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278 SCRA 154

Tano vs Socrates
August 21, 1997
Facts :
The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Puerto Princessa
enacted Ordinance no. 15-92 which took effect on January
1,1993. The ordinance provides banning of shipments of live
fish and lobster outside Puerto Princessa City from January
1,1993 to January 1, 1998, to effectively free the City Sea
Waters from Cyanide and other Obnoxious substance, and
shall cover all persons and/or entities operating within and
outside the City of Puerto Princesa.
In the same light, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of
Palawan also enacted Resolution No. 33 which lead to the
enactment of Ordinance No. 2 prohibiting the catching,
gathering, buying, selling and possessing and shipment of
live marine coral dwelling aquatic organisms, and other
fishes specified for a period of 5 years within the Palawan
waters. The petitioner Airline Shippers Association of
Palawan together with Alfredo Tano, Baldomero Tano,
Teocenes Midello, Angel de Mesa, Eulogio Tremocha,and
Felipe Ongonion, Jr. were charged for violating the above
ordinance and resolution by the city and provincial
governments. The petitioners now allege that they have the
preferential rights as marginal fishermen granted with
privileges provided in Section 149 of the Local Government
Code, invoking the invalidity of the above-stated enactments
as violative of their preferential rights.
Petitioners Robert Lim and Virginia Lim, on the other
hand, were charged with violating City Ordinance No. 15-92
of Puerto Princesa City and Ordinance No. 2, Series of 1993,
of the Province of Palawan before the Office of the City
Prosecutor of Puerto Princesa. Petitioners caption their
petition as one for Certiorari, Injunction With Preliminary

Mandatory Injunction, with Prayer for Temporary Restraining

Order and pray that
the Court: (1) declare asunconstitutional: (a) Ordinance No.
15-92, dated 15 December 1992, of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod of Puerto Princesa; (b) Office Order No. 23,
Series of 1993, dated 22 January 1993, issued by Acting City
Mayor Amado L. Lucero of Puerto Princesa City; and (c)
Resolution No. 33, Ordinance No. 2, Series of 1993, dated 19
February 1993, of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan
as it deprived them of due process of law, their livelihood,
and unduly restricted them from the practice of their trade,
in violation of Section 2, Article XII and Sections 2 and 7 of
Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution.
On October 25,1993 petitioners filed an urgent Plea for
the immediate issuance of a TemporaryRestraining Order
claiming that despite the pendency of this case, Branch 50
of the Regional Trial Courtof Palawan was bent on proceeding
with Criminal Case No. 11223 against petitioners Danilo
Tano,Alfredo Tano, Eulogio Tremocha, Romualdo Tano,
Baldomero Tano, Andres Lemihan and Angel de Mesafor
violation of Ordinance No. 2 of the Sangguniang
Panlalawigan of Palawan. Acting on said plea, theCourt
issued on November 11, 1993 a temporary restraining order
directing Judge Angel Miclat of saidcourt to cease and desist
from proceeding with the arraignment and pre-trial of
Criminal Case No. 1122.
Whether or not the Ordinances in question are
No. The Ordinances are declared constitutional.
The Supreme Court found the petitioners contentions
baseless and held that the challenged ordinances did not
suffer from any infirmity, both under the Constitution and
applicable laws. There is absolutely no showing that any of

the petitioners qualifies as a subsistence or marginal

fisherman. Besides, Section 2 of Article XII aims primarily not
to bestow any right to subsistence fishermen, but to lay
stress on the duty of the State to protect the nations marine
wealth. The so-called preferential right of subsistence or
marginal fishermen to the use of marine resources is not at
all absolute.
In accordance with the Regalian Doctrine, marine
resources belong to the state and pursuant to the first
paragraph of Section 2, Article XII of the Constitution, their
exploration, development and utilization...shall be under
the full control and supervision of the State.

In addition, one of the devolved powers of the LCG on

devolution is the enforcement of fishery laws in municipal
waters including the conservation of mangroves. This
necessarily includes the enactment of ordinances to
effectively carry out such fishery laws within the municipal
waters. In light of the principles of decentralization and
devolution enshrined in the LGC and the powers granted
therein to LGUs which unquestionably involve the exercise of
police power, the validity of the questioned ordinances
cannot be doubted.
It is apparent that both Ordinances have two principal
objectives or purposes. The first is to establish a closed
season for the species of fish or aquatic animals covered
therein for a period of five years. The second is to protect
the coral in the marine waters of the City of Puerto Princesa
and the Province of Palawan from further destruction due to
illegal fishing activities.

