of Republic Act No.
7633, the real estate properties and buildings of petitioner
[now, respondent Bayantel] which have been admitted to be
used in the operation of petitioners franchise described in
the following tax declarations are hereby DECLARED
exempt from real estate taxation
The lower court resolved the issue in the affirmative, basically owing
to the phrase "exclusive of this franchise" found in Section 11 of
Bayantels amended franchise, Rep. Act No. 7633

Petitioners arguments: (Note: include petitioners relief, position, and


legal basis)
Petitioners filed a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules
of Court to nullify and set aside the following issuances of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch 227, in its Civil Case No. Q-02-47292.
1) Decision dated June 6, 2003, declaring respondent Bayan
Telecommunications, Inc. exempt from real estate taxation on its real
properties located in Quezon City; and2) Order dated December 30, 2003,
denying petitioners motion for reconsideration.
For petitioners, the language of Section 11 of Rep. Act No. 7633 is neither
clear nor unequivocal. The elaborate and extensive discussion devoted by the
trial court on the meaning and import of said phrase, they add, suggests as
much. It is petitioners thesis that Bayantel was in no time given any express

exemption from the payment of real property tax under its amendatory
franchise.
Respondents arguments: (Note: include respondents position, reason for
opposing petitioners claim, jurisprudence, and legal basis)
Bayantel states it is only "liable to pay the same taxes, as any other persons
or corporations on all its real or personal properties, exclusive of its
franchise, as found in Section 11 of its amended franchise, RA No. 7633.
Issue/s: WON Bayantels real properties in Quezon City are exempt from
real property taxes under its legislative franchise
Held/Ratio: Yes
1. There seems to be no issue as to Bayantels exemption from real
estate taxes by virtue of the term "exclusive of the franchise"
qualifying the phrase "same taxes on its real estate, buildings and
personal property," found in Section 14, supra, of its franchise, Rep.
Act No. 3259, as originally granted.
2. The legislative intent expressed in the phrase "exclusive of this
franchise" cannot be construed other than distinguishing between
two (2) sets of properties, be they real or personal, owned by the
franchisee, namely, (a) those actually, directly and exclusively used
in its radio or telecommunications business, and (b) those properties
which are not so used. It is worthy to note that the properties subject
of the present controversy are only those which are admittedly
falling under the first category.
3. Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 3259 effectively works to grant or
delegate to local governments of Congress inherent power to tax the
franchisees properties belonging to the second group of properties
indicated above, that is, all properties which, "exclusive of this
franchise," are not actually and directly used in the pursuit of its
franchise.
4. While Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 3259 may be validly viewed as an
implied delegation of power to tax, the delegation under that
provision, as couched, is limited to impositions over properties of the
franchisee which are not actually, directly and exclusively used in
the pursuit of its franchise. Necessarily, other properties of Bayantel
directly used in the pursuit of its business are beyond the pale of the
delegated taxing power of local governments. In a very real sense,
therefore, real properties of Bayantel, save those exclusive of its
franchise, are subject to realty taxes.

5. However, with the LGCs taking effect on January 1, 1992,


Bayantels "exemption" from real estate taxes for properties of
whatever kind located within the Metro Manila area was, by force of
Section 234 of the Code, supra, expressly withdrawn. But, not long
thereafter, however, or on July 20, 1992, Congress passed Rep. Act
No. 7633 amending Bayantels original franchise. Worthy of note is
that Section 11 of Rep. Act No. 7633 is a virtual reenacment of the
tax provision, i.e., Section 14, supra, of Bayantels original franchise
under Rep. Act No. 3259. Stated otherwise, Section 14 of Rep. Act
No. 3259 which was deemed impliedly repealed by Section 234 of
the LGC was expressly revived under Section 14 of Rep. Act No.
7633. In concrete terms, the realty tax exemption heretofore enjoyed
by Bayantel under its original franchise, but subsequently withdrawn
by force of Section 234 of the LGC, has been restored by Section 14
of Rep. Act No. 7633.
6. The Court has taken stock of the fact that by virtue of Section 5,
Article X of the 1987 Constitution local governments are empowered
to levy taxes. And pursuant to this constitutional empowerment,
juxtaposed with Section 232 of the LGC, the Quezon City
government enacted in 1993 its local Revenue Code, imposing real
property tax on all real properties found within its territorial
jurisdiction. And as earlier stated, the Citys Revenue Code, just like
the LGC, expressly withdrew, under Section 230 thereof, supra, all
tax exemption privileges in general.
7. While the system of local government taxation has changed with the
onset of the 1987 Constitution, the power of local government units
to tax is still limited. As we explained in Mactan Cebu International
Airport Authority:
a. The power to tax is primarily vested in the Congress;
however, in our jurisdiction, it may be exercised by local
legislative bodies, no longer merely be virtue of a valid
delegation as before, but pursuant to direct authority
conferred by Section 5, Article X of the Constitution. Under
the latter, the exercise of the power may be subject to such
guidelines and limitations as the Congress may provide
which, however, must be consistent with the basic policy of
local autonomy.
8. Clearly then, while a new slant on the subject of local taxation now
prevails in the sense that the former doctrine of local government
units delegated power to tax had been effectively modified with
Article X, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution now in place, .the basic
doctrine on local taxation remains essentially the same. For as the

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

Court stressed in Mactan, "the power to tax is [still] primarily vested


in the Congress."
In net effect, the controversy presently before the Court involves, at
bottom, a clash between the inherent taxing power of the legislature,
which necessarily includes the power to exempt, and the local
governments delegated power to tax under the aegis of the 1987
Constitution
There can really be no dispute that the power of the Quezon City
Government to tax is limited by Section 232 of the LGC which
expressly provides that "a province or city or municipality within the
Metropolitan Manila Area may levy an annual ad valorem tax on real
property such as land, building, machinery, and other improvement
not hereinafter specifically exempted."
Under this law, the Legislature highlighted its power to thereafter
exempt certain realties from the taxing power of local government
units. An interpretation denying Congress such power to exempt
would reduce the phrase "not hereinafter specifically exempted" as a
pure jargon, without meaning whatsoever.
In Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Inc. (PLDT) vs.
City of Davao, this Court has upheld the power of Congress to grant
exemptions over the power of local government units to impose
taxes.
The issue in this case no longer dwells on whether Congress has the
power to exempt Bayantels properties from realty taxes by its
enactment of Rep. Act No. 7633 which amended Bayantels original
franchise. The more decisive question turns on whether Congress
actually did exempt Bayantels properties at all by virtue of Section
11 of Rep. Act No. 7633.
Rep. Act No. 7633 was enacted subsequent to the LGC. Perfectly
aware that the LGC has already withdrawn Bayantels former
exemption from realty taxes, Congress opted to pass Rep. Act No.
7633 using, under Section 11 thereof, exactly the same defining
phrase "exclusive of this franchise" which was the basis for
Bayantels exemption from realty taxes prior to the LGC. In plain
language, Section 11 of Rep. Act No. 7633 states that "the grantee,
its successors or assigns shall be liable to pay the same taxes on their
real estate, buildings and personal property, exclusive of this
franchise, as other persons or corporations are now or hereafter may
be required by law to pay."
The Court views this subsequent piece of legislation as an express
and real intention on the part of Congress to once again remove from
the LGCs delegated taxing power, all of the franchisees

(Bayantels) properties that are actually, directly and exclusively


used in the pursuit of its franchise.

Yamane v. BA Lepanto
Luz Yamane, in her capacity as the City Treasurer of Makati,
Petitioner, vs. BA Lepanto Condominium Corporation. (25 October
2005)
Tinga, J.
Petition for tax refund
Doctrine: Ambiguity as to the application of an LGU tax on an individual
shall be strictly construed against the LGU.
Petitioner: Makati City Treasurer Yamane, assessed BA Lepanto Condo
Corp. for business tax
Respondent:
BA Lepanto Condo Corp., corporation of association of
various condo unit owners
Facts:
Respondent BA-Lepanto Condominium Corporation (the Corporation) is a
duly organized condominium corporation constituted in accordance with the
Condominium Act, which owns and holds title to the common and limited
common areas of the BA-Lepanto Condominium (the Condominium),
situated in Paseo de Roxas, Makati City. Its membership comprises the
various unit owners of the Condominium.
The Corporation is authorized, under Article V of its Amended ByLaws, to collect regular assessments from its members for operating
expenses, capital expenditures on the common areas, and other special
assessments as provided for in the Master Deed with Declaration of
Restrictions of the Condominium.

2. Corporation activity is a profit venture making (Note: Even the court


did not fully understand what the treasurer was trying to say. %)
3. Articles of Incorporation specifically empowers BA Lepanto to acquire,
own, hold, enjoy, lease, operate and maintain, and to convey, sell, transfer
mortgage or otherwise dispose of real or personal property.
Respondents Arguments (BA Lepanto, taxpayer):
1. No statutory basis for assessment.
2. While Sec. 3A.02(m) of the Makati Revenue Code provides for the
imposition of business tax on owners or operators of any business, BA
Lepanto is not such an operator or owner of a business.
a. LGC and Makati Code define business as trade or commercial
activity regularly engaged in as a means of livelihood or with a view
to profit.
b. Operations of BA Lepanto:
i. not for profit
ii. hold title over the common areas of the Condominium
iii. manage the Condominium for the unit owners
iv. hold title to the parcels of land on which the Condominium was
located
c. not authorized under its by-laws to enter into profit-making
activities
Issue: Is BA Lepanto liable for business tax? (Differently stated: can an
LGU, under the Local Government Code, impel a condominium corporation
to pay business taxes?)
Held: NO. Besides the failure of Yamane to show the statutory basis for such
assessment, BA Lepanto does not fall within the definition of business as
set forth under the LGC and the NIRC, and by its corporate purpose as
provided under the Condominium Act.

1. Respondent was assessed by the petitioner City Treasurer for


P1,601,013.77 as payment for city business taxes, fees and charges.
2. The Notice of Assessment was silent as to the statutory basis of the
business taxes assessed.
3. The respondent paid the assessment under protest.

