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Legaspi v City of Cebu


G.R. No. 159110, December 10, 2013

FACTS:

1. On Jan 27 1997 the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Cebu passed Ordinance 1664 which authorized the traffic enforcers of Cebu City to immobilize any
motor vehicle violating the parking restrictions and prohibitions defined in Ordinance No. 801 (Traffic Code of Cebu City). Pertinent provisions of the said
ordinance are as follows:

Section 1. POLICY It is the policy of the government of the City of Cebu to immobilize any motor vehicle violating any provision of any City
Ordinance on Parking Prohibitions or Restrictions, more particularly Ordinance No. 801, otherwise known as the Traffic Code of Cebu City, as
amended, in order to have a smooth flow of vehicular traffic in all the streets in the City of Cebu at all times.

Section 2. IMMOBILIZATION OF VEHICLES Any vehicle found violating any provision of any existing ordinance of the City of Cebu which prohibits,
regulates or restricts the parking of vehicles shall be immobilized by clamping any tire of the said violating vehicle with the use of a denver boot
vehicle immobilizer or any other special gadget designed to immobilize motor vehicles. For this particular purpose, any traffic enforcer of the City
(regular PNP Personnel or Cebu City Traffic Law Enforcement Personnel) is hereby authorized to immobilize any violating vehicle as hereinabove
provided.

Section 3. PENALTIES Any motor vehicle, owner or driver violating any ordinance on parking prohibitions, regulations and/or restrictions, as may
be provided under Ordinance No. 801, as amended, or any other existing ordinance, shall be penalized in accordance with the penalties imposed in
the ordinance so violated, provided that the vehicle immobilizer may not be removed or released without its owner or driver paying first to the City
Treasurer of Cebu City through the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB) all the accumulated penalties for all prior traffic law violations that remain unpaid
or unsettled, plus the administrative penalty of Five Hundred Pesos (P500.00) for the immobilization of the said vehicle, and receipts of such
payments presented to the concerned personnel of the bureau responsible for the release of the immobilized vehicle, unless otherwise ordered
released by any of the following officers:

a) Chairman, CITOM
b) Chairman, Committee on Police, Fire and Penology
c) Asst. City Fiscal Felipe Belcia

3.1 Any person who tampers or tries to release an immobilized or clamped motor vehicle by destroying the denver boot vehicle immobilizer or other
such special gadgets, shall be liable for its loss or destruction and shall be prosecuted for such loss or destruction under pain or penalty under the
Revised Penal Code and any other existing ordinance of the City of Cebu for the criminal act, in addition to his/her civil liabilities under the Civil Code
of the Philippines; Provided that any such act may not be compromised nor settled amicably extrajudicially.

3.2 Any immobilized vehicle which is unattended and constitute an obstruction to the free flow of traffic or a hazard thereof shall be towed to the city
government impounding area for safekeeping and may be released only after the provision of Section 3 hereof shall have been fully complied with.

3.3 Any person who violates any provision of this ordinance shall, upon conviction, be penalized with imprisonment of not less than one (1) month
nor more than six (6) months or of a fine of not less than Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) nor more than Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00), or both
such imprisonment and fine at the discretion of the court.[2]

2. On July 29, 1997, two lawyers filed a suit seeking the declaration of Ordinance No. 1644 as unconstitutional for being in violation of due process
and for being contrary to law, and damages. One of the lawyers, Jaban Sr parked his car in a paying parking area but his car was immobilized after 10
mins; the car was impounded for 3 days and he had to pay 4.2k fine without court hearing or due process of reason why the car was immobilized. A
similar thing happened to the author lawyer Jaban Jr who parked his car in a secluded place where there was no sign prohibiting parking, he had to
pay pay 1.4k.

3. On August 11, 1997, Valentino Legaspi sued in RTC Cebu to demand the delivery of personal property, declaration of nullity of the Traffic Code of
Cebu City, and damages. He left his car outside the gate of his house, occupying part of the road and the sidewalk to make way for the vehicle of the
anay exterminator who had asked to be allowed to unload his materials and equipment with the assurance that the unloading would not take too long.
While waiting for the anay exterminator to finish unloading, the phone in his office inside the house had rung, impelling him to go into the house to
answer the call; that after a short while, his son-in-law informed him that unknown persons had clamped the front wheel of his car.

