You are on page 1of 24

2001 Rulings

Bito-Onon vs Fernandez, 350 SCRA 732

Doctrine: Control or Supervision. The DILG only has the power of supervision and not control over the
LIGA.

This is case where a defeated Barangay official for the position of Executive President of the Liga ng
Barangay Provincial Chapter went to the regular courts to appeal an unfavorable decision rendered by the
Board of Electoral Supervisors. His basis for the appeal is Memorandum Circular No. 97-193 issued by
the DILG provides for review of decisions or resolutions of the Board of Electoral Supervisors by the
regular courts of law. The opposing party ask to dismiss his appeal because the basis of his appeal, which
is the memorandum issued by the DILG is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that this
memorandum is of doubtful constitutionality because the DILG acted beyond its powers. This
memorandum in effect controls the Liga which the DILG has no authority to do under the constitution. It
only has supervisory powers and not control powers. The power of supervision is defined as "the power
of a superior officer to see to it that lower officers perform their functions in accordance with law."This is
distinguished from the power of control or "the power of an officer to alter or modify or set aside what a
subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former
for the latter."

City of Quezon vs Lexber Incorporated, 354 SCRA 493

Doctrine: Local Funding. Public funds may be disbursed not only pursuant to an appropriation law, but
also in pursuance of other specific statutory authority.

In City of Quezon vs Lexber Incorporated, it was held that PD 1445 an absence of appropriation
ordinance for a specific contract entered into by the local government does not automatically make the
contract void from the beginning. Public funds may be disbursed not only pursuant to an appropriation
law, but also in pursuance of other specific statutory authority. In this case, BP 337, the law which was
then in force, empowered the Mayor to represent the city in its business transactions and sign all warrants
drawn on the city treasury and all bonds, contracts and obligations of the city. The Mayor has power to
appropriate funds to support the contracts. BP 337 does not prohibit him from entering into contracts
unless and until funds are appropriated therefor. By entering into the two contracts, Mayor Simon DID
NOT usurp the city councils power to provide for the proper disposal of garbage and to appropriate funds
therefor. The execution of contracts to address such a need is his statutory duty, just as it is the city
councils duty to provide for such service. There is no provision in the law that prohibits the city mayor
from entering into contracts for the public welfare unless and until there is a prior authority from the city
council.

Navarro vs Court of Appeals, 355 SCRA 672

Doctrine: Vacancy, Appointment. The last vacancy in the Sanggunian refers to that created by the
elevation of the member formerly occupying the next higher in rank which in turn also had become
vacant by any of the causes already enumerated, and the term last vacancy is thus used in Section
45(b), Local Government Code, to differentiate it from the other vacancy previously created.
The elected mayor died. Pursuant to law, the vice mayor succeeded him. When the vice-mayor became
mayor, the office of the vice-mayor was filled up by Tamayo, a member of the Sanggunian. Thus this
created a vacancy in the Sangguniang Bayan. Pursuant to law, the governor appointed Navarro as member
of the said Sanggunian. Navarro is a party-mate of Tamayo (former Sanggunian now Vice-Mayor). This
appointment was questioned on the basis that the one to be appointed should belong to the party of the
previous vice-mayor who is now mayor since he first created the vacancy. The Supreme Court said that
the appointment was valid. The person to be appointed should refer to the vacancy created by the
elevation of the member of the Sanggunian in this case, Tamayo (former Sanggunian now Vice-Mayor).
Hence, a person representing Tamayos party should be appointed. The reason behind the right given to a
political party to nominate a replacement where a permanent vacancy occurs in the Sanggunian is to
maintain the party representation as willed by the people in the election.

Lina, Jr. vs. Pano, 364 SCRA 76

Doctrine: Local Legislation. What the national legislature allows by law, such as lotto, a provincial
board may not disallow by ordinance or resolution.

The Provisional Board of Laguna passed an ordinance objecting or opposing any form of gambling
including lotto in the province. Calvento, a PSCO agent was prejudiced since his business permit was
denied in pursuant to the said ordinance. Calvento then went to court and argued that the said ordinance is
a curtailment of State power since in this case the national legislature itself already declared lotto as legal
and permitted its operation around the country. The Supreme Court said that municipal governments are
only agents of the national government. Local councils exercise only delegated legislative powers
conferred upon them by Congress as the national lawmaking body. The delegate cannot be superior to the
principal or exercise powers higher than those of the latter. It is heresy to suggest that the LGUs can undo
the acts and negate by mere ordinance the mandate of the statute. Hence, the ordinance was invalidated.

Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporations vs Court of Appeals, 367 SCRA 175

Doctrine: Zoning and Land Use. The authority of a municipality to issue zoning classification is an
exercise of its police power, not the power of eminent domain. In eminent domain there is just
compensation while there is none in police power.

2002 Rulings
Osea vs. Malaya, 375 SCRA 285

Doctrine: Appointments. Section 99 of the Local Government Code only applies to appointments not
reassignments.

Petitioner filed a protest case with the Civil Service Commission alleging that she was appointed as
Officer-in-Charge, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent of Camarines Sur, by the then Secretary of
DECS, upon the endorsement of the Provincial School Board of Camarines Sur. However, despite this,
President Fidel Ramos, appointed another person to the said post. Petitioner claims that the appointment
of respondent was made without prior consultation with the Provincial School Board, in violation of
Section 99 of the Local Government Code as well as her vested right as the Schools Division
Superintendent of Camarines Sur. The Supreme Court said that Section 99 does not apply because
respondent was not appointed but merely reassigned. Section 99 of the LGC only refers to appointments.
Furthermore, the power to appoint persons to career executive service positions was transferred from the
DECS to the President. Indeed, petitioner has no vested right to the position of Schools Division
Superintendent of Camarines Sur.

Hagonoy Market Vendor Association vs. Municipality of Hagonoy, Bulacan, 376 SCRA 376

Doctrine: Local Taxation. Section 187 of the 1991 Local Government Code. The law requires that an appeal of a
tax ordinance or revenue measure should be made to the Secretary of Justice within thirty (30) days from
effectivity of the ordinance and even during its pendency, the effectivity of the assailed ordinance shall
not be suspended.

On October 1, 1996, the Sangguniang Bayan of Hagonoy, Bulacan, enacted an ordinance, Kautusan
Blg. 28, which increased the stall rentals of the market vendors in Hagonoy. Article 3 provided that it
shall take effect upon approval. The subject ordinance was posted from November 4-25, 1996. In the last
week of November, 1997, the petitioners members were personally given copies of the approved
Ordinance and were informed that it shall be enforced in January,1998. On December 8, 1997, the
petitioners President filed an appeal with the Secretary of Justice assailing the constitutionality of the
tax ordinance. Petitioner claimed it was unaware of the posting of the ordinance. Respondent opposed the
appeal. It contended that the ordinance took effect on October 6, 1996 and that the ordinance, as
approved, was posted as required by law. Hence, it was pointed out that petitioners appeal, made over a
year later, was already time-barred. The Secretary of Justice dismissed the appeal on the ground that it was
filed out of time, i.e., beyond thirty (30) days from the effectivity of the Ordinance on October 1, 1996,as
prescribed under Section 187 of the 1991 Local Government Code. The Supreme Court held that the
petition should be dismissed because it was already time-barred. The applicable law is Section 187 of the
1991 Local Government Code. The law requires that an appeal of a tax ordinance or revenue measure should be made to
the Secretary of Justice within thirty (30) days from effectivity of the ordinance and even during
its pendency, the effectivity of the assailed ordinance shall not be suspended. In the case at bar, Municipal
Ordinance No. 28 took effect in October 1996.Petitioner filed its appeal only in December 1997, more
than a year after the effectivity of the ordinance in 1996.

Pandi vs. Court of Appeals, 380 SCRA 436

Doctrine: Control or Supervision. The ARMM Local Code vests in the Provincial Governor the power to
"exercise general supervision and control over all programs, projects, services, and activities of the
provincial government." Upon the effectivity of the ARMM Local Code, the power of supervision and
control over the provincial health officer passed from the Regional Secretary to the Provincial Governor.

