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G.R. No. 94759 January 21, 1991 On April 6, 1989, without previous and reasonable presenting his evidence.

easonable presenting his evidence. The following documents


notice upon petitioner, respondent acting mayor were submitted:
ordered the Municipality's station commander to
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPERS, INC., petitioner,
padlock the premises of petitioner's plant, thus
vs. a) Exhibit "A", Investigation report on the
effectively causing the stoppage of its operation.
COURT OF APPEALS, HON. NARCISO T. ATIENZA as Technology Developers Inc., prepared by one
Presiding Judge, Bulacan, RTC, and HON. VICENTE Marivic Guina, and her conclusion and
CRUZ, Acting Mayor and the MUNICIPALITY OF STA. Left with no recourse, petitioner instituted an recommendation read:
MARIA, BULACAN, respondents. action for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus with
preliminary injunction against private respondent
Due to the manufacturing process and
with the court a quo which is presided by the
GANCAYCO, J.: nature of raw materials used, the fumes
respondent judge. In its prayer for the issuance of
coming from the factory may contain
a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction, it
particulate matters which are hazardous
The authority of the local executive to protect the community alleged therein that the closure order was issued
to the health of the people. As such, the
from pollution is the center of this controversy. in grave abuse of discretion.
company should cease operating until
such a time that the proper air pollution
The antecedent facts are related in the appealed decision of During the hearing of the application for the device is installed and operational.
the Court of Appeals as follows: issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction on April
14, 1989, herein parties adduced their respective
b) Exhibits "B", "B-1", "B-2", three (3) sheets of
evidences. The respondent judge, April 19, 1989,
Petitioner, a domestic private corporation engaged coupon bond containing signatures of residents of
found that petitioner is entitled to the issuance of
in the manufacture and export of charcoal Barangay Guyong, Sta. Maria, Bulacan;
the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction,
briquette, received a letter dated February 16, hence, it ordered as follows:
1989 from private respondent acting mayor Pablo
c) Exhibit "B-3", a letter addressed to Hon.
N. Cruz, ordering the full cessation of the
Roberto Pagdanganan Governor of the Province
operation of the petitioner's plant located at In view of the foregoing, upon
of Bulacan, dated November 22, 1988,
Guyong, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, until further order. petitioner's posting of a bond in the
complaining about the smoke coming out of the
The letter likewise requested Plant Manager Mr. amount of P50,000.00 to answer for
chimney of the company while in operation.
Armando Manese to bring with him to the office of such damages that respondents may
the mayor on February 20, 1989 the following: a) sustain should petitioner eventually be
Building permit; b) Mayor's permit; c) Region III- found not entitled to the injunctive relief Reassessing all the evidence adduced, the lower
Pollution of Environment and Natural Resources hereby issued, let a PRELIMINARY court, on June 14, 1989, issued an order (a)
Anti-Pollution Permit; and of other document. MANDATORY INJUNCTION issue setting aside the order dated April 28, 1989, which
ordering the respondent Hon. Pablo N. granted a Writ of Preliminary Mandatory
Cruz, and other person acting in his Injunction, and (b) dissolving the writ consequently
At the requested conference on February 20, behalf and stead to immediately revoke issued.
1989, petitioner, through its representative, his closure order dated April 6, 1989,
undertook to comply with respondent's request for and allow petitioner to resume its normal
the production of the required documents. In A motion for reconsideration dated July 6, 1989
business operations until after the
compliance with said undertaking, petitioner instant case shall have been was filed by petitioner. Said motion drew an
commenced to secure "Region III-Department of adjudicated on the merits without opposition dated July 19, 1989 from private
Environmental and Natural Resources Anti- respondent.
prejudice to the inherent power of the
Pollution Permit," although among the permits court to alter, modify or even revoke this
previously secured prior to the operation of order at any given time. Resolving the petitioner's motion for
petitioner's plant was a "Temporary Permit to
reconsideration, the respondent judge issued an
Operate Air Pollution Installation" issued by the
SO ORDERED. order dated August 9, 1989, denying said motion
then National Pollution Control Commission (now
for reconsideration.1
Environmental Management Bureau) and is now
at a stage where the Environmental Management
The writ of preliminary mandatory injunction was
Bureau is trying to determine the correct kind of Hence a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary
issued on April 28, 1989, upon petitioner's posting
anti-pollution devise to be installed as part of injunction was filed by petitioner in the Court of Appeals
a bond in the amount of P50,000.00.
petitioner's request for the renewal of its permit. seeking to annul and set aside (a) the order issued by the
trial court on June 14, 1989, setting aside the order dated
Private respondent filed his motion for April 28, 1989, and (b) the order of August 9, 1989, denying
Petitioner's attention having been called to its lack
reconsideration dated May 3, 1989. Said motion petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the order of June
of mayor's permit, it sent its representatives to the
for reconsideration was heard on May 30, 1989. 14, 1989. In due course the petition was denied for lack of
office of the mayor to secure the same but were
Petitioner's counsel failed to appear and the merit by the appellate court in a decision dated January 26,
not entertained.
hearing proceeded with the Provincial Prosecutor 1990. 2 A motion for reconsideration thereof filed by
petitioner was denied on August 10, 1990.
Thus, the herein petition for review on certiorari filed with this (3) Region III-Department of WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED, with costs against
Court. Six errors are alleged to have been committed by the Environment and Natural Resources petitioner.
appellate court which may be synthesized into the singular Anti-Pollution permit. 3
issue of whether or not the appellate court committed a
SO ORDERED.
grave abuse of discretion in rendering its question decision
3. This action of the Acting Mayor was in response
and resolution.
to the complaint of the residents of Barangay
Guyong, Sta. Maria, Bulacan, directed to the
The petition is devoid of merit. Provincial Governor through channels.4 The
alleged NBI finding that some of the signatures in
the four-page petition were written by one
The well-known rule is that the matter of issuance of a writ of
person, 5 appears to be true in some instances,
preliminary injunction is addressed to the sound judicial
(particularly as among members of the same
discretion of the trial court and its action shall not be
family), but on the whole the many signatures
disturbed on appeal unless it is demonstrated that it acted
appear to be written by different persons. The
without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction or otherwise, in
certification of the barrio captain of said barrio that
grave abuse of its discretion. By the same token the court
he has not received any complaint on the
that issued such a preliminary relief may recall or dissolve
matter 6 must be because the complaint was sent
the writ as the circumstances may warrant.
directly to the Governor through the Acting Mayor.

To the mind of the Court the following circumstances militate


4. The closure order of the Acting Mayor was
against the maintenance of the writ of preliminary injunction
issued only after an investigation was made by
sought by petitioner:
Marivic Guina who in her report of December 8,
1988 observed that the fumes emitted by the plant
1. No mayor's permit had been secured. While it is of petitioner goes directly to the surrounding
true that the matter of determining whether there is houses and that no proper air pollution device has
a pollution of the environment that requires control been installed.7
if not prohibition of the operation of a business is
essentially addressed to the then National
5. Petitioner failed to produce a building permit
Pollution Control Commission of the Ministry of
from the municipality of Sta. Maria, but instead
Human Settlements, now the Environmental
presented a building permit issued by an official of
Management Bureau of the Department of
Makati on March 6,1987.8
Environment and Natural Resources, it must be
recognized that the mayor of a town has as much
responsibility to protect its inhabitants from 6. While petitioner was able to present a
pollution, and by virture of his police power, he temporary permit to operate by the then National
may deny the application for a permit to operate a Pollution Control Commission on December 15,
business or otherwise close the same unless 1987, the permit was good only up to May 25,
appropriate measures are taken to control and/or 1988.9 Petitioner had not exerted any effort to
avoid injury to the health of the residents of the extend or validate its permit much less to install
community from the emissions in the operation of any device to control the pollution and prevent any
the business. hazard to the health of the residents of the
community.
2. The Acting Mayor, in a letter of February 16,
1989, called the attention of petitioner to the All these factors justify the dissolution of the writ of
pollution emitted by the fumes of its plant whose preliminary injunction by the trial court and the appellate
offensive odor "not only pollute the air in the court correctly upheld the action of the lower court.
locality but also affect the health of the residents in
the area," so that petitioner was ordered to stop its
Petitioner takes note of the plea of petitioner focusing on its
operation until further orders and it was required to
huge investment in this dollar-earning industry.1wphi1 It
bring the following:
must be stressed however, that concomitant with the need to
promote investment and contribute to the growth of the
(1) Building permit; economy is the equally essential imperative of protecting the
health, nay the very lives of the people, from the deleterious
effect of the pollution of the environment.
(2) Mayor's permit; and
G.R. Nos. 159017-18 March 9, 2011 Visitacion took over the store when her mother died provided that a new contract is executed granting to us the
sometime in 1984.9 From then on up to January 1993, same space or lot and the same area. I believe that our
Visitacion secured the yearly Mayors permits.10 proposal is most reasonable and fair under the
PAULINO S. ASILO, JR., Petitioner,
circumstance. If you are not amenable to the said proposal, I
vs.
concur with the position taken by the Council for you to file
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and Spouses Sometime in 1986, a fire razed the public market of
the appropriate action in court for unlawful detainer to enable
VISITACION AND CESAR C. BOMBASI, Respondents. Nagcarlan. Upon Visitacions request for inspection on 15
our court to finally thresh out our differences.141avvphi1
May 1986, District Engineer Marcelino B. Gorospe (Engineer
Gorospe) of the then Ministry of Public Works and
G.R. No. 159059
Highways,11 Regional Office No. IV-A, found that the store of On 15 September 1993, Asst. Provincial Prosecutor
Visitacion remained intact and stood strong. This finding of Florencio Buyser sent a letter to Visitacion ordering her to
VICTORIA BUETA VDA. DE COMENDADOR, IN Engineer Gorospe was contested by the Municipality of vacate the portion of the public market she was occupying
REPRESENTATION OF DEMETRIO T. Nagcarlan. within 15 days from her receipt of the letter; else, a court
COMENDADOR,Petitioner, action will be filed against her.
vs.
The store of Visitacion continued to operate after the fire
VISITACION C. BOMBASI AND CESAR C.
until 15 October 1993. On 11 October 1993, the Sangguniang Bayan of Nagcarlan,
BOMBASI, Respondents.
Laguna issued Resolution No. 183 authorizing Mayor
Comendador to demolish the store being occupied by
On 1 September 1993, Visitacion received a letter12 from
DECISION Visitacion using legal means. The significant portion of the
Mayor Comendador directing her to demolish her store
Resolution reads:
within five (5) days from notice. Attached to the letter were
PEREZ, J.: copies of Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 15613dated 30
August 1993 and a Memorandum issued by Asst. Provincial Kung kaya ang Sangguniang Bayan ay buong pagkakaisang
1 2 Prosecutor Marianito Sasondoncillo of Laguna. IPINASIYA: Ang pagbibigay kapangyarihan kay Kgg.
At bench are appeals by certiorari from the Decision of the
Demetrio T. Comendador na ipagiba ang anumang
Fourth Division of the Sandiganbayan; (1) finding Demetrio istrakturang nagiging sagabal sa mabilis at maayos na
T. Comendador3 (Mayor Comendador) and Paulino S. Asilo, The relevant provisos of the Resolution No. 156 states that:
pagbabangon ng pamilihang bayan.15
Jr.4 guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Sec. 3(e)
of Republic Act No. 3019; (2) dismissing the cases against
NOW THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED, as it hereby resolved
accused Alberto S. Angeles;5 (3) ordering the defendants On 14 October 1993, Municipal Administrator Paulino S.
to authorize Hon. Demetrio T. Comendador to enforce and
Municipality of Nagcarlan, Laguna, Demetrio T. Comendador Asilo, Jr. (Asilo) also sent a letter16 to Visitacion informing
order the Coronados to demolish the building constructed
and Paulino S. Asilo, Jr. to pay the plaintiffs now her of the impending demolition of her store the next day.
on the space previously rented to them in order to give way
respondents Visitacion C. Bombasi (Visitacion) and Cesar C. Within the same day, Visitacion wrote a reply letter17 to Asilo,
for the construction of a new municipal market building.
Bombasi damages; and (4) dismissing the cases against the alleging that there is no legal right to demolish the store in
spouses Alida and Teddy Coroza6 and Benita and Isagani the absence of a court order and that the Resolutions did not
Coronado.7 RESOLVED FURTHER, to authorize Demetrio T. sanction the demolition of her store but only the filing of an
Comendador, Honorable Mayor of Nagcarlan to file an appropriate unlawful detainer case against her. She further
Unlawful Detainer Case with damages for the expenses replied that if the demolition will take place, appropriate
The factual antecedents of the case are: administrative, criminal and civil actions will be filed against
incurred due to the delay in the completion of the project if
the Coronados continuously resists the order. Mayor Comendador, Asilo and all persons who will take part
On 15 March 1978, Private Respondent Visitacions late in the demolition.
mother Marciana Vda. De Coronado (Vda. De Coronado)
On 3 September 1993, Visitacion wrote a reply letter to
and the Municipality of Nagcarlan, Laguna (represented by
Mayor Comendador saying that: (1) the lease contract was On 15 October 1993, Mayor Comendador relying on the
the then Municipal Mayor Crisostomo P. Manalang) entered strength of Sangguniang Bayan Resolution Nos. 183 and
still existing and legally binding; (2) she was willing to vacate
into a lease contract whereby the Municipality allowed the 156 authorized the demolition of the store with Asilo and
the store as long as same place and area would be given to
use and enjoyment of property comprising of a lot and a
her in the new public market; and (3) in case her proposals Angeles supervising the work.
store located at the corner of Coronado and E. Fernandez
are not acceptable to Mayor Comendador, for the latter to
Sts. at Poblacion, Nagcarlan, Laguna, in favor of the
just file an unlawful detainer case against her pursuant to
respondents mother for a period of twenty (20) years Engineer Winston Cabrega (Engineer Cabrega), a licensed
Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 156. Pertinent portions
beginning on 15 March 1978 until 15 March 1998, extendible civil engineer, estimated the cost of the demolished property
of the letter read:
for another 20 years.8 as amounting to P437,900.0018