4. The City Attorney of Cebu, as a defense, said that the officers only upheld the law by clamping the vehicles of the plaintiffs. They added that the said
ordinance enjoyed the presumption of constitutionality and validity.

5. On Jan 22 1999 RTC declared Ordinance No. 1664 as null and void for violating due process - In both procedural and substantive due process, a
hearing is always a pre-requisite; depriving its owner of the use thereof at the sole determination of any traffic enforcer or regular PNP personnel or
Cebu City Traffic Law Enforcement Personnel. It was indicated that the owner of the immobilized vehicle shall have to undergo all these ordeals at the
mercy of the Traffic Law Enforcer who, as the Ordinance in question mandates, is the arresting officer, prosecutor, Judge and collector.

6. CA reversed RTC, declared Ord 1664 valid. The CA stated that Ordinance 1664 is a legitimate exercise of police power of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod of the City of Cebu.

ISSUES
1. Whether Ordinance No. 1664 was enacted within the ambit of the legislative powers of the City of Cebu - YES

2. Whether Ordinance No. 1664 complied with the requirements for validity and constitutionality, particularly the limitations set by the
Constitution and the relevant statutes - YES

HELD:
The Supreme Court denied the petitions for their lack of merit. The decision of the CA was affirmed.

Citing City of Manila v. Laguio, Jr. the court restated the tests for a valid ordinance:
1. must be within the corporate powers of the local government unit to enact
2. must be passed according to the procedure prescribed by law,
3. must also conform to the following substantive requirements
a. must not contravene the Constitution or any statute;
b. must not be unfair or oppressive;
c. must not be partial or discriminatory;
d. must not prohibit but may regulate trade;
e. must be general and consistent with public policy; and
f. must not be unreasonable

In compliance with the formal requirements:

The enactment of Ordinance No. 1664 was within the corporate powers of the LGU of the City of Cebu. No issues were raised against the formalities of
the enactment of the ordinance, so compliance is presumed. Congress enacted the LGC as the implementing law for the delegation to the various LGUs
of the States great powers, namely: the police power, the power of eminent domain, and the power of taxation, but with parameters and limitations. 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.

The CA opined, and correctly so, that vesting cities like the City of Cebu with the legislative power to enact traffic rules and regulations was expressly
done through Section 458 of the LGC, and also generally by virtue of the General Welfare Clause embodied in Section 16 of the LGC.24Section 458of
the LGC relevantly states: Section 458. Powers, Duties, Functions and Composition. (a) The sangguniang panlungsod, as the legislative body of the
city, shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of
this Code and in the proper exercise of the corporate powers of the city as provided for under Section 22 of this Code, and shall:

(5) Approve ordinances which shall ensure the efficient and effective delivery of the basic services and facilities as provided for under Section 17 of this
Code, and in addition to said services and facilities, shall:

(v) Regulate the use of streets, avenues, alleys, sidewalks, bridges, parks and other public places and approve the construction, improvement
repair and maintenance of the same; establish bus and vehicle stops and terminals or regulate the use of the same by privately-owned
vehicles which serve the public; regulate garages and operation of conveyances for hire;designate stands to be occupied by public vehicles
when not in use; regulate the putting up of signs, signposts, awnings and awning posts on the streets; and provide for the lighting, cleaning
and sprinkling of streets and public places;(vi) Regulate traffic on all streets and bridges; prohibit encroachments or obstacles thereon and,
when necessary in the interest of public welfare, authorize the removal of encroachments and illegal constructions in public places.

The foregoing delegation reflected the desire of Congress to leave to the cities themselves the task of confronting the problem of traffic congestions
associated with development and progress because they were directly familiar with the situations in their respective jurisdictions. Indeed, the LGUs
would be in the best position to craft their traffic codes because of their familiarity with the conditions peculiar to their communities. With the broad
latitude in this regard allowed to the LGUs of the cities ,their traffic regulations must be held valid and effective unless they infringed the constitutional
limitations and statutory safeguards.
In compliance of Ordinance No. 1664 with the substantive requirements:
The Court discussed the 2 aspects of the guaranty of due process:
1. procedural due process - procedures that the government must follow before it deprives a person of life, liberty, or property (i.e. notices
and hearings)
2. substantive due process - adequate reason for taking away a persons life, liberty, or property. In other words, substantive due process
looks to whether there is sufficient justification for the governments action.