The Provincial Governor cannot designate the OIC of the IPHO-APGH at this point in time. When Saber
was appointed by the provincial governor on September 15, 1993, the provincial health officer of Lanao
del Sur was still a national government official paid entirely from national funds. The provincial health
officer was still appointed by the national Secretary of Health to a region and not to a province. The
Secretary of Health exercised supervision and control over the provincial health officer. The Secretary of
Health was also the official authorized by law to assign the provincial health officer to any province
within the region. Indisputably, on September 15, 1993, Provincial Governor Mutilan had no power to
designate Saber as Officer-in-Charge of IPHO-APGH, Lanao del Sur. Consequently, the designation of
Saber as such Officer-in-Charge is void. Under the ARMM Local Code, the provincial health officer
became for the first an official of the provincial government even though he is appointed by the Regional
Governor and draws his salary from regional funds. The ARMM Local Code vests in the Provincial
Governor the power to "exercise general supervision and control over all programs, projects, services, and
activities of the provincial government." Upon the effectivity of the ARMM Local Code, the power of
supervision and control over the provincial health officer passed from the Regional Secretary to the
Provincial Governor. From then on the Provincial Governor began to exercise the administrative authority
to designate an Officer-in-Charge in the provincial health office pending the appointment of a permanent
provincial health officer.

Chavez vs. Public Estates Authority, 384 SCRA 152

Doctrine: Zoning and Land Use. To allow vast areas of reclaimed lands of the public domain to be
transferred to PEA as private lands will sanction a gross violation of the constitutional ban on private
corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain.

Under either the BOT Law (Republic Act No. 6957) or the local government Code, the contractor or
developer, if a corporate entity, can only be paid with leasehold or portions of the reclaimed land, and if
the contractor or developer is an individual, portions of the reclaimed land, not exceeding 12 hectares of
non-agricultural lands, may be conveyed to him in ownership.The Public Estates Authority is the central
implementing agency tasked to undertake reclamation projects nationwide. It took over the leasing and
selling functions of the DENR insofar as reclaimed or about to be reclaimed foreshore lands are
concerned. PEA sought the transfer to AMARI, a private corporation, ownership of 77.34 hectares of the
Freedom Islands. PEA also sought to have 290.156 hectares of submerged areas of Manila Bay to
AMARI. The Supreme Court decided that the transfer was not valid. To allow vast areas of reclaimed
lands of the public domain to be transferred to PEA as private lands will sanction a gross violation of the
constitutional ban on private corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain.
Futhermore, such transfer is void for being contrary to Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution
which prohibits the alienation of natural resources other than agricultural lands of the public domain.

Montesclaros cs. Commission on Elections, 384 SCRA 269

Doctrine: SK Elections. The new law restricts membership in the SK to this specific age group. Not
falling within this classification, petitioners have ceased to be members of the SK and are no longer
qualified to participate in the July 15, 2002 SK elections.

The Commission on Elections, on December 4, 2001 issued Resolution Nos. 4713 and 4714 to govern the
SK elections on May 6, 2002. On February 18, 2002, petitioner Antoniette V.C. Montesclaros sent a letter
to the COMELEC, demanding that the SK elections be held as scheduled on May 6, 2002. She also urged
the COMELEC to respond to her letter within 10 days upon receipt of the letter, otherwise, she will seek
judicial relief.On the other hand, then COMELEC Chairman Alfredo L. Benipayo, wrote letters dated 20
February 2002 to the Speaker of the House and the Senate President about the status of pending bills on
the SK and Barangay elections. In his letters, the COMELEC Chairman intimated that it was
operationally very difficult to hold both elections simultaneously in May 2002. Instead, he expressed
support for the bill of Senator Franklin Drilon that proposed to hold the Barangay elections in May 2002
and postpone the SK elections to November 2002. In this case, petitioners seek to enforce a right
originally conferred by law on those who were at least 15 but not more than 21 years old. But with the
passage of RA No. 9164, this right is limited to those who on the date of the SK elections are at least 15
but less than 18 years old. The new law restricts membership in the SK to this specific age group. Not
falling within this classification, petitioners have ceased to be members of the SK and are no longer
qualified to participate in the July 15, 2002 SK elections. Plainly, petitioners no longer have a personal
and substantial interest in the SK elections.

Pablico vs. Villapando, 385 SCRA 601

Doctrine: Removal. Power to remove erring elective local officials from service lodged exclusively with
the courts.

Facts: On August 5, 1999, Maagad, and Fernandez, both members of the Sangguniang Bayan of San
Vicente, Palawan, filed with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan an administrative complaint
against Villapando, then Mayor of San Vicente, Palawan, for abuse of authority and culpable violation of
the Constitution. Complainants alleged that Villapando, on behalf of the municipality, entered into a
consultancy agreement with Tiape, a defeated mayoralty candidate in the May 1998 elections. They argue
that the consultancy agreement amounted to an appointment to a government position within the
prohibited one-year period under Article IX-B, Section 6, of the 1987 Constitution. However, according
to Villapando, he merely hired Tiape. He invoked Opinion No. 106, s. 1992, of the DOJ stating that the
appointment of a defeated candidate within one year from the election as a consultant does not constitute
an appointment to a government office or position as prohibited by the Constitution. The Sangguniang
Panlalawigan of Palawan found Villapando guilty of the administrative charge and imposed on him the
penalty of dismissal from service. He appealed to the Office of the President which, on May 29, 2000,
affirmed the decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan. Pending respondents motion for
reconsideration of the decision of the Office of the President, or on June 16, 2000, petitioner Ramir R.
Pablico, then Vice-mayor of San Vicente, Palawan, took his oath of office as Municipal Mayor.
Consequently, respondent filed with the Regional Trial Court of Palawan a petition for certiorari and
prohibition with preliminaryinjunction and prayer for a temporary restraining order, docketed Mabelle O.
Nebres as SPL Proc. No. 3462. The petition, seeks to annul, inter alia, the oath administered to petitioner.
The Executive Judge granted a Temporary Restraining Order effective for 72 hours, as a result of which
petitioner ceased from discharging the functions of mayor. Meanwhile, the case was raffled to Branch 95
which, on June 23, 2000, denied respondents motion for extension of the 72-hour temporary restraining
order. Hence, petitioner resumed hisassumption of the functions of Mayor of San Vicente, Palawan. On
July 4, 2000, respondent instituted a petition for certiorari and prohibition before the Court of Appeals
seeking to annul: (1) the May 29, 2000 decision of the Office of the President; (2) the February 1, 2000,
decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan; and (3) the June 23, 2000 order of the Regional
Trial Court of Palawan, Branch 95. On March 16, 2001, the Court of Appeals8 declared void the assailed
decisions of the Office of the President and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan, and ordered
petitioner to vacate the Office of Mayor of San Vicente, Palawan. A motion for reconsideration was
denied on April 23, 2001.10 Hence, the instant petition for review.

Issue: WON local legislative bodies and/or the Office of the President, on appeal, validly imposed the
penalty of dismissal from service on erring elective local officials.
Ruling: Section 60, last paragraph: An elective local official may be removed from office on the grounds
enumerated above by order of the proper court. It is clear that the penalty of dismissal from service upon
an erring elective local official may be decreed only by a court of law. Salalima v. Guingona: the Office of
the President is without any power to remove elected officials, since such power is exclusively vested in
the proper courts as expressly provided for in the last paragraph of the afore quoted

Section 60. Article 124 (b), Rule XIX of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the LGC, however,
adds that "(b) An elective local official may be removed from office on the grounds enumerated in
paragraph (a) of this Article [The grounds enumerated in Section 60, LGC of 1991] by order of the proper
court or the disciplining authority whichever first acquires jurisdiction to the exclusion of the other." The
disciplining authority referred to pertains to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan/Panlungsod/Bayan and the
Office of the President. His grant to the "disciplining authority" of the power to remove elective local
officials is clearly beyond the authority of the Oversight Committee that prepared the Rules and
Regulations. No rule or regulation may alter, amend, or contravene a provision of law, such as the LGC.