x x x With all due respect to the resolution of the Municipal


The lease contract provided that the late Vda. De Coronado On 19 August 1994, Visitacion, together with her husband
Council and the opinion rendered by the Laguna Asst.
could build a firewall on her rented property which must be at Cesar Bombasi (Spouses Bombasi) filed with the Regional
Provincial Prosecutor, it is my considered view, however,
least as high as the store; and in case of modification of the Trial Court of San Pablo City, Laguna a Civil Case19 for
arrived at after consultation with my legal counsel, that our
public market, she or her heir/s would be given preferential damages with preliminary injunction against the Municipality
existing lease contract is still legally binding and in full force
rights. of Nagcarlan, Laguna, Mayor Demetrio T. Comendador,
and effect. Lest I appear to be defiant, let me reiterate to you
Paulino S. Asilo, Jr., and Alberto S. Angeles. The complaint
and the council that we are willing to vacate the said building
was soon after amended to include the Spouses Benita and
Isagani Coronado and Spouses Alida and Teddy Coroza as accused Demetrio T. Comendador, being then the Municipal deceased accused/defendant Angeles only, are hereby
formal defendants because they were then the occupants of Mayor, accused Paulino S. Asilo, Jr. being then the DISMISSED.
the contested area. Municipal Administrator and accused Alberto S. Angeles
being then the Municipal Planning and Development
The death of Mayor Comendador followed on 17 September
Coordinator, all of the Municipality of Nagcarlan, Laguna,
The spouses prayed for the following disposition: 2002. As a result, the counsel of the late Mayor filed on 3
committing the crime herein charged in relation to, while in
March 2003 a Manifestation before the Sandiganbayan
the performance and taking advantage of their official
informing the court of the fact of Mayor Comendadors death.
1. RESTRAINING or ENJOINING defendant functions, conspiring and confederating with each other, and
Municipality and defendant Municipal Mayor from with evident bad faith, manifest partiality or through gross
leasing the premises subject of lease Annex "A" inexcusable negligence, did then and there willfully, On 28 April 2003, the Sandiganbayan rendered a decision,
hereof, part of which is now occupied by PNP unlawfully, criminally cause the demolition of a public market the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:
Outpost and by the Municipal Collectors Office, stall leased by the municipal government in favor of one
and the equivalent adjacent area thereof, and to Visitacion Coronado-Bombasi without legal or justifiable
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby
cause the removal of said stalls; ground therefor, thus, causing undue injury to the latter in
the amount of PESOS: FOUR HUNDRED THIRTY SEVEN rendered as follows:
THOUSAND AND NINE HUNDRED ONLY (P437,900.00).
2. UPHOLDING the right of plaintiffs to occupy the
In Criminal Case No. 23267, the court finds accused
equivalent corner area of the leased areas being
Upon their arraignments, all the accused entered their Demetrio T. Comendador and Paulino S. Asilo, Jr. guilty
now assigned to other persons by defendants
separate pleas of "Not Guilty." beyond reasonable doubt of violation of Sec. 3(e) of
Municipality and/or by defendant Municipal Mayor,
Republic Act. No. 3019 as amended, and in the absence of
and to allow plaintiffs to construct their stalls
aggravating and mitigating circumstances, applying the
thereon;
On 4 March 1997, the Sandiganbayan promulgated a Indeterminate Sentence Law, said accused are sentenced to
Resolution ordering the consolidation of Civil Case No. SP- suffer the indeterminate penalty of 6 years and 2 months
3. MAKING the injunction permanent, after trial; 4064 (94)23 with Criminal Case No. 23267 pending before imprisonment as minimum to 10 years and 1 day as
the Third Division pursuant to Section 4, Presidential Decree maximum.
No. 1606, which pertinently reads:
4. ORDERING defendants to pay plaintiffs, jointly
and severally, the following The order of the court dated September 22, 1999 dismissing
Any provision of law or Rules of Court to the contrary the cases against the accused Alberto S. Angeles, who died
notwithstanding, the criminal action and the corresponding on November 16, 1997 is hereby reiterated.
(a) P437,900.00 for loss of
civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the
building/store and other items therein; offense charged shall at all times be simultaneously
instituted with, and jointly determined in the same In Civil Case No. 4064, defendants Municipality of
proceeding by the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts, Nagcarlan, Laguna, Demetrio T. Comendador and Paulino
(b) P200,000.00 for exemplary
the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily S. Asilo, Jr. are hereby ordered jointly and severally to pay
damages;
carry with it the filing of the civil action, and no right to plaintiff P437,900.00 as actual damages for the destruction
reserve the filing of such civil action separately from the of the store; P100,000.00 as moral damages; P30,000.00 as
(c) P200,000.00 for moral damages; criminal action shall be recognized; Provided, however, that attorneys fees, and to pay the cost of the suit. The prayer for
exemplary damages is denied as the court found no
where the civil action had heretofore been filed separately
aggravating circumstances in the commission of the crime.
(d) P30,.00 for attorneys fees but judgment therein has not yet been rendered, and the
and P700.00 for every attendance of criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan or
counsel in court. the appropriate court, said civil action shall be transferred to In view of this courts finding that the defendant spouses
the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court as the case may Alida and Teddy Coroza are lawful occupants of the subject
be, for consolidation and joint determination with the criminal market stalls from which they cannot be validly ejected
5. GRANTING further reliefs upon plaintiffs as action, otherwise the separate civil action shall be deemed without just cause, the complaint against them is dismissed.
justice and equity may warrant in the premises.20 abandoned.24 The complaint against defendant spouses Benita and
Isagani Coronado is likewise dismissed, it appearing that
Spouses Bombasi, thereafter, filed a criminal they are similarly situated as the spouses Coroza.
During the pendency of the case, Alberto S. Angeles died on
complaint21 against Mayor Comendador, Asilo and Angeles 16 November 1997. Accordingly, the counsel of Angeles Meanwhile, plaintiff Visitacion Bombasi is given the option to
for violation of Sec. 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 otherwise filed a motion to drop accused Angeles. On 22 September accept market space being given to her by the municipality,
known as the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act" before subject to her payment of the appropriate rental and permit
1999, the Third Division of Sandiganbayan issued an
the Office of the Ombudsman. On 22 February 1996, an Order25 DISMISSING the case against Angeles. The fees.
Information22 against Mayor Comendador, Asilo and Angeles germane portion of the Order reads:
was filed, which reads: The prayer for injunctive relief is denied, the same having
In view of the submission of the death certificate of become moot and academic.
That on or about October 15, 1993, at Nagcarlan, Laguna, accused/defendant Alberto S. Angeles, and there being no
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable objection on the part of the Public Prosecutor, cases against The compulsory counterclaim of defendant Comendador is
Court, the above-named accused, all public officers, likewise denied for lack of merit.26
Within the same day, Asilo, through his counsel, filed a xxxx xxx. Clearly, the demolition of plaintiffs store was carried out
Motion for Reconsideration27 of the Decision alleging that without a court order, and notwithstanding a restraining order
there was only an error of judgment when he complied with which the plaintiff was able to obtain. The demolition was
(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the
and implemented the order of his superior, Mayor done in the exercise of official duties which apparently was
Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted
Comendador. He likewise alleged that there is no liability attended by evident bad faith, manifest partiality or gross
benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his
when a public officer commits in good faith an error of inexcusable negligence as there is nothing in the two (2)
official, administrative or judicial functions throughmanifest
judgment. The Sandiganbayan, on its Resolution28 dated 21 resolutions which gave the herein accused the authority to
partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.
July 2003 denied the Motion for Reconsideration on the demolish plaintiffs store.
This provision shall apply to officers and employees of
ground that good faith cannot be argued to support his
offices or government corporations charged with the grant of
cause in the face of the courts finding that bad faith
licenses or permits or other concessions. "Evident bad faith" connotes not only bad judgment but also
attended the commission of the offense charged. The Court
palpably and patently fraudulent and dishonest purpose to
further explained that the invocation of compliance with an
do moral obliquity or conscious wrongdoing for some
order of a superior is of no moment for the "demolition The elements of the offense are as follows: (1) that the
perverse motive or ill will.36 [It] contemplates a state of mind
[order] cannot be described as having the semblance of accused are public officers or private persons charged in
affirmatively operating with furtive design or with some
legality inasmuch as it was issued without the authority and conspiracy with them; (2) that said public officers commit the
motive or self-interest or ill will or for ulterior purposes.37
therefore the same was patently illegal."29 prohibited acts during the performance of their official duties
or in relation to their public positions; (3) that they caused
undue injury to any party, whether the Government or a It is quite evident in the case at bar that the accused public
The counsel for the late Mayor also filed its Motion for
private party; (4) OR that such injury is caused by giving officials committed bad faith in performing the demolition.
Reconsideration30 on 12 May 2003 alleging that the death of
unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference to the other
the late Mayor had totally extinguished both his criminal and
party; and (5) that the public officers have acted with
civil liability. The Sandiganbayan on its Resolution31 granted First, there can be no merit in the contention that
manifest partiality, evident bad faithor gross inexcusable
the Motion insofar as the extinction of the criminal liability is respondents structure is a public nuisance. The abatement
negligence.33
concerned and denied the extinction of the civil liability of a nuisance without judicial proceedings is possible if it is
holding that the civil action is an independent civil action. nuisance per se.38 Nuisance per se is that which is nuisance
We sustain the Sandiganbayan in its finding of criminal and at all times and under any circumstance, regardless of
civil liabilities against petitioner Asilo and petitioner Mayor location and surroundings.39 In this case, the market stall
Hence, these Petitions for Review on Certiorari.32
Comendador as here represented by his widow Victoria cannot be considered as a nuisance per se because as
Bueta. found out by the Court, the buildings had not been affected
Petitioner Asilo argues that in order to sustain conviction by the 1986 fire. This finding was certified to by Supervising
under Sec. 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or "The Anti-Graft Civil Engineer Wilfredo A. Sambrano of the Laguna District
We agree with the Sandiganbayan that it is undisputable that
and Corrupt Practices Act," the public officer must have Engineer Office.40 To quote:
the first two requisites of the criminal offense were present at
acted with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross
the time of the commission of the complained acts and that,
negligence. He also contended that he and his co-accused
as to the remaining elements, there is sufficient amount of An inspection has been made on the building (a commercial
acted in good faith in the demolition of the market and,
evidence to establish that there was an undue injury suffered establishment) cited above and found out the following:
thereby, no liability was incurred.
on the part of the Spouses Bombasi and that the public
officials concerned acted with evident bad faith when they
1. It is a two-storey building, sketch of which is
On the other hand, Petitioner Victoria argues that the death performed the demolition of the market stall.
attached.
of Mayor Comendador prior to the promulgation of the
decision extinguished NOT ONLY Mayor Comendadors
Causing undue injury to any party, including the government,
criminal liability but also his civil liability. She also asserted 2. It is located within the market site.
could only mean actual injury or damage which must be
good faith on the part of the accused public officials when
established by evidence.34
they performed the demolition of the market stall. Lastly, she
contended that assuming arguendo that there was indeed 3. The building has not been affected by the
recent fire.
liability on the part of the accused public officials, the actual In jurisprudence, "undue injury" is consistently interpreted as
amount of damages being claimed by the Spouses Bombasi "actual." Undue has been defined as "more than necessary,
has no basis and was not duly substantiated. not proper, [or] illegal;" and injury as "any wrong or damage 4. The concrete wall[s] does not even show signs
done to another, either in his person, rights, reputation or of being exposed to fire.41
property [that is, the] invasion of any legally protected
Liability of the accused public officials
interest of another." Actual damage, in the context of these
under Republic Act No. 3019 Second, the Sangguniang Bayan resolutions are not enough
definitions, is akin to that in civil law.35
to justify demolition. Unlike its predecessor law,42the present
Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 provides: Local Government Code43 does not expressly provide for the
It is evident from the records, as correctly observed by the abatement of nuisance.44 And even assuming that the power
Sandiganbayan, that Asilo and Mayor Comendador as to abate nuisance is provided for by the present code, the
In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already accused below did not deny that there was indeed damage accused public officials were under the facts of this case, still
penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute caused the Spouses Bombasi on account of the demolition. devoid of any power to demolish the store. A closer look at
corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby We affirm the finding that: the contested resolutions reveals that Mayor Comendador
declared to be unlawful: was only authorized to file an unlawful detainer case in case
of resistance to obey the order or to demolish the building terminates his criminal liability and only the civil liability On the other hand, the defense invoked Section 4 of
using legal means. Clearly, the act of demolition without directly arising from and based solely on the offense Presidential Decree No. 1606, as amended by Republic Act
legal order in this case was not among those provided by the committed, i.e., civil liability ex delicto in senso strictiore." No. 8249, in support of its argument that the civil action was
resolutions, as indeed, it is a legally impossible provision. dependent upon the criminal action, thus, was extinguished
upon the death of the accused. The law provides that:
Corollarily, the claim for civil liability survives notwithstanding
Furthermore, the Municipality of Nagcarlan, Laguna, as the death of (the) accused, if the same may also be
represented by the then Mayor Comendador, was placed in predicated on a source of obligation other than delict. Article Any provision of law or the Rules of Court to the contrary
estoppel after it granted yearly business permits45 in favor of 1157 of the Civil Code enumerates these other sources of notwithstanding, the criminal action and the corresponding
the Spouses Bombasi. Art. 1431 of the New Civil Code obligation from which the civil liability may arise as a result of civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the
provides that, through estoppel, an admission or the same act or omission: offense charged shall at all times be simultaneously
representation is rendered conclusive upon the person instituted with, and jointly determined in the same
making it, and cannot be denied or disproved as against the proceeding by, the Sandiganbayan, the filing of the criminal
a) Law
person relying thereon. The representation made by the action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of
municipality that the Spouses Bombasi had the right to the civil action, and no right to reserve the filing of such
continuously operate its store binds the municipality. It is b) Contracts action shall be recognized. (Emphasis ours)
utterly unjust for the Municipality to receive the benefits of
the store operation and later on claim the illegality of the
c) Quasi-contracts We agree with the prosecution.
business.

d) Acts or omissions punished by law; and Death of Mayor Comendador during the pendency of the
The bad faith of the petitioners completes the elements of
case could have extinguished the civil liability if the same
the criminal offense of violation of Sec. 3(e) of Republic Act
arose directly from the crime committed. However, in this
No. 3019. The same bad faith serves as the source of the e) Quasi-delicts. (Emphasis ours) case, the civil liability is based on another source of
civil liability of Asilo, Angeles, and Mayor Comendador.
obligation, the law on human relations.49 The pertinent
Where the civil liability survives, as explained [above], an articles follow:
It must be noted that when Angeles died on 16 November action for recovery therefore may be pursued but only by
1997, a motion to drop him as an accused was filed by his way of filing a separate civil action47 and subject to Section
Art. 31 of the Civil Code states:
counsel with no objection on the part of the prosecution. The 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as
Sandiganbayan acted favorably on the motion and issued an amended. This separate civil action may be enforced either
Order dismissing all the cases filed against Angeles. On the against the executor/administrator or the estate of the When the civil action is based on an obligation not arising
other hand, when Mayor Comendador died and an adverse accused, depending on the source of obligation upon which from the act or omission complained of as a felony, such civil
decision was rendered against him which resulted in the the same is based as explained above. action may proceed independently of the criminal
filing of a motion for reconsideration by Mayor proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter.
Comendadors counsel, the prosecution opposed the Motion
specifying the ground that the civil liability did not arise from Finally, the private offended party need not fear a forfeiture
delict, hence, survived the death of the accused. The of his right to file this separate civil action by prescription, in And, Art. 32(6) states:
Sandiganbayan upheld the opposition of the prosecution cases where during the prosecution of the criminal action
which disposition was not appealed. and prior to its extinction, the private-offended party
Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who
instituted together therewith the civil action. In such case, the
directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any
statute of limitations on the civil liability is deemed
We note, first off, that the death of Angeles and of Mayor manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and
interrupted during the pendency of the criminal case,
liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for
Comendador during the pendency of the case extinguished conformably with provisions of Article 1155 of the New Civil
their criminal liabilities. damages:
Code, which should thereby avoid any apprehension on a
possible privation of right by prescription.
(6) The right against deprivation of property without due
We now hold, as did the Sandiganbayan that the civil liability
of Mayor Comendador survived his death; and that of process of law;
Upon death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction,
Angeles could have likewise survived had it not been for the the criminal action is extinguished inasmuch as there is no
fact that the resolution of the Sandiganbayan that his death longer a defendant to stand as the accused; the civil action xxxx
extinguished the civil liability was not questioned and lapsed instituted therein for recovery of civil liability ex delicto is ipso
into finality. facto extinguished, grounded as it is on the criminal.48
In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not
the defendant's act or omission constitutes a criminal
46
We laid down the following guidelines in People v. Bayotas: The New Civil Code provisions under the Chapter, Human offense, the aggrieved party has a right to commence an
Relations, were cited by the prosecution to substantiate its entirely separate and distinct civil action for damages, and
argument that the civil action based therein is an for other relief. Such civil action shall proceed independently
Death of the accused pending appeal of his conviction
extinguishes his criminal liability as well as the civil liability independent one, thus, will stand despite the death of the of any criminal prosecution (if the latter be instituted), and
based solely thereon. As opined by Justice Regalado, in this accused during the pendency of the case. may be proved by a preponderance of evidence.
regard, "the death of the accused prior to final judgment
As held in Aberca v. Ver: The above-stated rule is clear and needs no interpretation. If amounting to P171,088.46 and the receipt issued by the BB
demolition is necessary, there must be a hearing on the Construction and Steel Fabricator to private respondent
motion filed and with due notices to the parties for the for P35,000.00 representing cost for carpentry works,
It is obvious that the purpose of the above codal provision
issuance of a special order of demolition.53 masonry, welding, and electrical works. Respondents failed
[Art. 32 of the New Civil Code] is to provide a sanction to the
to present Regal to testify on his estimation. In its five-page
deeply cherished rights and freedoms enshrined in the
decision, the trial court awardedP150,000.00 as actual
Constitution. Its message is clear; no man may seek to This special need for a court order even if an ejectment case
damages to private respondent but failed to state the factual
violate those sacred rights with impunity. x x x.50 has successfully been litigated, underscores the
basis for such award. Indeed, the trial court merely declared
independent basis for civil liability, in this case, where no
in the decretal portion of its decision that the "sum
case was even filed by the municipality.
Indeed, the basic facts of this case point squarely to the of P150,000.00 as reasonable compensation sustained by
applicability of the law on human relations. First, the plaintiff for her damaged apartment." The appellate court, for
complaint for civil liability was filed way AHEAD of the The requirement of a special order of demolition is based on its part, failed to explain how it arrived at the amount
information on the Anti-Graft Law. And, the complaint for the rudiments of justice and fair play. It frowns upon of P100,000.00 in its three-page decision. Thus, the
damages specifically invoked defendant Mayor arbitrariness and oppressive conduct in the execution of an appellate court merely declared:
Comendadors violation of plaintiffs right to due process. otherwise legitimate act. It is an amplification of the provision
Thus: of the Civil Code that every person must, in the exercise of
With respect to the civil liability of the appellants, they
his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with
contend that there was no urgent necessity to completely
justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and
xxxx demolish the apartment in question considering the nature of
good faith.54
the damages sustained as a result of the accident.
Consequently, appellants continue, the award
In causing or doing the forcible demolition of the store in of P150,000.00 as compensation sustained by the plaintiff-
Notably, the fact that a separate civil action precisely based
question, the individual natural defendants did not only act appellee for her damaged apartment is an unconscionable
on due process violations was filed even ahead of the
with grave abuse of authority but usurped a power which
criminal case, is complemented by the fact that the amount.
belongs to our courts of justice; such actuations were done
deceased plaintiff Comendador was substituted by his
with malice or in bad faith and constitute an invasion of the
widow, herein petitioner Victoria who specified in her petition
property rights of plaintiff(s) without due process of law. Further, in one case,58 this Court held that the amount
that she has "substituted him as petitioner in the above
claimed by the respondent-claimants witness as to the
captioned case." Section 1, Rule III of the 1985 Rules in
actual amount of damages "should be admitted with extreme
xxxx Criminal Procedure mentioned in Bayotas is, therefore, not
caution considering that, because it was a bare assertion, it
applicable. Truly, the Sandiganbayan was correct when it
should be supported by independent evidence." The Court
maintained the separate docketing of the civil and criminal
The Court is in one with the prosecution that there was a further said that whatever claim the respondent witness
cases before it although their consolidation was erroneously
violation of the right to private property of the Spouses would allege must be appreciated in consideration of his
based on Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1606 which
Bombasi. The accused public officials should have accorded particular self-interest.59 There must still be a need for the
deals with civil liability "arising from the offense charged."
the spouses the due process of law guaranteed by the examination of the documentary evidence presented by the
Constitution and New Civil Code. The Sangguniang Bayan claimants to support its claim with regard to the actual
Resolutions as asserted by the defense will not, as already We must, however, correct the amount of damages awarded amount of damages.
shown, justify demolition of the store without court order. to the Spouses Bombasi.
This Court in a number of decisions51 held that even if there
The price quotation made by Engineer Cabrega presented
is already a writ of execution, there must still be a need for a as an exhibit60 partakes of the nature of hearsay evidence
To seek recovery of actual damages, it is necessary to prove
special order for the purpose of demolition issued by the considering that the person who issued them was not
the actual amount of loss with a reasonable degree of
court before the officer in charge can destroy, demolish or
certainty, premised upon competent proof and on the best presented as a witness.61 Any evidence, whether oral or
remove improvements over the contested property.52 The
evidence obtainable.55 In this case, the Court finds that the documentary, is hearsay if its probative value is not based
pertinent provisions are the following: on the personal knowledge of the witness but on the
only evidence presented to prove the actual damages
incurred was the itemized list of damaged and lost knowledge of another person who is not on the witness
Before the removal of an improvement must take place, items56 prepared by Engineer Cabrega, an engineer stand. Hearsay evidence, whether objected to or not, has no
there must be a special order, hearing and reasonable notice commissioned by the Spouses Bombasi to estimate the probative value unless the proponent can show that the
to remove. Section 10(d), Rule 39 of the Rules of Court costs. evidence falls within the exceptions to the hearsay evidence
provides: rule.62 Further, exhibits do not fall under any of the
exceptions provided under Sections 37 to 47 of Rule 130 of
As held by this Court in Marikina Auto Line Transport
the Rules of Court.
(d) Removal of improvements on property subject of Corporation v. People of the Philippines,57
execution. When the property subject of execution
contains improvements constructed or planted by the Though there is no sufficient evidence to award the actual
x x x [W]e agree with the contention of petitioners that
judgment obligor or his agent, the officer shall not destroy, damages claimed, this Court grants temperate damages
respondents failed to prove that the damages to the terrace for P200,000.00 in view of the loss suffered by the Spouses
demolish or remove said improvements except upon special
caused by the incident amounted to P100,000.00. The only Bombasi. Temperate damages are awarded in accordance
order of the court, issued upon motion of the judgment
evidence adduced by respondents to prove actual damages
obligee after due hearing and after the former has failed to with Art. 2224 of the New Civil Code when the court finds
claimed by private respondent were the summary that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount
remove the same within a reasonable time fixed by the court.
computation of damage made by Engr. Jesus R. Regal, Jr.
cannot, from the nature of the case, be proven with certainty.
The amount of temperate or moderated damages is usually
left to the discretion of the courts but the same should be
reasonable, bearing in mind that the temperate damages
should be more than nominal but less than
compensatory.63 Without a doubt, the Spouses Bombasi
suffered some form of pecuniary loss in the impairment of
their store. Based on the record of the case, 64 the
demolished store was housed on a two-story building
located at the markets commercial area and its concrete
walls remained strong and not affected by the fire. However,
due to the failure of the Spouses Bombasi to prove the exact
amount of damage in accordance with the Rules of
Evidence,65 this court finds that P200,000.00 is the amount
just and reasonable under the circumstances.

WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is DENIED. Accordingly,


the Decision of the Sandiganbayan dated 28 April 2003 is
hereby AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION. The Court
affirms the decision finding the accused Paulino S. Asilo, Jr.
and Demetrio T. Comendador guilty of violating Section 3(e)
of Republic Act No. 3019. We declare the finality of the
dismissal of both the criminal and civil cases against Alberto
S. Angeles as the same was not appealed. In view of the
death of Demetrio T. Comendador pending trial, his criminal
liability is extinguished; but his civil liability survives. The
Municipality of Nagcarlan, Paulino Asilo and Demetrio T.
Comendador, as substituted by Victoria Bueta Vda. De
Comendador, are hereby declared solidarily liable to the
Spouses Bombasi for temperate damages in the amount
of P200,000.00 and moral damages in the amount
of P100,000.00.