Ordinance No. 1664 met the substantive tests of validity and constitutionality by its conformity with the limitations under the Constitution and the
statutes, as well as with the requirements of fairness and reason, and its consistency with public policy. The terms encroachment and obstacles used in
Section 458 of the LGC were broad enough to include illegally parked vehicles or whatever else obstructed the streets, alleys and sidewalks

Petitioners say that they were not accorded the opportunity to protest the clamping, towing, and impounding of the vehicles, or even to be heard and to
explain their side prior to the immobilization of their vehicles; and that the ordinance was oppressive and arbitrary for that reason. Any vehicle owner
may protest such action of a traffic enforcer or PNP personnel enforcing the ordinance. the ordinance permits the release of a vehicle upon a protest
directly made to the Chairman of CITOM; or to the Chairman of the Committee on Police, Fire and Penology of the City of Cebu; or to Asst. City
Prosecutor Felipe Belcia, even without payment of the fine. None of the petitioners resorted to this. Such did not diminish the fairness and
reasonableness of the escape clause written in the ordinance. The immobilization of a vehicle by clamping pursuant to the ordinance was not necessary
if the driver or vehicle owner was around at the time of the apprehension. In that situation, the enforcer would simply either require the driver to move
the vehicle or issue a traffic citation. The towing away of the immobilized vehicle was not equivalent to a summary impounding, but designed to prevent
the immobilized vehicle from obstructing traffic.

As to the compliance with the procedural due process:

Notice and hearing are the essential requirements of procedural due process. Yet, there are many instances under our laws in which the absence of
one or both of such requirements is not necessarily a denial or deprivation of due process. These are: cancellation of the passport of a person being
sought for the commission of a crime, preventive suspension of a civil servant facing administrative charges, the distraint of properties to answer for tax
delinquencies, the padlocking of restaurants found to be unsanitary or of theaters showing obscene movies, and the abatement of nuisance per se,
arrest of a person in flagrante delicto. The same applies to the clamping of the tires of the vehicles of the petitioners.
The immobilization of illegally parked vehicles by clamping the tires was necessary because the transgressors were not around at the time of
apprehension. The lack of a hearing does not constitute a breach of procedural due process, for giving the transgressors the chance to reverse the
apprehensions through a timely protest. Such clamping of the illegally parked vehicles was a fair and reasonable way to enforce the ordinance against
its transgressors; otherwise, the transgressors would evade liability by simply driving away.

Legaspi refers to a different ruling in the Astillero case but SC says this is an irrelevant ruling - it should be the RTC that had improperly acted for so
deciding the Astillero case despite the appeals in these cases being already pending in the CA.
- the same RTC should have exercised a becoming modesty on the issue of the constitutionality of the same ordinance that the Constitution required
the majority vote of the Members of the Court sitting en banc to determine.

53. Viuda de Tantoco v. Municipal Council of Iloilo


49 Phil. 52

Facts:
Municipality of Iloilo appropriated 2 strips of land owned by petitioner for widening of a street. - Petitioner files case in Court of First Instance to recover
the purchase price for the said lots. The CFI of Iloilo sentenced the said municipality to pay the plaintiff the amount so claimed, plus the interest.

On account of lack of funds the municipality of Iloilo was unable to pay the said judgment, wherefore plaintiff had a writ of execution issue against the
property of the said municipality, by virtue of which the sheriff attached two auto trucks used for street sprinkling, one police patrol automobile, the
police stations on Mabini street, and in Molo and Mandurriao and the concrete structures, with the corresponding lots, used as markets by Iloilo, Molo,
and Mandurriao.
The Municipality files a motion to dissolve the attachment and declare such as null and void for being illegal. This was granted by the CFI.

Issue: Can the properties mentioned be attached by a judgment-debtor of a municipality?

Ruling:

Citing Tufexis vs. Olaguera and Municipal Council of Guinobatan (32 Phil., 654), the SC ruled that the movable and immovable property of a
municipality, necessary for governmental purpose, may not be attached and sold for the payment of a judgment against the municipality. The supreme
reason for this rule is the character of the public use to which such kind of property is devoted.