SC Ruling:
1. The Court overlooked the procedural lapse regarding appellate
jurisdiction exercised by CA in the interest of justice.27

Petitioners Arguments (Yamane, Makati City Treasurer):


1. Collection of dues effected primarily with end goal of
a. to get full appreciative living values for condo owners
b. to command better prices for those occupants who would sell the
units in the future

!From!these!premises,!it!is!evident!that!the!stance!of!the!City!Treasurer!is!correct!as!a!matter!of!law,!
and!that!the!proper!remedy!of!the!Corporation!from!the!RTC!judgment!is!an!ordinary!appeal!under!Rule!
41! to! the! Court! of! Appeals.! However,! we! make! this! pronouncement! subject! to! two! important!
qualifications.! First,! in! this! particular! case! there! are! nonetheless! significant! reasons! for! the! Court! to!
overlook!the!procedural!error!and!ultimately!uphold!the!adjudication!of!the!jurisdiction!exercised!by!the!
Court!of!Appeals!!in!this!case.!Second,!the!doctrinal!weight!of!the!pronouncement!is!confined!to!cases!
and! controversies! that! emerged! prior! to! the! enactment! of! Republic! Act! No.! 9282,! the! law! which!
expanded!the!jurisdiction!of!the!Court!of!Tax!Appeals!(CTA).!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
27

2. The power of local government units to impose taxes within its


territorial jurisdiction derives from the Constitution itself, which
recognizes the power of these units to create its own sources of
revenue and to levy taxes, fees, and charges subject to such
guidelines and limitations as the Congress may provide,
consistent with the basic policy of local autonomy. These
guidelines and limitations as provided by Congress are in main
contained in the Local Government Code of 1991 (the Code),
which provides for comprehensive instances when and how local
government units may impose taxes. The significant limitations are
enumerated primarily in Section 133 of the Code, which include
among others, a prohibition on the imposition of income taxes except
when levied on banks and other financial institutions. None of the
other general limitations under Section 133 find application to the
case at bar.
3. Yamane has failed to show statutory basis for assessment:
a. Section 143 of LGC enumerating businesses on which LGUs may
impose taxes include:
i. manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, dealers of any article of
commerce of whatever nature;
ii. those engaged in the export or commerce of essential
commodities;
iii. contractors and other independent contractors;
iv. banks and financial institutions
b. Section 3A.02(m) of the NIRC [catch-all phrase] also includes
owners or operators of any business not specified above
c. However, Yamanes notice of assessment, which stands as the
first instance the taxpayer is officially made aware of the
pending tax liability, failed to be sufficiently informative to
apprise BA Lepanto of the legal basis of the tax.
d. Requisites under Sec 195 of the LGC for the notice of assessment
[although not requiring that ordinance be stated]:
i. the nature of the tax, fee or charge
ii. the amount of deficiency, surcharges, interests and penalties.
e. However, the Court may not rule that there has been a due process
violation since it was not raised by BA Lepanto.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Be!that!as!it!may,!characteristic!of!all!procedural!rules!is!adherence!to!the!precept!that!they!should!not!
be!enforced!blindly,!especially!if!mechanical!application!would!defeat!the!higher!ends!that!animates!our!
civil!procedurethe!just,!speedy!and!inexpensive!disposition!of!every!action!and!proceeding.!Indeed,!we!
have!repeatedly!upheldand!utilized!ourselvesthe!discretion!of!courts!to!nonetheless!take!cognizance!
of!petitions!raised!on!an!erroneous!mode!of!appeal!and!instead!treat!these!petitions!in!the!manner!as!
they! should! have! appropriately! been! filed.!The! Court! of! Appeals! could! very! well! have! treated! the!
Corporations!petition!for!review!as!an!ordinary!appeal.!

4. BA Lepanto does not fall within the definition of business in the


LGC and is thus exempt from local business taxation.
a. Under the Condominium Act, a condominium corporation is
precluded from engaging in corporate activities other than the
holding of the common areas, the administration of the condominium
project, and other acts necessary, incidental or convenient to the
accomplishment of such purposes
b. By-laws do not provide maintaining a livelihood or the obtaining
of profit
c. While Section 3A.02(f) is quite exhaustive in enumerating the
class of businesses taxed under the provision, the listing, while it
does not include condominium-related enterprises, ends with the
abbreviation etc., or et cetera.
i. The SC held that lack of definiteness in the use of etc cannot
be held as to provide basis for imposition of tax on BA Lepanto.
d. The Court rejected Yamanes argument since:
i. if any profit is obtained by the sale of the units, it accrues not to
the corporation but to the unit owner28
ii. if the unit owner does obtain profit from the sale of the
corporation, the owner is already required to pay capital gains tax
on the appreciated value of the condominium unit29
e. That the Articles of Incorporation provides for such capacity to
sell, transfer, mortgage etc. any real property is limited by its stated
corporate purposes limited by the Condominium Act.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
28

Besides,! we! shudder! at! the! thought! of! upholding! tax! liability! on! the! basis! of! the! standard! of! full!
appreciative! living! values,! a! phrase! that! defies! statutory! explication,! commonsensical! meaning,! the!
English!language,!or!even!definition!from!Google.!!The!exercise!of!the!power!of!taxation!!constitutes!!a!!
deprivation!of!property!under!the!due!process!clause,!and!the!taxpayers!right!to!due!process!is!violated!
when! arbitrary! or! oppressive! methods! are! used! in! assessing! and! collecting! taxes.!The! fact! that! the!
Corporation! did! not! fall! within! the! enumerated! classes! of! taxable! businesses! under! either! the! Local!
Government!Code!or!the!Makati!Revenue!Code!already!forewarns!that!a!clear!demonstration!is!essential!
on! the! part! of! the! City! Treasurer! on! why! the! Corporation! should! be! taxed! anyway.! Full! appreciative!
living!values!is!nothing!but!blather!in!search!of!meaning,!and!to!impose!a!tax!hinged!on!that!standard!is!
both!arbitrary!and!oppressive.!
!
29
The!City!Treasurer!also!contends!that!the!fact!that!the!Corporation!is!engaged!in!business!is!evinced!by!
the!Articles!of!Incorporation,!which!specifically!empowers!the!Corporation!to!acquire,!own,!hold,!enjoy,!
lease,! operate! and! maintain,! and! to! convey,! sell,! transfer! mortgage! or! otherwise! dispose! of! real! or!
personal!property.!What!the!!City!!Treasurer!!fails!!to!add!is!that!every!corporation!organized!under!the!
Corporation!Code!is!so!specifically!empowered.!Section!36(7)!of!the!Corporation!Code!states!that!every!
corporation! incorporated! under! the! Code! has! the! power! and! capacity! to! purchase,! receive,! take! or!
grant,! hold,! convey,! sell,! lease,! pledge,! mortgage! and! otherwise! deal! with! such! real! and! personal!
property! .! .! .! as! the! transaction! of! the! lawful! business! of! the! corporation!! may!! reasonably!!! and!!!
necessarily!!!require!.!.!.!.!Without!this!power,!corporations,!as!juridical!persons,!would!be!deprived!of!
the!capacity!to!engage!in!most!meaningful!legal!relations.!

f. The only exception to this is when the unit owners of a


condominium would band together to engage in activities for profit
under the shelter of the condominium corporation.
Dispositive: Petition denied. Assessment on BA Lepanto dismissed

Secretary of Finance v Ilarde (2005)


Petitioner: Secretary of Finance
Respondents: Ricardo Ilarde (RTC Judge, Branch 26, Iloilo City) and
Cipriano Cabaluna Jr.
Doctrine: The Secretary of Finance has no authority to prescribe rates
contrary to the RPT Code. To accept the Secretarys premise that E.O. No.
73 had accorded the Ministry of Finance the authority to alter, increase, or
modify the tax structure would be tantamount to saying that E.O. No. 73 has
repealed or amended P.D. No. 464. Repeal of laws should be made clear and
expressed.
Facts:
1. Cabaluna was the Regional Director of Regional Office No. VI of
the Department of Finance in Iloilo City. He also co-owned several
real properties (several lots and a residential house and lot) located in
Iloilo City.
2. Cabaluna failed to pay the land taxes on two of his lots for the years
1986-1992 and the land taxes on three lots for the years 1991-1992.
The computation of the delinquent taxes showed that he was charged
more than 24% by way of penalties.
3. He paid his land taxes and his receipts contained the notation paid
under protest. After retirement, he filed a formal letter of protest
with the City Treasurer of Iloilo. The Assistant City Treasurer turned
down the protest citing Section 4 of Joint Assessment Regulations
No 1-8530 and Local Treasury Regulations No 2-85.
4. Petitioner then filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief with Damages
before Respondent judges sala. Ilarde ruled in favor of Cabaluna
declaring as null and void Section 4(c) of Joint Assessment
Regulation No. 1-85 and Local Treasury Regulation No. 2-85; (2)
declaring that in no case shall the total penalty exceed twenty-four
per centum of the delinquent tax as provided for in Section 66 of
P.D. 464 otherwise known as the Real Property Tax Code; and (3)
ordering the City Treasurer of Iloilo City to refund and/or reimburse
Cipriano P. Cabaluna the amounts paid in excess of twenty-four
percent (24%). Petitioner appeals.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
30

(c) The penalty of two percent (2%) per month of delinquency, or twenty-four
percent (24%) per annum, as the case may be, shall continue to be imposed on the
unpaid tax from the time the delinquency was incurred up to the time that it is paid
for in full.

Petitioners Side:
1. Judges ruling was premised on erroneous grounds.
2. Private respondent cannot question the validity of the regulation
which he himself upheld and applied to other property as the regional
director of finance for region VI.
3. The regulations departure from the RPT Code is sanctioned by EO
73
and
its
implementing
guidelines,
Joint
Local
Assessment/Treasury Regulations No. 2-86 (these guidelines do not
provide a limit to the penalty)
4. Respondents recourse is to file a case questioning the validity of 286.
5. 2-86 was borne out of EO 73. 2-86 is consistent with the assailed
regulations, hence, EO 73 has the effect of validating these
regulations.
6. The Minister of Finance under section 2 of EO 73 has the authority
to promulgate necessary rules and regulations to implement the EO.
This is blanket authority to tinker with the rates of penalty in
delinquency taxes
7. The regulations are not inconsistent with the RPT Code as it only
applies to simple delinquency and not cases wherein there was
failure to promptly pay the real property tax due, including the
increase in tax due and demandable for the tax year as a result of the
application of the 1984 New or Revised Assessment of the value of
the subject property
Respondents Side:
1. The computation was erroneous since the rate applied exceeded 24%
in contravention of section 66 of PD 464 (Real Property Tax Code)
2. Both regulations are unconstitutional.
Issue:
1.

Whether or not Joint Assessment Regulations No. 1-85 and Local


Treasury Regulations No. 2-85 are valid
2. What is the proper rate of penalty for delinquent real property taxes
3. Whether or not the penalties for delinquent real property tax imposed
by petitioner on the properties of private respondent are valid.
Held:
1. No. These regulations are repugnant to the Real Property Tax Code,
the law prevailing at the time material to the case.

a. Section 66 contains a proviso stating: Provided, That in no


case shall the total penalty exceed twenty-four per centum of
the delinquent tax.
b. In comparison, the regulations state that: the penalty of two
percent (2%) per month of delinquency or twenty-four
percent (24%) per annum as the case may be, shall continue
to be imposed on the unpaid tax from the time the
delinquency was incurred up to the time that the delinquency
is paid for in full. The penalty imposed under the regulations
has no limit as the penalty shall be continuously imposed on
the unpaid tax until it is paid in full.
c. It is the validity of said regulations, not Joint Local
Assessment/Treasury Regulations No. 2-86, that is sought to
be resolved herein and petitioner should not depart from the
issue on hand.
d. The underlying principle behind E.O. No. 73, as gleaned
from the whereas clauses and Section 1 thereof, is to
advance the date of effectivity of the application of the Real
Property Tax Values of 1984 from 01 January 1988, the
original date it was intended by E.O. No. 1019 to take effect
for purposes stated therein, to 01 January 1987. E.O. No. 73
did not, in any way, alter the structure of the real property
tax assessments as provided for in P.D. No. 464 or the Real
Property Tax Code.
e. E.O. No. 73 did not touch at all on the topic of amendment
of rates of delinquent taxes or the amendment of rates of
penalty on delinquent taxes. E.O. No. 73, particularly in
Section 2 thereof, has merely designated the Minister of
Finance to promulgate the rules and regulations towards the
implementation of E.O. No. 73, particularly on the
application of the Real Property Values as of 31 December
1984, which is the general purpose for enacting said
executive order. What is patent from the above-quoted
Section 3 of E.O. No. 73 is the repeal of E.O. No. 1019, not
Section 66 of P.D. No. 464
f. Neither did E.O. No. 1019 directly or indirectly vest upon
the Department of Finance the right to fiddle with the rates
of penalty. Even assuming that E.O. No. 1019 had, such
authority would have been automatically stripped off from it
upon the express repeal of E.O. No. 1019 by e.o. No. 73 on
the 25th of November 1986.