G.R. No. 110286

People of the Philippines v. Vergara
April 2, 1997
On July 4, 1992, a team composed of deputized fish
warden, the president of the Leyte Fish Warden, and some
police officers were on board, Bantay-Dagat, a pumpboat, on
preventive patrol along the
municipal waters fronting barangays Baras and Candahug of
Palo, Leyte, when they chanced upon a fishing boat. The
boat had on board the accused. The team saw appellant
throw into the sea a bottle known in the locality as badil and
an explosion occurred. When the accused surfaced, they
were caught red-handed with fish catch. The four accused
were apprehended and taken by the patrol team to the
Bantay-Dagat station at Baras, and later to the police station
in Palo, Leyte. The fishing boat and its paraphernalia, as well
as the two fishnets of Bolinao, were impounded. The trial
court found the accused guilty of violating PD No. 704.
Whether the evidence was sufficient to convict the

The evidence presented was enough to convict the
The first set of evidence were the testimonies, the first of
which came from Fish Warden Jesus Bindoy, while the second
testimony came from Nestor Aldas, an Agricultural
Technologist and Fish Examiner working with the Department
of Agriculture, Palo, Leyte, who examined the fish samples
taken from the accused, and testified that he was with the
team patrolling. The second evidence considered was the
possession of explosives. Under Sections 33 and 38 of PD
No. 704, as amended by PD No. 1058, mere possession of
explosives with intent to use the same for illegal fishing as
defined by law is already punishable.

G.R. No. 119619

Hizon vs. Court of Appeals
December 13, 1996
In September 1992, the Philippine National Police (PNP)
Maritime Command of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
received reports of illegal fishing operations in the coastal
waters of the city. In response to these reports, the city
mayor organized Task Force Bantay Dagat to assist the
police in the detection and apprehension of violators of the
laws on fishing. The Task Force Bantay Dagat reported to the
PNP Maritime Command that a boat and several small crafts
were fishing by muro-ami within the shoreline of Barangay
San Rafael of Puerto Princesa City. The police apprehended
the petitioners. In light of these findings, the PNP Maritime
Command of Puerto Princesa City commenced the current
action/proceedings against the owner and operator of the

F/B Robinson, the First Fishermen Fishing Industries, Inc.,

represented by herein petitioner Richard Hizon, the boat
captain, Silverio Gargar, the boat engineer, Ernesto Andaya,
two other crew members, the two Hongkong nationals and
28 fishermen of the said boat.
As defense, they claimed that they are legitimate
fishermen of the First Fishermen Industries, Inc., a domestic
corporation licensed to engage in fishing. They alleged that
they catch fish by the hook and line method and that they
had used this method for one month and a half in the waters
of Cuyo Island.
The police (PNP Maritime Command and the Task Force
Bantay Dagat) directed the boat captain to get random
samples of the fish from the fish cage for testing. The initial
results tested the fish positive for sodium cyanide and that
was the basis of the information against Hizon et al.
However, a second set of fish samples yielded a negative
result on the sodium cyanide. Notwithstanding this, the RTC
found Hizon et al. guilty and sentenced them to
imprisonment and forfeiture of the fishes. The CA affirmed
this decision. Hizon et al., together with the Solicitor general
now question the admissibility of the evidence against
petitioners in view of the warrantless search of the fishing
boat and the subsequent arrest of petitioners.
Whether or not the plaintiffs were guilty of illegal
fishing with the use of obnoxious or poisonous substance.
No. Plaintiffs are not guilty.
The members of the PNP Maritime Command and the
Task Force Bantay Dagat were the ones engaged in an illegal

fishing expedition. As sharply observed by the Solicitor

General, the report received by the Task Force Bantay Dagat
was that a fishing boat was fishing illegally through muro
ami on the waters of San Rafael. This method of fishing
needs approximately 200 fishermen to execute. What the
apprehending officers instead discovered were 28 fishermen
in their sampans fishing by hook and line. The authorities
found nothing on the boat that would have indicated any
form of illegal fishing. All the documents of the boat and the
fishermen were in order. It was only after the fish specimens
were tested, albeit under suspicious circumstances, that
petitioners were charged with illegal fishing with the use of
poisonous substances.