Implementing rules should conform, not clash, with the law that they implement, for a regulation which
operates to create a rule out of harmony with the statute is a nullity. Even Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel,
Jr., the principal author of the LGC of 1991, expressed doubt as to the validity of Article 124 (b), Rule
XIX of the implementing rules.

The power to remove erring elective local officials from service is lodged exclusively with the courts.
Hence, Article 124 (b), Rule XIX, of the Rules and Regulations Implementing the LGC, insofar as it vests
power on the "disciplining authority" to remove from office erring elective local officials, is void for
being repugnant to the last paragraph of Section 60 of the LGC of 1991. The law on suspension or
removal of elective public officials must be strictly construed and applied, and the authority in whom
such power of suspension or removal is vested must exercise it with utmost good faith, for what is
involved is not just an ordinary public official but one chosen by the people through the exercise of their
constitutional right of suffrage. Their will must not be put to naught by the caprice or partisanship of the
disciplining authority. Where the disciplining authority is given only the power to suspend and not the
power to remove, it should not be permitted to manipulate the law by usurping the power to remove.

.Lingating vs. Commission on Elections, 391 SCRA 629

Doctrine: Removal. The rule that an elective local officer, who is removed before the expiration of the
term for which he was elected, is disqualified from being a candidate for a local elective position does not
apply where the decision of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan finding a local mayor guilty of dishonesty,
falsification and malversation of public funds has not become final. Where there was failure of the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan to resolve a local officials motion fro reconsideration before the elections, it
is unfair to the electorate to be told after they have voted for said official that after all he is disqualified,
especially so where at the time of the election, the decision sought to be reconsidered had been rendered
nearly ten years ago.

2003 Case
National Power Corporation vs City of Cabanatuan, 401 SCRA 259
Local Taxation. Is the NAPOCORs exemption from all forms of taxes repealed by the provisions of the
Local Government Code? YES. One of the most significant provisions of the LGC is the removal of the
blanket exclusion of instrumentalities and agencies of the National Government from the coverage of
local taxation. Although as a general rule, LGUs cannot impose taxes, fees, or charges of any kind on the
National Government, its agencies and instrumentalities, this rule now admits an exception, i.e. when
specific provisions of the LGC authorize the LGUs to impose taxes, fees, or charges on the
aforementioned entities. The legislative purpose to withdraw tax privileges enjoyed under existing laws
or charter is clearly manifested by the language used on Sec. 137 and 193 categorically withdrawing
such exemption subject only to the exceptions enumerated. Since it would be tedious and impractical to
attempt to enumerate all the existing statutes providing for special tax exemptions or privileges, the LGC
provided for an express, albeit general, withdrawal of such exemptions or privileges. No more
unequivocal language could have been used.

Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. vs The Secretary, Department of Interior and
Local Government, 403 SCRA 558

Doctrine: Local Taxation. Sec. 193 of the LGC is indicative of the legislative intent to vet broad taxing
powers upon the local government units and to limit exemptions from local taxation to entities
specifically provided therein.

The extent of government control over electric cooperatives covered by PD 269 is largely a function of
the role of the NEA as a primary source of funds of these electric cooperatives. It is crystal clear that NEA
incurred loans from various sources to finance the development and operations of these electric
cooperatives. Consequently, amendments were primarily geared to expand the powers of NEA over the
electric cooperatives o ensure that loans granted to them would be repaid to the government. In contrast,
cooperatives under RA 6938 are envisioned to be self-sufficient and independent organizations with
minimal government intervention or regulation. The classification of tax-exempt entities in the Local
Government Code is germane to the purpose of the law. The Constitutional mandate that every local
government unit shall enjoy local autonomy, does not mean that the exercise of the power by the local
governments is beyond the regulation of Congress. Sec. 193 of the LGC is indicative of the legislative
intent to vet broad taxing powers upon the local government units and to limit exemptions from local
taxation to entities specifically provided therein.

John Hay Peoples Alternative Coalition vs Lim, 414 SCRA 356

Zoning and Land Use. The grant by law on local government units of the right of concurrence on the
bases conversion is equivalent to vesting a legal standing on them, for it is in effect a recognition of the
real interests that communities nearby or surroundings a particular base area have in its utilization.

Latasa vs Commission on Elections

Doctrine: Local Elections. While a new component city which was converted from a municipality
acquires a new corporate existence separate and distinct from that of the municipality, this does not
mean, however, that for the purpose of applying the constitutional provision on term limits, the office of
the municipal mayor would now be construed as a different local government post as that of the office of
the city mayor.
Whether or not petitioner Latasa is eligible to run as candidate for the position of mayor of the newly-
created City of Digos immediately after he served for three consecutive terms as mayor of the
Municipality of Digos. The Supreme Court said that he cannot. True, the new city acquired a new
corporate existence separate and distinct from that of the municipality. This does not mean, however, that
for the purpose of applying the subject Constitutional provision, the office of the municipal mayor would
now be construed as a different local government post as that of the office of the city mayor. As stated
earlier, the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Digos is the same as that of the municipality.
Consequently, the inhabitants of the municipality are the same as those in the city. These inhabitants are
the same group of voters who elected petitioner Latasa to be their municipal mayor for three consecutive
terms. These are also the same inhabitants over whom he held power and authority as their chief
executive for nine years.

Vidal vs Escueta, 417 SCRA 617

Doctrine: Barangay Lupon. The amicable settlement which is not repudiated within the period therefor
may be enforced by execution by the Lupon through the Punong Barangay within a time line of six
months and if not so enforced by the Lupon after the lapse of the said period it may be enforced only by
an action in the proper city or municipal court.

Leynes vs Commission on Audit , 418 SCRA 180

Doctrine: Local Funding. By upholding the power of LGUs to grant allowances to judges and leaving to
their discretion the amount of allowances they may want to grant, depending on the availability of local
funds, the genuine and meaningful local autonomy of the LGSs is ensured

2006 Rulings
Masikip vs City of Pasig, 479 SCRA 391

Doctrine: Power of Eminent Domain. The power of eminent domain is not inherent in LGU and must be
expressly provided for by statute

Lourdes Dela Paz Masikip is the registered owner of a parcel of land, which the City of Pasig sought to
expropriate a portion thereof for the sports development and recreational activities of the residents of
Barangay Caniogan. Masikip refused. The issue is whether there was genuine necessity to expropriate the
property. The Supreme Court said that the power of eminent domain is lodged in the legislative branch of
government. It delegates the power thereof to the LGUs, other public entities and public utility
corporations, subject only to constitutional limitations. LGUs have no inherent power of eminent domain
and may exercise it only when expressly authorized by statute. Sec. 19, LGC: LGU may, through its chief
executive and acting pursuant to an ordinance, exercise the power of eminent domain for public use,
purpose or welfare for the benefit of the poor and landless, upon payment of just compensation, pursuant
to the provisions of the Constitution and pertinent laws. There is already an established sports
development and recreational activity center at Rainforest Park in Pasig City. Evidently, there is no
genuine necessity to justify the expropriation. The records show that the Certification issued by the
Caniogan Barangay Council which became the basis for the passage of Ordinance No. 4, authorizing the
expropriation, indicates that the intended beneficiary is the Melendres Compound Homeowners
Association, a private, non-profit organization, not the residents of Caniogan.

Ong vs. Alegre, G.R. No. 163295, Jan. 23, 2006

Doctrine: Local Elections. While the law enumerated the occasions where a candidate may be validly
substituted, there is no mention of the case where a candidate is excluded not only by disqualification but
also by denial and cancellation of his certificate of candidacy.