g. Despite the promulgation of E.O. No. 73, P.D. No. 464 in


general and Section 66 in particular, remained to be good
law. To accept petitioner's premise that E.O. No. 73 had
accorded the Ministry of Finance the authority to alter,
increase, or modify the tax structure would be tantamount to
saying that E.O. No. 73 has repealed or amended P.D. No.
464. Repeal of laws should be made clear and expressed.
The failure to add a specific repealing clause indicates that
the intent was not to repeal any existing law, unless an
irreconcilable inconsistency and repugnancy exist in the
terms of the new and old laws. There is no such
inconsistency here. Jurisprudence is to the effect that it is
only Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code
of 1991, which repealed the Real Property Tax Code or P.D.
No. 464.16
h. The implementing rules cannot add to or detract from the
provisions of the law it is designed to implement.
Administrative regulations adopted under legislative
authority by a particular department must be in harmony
with the provisions of the law they are intended to carry into
effect, which in this case is merely to antedate the effectivity
of the 1984 Real Property Tax values inasmuch as this is the
raison d'tre of E.O. No. 73.
i. The fact that Cabaluna was responsible for the issuance and
implementation of Regional Office Memorandum Circular
No. 04-89 which implemented Joint Assessment Regulations
No. 1-85 and Local Treasury Regulations No. 2-85 does not
put him in estoppel from seeking the nullification of said
Regulations at this point.
i. He is suing as a plain taxpayer and not as the
regional director
ii. His official acts could not have stripped him of his
rights as a taxpayer
iii. An invalid regulation cannot be made valid by any
act/endorsement of any official. Estoppel cannot
make an invalid regulation valid.
2. 24%.
a. the law applicable for purposes of computation of the real
property taxes due for the years 1986 to 1991, including the
penalties and interests, is still Section 66 of the Real
Property Tax Code of 1974 or P.D. No. 464.(two per centum
on the amount of the delinquent tax for each month of

delinquency or fraction thereof but "in no case shall the total


penalty exceed twenty-four per centum of the delinquent
tax.")
b. However, from 01 January 1992 onwards, the proper basis
for the computation of the real property tax payable,
including penalties or interests, if applicable, must be Rep.
Act No. 7160, known as the Local Government Code, which
took effect on the 1st of January 1992 inasmuch as Section
534 thereof had expressly repealed P.D. No. 464 or the Real
Property Tax Code. Section 5(d) of Rep. Act No. 7160
provides that rights and obligations existing on the date of
effectivity of the new Code and arising out of contracts or
any source of prestation involving a local government unit
shall be governed by the original terms and conditions of the
said contracts or the law in force at the time such contracts
were vested.
3. No. (see 1)
Dispositive:
Petition denied.

SMART COMMUNICATIONS, INC. v. THE CITY OF DAVAO (2008)


Doctrine: The in lieu of all taxes clause in a legislative franchise should
expressly and categorically state that the exemption applies to both local and
national taxes; otherwise, it only applies to national internal revenue taxes
and not to local taxes.
Facts:
Smart filed a special civil action for declaratory relief for the ascertainment
of its rights and obligations under the Tax Code of the City of Davao [Sec. 1,
Art 10]31, which imposes a franchise tax on businesses enjoying a franchise
within the territorial jurisdiction of Davao
RTC: denied.
(a) the ambiguity of the in lieu of all taxes provision in R.A. No. 7294, on
whether it covers both national and local taxes, must be resolved against
the taxpayer.
(b) tax exemptions are construed in strictissimi juris against the taxpayer
and liberally in favor of the taxing authority and, thus, those who assert a
tax exemption must justify it with words too plain to be mistaken and too
categorical not to be misinterpreted.
(c) Re: violation of the non-impairment clause of the Constitution
Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority v. Marcos: the citys power
to tax is based not merely on a valid delegation of legislative power but
on the direct authority granted to it by the fundamental law.
(d) While thepower to tax may be subject to restrictions or conditions
imposed by Congress, any such legislated limitation must be consistent
with the basic policy of local autonomy
Petitioners arguments:
Its telecenter in Davao City is exempt from payment of franchise tax to the
City:
(a) there is clear legislative intent to exempt it from the provisions of R.A.
7160 since its franchise (RA 7194) was issued subsequent to RA 7160;
(b) Sec 137 of R.A. No. 7160 can only apply to exemptions already existing
at the time of its effectivity and not to future exemptions;
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
31

Notwithstanding any exemption granted by any law or other special law, there is
hereby imposed a tax on businesses enjoying a franchise, at a rate of seventy-five
percent (75%) of one percent (1%) of the gross annual receipts for the preceding
calendar year based on the income or receipts realized within the territorial
jurisdiction of Davao City.

(c) the power of the City of Davao to impose a franchise tax is subject to the
in lieu of all taxes clause found in Sec 9 of R.A. No. 7294; such clause
exempts it from all taxes, both local and national, except the national
franchise tax (now VAT), income tax, and real property tax;
(d) the imposition of franchise tax by the City of Davao would amount to a
violation of the constitutional provision against impairment of contracts,
since the franchise is in the nature of a contract between the government and
Smart
Respondents arguments:
the Constitution [Art X, Sec 5] granted local government units the power to
create their own sources of revenue
Issue: WON Smart is liable to pay the franchise tax imposed by the City of
Davao
Held/Ratio: YES
1) Prospective Effect of RA 7160
Sec 137, in relation to Sec 151 of R.A. No. 7160, allowed the imposition of
franchise tax by the local government units; while Sec 193 thereof provided
for the withdrawal of tax exemption privileges granted prior to the issuance
of R.A. No. 7160 except for those expressly mentioned therein.
The Court agrees with Smarts contention that it is not covered by Sec 137,
in relation to Sec 151 of R.A. No. 7160, because its franchise was granted
after the effectivity of the said law. The withdrawal of tax exemptions or
incentives provided in R.A. No. 7160 can only affect those franchises
granted prior to the effectivity of the law. The intention of the legislature to
remove all tax exemptions or incentives granted prior to the said law is
evident in the language of Section 193 of R.A. No. 7160. No interpretation is
necessary.
2) The in lieu of all taxes clause in RA7294
R.A. No. 7294 is not definite in granting exemption to Smart from local
taxation. Section 9 of R.A. No. 7294 imposes on Smart a franchise tax
equivalent to three percent (3%) of all gross receipts of the business
transacted under the franchise and the said percentage shall be in lieu of all
taxes on the franchise or earnings thereof. R.A. No 7294 does not expressly
provide what kind of taxes Smart is exempted from. It is not clear whether
the in lieu of all taxes provision in the franchise of Smart would include
exemption from local or national taxation.

The uncertainty in the in lieu of all taxes clause in R.A. No. 7294 must be
construed strictly against Smart which claims the exemption. Smart has the
burden of proving the exemption. However, it failed to do so.
Thus, the doubt must be resolved in favor of the City of Davao. The in lieu
of all taxes clause applies only to national internal revenue taxes and not to
local taxes.
The franchise tax that the City of Davao may impose must comply with Secs
137 and 151 of R.A. No. 7160.
*Note: In this case, Sec 9 of RA 7294 has been repealed by the VAT Law
[Sec 20, RA 7716], which imposes a uniform 10% VAT on all
telecommunications companies. Thus, Smart is no longer paying the
franchise tax imposed in RA 7294.
3) Non-impairment Clause of the Constitution
there is no violation of Article III, Section 10 of the 1987 Philippine
Constitution. The franchise of Smart does not expressly provide for
exemption from local taxes. Absent the express provision on such exemption
under the franchise, we are constrained to rule against it. The in lieu of all
taxes clause in Section 9 of R.A. No. 7294 leaves much room for
interpretation. Due to this ambiguity in the law, the doubt must be resolved
against the grant of tax exemption.
Moreover, Smarts franchise was granted with the express condition that it is
subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal.
Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance: It is enough to say that the parties to a
contract cannot, through the exercise of prophetic discernment, fetter the
exercise of the taxing power of the State

Vergara vs. Ombudsman (2009)


Doctrine:Ratification by the City Council is not a condition sine qua non for
the local chief executive to enter into contracts on behalf of the city. The law
requires prior authorization from the City Council and in this case,
Resolution No. 280 is the City Councils stamp of approval and authority for
Mayor Lajara to purchase the subject lots.
Facts:
S City Council of Calamba issued Resolution No. 115, authorizing
Mayor Lajara to negotiate with landowners within the vicinity of
Barangays Real, Halang, and Uno, for a new city hall site.
S On 29 October 2001, the City Council passed Resolution No. 280,
authorizing Mayor Lajara to purchase several lots owned by Pamana
Inc. with a total area of 55,190 square meters for the price
of P129,017,600.Mayor Lajara was also authorized to execute, sign
and deliver the required documents.
S Consequently, the City Government of Calamba, through Mayor
Lajara, entered into the following agreements:
a. Memorandum of Agreement with Pamana and Prudential
Bank discussed the terms and conditions of the sale (the
total purchase price would be payable in installments)
b. Deed of Sale
c. Deed of Real Estate Mortgage
d. Deed of Assignment of Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA)
S On 19 November 2001, the above documents were endorsed to the
City Council.
Petitioners arguments:
S Petitioner alleged that all these documents were not ratified by the
City Council.
S Petitioner stated that he called the attention of the City Council on
the following observations:
o TCT Nos. 66141, 66142, 66143, 61705 and 66140 were
registered under the name of Philippine Sugar Estates
Development Company (PSEDC) and neither Pamana nor
Prudential Bank owned these properties. Petitioner pointed
out that although PSEDC had executed a Deed of
Assignment in favor of Pamana to maintain the road lots
within the PSEDC properties, PSEDC did not convey, sell or
transfer these properties to Pamana. Moreover, petitioner
claimed that the signature of Fr. Efren O. Rivera (Fr. Rivera)

S
S

in Annex A of the Deed of Assignment appeared to be a


forgery. Fr. Rivera had also submitted an Affidavit refuting
his purported signature in Annex A.
o Petitioner claimed that there was no relocation survey prior
to the execution of the Deed of Sale.
o Petitioner alleged that with respect to the two lots covered by
TCT No. 61703 with an area of 5,976 square meters and
TCT No. 66140 with an area of 3,747 square meters, Fr.
Boyd R. Sulpico (Fr. Sulpico) of the Dominican Province of
the Philippines had earlier offered the same for only P300
per square meter.
o Petitioner contended that TCT Nos. 66141, 66142, 66143
and 61705 are road lots. The dorsal sides of the TCTs bear
the common annotation that the road lots cannot be closed or
disposed without the prior approval of the National Housing
Authority and the conformity of the duly organized
homeowners association.
o Petitioner claimed that an existing barangay road and an
access road to Bacnotan Steel Corporation and Danlex
Corporation were included in the Deed of Sale.
Hence, petitioner filed a complaint in the Ombudsman against
private respondents for violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019.
Upon motion for reconsideration, petitioner alleged that the
Ombudsman did not consider the issue that Calamba City paid for
lots that were either easement/creeks, road lots or access roads.
Petitioner alleged that it is erroneous to conclude that the price was
reasonable because Calamba City should not have paid for the
creeks, road lots and access roads at the same price per square meter.
Petitioner claimed that the additional evidence of overpricing was a
letter from Fr. Sulpico who offered the road lots covered by TCT
Nos. 61703 and 66140 atP300per square meter