The Court further added that even the municipal income, is exempt from levy and execution. SC cited volume 1, page 467, Municipal Corporations by
Dillon stating the following:
The revenue of the public corporation is the essential means by which it is enabled to perform its appointed work. Deprived of its regular and
adequate supply of revenue, such a corporation is practically destroyed and the ends of its erection thwarted. Based upon considerations of
this character, it is the settled doctrine of the law that not only the public property but also the taxes and public revenues of such corporations
cannot be seized under execution against them, either in the treasury or when in transit to it. Judgments rendered for taxes, and the
proceeds of such judgments in the hands of officers of the law, are not subject to execution unless so declared by statute. The doctrine of the
inviolability of the public revenues by the creditor is maintained, although the corporation is in debt, and has no means of payment but the
taxes which it is authorized to collect.
The following rules can therefore be culled from this case:

1. Properties held for public uses - and generally everything held for governmental purposes - are not subject to levy and sale under execution against
such corporation. The same rule applies to funds in the hands of a public officer and taxes due to a municipal corporation.
2. Where a municipal corporation owns in its proprietary capacity, as distinguished from its public or governmental capacity, property not used or used
for a public purpose but for quasi-private purposes, it is the general rule that such property may be seized and sold under execution against the
corporation.
3. Property held for public purposes is not subject to execution merely because it is temporarily used for private purposes. If the public use is wholly
abandoned, such property becomes subject to execution.

97. Edgar Y. Teves v. Comelec


G.R. 180363 April 28, 2009

Facts:
Petitioner was a candidate for the position of Representative of the 3rd legislative district of Negros Oriental during the May 14, 2007 elections. On
March 30, 2007, respondent Herminio G. Teves filed a petition to disqualify petitioner on the ground that in Teves v. Sandiganbayan, he was convicted
of violating Section 3(h), Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, for possessing pecuniary or financial interest in a
cockpit, which is prohibited under Section 89(2) of the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991, and was sentenced to pay a fine of P10,000.00.
Respondent alleged that petitioner is disqualified from running for public office because he was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude which
carries the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from public office.

On May 11, 2007, the COMELEC First Division disqualified petitioner from running for the position of member of House of Representatives and ordered
the cancellation of his Certificate of Candidacy. It appears, however, that [petitioner] lost in the last 14 May 2007 congressional elections for the
position of member of the House of Representatives of the Third district of Negros Oriental thereby rendering the instant Motion for Reconsideration
moot and academic.

The petitioner filed a petition which the court found to have merit.

Issue:
Did petitioners violation of Section 3(h), Republic Act (R.A.) No. 3019 involve moral turpitude?

Ruling:
No. The crime for which petitioner was convicted in Sandiganbayan in 2005 did not involve moral turpitude. The Court discussed Sec. 12 of the Omnibus
Election Code regarding disqualifications of a candidate.

Sec. 12. Disqualifications. - Any person who has been declared by competent authority insane or incompetent, or has been sentenced by
final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion, or for any offense for which he has been sentenced to a penalty of more than eighteen months, or
for a crime involving moral turpitude, shall be disqualified to be a candidate and to hold any office, unless he has been given plenary pardon or granted
amnesty.

The disqualifications to be a candidate herein provided shall be deemed removed upon the declaration by competent authority that said insanity or
incompetence had been removed or after the expiration of a period of five years from his service of sentence, unless within the same period he again
becomes disqualified.

Moral turpitude has been defined as everything which is done contrary to justice, modesty, or good morals; an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in
the private and social duties which a man owes his fellowmen, or to society in general.

Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019 of which petitioner was convicted, reads:

Sec. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall
constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:

xxxx

(h) Directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes
part in his official capacity, or in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.

The essential elements of the violation of said provision are as follows: 1) The accused is a public officer; 2) he has a direct or indirect financial or
pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction; 3) he either: a) intervenes or takes part in his official capacity in connection with such
interest, or b) is prohibited from having such interest by the Constitution or by law.

Thus, there are two modes by which a public officer who has a direct or indirect financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract, or transaction
may violate Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019. The first mode is when the public officer intervenes or takes part in his official capacity in connection with his
financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract, or transaction. The second mode is when he is prohibited from having such an interest by the
Constitution or by law.