Ong (incumbent) and Alegre are both running for mayor. Ongs certificate of candidacy was denied due
course on ground of violation of three-term rule. Thus, he was substituted by Romeo Ong. Was the
substitution valid? The Supreme Court held that while there is no dispute as to whether or not a nominee
of a registered or accredited political party may substitute for a candidate of the same party who had been
disqualified for any cause, this does not include those cases where the certificate of candidacy of the
person to be substituted had been denied due course and cancelled under sec. 78 of the Code. While the
law enumerated the occasions where a candidate may be validly substituted, there is no mention of the
case where a candidate is excluded not only by disqualification but also by denial and cancellation of his
certificate of candidacy. Under the foregoing rule, there can be no valid substitution for the latter case,
much in the same way that a nuisance candidate whose certificate of candidacy is denied due course
and/or cancelled may not be substituted. If the intent of the lawmakers were otherwise, they could have so
easily and conveniently included those persons whose certificates of candidacy have been denied due
course and/or cancelled under the provisions of sec. 78 of the Code.

NOTA BENE: A person without a valid certificate of candidacy cannot be considered as a candidate,
much the same as one who has no certificate of candidacy. And because Ong is not a candidate, then he
cannot be substituted because substitution presupposes that the person to be substituted is a candidate.

Albon vs Fernando, 494 SCRA 141

Local Police Power. The Local Government Units are expressly vested with police powers delegated to
them under the general welfare clause of RA 7160, and with this power, LGUs may prescribe reasonable
regulations to protect the lives, health, and property of their constituents and maintain peace and order
within their respective territorial jurisdiction.

Buelso vs Municipiality of Panay

Power of Eminent Domain. Eminent domain, which is the power of a sovereign state to appropriate
private property to particular uses to promote public welfare, is essentially lodged in the legislature;
Strictly speaking, the power of eminent domain delegated to a LGU is in reality not eminent but
inferior since it must conform to the limits imposed by the delegation and thus partakes only of a share
in eminent domain. A resolution will not suffice for a LGU to be able to expropriate private property- a
municipal ordinance is different from a resolution in that an ordinance is a law while a resolution is
merely a declaration of the sentiment or opinion of a lawmaking body on a specific matter. While the
Supreme Court is aware of the constitutional policy promoting local autonomy, it cannot grant judicial
sanction to an LGUs exercise of its delegated power of eminent domain in contravention of the very law
giving it such power.

Roble Arraste Inc. Vs Villaflor

Local Police Power. Section 16 of the Local Government Code, known as the general welfare clause,
encapsulates the delegated police power to local governments. Local government units exercise police
power through their respective legislative bodies. There is also no need to distinguish between other laws
and that of the Local Government Code of 1991 as basis for issuance of licenses since the language of the
law does not distinguish. What can be deduced from section 444(b)(3)(iv) of the LGC is that the limits in
the exercise of the power of a municipal mayor to issue licenses, and permits and suspend or revoke the
same can be contained in a law or an ordinance- a law or an ordinance can provide the conditions upon
the power of the municipal mayor under section 444(b)(3)(iv) can be exercised.

SEC. 444. The Chief Executive: Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation.

(b) For efficient, effective and economical governance the purpose of which is the
general welfare of the municipality and its inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of
this Code, the Municipal mayor shall:

xxxx

(3) Initiate and maximize the generation of resources and revenues, and apply the
same to the implementation of development plans, program objectives and
priorities as provided for under Section 18 of this Code, particularly those
resources and revenues programmed for agro-industrial development and country-
wide growth and progress, and relative thereto, shall:

xxxx

(iv) Issue licenses and permits and suspend or revoke the same for any
violation of the conditions upon which said licenses or permits had been
issued, pursuant to law or ordinance. (Italics supplied.)

Lucman vs Malawi

Local Funding. Where the lawful recipients of the internal Revenue Allotments are the Barangays, the
determination of whether or not the IRA funds are unlawfully withheld or improperly released to third
persons can only be determined if the Barangays participated as parties to the action.

After the failure of elections, respondents remained in office in a holdover capacity pursuant to the
provisions of sec. 1 of R.A. No. 6676 and COMELEC resolution no. 2888. Respondents attempted to
open their respective barangay's IRA's bank account, eventually, they allowed to open but not allowed to
withdraw owing to the absence of the requisite Accountant's advise. They filed a special civil action for
mandamus with application for preliminary mandatory injunction to compel petitioner to allow them to
open and maintain deposit accounts and to withdraw. Respondents Pangcoga, Sarip, Cadar, Macarambon
and Usman testified during the trial that they were duly elected chairpersons and testified further the
refusal of the petitioner to allow the withdrawal despite of documents presented. The issue is whether the
respondents has legal standing in filing the case. The Supreme Court said that respondents have no legal
personality to institute petition since the funds for which the bank accounts were created belong to the
barangay headed by respondents. The case at bar was not initiated by the barangays themselves. Neither
did the barangay chairmen file the suit in representation of their respective barangays. Only the barangays
are the only lawful recipients of these funds

2007 RULINGS
Rivera III vs. Commission on Elections, 523 SCRA 41

Doctrine: Local Elections. The fact that a mayor was ousted in the electoral protest case filed does not
constitute an interruption in serving the full term.

A petition for cancelation of the Certificate of Candidacy of Marino Morales as mayoralty candidate in
Mabalacat, Pampanga for the May 2004 mayoralty was filed on the ground the he already served three
consecutive terms in the office he seeks to run. Morales argues that this is not so because although he
really served in 1995-1998 (1st term) and 2004-2007 (3rd term), he was merely a caretaker or de facto
mayor in1998-2001(2nd term) because his election was declared void by the RTC due to anelection
protest. Comelec ruled that Morales already served his third term and after an MR was filed declared it
final and executory on May 14,2004.The issue here is whether Morales had already served his
3consecutive terms and if so, who shouldtake his position. The Supreme Court said that for the three-term
limit for elective local government officials to apply, two conditions or requisites must concur, to wit:(1)
that the official concerned has been elected for three (3) consecutive terms in the same local government
post, and (2) that he has fully served three (3) consecutive terms. Here, Morales was elected for the term
July1, 1998 to June 30, 2001. He assumed the position. He served as mayor until June 30,2001. He was
mayor for the entire period not withstanding the Decision of the RTC in the electoral protest case filed by
petitioner Dee ousting him (respondent) as mayor. Such circumstance does not constitute an interruption
in serving the full term. Whether as "caretaker" or "de facto" officer, he exercises the powers and enjoys
the prerequisites of the office which enables him "to stay on indefinitely". With regard to the person who
will replace Morales, it is a rule that the ineligibility of a candidate receiving majority votes does
notentitle the eligible candidate receiving the next highest number of votes to be declared elected. A
minority or defeated candidate cannot be deemed elected to the office. Since his disqualification became
final and executory after the elections, the candidate having the second highest number of votes cannot
assume the position. Hence, it is the petitioner, the elected Vice Mayor Anthony Dee who should be
declared as the mayor.

Don vs. Lacsa, 529 SCRA 327

Doctrine: Suspension, Procedural. The final and executory phrase used in Sec 61(c) of the LGC means
immediately executoy, albeit the respondent may appeal the adverse decision to the proper office.
A complaint was filed in the Sangguniang Bayan of Juban, Sorsogon for grave threats, oppression, grave
misconduct and abuse of authority against Ramon Lacsa, Punong Barangay of Bacolod, Juban, Sorsogon.
A special investigation committee, created to investigate the case, found sufficient evidence for the
preventive suspension of respondent. Accordingly, a resolution was passed recommending his preventive
suspension. Acting on the recommendation, the Mayor slapped a two-month preventive suspension
against respondent. On Mar. 07, 2005, the Sangguniang Bayan passed a resolution removing respondent
from office. The Mayor issued an executive order implementing the resolution to remove respondent.
Twenty one days after receiving the order, Ramon Lacsa filed a petition for certiorari with the RTC of
Sorsogon. The issue is whether or not the petition for certiorari is the proper recourse. The Supreme Court
said that certiorari is NOT the proper course. Respondent should have filed an appeal with the proper
body pursuant to Sec. 67 of the Local Government Code. The conditions that would afford respondent to
file a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court as he did file one before the RTC that a
tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of
its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and
there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law are not here
present.