Respondents arguments:
S The Ombudsman issued a Resolution finding no probable cause to
hold any of the respondents liable for violation of Section 3(e) of RA
3019.
o the subject properties have been transferred and are now
registered in the name of Calamba City under new
Certificates of Title
o the reasonableness of the purchase price for the subject lots
could be deduced from the fact that Calamba City bought

S
S

them at P3,800 per square meter, an amount lower than their


zonal valuation at P6,000 per square meter
o the terms and conditions of payment were neither onerous
nor burdensome to the city government as it was able to
immediately take possession of the lots even if it had paid
only less than ten percent of the contract price and was even
relieved from paying interests on the installment payments
o the total purchase price was paid under liberal terms as it
was paid in installments for one year from date of purchase
o the parties agreed that the last installment of P25,000,000
was subject to the condition that titles to the properties were
first transferred to Calamba City
o the absence of a relocation survey did not affect the validity
of the subject transactions
To warrant conviction under Section 3(e) of RA 3019, the following
essential elements must concur:
o the accused is a public officer discharging administrative,
judicial, or official functions;
o he must have acted with manifest partiality, evident bad
faith, or inexcusable negligence; and
o his action caused undue injury to any party, including the
government, or gave any private party unwarranted benefits,
advantage, or preference in the discharge of his functions.
The Ombudsman contended that when Mayor Lajara entered into
and implemented the subject contracts, he complied with the
resolutions issued by the City Council.
The Ombudsman held that the various actions performed by Mayor
Lajara in connection with the purchase of the lots were all authorized
by the Sangguniang Panlungsod as manifested in the numerous
resolutions. With such authority, it could not be said that there was
evident bad faith in purchasing the lands in question. The lack of
ratification alone did not characterize the purchase of the properties
as one that gave unwarranted benefits to Pamana or Prudential Bank
or one that caused undue injury to Calamba City.
On the alleged overpricing of the lots covered by TCT Nos. 61703
and 66140, the Ombudsman ruled that it could be discerned from Fr.
Sulpicos affidavit that the said parcels of land were excluded from
the offer, being creek easement lots.
The Ombudsman explained that ratification by the City Council was
not a condition sine qua non for the local chief executive to enter
into contracts on behalf of the city. The law requires prior
authorization from the City Council and in this case, Resolution Nos.

115 and 280 were the City Councils stamp of approval and authority
for Mayor Lajara to purchase the subject lots.
Respondent Mayor Lajara and City Treasurer Baroro:
S It is not sound practice to depart from the policy of non-interference
in the Ombudmans exercise of discretion to determine whether to
file an information against an accused.
S In the assailed Resolution and Order, the Ombudsman stated clearly
and distinctly the facts and the law on which the case was based and
as such, petitioner had the burden of proving that grave abuse of
discretion attended the issuance of the Resolution and Order of the
Ombudsman.
S Respondents claimed that out of the six PSEDC-owned lots that were
sold to Calamba City, the ownership of the four lots had already
been transferred to Pamana as evidenced by the new TCTs. They
added that even if TCT Nos. 66140 and 61703 were still in PSEDCs
name, ownership of these lots had been transferred to Pamana as
confirmed by Fr. Sulpico, the custodian of all the assets of the
Dominican Province of the Philippines.
S Respondents also refuted the alleged overpricing of the lots covered
by TCT Nos. 66140 and 61703. Respondents contended that Fr.
Sulpicos letter offering the lots at P350 per square meter had been
superseded by his own denial of said offer during the meeting of the
Sangguniang Panlungsod on 14 November 2002.
S On the absence of ratification by the City Council, respondents
explained that Section 22 of Republic Act No. 7160 spoke of prior
authority and not ratification. Respondents pointed out that petitioner
did not deny the fact that Mayor Lajara was given prior authority to
negotiate and sign the subject contracts. In fact, it was petitioner who
made the motion to enact Resolution No. 280.
S On the non-conduct of a relocation survey, respondents noted that
while a relocation survey may be of use in determining which lands
should be purchased, the absence of a relocation survey would not, in
any manner, affect the validity of the subject transactions.
Issue:
WON all the documents pertaining to the purchase of the lots should bear the
ratification by the City Council of Calamba (NO)
Held/Ratio:
S Ratification by the City Council is not a condition sine qua
non for the local chief executive to enter into contracts on behalf

of the city. The law only requires prior authorization from the
City Council.
Section 22(c), Title I of RA 7160 (LGC) provides: Unless otherwise
provided in this Code, no contract may be entered into by the local
chief executive in behalf of the local government unit without prior
authorization by the sanggunian concerned.
Section 455, Title III of the LGC enumerates the powers, duties, and
compensation of the Chief Executive: Represent the city in all its
business transactions and sign in its behalf all bonds, contracts, and
obligations, and such other documents upon authority of the
Sangguniang Panlungsod or pursuant to law or ordinance
Clearly, when the local chief executive enters into contracts, the law
speaks of prior authorization or authority from the Sangguniang
Panlungsod and not ratification. It cannot be denied that the City
Council issued Resolution No. 28032 authorizing Mayor Lajara to
purchase the subject lots.
As aptly pointed out by the Ombudsman, ratification by the City
Council is not a condition sine qua non for Mayor Lajara to enter
into contracts. With the resolution issued by the Sangguniang
Panlungsod, it cannot be said that there was evident bad faith in
purchasing the subject lots. The lack of ratification alone does not
characterize the purchase of the properties as one that gave
unwarranted benefits to Pamana or Prudential Bank or one that
caused undue injury to Calamba City.

Issue 2: Whether the Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion


amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction when the Ombudsman dismissed
for lack of probable cause the case against respondents for violation of
Section 3(e) of RA 3019 (NO)
Held/Ratio
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
32

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY MAYOR OF CALAMBA, HON.


SEVERINO J. LAJARA TO PURCHASE LOTS OF PAMANA INC. WITH A TOTAL
AREA OF FIFTY FIVE THOUSAND SQUARE METERS (55,000 SQ. M.) SITUATED AT
BARANGAY REAL, CITY OF CALAMBA FOR A LUMP SUM PRICE OF ONE
HUNDRED TWENTY NINE MILLION SEVENTEEN THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED
PESOS (P129,017,600), SUBJECT TO THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS, AND FOR THIS
PURPOSE, FURTHER AUTHORIZING THE HON. MAYOR SEVERINO J. LAJARA TO
REPRESENT THE CITY GOVERNMENT AND TO EXECUTE, SIGN AND DELIVER
SUCH DOCUMENTS AND PAPERS AS MAYBE SO REQUIRED IN THE PREMISES.

The Office of the Ombudsman is vested with the sole power to


investigate and prosecute, motu proprio or on complaint of any
person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office,
or agency when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust,
improper, or inefficient.The Ombudsmans power to investigate and
to prosecute is plenary and unqualified.
The Ombudsman has the discretion to determine whether a criminal
case, given its attendant facts and circumstances, should be filed or
not. The Ombudsman may dismiss the complaint should the
Ombudsman find the complaint insufficient in form or substance, or
the Ombudsman may proceed with the investigation if, in the
Ombudsmans view, the complaint is in due form and substance
This Court has consistently adopted a policy of non-interference in
the exercise of the Ombudsmans constitutionally mandated
powers. However, this Court is not precluded from reviewing the
Ombudsmans action when there is grave abuse of discretion, in
which case the certiorari jurisdiction of the Court may be
exceptionally invoked pursuant to Section 1, Article VIII of the
Constitution. These exceptions are not present in this case.
A perusal of the records shows that the findings of fact by the
Ombudsman are supported by substantial evidence. As long as
substantial evidence supports it, the Ombudsmans ruling will not be
overturned. Petitioner, in arguing that the Ombudsman committed
grave abuse of discretion, raises questions of fact. This Court is not a
trier of facts, more so in the extraordinary writ of certiorari where
neither questions of fact nor even of law are entertained, but only
questions of lack of jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion can be
raised.

Case (City of Caloocan vs CA)

Doctrine: It is the mayor who has the authority to file suits "for the recovery
of funds and property" on behalf of the city, even without the prior
authorization from the Sanggunian.

Facts:
Sangguniang Panlungsod (Sanggunian) of Caloocan City passed
Ordinance No. 068 authorizing the city mayor, then Mayor Macario
Asistio, Jr. to negotiate and enter into a contract of sale of the
patrimonial property of the city
Mayor Asistio, on behalf of Caloocan City, and Jose C. Go of Ever
Gotesco (Gotesco), executed a Deed of Absolute Sale over the
aforementioned property
However, the Commission on Audit (COA) disapproved the Deed of
Sale. Nonetheless, on motion for reconsideration, the COA approved
the proposed sale on the condition that the selling price is pegged at a
different price
Sanggunian passed an ordinance amending Ord. No. 068, directing
that an amended deed of absolute sale be executed between the City
and Gotesco, the terms and conditions of which be pursuant to the
COA decision
The ordinance was initially vetoed by then incumbent mayor,
Reynaldo O. Malonzo (Malonzo), on the ground that since the deed
of sale earlier executed was valid and subsisting it was not
incumbent upon him to execute an amended deed of conveyance
over the same property; the Sanggunian, however, passed Resolution
No. 0609 overriding the veto
Gotesco executed an "Express Consent to the Novation of the Deed
of Absolute Sale" with an "Amended Deed of Absolute Sale"
embodying the amendments prescribed by Ord. No. 0236. Mayor
Malonzo received the documents but refused to sign the amended
deed of sale
Department of Interior and Local Government opined that the deed
of absolute sale may be registered with the Register of Deeds of
Caloocan City, the registration being a mere ministerial act on the
part of the latter. Thereafter, Gotesco tendered payment for the
property, as well as for transfer tax and and real estate tax to the City
Treasurer and to Malonzo but these payments were refused
Gotesco filed Civil Case No. C-18274, seeking the consignation of
the purchase price and tax payments

Land Registration Authority allowed the registration of the subject


deed of sale
Caloocan City filed a petition for prohibition with application for
preliminary injunction and prayer for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order before the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan.
Another case was filed for annulment of sale and cancellation of title
Three cases therefore are involved: 1. Civil case for consignation by
Gotesco 2. Petition for prohibition with application for preliminary
injunction and prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining
order by Malonzo to prevent registration of the sale 3. Civil case for
annulment of sale and cancellation of title by Malonzo
Gotesco filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals,
assailing the denial of its motion to dismiss. Appellate court
dismissed the petition. Gotesco moved for reconsideration of the
Decision, raising as grounds therefore that i) Caloocan City and its
counsel, the City Legal Officer, are guilty of forum-shopping; ii)
there exists between the parties in Civil Cases Nos. C-18274, C18308, C-18337, the elements of litis pendentia and/or res judicata;
iii) the City Legal Officer is without authority to execute the
verification, as well as the certification against forum-shopping in
the Complaint docketed as Civil Case No. C-18337; and iv) the trial
court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction in issuing its questioned Order
Court of Appeals reversed its earlier ruling and granted the petition,
and ordered the dismissal of Civil Case No. C-18337