Section 89. Prohibited Business and Pecuniary Interest. (a) It shall be unlawful for any local government official or employee, directly or indirectly, to:

xxxx

(2) Hold such interests in any cockpit or other games licensed by a local government unit.

The offense proved, therefore, is the second mode of violation of Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft Law, which is possession of a prohibited interest.

However, conviction under the second mode does not automatically mean that the same involved moral turpitude. A determination of all surrounding
circumstances of the violation of the statute must be considered. Besides, moral turpitude does not include such acts as are not of themselves immoral
but whose illegality lies in their being positively prohibited, as in the instant case.

Thus, petitioner, as then Mayor of Valencia, did not use his influence, authority or power to gain such pecuniary or financial interest in the cockpit.
Neither did he intentionally hide his interest in the subject cockpit by transferring the management thereof to his wife considering that the said transfer
occurred before the effectivity of the present LGC prohibiting possession of such interest.

141. Hon. Tomas N. Joson III v. CA


G.R. 160652 Feb. 13, 2006
Facts:
1. The Sangguniang bayan filed an administrative complaint against incumbent Municipal Mayor of Aliaga, Elizabeth R. Vargas for dishonesty,
misconduct in office, and abuse of authority. It was alleged that Mayor Vargas submitted to the Provincial Budget Officer two falsified documents,
namely, Appropriation Ordinance No. 1 and Resolution No. 2, approving the enactment of Appropriation Ordinance No. 1.
2. Mayor Vargas filed a complaint for annulment of falsified minutes of session and appropriation ordinance with damages against the SB members
before the RTC of Cabanatuan City.
3. Mayor Vargas filed before the Sangguniang Panlalawigan a motion to suspend proceedings and/or motion to dismiss due to the pendency of a
prejudicial question in the Civil Case she filed, specifically questioning the genuineness of the documents she allegedly falsified. Without resolving the
said motion, the SP recommended to Gov. Joson the preventive suspension of Mayor Vargas for sixty days.
4. Governor Joson issued an order of preventive suspension against Mayor Vargas. Mayor Vargas filed before the Office of the President a very urgent
petition to set aside the suspension order. This was granted but the preventive suspension was reinstated when Gov. Joson filed a motion for
reconsideration with the Office of the President.
5. Mayor Vargas moved for reconsideration of the Resolution reinstating the order of preventive suspension. She also filed before the Court of Appeals a
petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus, with Urgent Prayer for Preliminary Injunction or Temporary Restraining Order docketed as CA-G.R. SP
No. 78247.
6. The CA resolved to issue a writ of preliminary injunction to further enjoin and restrain Governor Joson from imposing the order of preventive
suspension and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan from conducting proceedings in the administrative case against Mayor Vargas.

Issue:
1. Did the CA act with manifest partiality, arbitrarily and in grave abuse of discretion in issuing the questioned order because:
a. Respondent Vargas availed the wrong remedy when she filed CA-G.R. SP No. 78247;
b. Respondent Cargas clearly failed to exhaust administrative remedies before seeking judicial relief;
c. The preventive suspension order was legally and validly issued.
2. Did the CA act arbitrarily and in grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in directing petitioners to cease and desist from
conducting proceedings in the administrative case?
Ruling:
1. No.
a. The assailed resolution having being issued by the Office of the President, through the Executive Secretary, it would seem that the proper
remedy is an appeal via a petition for review under Rule 43 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. A perusal of the instant petition for certiorari
would, however, reveal that petitioner is alleging that the challenged resolution was issued with grave abuse of discretion and beyond
respondents jurisdiction, hence, the appropriate remedy is certiorari under Rule 65 as correctly availed by Mayor Vargas.

b. Citing Paat v. CA, the Court held that it recognizes some exceptions to the rule of exhaustion of administrative remedies. They are
the following:
(1) when there is a violation of due process, (2) when the issue involved is purely a legal question, (3) when the administrative
action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, (4) when there is estoppel on the part of the administrative
agency concerned, (5) when there is irreparable injury, (6) when the respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter
ego of the President bears the implied and assumed approval of the latter, (7) when to require exhaustion of administrative
remedies would be unreasonable, (8) when it would amount to a nullification of a claim, (9) when the subject matter is a private
land in land case proceedings, (10) when the rule does not provide a plain, speedy and adequate remedy, and (11) when there are
circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention.