2008 RULINGS
Sema vs. Commission on Elections, 558 SCRA 700

Local Autonomy. It is axiomatic that organic acts of autonomous regions cannot prevail over the
Constitution. View that the guarantee of local autonomy is actualized through a local government code
that delineates the structure and powers of local governments, and through constitutional measures that
entitle local government unites to generate their own revenue stream and assure the same of their fair
share in the national interal revenue.

Catu vs. Rellosa, 546 SCRA 209

Practice of Profession. Section 90 of R.A. 7160, not section 7(B)(2) of R.A. 6713, governs the practice of
profession of elective local officials.

Unlike governors, city mayors and municipal mayors, members of the sanguniang panlalawigan,
sanguniang panlungsod or sanguniang bayan are required to hold regular sessions only at least once a
week, and since the law itself grants them the authority to practice their professions, engage in any
occupation or teach in schools outside session hours, there is no longer any need for them to secure prior
permission or authorization from any other person or office for any of these purposes. Id.

A punong Barangay is not forbidden to practice his profession but he should procure prior permission or
authorization from the head of his Department, as required by civil service regulations. Id.

A punong Barangay who is also a lawyer should obtain the prior written permission of the Secretary of
Interior and Local Government before he enters his appearance as counsel for any party, and his failure to
comply with Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Rules constitutes a violation of his oath as a
lawyer to obey the laws; Lawyers are servants of the law, vires legis, men of the law. Id.
Miniciplality of Nueva Ecija, Ilocos Norte vs. Municiplality of Marcos, Ilocos Norte, 547 SCRA 71

Local Plebiscite. If at the time a local government unit was created a plebiscite was not required by law,
then such local government is validly created even without conducting a plebiscite; It is the basic norm
that provisions of the fundamental law should be given prospective application only, unless legislative
intent for its retroactive application is so provided.

Sangguniang Barangay of Don Mariano Marcos, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya vs. Martinez, 547 SCRA
416

Removal. Pertinent legal provisions and cases decided by the Court firmly establish that the Sangguniang
Bayan is not empowered to remove an elective local official from office.

The office of the President is without any power to remove elected officials, since the power is
exclusively vested in the proper courts. Id.

The Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang Bayan cannot order the removal of an erring elective
Barangay official from office, as the courts are exclusively vested with this power under section 60 of the
Local Government Code; The most extreme penalty that the Sangguniang Panlungsod or Sangguniang
Bayan may impose on the erring elective Barangay official is suspension.

Petron Corporation vs. Tiangco, 551 SCRA 484

Local Taxation. While local government units are authorized to burden all such other class of goods with
taxes, fees and charges, excepting excise taxes, a specific prohibition is imposed barring the levying of
any other type of taxes with respect to petroleum products. In accordance to the New Navotas Revenue
Code or Ordinance 92-03, petitioner Petron Corporation was assessed a total tax of P6,259,087.62. Petron
filed a letter protest arguing that it is exempt from paying local business taxes as provided by Article 232
(h) of the Implementing Rules of the Local Government Code. The letter-protest was denied. A Complaint
for Cancellation of Assessment was filed before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malabon. The RTC
dismissed the Complaint and required Petron to pay the assessed tax. A Motion for Reconsideration was
filed but it was later denied by the court. Hence, the filing of this petition. The issue was whether or not a
local government unit is empowered under the Local Government Code (LGC) to impose business taxes
on persons or entities engaged in the sale of petroleum. The Supreme Court decided that they are
empowered. The power of a municipality to impose business taxes is provided for in Section 143 of the
LGC. Under the provision, a municipality is authorized to impose business taxes on a whole host of
business activities. Suffice it to say, unless there is another provision of law which states otherwise,
Section 143, broad in scope as it is, would undoubtedly cover the business of selling diesel fuels, or any
other petroleum product for that matter.

Limbona vs. Commission on Elections, 555 SCRA 391

Removal. Where there is a permanent vacancy arising from the failure of a mayor to qualify or arising
from her removal from office, the Vice-mayor shall succeed as mayor, not the second placer in the
election. Legal discqualifation under the law there is no basis for the interpretation that there is not
violation should a person suffering from temporary disqualification be appointed as long as the appointee
possesses all the qualifications stated in the law.

Department of Agrarian Reform vs. Pablo Coconut Plantation Co., Inc., 564 SCRA 78

Zoning and Land Use. Section 20 of the Local Government Code provides that a city or municipality can
reclassify land only through the enactment of an ordinance. In this instance, reclassification was
undertaken by mere resolution which is invalid.

League of Cities in the Philippines v. COMELEC

November 18, 2008

Cityhood Laws. During the 11th Congress, Congress enacted into law 33 bills converting 33
municipalities into cities. However, Congress did not act on bills converting 24 other municipalities into
cities. During the 12th Congress, Congress enacted into law Republic Act No. 9009 which took effect on
June 30, 2001. RA 9009 amended Section 450 of the Local Government Code by increasing the annual
income requirement for conversion of a municipality into a city from P20 million to P100 million. After
the effectivity of RA 9009, the House of Representatives of the 12th Congress adopted Joint Resolution
No. 29, which sought to exempt from the P100 million income requirements in RA 9009 the 24
municipalities whose cityhood bills were not approved in the 11th Congress. However, the 12th Congress
ended without the Senate approving Joint Resolution No. 29. During the 13th Congress, the House of
Representatives re-adopted Joint Resolution No. 29 as Joint Resolution No. 1 and forwarded it to the
Senate for approval. However, the Senate again failed to approve the Joint Resolution. Following the
advice of Senator Aquilino Pimentel, 16 municipalities filed, through their respective sponsors, individual
cityhood bills. The 16 cityhood bills contained a common provision exempting all the 16 municipalities
from the P100 million income requirements in RA 9009. On December 22, 2006, the House of
Representatives approved the cityhood bills. The Senate also approved the cityhood bills in February
2007, except that of Naga, Cebu which was passed on June 7, 2007. The cityhood bills lapsed into law
(Cityhood Laws) on various dates from March to July 2007 without the Presidents signature. The
Cityhood Laws direct the COMELEC to hold plebiscites to determine whether the voters in each
respondent municipality approve of the conversion of their municipality into a city. Petitioners filed the
present petitions to declare the Cityhood Laws unconstitutional for violation of Section 10, Article X of
the Constitution, as well as for violation of the equal protection clause. Petitioners also lament that the
wholesale conversion of municipalities into cities will reduce the share of existing cities in the Internal
Revenue Allotment because more cities will share the same amount of internal revenue set aside for all
cities under Section 285 of the Local Government Code. The issues are whether the Cityhood Laws
violate Section 10, Article X of the Constitution; and Whether or not the Cityhood Laws violate the equal
protection clause. The Supreme Court decided that The Cityhood Laws violate Sections 6 and 10, Article
X of the Constitution, and are thus unconstitutional since the Constitution requires that Congress shall
prescribe all the criteria for the creation of a city in the Local Government Code and not in any other law,
including the Cityhood Laws.. Furhter, it also violates the equal protection clause. There is no substantial
distinction between municipalities with pending cityhood bills in the 11th Congress and municipalities
that did not have pending bills. The mere pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress is not a
material difference to distinguish one municipality from another for the purpose of the income
requirement. The pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress does not affect or determine the level
of income of a municipality. Municipalities with pending cityhood bills in the 11th Congress might even
have lower annual income than municipalities that did not have pending cityhood bills. In short, the
classification criterion of mere pendency of a cityhood bill in the 11th Congress is not rationally related to
the purpose of the law which is to prevent fiscally non-viable municipalities from converting into cities.