Petitioners arguments:
Relief: Reversal of CA decision
Position: The Court of Appeals had no basis for reversing its earlier
Decision since private respondents did not present any new evidence
or novel arguments, such that their motion for reconsideration
contained mere reiterations of their original submissions in their
petition. Petitioner insists that it is not guilty of forum-shopping
since the cases it filed involved different issues and causes of action.
Thus, petitioner argues, there being different causes of action, issues
and objectives between the cases, it cannot be said that forumshopping exists. Likewise, there can be no res judicata among the
cases since i) they have different causes of action; ii) the evidence
presented in Civil Case No. C-18308 are not sufficient to sustain the
cause of action in the second case; iii) there is no identity of parties;
and iv) there is no identity of subject matter. Further, petitioner
contends that its petition was seasonably filed and perfected, and

complied with the material date rule. Further, said petition was filed
in accordance with the powers and duties of a mayor, as per the
Charter of the City of Caloocan, as well as under the Local
Government Code (R.A. 7160), and thus needs no authority from the
Sanggunian in order to institute actions or suits on behalf of the city
Respondents arguments:
Position: Petition was filed out of time. Also, the petition is defective
in form since i) it violated the material data rule; ii) it was instituted
by a non-party, Reynaldo O. Malonzo, and not by the City of
Caloocan, as in fact in the attached verification, Malonzo referred to
himself as the "petitioner in the above-entitled case," and there was
no resolution from the City Council authorizing him to file the
instant petition; and iii) petitioner failed to attach a copy of the
complaint in Civil Case No. C- 18274, which is material and relevant
to the instant petition. Court of Appeals is correct in ruling that
forum-shopping and litis pendentia exist. The factual allegations in
the three (3) subject cases and even the annexes attached to the
complaint are practically one and the same; even the principal parties
are identical. Additionally, the causes of action in C-18337 are both
subject of judicial inquiry in C-18274 and C-18337, thereby
rendering it dismissible on the ground of litis pendentia or res
judicata.
Issue/s: Whether or not the case should be dismissed?
Held/Ratio: YES
The City Legal Officer has no authority to institute the action. It is
the mayor who has the authority to file suits "for the recovery of
funds and property" on behalf of the city, even without the prior
authorization from the Sanggunian. Civil Case No. C-18308 was
filed by Malonzo to enjoin the registration of what he deemed to be
an anomalous deed of sale, while Civil Case No. C-18337 was
instituted to annul the Deed of Absolute Sale and to cancel the title
issued to Gotesco. Obviously, these suits were filed, initially to
preserve, and subsequently to recover, the property subject of the
said suits, to protect the interests of the City of Caloocan over the
said parcel of land. Thus, it can be said that the institution of Civil
Cases Nos. C-18308 and C-18337 was made within the bounds of
Malonzos authority as the city mayor.
o Sec. 455 of the Local Government Code provides, among
others, the powers and duties of a city mayor, thus: (a) The

city mayor, as the chief executive of the city government,


shall exercise such powers and perform such duties and
functions as provided by this Code and other laws. (b) For
efficient, effective, and economical governance the purpose
of which is the general welfare of the city and its inhabitants
pursuant to Section 16 of this Code, the city mayor shall: (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 countryside growth and progress
and, relative thereto shall: (ix) Institute or cause to be
instituted administrative or judicial proceedings for violation
of ordinances in the collection of taxes, fees or charges, and
for the recovery of funds and property; and cause the city to
be defended against all suits to ensure that its interests,
resources and rights shall be adequately protected
o Meanwhile, Section 9 of the Charter of the City of Caloocan
provides: The Mayor shall have immediate control over the
executive and administrative functions of the different
departments of the city, subject to the supervision of the
President of the Philippines. He shall have the following
general powers and duties: (d) To cause to be instituted
judicial proceedings to recover property and funds of the
city wherever found, to cause to be defended all suits against
the city, and otherwise to protect the interests of the city
However, being the proper party to file such suits, the mayor must
necessarily be the one to sign the certification against forumshopping, and not the City Legal Officer, who, despite being an
official of the City, was merely its counsel and not a party to the
case. Thus, the Court of Appeals was correct in holding that the
certification against forum-shopping in Civil Case No. C-18337 is
defective for having been signed by the City Legal Officer and not
by Malonzo. This factor alone could well have led to the dismissal
of Civil Case No. C-18337
However, an even more compelling reason dictates that Civil Case
No. C-18337 must be dismissed at all events. This is forumshopping
o For litis pendentia to be a ground for the dismissal of an
action, the following requisites must concur: (a) identity of
parties, or at least such parties who represent the same

interests in both actions; (b) identity of rights asserted and


relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts;
and (c) the identity with respect to the two preceding
particulars in the two cases is such that any judgment that
may be rendered in the pending case, regardless of which
party is successful, would amount to res judicata in the other
case
The Court finds that the cases involve the same principal
parties, to wit: the City of Caloocan and Gotesco
Investments, Inc., while the other parties were merely
impleaded as nominal parties
Civil Cases Nos. C-18337 and C-18308 are based on the
same set of facts, that is, the failure to execute an Amended
Deed of Sale pursuant to City Ordinance No. 068. On the
other hand, Civil Cases Nos. 18308 and 18274 question the
nature of, and the procedure undertaken in the transfer of
ownership of the subject land. Basically, the same set of
evidence will have to be presented to support the causes of
action in the three (3) cases, which as indicated earlier is
characterized by singularity. Thus, a finding in one will
sustain a finding in the other. The causes of action in Civil
Case No. C-18337 being similarly subject of judicial inquiry
in Civil Cases Nos. C-18274 and C-18337, Civil Case No.
C-18337 is dismissible on the ground of litis pendentia.
Moreover, the aforesaid cases are intimately related and/or
intertwined with one another such that the judgment that
may be rendered in one, regardless of which party would be
successful, would amount to res judicata in the other

Department of Public Services Labor Unions vs. CIR


3. CIR has jurisdiction.
Petition for Review
The mayor and members of the municipal board are agents of the state;
therefore, immune from suit.
Petitioner: Department of Public Services Labor Unions
Respondent: CIR, Mayor Lacson and The Municipal Board of the City of
Manila
Facts:
1. RA1880, amending Sec. 562 of the Revised Administrative Code, as
amended provides: i. that the legal number of hours in every branch of the
government service as well as in GOCCs shall be 8 hours a day, for 5 days a
week, or a total of 40 hours a week, except those "for school, courts,
hospitals and health clinics or where the exigencies of the service so require.
2. This is a reduction from the existing 7-day work week days as required in
view of the exigencies of the service.
3. Petitioners sought for its enforcement and filed a case in the CIR vs. the
Mayor and Municipal Board of Manila.
4. The petition also prays for the recovery of overtime compensation.
5. Respondents - MTD: CIR has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
case and the petition states no cause of action.

Respondents:
1. CIR has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case and that the
petition states no cause of action.
1. Issue: W/N the Mayor and Members of the Municipal Board are immune
from suit?
Held: Yes.
SC:
It is obvious from the nature of the duties imposed upon, and performed by
the Department of Public Services that the City of Manila, through that
department, is not functioning in its proprietary or private capacity, but rather
in its governmental or public character. As was held in the case of Curry vs.
City of Highland Park (242 Mich. 614, 219 N.W. 745), "The collection and
disposal of garbage and acting in conserving the public health is
governmental wherein the municipality acts for the state." This must be so,
for, surely, in the collection and disposal of garbage, the City of Manila does
not obtain any special corporate benefit or pecuniary profit, but acts in the
interest of health, safety and the advancement of the public good or welfare
as affecting the public generally. Such being the case, it follows that the
Industrial Court has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the case. The rule is
settled that in the performance of its governmental functions, a municipal
corporation, like the City of Manila, acts as an agent of the State, and as
such, is immune from suit unless consent thereto has been given. Such
consent must be expressed in unequivocal language and here no consent of
the Government has been given.

6. CIR: Sustained the motion and dismissed the petition.


Petitioner:
1. The petitioning union is composed of employees and laborers of the
Department of Public Services of the City of Manila. The principal duties
and functions of said department as defined in Sec. 80 of the city's Revised
Charter, RA409, as amended, are as follows: i. "(a). . care, custody and
cleaning of all public buildings including, markets and slaughterhouses and
buildings rented for city purposes; public toilets; collection and disposal
garbage, refuse, contents of toilets and cesspools and all her offensive and
dangerous substances within the city."
2. We seek the enforcement of RA1880.

2. Issue: W/N the Union can compel the Mayor and the Members of the
Board to implement the RA? No.
The law was implemented by EO 251 promulgated by the President on June
26, 1957, with the proviso that "when the interest of the Public service so
require, the head of any department, bureau, or office may extend the daily
hours of labor for any or all of the employees under him, and may likewise
require any or all of them to do overtime work not only on work days but
also on holidays." This is in accordance with Sec. 566 of the Revised
Administrative Code. It is to be observed that there is nothing in the law in
question or in the implementing order that imposes upon the respondent
Mayor or Municipal Board of Manila the duty to apply the benefit of said

law to all employees and laborers of the city government. On the contrary,
the law gives to the respondent Mayor ample authority and discretion to
extend their work schedule beyond the prescribed number of days and hours
of labor. If the members of the petitioning union are required to work seven
days a week, as before the enactment of RA1880, it must be because their
work is demanded by the "exigencies of the service." Indeed, if the number
of their work days is reduced, or if they are given days-off on Saturdays and
Sundays, including holidays, public health and sanitation would be
undermined and endangered by the non-collection of garbage and other
refuse matters, not to mention the foul odor that would fill the city
atmosphere in those two or more days.
3. Issue: W/N the Union is entitled to overtime pay? No.
Since the members of the petitioner are government employees appointed
under the Civil Service Law and their salaries, wages, or emoluments are
fixed by law or ordinance, they have no right to overtime compensation for
work required of them in the interest of the service beyond the number of
days and hours prescribed by RA 1880. The city government may, of course,
grant its employees overtime compensation, for extra hours of work, but the
granting of such compensation is, at best, a matter of administrative policy
that is discretionary and dependent upon the city's financial conditions.
Dispositive: CIR affirmed.