Costs against the petitioners-appellants.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 131512 January 20, 2000 decision,4 dated 17 November 1997, of the Court of Appeals provided for, among other things, the payment of franchise
affirming the permanent injunctive writ order of the Regional fees for the grant of the franchise of tricycles-for-hire, fees
Trial Court (Branch 2) of Butuan City. for the registration of the vehicle, and fees for the issuance
LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE [LTO], represented
of a permit for the driving thereof.
by Assistant Secretary Manuel F. Bruan, LTO Regional
Office, Region X represented by its Regional Director, Respondent City of Butuan asserts that one of the salient
Timoteo A. Garcia; and LTO Butuan represented by provisions introduced by the Local Government Code is in Petitioner LTO explains that one of the functions of the
Rosita G. Sadiaga, its Registrar, petitioners, the area of local taxation which allows LGUs to collect national government that, indeed, has been transferred to
vs. registration fees or charges along with, in its view, the local government units is the franchising authority over
CITY OF BUTUAN, represented in this case by corresponding issuance of all kinds of licenses or permits for tricycles-for-hire of the Land Transportation Franchising and
Democrito D. Plaza II, City Mayor, respondents. the driving of tricycles. Regulatory Board ("LTFRB") but not, it asseverates, the
authority of LTO to register all motor vehicles and to issue to
qualified persons of licenses to drive such vehicles.
VITUG, J.: The 1987 Constitution provides:

In order to settle the variant positions of the parties, the City


The 1987 Constitution enunciates the policy that the Each local government unit shall have the power
of Butuan, represented by its City Mayor Democrito D.
territorial and political subdivisions shall enjoy local to create its own sources of revenues and to levy
Plaza, filed on 28 June 1994 with the trial court a petition for
autonomy.1 In obedience to that mandate of the fundamental taxes, fees, and charges subject to such
"prohibition, mandamus, injunction with a prayer for
law, Republic Act ("R.A.") No. 7160, otherwise known as the guidelines and limitations as the Congress may
preliminary restraining order ex-parte" seeking the
Local Government Code,2 expresses that the territorial and provide, consistent with the basic policy of local
declaration of the validity of SP Ordinance No. 962-93 and
political subdivisions of the State shall enjoy genuine and autonomy. Such taxes, fees, and charges shall
the prohibition of the registration of tricycles-for-hire and the
meaningful local autonomy in order to enable them to attain accrue exclusively to the local governments.5
issuance of licenses for the driving thereof by the LTO.
their fullest development as self-reliant communities and
make them more effective partners in the attainment of
Sec. 129 and Section 133 of the Local
national goals, and that it is a basic aim of the State to LTO opposed the prayer in the petition.
Government Code read:
provide for a more responsive and accountable local
government structure instituted through a system of
On 20 March 1995, the trial court rendered a resolution; the
decentralization whereby local government units shall be Sec. 129. Power to Create Sources or Revenue.
dispositive portion read:
given more powers, authority, responsibilities and resources. Each local government unit shall exercise its
power to create its own sources of revenue and to
levy taxes, fees, and charges subject to the In view of the foregoing, let a permanent injunctive
While the Constitution seeks to strengthen local units and
provisions herein, consistent with the basic policy writ be issued against the respondent Land
ensure their viability, clearly, however, it has never been the
of local autonomy. Such taxes, fees, and charges Transportation Office and the other respondents,
intention of that organic law to create an imperuim in
shall accrue exclusively to the local government prohibiting and enjoining them, their employees,
imperio and install an infra sovereign political subdivision
units. officers, attorney's or other persons acting in their
independent of a single sovereign state.
behalf from forcing or compelling Tricycles to be
registered with, and drivers to secure their
Sec. 133. Common Limitations on the Taxing
The Court is asked in this instance to resolve the issue of licenses from respondent LTO or secure franchise
Powers of Local Government Units. Unless
whether under the present set up the power of the Land from LTFRB and from collecting fees thereon. It
otherwise provided herein, the exercise of the
Registration Office ("LTO") to register, tricycles in particular, should be understood that the registration,
taxing powers of provinces, cities, municipalities,
as well as to issue licenses for the driving thereof, has franchise of tricycles and driver's license/permit
and barangays shall not extend to the levy of the
likewise devolved to local government units. granted or issued by the City of Butuan are valid
following:
only within the territorial limits of Butuan City.
The Regional Trial Court (Branch 2) of Butuan City held3 that
xxx xxx xxx
the authority to register tricycles, the grant of the No pronouncement as to costs.6
corresponding franchise, the issuance of tricycle drivers'
license, and the collection of fees therefor had all been (l) Taxes, fees or charges for the registration of
Petitioners timely moved for a reconsideration of the above
vested in the Local Government Units ("LGUs"). Accordingly, motor vehicles and for the issuance of all kinds of
resolution but it was to no avail. Petitioners then appealed to
it decreed the issuance of a permanent writ of injunction licenses or permits for the driving thereof, except
the Court of Appeals. In its now assailed decision, the
against LTO, prohibiting and enjoining LTO, as well as its tricycles.
appellate court, on 17 November 1997, sustained the trial
employees and other persons acting in its behalf, from (a)
court. It ruled:
registering tricycles and (b) issuing licenses to drivers of
tricycles. The Court of Appeals, on appeal to it, sustained the Relying on the foregoing provisions of the law, the
trial court.1wphi1.nt Sangguniang Panglungsod ("SP") of Butuan, on 16 August
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED
1992, passed SP Ordinance No. 916-92 entitled "An
and the questioned permanent injunctive writ
Ordinance Regulating the Operation of Tricycles-for-Hire,
issued by the court a quo dated March 20, 1995
The adverse rulings of both the court a quo and the providing mechanism for the issuance of Franchise,
AFFIRMED.7
appellate court prompted the LTO to file the instant petition Registration and Permit, and imposing Penalties for
for review on certiorari to annul and set aside the Violations thereof and for other Purposes." The ordinance
Coming up to this Court, petitioners raise this sole within the territorial jurisdiction of the city. 40 KPH. However, the SB/SP may
assignment of error, to wit: (Emphasis supplied). provide exceptions if there is no
alternative route.
The Court of Appeals [has] erred in sustaining the LGUs indubitably now have the power to regulate the
validity of the writ of injunction issued by the trial operation of tricycles-for-hire and to grant franchises for the 2. Zones must be within the boundaries
court which enjoined LTO from (1) registering operation thereof. "To regulate" means to fix, establish, or of the municipality/city. However,
tricycles-for-hire and (2) issuing licenses for the control; to adjust by rule, method, or established mode; to existing zones within more than one
driving thereof since the Local Government Code direct by rule or restriction; or to subject to governing municipality/city shall be maintained,
devolved only the franchising authority of the principles or laws.12 A franchise is defined to be a special provided that operators serving said
LTFRB. Functions of the LTO were not devolved privilege to do certain things conferred by government on an zone shall secure MTOP's from each of
to the LGU's.8 individual or corporation, and which does not belong to the municipalities/cities having
citizens generally of common right.13 On the other hand, "to jurisdiction over the areas covered by
register" means to record formally and exactly, to enroll, or to the zone.
The petition is impressed with merit.
enter precisely in a list or the like,14 and a "driver's license" is
the certificate or license issued by the government which
3. A common color for tricycles-for-hire
The Department of Transportation and authorizes a person to operate a motor vehicle.15 The
operating in the same zone may be
Communications9 ("DOTC"), through the LTO and the devolution of the functions of the DOTC, performed by the
imposed. Each unit shall be assigned
LTFRB, has since been tasked with implementing laws LTFRB, to the LGUs, as so aptly observed by the Solicitor
and bear an identification number, aside
pertaining to land transportation. The LTO is a line agency General, is aimed at curbing the alarming increase of
from its LTO license plate number.
under the DOTC whose powers and functions, pursuant to accidents in national highways involving tricycles. It has
Article III, Section 4 (d) [1],10 of R.A. No. 4136, otherwise been the perception that local governments are in good
known as Land Transportation and Traffic Code, as position to achieve the end desired by the law-making body 4. An operator wishing to stop service
amended, deal primarily with the registration of all motor because of their proximity to the situation that can enable completely, or to suspend service for
vehicles and the licensing of drivers thereof. The LTFRB, them to address that serious concern better than the national more than one month, should report in
upon the other hand, is the governing body tasked by E.O. government. writing such termination or suspension
No. 202, dated 19 June 1987, to regulate the operation of to the SB/SP which originally granted
public utility or "for hire" vehicles and to grant franchises or the MTOP prior thereto. Transfer to
It may not be amiss to state, nevertheless, that under Article
certificates of public convenience ("CPC").11 Finely put, another zone may be permitted upon
458 (a)[3-VI] of the Local Government Code, the power of
registration and licensing functions are vested in the LTO application.
LGUs to regulate the operation of tricycles and to grant
while franchising and regulatory responsibilities had been
franchises for the operation thereof is still subject to the
vested in the LTFRB.
guidelines prescribed by the DOTC. In compliance therewith, 5. The MTOP shall be valid for three (3)
the Department of Transportation and Communications years, renewable for the same period.
Under the Local Government Code, certain functions of the ("DOTC") issued "Guidelines to Implement the Devolution of Transfer to another zone, change of
DOTC were transferred to the LGUs, thusly: LTFRBs Franchising Authority over Tricycles-For-Hire to ownership of unit or transfer of MTOP
Local Government units pursuant to the Local Government shall be construed as an amendment to
Code." Pertinent provisions of the guidelines state: an MTOP and shall require appropriate
Sec. 458. Powers, Duties, Functions and
approval of the SB/SP.
Compensation.
In lieu of the Land Transportation Franchising and
Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in the DOTC, the 6. Operators shall employ only drivers
xxx xxx xxx
Sangguniang Bayan/Sangguniang Panglungsod duly licensed by LTO for tricycles-for-
(SB/SP) shall perform the following: hire.
(3) Subject to the provisions of Book II of this
Code, enact ordinances granting franchises and
(a) Issue, amend, revise, renew, 7. No tricycle-for-hire shall be allowed to
authorizing the issuance of permits or licenses, suspend, or cancel MTOP and prescribe carry more passengers and/or goods
upon such conditions and for such purposes the appropriate terms and conditions than it is designed for.
intended to promote the general welfare of the
therefor;
inhabitants of the city and pursuant to this
legislative authority shall: 8. A tricycle-for-hire shall be allowed to
xxx xxx xxx operate like a taxi service, i.e., service is
rendered upon demand and without a
xxx xxx xxx
fixed route within a zone.16
Operating Conditions:
(VI) Subject to the guidelines prescribed by the
Such as can be gleaned from the explicit language of the
Department of Transportation and 1. For safety reasons, no tricycles
statute, as well as the corresponding guidelines issued by
Communications,regulate the operation of tricycles should operate on national highways
DOTC, the newly delegated powers pertain to the
and grant franchises for the operation thereof utilized by 4 wheel vehicles greater than
franchising and regulatory powers theretofore exercised by
4 tons and where normal speed exceed
the LTFRB and not to the functions of the LTO relative to the salaries of additional personnel and highways and principal thoroughfares where they
registration of motor vehicles and issuance of licenses for incidental costs for tools and pose hazards to their passengers arising from
the driving thereof. Clearly unaffected by the Local equipment.19 potential collisions with buses, cars and jeepneys.
Government Code are the powers of LTO under R.A. No.
4136 requiring the registration of all kinds of motor vehicles
The reliance made by respondents on the broad taxing The operation of tricycles within a municipality
"used or operated on or upon any public highway" in the
power of local government units, specifically under Section may be regulated by the Sangguniang Bayan. In
country. Thus
133 of the Local Government Code, is tangential. Police this connection, the Sangguniang concerned
power and taxation, along with eminent domain, are inherent would do well to consider prohibiting the operation
Sec. 5. All motor vehicles and other vehicles must powers of sovereignty which the State might share with local of tricycles along or across highways invite
be registered. (a) No motor vehicle shall be government units by delegation given under a constitutional collisions with faster and bigger vehicles and
used or operated on or upon any public highway of or a statutory fiat. All these inherent powers are for a public impede the flow of traffic.22
the Philippines unless the same is properly purpose and legislative in nature but the similarities just
registered for the current year in accordance with about end there. The basic aim of police power is public
The need for ensuring public safety and
the provisions of this Act (Article 1, Chapter II, good and welfare. Taxation, in its case, focuses an the
convenience to commuters and pedestrians alike
R.A. No. 4136). power of government to raise revenue in order to support its
is paramount. It might be well, indeed, for public
existence and carry out its legitimate objectives. Although
officials concerned to pay heed to a number of
correlative to each other in many respects, the grant of one
The Commissioner of Land Transportation and his provisions in our laws that can warrant in
does not necessarily carry with it the grant of the other. The
deputies are empowered at anytime to examine appropriate cases an incurrence of criminal and
two powers are, by tradition and jurisprudence, separate and
and inspect such motor vehicles to determine civil liabilities. Thus
distinct powers, varying in their respective concepts,
whether said vehicles are registered, or are
character, scopes and limitations. To construe the tax
unsightly, unsafe, improperly marked or equipped,
provisions of Section 133(1) indistinctively would result in the The Revised Penal Code
or otherwise unfit to be operated on because of
repeal to that extent of LTO's regulatory power which
possible excessive damage to highways, bridges
evidently has not been intended. If it were otherwise, the law
and other infrastructures.17 The LTO is additionally Art. 208. Prosecution of offenses; negligence and
could have just said so in Section 447 and 458 of Book III of
charged with being the central repository and tolerance. The penalty of prision correccional in
the Local Government Code in the same manner that the
custodian of all records of all motor vehicles.18 its minimum period and suspension shall be
specific devolution of LTFRB's power on franchising of
tricycles has been provided. Repeal by implication is not imposed upon any public officer, or officer of the
favored.20 The power over tricycles granted under Section law, who, in dereliction of the duties of his office,
The Court shares the apprehension of the Solicitor
458(8)(3)(VI) of the Local Government Code to LGUs is the shall maliciously refrain from instituting
General if the above functions were to likewise
power to regulate their operation and to grant franchises for prosecution for the punishment of violators of the
devolve to local government units; he states:
the operation thereof. The exclusionary clause contained in law, or shall tolerate the commission of offenses.
the tax provisions of Section 133(1) of the Local Government
If the tricycle registration function of
Code must not be held to have had the effect of withdrawing The Civil Code
respondent LTO is decentralized, the the express power of LTO to cause the registration of all
incidence of theft of tricycles will most motor vehicles and the issuance of licenses for the driving
certainly go up, and stolen tricycles Art. 27. Any person suffering material or moral
thereof. These functions of the LTO are essentially
registered in one local government regulatory in nature, exercised pursuant to the police power loss because a public servant or employee refuses
could be registered in another with of the State, whose basic objectives are to achieve road or neglects, without just cause, to perform his
ease. The determination of ownership official duty may file an action for damages and
safety by insuring the road worthiness of these motor
thereof will also become very difficult. vehicles and the competence of drivers prescribed by R.A. other relief against the latter, without prejudice to
4136. Not insignificant is the rule that a statute must not be any disciplinary administrative action that may be
construed in isolation but must be taken in harmony with the taken.1wphi1.nt
Fake driver's licenses will likewise
proliferate. This likely scenario unfolds extant body of laws.21
where a tricycle driver, not qualified by Art. 34. When a member of a city or municipal
petitioner LTO's testing, could secure a police force refuses or fails to render aid or
The Court cannot end this decision without expressing its
license from one municipality, and when own serious concern over the seeming laxity in the grant of protection to any person in case of danger to life
the same is confiscated, could just go franchises for the operation of tricycles-for-hire and in or property, such peace officer shall be primarily
another municipality to secure another liable for damages, and the city or municipality
allowing the indiscriminate use by such vehicles on public
license. highways and principal thoroughfares. Senator Aquilino C. shall be subsidiarily responsible therefor. The civil
Pimentel, Jr., the principal author and sponsor of the bill that action herein recognized shall be independent of
eventually has become to be known as the Local any criminal proceedings, and a preponderance of
Devolution will entail the hiring of
Government Code, has aptly remarked: evidence shall suffice to support such action.
additional personnel charged with
inspecting tricycles for road worthiness,
testing drivers, and documentation. Art. 2189. Provinces, cities and municipalities shall
Tricycles are a popular means of transportation,
Revenues raised from tricycle specially in the countryside. They are, be liable for damages for the death of, or injuries
registration may not be enough to meet unfortunately, being allowed to drive along 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.

The Local Government Code

Sec. 24. Liability for Damages. Local


government units and their officials are not exempt
from liability for death or injury to persons or
damage to property.

WHEREFORE, the assailed decision which enjoins the Land


Transportation Office from requiring the due registration of
tricycles and a license for the driving thereof is REVERSED
and SET ASIDE.

No pronouncements on costs.

Let copies of this decision be likewise furnished the


Department of Interior and Local Governments, the
Department of Public Works and Highways and the
Department of Transportation and Communication.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 97764 August 10, 1992 3. That the time during which the Hence, this petition was filed by the petitioner thru the Office
vending area is to be used shall be of the Solicitor General alleging grave abuse of discretion
clearly designated; tantamount to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the
LEVY D. MACASIANO, Brigadier General/PNP
trial judge in issuing the assailed order.
Superintendent, Metropolitan Traffic
Command, petitioner, 4. That the use of the vending areas
vs. shall be temporary and shall be closed The sole issue to be resolved in this case is whether or not
HONORABLE ROBERTO C. DIOKNO, Presiding Judge, once the reclaimed areas are developed an ordinance or resolution issued by the municipal council of
Branch 62, Regional Trial Court of Makati, Metro Manila, and donated by the Public Estate Paraaque authorizing the lease and use of public streets or
MUNICIPALITY OF PARAAQUE, METRO MANILA, Authority. thoroughfares as sites for flea markets is valid.
PALANYAG KILUSANG BAYAN FOR
SERVICE,respondents.
On June 20, 1990, the municipal council of Paraaque The Solicitor General, in behalf of petitioner, contends that
issued a resolution authorizing Paraaque Mayor Walfrido N. municipal roads are used for public service and are therefore
MEDIALDEA, J.: Ferrer to enter into contract with any service cooperative for public properties; that as such, they cannot be subject to
the establishment, operation, maintenance and management private appropriation or private contract by any person, even
of flea markets and/or vending areas. by the respondent Municipality of Paraaque. Petitioner
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of
submits that a property already dedicated to public use
Court seeking the annulment of the decision of the Regional
cannot be used for another public purpose and that absent a
Trial Court of Makati, Branch 62, which granted the writ of On August 8, 1990, respondent municipality and respondent
clear showing that the Municipality of Paraaque has been
preliminary injunction applied for by respondents Municipality Palanyag, a service cooperative, entered into an agreement
granted by the legislature specific authority to convert a
of Paraaque and Palanyag Kilusang Bayan for Service whereby the latter shall operate, maintain and manage the
property already in public use to another public use,
(Palanyag for brevity) against petitioner herein. flea market in the aforementioned streets with the obligation
respondent municipality is, therefore, bereft of any authority
to remit dues to the treasury of the municipal government of
to close municipal roads for the establishment of a flea
Paraaque. Consequently, market stalls were put up by
The antecedent facts are as follows: market. Petitioner also submits that assuming that the
respondent Palanyag on the said streets.
respondent municipality is authorized to close streets, it
failed to comply with the conditions set forth by the
On June 13, 1990, the respondent municipality passed
On September 13, 1990, petitioner Brig. Gen. Macasiano, Metropolitan Manila Authority for the approval of the
Ordinance No. 86, Series of 1990 which authorized the ordinance providing for the establishment of flea markets on
PNP Superintendent of the Metropolitan Traffic Command,
closure of J. Gabriel, G.G. Cruz, Bayanihan, Lt. Garcia public streets. Lastly, petitioner contends that by allowing the
ordered the destruction and confiscation of stalls along G.G.
Extension and Opena Streets located at Baclaran, municipal streets to be used by market vendors the
Cruz and J. Gabriel St. in Baclaran. These stalls were later
Paraaque, Metro Manila and the establishment of a flea municipal council of respondent municipality violated its duty
returned to respondent Palanyag.
market thereon. The said ordinance was approved by the under the Local Government Code to promote the general
municipal council pursuant to MMC Ordinance No. 2, Series welfare of the residents of the municipality.
of 1979, authorizing and regulating the use of certain city On October 16, 1990, petitioner Brig. General Macasiano
and/or municipal streets, roads and open spaces within wrote a letter to respondent Palanyag giving the latter ten
Metropolitan Manila as sites for flea market and/or vending (10) days to discontinue the flea market; otherwise, the In upholding the legality of the disputed ordinance, the trial
areas, under certain terms and conditions. market stalls shall be dismantled. court ruled:

On July 20, 1990, the Metropolitan Manila Authority Hence, on October 23, 1990, respondents municipality and . . . that Chanter II Section 10 of the
approved Ordinance No. 86, s. 1990 of the municipal council Palanyag filed with the trial court a joint petition for Local Government Code is a statutory
of respondent municipality subject to the following prohibition and mandamus with damages and prayer for grant of power given to local
conditions: preliminary injunction, to which the petitioner filed his government units, the Municipality of
memorandum/opposition to the issuance of the writ of Paraaque as such, is empowered
preliminary injunction. under that law to close its roads, streets
1. That the aforenamed streets are not
or alley subject to limitations stated
used for vehicular traffic, and that the therein (i.e., that it is in accordance with
majority of the residents do not oppose On October 24, 1990, the trial court issued a temporary existing laws and the provisions of this
the establishment of the flea restraining order to enjoin petitioner from enforcing his letter-
code).
market/vending areas thereon; order of October 16, 1990 pending the hearing on the motion
for writ of preliminary injunction.
xxx xxx xxx
2. That the 2-meter middle road to be
used as flea market/vending area shall On December 17, 1990, the trial court issued an order
be marked distinctly, and that the 2 upholding the validity of Ordinance No. 86 s. 1990 of the The actuation of the respondent Brig.
meters on both sides of the road shall Municipality' of Paraaque and enjoining petitioner Brig. Gen. Levi Macasiano, though apparently
be used by pedestrians; Gen. Macasiano from enforcing his letter-order against within its power is in fact an
respondent Palanyag. encroachment of power legally vested to
the municipality, precisely because
when the municipality enacted the
ordinance in question the authority of this Code, close any barangay, "Francisco V. Dacanay, petitioner v. Mayor Macaria Asistio,
the respondent as Police municipal, city or provincial road, street, Jr., et al., respondents, G.R. No. 93654, May 6, 1992." This
Superintendent ceases to be operative alley, park or square. No such way or Court ruled:
on the ground that the streets covered place or any part of thereof shall be
by the ordinance ceases to be a public close without indemnifying any person
There is no doubt that the disputed
thoroughfare. (pp. 33-34, Rollo) prejudiced thereby. A property thus
areas from which the private
withdrawn from public use may be used
respondents' market stalls are sought to
or conveyed for any purpose for which
We find the petition meritorious. In resolving the question of be evicted are public streets, as found
other real property belonging to the local
whether the disputed municipal ordinance authorizing the by the trial court in Civil Case No. C-
unit concerned might be lawfully used or
flea market on the public streets is valid, it is necessary to 12921. A public street is property for
conveyed. (Emphasis ours).
examine the laws in force during the time the said ordinance public use hence outside the commerce
was enacted, namely, Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, otherwise of man (Arts. 420, 424, Civil Code).
known as Local Government Code, in connection with However, the aforestated legal provision which gives Being outside the commerce of man, it
established principles embodied in the Civil Code an authority to local government units to close roads and other may not be the subject of lease or
property and settled jurisprudence on the matter. similar public places should be read and interpreted in others contract (Villanueva, et al. v.
accordance with basic principles already established by law. Castaeda and Macalino, 15 SCRA 142
These basic principles have the effect of limiting such citing the Municipality of Cavite v. Rojas,
The property of provinces, cities and municipalities is divided
authority of the province, city or municipality to close a public 30 SCRA 602; Espiritu v. Municipal
into property for public use and patrimonial property (Art.
street or thoroughfare. Article 424 of the Civil Code lays Council of Pozorrubio, 102 Phil. 869;
423, Civil Code). As to what consists of property for public
down the basic principle that properties of public dominion And Muyot v. De la Fuente, 48 O.G.
use, Article 424 of Civil Code states:
devoted to public use and made available to the public in 4860).
general are outside the commerce of man and cannot be
Art. 424. Property for public use, in the disposed of or leased by the local government unit to private
As the stallholders pay fees to the City
provinces, cities and municipalities, persons. Aside from the requirement of due process which
Government for the right to occupy
consists of the provincial roads, city should be complied with before closing a road, street or
portions of the public street, the City
streets, the squares, fountains, public park, the closure should be for the sole purpose of
Government, contrary to law, has been
waters, promenades, and public works withdrawing the road or other public property from public use
leasing portions of the streets to them.
for public service paid for by said when circumstances show that such property is no longer
Such leases or licenses are null and
provinces, cities or municipalities. intended or necessary for public use or public service. When
void for being contrary to law. The right
it is already withdrawn from public use, the property then
of the public to use the city streets may
becomes patrimonial property of the local government unit
All other property possessed by any of not be bargained away through contract.
concerned (Article 422, Civil Code; Cebu Oxygen, etc. et al.
them is patrimonial and shall be The interests of a few should not prevail
v. Bercilles, et al., G.R. No. L-40474, August 29, 1975, 66
governed by this Code, without over the good of the greater number in
SCRA 481). It is only then that the respondent municipality
prejudice to the provisions of special the community whose health, peace,
can "use or convey them for any purpose for which other real
laws. safety, good order and general welfare,
property belonging to the local unit concerned might be
the respondent city officials are under
lawfully used or conveyed" in accordance with the last
legal obligation to protect.
Based on the foregoing, J. Gabriel G.G. Cruz, Bayanihan, Lt. sentence of Section 10, Chapter II of Blg. 337, known as
Garcia Extension and Opena streets are local roads used for Local Government Code. In one case, the City Council of
public service and are therefore considered public properties Cebu, through a resolution, declared the terminal road of M. The Executive Order issued by acting
of respondent municipality. Properties of the local Borces Street, Mabolo, Cebu City as an abandoned road, Mayor Robles authorizing the use of
government which are devoted to public service are deemed the same not being included in the City Development Plan. Heroes del '96 Street as a vending area
public and are under the absolute control of Congress Thereafter, the City Council passes another resolution for stallholders who were granted
(Province of Zamboanga del Norte v. City of Zamboanga, L- authorizing the sale of the said abandoned road through licenses by the city government
24440, March 28, 1968, 22 SCRA 1334). Hence, local public bidding. We held therein that the City of Cebu is contravenes the general law that
governments have no authority whatsoever to control or empowered to close a city street and to vacate or withdraw reserves city streets and roads for public
regulate the use of public properties unless specific authority the same from public use. Such withdrawn portion becomes use. Mayor Robles' Executive Order
is vested upon them by Congress. One such example of this patrimonial property which can be the object of an ordinary may not infringe upon the vested right of
authority given by Congress to the local governments is the contract (Cebu Oxygen and Acetylene Co., Inc. v. Bercilles, the public to use city streets for the
power to close roads as provided in Section 10, Chapter II of et al., G.R. No. purpose they were intended to
the Local Government Code, which states: L-40474, August 29, 1975, 66 SCRA 481). However, those serve: i.e., as arteries of travel for
roads and streets which are available to the public in general vehicles and pedestrians.
and ordinarily used for vehicular traffic are still considered
Sec. 10. Closure of roads. A local public property devoted to public use. In such case, the local
government unit may likewise, through Even assuming, in gratia argumenti, that respondent
government has no power to use it for another purpose or to
its head acting pursuant to a resolution dispose of or lease it to private persons. This limitation on municipality has the authority to pass the disputed
of its sangguniang and in accordance the authority of the local government over public properties ordinance, the same cannot be validly implemented because
with existing law and the provisions of it cannot be considered approved by the Metropolitan Manila
has been discussed and settled by this Court en banc in
Authority due to non-compliance by respondent municipality otherwise, have been spent in saving The instant case as well as the Dacanay case, involves an
of the conditions imposed by the former for the approval of properties and lives. ordinance which is void and illegal for lack of basis and
the ordinance, to wit: authority in laws applicable during its time. However, at this
point, We find it worthy to note that Batas Pambansa Blg.
Along G.G. Cruz Street is a hospital, the
337, known as Local Government Lode, has already been
1. That the aforenamed streets are not St. Rita Hospital. However, its
repealed by Republic Act No. 7160 known as Local
used for vehicular traffic, and that the ambulances and the people rushing
Government Code of 1991 which took effect on January 1,
majority of the residents do(es) not their patients to the hospital cannot pass
1992. Section 5(d) of the new Code provides that rights and
oppose the establishment of the flea through G.G. Cruz because of the stalls
obligations existing on the date of effectivity of the new Code
market/vending areas thereon; and the vendors. One can only imagine
and arising out of contracts or any other source of prestation
the tragedy of losing a life just because
involving a local government unit shall be governed by the
of a few seconds delay brought about by
2. That the 2-meter middle road to be original terms and conditions of the said contracts or the law
the inaccessibility of the streets leading
used as flea market/vending area shall in force at the time such rights were vested.
to the hospital.
be marked distinctly, and that the 2
meters on both sides of the road shall
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is GRANTED and the decision
be used by pedestrians; The children, too, suffer. In view of the
of the respondent Regional Trial Court dated December 17,
occupancy of the roads by stalls and
1990 which granted the writ of preliminary injunction
vendors, normal transportation flow is
3. That the time during which the enjoining petitioner as PNP Superintendent, Metropolitan
disrupted and school children have to
vending area is to be used shall be Traffic Command from enforcing the demolition of market
get off at a distance still far from their
clearly designated; stalls along J. Gabriel, G.G. Cruz, Bayanihan, Lt. Garcia
schools and walk, rain or shine.
Extension and Opena streets is hereby RESERVED and
SET ASIDE.
4. That the use of the vending areas
Indeed one can only imagine the
shall be temporary and shall be closed
garbage and litter left by vendors on the
once the reclaimed areas are developed SO ORDERED.
streets at the end of the day. Needless
and donated by the Public Estate
to say, these cause further pollution,
Authority. (p. 38, Rollo)
sickness and deterioration of health of
the residents therein. (pp. 21-22, Rollo)
Respondent municipality has not shown any iota of proof
that it has complied with the foregoing conditions precedent
Respondents do not refute the truth of the foregoing findings
to the approval of the ordinance. The allegations of
and observations of petitioners. Instead, respondents want
respondent municipality that the closed streets were not
this Court to focus its attention solely on the argument that
used for vehicular traffic and that the majority of the
the use of public spaces for the establishment of a flea
residents do not oppose the establishment of a flea market
market is well within the powers granted by law to a local
on said streets are unsupported by any evidence that will
government which should not be interfered with by the
show that this first condition has been met. Likewise, the
courts.
designation by respondents of a time schedule during which
the flea market shall operate is absent.
Verily, the powers of a local government unit are not
absolute. They are subject to limitations laid down by toe
Further, it is of public notice that the streets along Baclaran
Constitution and the laws such as our Civil Code. Moreover,
area are congested with people, houses and traffic brought
the exercise of such powers should be subservient to
about by the proliferation of vendors occupying the streets.
paramount considerations of health and well-being of the
To license and allow the establishment of a flea market
members of the community. Every local government unit has
along J. Gabriel, G.G. Cruz, Bayanihan, Lt. Garcia Extension
the sworn obligation to enact measures that will enhance the
and Opena streets in Baclaran would not help in solving the
public health, safety and convenience, maintain peace and
problem of congestion. We take note of the other
order, and promote the general prosperity of the inhabitants
observations of the Solicitor General when he said:
of the local units. Based on this objective, the local
government should refrain from acting towards that which
. . . There have been many instances of might prejudice or adversely affect the general welfare.
emergencies and fires where
ambulances and fire engines, instead of
As what we have said in the Dacanay case, the general
using the roads for a more direct access
public have a legal right to demand the demolition of the
to the fire area, have to maneuver and
illegally constructed stalls in public roads and streets and the
look for other streets which are not
officials of respondent municipality have the corresponding
occupied by stalls and vendors thereby
duty arising from public office to clear the city streets and
losing valuable time which could,
restore them to their specific public purpose.
Pamilyang Pilipino Program" (4Ps), upon the following stated e) Children 6-14 years of age are enrolled in
objectives, to wit: schools and attend at least 85% of the time10

1. To improve preventive health care of pregnant Under A.O. No. 16, s. 2008, the DSWD also institutionalized
women and young children a coordinated inter-agency network among the Department
of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH),
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the
2. To increase enrollment/attendance of children
National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and the local
at elementary level
government units (LGUs), identifying specific roles and
functions in order to ensure effective and efficient
G.R. No. 195770 July 17, 2012
3. To reduce incidence of child labor implementation of the CCTP. As the DSWD takes on the role
of lead implementing agency that must "oversee and
AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL, JR., SERGIO TADEO and coordinate the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of
4. To raise consumption of poor households on
NELSON ALCANTARA, Petitioners, the program," the concerned LGU as partner agency is
nutrient dense foods particularly tasked to
vs.
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA and
SECRETARY CORAZON JULIANO-SOLIMAN OF THE 5. To encourage parents to invest in their
a. Ensure availability of the supply side on health
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE and children's (and their own) future and education in the target areas.
DEVELOPMENT (DSWD), Respondents.
6. To encourage parent's participation in the
b. Provide necessary technical assistance for
PERLAS-BERNABE, J.: growth and development of young children, as well Program implementation
as involvement in the community.6
The Case
c. Coordinate the
This government intervention scheme, also conveniently implementation/operationalization of sectoral
referred to as CCTP, "provides cash grant to extreme poor
For the Courts consideration in this Petition for Certiorari activities at the City/Municipal level to better
households to allow the members of the families to meet
and Prohibition is the constitutionality of certain provisions of execute Program objectives and functions
certain human development goals."7
Republic Act No. 10147 or the General Appropriations Act
(GAA) of 20111 which provides a P21 Billion budget d. Coordinate with various concerned government
allocation for the Conditional Cash Transfer Program Eligible households that are selected from priority target
agencies at the local level, sectoral
(CCTP) headed by the Department of Social Welfare & areas consisting of the poorest provinces classified by the representatives and NGO to ensure effective
Development (DSWD). Petitioners seek to enjoin National Statistical Coordination Board (NCSB)8 are granted Program implementation
respondents Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa and a health assistance of P500.00/month, or P6,000.00/year,
DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman from and an educational assistance of P300.00/month for 10
implementing the said program on the ground that it months, or a total of P3,000.00/year, for each child but up to e. Prepare reports on issues and concerns
amounts to a "recentralization" of government functions that a maximum of three children per family.9 Thus, after an regarding Program implementation and submit to
have already been devolved from the national government to assessment on the appropriate assistance package, a the Regional Advisory Committee, and
the local government units. household beneficiary could receive from the government an
annual subsidy for its basic needs up to an amount of
f. Hold monthly committee meetings11
P15,000.00, under the following conditionalities:
The Facts
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)12 executed by the
a) Pregnant women must get pre natal care
In 2007, the DSWD embarked on a poverty reduction DSWD with each participating LGU outlines in detail the
starting from the 1st trimester, child birth is
strategy with the poorest of the poor as target obligation of both parties during the intended five-year
attended by skilled/trained professional, get post
beneficiaries.2 Dubbed "Ahon Pamilyang Pilipino," it was pre- implementation of the CCTP.
natal care thereafter
pilot tested in the municipalities of Sibagat and Esperanza in
Agusan del Sur; the municipalities of Lopez Jaena and
Congress, for its part, sought to ensure the success of the
Bonifacio in Misamis Occidental, the Caraga Region; and the b) Parents/guardians must attend family planning
CCTP by providing it with funding under the GAA of 2008 in
cities of Pasay and Caloocan3 upon the release of the sessions/mother's class, Parent Effectiveness
the amount of Two Hundred Ninety-Eight Million Five
amount of P50 Million Pesos under a Special Allotment Service and others
Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (P298,550,000.00). This
Release Order (SARO) issued by the Department of Budget
budget allocation increased tremendously to P5 Billion
and Management.4
c) Children 0-5 years of age get regular preventive Pesos in 2009, with the amount doubling to P10 Billion
health check-ups and vaccines Pesos in 2010. But the biggest allotment given to the CCTP
On July 16, 2008, the DSWD issued Administrative Order was in the GAA of 2011 at Twenty One Billion One Hundred
No. 16, series of 2008 (A.O. No. 16, s. 2008),5 setting the Ninety-Four Million One Hundred Seventeen Thousand
d) Children 3-5 years old must attend day care Pesos (P21,194,117,000.00).131wphi1
implementing guidelines for the project renamed "Pantawid
program/pre-school
Petitioner Aquilino Pimentel, Jr., a former Senator, joined by responsibilities, and resources, and provide for the (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection
Sergio Tadeo, incumbent President of the Association of qualifications, election, appointment and removal, term, (b) hereof, public works and infrastructure projects
Barangay Captains of Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, and salaries, powers and functions and duties of local officials, and other facilities, programs and services funded
Nelson Alcantara, incumbent Barangay Captain of Barangay and all other matters relating to the organization and by the National Government under the annual
Sta. Monica, Quezon City, challenges before the Court the operation of the local units. General Appropriations Act, other special laws,
disbursement of public funds and the implementation of the pertinent executive orders, and those wholly or
CCTP which are alleged to have encroached into the local partially funded from foreign sources, are not
xxx
autonomy of the LGUs. covered under this Section, except in those cases
where the local government unit concerned is duly
Section 14. The President shall provide for regional designated as the implementing agency for such
The Issue
development councils or other similar bodies composed of projects, facilities, programs and services.
local government officials, regional heads of departments (Underscoring supplied)
THE P21 BILLION CCTP BUDGET ALLOCATION UNDER and other government offices, and representatives from non-
THE DSWD IN THE GAA FY 2011 VIOLATES ART. II, SEC. governmental organizations within the regions for purposes
The essence of this express reservation of power by the
25 & ART. X, SEC. 3 OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION IN of administrative decentralization to strengthen the
national government is that, unless an LGU is particularly
RELATION TO SEC. 17 OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT autonomy of the units therein and to accelerate the
designated as the implementing agency, it has no power
CODE OF 1991 BY PROVIDING FOR THE economic and social growth and development of the units in
over a program for which funding has been provided by the
RECENTRALIZATION OF THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT the region. (Underscoring supplied)
national government under the annual general
IN THE DELIVERY OF BASIC SERVICES ALREADY
appropriations act, even if the program involves the delivery
DEVOLVED TO THE LGUS.
In order to fully secure to the LGUs the genuine and of basic services within the jurisdiction of the LGU.
meaningful autonomy that would develop them into self-
Petitioners admit that the wisdom of adopting the CCTP as a reliant communities and effective partners in the attainment
The Court held in Ganzon v. Court of Appeals 17 that while it
poverty reduction strategy for the Philippines is with the of national goals,16 Section 17 of the Local Government
is through a system of decentralization that the State shall
legislature. They take exception, however, to the manner by Code vested upon the LGUs the duties and functions
promote a more responsive and accountable local
which it is being implemented, that is, primarily through a pertaining to the delivery of basic services and facilities, as
government structure, the concept of local autonomy does
national agency like DSWD instead of the LGUs to which the follows:
not imply the conversion of local government units into "mini-
responsibility and functions of delivering social welfare,
states."18 We explained that, with local autonomy, the
agriculture and health care services have been devolved
SECTION 17. Basic Services and Facilities. Constitution did nothing more than "to break up the
pursuant to Section 17 of Republic Act No. 7160, also known
monopoly of the national government over the affairs of the
as the Local Government Code of 1991, in relation to
local government" and, thus, did not intend to sever "the
Section 25, Article II & Section 3, Article X of the 1987 (a) Local government units shall endeavor to be relation of partnership and interdependence between the
Constitution. self-reliant and shall continue exercising the central administration and local government units."19 In
powers and discharging the duties and functions Pimentel v. Aguirre,20 the Court defined the extent of the
currently vested upon them. They shall also
Petitioners assert that giving the DSWD full control over the local government's autonomy in terms of its partnership with
discharge the functions and responsibilities of the national government in the pursuit of common national
identification of beneficiaries and the manner by which
national agencies and offices devolved to them goals, referring to such key concepts as integration and
services are to be delivered or conditionalities are to be
pursuant to this Code. Local government units
complied with, instead of allocating the P21 Billion CCTP coordination. Thus:
shall likewise exercise such other powers and
Budget directly to the LGUs that would have enhanced its
discharge such other functions and responsibilities
delivery of basic services, results in the "recentralization" of
as are necessary, appropriate, or incidental to Under the Philippine concept of local autonomy, the national
basic government functions, which is contrary to the
efficient and effective provision of the basic government has not completely relinquished all its powers
precepts of local autonomy and the avowed policy of
services and facilities enumerated herein. over local governments, including autonomous regions. Only
decentralization.
administrative powers over local affairs are delegated to
political subdivisions. The purpose of the delegation is to
(b) Such basic services and facilities include, but make governance more directly responsive and effective at
Our Ruling
are not limited to, x x x. the local levels. In turn, economic, political and social
development at the smaller political units are expected to
The Constitution declares it a policy of the State to ensure propel social and economic growth and development. But to
While the aforementioned provision charges the
the autonomy of local governments14 and even devotes a full enable the country to develop as a whole, the programs and
LGUs to take on the functions and responsibilities
article on the subject of local governance15 which includes
that have already been devolved upon them from policies effected locally must be integrated and coordinated
the following pertinent provisions: towards a common national goal. Thus, policy-setting for the
the national agencies on the aspect of providing
for basic services and facilities in their respective entire country still lies in the President and Congress.
Section 3. The Congress shall enact a local government jurisdictions, paragraph (c) of the same provision
code which shall provide for a more responsive and provides a categorical exception of cases involving Certainly, to yield unreserved power of governance to the
accountable local government structure instituted through a nationally-funded projects, facilities, programs and local government unit as to preclude any and all involvement
system of decentralization with effective mechanisms of services, thus:
by the national government in programs implemented in the
recall, initiative, and referendum, allocate among the local level would be to shift the tide of monopolistic power to
different local government units their powers,
the other extreme, which would amount to a decentralization SO ORDERED.
of power explicated in Limbona v. Mangelin21 as beyond our
constitutional concept of autonomy, thus:

Now, autonomy is either decentralization of administration or


decentralization of power.1wphi1 There is decentralization
of administration when the central government delegates
administrative powers to political subdivisions in order to
broaden the base of government power and in the process
to make local governments more responsive and
accountable and ensure their fullest development as self-
reliant communities and make them more effective partners
in the pursuit of national development and social progress.
At the same time, it relieves the central government of the
burden of managing local affairs and enables it to
concentrate on national concerns. The President exercises
general supervision over them, but only to ensure that local
affairs are administered according to law. He has no control
over their acts in the sense that he can substitute their
judgments with his own.