Laceda, Sr. vs. Limena, 571 SCRA 603

Term of Office. Laceda admitted having served as Punong Barangay of Panlayaan for three consecutive
terms. However, he asserted that when he was elected for his first two terms, Sorsogon was still a
municipality, and that when he served his third term, the Municipality of Sorsogon had already been
merged with the Municipality of Bacon to form a new political unit, the City of Sorsogon, pursuant to
Republic Act No. 8806. Thus, he argued that his third term was actually just his first in the new political
unit and that he was accordingly entitled to run for two more terms.The Supreme Court said that while it
is true that under Rep. Act No. 8806 the municipalities of Sorsogon and Bacon were merged and
converted into a city thereby abolishing the former and creating Sorsogon City as a new political unit, it
cannot be said that for the purpose of applying the prohibition in Section 2 of Rep. Act No. 9164, the
office of Punong Barangay of Barangay Panlayaan, Municipality of Sorsogon, would now be construed as
a different local government post as that of the office of Punong Barangay of Barangay Panlayaan,
Sorsogon City. The territorial jurisdiction of Barangay Panlayaan, Sorsogon City, is the same as before
the conversion. Consequently, the inhabitants of the barangay are the same. They are the same group of
voters who elected Laceda to be their Punong Barangay for three consecutive terms and over whom
Laceda held power and authority as their Punong Barangay. Moreover, Rep. Act No. 8806 did not
interrupt Lacedas term.

2009 RULINGS
City of Iloilo vs. SMART Communications, Inc., 580 SCRA 332

FACTS:

Local Taxation. SMART received a letter of assessment dated February 12, 2002 from the city requiring it
to pay deficiency local franchise and business taxes, in the amount of P764,545.29, which it incurred for
the years 1997 to 2001. SMART protested the assessment, claiming exemption from payment of local
franchise and business taxes based on Section 9 of its legislative franchise under Republic Act (R.A.) No.
7294 (SMARTs franchise). Under SMARTs franchise, it was required to pay a franchise tax equivalent
to 3% of all gross receipts, which amount shall be in lieu of all taxes. SMART contends that the in lieu
of all taxes clause covers local franchise and business taxes. SMART similarly invoked R.A. No. 7925 or
the Public Telecommunications Policy Act (Public Telecoms Act) whose Section 23 declares that any
existing privilege, incentive, advantage, or exemption granted under existing franchises shall ipso facto
become part of previously granted-telecommunications franchise. SMART contends that by virtue of
Section 23, tax exemptions granted by the legislature to other holders of telecommunications franchise
may be extended to and availed of by SMART. The petitioner posits that SMARTs claim for exemption
under its franchise is not equivocal enough to prevail over the specific grant of power to local government
units to exact taxes from businesses operating within its territorial jurisdiction under Section 137 in
relation to Section 151 of the LGC. More importantly, it claimed that exemptions from taxation have
already been removed by Section 193 of the LGC, which provides that tax exemptions or incentives
granted to, or presently enjoyed by all persons, whether natural or juridical, including government-owned
or controlled corporations, except local water districts, cooperatives duly registered under RA No. 6938,
non-stock and non-profit hospitals and educational institutions, are hereby withdrawn upon the effectivity
of this Code. The issue is whether or not SMART is exempt from the payment of local franchise and
business taxes under Section 9 of its franchise and Section 23 of the Public Telecoms Act. The Supreme
Court said that the basic principle in the construction of laws granting tax exemptions is he who claims an
exemption from his share of the common burden of taxation must justify his claim by showing that the
Legislature intended to exempt him by words too plain to be beyond doubt or mistake.We have indeed
ruled that by virtue of Section 193 of the LGC, all tax exemption privileges then enjoyed by all persons,
save those expressly mentioned, have been withdrawn effective January 1, 1992 the date of effectivity
of the LGC. The first clause of Section 137 of the LGC states the same rule. However, the withdrawal of
exemptions, whether under Section 193 or 137 of the LGC, pertains only to those already existing when
the LGC was enacted. The intention of the legislature was to remove all tax exemptions or incentives
granted prior to the LGC. As SMARTs franchise was made effective on March 27, 1992 after the
effectivity of the LGC Section 193 will therefore not apply in this case.

Vergara vs. Ombudsman, 580 SCRA 693

Local Government Contracts. When the local chief executive enters into contracts, he needs prior
authorization or authority from the Sanggunian and not ratification.

Bolos Jr. vs. Commission on Elections (First Division), 581 SCRA 786

Local Elections, Voluntarily Relinquishment. A Punong Barangay in running for and winning as
Sangguniang Bayan member and assuming said office is deemed to have voluntarily relinquished his
office.

Newsounds Broadcasting Network, Inc. vs. Dy, 583 SCRA 333

Local Legislation. The LGC authorizes local legislative bodies to enact ordinances authorizing the
issuance of permits or licenses upon such onditions and for such purposes intended to promote the general
welfare of the inhabitants of the LGU. A municipal license is essentially a governmental restriction upon
private rights and is valid only if based upon an exercise by the municipality of its power or taxing
powers. The power of the mayor to issue license and permits and suspend or revoke the same must be
exercised pursuant to law or ordinance.

Ongsuco vs. Malones, 604 SCRA 499

Public Hearing, Local Taxation. The defect in the enactment of a revenue ordinance is not cured when
another public hearing was held after the questioned ordinance was passed the Local Government Code
prescribes that the public hearing be held prior to the enactment by a local government unit of an
ordinance levying taxes, fees, and charges.
City of Manila vs. Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc., 595 SCRA 299

Local Taxation. Respondent paid the local business tax only as a manufacturers as it was expressly
exempted from the business tax under a different section and which applied to businesses subject to
excise, VAT or percentage tax under the Tax Code. The City of Manila subsequently amended the
ordinance by deleting the provision exempting businesses under the latter section if they have already
paid taxes under a different section in the ordinance. This amending ordinance was later declared by the
Supreme Court null and void. Respondent then filed a protest on the ground of double taxation. RTC
decided in favor of Respondent and the decision was received by Petitioner on April 20, 2007. On May 4,
2007, Petitioner filed with the CTA a Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review asking for
a 15-day extension or until May 20, 2007 within which to file its Petition. A second Motion for Extension
was filed on May 18, 2007, this time asking for a 10-day extension to file the Petition. Petitioner finally
filed the Petition on May 30, 2007 even if the CTA had earlier issued a resolution dismissing the case for
failure to timely file the Petition. The issued is does the enforcement of the latter section of the tax
ordinance constitute double taxation? The Supreme Court said yes, there is of double taxation. if
respondent is subjected to the taxes under both Sections 14 and 21 of the tax ordinance since these are
being imposed: (1) on the same subject matter the privilege of doing business in the City of Manila;
(2) for the same purpose to make persons conducting business within the City of Manila contribute to
city revenues; (3) by the same taxing authority petitioner City of Manila; (4) within the same taxing
jurisdiction within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Manila; (5) for the same taxing periods
per calendar year; and (6) of the same kind or character a local business tax imposed on gross sales or
receipts of the business.

Alvarez vs. PICOP Resources, Inc., 606 SCRA 444

Doctrine:
Licenses. A timber license is not a contract within the purview of the non-impairment clause.