Municipal Board of Cebu City vs Court of Tax Appeals


Dec 26, 1964
Doctrine: Municipal Corporations posses the power to sue and be sued.
Facts:
Appeal from CTA to SC
Private respondent University of Southern Philippines Foundation
applied with the City Assessor of Cebu an application for exemption
of several properties from real estate tax.
The City Assessor disallowed the exemption of several lots.
The University then appealed the finding of the City Assessor to the
Board of Assessment Appeals of Cebu who decided in favor of the
University.
The City Assessor, represented by the Municipal Board then
appealed the decision to the Court of Tax Appeals who dismissed the
case.
Petitioners Arguments:
(Not stated in the case)
Respondents Argument:
The CTA ruled that the Board of Assessment Appeals is merely the
instrumentality of the City of Cebu and the latter being a
governmental agency is not among those who may appeal to the
Court of Tax Appeals enumerated in Section 11 of Republic Act No.
1125.
Issue:
WON the City of Cebu can appeal from the decision of the Board of
Assessment Appeals under Sec. 11 of Republic Act No. 1125 which
provides:
SEC 11. Who may appeal; effect of appeal. Any person,
association or corporation adversely affected by a decision or ruling
of the Collector of Internal Revenue, the Collector of Customs or any
provincial or city Board of Assessment Appeals may file an appeal in
the Court of Tax Appeals within thirty days after the receipt of such
decision or ruling.
Held:
The City of Cebu constitutes a political body corporate created by a special
charter (Commonwealth Act No. 58), endowed with the powers which

pertain to a municipal corporation. As such, it possesses the capacity to sue


and be sued. It is authorized to levy real estate taxes for its support.
In the decision of the Board of Assessment Appeals of Cebu City exempting
the lots in question from the payment of real property tax, no entity is more
adversely affected than the City of Cebu, for it stands to lose a yearly income
equivalent to the realty tax: seven-eights of one per centum on the assessed
value of said lots.
In the case of City of Manila and the City Assessor of Manila vs. The Board
of Assessment Appeals, et al. (L-18784, April 30, 1964), the SC ruled that the
City of Manila is a corporation adversely affected by the decision of the
Board of Assessment Appeals. The city charters of Manila and Cebu have
similar provisions in respect to benefits derived from the collection and levy
of real property taxes and thus, there was no reason to deviate from such
finding.
As to the personality of the Municipal Board to represent the City of Cebu in
this suit, Sec. 58 of Commonwealth Act No. 58 expressly vests in the
Municipal Board the authority to appeal from the decision of the City
Assessor to the Board of Assessment Appeals. This indicates legislative
intent to lodge in the Municipal Board the right to represent the City in an
appeal from an adverse decision of the Board of Assessment Appeals.

Calleja v CA (1967)
Doctrine: The Municipal Attorney of a municipality, duly appointed in
accordance with the provisions of Republic Act 2264, is the legal officer of
the municipality, and as such legal officer he may appear in court as counsel
for the municipality or any municipal officer who is a party in a case in his
official capacity. Municipal Atty. has authority under the law to sign the
notice of appeal, as counsel for his respondents; and the notice of appeal,
which he had thus signed even if he had signed it alone, without being
accompanied by the Provincial Fiscal is valid and produces the legal
effect of bringing the appeal, from the decision in the precious civil case,
properly to the Court of Appeals.
Facts:
1. Calleja is one of the nineteen civil service eligible employees of the
Municipality of Iriga, who were separated from the service when their
positions were abolished by the municipal council for lack of funds.
2. Calleja and the others filed an action for mandamus before the CFI of
Camarines Sur against the Municipality of Iriga, the Members of the
Municipal Council, and the Municipal Treasurer, praying for their
reinstatement and payment of their back salaries. This was granted by the
CFI.
3. A copy of the decision was furnished the Provincial Fiscal who
represented the Municipality of Iriga. The Provincial Fiscal did not file a
notice of appeal from this decision except on the last day for perfecting
the appeal it was Municipal Atty. Felix (who collaborated with the
Provincial Fiscal in representing the Municipality of Iriga) who filed a
notice of appeal and an appeal bond.
4. Calleja filed a motion objecting to the approval of the appeal by the CFI
on the ground that the notice of appeal was not signed by the Provincial
Fiscal who is the only official who can legally represent the Municipality
of Iriga and its officers. Therefore, the appeal was not perfected and it
should not be given due course. CFI overruled Callejas decision.
5. Calleja filed a motion to set aside this order, to which motion municipal
Atty. Silvestre Felix filed an objection which was approved by the
Provincial Fiscal. After the denial of Calleja's motion, the case was
forwarded to the CA.
6. Calleja filed in the CA a motion to dismiss the appeal in the abovementioned case reiterating the same grounds that he adduced in objecting
to the approval of the appeal in the lower court. This motion was again
opposed by Atty. Felix, with the approval of the Provincial Fiscal. CA
denied Calleja's motion to dismiss.

7. Calleja filed a petition for certiorari in the SC, by way of an appeal from
the order of the CA denying his motion to dismiss respondents' appeal.
Petitioners arguments:
1. Calleja wants the appeal of the officials of Municipality of Iriga to be
dismissed.
2. Calleja contends that the only official who can legally represent in court
respondent municipality and its officers who are sued in their official
capacities is the Provincial Fiscal as provided in Section 1681 and 1683
of the Revised Administrative Code, and that Republic Act 2264 had not
repealed or modified said provisions.
3. Calleja contends that, inasmuch as the Provincial Fiscal is the officer
empowered to appear for the respondents, the resolution of the Municipal
Council of Iriga authorizing Municipal Atty. Silvestre Felix to represent
the municipality in all cases wherein the municipality, or any officer
thereof in his official capacity, is a party, was ultra vires.
4. Calleja contends that granting that said attorney may be allowed to
appear in the case his appearance should be with the consent, control and
under the direction of the Provincial Fiscal. It is the stand of Calleja that
when the Provincial Fiscal himself did not appeal the decision of the
Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur in Civil Case No. 5077, nor did
he sign along with Municipal Atty. Felix the notice of appeal in said
notice of appeal had been perfected in said case, so that respondents'
appeal was not properly brought to the Court of Appeals, and, therefore,
that appeal should be dismissed pursuant to the provisions of Section 1,
paragraph (b) of Rule 50 of the Rules of Court.
Respondents arguments: (None was mentioned by the Court)
Issue: WON Atty. Silvestre Felix, in his capacity as Municipal Attorney for
the Municipality of Iriga, who appeared in collaboration with the Provincial
Fiscal as counsel for respondent municipality and its officials has the
authority, under the law, to sign the notice of appeal in said case, without the
accompanying signature or conformity of the Provincial Fiscal. Yes.
Held/Ratio: (Note: include legal basis and jurisprudence)
1. The Municipal Council of Iriga, Camarines Sur, approved Resolution
No. 36, series of 1961, creating the office of Municipal Attorney for the
Municipality of Iriga, pursuant to the provisions of Section 3, paragraph
3 (a) of Republic Act 2264, entitled "An Act Amending the Laws
Governing Local Governments by Increasing their Autonomy and

2.

3.

4.

5.

Reorganizing Provincial Governments" which took effect on June 19,


1959. The pertinent provision of this law reads:
Municipal councils of municipalities and regularly organized municipal
districts shall have authority:
(a) To create a legal division or office in their respective municipalities
to be headed by an attorney-at-law appointed by the mayor with the
approval of the council and whose compensation shall be fixed by such
council. Such head of office shall be known as the municipal attorney
and shall act as legal counsel of the municipality and perform such duties
and exercise such powers as may be assigned to him by the council. A
member of the council who is an attorney-at-law may be appointed as
such municipal attorney without any further compensation."
Resolution No. 36, series of 1961, approved by the Municipal Council of
Iriga provides, among others, as follows:
Sec. 2. The Municipal Attorney shall be the chief legal adviser of the
municipality. He shall have the following duties:
(a) He shall represent the municipality in all cases wherein the
municipality, or any officer thereof, in his official capacity, is a party.
It is by virtue of the foregoing provisions of law and the resolution of the
Municipal Council of Iriga that Atty. Silvestre Felix, as the duly
appointed Municipal Attorney of Iriga, appeared as counsel, and signed
the notice of appeal, for the respondent Municipality of Iriga and its
officials.
Sections 1681 and 1683 of the Revised Administrative Code provide that
the Provincial Fiscal is the law officer, legal adviser, and legal counsel of
the province and its subdivisions, which necessarily include the
municipalities therein.
a. Section 1681 of the Revised Administrative Code, "the
provincial fiscal shall be the law officer of the province and as
such shall therein discharge the duties x x x it shall also be his
duty, consistently with other provisions of the law, to represent
in (the) courts the Government of the Philippines and the officers
and branches thereof in all civil actions and special proceedings
and generally to act in such province in all matters wherein said
Government, or any branch or officers thereof, shall require the
service of a lawyer;" and that under Section 1683 of the same
Code the "provincial fiscal shall represent the province and any
municipality or municipal district thereof in any court, except in
those cases specified therein, or unless disqualified to do so.
We believe, nevertheless, that the aforequoted provisions of the
Administrative Code have been modified by Section 3, paragraph 3 (a) of

6.
7.
8.

9.

10.

Republic Act 2264, otherwise known as the Local Autonomy Act, which
we have hereinbefore quoted.
Section 3, paragraph 3 (a) of Republic Act 2264 provides that the
municipality may create the office of Municipal Attorney who shall act
as the legal counsel of the municipality.
It is apparent, therefore, that the two laws have one thing in common
that is, that they provide for a legal officer or counsel for the
municipality.
Both officials, i.e., the Provincial Fiscal and the Municipal Attorney, can
act as the legal officer and/or counsel of the municipality. This
interpretation is but an implementation of the purpose for which
Republic Act 2264 was enacted that is, to increase the powers of, and
give more autonomy to, the local government which, in this particular
case, is the municipal government.
The enactment of Republic Act 2264 had the effect of modifying the
provisions of Sections 1681, 1682 and 1683 of the Revised
Administrative Code insofar as said sections may be applied to
municipalities that have duly appointed Municipal Attorneys.
The rulings of this Court in the cases of Municipality of Bocaue, et al. v.
Manotok, et al., (G.R. No. L-6528, May 25, 1953) and Enriquez v.
Jimenez (G.R. No. L-12617, April 29, 1960), which are invoked by
Calleja, have no application in the present case because in those two
cases what was in issue was the power of the municipality to employ
private counsel, instead of availing of the services of the Provincial
Fiscal in cases in court where the municipality was a party; and the facts
of those cases had taken place before the enactment of Republic Act
2264 (June 19, 1959). when those cases came up, the municipalities were
not yet empowered to create the office of Municipal Attorney.

Province of Cebu v. IAC, Atty Pablo Garcia (1987)


In the law of municipal corporations, a municipality may become obligated
upon an implied contract to pay the reasonable value of the benefits accepted
or appropriated by it as to which it has the general power to contract.
Facts:
1. While then incumbent Gov. Espina was on official business in
Manila, Vice-Gov Almendras and 3 members of the Provincial
Board enacted Resolution No. 188, donating to the City of Cebu 210
province-owned lots located in the City of Cebu and authorizing
Vice-Gov Almendras to sign the deed of donation on behalf of the
province.
2. The deed of donation was immediately executed in behalf of the
Province of Cebu by Vice-Gov Almendras and accepted in behalf of
the City of Cebu by Mayor Sergio Osmea, Jr. The donation was
later approved by the Office of the Pres through Exec Sec Juan
Cancio.
3. Upon Gov Espinas return from Manila, he denounced as illegal and
immoral the action of his colleagues in donating practically all the
patrimonial property of the province of Cebu, considering that the
latter's income was less than 1/4 of that of the City of Cebu.
4. To prevent the sale or disposition of the lots, the petitioner Province
of Cebu (officers and members of the Cebu Mayor's League along
with some taxpayers), including respondent Atty. Garcia, filed a case
seeking to have the donation declared illegal, null, and void against
the City of Cebu, City Mayor Sergio Osmena, Jr. and the Cebu
provincial officials responsible for the donation of the provinceowned lots.
5. The Provincial Board passed a resolution authorizing the Provincial
Atty, Alfredo Baguia, to enter his appearance for the Province of
Cebu and for the incumbent Gov, Vice-Gov and members of the
Provincial Board in this case.
6. A compromise agreement was reached between the province of Cebu
and the city of Cebu and was approved by the court and a decision
was rendered on its basis cancelling the deed of donation.
7. For services rendered in this case, respondent Atty Garcia filed a
Notice of Attorney's Lien, praying that his statement of claim of
attorney's lien in said case be entered upon the records pursuant to
Sec 37, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court.