The requirement of prior exhaustion of administrative remedies may likewise be dispensed with in the following instances: (1) when
the claim involved is small; (2) when strong public interest is involved; and (3) in quo warranto proceedings.
c. Under Section 63 of the Local Government Code, preventive suspension may be imposed (a) after the issues are joined; (b) when the
evidence of guilt is strong; and (c) given the gravity of the offense, there is great probability that 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. Issues are considered joined
when the complaint has been answered and there are no longer any substantial preliminary issues that remain to be threshed out.
In the administrative case, it appears that petitioner did not file, so far, an answer to the complaint thus the issues could not have been
considered joined. What she did was to file a Motion To Suspend Proceedings And/Or Motion To Dismiss which was treated by the sanggunian
as her answer. However, nothing in the records can be inferred that the petitioner intended the said motion to be her answer.
Also, the assailed preventive suspension are general statements, mere verbatim reproduction of the provision of law, unsupported by any
factual and substantial evidence. There is no showing that the evidence of guilt is strong, with both parties charging each other with
falsification of documents.

2. No. Petitioner's contention that there is only one issue presented in CA-G.R. SP No. 78247, that is, the validity of the reinstatement of the preventive
suspension order thus it was an abuse of discretion on the part of CA when it directed the SP to cease and desist from conducting the admin case, is of
no merit.
Two of the issues raised by Mayor Vargas in her petition to the Court of Appeals pertain to the proceedings in Administrative Case No. 02-S-2003, to
wit: (1) whether the civil case filed by Mayor Vargas before the Cabanatuan RTC for annulment of falsified minutes of session and appropriation
ordinance with damages is a prejudicial question which warrants the suspension of the proceedings in the administrative case, and (2) whether the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan has jurisdiction to hear the administrative case filed against Mayor Vargas, when the relief sought is her removal from office.
It is apparent that Mayor Vargas questioned the jurisdiction of SP in the admin case since under Sec. 60 of the LGC, only the proper court may order the
dismissal from public office of an elective official. She was therefore questioning the propriety of the proceedings in the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
despite the alleged prejudicial question in the civil case.
CA therefore did not act with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the said resolution.

185. Alunan vs Mirasol


GR No. 108399 July 31, 1997

Facts:
1. LGC of 1991 provided for an SK in every barangay to be composed of a chairman, 7 members, a secretary and a treasurer, and provided that the first
SK elections wereto be held 30 days after the next local elections. The Local Government Code was enacted January 1, 1992.
2. The first elections under the code were held May of 1992. August 1992, COMELEC provided guidelines for the holding of the general elections for the
SK on Sept. 30, 1992, which also placed the SK elections under the direct control and supervision of DILG, with the technical assistance of COMELEC.
After postponements, they were held December 4, 1992.
3. Registration in 6 districts of Manila was conducted. 152,363 people aged 15-21registered, 15,749 of them filing certificated of candidacy. The City
Council passed the necessary appropriations for the elections.
4. September 18, 1992 The DILG, through Alunan, issued a letter-resolution exempting Manila from holding SK elections because the elections
previously held on May 26, 1990 were to be considered the first SK elections under the new LGC. DILG acted on a letter by Santiago, acting President of
the KB (Kabataang Barangay) City Federation of Manila and a member of the City Council of Manila, which stated that elections for the Kabataang
Barangay were held on May 26, 1990. In this resolution, DILG stated that the LGC intended to exempt those barangay chapters which conducted their
KB elections from January 1, 1998 to January 1, 1992 from the forthcoming SK elections. The terms of those elected would be extended to coincide with
the terms of those elected in the SK elections
5. Private respondents, claiming to represent 24,000 members of the Katipunan ng Kabataan, filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus, arguing that
the DILG had no power to amend the resolutions of the COMELEC calling for general elections for SKs, and that DILG denied them equal protection of
laws.
6. RTC issued an injunction and ordered petitioners to desist from implementing the order of the DILG Secretary, and ordered them to perform the
specified pre-election activities in order to implement the general elections. The case was reraffled to a different branch of the same court, and the new
judge held that the DILG had no power to exempt the City of Manila from holding SK elections on December 4, 1992 because under Art. IX, C, 2(1) of
the Constitution the power to enforce and administer all laws and regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum,
and recall is vested solely in the COMELEC; (2) the COMELEC had already in effect determined that there had been no previous elections for KB by
calling for general elections for SK officers in every barangay without exception; and (3) the exemption of the City of Manila was violative of the equal
protection clause of the Constitution because, according to the DILGs records, in 5,000 barangays KB elections were held between January 1, 1988 and
January 1, 1992 but only in the City of Manila, where there were 897 barangays, was there no elections held on December 4, 1992.