GR No. 120865-71
Laguna Lake Development Authority vs. CA
December 7, 1995
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) was
created through Republic Act No. 4850. As provided for in
Section 2, LLDA has exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for
the use of all surface water for any project or activity in or
affecting the said region including navigation, construction,

and operation of fishpens, fish enclosures, fish corrals and

the like.
Then came Republic Act No. 7160. The municipalities in
the Laguna Lake Region interpreted the provisions of this law
to mean that the newly passed law gave municipal
governments the exclusive jurisdiction to issue fishing
privileges within their municipal waters because R.A. 7160
"Sec. 149. Fishery Rentals; Fees and Charges (a)
Municipalities shall have the exclusive authority to
grant fishery privileges in the municipal waters and
impose rental fees or charges therefor in accordance
with the provisions of this Section.
Municipal governments thereupon assumed the
authority to issue fishing privileges and fish pen permits. Big
fish pen operators took advantage of the occasion to
establish fish pens and fish cages to the consternation of the
Authority. Unregulated fish pens and fish cages occupied
almost one-third the entire lake water surface area,
increasing the occupation drastically from 7,000 ha in 1990
to almost 21,000hain 1995. The Mayor's permit to construct
fishpens and fish cages were all undertaken in violation of
the policies adopted by the authority on fishpen zoning and
the Laguna Lake carrying capacity. In view of the foregoing
circumstances, the Authority served notice to the general
public that: All fishpens, fish cages and other aqua-culture
structures in the Laguna de Bay Region, which were not
registered or to which no application for registration and/or
permit has been filed with Laguna Lake Development
Authority as of March 31, 1993 are hereby declared
outrightly as illegal.
One month, thereafter, the Authority sent notices to the
concerned owners of the illegally constructed fishpens, fish
cages and other aqua-culture structures advising them to

dismantle the irrespective structures within 10 days from

receipt thereof, otherwise, demolition shall be effected. The
fish pen owners filed injunction cases against the LLDA. The
LLDA filed motions to dismiss the cases against it on
jurisdictional grounds. The motions to dismiss were denied.
Meanwhile, TRO/writs of preliminary mandatory injunction
were issued enjoining the LLDA from demolishing the
fishpens and similar structures in question. Hence, the
present petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction. The
CA dismissed the LLDAs consolidated petitions.
It ruled that (A) LLDA is not among those quasi-judicial
agencies of government appealable only to the Court of
Appeals; (B) the LLDA charter does vest LLDA with quasijudicial functions insofar as fishpens are concerned; (C) the
provisions of the LLDA charter insofar as fishing privileges in
Laguna de Bay are concerned had been repealed by the
Local Government Code of 1991; (D) in view of the aforesaid
repeal, the power to grant permits devolved to respective
local government units concerned.
Whether Laguna Lake Development Authority has
jurisdiction over the issuance of fishery privileges.
Yes. The Laguna Lake Development Authority has the
exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for the enjoyment of
fishery privileges in Laguna de Bay and the authority to
exercise such powers as are by its
charter vested on it. The provisions of the Local Government
Code do not necessarily repeal the aforementioned laws
creating the Laguna Lake Development Authority as it does
not contain any express provision which categorically and/or
expressly repeal the charter of LLDA. It has to be conceded
that there was no intent on the part of the legislature to
repeal RA No. 4850 and its amendments. The repeal of laws
should be made clear and expressed. It is clear that the

power of the local government units to issue fishing

privileges was granted for revenue purposes. On the other
hand, the power of the LLDA to grant permits for fishpens,
fish cages and other aqua-culture structures is for the
purpose of effectively regulating and monitoring activities in
the Laguna de Bay region and for lake quality control and
management. It is in the nature of police power. Accordingly,
the charter of LLDA which embodies a valid exercise of police
power should prevail over the Local Government Code of
1991 on matters affecting Laguna de Bay.