8. Petitioner Province of Cebu opposed stating that the payment of


attorney's fees and reimbursement of incidental expenses are not
allowed by law and settled jurisprudence to be paid by the Province.
9. TC: favored Atty Garcia " P30k atty's fees on the basis of quantum
meruit
10. CA: modified the attys fees " 5% of the market value of the
properties involved in the litigation as of the date of the filing of the
claim in 1975
Petitioners arguments:
1. Atty Garcia's claim for compensation on the grounds of his
employment as counsel for the Province of Cebu by then Gov Rene
Espina was unauthorized and violative of Secs 1681-1683 in rel. to
Sec 1679 of the Revised Admin Code and that the claim for atty's
fees is beyond the purview of Sec 37, Rule 138 of the Rules of
Court.
2. Gov Espina was not authorized by the Provincial Board, through a
board resolution, to employ Atty Garcia as counsel of the Province
of Cebu.
3. As a gen rule, an attorney cannot recover his fees from one who did
not employ him or authorize his employment.
Respondent Atty Garcias arguments:
1. How can Gov Espina be expected to secure authority from the
Provincial Board to employ him as counsel for the Province of Cebu
when the very officials from whom authority is to be sought are the
same officials to be sued. It is impossible that the Vice-Gov and the
members of the Provincial Board would pass a resolution authorizing
Gov Espina to hire a lawyer to file a suit against themselves.
Issue: WON Atty Garcias is entitled for compensation (YES)
Held/Ratio:
The matter of representation of a municipality by a private attorney
has been settled in:
o Ramos v. CA: collaboration of a private law firm with the
fiscal and the municipal attorney is not allowed.
# The law, in requiring that the local govt should be
represented in its court cases by a govt lawyer, like
its municipal attorney and the provincial fiscal,
intended that the local govt should not be burdened
with the expenses of hiring a private lawyer. The

interests of the municipal corp would be best


protected if a govt lawyer handles its litigations. It
is expected that the municipal atty and the fiscal
would be faithful and dedicated to the corp's
interests, and as civil service EEs, they could be held
accountable for any misconduct or dereliction of
duty.
o Sec 1683 of the Revised Admin Code: When the interests
of a provincial govt 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.
# The above provision as complemented by Sec 3 of
the Local Autonomy Law is clear in providing that
only the provincial fiscal and the municipal attorney
can represent a province or municipality in its
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
(De Guia v. The Auditor General; Municipality of
Bocaue, et al. v. Manotok; Enriquez v. Hon
Gimenez) as when he represents the province against
a municipality.
However, above rule is subject to exception because of equity and
the facts surrounding the case at bar:
1. The provincial board authorization required by law to secure the
services of special counsel becomes an impossibility. The
Provincial Board would never have given such authorization.
The controversy in this case involved an intramural fight
between the Provincial Gov on one hand and the members of the
Provincial Board on the other. Obviously, it is unthinkable for
the Provincial Board to adopt a resolution authorizing the Gov to
employ Atty. Garcia to act as counsel for the Province of Cebu
for the purpose of filing and prosecuting a case against the
members to the same Provincial Board.
2. Atty Garcias representation of the Province of Cebu became
necessary because of the Provincial Board's failure or refusal to
direct the bringing of the action to recover the properties it had
donated to the City of Cebu.

The Board effectively disqualified the Provincial Fiscal


from representing the Province of Cebu when it directed
the Fiscal to appear for its members in the civil case
filed by Atty. Garcia, and others, to defend its passing
and approving Provincial Board Resolution 186. How
then could the Provincial Fiscal represent the Province
of Cebu in the suit to recover the properties in question?
How could Gov Espina be represented by the Provincial
Fiscal or seek authorization from the Provincial Board to
employ special counsel?
o The law obliges no one to perform an impossibility.
Neither could a prosecutor be designated by the DOJ
since Malacanang had already approved the questioned
donation.
3. As for petitioners liability for Atty Garcias services, the gen
rule that an atty cannot recover his fees from one who did not
employ him, is subject to its own exception.
o Until the contrary is shown, an attorney is presumed to
be acting under authority of the litigant whom he
purports to represent (Azotes v. Blanco).
o His authority to appear for and represent petitioner in
litigation, not having been questioned in the lower court,
it will be presumed on appeal that counsel was properly
authorized to file the complaint and appear for his client
(Rep v. Phil Resources Devt Corp).
o Even where an attorney is employed by an unauthorized
person to represent a client, the latter will be bound
where it has knowledge of the fact that it is being
represented by an attorney in a particular litigation and
takes no prompt measure to repudiate the assumed
authority. Such acquiescence in the employment of an
attorney as occurred in this case is tantamount to
ratification (Tan Lua v. O'Brien).
o The act of the successor provincial board and provincial
officials in allowing respondent Atty Garcia to continue
as counsel and in joining him in the suit led the counsel
to believe his services were still necessary.
4. The court applied the rule in the law of municipal corps: "that a
municipality may become obligated upon an implied contract to
pay the reasonable value of the benefits accepted or appropriated
by it as to which it has the general power to contract. The
doctrine of implied municipal liability has been said to apply to
o

all cases where money or other property of a party is received


under such circumstances that the general law, independent of
express contract implies an obligation upon the municipality to
do justice with respect to the same." (38 Am. Jur. Sec. 515, p.
193).
5. The petitioner cannot set up the plea that the contract was ultra
vires and still retain benefits thereunder. Having regarded the
contract as valid for purposes of reaping some benefits, the
petitioner is estopped to question its validity for the purposes of
denying answerability.
o It was Gov Espina who filed the case against Cebu City
and Mayor Osmena. Garcia just happened to be the
lawyer. Still Atty. Garcia is entitled to compensation. To
deny private respondent compensation for his
professional services would amount to a deprivation of
property without due process of law (Cristobal v.
Employees' Compensation Commission).
6. The 30% or even 5% of properties already worth P120M in 1979
as compensation for Atty Garcias services is simply out of the
question. The case handled by Atty. Garcia was decided on the
basis of a compromise agreement where he no longer
participated. The decision was rendered after pre-trial and
without any hearing on the merits. TC correctly determined the
reasonable fees for the private lawyer on the basis of quantum
meruit at P30k.

Municipality of Pililla, Rizal v. CA and Philippine Petroleum


Corporation (1994)

Doctrine: Only the provincial fiscal and the municipal attorney can
represent a province or municipality in their lawsuits except in situations
where the provincial fiscal is disqualified to represent it.

Facts:
The RTC of Tanay, Rizal rendered judgment in a civil case in favor
of petitioner municipality of Pililla against Philippine Petroleum
Corporation (PPC). The judgment ordered PPC to pay petitioner
deficiencies on business taxes due under the municipal tax
ordinance. The judgment became final and executory.
In connection with the execution of the judgment, Atty. Mendiola
filed a motion before the RTC of Morong, Rizal, in behalf of
petitioner municipality for the examination of PPCs gross sales for
the purpose of computing the business tax due. PPC argued that the
mayor of Pillillia have already received payment of the business due
as evidenced by the quitclaim documents executed by the mayor.
The Court denied the motion for examination and execution.
Atty. Mendiola filed a MR proposing a higher amount of liability on
the part of PPC. RTC denied the MR.
Atty. Mendiola filed a petition for certiorari with the SC which was
subsequently referred to the CA. PPC filed a motion questioning
Atty. Mendiolas authority to represent petitioner municipality. The
CA dismissed the petition for having been filed by a private counsel
but without prejudice to the filing of a similar petition by the
municipality of Pililla through the proper provincial or municipal
legal officer.
Petitioners argument:
Petitioners position: PPC is liable to a greater amount of business
deficiency taxes than was previously adjudged by the court.
Re: the rule on the validity of the representation of a municipal
corporation by a private counsel (stated below), the exception covers
situations where the provincial fiscal refuses to handle the case as in
this case.
PPC cannot raise Atty. Mendiolas lack of authority for the first time
on appeal.
Respondents arguments:

Respondents position: It has already paid its deficiency taxes which


was received by the mayor evidenced by quitclaim documents signed
by the mayor himself.
Atty. Mendiola, as a private counsel, has no authority to represent a
municipal corporation pursuant to Sec. 1683 of the Revised
Administrative Code.

Issue/s:
WON Atty. Mendiola, as a private counsel, may represent the
municipality of PIilla in this case (NO)
Held:
In Ramos v. CA and Province of Cebu v. IAC, the Court held that
private attorneys cannot represent a province or municipality in
lawsuits.
Under Sec. 1683 of the Revised Administrative Code complemented
by Section 3, Republic Act No. 2264, the Local Autonomy Law, only
the provincial fiscal and the municipal attorney can represent a
province or municipality in their lawsuits. The provision is
mandatory.
Section 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
whereof 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.
The municipality's authority to employ a private lawyer is expressly
limited only to situations where the provincial fiscal is disqualified to
represent it. For this exception to apply, the fact that the provincial
fiscal was disqualified to handle the municipality's case must appear
on record. In this case, there is nothing in the records to show that
the provincial fiscal is disqualified to act as counsel for the
Municipality of Pililla on appeal, hence the appearance of herein
private counsel is without authority of law.

The exception does not include situations where the provincial fiscal
refuses to handle the case. Unlike a practicing lawyer who has the
right to decline employment, a fiscal cannot refuse to perform his
functions on grounds not provided for by law without violating his
oath of office.
Instead of engaging the services of a special attorney, the municipal
council should request 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 in court, pursuant to Section 1679 of
the Revised Administrative Code.
The lack of authority of Atty. Mendiola, was even raised by the
municipality itself in its comment and opposition to said counsel's
motion for execution of his lien, which was filed with the court a
quo by the office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Rizal in behalf of
said municipality.
The contention of Atty. Mendiola that PPC cannot raise for the first
time on appeal his lack of authority to represent the municipality is
untenable. The legality of his representation can be questioned at any
stage of the proceedings.
Even assuming that the representation of the municipality by Atty.
Mendiola was duly authorized, said authority is deemed to have been
revoked by the municipality when it entered into a compromise
agreement with PPC with regard to the execution of the judgment in
its favor and thereafter filed personally with the court below two
pleadings entitled and constitutive of a "Satisfaction of Judgment"
and a "Release and Quitclaim". A client, by appearing personally and
presenting a motion by himself, is considered to have impliedly
dismissed his lawyer.