Decentralization of power, on the other hand, involves an


abdication of political power in the [sic] favor of local
governments [sic] units declared to be autonomous. In that
case, the autonomous government is free to chart its own
destiny and shape its future with minimum intervention from
central authorities. According to a constitutional author,
decentralization of power amounts to self-immolation, since
in that event, the autonomous government becomes
accountable not to the central authorities but to its
constituency.22

Indeed, a 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.

Every law has in its favor the presumption of


constitutionality, and to justify its nullification, there must be
a clear and unequivocal breach of the Constitution, not a
doubtful and argumentative one.23 Petitioners have failed to
discharge the burden of proving the invalidity of the
provisions under the GAA of 2011. The allocation of a P21
billion budget for an intervention program formulated by the
national government itself but implemented in partnership
with the local government units to achieve the common
national goal development and social progress can by no
means be an encroachment upon the autonomy of local
governments.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby


DISMISSED.
G.R. No. L-24661 February 28, 1974 agents, employees, assistants and all persons acting instance dismissing their petition for injunction
under them; HON. BENJAMIN GOZON, Administrator, and mandamus to enjoin the demolition of their houses and
Land Reform Authority substituted by HON CONRADO the ejectment from the public lots in question and to direct
BENJAMIN RABUCO, VENANCIO G. GUIRNALDA,
ESTRELLA as Secretary of the Department of Agrarian respondent administrator of the Land Authority (now
LEODEGARIO ALOBA, ELEUTERIO IBAES, ROGELIO
Reforms and his agents, employees, assistants and all Secretary of Agrarian Reform) to implement the provisions of
ARAGONES, ASENCIO ABANCO, BENEDICTO
persons acting under his orders, respondent. 1 Republic Act 3120 for the subdivision and sale on installment
BAUTISTA, MAXIMO AQUINO, PAULINA DALUMIAS,
basis of the subdivided lots to them as the tenants and bona
NENITA RAMOS, GUILLERMO VARIAS, EMELDA
fide occupants thereof, and instead ordering their ejectment.
ARELLANO, PEDRO BILBAO, ERNESTO BONBALES, G.R. No. L-24915 February 28, 1974
ROSITA OCA BAUTISTA, TERESITA ESTEBAN, JOSE
BENJAMIN, LORENZO BELDEVER, LEODEGARIO Case L-24915 involves petitioners' independent petition for
BENJAMIN RABUCO, et al., (the same co-petitioners in
TUMLOS, PATRICIO MALATE, ANSELMO CORTEJOS, injunction filed directly with the Court of Appeals January 29,
L-24661), petitioners,
ANACLETA ADUCA, SALOME BARCELONA, ENRICO 1965 5 to forestall the demolition overnight of their houses
vs.
CELSO, IRENE CAMBA, MARIA COLLADO, RUFINO pursuant to the order of demolition set for January 30, 1965
HON. ANTONIO J. VILLEGAS substituted by HON.
CANTIL, ANANIAS CANILLO, MAXIMO DE CASTRO, at 8 a.m. issued by respondents city officials pending the
RAMON BAGATSING as CITY MAYOR OF MANILA, et al.,
CEFERINO SALAZAR, PATRIA ANAYA, FELISA elevation of their appeal. The appellate court gave due
(the same co-respondents in L-24661), respondents.
VELASCO, IGNACIO SARASPI, FLAVIO DINAGUIT, course thereto and issued the writ of preliminary injunction
REMEDIOS BAROMETRO, PEDRO GEBANIA, RUBEN as prayed for.
GEGABALEN, EMETRIO EDAO, LUCIANO ARAGONES, G.R. No. L-24916 February 28, 1974
ADRIANO ESTRELLADO, BONIFACIO EVARISTO,
The two cases were ordered "consolidated into one" since
ISIDORO EDORIA, TIMOTEA ECARUAN, BIENVENIDO
BENJAMIN RABUCO, et al. (the same co-petitioners in L- they were "unavoidably interlaced." The appellate court,
COLLADO, CENON DAJUYA, RAFAELA FERNANDEZ,
24661), petitioners-appellants, finding that the constitutionality of Republic Act 3120 was
ALFONSO FAUSTINO, AVELINO GARCIA, RICARDO
vs. "the dominant and inextricable issue in the appeal" over
GUIRNALDA, FRANCISCO HENERAL, CARMEN
HON. ANTONIO J. VILLEGAS substituted by HON. which it had no jurisdiction and that the trial court incorrectly
KIONESALA, FELICIANO LUMACTOD, DOLORES
RAMON BAGATSING as CITY MAYOR OF MANILA, et al., "sidetracked" the issue, thereafter certified the said cases to
VILLACAMPA, NARCISO LIM, EUFEMIO LEGASPI,
(the same co-respondents in L-24661), respondents- this Court, as follows:
MATILDE MABAQUIAO, EULOGIO VIA, MACARIO
ANTONIO, JEREMIAS DE LA CRUZ, MARTIN appellees.
MANGABAN, SIMEON MANGABA T., CARIDAD MER The validity of Republic Act 3120 which
MILLA, FELIX MAHINAY, NAPOLEON MARZAN, ISAIAS TEEHANKEE, J.:p was seasonably posed in issue in the
MANALASTAS, JOSEFA CORVERA, JOSE APRUEDO, court below was sidetracked by the trial
ARSENIO REYES, EUGENIA A. ONO, CORNELIO court, thus:
OPOLENCIA, SEDECIAS PASCUA, ABUNDIO The Court herein upholds the constitutionality of Republic
PAGUNTALAN, ESPERANZA DE QUIROS, CRESENCIO Act 3120 on the strength of the established doctrine that the
SALEM, MOISES FERNANDEZ, FORTUNATO subdivision of communal land of the State (although titled in The constitutionality
GONZALES, SOCORRO R. VALEN, RODOLFO the name of the municipal corporation) and conveyance of of Republic Act No.
COLLADO, VENERIO CELSO, GREGORIO DE LA CRUZ, the resulting subdivision lots by sale on installment basis 3120 need not be
CELSO ALCERA, NICOLAS ARAGONES, JOSEFINA to bona fide occupants by Congressional authorization and passed upon as the
MANANSALA, ADELAIDA CALASIN , JOSE AGUSTIN, disposition does not constitute infringements of the due principal question in
TOMAS JOSEPH, MANUEL DADOR, SERGIO LIPATON, process clause or the eminent domain provisions of the issue is whether the
ERNESTO SUMAYDING, MARCELINO DIOSO, MIGUEL Constitution but operates simply as a manifestation of the houses of the
ALCERA, CRISANTA ENAMER, JUAN VIADO HILARION legislature's right of control and power to deal with State petitioners are
CHIOCO, EUROPIA CABAHUG, VICTORIA DUERO, property. public nuisances,
CONSORCIO ENOC, MAMERTO GAMONIDO, which the court
BONIFACIO SABADO, MARIA INTROLIZO, HENRY resolved in the
The origin and background of the cases at bar which deal
ENOLBA, REYNALDO LIM, FORTUNATO LIPON, affirmative. As a
with the decisive issue of constitutionality of Republic Act matter of fact even
ERNESTO MALLOS, FLORENTINA PATRICIO, 3120 enacted on June 17, 1961, as raised by respondent
MAMERTO PALAPALA, RAMON DE PERALTA, JOSE if the petitioners
mayor of Manila in resisting petitioners' pleas that
PARRAS, APOLINARIO YAP, JUAN ROQUE, FELIX were already the
respondent mayor not only lacks the authority to demolish owners of the land
ROQUE, GLICERIA SALAZAR, MIGUELA SABIO, their houses or eject them as tenants and bona fide
AGAPITO SAYAS, PAULINO SARROZA, PACIFICO on which their
occupants of a parcel of land in San Andres, Malate 2 but is
JUANICO, LIBERADO TULAWAN, LIGAYA LAUS, respected houses
also expressly prohibited from doing so by section 2 of the are erected, the
ERNESTO VERZOSA, LEOPOLDO BERNALES, JAIME Act, may be summarized from the Court of
VISTA, ISAIAS AMURAO, BENITA M. BARENG, and respondent city
Appeals' 3 certification of resolution of May 31, 1965 as
BRIGIDA SANCHEZ, petitioners, officials could cause
follows: the removal thereof
vs.
HON. ANTONIO J. VILLEGAS substituted by HON. as they were
RAMON BAGATSING as CITY MAYOR OF MANILA, HON. Case L-24916 involves petitioners' appeal to the Court of constructed in
LADISLAO J. TOLENTINO, City Engineer of Manila, their Appeals 4 from the decision of the Manila court of first violation of city
ordinances and and mandamus, injunction as prayed for enjoining respondents "from
constitute public being vested with demolishing and/or continuing to demolish the houses of
nuisance. lawful possession herein petitioners situated in Lot No. 21-B, Block No. 610 of
over Lot 21-B, the Cadastral Survey of the City of Manila, or from
Block 610, granted performing any act constituting an interference in or
It is significant to note, however, that
by law, Republic disturbance of their present possession."
what is sought by the respondent City
Act No. 3120.
Mayor and City Engineer of Manila is
not only the demolition of the petitioners' The records of two cases certified by the appellate court, L-
houses in the premises in controversy, 2. Civil Case No. 24915 and L-24916, were eventually forwarded to this Court
but their ejectment as well. Moreover, 56092 has not been which per its resolution of August 24, 1965 ordered that they
Republic Act 3120 does intend not only barred by any prior be docketed and be considered together with case L-24661.
the dismissal of the ejectment judgment, as
proceedings against the petitioners from wrongly claimed by
In the early morning of April 19, 1970, a large fire of
the land in controversy upon their respondents-
undetermined origin gutted the Malate area including the lot
motion, but as well that any demolition appellees.
on which petitioners had built their homes and dwellings.
order issued against them shall also
Respondents city officials then took over the lot and kept
have to be dismissed. The law says:
3. Ejectment and petitioners from reconstructing or repairing their burned
demolition against dwellings. At petitioners' instance, the Court issued on June
Upon approval of petitioners- 17, 1970 a temporary restraining order enjoining
this Act no appellants are respondents city officials "from performing any act
ejectment unlawful and clearly constituting an interference in or disturbance of herein
proceedings against prohibited by petitioners' possession of Lot No. 21-B, Block No. 610, of the
any tenants or bona Republic Act No. Cadastral Survey of the City of Manila" as safeguarded them
fide occupant shall 3120. under the Court's subsisting preliminary injunction of August
be instituted and 17, 1965.
any proceedings
The defense of the respondents Mayor
against any such
and City Engineer of Manila to The "dominant and inextricable issue" at bar, as correctly
tenant or bona
arguments 2 and 3 is the invalidity of the perceived by the appellate court is the constitutionality of
fideoccupant shall
said Republic Act 3120 for being in Republic Act 3120 whereby Congress converted the lot in
be dismissed upon
violation of the Constitutional prohibition question together with another lot in San Andres, Malate
motion of the
against the deprivation of property "which are reserved as communal property" into "disposable
defendant. Provided
without due process of law and without or alienable lands of the State to be placed under the
, That any
just compensation. So that even if administration and disposal of the Land Tenure
demolition order
argument 2 interposed by the Administration" for subdivision into small lots not exceeding
directed against any
petitioners-appellants should be 120 square meters per lot for sale on installment basis to the
tenant or bona
rejected, still they may claim a right, by tenants or bona fide occupants thereof 6and expressly
fide occupant
virtue of the aforesaid provisions of prohibited ejectment and demolition of petitioners' homes
thereof, shall be
Republic Act 3120, to continue under section 2 of the Act as quoted in the appellate court's
dismissed. (Sec. 2,
possession and occupation of the certification resolution, supra.
R. A. 3120).
premises and the lifting of the order of
demolition issued against them. The
The incidental issue seized upon by the trial court as a main
Indeed, the petitioners-appellants, who constitutionality of the said Republic Act
issue for "sidetracking" the decisive issue of constitutionality,
contended in the court below that it was 3120, therefore, becomes the dominant
to wit, that petitioners' houses as they stood at the time of its
not necessary to decide on the validity and inextricable issue of the appeal.
judgment in 1965 "were constructed in violation of city
or constitutionality of the law, now
ordinances and constituted public nuisances" whose removal
asseverate that 'Republic Act No. 3120
Case L-24661 for the continuation and maintenance of the could be ordered "even if petitioners were already the
expressly prohibits ejectment and
writ of preliminary injunction previously issued by the Court owners of the land on which their respective houses are
demolition of petitioners' home.' The
of Appeals for preservation of the status quo was filed by erected" has become moot with the burning down of the
petitioners' argument in their appeal to
petitioners directly with this Court on June 21, 1965, pending petitioners' houses in the fire of April 19, 1970.
this Court runs as follows:
transmittal of the records of Cases L-24915 and L-24916 to
this Court as certified by the Court of Appeals which
If the Act is invalid and unconstitutional for constituting
1. Petitioners- declared itself without jurisdiction over the principal and
deprivation of property without due process of law and
appellants are decisive issue of constitutionality of Republic Act 3120.
without just compensation as contended by respondents city
entitled to the
officials, then the trial court's refusal to enjoin ejectment and
remedies of
The Court gave due course thereto and on August 17, 1965 demolition of petitioners' houses may be upheld. Otherwise,
injunction
issued upon a P1,000 bond the writ of preliminary petitioners' right under the Act to continue possession and
occupation of the premises and to the lifting and dismissal of There as here, the Court holds that the Acts in question
the order of demolition issued against them must be (Republic Acts 4118 in Salas and Republic Act 3120 in the
enforced and the trial court's judgment must be set aside. case at bar) were intended to implement the social justice
policy of the Constitution and the government program of
land for the landless and that they were not "intended to
Respondents city officials' contention that the Act must be
expropriate the property involved but merely to confirm its
stricken down as unconstitutional for depriving the city of
character as communal land of the State and to make it
Manila of the lots in question and providing for their sale in
available for disposition by the National Government: ... The
subdivided small lots to bona fide occupants or tenants
subdivision of the land and conveyane of the resulting
without payment of just compensation is untenable and
subdivision lots to the occupants by Congressional
without basis, since the lots in question are manifestly
authorization does not operate as an exercise of the power
owned by the city in its public and governmental capacity
of eminent domain without just compensation in violation of
and are therefore public property over which Congress had
Section 1, subsection (2), Article III of the Constitution, 11 but
absolute control as distinguished from patrimonial property
simply as a manifestationof its right and power to deal
owned by it in its private or proprietarycapacity of which it
with state property." 12
could not be deprived without due process and without just
compensation. 7
Since the challenge of respondents city officials against the
constitutionality of Republic Act 3120 must fail as the City
Here, Republic Act 3120 expressly declared that the
was not deprived thereby of anything it owns by acquisition
properties were "reserved as communal property" and
with its private or corporate funds either under the due
ordered their conversion into "disposable and alienable lands
process clause or under the eminent domain provisions of
of the State" for sale in small lots to the bona fide occupants
the Constitution, the provisions of said Act must be enforced
thereof. It is established doctrine that the act of classifying
and petitioners are entitled to the injunction as prayed for
State property calls for the exercise of wide discretionary
implementing the Act's prohibition against their ejectment
legislative power which will not be interfered with by the
and demolition of their houses.
courts.

WHEREFORE, the appealed decision of the lower court (in


The case of Salas vs. Jarencio 8 wherein the Court upheld
Case No. L-24916) is hereby set aside, and the preliminary
the constitutionality of Republic Act 4118 whereby Congress
injunction heretofore issued on August 17, 1965 is hereby
in identical terms as in Republic Act 3120 likewise converted
made permanent. The respondent Secretary of Agrarian
another city lot (Lot 1-B-2-B of Block 557 of the cadastral
Reform as successor agency of the Land Tenure
survey of Manila also in Malate) which was reserved as
Administration may now proceed with the due
communal property into disposable land of the State for
implementation of Republic Act 3120 in accordance with its
resale in small lots by the Land Tenure, Administration to the
terms and provisions. No costs.
bona fide occupants is controlling in the case at bar.

The Court therein reaffirmed the established general rule


that "regardless of the source or classification of land in the
possession of a municipality, excepting those acquired with
its own funds in its private or corporate capacity, such
property is held in trust for the State for the benefit of its
inhabitants, whether it be for governmental or proprietary
purposes. It holds such lands subject to the paramount
power of the legislature to dispose of the same, for after all it
owes its creation to it as an agent for the performance of a
part of its public work, the municipality being but a
subdivision or instrumentality thereof for purposes of local
administration. Accordingly, the legal situation is the same
as if the State itself holds the property and puts it to a
different use" 9 and stressed that "the property, as has been
previously shown, was not acquired by the City of Manila
with its own funds in its private or proprietary capacity. That
it has in its name a registered title is not questioned, but this
title should be deemed to be held in trust for the State as the
land covered thereby was part of the territory of the City of
Manila granted by the sovereign upon its creation." 10
G.R. No. 103125 May 17, 1993 WHEREAS, there are Code (B.P. Blg. 337) and that the expropriations are for a
contiguous/adjacent properties to be public purpose.
(sic) present Provincial Capitol Site
PROVINCE OF CAMARINES SUR, represented by GOV.
ideally suitable to establish the same
LUIS R. VILLAFUERTE and HON. BENJAMIN V. PANGA Asked by the Court of Appeals to give his Comment to the
pilot development center;
as Presiding Judge of RTC Branch 33 at Pili, Camarines petition, the Solicitor General stated that under Section 9 of
Sur, petitioners, the Local Government Code (B.P. Blg. 337), there was no
vs. WHEREFORE . . . . need for the approval by the Office of the President of the
THE COURT OF APPEALS (THIRD DIVISION), ERNESTO exercise by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the right of
SAN JOAQUIN and EFREN SAN JOAQUIN,respondents. eminent domain. However, the Solicitor General expressed
Pursuant to the Resolution, the Province of Camarines Sur,
the view that the Province of Camarines Sur must first
through its Governor, Hon. Luis R.Villafuerte, filed two
secure the approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform of
QUIASON, J.: separate cases for expropriation against Ernesto N. San
the plan to expropriate the lands of petitioners for use as a
Joaquin and Efren N. San Joaquin, docketed as Special Civil
housing project.
Action Nos. P-17-89 and P-19-89 of the Regional Trial Court,
In this appeal by certiorari from the decision of the Court of
Pili, Camarines Sur, presided by the Hon. Benjamin V.
Appeals in AC-G.R. SP No. 20551 entitled "Ernesto N. San
Panga. The Court of Appeals set aside the order of the trial court,
Joaquin, et al., v. Hon. Benjamin V. Panga, et al.," this Court
allowing the Province of Camarines Sur to take possession
is asked to decide whether the expropriation of agricultural
of private respondents' lands and the order denying the
lands by local government units is subject, to the prior Forthwith, the Province of Camarines Sur filed a motion for
admission of the amended motion to dismiss. It also ordered
approval of the Secretary of the Agrarian Reform, as the the issuance of writ of possession. The San Joaquins failed
the trial court to suspend the expropriation proceedings until
implementator of the agrarian reform program. to appear at the hearing of the motion.
after the Province of Camarines Sur shall have submitted the
requisite approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform to
On December 22, 1988, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of The San Joaquins moved to dismiss the complaints on the convert the classification of the property of the private
the Province of Camarines Sur passed Resolution No. 129, ground of inadequacy of the price offered for their property. respondents from agricultural to non-agricultural land.
Series of 1988, authorizing the Provincial Governor to In an order dated December 6, 1989, the trial court denied
purchase or expropriate property contiguous to the provincial the motion to dismiss and authorized the Province of
Hence this petition.
capitol site, in order to establish a pilot farm for non-food and Camarines Sur to take possession of the property upon the
non-traditional agricultural crops and a housing project for deposit with the Clerk of Court of the amount of P5,714.00,
provincial government employees. the amount provisionally fixed by the trial court to answer for It must be noted that in the Court of Appeals, the San
damages that private respondents may suffer in the event Joaquins asked for: (i) the dismissal of the complaints for
that the expropriation cases do not prosper. The trial court expropriation on the ground of the inadequacy of the
The "WHEREAS" clause o:f the Resolution states:
issued a writ of possession in an order dated January18, compensation offered for the property and (ii) the nullification
1990. of Resolution No. 129, Series of 1988 of the Sangguniang
WHEREAS, the province of Camarines Panlalawigan of the Province of Camarines Sur.
Sur has adopted a five-year
The San Joaquins filed a motion for relief from the order,
Comprehensive Development plan,
authorizing the Province of Camarines Sur to take The Court of Appeals did not rule on the validity of the
some of the vital components of which
possession of their property and a motion to admit an questioned resolution; neither did it dismiss the complaints.
includes the establishment of model and
amended motion to dismiss. Both motions were denied in However, when the Court of Appeals ordered the
pilot farm for non-food and non-
the order dated February 1990. suspension of the proceedings until the Province of
traditional agricultural crops, soil testing
Camarines Sur shall have obtained the authority of the
and tissue culture laboratory centers, 15
Department of Agrarian Reform to change the classification
small scale technology soap making, In their petition before the Court of Appeals, the San
of the lands sought to be expropriated from agricultural to
small scale products of plaster of paris, Joaquins asked: (a) that Resolution No. 129, Series of 1988
non-agricultural use, it assumed that the resolution is valid
marine biological and sea farming of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan be declared null and void;
and that the expropriation is for a public purpose or public
research center,and other progressive (b) that the complaints for expropriation be dismissed; and
use.
feasibility concepts objective of which is (c) that the order dated December 6, 1989 (i) denying the
to provide the necessary scientific and motion to dismiss and (ii) allowing the Province of
technology know-how to farmers and Camarines Sur to take possession of the property subject of Modernly, there has been a shift from the literal to a broader
fishermen in Camarines Sur and to the expropriation and the order dated February 26, 1990, interpretation of "public purpose" or "public use" for which
establish a housing project for provincial denying the motion to admit the amended motion to dismiss, the power of eminent domain may be exercised. The old
government employees; be set aside. They also asked that an order be issued to concept was that the condemned property must actually be
restrain the trial court from enforcing the writ of possession, used by the general public (e.g. roads, bridges, public
and thereafter to issue a writ of injunction. plazas, etc.) before the taking thereof could satisfy the
WHEREAS, the province would need
constitutional requirement of "public use". Under the new
additional land to be acquired either by
concept, "public use" means public advantage, convenience
purchase or expropriation to implement In its answer to the petition, the Province of Camarines Sur
or benefit, which tends to contribute to the general welfare
the above program component; claimed that it has the authority to initiate the expropriation
and the prosperity of the whole community, like a resort
proceedings under Sections 4 and 7 of Local Government
complex for tourists or housing project (Heirs of Juancho
Ardano v. Reyes, 125 SCRA 220 [1983]; Sumulong v. local government units exercise such power only by the beneficiary shall have fully paid his
Guerrero, 154 SC.RA 461 [1987]). delegation. (Comment, pp. 14-15; Rollo, pp. 128-129) obligation.