Issues:
1. Can the COMELEC validly vest the DILG with the power of direct control and supervision over the SK elections with the technical assistance of
COMELEC?
2. Was there a violation of the equal protection clause when some LGUs were exempted from holding SK elections by the DILG?
Held:
1. Yes. COMELEC vesting DILG with such powers is not unconstitutional. Election for SK officers are not subject to the supervision of COMELEC in the
same way that contests involving elections of SK officials do not fall within the jurisdiction of COMELEC.

Justice Davide, in Mercado vs Board of Election Supervisors, stated that the provision in the Omnibus Election Code that states that COMELEC shall have
exclusive appellate jurisdiction over contest involving elective barangay officials only refer to elective barangay officials under the laws in force at the
time the Code was enacted, which was the old LGC.
Moreover, DILG was only acting or performing tasks in accordance to the framework of detailed and comprehensive rules embodied in a resolution of
COMELEC. Although it is argued that no barangays were named in the resolution, DILG was not given discretionary powers because they merely used
the time period set by COMELEC as a reference in designating exempted barangays. Likewise, the LGC of 1991 was held to be curative, and thus should
be given retroactive effect, giving the mayor the authority to call elections; thus, the 1990 KB elections were not null and void for being conducted
without authority.
2. The contention of violation of the equal protection clause could not be determined from the records of this case. The mere showing that there were
other barangays that held KB elections during the set period but were not exempted from the 1992 SK elections is not sufficient to prove that violation.
An article in manila Bulletin stated that barangays in Bulacan did not have elections in 1992 because they held elections on January 1, 1988.

229. Estrella v. COMELEC


G.R. 160465 (2004)

FACTS:

1. Rolando Salvador was proclaimed winner in a mayoralty race in May 14, 2001 elections. His opponent, Romeo Estrella, filed before Regional Trial
Court (RTC) an election protest which consequently annulled Salvadors proclamation and declared Estrella as the duly elected mayor and eventually
issued writ of execution.

2. While Salvador filed a petition for certiorari before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), raffled to the Second Division thereof, Estrella moved for
inhibition of Commissioner Ralph Lantion, but a Status Quo Ante Order was issued. However, Commissioner Lantion voluntarily inhibited himself and
designated another Commissioner to substitute him.

3. The Second Division, with the new judge, affirmed with modifications the RTC decision and declared Estrella as the duly elected mayor. Salvador filed
a Motion for Reconsideration which was elevated to the COMELEC En Banc, in which this time, Commissioner Lantion participated by virtue of Status
Quo Ante Order issued by the COMELEC En Banc. He said that as agreed upon, while he may not participate in the Division deliberations, he will vote
when the case is elevated to COMELEC En Banc. Hence, Estrella filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Can a COMELEC Commissioner who inhibited himself in Division deliberations participate in its En Banc deliberation?

Ruling:

No. The Status Quo Ante Order dated November 5, 2003 issued by the COMELEC En Banc is nullified. Commissioner Lantions voluntary piecemeal
inhibition cannot be countenanced. Nowhere in the COMELEC Rules does it allow a Commissioner to voluntarily inhibit with reservation. To allow him to
participate in the En Banc proceedings when he previously inhibited himself in the Division is, absent any satisfactory justification, not only judicially
unethical but legally improper and absurd.

Since Commissioner Lantion could not participate and vote in the issuance of the questioned order, thus leaving three (3) members concurring
therewith, the necessary votes of four (4) or majority of the members of the COMELEC was not attained. The order thus failed to comply with the
number of votes necessary for the pronouncement of a decision or order.