CHAPTER VI
City of Manila v Teotico (1968)
(Teotico v City of Manila in syllabus)
Although the rule is that special laws such as the Manila City Charter
prevail over general laws like the Civil Code, damages arising from tort form
an exception. In a situation where a person falls into a city manhole and gets
injured, the Civil Code must prevail over the Manila City Charter.
Facts:
4. Genaro Teotico was a practicing public accountant, a businessman,
and a professor at the University of the East. He held responsible
positions in several business firms and was a member of several civic
organizations.
5. On January 27, 1958, Teotico was waiting for a jeep at loading and
unloading zone at the corner of Old Luneta and P. Burgos Avenue,
Manila.
6. He managed to hail a jeepney. As he was walking towards the
jeepney to board it, he fell into an uncovered and unlighted manhole
(aka catch basin).
7. His head hit the rim of the manhole, causing his eyeglasses to break.
The broken pieces of his glasses pierced his left eyelid.
8. Bystanders brought him to the Philippine General Hospital, after
which, he was brought home.
9. Aside from his wounded eyelid, his other injuries were
a. Contusions on his left thigh, left upper arm, right leg and
upper lip
b. Abrasion on his right infra-patella region
c. Allergic reaction to the anti-tetanus injections given to him
at the hospital.
10. Teotico filed a complaint for damages against the City of Manila, its
mayor, city engineer, city health officer, city treasurer, and chief of
police.
11. CFI Manila ruled in favor of Teotico. CA affirmed and additionally
sentenced the City to pay damages worth P6750.00
12. The City of Manila moved to reconsider, raising the issue of which
law governed the case, Section 4 of the Manila City Charter (RA
409), or Article 2189 of the Civil Code.
13. Section 4 of the Manila City Charter provides that:
The city shall not be liable or held for damages or injuries to
persons or property arising from the failure of the Mayor, the

Municipal Board, or any other city officer, to enforce the provisions


of this chapter, or any other law or ordinance, or from negligence of
said Mayor, Municipal Board, or other officers while enforcing or
attempting to enforce said provisions
14. Article 2189 of the Civil Code provides that:
Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for
the death of, or injuries suffered by, any person by reason of
defective conditions of road, streets, bridges, public buildings, and
other public works under their control or supervision.
Petitioners (Teotico) arguments:
1. He was prevented from engaging in his customary occupation for 20
days. As a result, he has lost income of P1000.00 (P50.00 daily).
2. He was subjected to humiliation and ridicule by his business
associates and friends.
3. While he was being treated, he was under constant fear and anxiety
for the welfare of his minor children because he was their sole
support.
4. He had to pay a private practitioner P1400.00 to treat him for his
allergic reaction to the anti-tetanus shots from PGH.
5. Because of the filing of this case, he is obligated to pay his counsel
P2000.00.
Respondents (City of Manila) arguments:
At the level of the CFI and CA
1. It has always been the policy of the Storm Drain Section (under the
Office of the City Engineer of Manila) that whenever any reports are
received of the loss of manhole covers, the manholes are immediately
attended to either by replacing the cover or by covering the manhole with
steel matting.
2. Oral and documentary evidence that the Storm Drain Section, Office of
the City Engineer of Manila, received a report of the uncovered condition
of the manhole Teotico fell into on January 24, 1958, but that it was
covered on the same day.
3. Another report that the iron cover of the same manhole was missing on
January 30, 1958, but that the cover was replaced the next day.
4. The Storm Drain Section never received a report that the manhole was
uncovered from January 25 to January 29 (recall that Teotico fell into the
manhole on January 27).
5. Stealing of iron manhole covers was rampant because of the scrap iron
business, which was lucrative at the time.

6. The Office of the City Engineer had already filed complaints in court
regarding the rampant theft of the covers
7. In order to prevent the theft, the City has changed the position and
layout of Manilas manholes by constructing them under the sidewalks,
covered by concrete cement covers, with openings on the side of the
gutter.
S These changes were being undertaken by the city whenever funds
were available.
At the level of the Supreme Court
8. Section 4 of the Manila City Charter should prevail over the Civil Code
because the former is a special law intended exclusively for Manila,
while the Civil Code is a general law applicable to the entire Philippines.
9. The City cannot be held liable to Teotico for damages because
S The accident occurred in a national highway
S It was not negligent
Issue/s:
Which law applies to the case, Section 4 of the Manila City Charter, or
Article 2189 of the Civil Code? Article 2189
Held/Ratio:
Applicable Law
1. Territorially speaking, the Manila City Charter is indeed a special
law and the Civil Code is merely general legislation.
2. However:
a. Section 4 of the Charter establishes a general rule which
regulates the Citys liability for damages or injury to persons
or property arising from the negligence or failure of city
officers to enforce or attempt to enforce the provisions of the
Charter or any other law or ordinance.
b. Article 2189 of the Civil Code is a particular prescription
making provinces, cities and municipalities liable for
damages for the death or injury of persons due to the
defective condition of public works under their control or
supervision.
3. Thus, in this case, Section 4 of the Charter is a general rule despite
being technically classed as a special law, while Article 2189 of the
Civil Code is the exception despite being technically classed as a
general law. Since the cause of action of this case is based on the

defective condition of a road, the exception espoused by Article 2189


must apply.
Re: national highway and lack of negligence
1. That the accident occurred on a national highway or that the City
was not negligent are both questions of facts not made in the Answer
of the City. It was made for the first time in its motion to reconsider
the CAs decision. Questions of fact cannot be set up for the first
time on appeal, much less on motion for reconsideration.
2. Teotico alleged in his complaint (both original and amended) that his
injuries were due to the defective condition of a street under the
supervision and control of the City.
a. In its Answer, the City alleged that "the streets
aforementioned were and have been constantly kept in good
condition and regularly inspected and the storm drains and
manholes thereof covered by the defendant City and the
officers concerned" who "have been ever vigilant and
zealous in the performance of their respective functions and
duties as imposed upon them by law, impliedly admitting
that it indeed had P. Burgos avenue under its control and
supervision.
3. Under Article 2189, it is not necessary that the defective roads or
streets belong to the province, city or municipality for liability to
attach. What the Article only requires is control or supervision.
4. Article 2189 of the Civil Code is further supported by Section 18x of
the Manila City Charter, which, inter alia, says that the City has the
legislative power and responsibility to provide suitable protection
against injury to persons or property, and that it must construct and
repair ditches, drains, sewers, and culverts.
a. Section 18x has not been withdrawn nor restricted by RA
917 or EO 113, both of which the City relies upon.
b. RA 917 governs the disposition or appropriation of highway
funds and giving of aid to provinces, chartered cities and
municipalities in the construction of roads and streets within
their respective boundaries.
c. EO 113 implements the provisions of RA 917 and provides
that the construction, maintenance and improvement of roads
shall be done by Highway District Engineers and Highway
City Engineers under the supervision of the Commissioner
of Public Highways

Guilatco v. City of Dagupan (1989)


Doctrine: Supervision and control determines the liability of a municipal
corporation.
Facts:
A civil action for recovery of damages filed by the petitioner Guilatco was
filed against the City of Dagupan.
! A court interpreter was about to board a tricycle when she accidentally
fell into a manhole. She was hospitalized, operated on, and confined.
Upon discharge, she still had to wear crutches. She was unable to
perform her religious, social, and other activities.
RTC ruled against the City of Dagupan.
CA reversed the RTC decision.
Petitioners arguments:
! The manhole was located on a sidewalk in Perez Blvd. over which the
City of Dagupan exercises supervision and control.
! This supervision and control is exercised through the City Engineer who
receives salary from the City.
! Legal basis: Article 2189 of the Civil Code and the charter of the City of
Dagupan
Respondents arguments:
! It is the Ministry of Public Works and Highways who exercises
supervision and control over Perez Blvd., the boulevard being a national
highway.
! The City Engineer is an ex-officio engineer of the Ministry and receives
honorarium from the latter.
Issue/s:
WON the City of Dagupan is liable for the injuries sustained by petitioner:
YES.
Held/Ratio:
Article 2189, Civil Code
! Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the
death of, or injuries suffered by, any person by reason of the defective
condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public
works under their control or supervision.

It is not even necessary for the defective road or street to belong to the
province, city or municipality for liability to attach
! Only the exercise of control or supervision is required.
This control or supervision is provided for in the charter of Dagupan and is
exercised through the City Engineer.
Sec. 22. The City Engineer--His powers, duties and compensationThere shall be a city engineer, who shall be in charge of the
department of Engineering and Public Works. He shall receive a
salary of not exceeding three thousand pesos per annum. He shall
have the following duties:
xxx
(j) He shall have the care and custody of the public system of
waterworks and sewers, and all sources of water supply, and shall
control, maintain and regulate the use of the same, in accordance
with the ordinance relating thereto; shall inspect and regulate the
use of all private systems for supplying water to the city and its
inhabitants, and all private sewers, and their connection with the
public sewer system.
The same charter of Dagupan also provides that the laying out, construction
and improvement of streets, avenues and alleys and sidewalks, and
regulation of the use thereof, may be legislated by the Municipal Board.
The express provision in the charter holding the city not liable for damages
or injuries sustained by persons or property due to the failure of any city
officer to enforce the provisions of the charter, can not be used to exempt the
city, as in the case at bar.
Although the City Engineer receives an honorarium from the Ministry of
Public Highways, his salary from the city government substantially exceeds
the honorarium.

Leonardo Palafox et al. v. Province of Ilocos Norte, the District


Engineer, and the Provincial Treasurer (1958)
Doctrine: A state cannot be held for the acts or omissions of its employees,
unless the said employees are special agents of the said state.
Facts:
1. Sabas Torralba was employed as driver of the Ilocos Norte
provincial government, for the office of the District Engineer. On
Sept. 30, 1948, Torralba ran over Proceto Palafox while he
(Torralba) was driving his freight truck in the performance of his
duties. Palafox died. (Palafox is the father of the petitionerappellants)
2. Torralba pleaded guilty to homicide and reckless imprudence and
was sentenced accordingly.
3. The heirs filed an action against Ilocos Norte, the district engineer,
the provincial treasurer and Torralba.
Issue: W/N the province of Ilocos Norte may be held liable for the
negligence of Torralba
Held/Ratio: No
1. A declaration must first be made that Torralba was a special agent of
Ilocos Norte for the said province to be held liable for Torralbas negligence
and not merely one on whom the duty of driving the truck was assigned.
a. Merritt v. Govt of the Philippines - There was no such finding as
the driver was not a special agent of the government.
b. Also, this principle applies only to the Insular government (i.e.,
the national government) and does not apply to the provincial or municipal
governments.
2. Liability arising from respondeat superior only arises if the act is in
furtherance of an employees or agents corporate or proprietary business
function.
a. If the negligent employee was engaged in the performance of
governmental duties, the state (or the province, in this case, is not liable)
b. The driver here worked for the construction or maintenance of
roads, which are governmental activities, and as such, the death caused by
the negligence of the said driver and the liability arising therefrom cannot be
imputed to the province of Ilocos Norte.

San Juan v CA (2005)


A municipalitys lack of knowledge of the excavation and condition of a road
does not relieve it of liability for any injuries caused by such excavation. A
municipality has the continuous obligation to maintain road safety,
regardless of whether it is a municipal road or a national road. What is
important is that the road comes under its supervision and control. This
obligation is not suspended while a street is being repaired.
Facts:
1. Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System hired Kwok Cheung
Waterworks System Construction