The expropriation of the property authorized by the It is true that local government units have no inherent power The opening, adverbial phrase of the provision sends signals
questioned resolution is for a public purpose. The of eminent domain and can exercise it only when expressly that it applies to lands previously placed under the agrarian
establishment of a pilot development center would inure to authorized by the legislature (City of Cincinnati v. Vester, 28l reform program as it speaks of "the lapse of five (5) years
the direct benefit and advantage of the people of the US 439, 74 L.ed. 950, 50 SCt. 360). It is also true that in from its award."
Province of Camarines Sur. Once operational, the center delegating the power to expropriate, the legislature may
would make available to the community invaluable retain certain control or impose certain restraints on the
The rules on conversion of agricultural lands found in
information and technology on agriculture, fishery and the exercise thereof by the local governments (Joslin Mfg. Co. v.
Section 4 (k) and 5 (1) of Executive Order No. 129-A, Series
cottage industry. Ultimately, the livelihood of the farmers, Providence, 262 US 668 67 L. ed. 1167, 43 S Ct. 684).
of 1987, cannot be the source of the authority of the
fishermen and craftsmen would be enhanced. The housing While such delegated power may be a limited authority, it is
Department of Agrarian Reform to determine the suitability of
project also satisfies the public purpose requirement of the complete within its limits. Moreover, the limitations on the
a parcel of agricultural land for the purpose to which it would
Constitution. As held in Sumulong v. Guerrero, 154 SCRA exercise of the delegated power must be clearly expressed,
be devoted by the expropriating authority. While those rules
461, "Housing is a basic human need. Shortage in housing is either in the law conferring the power or in other legislations.
vest on the Department of Agrarian Reform the exclusive
a matter of state concern since it directly and significantly
authority to approve or disapprove conversions of
affects public health, safety, the environment and in sum the
Resolution No. 129, Series of 1988, was promulgated agricultural lands for residential, commercial or industrial
general welfare."
pursuant to Section 9 of B.P. Blg. 337, the Local uses, such authority is limited to the applications for
Government Code, which provides: reclassification submitted by the land owners or tenant
It is the submission of the Province of Camarines Sur that its beneficiaries.
exercise of the power of eminent domain cannot be
A local government unit may, through its
restricted by the provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian
head and acting pursuant to a resolution Statutes conferring the power of eminent domain to political
Reform Law (R.A. No. 6657), particularly Section 65 thereof,
of its sanggunian exercise the right of subdivisions cannot be broadened or constricted by
which requires the approval of the Department of Agrarian
eminent domain and institute implication (Schulman v. People, 10 N.Y. 2d. 249, 176 N.E.
Reform before a parcel of land can be reclassified from an
condemnation proceedings for public 2d. 817, 219 NYS 2d. 241).
agricultural to a non-agricultural land.
use or purpose.
To sustain the Court of Appeals would mean that the local
The Court of Appeals, following the recommendation of the
Section 9 of B.P. Blg. 337 does not intimate in the least that government units can no longer expropriate agricultural
Solicitor General, held that the Province of Camarines Sur
local government, units must first secure the approval of the lands needed for the construction of roads, bridges, schools,
must comply with the provision of Section 65 of the
Department of Land Reform for the conversion of lands from hospitals, etc, without first applying for conversion of the use
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and must first secure
agricultural to non-agricultural use, before they can institute of the lands with the Department of Agrarian Reform,
the approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform of the
the necessary expropriation proceedings. Likewise, there is because all of these projects would naturally involve a
plan to expropriate the lands of the San Joaquins.
no provision in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law change in the land use. In effect, it would then be the
which expressly subjects the expropriation of agricultural Department of Agrarian Reform to scrutinize whether the
In Heirs of Juancho Ardana v. Reyes, 125 SCRA 220, lands by local government units to the control of the expropriation is for a public purpose or public use.
petitioners raised the issue of whether the Philippine Department of Agrarian Reform. The closest provision of law
Tourism Authority can expropriate lands covered by the that the Court of Appeals could cite to justify the intervention
Ordinarily, it is the legislative branch of the local government
"Operation Land Transfer" for use of a tourist resort complex. of the Department of Agrarian Reform in expropriation
unit that shall determine whether the use of the property
There was a finding that of the 282 hectares sought to be matters is Section 65 of the Comprehensive Agrarian
sought to be expropriated shall be public, the same being an
expropriated, only an area of 8,970 square meters or less Reform Law, which reads:
expression of legislative policy. The courts defer to such
than one hectare was affected by the land reform program
legislative determination and will intervene only when a
and covered by emancipation patents issued by the Ministry
Sec. 65. Conversion of Lands. After particular undertaking has no real or substantial relation to
of Agrarian Reform. While the Court said that there was "no
the lapse of five (5) years from its the public use (United States Ex Rel Tennessee Valley
need under the facts of this petition to rule on whether the
award, when the land ceases to be Authority v. Welch, 327 US 546, 90 L. ed. 843, 66 S Ct 715;
public purpose is superior or inferior to another purpose or
economically feasible and sound for, State ex rel Twin City Bldg. and Invest. Co. v. Houghton, 144
engage in a balancing of competing public interest," it upheld
agricultural purposes, or the locality has Minn. 1, 174 NW 885, 8 ALR 585).
the expropriation after noting that petitioners had failed to
become urbanized and the land will
overcome the showing that the taking of 8,970 square
have a greater economic value for
meters formed part of the resort complex. A fair and There is also an ancient rule that restrictive statutes, no
residential, commercial or industrial
reasonable reading of the decision is that this Court viewed matter how broad their terms are, do not embrace the
purposes, the DAR, upon application of
the power of expropriation as superior to the power to sovereign unless the sovereign is specially mentioned as
the beneficiary or the landowner, with
distribute lands under the land reform program. subject thereto (Alliance of Government Workers v. Minister
due notice to the affected parties, and
of Labor and Employment, 124 SCRA 1 [1983]). The
subject to existing laws, may authorize
Republic of the Philippines, as sovereign, or its political
The Solicitor General denigrated the power to expropriate by the reclassification or conversion of the
subdivisions, as holders of delegated sovereign powers,
the Province of Camarines Sur by stressing the fact that land and its disposition: Provided, That
cannot be bound by provisions of law couched in general
term.

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. This Court has declared as
unconstitutional the Presidential Decrees fixing the just
compensation in expropriation cases to be the value given to
the condemned property either by the owners or the
assessor, whichever was lower ([Export Processing Zone
Authority v. Dulay, 149 SCRA 305 [1987]). As held
in Municipality of Talisay v. Ramirez, 183 SCRA 528 [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.

WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the questioned


decision of the Court of Appeals is set aside insofar as it (a)
nullifies the trial court's order allowing the Province of
Camarines Sur to take possession of private respondents'
property; (b) orders the trial court to suspend the
expropriation proceedings; and (c) requires the Province of
Camarines Sur to obtain the approval of the Department of
Agrarian Reform to convert or reclassify private respondents'
property from agricultural to non-agricultural use.

The decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED insofar


as it sets aside the order of the trial court, denying the
amended motion to dismiss of the private respondents.

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 138896 June 20, 2000 The RTC also dismissed the Complaint when filed before it, Main Issue:
holding that an action for eminent domain affected title to
real property; hence, the value of the property to be
BARANGAY SAN ROQUE, TALISAY, CEBU, petitioner, Jurisdiction over an Expropriation Suit
expropriated would determine whether the case should be
vs.
filed before the MTC or the RTC. Concluding that the action
Heirs of FRANCISCO PASTOR namely: EUGENIO
should have been filed before the MTC since the value of the In support of its appeal, petitioner cites Section 19 (1) of BP
SYLIANCO, TEODORO SYLIANCO, TEODORO
subject property was less than P20,000, the RTC 129, which provides that RTCs shall exercise exclusive
SYLIANCO, ISABEL SYLIANCO, EUGENIA S. ONG,
ratiocinated in this wise: original jurisdiction over "all civil actions in which the subject
LAWRENCE SYLIANCO, LAWSON SYLIANCO, LAWINA
of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation; . . . . ." It
S. NOTARIO, LEONARDO SYLIANCO JR. and LAWFORD
argues that the present action involves the exercise of the
SYLIANCO, respondents. The instant action is for eminent domain. It appears from the
right to eminent domain, and that such right is incapable of
current Tax Declaration of the land involved that its
pecuniary estimation.
assessed value is only One Thousand Seven Hundred Forty
PANGANIBAN, J.:
Pesos (P1,740.00). Pursuant to Section 3, paragraph (3), of
Republic Act No. 7691, all civil actions involving title to, or Respondents, on the other hand, contend that the Complaint
An expropriation suit is incapable of pecuniary estimation. possession of, real property with an assessed value of less for Eminent Domain affects the title to or possession of real
Accordingly, it falls within the jurisdiction of the regional trial than P20,000.00 are within the exclusive original jurisdiction property. Thus, they argue that the case should have been
courts, regardless of the value of the subject property. of the Municipal Trial Courts. In the case at bar, it is within brought before the MTC, pursuant to BP 129 as amended by
the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court Section 3 (3) of RA 7691. This law provides that MTCs shall
of Talisay, Cebu, where the property involved is located. have exclusive original jurisdiction over all civil actions that
The Case
involve title to or possession of real property, the assessed
value of which does not exceed twenty thousand pesos or, in
The instant action for eminent domain or condemnation of
Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing the civil actions in Metro Manila, fifty thousand pesos exclusive
real property is a real action affecting title to or possession of
March 29, 1999 Order1 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees,
real property, hence, it is the assessed value of the property
Cebu City (Branch 58) in Civil Case No. CEB-21978, in litigation expenses and costs.
involved which determines the jurisdiction of the court. That
which it dismissed a Complaint for eminent domain. It ruled the right of eminent domain or condemnation of real,
as follows:
property is included in a real action affecting title to or We agree with the petitioner that an expropriation suit is
possession of real property, is pronounced by retired Justice incapable of pecuniary estimation. The test to determine
Premises considered, the motion to dismiss is hereby Jose Y. Feria, thus, "Real actions are those affecting title to whether it is so was laid down by the Court in this wise:
granted on the ground that this Court has no jurisdiction over or possession of real property. These include partition or
the case. Accordingly, the Orders dated February 19, 1999 condemnation of, or foreclosures of mortgage on, real
property. . . ."5 A review of the jurisprudence of this Court
and February 26, 1999, as well as the Writ of Possession
indicates that in determining whether an action is
issued by virtue of the latter Order are hereby recalled for
one the subject matter of which is not capable of
being without force and effect.2 Aggrieved, petitioner appealed directly to this Court, raising pecuniary estimation, this Court has adopted the
a pure question of law.6 In a Resolution dated July 28, 1999, criterion of first ascertaining the nature of the
Petitioner also challenges the May 14, 1999 Order of the the Court denied the Petition for Review "for being posted principal action or remedy sought. If it is primarily
RTC denying reconsideration. out of time on July 2, 1999, the due date being June 2, 1999, for the recovery of a sum of money, the claim is
as the motion for extension of time to file petition was denied considered capable of pecuniary estimation, and
in the resolution of July 14, 1999."7 In a subsequent whether jurisdiction is in the municipal courts or in
The Facts Resolution dated October 6, 1999, the Court reinstated the the courts of first instance would depend on the
Petition.8 amount of the claim. However, where the basic
Petitioner filed before the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of issue is something other than the right to recover a
Talisay, Cebu (Branch 1)3 a Complaint to expropriate a Issue
sum of money, or where the money claim is purely
property of the respondents. In an Order dated April 8, 1997, incidental to, or a consequence of, the principal
the MTC dismissed the Complaint on the ground of lack of relief sought, like in suits to have the defendant
jurisdiction. It reasoned that "[e]minent domain is an exercise In its Memorandum, petitioner submits this sole issue for the perform his part of the contract (specific
of the power to take private property for public use after consideration of this Court: performance) and in actions for support, or for
payment of just compensation. In an action for eminent annulment of a judgment or to foreclose a
domain, therefore, the principal cause of action is the mortgage, this Court has considered such actions
Which court, MTC or RTC, has jurisdiction over cases for
exercise of such power or right. The fact that the action also as cases where the subject of the litigation may
eminent domain or expropriation where the assessed value
involves real property is merely incidental. An action for not be estimated in terms of money, and are
of the subject property is below Twenty Thousand
eminent domain is therefore within the exclusive original cognizable exclusively by courts of first instance.
(P20,000.00) Pesos?9
jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court and not with this The rationale of the rule is plainly that the second
Court."4 class cases, besides the determination of
This Court's Ruling damages, demand an inquiry into other factors
which the law has deemed to be more within the
Assailed RTC Ruling competence of courts of first instance, which were
The Petition is meritorious. the lowest courts of record at the time that the first
organic laws of the Judiciary were enacted determine the just compensation for it.1avvphi1 This,
allocating jurisdiction (Act 136 of the Philippine however, is merely incidental to the expropriation suit.
Commission of June 11, 1901). 10 Indeed, that amount is determined only after the court is
satisfied with the propriety of the expropriation.
In the present case, an expropriation suit does not involve
the recovery of a sum of money. Rather, it deals with the Verily, the Court held in Republic of the Philippines
exercise by the government of its authority and right to take v. Zurbano that "condemnation proceedings are within the
private property for public use. 11 In National Power jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance," 14 the forerunners of
Corporation v. Jocson, 12 the Court ruled that expropriation the regional trial courts. The said case was decided during
proceedings have two phases: the effectivity of the Judiciary Act of 1948 which, like BP 129
in respect to RTCs, provided that courts of first instance had
original jurisdiction over "all civil actions in which the subject
The first is concerned with the determination of the
of the litigation is not capable of pecuniary
authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of
estimation." 15 The 1997 amendments to the Rules of Court
eminent domain and the propriety of its exercise in
were not intended to change these jurisprudential
the context of the facts involved in the suit. It ends
precedents.
with an order, if not of dismissal of the action, "of
condemnation declaring that the plaintiff has a
lawful right to take the property sought to be We are not persuaded by respondents' argument that the
condemned, for the public use or purpose present action involves the title to or possession of a parcel
described in the complaint, upon the payment of of land. They cite the observation of retired Justice Jose Y.
just compensation to be determined as of the date Feria, an eminent authority in remedial law, that
of the filing of the complaint." An order of condemnation or expropriation proceedings are examples of
dismissal, if this be ordained, would be a final one, real actions that affect the title to or possession of a parcel of
of course, since it finally disposes of the action land. 16
and leaves nothing more to be done by the Court
on the merits. So, too, would an order of
Their reliance is misplaced. Justice Feria sought merely to
condemnation be a final one, for thereafter as the
distinguish between real and personal actions. His
Rules expressly state, in the proceedings before
discussion on this point pertained to the nature of actions,
the Trial Court, "no objection to the exercise of the
not to the jurisdiction of courts. In fact, in his pre-bar
right of condemnation (or the propriety thereof)
lectures, he emphasizes that jurisdiction over eminent
shall be filed or heard."
domain cases is still within the RTCs under the 1997 Rules.

The second phase of the eminent domain action is


To emphasize, the question in the present suit is whether the
concerned with the determination by the court of
government may expropriate private property under the
"the just compensation for the property sought to
given set of circumstances. The government does not
be taken." This is done by the Court with the
dispute respondents' title to or possession of the same.
assistance of not more than three (3)
Indeed, it is not a question of who has a better title or right,
commissioners. The order fixing the just
for the government does not even claim that it has a title to
compensation on the basis of the evidence before,
the property. It merely asserts its inherent sovereign power
and findings of, the commissioners would be final,
to "appropriate and control individual property for the public
too. It would finally dispose of the second stage of
benefit, as the public necessity, convenience or welfare may
the suit, and leave nothing more to be done by the
demand." 17
Court regarding the issue. . . .

WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby GRANTED and the


It should be stressed that the primary consideration in an
assailed Orders SET ASIDE. The Regional Trial Court is
expropriation suit is whether the government or any of its
directed to HEAR the case. No costs.
instrumentalities has complied with the requisites for the
taking of private property. Hence, the courts determine the
authority of the government entity, the necessity of the SO ORDERED.
expropriation, and the observance of due process. 1 In the
main, the subject of an expropriation suit is the government's
exercise of eminent domain, a matter that is incapable of
pecuniary estimation.