PICOP filed with the DENR an application to have its Timber License Agreement (TLA) No. 43
converted into an IFMA. PICOP filed before the (RTC) City a Petition for Mandamus against then DENR
Sec Alvarez for unlawfully refusing and/or neglecting to sign and execute the IFMA contract of PICOP
even as the latter has complied with all the legal requirements for the automatic conversion of TLA No.
43, as amended, into an IFMA. The cause of action of PICOP Resources, Inc. (PICOP) in its Petition for
Mandamus with the trial court is clear: the government is bound by contract, a 1969 Document signed by
then President Ferdinand Marcos, to enter into an Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) with
PICOP. The issue is whether the 1969 Document is a contract recognized under the non-impairment
clause by which the government may be bound (for the issuance of the IFMA). The Supreme Court said it
is not a contract. Our definitive ruling in Oposa v. Factoran that a timber license is not a contract within
the purview of the non-impairment clause is edifying. We declared: Needless to say, all licenses may thus
be revoked or rescinded by executive action. It is not a contract, property or a property right protected by
the due process clause of the Constitution.Since timber licenses are not contracts, the non-impairment
clause, which reads: "SEC. 10. No law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed." cannot be
invoked. The Presidential Warranty cannot, in any manner, be construed as a contractual undertaking
assuring PICOP of exclusive possession and enjoyment of its concession areas. Such an interpretation
would result in the complete abdication by the State in favor of PICOP of the sovereign power to control
and supervise the exploration, development and utilization of the natural resources in the area.
Sampiano vs. Indar, 608 SCRA 597

Barangay Sangalang vs. Barangay Maguihan, 609 SCRA 57

Doctrine:
Border Dispute. To this Courts mind, the presence of the cadastral map, which was approved by the
Director of Lands, should be given more weight than the documents sourced by petitioner from the
assessors office. . Between a geodetic engineer and a tax assessor, the conclusion is inevitable that it is
the formers certification as to the location of properties in dispute that is controlling, absent any finding
of abuse of discretion.

The controversy has its roots in a barangay jurisdiction dispute between petitioner Barangay Sangalang
and respondent Barangay Maguihan, both situated in Lemery, Batangas. Specifically, the properties
involved in the controversy are those covered by Tax Declaration Nos. 038-00315, 038-00316, and 038-
00317. Resolution No. 75-96 was subsequently passed recognizing that the areas which are the subject of
a barangay dispute covered are within the territorial jurisdiction of Barangay Sangalang. The documents
presented by petitioner were sourced from the tax assessors office, whereas the documents presented by
respondent were sourced from the land management bureau. Which between the documents presented by
the parties carries greater weight in proving its claim? To this Courts mind, the presence of the cadastral
map, which was approved by the Director of Lands, should be given more weight than the documents
sourced by petitioner from the assessors office. Said map was approved on March 17, 1986, which was
approximately 10 years before the controversy in hand developed. Hence, the same should be controlling
in the absence of proof that such document is invalid or inaccurate. This Court shares the view of the
RTC. It is undisputed that the Land Management Bureau is the principal government agency tasked with
the survey of lands, and thus, more weight should be given to the documents relating to its official tasks
which are presumed to be done in the ordinary course of business. Between a geodetic engineer and a tax
assessor, the conclusion is inevitable that it is the formers certification as to the location of properties in
dispute that is controlling, absent any finding of abuse of discretion.

2010 Rulings
Due process; local autonomy; police power. Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Administrative Order
No. 01-02, as amended, which sets out rules on land use conversion, does not violate the due process
clause, because in providing administrative and criminal penalties, the Secretary of Agrarian Reform
simply implements the provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and the Agriculture and
Fisheries Modernization Act, both of which provide penalties for illegal land conversion. Contrary to
petitioners assertions, the penalties provided under DAR AO No. 01-02 are imposed upon the illegal or
premature conversion of lands within DARs jurisdiction. In providing that reclassification of agricultural
lands by local government units (LGUs) shall be subject to the requirements of, and procedures for, land
use conversion, including DAR approval or clearance, DAR AO No. 01-02 did not violate the autonomy
of the LGUs. The power of LGUs to reclassify agricultural lands is not absolute, and the Local
Government Code recognizes the authority of DAR to approve conversion of agricultural lands. DAR
Memorandum No. 88, which temporarily suspended the processing and approval of all land use
conversion applications, is a valid exercise of police power, as it was issued upon the instruction of the
President in order to address the unabated conversion of prime agricultural lands for real estate
development because of the worsening rice shortage in the country at that time. Such measure was made
in order to ensure that there are enough agricultural lands in which rice cultivation and production may be
carried into. Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Associations, Inc. vs. The Secretary of Agrarian
Reform, G.R. No. 183409, June 18, 2010.

Local government; creation of city. RA 9591 is unconstitutional for being violative of Section 5(3),
Article VI of the 1987 Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution.
The 1987 Constitution requires that for a city to have a legislative district, the city must have a
population of at least two hundred fifty thousand. The only issue here is whether the City of Malolos has
a population of at least 250,000, whether actual or projected, for the purpose of creating a legislative
district for the City of Malolos in time for the 10 May 2010 elections. If not, then RA 9591 creating a
legislative district in the City of Malolos is unconstitutional. There is no official record that the population
of the City of Malolos will be at least 250,000, actual or projected, prior to the 10 May 2010 elections, the
immediately following election after the supposed attainment of such population. Thus, the City of
Malolos is not qualified to have a legislative district of its own under Section 5(3), Article VI of the 1987
Constitution and Section 3 of the Ordinance appended to the 1987 Constitution. Victorino Aldaba, et al.
vs.Commission on Elections, G.R. No. 188078, January 25, 2010.

2011Ruling
Luciano Veloso, Abraham Cabochan, Jocelyn Dawis-Asuncion and Marlon M. Lacson vs. Commission on
Audit, G.R. No. 193677. September 6, 2011

Doctrine: Local government units; grant of award to employees. The recomputation of the award
disclosed that it is equivalent to the total compensation received by each awardee for nine years that
includes basic salary, additional compensation, Personnel Economic Relief Allowance, representation
and transportation allowance, rice allowance, financial assistance, clothing allowance, 13 th month pay
and cash gift. Undoubtedly, the awardees reward is excessive and tantamount to double and additional
compensation.

FACTS:

On December 7, 2000, the City Council of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 8040 entitled An
Ordinance Authorizing the Conferment of Exemplary Public Service Award to Elective Local Officials of
Manila Who Have Been Elected for Three (3) Consecutive Terms in the Same Position. On August 8,
2005, Atty. Gabriel J. Espina (Atty. Espina), Supervising Auditor of the City of Manila, issued Audit
Observation Memorandum (AOM) No. 2005-100(05)07(05)[6] with the following observations:

1. The initial payment of monetary reward as part of Exemplary Public Service Award
(EPSA) amounting to P9,923,257.00 to former councilors of the City Government of Manila who have
been elected for three (3) consecutive terms to the same position as authorized by City Ordinance No.
8040 is without legal basis.

2. The amount granted as monetary reward is excessive and tantamount to double


compensation in contravention to Article 170 (c) of the IRR of RA 7160 which provides that no elective
or appointive local official shall receive additional, double or indirect compensation unless specifically
authorized by law.
3. The appropriations for retirement gratuity to implement EPSA ordinance was classified as
Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses instead of Personal Services contrary to Section 7, Volume
III of the Manual on the New Government Accounting System (NGAS) for local government units and
COA Circular No. 2004-008 dated September 20, 2004 which provide the updated description of accounts
under the NGAS.[7]

After evaluation of the AOM, the Director, Legal and Adjudication Office (LAO)-Local of the COA
issued ND No. 06-010-100-05[8] dated May 24, 2006.

On November 9, 2006, former councilors Jocelyn Dawis-Asuncion (Dawis-Asuncion), Luciano M.


Veloso (Veloso), Abraham C. Cabochan (Cabochan), Marlon M. Lacson (Lacson), Julio E. Logarta, Jr.,
and Monina U. Silva, City Accountant Gloria C. Quilantang, City Budget Officer Alicia Moscaya and
then Vice Mayor and Presiding Officer Danilo B. Lacuna filed a Motion to Lift the Notice of
Disallowance.[9] In its Decision No. 2007-171[10] dated November 29, 2007, the LAO-Local decided in
favor of the movants.

Citing Article 170 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 7160, the
LAO-Local held that the monetary reward given to the former councilors can be one of gratuity and,
therefore, cannot be considered as additional, double or indirect compensation. Giving importance to the
principle of local autonomy, the LAO-local upheld the power of local government units (LGUs) to grant
allowances. More importantly, it emphasized that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) did
not disapprove the appropriation for the EPSA of the City which indicate that the same is valid.