True, the value of the property to be expropriated is


estimated in monetary terms, for the court is duty-bound to
G.R. No. 142971 May 7, 2002 they have partially settled the case and in consideration
to be meters thereof they agreed:
expropriated
THE CITY OF CEBU, petitioner,
vs. Tax 03450 1. That the SECOND PARTY hereby conforms to
SPOUSES APOLONIO and BLASA Declaration the intention to [sic] the FIRST PARTY in
DEDAMO, respondents. - expropriating their parcels of land in the above-
cited case as for public purpose and for the benefit
Title No. 31832 of the general public;
DAVIDE, JR., C.J.:

Market P1,666,530.00 2. That the SECOND PARTY agrees to part with


In its petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the value for the the ownership of the subject parcels of land in
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, petitioner City of Cebu whole lot favor of the FIRST PARTY provided the latter will
assails the decision of 11 October 1999 of the Court of
pay just compensation for the same in the amount
Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 592041 affirming the judgment of
Market P100,380.00 determined by the court after due notice and
7 May 1996 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 13, Cebu
value of the hearing;
City, in Civil Case No. CEB-14632, a case for eminent
domain, which fixed the valuation of the land subject thereof Area to be
on the basis of the recommendation of the commissioners expropriated 3. That in the meantime the SECOND PARTY
appointed by it. agrees to receive the amount of ONE MILLION
Assessed P49,960.00 SEVEN HUNDRED EIGHTY SIX THOUSAND
Value FOUR HUNDRED PESOS (1,786,400.00) as
The material operation facts are not disputed.
provisional payment for the subject parcels of
land, without prejudice to the final valuation as
On 17 September 1993, petitioner City of Cebu filed in Civil for a public purpose, i.e., for the construction of a public road maybe determined by the court;
Case No. CEB-14632 a complaint for eminent domain which shall serve as an access/relief road of Gorordo
against respondents spouses Apolonio and Blasa Dedamo. Avenue to extend to the General Maxilum Avenue and the
back of Magellan International Hotel Roads in Cebu City. 4. That the FIRST PARTY in the light of the
The petitioner alleged therein that it needed the following
The lots are the most suitable site for the purpose. The total issuance of the Writ of Possession Order dated
parcels of land of respondents, to wit:
area sought to be expropriated is 1,624 square meters with September 21, 1994 issued by the Honorable
an assessed value of P1,786.400. Petitioner deposited with Court, agreed to take possession over that portion
the Philippine National Bank the amount of P51,156 of the lot sought to be expropriated where the
Lot No. house of the SECOND PARTY was located only
1527 representing 15% of the fair market value of the property to
enable the petitioner to take immediate possession of the after fifteen (15) days upon the receipt of the
property pursuant to Section 19 of R.A. No. 7160.2 SECOND PARTY of the amount of P1,786,400.00;
Area- 1,146 square
meters
Respondents, filed a motion to dismiss the complaint 5. That the SECOND PARTY upon receipt of the
Tax 03472 because the purpose for which their property was to be aforesaid provisional amount, shall turn over to the
Declaration- expropriated was not for a public purpose but for benefit of a FIRST PARTY the title of the lot and within the
single private entity, the Cebu Holdings, Inc. Petitioner could lapse of the fifteen (15) days grace period will
simply buy directly from them the property at its fair market voluntarily demolish their house and the other
Title No 31833
value if it wanted to, just like what it did with the neighboring structure that may be located thereon at their own
lots. Besides, the price offered was very low in light of the expense;
Market P240,660.00
value consideration of P20,000 per square meter, more or less,
which petitioner paid to the neighboring lots. Finally, 6. That the FIRST PARTY and the SECOND
respondents alleged that they have no other land in Cebu PARTY jointly petition the Honorable Court to
Assessed P72,200.00
City. render judgment in said Civil Case No. CEB-
Value
14632 in accordance with this AGREEMENT;
A pre-trial was thereafter had.
7. That the judgment sought to be rendered under
Lot No. On 23 August 1994, petitioner filed a motion for the issuance this agreement shall be followed by a
1528 of a writ of possession pursuant to Section 19 of R.A. No. supplemental judgment fixing the just
7160. The motion was granted by the trial court on 21 compensation for the property of the SECOND
Area- 793 square September 1994.3 PARTY after the Commissioners appointed by this
meters Honorable Court to determine the same shall have
rendered their report and approved by the court.
On 14 December 1994, the parties executed and submitted
Area sought 478 square
to the trial court an Agreement4 wherein they declared that
Pursuant to said agreement, the trial court appointed three On 16 August 1996, the commissioners submitted an SECTION 19. Eminent Domain. A local
commissioners to determine the just compensation of the amended assessment for the 478 square meters of Lot No. government unit may, through its chief executive
lots sought to be expropriated. The commissioners were 1528 and fixed it at P12,824.10 per square meter, or in the and acting pursuant to an ordinance, exercise the
Palermo M. Lugo, who was nominated by petitioner and who amount of P20,826,339.50. The assessment was approved power of eminent domain for public use, or
was designated as Chairman; Alfredo Cisneros, who was as the just compensation thereof by the trial court in its purpose or welfare for the benefit of the poor and
nominated by respondents; and Herbert E. Buot, who was Order of 27 December 1996.6 Accordingly, the dispositive the landless, upon payment of just compensation,
designated by the trial court. The parties agreed to their portion of the decision was amended to reflect the new pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution and
appointment. valuation. pertinent laws: Provided, however, That the power
of eminent domain may not be exercised unless a
valid and definite offer has been previously made
Thereafter, the commissioners submitted their report, which Petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals, which
to the owner, and such offer was not
contained their respective assessments of and docketed the case as CA-G.R. CV No. 59204. Petitioner
accepted: Provided, further, That the local
recommendation as to the valuation of the alleged that the lower court erred in fixing the amount of just
government unit may immediately take possession
property.1wphi1.nt compensation at P20,826,339.50. The just compensation
of the property upon the filing of the expropriation
should be based on the prevailing market price of the
proceedings and upon making a deposit with the
property at the commencement of the expropriation
On the basis of the commissioners' report and after due proper court of at least fifteen percent (15%) of the
proceedings.
deliberation thereon, the trial court rendered its decision on 7 fair market value of the property based on the
May 1996,5 the decretal portion o which reads: current tax declaration of the property to be
The petitioner did not convince the Court of Appeals. In its expropriated: Provided finally, That, the amount to
decision of 11 October 1999,7 the Court of Appeals be paid for the expropriated property shall be
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, judgment determined by the proper court, based on the fair
affirmed in toto the decision of the trial court.
is hereby rendered in accordance with the report market value at the time of the taking of the
of the commissioners.
property.
Still unsatisfied, petitioner filed with us the petition for review
in the case at bar. It raises the sole issue of whether just
Plaintiff is directed to pay Spouses Apolonio S. The petitioner has misread our ruling in The National Power
compensation should be determined as of the date of the
Dedamo and Blasa Dedamo the sum of pesos:
filing of the complaint. It asserts that it should be, which in Corp. vs. Court of Appeals.10 We did not categorically rule in
TWENTY FOUR MILLION EIGHT HUNDRED that case that just compensation should be determined as of
this case should be 17 September 1993 and not at the time
SIXTY-FIVE THOUSAND AND NINE HUNDRED the filing of the complaint. We explicitly stated therein that
the property was actually taken in 1994, pursuant to the
THIRTY (P24,865.930.00) representing the although the general rule in determining just compensation
decision in "National Power Corporation vs. Court of
compensation mentioned in the Complaint.
Appeals."8 in eminent domain is the value of the property as of the date
of the filing of the complaint, the rule "admits of an exception:
Plaintiff and defendants are directed to pay the where this Court fixed the value of the property as of the
In their Comment, respondents maintain that the Court of date it was taken and not at the date of the commencement
following commissioner's fee;
Appeals did not err in affirming the decision of the trial court
of the expropriation proceedings."
because (1) the trial court decided the case on the basis of
the agreement of the parties that just compensation shall be
1. To Palermo Lugo - P21,000.00 fixed by commissioners appointed by the court; (2) petitioner Also, the trial court followed the then governing procedural
did not interpose any serious objection to the commissioners' law on the matter, which was Section 5 of Rule 67 of the
2. To Herbert Buot - P19,000.00 report of 12 August 1996 fixing the just compensation of the Rules of Court, which provided as follows:
1,624-square meter lot at P20,826,339.50; hence, it was
3. To Alfredo - P19,000.00 estopped from attacking the report on which the decision
Cisneros SEC. 5. Ascertainment of compensation. Upon
was based; and (3) the determined just compensation fixed
the entry of the order of condemnation, the court
is even lower than the actual value of the property at the
shall appoint not more than three (3) competent
time of the actual taking in 1994.
and disinterested persons as commissioners to
Without pronouncement as to cost.
ascertain and report to the court the just
Eminent domain is a fundamental State power that is compensation for the property sought to be taken.
SO ORDERED. inseparable from sovereignty. It is the Government's right to The order of appointment shall designate the time
appropriate, in the nature of a compulsory sale to the State, and place of the first session of the hearing to be
private property for public use or purpose.9 However, the held by the commissioners and specify the time
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration on the ground
Government must pay the owner thereof just compensation within which their report is to be filed with the
that the commissioners' report was inaccurate since it
as consideration therefor. court.
included an area which was not subject to expropriation.
More specifically, it contended that Lot No. 1528 contains
793 square meters but the actual area to be expropriated is In the case at bar, the applicable law as to the point of More than anything else, the parties, by a solemn document
only 478 square meters. The remaining 315 square meters reckoning for the determination of just compensation is freely and voluntarily agreed upon by them, agreed to be
is the subject of a separate expropriation proceeding in Civil Section 19 of R.A. No. 7160, which expressly provides that bound by the report of the commission and approved by the
Case No. CEB-8348, then pending before Branch 9 of the just compensation shall be determined as of the time of trial court. The agreement is a contract between the parties.
Regional Trial Court of Cebu City. actual taking. The Section reads as follows: It has the force of law between them and should be complied
with in good faith. Article 1159 and 1315 of the Civil Code
explicitly provides:

Art. 1159. Obligations arising from contracts have


the force of law between the contracting parties
and should be complied with in good faith.

Art. 1315. Contracts are perfected by mere


consent, and from that moment the parties are
bound not only to the fulfillment of what has been
expressly stipulated but also to all the
consequences which, according to their nature,
may be in keeping with good faith, usage and law.

Furthermore, during the hearing on 22 November 1996,


petitioner did not interpose a serious objection.11 It is
therefore too late for petitioner to question the valuation now
without violating the principle of equitable estoppel.
Estoppel in pais arises when one, by his acts,
representations or admissions, or by his own silence when
he ought to speak out, intentionally or through culpable
negligence, induces another to believe certain facts to exist
and such other rightfully relies and acts on such belief, so
that he will be prejudiced if the former is permitted to deny
the existence of such facts.12 Records show that petitioner
consented to conform with the valuation recommended by
the commissioners. It cannot detract from its agreement now
and assail correctness of the commissioners'
assessment.1wphi1.nt

Finally, while Section 4, Rule 67 of the Rules of Court


provides that just compensation shall be determined at the
time of the filing of the complaint for expropriation,13 such law
cannot prevail over R.A. 7160, which is a substantive law.14

WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error in the assailed


judgment on the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 59204,
the petition in this case is hereby DENIED.

No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.
.R. No. 156684 April 6, 2011 owned and registered in the name of MR. ANTONIO Notwithstanding that the enactment of Resolution No. 552
YUSAY; was but the initial step in the Citys exercise of its power of
eminent domain granted under Section 19 of the Local
SPOUSES ANTONIO and FE YUSAY, Petitioners,
Government Code of 1991, the petitioners became alarmed,
vs. WHEREAS, this piece of land have been occupied for about
and filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition in the RTC,
COURT OF APPEALS, CITY MAYOR and CITY COUNCIL ten (10) years by many financially hard-up families which the
praying for the annulment of Resolution No. 552 due to its
OF MANDALUYONG CITY, Respondents. City Government of Mandaluyong desires, among other
being unconstitutional, confiscatory, improper, and without
things, to provide modest and decent dwelling;
force and effect.
RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, the said families have already negotiated to
The City countered that Resolution No. 552 was a mere
acquire this land but was refused by the above-named
BERSAMIN, J.: authorization given to the City Mayor to initiate the legal
owner in total disregard to the City Governments effort of
steps towards expropriation, which included making a
providing land for the landless;
definite offer to purchase the property of the petitioners;
The petitioners appeal the adverse decision promulgated on
hence, the suit of the petitioners was premature.
October 18, 20021 and resolution promulgated on January
WHEREAS, the expropriation of said land would certainly
17, 2003,2 whereby the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed and
benefit public interest, let alone, a step towards the
set aside the order issued in their favor on February 19, On January 31, 2001, the RTC ruled in favor of the City and
implementation of social justice and urban land reform in this
2002 by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 214, in dismissed the petition for lack of merit, opining that certiorari
City;
Mandaluyong City (RTC).3 Thereby, the CA upheld did not lie against a legislative act of the City Government,
Resolution No. 552, Series of 1997, adopted by the City of because the special civil action of certiorari was only
Mandaluyong (City) authorizing its then City Mayor to take WHEREAS, under the present situation, the City Council available to assail judicial or quasi-judicial acts done without
the necessary legal steps for the expropriation of the parcel deems it necessary to authorize Hon. Mayor BENJAMIN S. or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion
of land registered in the names of the petitioners. ABALOS to institute expropriation proceedings to achieve amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; that the special
the noble purpose of the City Government of Mandaluyong. civil action of prohibition did not also lie under the
circumstances considering that the act of passing the
We affirm the CA. resolution was not a judicial, or quasi-judicial, or ministerial
NOW, THEREFORE, upon motion duly seconded, the City
act; and that notwithstanding the issuance of Resolution No.
Council of Mandaluyong, in session assembled, 552, the City had yet to commit acts of encroachment,
Antecedents
RESOLVED, as it hereby RESOLVES, to authorize, as it is excess, or usurpation, or had yet to act without or in excess
hereby authorizing, Hon. Mayor BENJAMIN S. ABALOS, to of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting
The petitioners owned a parcel of land with an area of 1,044 institute expropriation proceedings against the above-named lack or in excess of jurisdiction.
square meters situated between Nueve de Febrero Street registered owner of that parcel of land situated along Dr.
and Fernandez Street in Barangay Mauway, Mandaluyong Jose Fernandez Street, Barangay Mauway, City of
City. Half of their land they used as their residence, and the Mandaluyong, (f)or the purpose of developing it to a low-cost However, on February 19, 2002, the RTC, acting upon the
rest they rented out to nine other families. Allegedly, the land housing project for the less privileged but deserving petitioners motion for reconsideration, set aside its decision
was their only property and only source of income. constituents of this City. and declared that Resolution No. 552 was null and void. The
RTC held that the petition was not premature because the
passage of Resolution No. 552 would already pave the way
On October 2, 1997, the Sangguniang Panglungsod of ADOPTED on this 2nd day of October 1997 at the City of
for the City to deprive the petitioners and their heirs of their
Mandaluyong City adopted Resolution No. 552, Series of Mandaluyong. only property; that there was no due process in the passage
1997, to authorize then City Mayor Benjamin S. Abalos, Sr. of Resolution No. 552 because the petitioners had not been
to take the necessary legal steps for the expropriation of the invited to the subsequent hearings on the resolution to
Sgd. Adventor R. Delos Santos
land of the petitioners for the purpose of developing it for low enable them to ventilate their opposition; and that the
Acting Sanggunian Secretary
cost housing for the less privileged but deserving city purpose for the expropriation was not for public use and the
inhabitants. The resolution reads as follows: expropriation would not benefit the greater number of
inhabitants.
RESOLUTION NO. 552, S-19974 Attested: Approved:
Aggrieved, the City appealed to the CA.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING HON. BENJAMIN S.
ABALOS TO TAKE THE NECESSARY LEGAL STEPS FOR In its decision promulgated on October 18, 2002, the CA
THE EXPROPRIATION OF A PARCEL OF LAND Sgd. Roberto J. Francisco Sgd. Benjamin
concluded that the reversal of the January 31, 2001 decision
SITUATED ALONG DR. JOSE FERNANDEZ STREET, City Councilor & Acting City S. Abalos by the RTC was not justified because Resolution No. 552
BARANGAY MAUWAY, CITY OF MANDALUYONG, Mayor PresidingOfficer deserved to be accorded the benefit of the presumption of
OWNED BY MR. ANTONIO YUSAY regularity and validity absent any sufficient showing to the
contrary; that notice to the petitioners (Spouses Yusay) of
WHEREAS, there is a parcel of land situated along Dr. Jose the succeeding hearings conducted by the City was not a
Fernandez Street, Barangay Mauway, City of Mandaluyong, part of due process, for it was enough that their views had
been consulted and that they had been given the full
opportunity to voice their protest; that to rule otherwise would Section 1. Petition for certiorari. When any tribunal, board Resolution No. 552, but a legislative and policy-making body
be to give every affected resident effective veto powers in or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has declaring its sentiment or opinion.
law-making by a local government unit; and that a public acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with
hearing, although necessary at times, was not indispensable grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
Nor did the Sangguniang Panglungsod abuse its discretion
and merely aided in law-making. jurisdiction, and there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy,
in adopting Resolution No. 552. To demonstrate the absence
and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law, a person
of abuse of discretion, it is well to differentiate between a
aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper
The CA disposed as follows: resolution and an ordinance. The first is upon a specific
court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying that
matter of a temporary nature while the latter is a law that is
judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the
permanent in character.11 No rights can be conferred by and
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the questioned order proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting
be inferred from a resolution, which is nothing but an
of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 214, Mandaluyong City such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.
embodiment of what the lawmaking body has to say in the
dated February 19, 2002 in SCA Case No. 15-MD, which
light of attendant circumstances. In simply expressing its
declared Resolution No. 552, Series of 1997 of the City of
xxx sentiment or opinion through the resolution, therefore, the
Mandaluyong null and void, is hereby REVERSED and SET
Sangguniang Panglungsod in no way abused its discretion,
ASIDE. No costs.
least of all gravely, for its expression of sentiment or opinion
For certiorari to prosper, therefore, the petitioner must allege
was a constitutionally protected right.
and establish the concurrence of the following requisites,
SO ORDERED.5
namely:
Moreover, Republic Act No. 7160 (The Local Government
The petitioners moved for reconsideration, but the CA Code) required the City to pass an ordinance, not adopt a
(a) The writ is directed against a tribunal, board, or
denied their motion. Thus, they appeal to the Court, posing resolution, for the purpose of initiating an expropriation
officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
the following issues, namely: proceeding. In this regard, Section 19 of The Local
functions;
Government Code clearly provides, viz:
1. Can the validity of Resolution No. 552 be
(b) Such tribunal, board, or officer has acted
assailed even before its implementation? Section 19. Eminent Domain. A local government unit may,
without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave
through its chief executive and acting pursuant to an
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
ordinance, exercise the power of eminent domain for public
2. Must a citizen await the takeover and jurisdiction; and
use, or purpose, or welfare for the benefit of the poor and the
possession of his property by the local landless, upon payment of just compensation, pursuant to
government before he can go to court to nullify an
(c) There is no appeal or any plain, speedy, and the provisions of the Constitution and pertinent laws:
unjust expropriation?
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.6 Provided, however, That the power of eminent domain may
not be exercised unless a valid and definite offer has been
Before resolving these issues, however, the Court considers previously made to the owner, and such offer was not
It is further emphasized that a petition for certiorari seeks accepted: Provided, further, That the local government unit
it necessary to first determine whether or not the action for
solely to correct defects in jurisdiction,7 and does not correct may immediately take possession of the property upon the
certiorari and prohibition commenced by the petitioners in
just any error or mistake committed by a court, board, or filing of the expropriation proceedings and upon making a
the RTC was a proper recourse of the petitioners.
officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions unless deposit with the proper court of at least fifteen percent (15%)
such court, board, or officer thereby acts without jurisdiction
of the fair market value of the property based on the current
Ruling or in excess of jurisdiction or with such grave abuse of tax declaration of the property to be expropriated: Provided,
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.8 finally, That, the amount to be paid for the expropriated
We deny the petition for review, and find that certiorari and property shall be determined by the proper court, based on
prohibition were not available to the petitioners under the The first requisite is that the respondent tribunal, board, or the fair market value at the time of the taking of the property.
circumstances. Thus, we sustain, albeit upon different officer must be exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions.
grounds, the result announced by the CA, and declare that Judicial function, according to Bouvier,9 is the exercise of the
A resolution like Resolution No. 552 that merely expresses
the RTC gravely erred in giving due course to the petition for judicial faculty or office; it also means the capacity to act in a the sentiment of the Sangguniang Panglungsod is not
certiorari and prohibition. specific way which appertains to the judicial power, as one of sufficient for the purpose of initiating an expropriation
the powers of government. "The term," Bouvier
proceeding. Indeed, in Municipality of Paraaque v. V.M.
continues,10 "is used to describe generally those modes of Realty Corporation,12 a case in which the Municipality of
1.
action which appertain to the judiciary as a department of Paraaque based its complaint for expropriation on a
organized government, and through and by means of which
resolution, not an ordinance, the Court ruled so:
Certiorari does not lie to assail the issuance of it accomplishes its purpose and exercises its peculiar
a resolution by the Sanggunian Panglungsod powers."
The power of eminent domain is lodged in the legislative
branch of government, which may delegate the exercise
The special civil action for certiorari is governed by Rule 65 Based on the foregoing, certiorari did not lie against the thereof to LGUs, other public entities and public utilities. An
of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, whose Section 1 Sangguniang Panglungsod, which was not a part of the LGU may therefore exercise the power to expropriate private
provides: Judiciary settling an actual controversy involving legally
property only when authorized by Congress and subject to
demandable and enforceable rights when it adopted the latters control and restraints, imposed "through the law
conferring the power or in other legislations." In this case, Government Code, which had provided that a mere This argument is bereft of merit. In the first place, petitioner
Section 19 of RA 7160, which delegates to LGUs the power resolution would enable an LGU to exercise eminent merely alleged the existence of such an ordinance, but it did
of eminent domain, also lays down the parameters for its domain. In contrast, RA 7160, the present Local Government not present any certified true copy thereof. In the second
exercise. It provides as follows: Code which was already in force when the Complaint for place, petitioner did not raise this point before this Court. In
expropriation was filed, explicitly required an ordinance for fact, it was mentioned by private respondent, and only in
this purpose. passing. In any event, this allegation does not cure the
"Section 19. Eminent Domain. A local government unit may,
inherent defect of petitioners Complaint for expropriation
through its chief executive and acting pursuant to an
filed on September 23, 1993. It is hornbook doctrine that:
ordinance, exercise the power of eminent domain for public We are not convinced by petitioners insistence that the
use, or purpose, or welfare for the benefit of the poor and the terms "resolution" and "ordinance" are synonymous. A
landless, upon payment of just compensation, pursuant to municipal ordinance is different from a resolution. An " x x x in a motion to dismiss based on the ground that the
the provisions of the Constitution and pertinent laws: ordinance is a law, but a resolution is merely a declaration of complaint fails to state a cause of action, the question
Provided, however, That the power of eminent domain may the sentiment or opinion of a lawmaking body on a specific submitted before the court for determination is the
not be exercised unless a valid and definite offer has been matter. An ordinance possesses a general and permanent sufficiency of the allegations in the complaint itself. Whether
previously made to the owner, and such offer was not character, but a resolution is temporary in nature. those allegations are true or not is beside the point, for their
accepted: Provided, further, That the local government unit Additionally, the two are enacted differently -- a third reading truth is hypothetically admitted by the motion. The issue
may immediately take possession of the property upon the is necessary for an ordinance, but not for a resolution, rather is: admitting them to be true, may the court render a
filing of the expropriation proceedings and upon making a unless decided otherwise by a majority of all the Sanggunian valid judgment in accordance with the prayer of the
deposit with the proper court of at least fifteen percent (15%) members. complaint?"
of the fair market value of the property based on the current
tax declaration of the property to be expropriated: Provided,
If Congress intended to allow LGUs to exercise eminent The fact that there is no cause of action is evident from the
finally, That, the amount to be paid for the expropriated
domain through a mere resolution, it would have simply face of the Complaint for expropriation which was based on
property shall be determined by the proper court, based on
adopted the language of the previous Local Government a mere resolution. The absence of an ordinance authorizing
the fair market value at the time of the taking of the
Code. But Congress did not. In a clear divergence from the the same is equivalent to lack of cause of action.
property." (Emphasis supplied)
previous Local Government Code, Section 19 of RA 7160 Consequently, the Court of Appeals committed no reversible
categorically requires that the local chief executive act error in affirming the trial courts Decision which dismissed
Thus, the following essential requisites must concur before pursuant to an ordinance. Indeed, "[l]egislative intent is the expropriation suit.13 (Emphasis supplied)
an LGU can exercise the power of eminent domain: determined principally from the language of a statute. Where
the language of a statute is clear and unambiguous, the law
In view of the absence of the proper expropriation ordinance
is applied according to its express terms, and interpretation
1. An ordinance is enacted by the local legislative authorizing and providing for the expropriation, the petition
would be resorted to only where a literal interpretation would
council authorizing the local chief executive, in for certiorari filed in the RTC was dismissible for lack of
be either impossible or absurd or would lead to an injustice."
behalf of the LGU, to exercise the power of cause of action.
In the instant case, there is no reason to depart from this
eminent domain or pursue expropriation
rule, since the law requiring an ordinance is not at all
proceedings over a particular private property.
impossible, absurd, or unjust. 2.

2. The power of eminent domain is exercised for


Moreover, the power of eminent domain necessarily involves Prohibition does not lie against expropriation
public use, purpose or welfare, or for the benefit of
a derogation of a fundamental or private right of the people.
the poor and the landless.
Accordingly, the manifest change in the legislative language
from "resolution" under BP 337 to "ordinance" under RA The special civil action for prohibition is governed also by
Section 2 of Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure,
3. There is payment of just compensation, as 7160 demands a strict construction. "No species of
property is held by individuals with greater tenacity, and is which states:
required under Section 9 Article III of the
Constitution and other pertinent laws. guarded by the Constitution and laws more sedulously, than
the right to the freehold of inhabitants. When the legislature Section 2. Petition for prohibition. When the proceedings
interferes with that right and, for greater public purposes, of any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person, whether
4. A valid and definite offer has been previously appropriates the land of an individual without his consent, exercising judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, are
made to the owner of the property sought to be
the plain meaning of the law should not be enlarged by without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave
expropriated, but said offer was not accepted. doubtful interpretation." abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
jurisdiction, and there is no appeal or any other plain,
In the case at bar, the local chief executive sought to speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law,
xxx
exercise the power of eminent domain pursuant to a a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the
resolution of the municipal council. Thus, there was no proper court, alleging the facts with certainty and praying
compliance with the first requisite that the mayor be In its Brief filed before Respondent Court, petitioner argues that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent to
authorized through an ordinance. Petitioner cites Camarines that its Sangguniang Bayan passed an ordinance on desist from further proceedings in the action or matter
Sur vs. Court of Appeals to show that a resolution may October 11, 1994 which reiterated its Resolution No. 93-35, specified therein, or otherwise granting such incidental
suffice to support the exercise of eminent domain by an Series of 1993, and ratified all the acts of its mayor regarding reliefs as law and justice may require.
LGU. This case, however, is not in point because the the subject expropriation.
applicable law at that time was BP 337, the previous Local
xxx 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
The function of prohibition is to prevent the unlawful and
property was issued. As of then, it was premature for the
oppressive exercise of legal authority and to provide for a
petitioners to mount any judicial challenge, for the
fair and orderly administration of justice.14 The writ of
prohibition is directed against proceedings that are done
without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of power of eminent domain could be exercised by the City only
discretion, there being no appeal or other plain, speedy and through the filing of a verified complaint in the proper
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.15 For grave court.22 Before the City as the expropriating authority filed
abuse of discretion to be a ground for prohibition, the such verified complaint, no expropriation proceeding could
petitioner must first demonstrate that the tribunal, be said to exist. Until then, the petitioners as the owners
corporation, board, officer, or person, whether exercising could not also be deprived of their property under the power
judicial, quasi-judicial or ministerial functions, has exercised of eminent domain.23
its or his power in an arbitrary or despotic manner, by reason
of passion or personal hostility, which must be so patent and
WHEREFORE, we affirm the decision promulgated on
gross as would amount to an evasion, or to a virtual refusal
October 18, 2002 in CA-G.R. SP No. 70618.
to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of
law.16 On the other hand, the term excess of jurisdiction
signifies that the court, board, or officer has jurisdiction over Costs to be paid by the petitioners.
a case but has transcended such jurisdiction or acted
without any authority.17
SO ORDERED.

The petitioner must further allege in the petition and


establish facts to show that any other existing remedy is not
speedy or adequate.18 A remedy is plain, speedy and
adequate if it will promptly relieve the petitioner from the
injurious effects of that judgment and the acts of the tribunal
or inferior court.191avvphi1

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.

Verily, there can be no prohibition against a procedure


whereby the immediate possession of the land under
expropriation proceedings may be taken, provided always
that due provision is made to secure the prompt adjudication
and payment of just compensation to the owner. 20 This bar
against prohibition comes from the nature of the power of
eminent domain as necessitating the taking of private land
intended for public use,21 and the interest of the affected
landowner is thus made subordinate to the power of the
State. Once the State decides to exercise its power of
eminent domain, the power of judicial review becomes
limited in scope, and the courts will be left to determine the
appropriate amount of just compensation to be paid to the
affected landowners. Only when the landowners are not
given their just compensation for the taking of their property
or when there has been no agreement on the amount of just
compensation may the remedy of prohibition become
available.
G.R. No. 187604 June 25, 2012 use. The owners of the lots submitted their memorandum but process when it dismissed the case without
the City did not. hearing the Citys side;
CITY OF MANILA, Petitioner,
vs. On February 12, 2008 the RTC dismissed the complaint on 2. Whether or not the CA erred in affirming the
ALEGAR CORPORATION, TEROCEL REALTY the ground that the City did not comply with Section 9 of RTCs ruling that the City failed to comply with the
CORPORATION, and FILOMENA VDA. DE Republic Act (R.A.) 72796 which set the order of priority in requirements of Sections 9 and 10 of R.A. 7279 in
LEGARDA,Respondents. the acquisition of properties for socialized housing. Private trying to acquire the subject lots by expropriation;
properties ranked last in the order of priorities for such
acquisition and the City failed to show that no other
ABAD, J.: 3. Whether or not the CA erred in failing to set
properties were available for the project. The City also failed
aside the RTCs ruling that the City failed to
to comply with Section 10 which authorized expropriation
establish the existence of genuine necessity in
This case is about the issues that a local government unit only when resort to other modes (such as community
expropriating the subject lots for public use or
has to cope with when expropriating private property for mortgage, land swapping, and negotiated purchase) had
purpose; and
socialized housing. been exhausted.

4. Whether or not the CA erred in failing to rule


The Facts and the Case The trial court pointed out that the City also failed to show
that the owners withdrawal of its P1.5 million
that it exhausted all reasonable efforts to acquire the lots
deposit constituted implied consent to the
through a negotiated sale. Article 35 of the Rules and
On March 1, 2001 the City Council of Manila passed expropriation of their lots.
Regulations Implementing the Local Government Code
Ordinance 8012 that authorized the City Mayor to acquire
provides that when property owners are willing to sell but for
certain lots1 belonging to respondents Alegar Corporation, a higher price than that offered, the local chief executive The Rulings of the Court
Terocel Realty Corporation, and Filomena Vda. De Legarda, must confer with them for the possibility of coming to an
for use in the socialized housing project of petitioner City of
agreement on the price. Here, after the owners refused to
Manila. The City offered to buy the lots atP1,500.00 per sell the lots for P1,500.00 per sq m offer, the City did not One. The RTC did not deny the City its right to be heard on
square meter (sq m) but the owners rejected this as too low exert any effort to renegotiate or revise its offer. The RTC its action when that court dismissed the same. An
with the result that on December 2, 2003 the City filed a expropriation proceeding of private lands has two
also ruled that the City submitted the issue of genuine
complaint for expropriation against them before the Regional necessity to acquire the properties for public purpose or stages: first, the determination of plaintiffs authority to
Trial Court (RTC) of Manila.2 benefit without presenting evidence on the same. exercise the power of eminent domain in the context of the
facts of the case and, second, if there be such authority, the
determination of just compensation. The first phase ends
The City alleged in its complaint that it wanted to acquire the The City moved for the reconsideration of the order of with either an order of dismissal or a determination that the
lots for its land-for-the-landless and on-site development dismissal but before the RTC could act on it, the City property is to be acquired for a public purpose.10
programs involving the residents occupying them.3 The City appealed the case to the Court of Appeals (CA).7
offered to acquire the lots for P1,500.00 per sq m4 but the
owners rejected the offer. The total aggregate value of the Here, the Citys action was still in the first stage when the
lots for taxation purpose wasP809,280.00 but the City On February 27, 20098 the CA affirmed the RTCs dismissal RTC called the parties to a pre-trial conference where,
deposited P1,500,000.00 with the Land Bank of the of the Citys action, mainly for the reason that the City failed essentially, their task was to determine how the court may
Philippines to enable it to immediately occupy the same to comply with the requirements of Sections 9 and 10 of R.A. resolve the issue involved in the first stage: the Citys
pending hearing of the case. 7279 which ranked privately-owned lands last in the order of authority to acquire by expropriation the particular lots for its
priority in acquiring lots for socialized housing and which intended purpose. As it happened, the parties opted to
preferred modes other than expropriation for acquiring them. simultaneously submit their memoranda on that issue. There
Both Alegar and Terocel questioned the legitimacy of the
The CA rejected the Citys claim that the RTC denied it its was nothing infirm in this agreement since it may be
Citys taking of their lots solely for the benefit of a few long- right to due process, given that the City agreed to forego assumed that the parties knew what they were doing and
time occupants. Alegar also pointed out that, while it with pre-trial and to just submit a memorandum on the since such agreement would facilitate early disposal of the
declined the Citys initial offer, it did not foreclose the
threshold issues raised by the owners answer regarding the case.11
possibility of selling the lots for the right price. 5 The filing of propriety of expropriation.9 The City simply did not submit a
the suit was premature because the City made no effort in memorandum. Although it moved for the reconsideration of
good faith to negotiate the purchase. Unfortunately, the agreement implied that the City was
the order of dismissal, the City filed a notice of appeal before
the RTC could resolve the motion. waiving its right to present evidence that it was acquiring the
subject lots by expropriation for a proper public purpose.
Meantime, on June 9, 2004 the trial court issued a writ of
Counsel for the City may have been confident that its
possession in the Citys favor. On December 19, 2006, upon
The Issues allegations in the complaint can stand on their own, ignoring
the joint motion of the parties, the RTC released
the owners challenge to its right to expropriate their lots for
the P1,500,000.00 deposit to the defendant owners.
the stated purpose. Parenthetically, the City moved for the
The petition raises the following issues:
reconsideration of the RTCs order of dismissal but withdrew
On October 15, 2007 the parties agreed to forego with the this remedy by filing a notice of appeal from that order to the
pre-trial, opting instead to simultaneously submit their 1. Whether or not the CA erred in failing to rule CA. Evidently, the City cannot claim that it had been denied
memoranda on the issue of whether or not there is necessity that the RTC denied the City its right to due the opportunity of a hearing.
for the City to expropriate the subject properties for public
Two. The CA correctly ruled that the City failed to show that joint-venture agreement, negotiated purchase, and government to prove that it satisfied the requirements
it complied with the requirements of Section 9 of R.A. 7279 expropriation: Provided, however, That expropriation shall be mentioned or that they do not apply in the particular case.15
which lays down the order of priority in the acquisition resorted to only when other modes of acquisition have been
through expropriation of lands for socialized housing. This exhausted; Provided, further, That where expropriation is
Three. Admittedly, the City alleged in its amended complaint
section provides: resorted to, parcels of land owned by small property owners
that it wanted to acquire the subject lots in connection with
shall be exempted for purposes of this Act. x x x (Emphasis
its land-for-the-landless program and that this was in accord
supplied)
Section 9. Priorities in the acquisition of Land.Lands for with its Ordinance 8012. But the City misses the point. The
socialized housing shall be acquired in the following order: owners directly challenged the validity of the objective of its
There is a sensible reason for the above. Litigation is costly action. They alleged that the taking in this particular case of
and protracted. The government should also lead in avoiding their lots is not for public use or purpose since its action
(a) Those owned by the Government or any of its
litigations and overburdening its courts. would benefit only a few. Whether this is the case or not, the
subdivisions, instrumentalities, or agencies,
owners answer tendered a factual issue that called for
including government-owned or controlled
evidence on the Citys part to prove the affirmative of its
corporations and their subsidiaries; Indeed, the Court has held that when the property owner
allegations. As already stated, the City submitted the issue
rejects the offer but hints for a better price, the government
for the RTCs resolution without presenting evidence.
should renegotiate by calling the property owner to a
(b) Alienable lands of the public domain;
conference.12 The government must exhaust all reasonable
efforts to obtain by agreement the land it desires. Its failure Four. The City insists that it made a deposit of P1.5 million
(c) Unregistered or abandoned and idle lands; to comply will warrant the dismissal of the complaint. Article with the RTC by way of advance payment on the lots it
35 of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the Local sought to expropriate. By withdrawing this deposit,
Government Code provides for this procedure. Thus: respondents may be assumed to have given their consent to
(d) Those within the declared Areas for Priority the expropriation.
Development, Zonal Improvement Program sites,
and Slum Improvement and Resettlement Article 35. Offer to Buy and Contract of Sale(a) The offer
Program sites which have not yet been acquired; to buy private property for public use or purpose shall be in But the advance deposit required under Section 19 of the
writing. It shall specify the property sought to be acquired, Local Government Code constitutes an advance payment
the reasons for its acquisition, and the price offered. only in the event the expropriation prospers. Such deposit
(e) Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and
also has a dual purpose: as pre-payment if the expropriation
Services or BLISS sites which have not yet been succeeds and as indemnity for damages if it is dismissed.
acquired; and xxxx
This advance payment, a prerequisite for the issuance of a
writ of possession, should not be confused with payment of
(f) Privately-owned lands. (c) If the owner or owners are willing to sell their property but just compensation for the taking of property even if it could
at a price higher than that offered to them, the local chief be a factor in eventually determining just compensation. 16 If
executive shall call them to a conference for the purpose of the proceedings fail, the money could be used to indemnify
Where on-site development is found more practicable and reaching an agreement on the selling price. The chairman of the owner for damages.17
advantageous to the beneficiaries, the priorities mentioned in the appropriation or finance committee of the sanggunian, or
this section shall not apply. The local government units shall in his absence, any member of the sanggunian duly chosen
give budgetary priority to on-site development of government Here, therefore, the owners withdrawal of the deposit that
as its representative, shall participate in the conference.
lands. (Emphasis supplied) the City made does not amount to a waiver of the defenses
When an agreement is reached by the parties, a contract of
they raised against the expropriation. With the dismissal of
sale shall be drawn and executed.
the complaint, the amount or a portion of it could be awarded
The City of course argues that it did not have to observe the to the owners as indemnity to cover the expenses they
order of priority provided above in acquiring lots for Here, the City of Manila initially offered P1,500.00 per sq m incurred in defending their right.
socialized housing since it found on-site development to be
to the owners for their lots. But after the latter rejected the
more practicable and advantageous to the beneficiaries who offer, claiming that the offered price was even lower than
were these lots long-time occupants. But the problem their current zonal value, the City did not bother to
Notably, the owners neither filed a counterclaim for damages
remains. The City did not adduce evidence that this was so. against the City nor did they seek indemnity for their
renegotiate or improve its offer. The intent of the law is for
expenses after the RTC dismissed its action. Consequently,
the State or the local government to make a reasonable offer
the City government is entitled to the return of the advance
Besides, Section 10 of R.A. 7279 also prefers the acquisition in good faith, not merely a pro forma offer to acquire the
deposit it made and that the owners withdrew. But,
of private property by "negotiated sale" over the filing of an property.13
considering the expenses that the owners needed to incur in
expropriation suit. It provides that such suit may be resorted defending themselves in the appeals that the City instituted
to only when the other modes of acquisitions have been The Court cannot treat the requirements of Sections 9 and before the CA and this Court, an award ofP50,000.00 in
exhausted. Thus: attorneys fees against the City is in order. The owners must
10 of R.A. 7279 lightly.1wphi1 It held in Estate or Heirs of
the Late Ex-Justice Jose B.L. Reyes v. City of Manila,14 that return the rest of the P1,500,000.00 that they withdrew.
Section 10. Modes of Land Acquisition.The modes of these requirements are strict limitations on the local
acquiring land for purposes of this Act shall include, among governments exercise of the power of eminent domain.
Lastly, the Court must point out that the ruling in this case is
others, community mortgage, land swapping, land assembly They are the only safeguards of property owners against the
without prejudice to the right of the City to re-file the action
or consolidation, land banking, donation to the Government, exercise of that power. The burden is on the local
after it has complied with the relevant mandatory provisions
of R.A. 7279 and Article 35 of the Rules and Regulations
Implementing the Local Government Code.

WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS


the decision of the Court of Appeals dated February 27,
2009 in CA-G.R. CV 90530 subject to the following
MODIFICATIONS:

1. Petitioner City of Manila is ordered to indemnify


respondents Alegar Corporation, Terocel Realty
Corporation, and Filomena Vda. De Legarda in the
amount of P50,000.00 as attorneys fees;

2. Respondents Alegar Corporation, Terocel


Realty Corporation, and Filomena Vda. De
Legarda are in turn ordered to return the advance
deposit of P1,500,000.00 that they withdrew
incident to the expropriation case; and

3. This decision is without prejudice to the right of


the City of Manila to re-file their action for
expropriation after complying with what the law
requires.

SO ORDERED.