Upon review, the COA rendered the assailed Decision No. 2008-088 sustaining ND No. 06-010-100-05.
[13] The motion for reconsideration was likewise denied in Decision No. 2010-077.[14] The COA opined
that the monetary reward under the EPSA is covered by the term compensation. Though it recognizes
the local autonomy of LGUs, it emphasized the limitations thereof set forth in the Salary Standardization
Law (SSL). It explained that the SSL does not authorize the grant of such monetary reward or gratuity. It
also stressed the absence of a specific law passed by Congress which ordains the conferment of such
monetary reward or gratuity to the former councilors. In Decision No. 2010-077, in response to the
question on its jurisdiction to rule on the legality of the disbursement, the COA held that it is vested by
the Constitution the power to determine whether government entities comply with laws and regulations in
disbursing government funds and to disallow irregular disbursements.

Aggrieved, petitioners Veloso, Cabochan, Dawis-Asuncion and Lacson come before the Court in this
special civil action for certiorari alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COA. The prime
issue was whether the COA has the authority to disallow the disbursement of local government funds; and
whether the COA committed grave abuse of discretion in affirming the disallowance of P9,923,257.00
covering the EPSA of former three-term councilors of the City of Manila authorized by Ordinance No.
8040.

The Supreme Court said that Section 2. (1) The Commission on Audit shall have the power, authority, and
duty to examine, audit, and settle all accounts pertaining to the revenue and receipts of, and expenditures
or uses of funds and property, owned or held in trust by, or pertaining to, the Government, or any of its
subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations with
original charters, and on a post-audit basis: (a) constitutional bodies, commissions and offices that have
been granted fiscal autonomy under this Constitution; (b) autonomous state colleges and universities; (c)
other government-owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries; and (d) such non-governmental
entities receiving subsidy or equity, directly or indirectly, from or through the Government, which are
required by law or the granting institution to submit to such audit as a condition of subsidy or equity.
However, where the internal control system of the audited agencies is inadequate, the Commission may
adopt such measures, including temporary or special pre-audit, as are necessary and appropriate to correct
the deficiencies. It shall keep the general accounts of the Government and, for such period as may be
provided by law, preserve the vouchers and other supporting papers pertaining thereto.

Pursuant to its mandate as the guardian of public funds, the COA is vested with broad powers over all
accounts pertaining to government revenue and expenditures and the uses of public funds and property.
This includes the exclusive authority to define the scope of its audit and examination, establish the
techniques and methods for such review, and promulgate accounting and auditing rules and
regulations.The COA is endowed with enough latitude to determine, prevent and disallow irregular,
unnecessary, excessive, extravagant or unconscionable expenditures of government funds. It is tasked to
be vigilant and conscientious in safeguarding the proper use of the government's, and ultimately the
people's, property. The exercise of its general audit power is among the constitutional mechanisms that
gives life to the check and balance system inherent in our form of government.

The Court had therefore previously upheld the authority of the COA to disapprove payments which it
finds excessive and disadvantageous to the Government; to determine the meaning of public bidding
and when there is failure in the bidding; to disallow expenditures which it finds unnecessary according to
its rules even if disallowance will mean discontinuance of foreign aid; to disallow a contract even after it
has been executed and goods have been delivered.

In this case, we find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COA in issuing the assailed decisions
as will be discussed below. Petitioners claim that the grant of the retirement and gratuity pay
remuneration is a valid exercise of the powers of the Sangguniang Panlungsod set forth in RA 7160. We
disagree. Indeed, Section 458 of RA 7160 defines the power, duties, functions and compensation of the
Sangguniang Panlungsod However, as correctly held by the COA, the above power is not without
limitations. These limitations are embodied in Section 81 of RA 7160. Moreover, the IRR of RA 7160
reproduced the Constitutional provision that no elective or appointive local official or employee shall
receive additional, double, or indirect compensation, unless specifically authorized by law, nor accept
without the consent of the Congress, any present, emoluments, office, or title of any kind from any
foreign government. Section 325 of the law limit the total appropriations for personal services of a local
government unit to not more than 45% of its total annual income from regular sources realized in the next
preceding fiscal year. While it may be true that the above appropriation did not exceed the budgetary
limitation set by RA 7160, we find that the COA is correct in sustaining ND No. 06-010-100-05.

In the exercise of its power to determine the positions and salaries, wages, allowances and other
emoluments and benefits of officials and employees paid wholly or mainly from city funds and provide
for expenditures necessary for the proper conduct of programs, projects, services, and activities of the city
government, the City Council of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 8040, which authorized the conferment
of the EPSA (Exemplary Public Service Award) to the former three-term councilors and, as part of the
award, the qualified city officials were to be given retirement and gratuity pay remuneration. The
Supreme Court, however, noted that the above power is not without limitations, such as the rule against
double compensation. The recomputation of the award disclosed that it is equivalent to the total
compensation received by each awardee for nine years that includes basic salary, additional
compensation, Personnel Economic Relief Allowance, representation and transportation allowance, rice
allowance, financial assistance, clothing allowance, 13 th month pay and cash gift. Undoubtedly, the
awardees reward is excessive and tantamount to double and additional compensation. The remuneration
is equivalent to everything that the awardees received during the entire period that he served as such
official. Indirectly, their salaries and benefits are doubled, only that they receive half of them at the end
of their last term.

Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan, et al. v. Hon. Ronaldo Puno, et al., G.R. No. 190259. June 7, 2011

Doctrine: Control or Supervisor When the President authorized the DILG Sec to take over the ARMM, it
did not take over the administration or operations of ARMM hence autonomy was not violated.

The claim of petitioners in this case that the subject proclamation and administrative orders violate the
principle of local autonomy is anchored on the allegation that, through them, the President authorized the
DILG Secretary to take over the operations of the ARMM and assume direct governmental powers over
the region. The Supreme Court held that in the first place, the DILG Secretary did not take over control
of the powers of the ARMM. The SC observed that after law enforcement agents took respondent
Governor of ARMM into custody for alleged complicity in the Maguindanao massacre, the ARMM Vice-
Governor, petitioner Ansaruddin Adiong, assumed the vacated post on December 10, 2009 pursuant to the
rule on succession found in Article VII, Section 12, of RA 9054. In turn, Acting Governor Adiong named
the then Speaker of the ARMM Regional Assembly, petitioner Sahali-Generale, Acting ARMM Vice-
Governor. In short, the DILG Secretary did not take over the administration or operations of the
ARMM.

League of Cities of the Philippines etc., et al. v. COMELEC, et al./League of Cities of the
Philippines etc., et al. v. COMELEC, et al./League of Cities of the Philippines etc., et al. v.
COMELEC, et al., G.R. No. 176951/G.R. No. 177499/G.R. No. 178056. April 12, 2011.

Doctrine: Cityhood Laws, Equal Protection. Thereby, R.A. No. 9009, and, by necessity, the LGC, were
amended, not by repeal but by way of the express exemptions being embodied in the exemption clauses.

The petitioners in this case reiterate their position that the Cityhood Laws violate Section 6 and Section
10 of Article X of the Constitution, the Equal Protection Clause, and the right of local governments to a
just share in the national taxes. This was denied by the Supreme Court. Congress clearly intended that the
local government units covered by the Cityhood Laws be exempted from the coverage of R.A. No. 9009
(the Cityhood Law). The House of Representatives adopted Joint Resolution No. 29, entitled Joint
Resolution to Exempt Certain Municipalities Embodied in Bills Filed in Congress before June 30, 2001
from the coverage of Republic Act No. 9009. However, the Senate failed to act on Joint Resolution No.
29. Even so, the House of Representatives readopted Joint Resolution No. 29 as Joint Resolution No. 1
during the 12th Congress, and forwarded Joint Resolution No. 1 to the Senate for approval. Again, the
Senate failed to approve Joint Resolution No. 1. Thereafter, the conversion bills of the respondents were
individually filed in the House of Representatives, and were all unanimously and favorably voted upon by
the Members of the House of Representatives. The bills, when forwarded to the Senate, were likewise
unanimously approved by the Senate. The acts of both Chambers of Congress show that the exemption
clauses ultimately incorporated in the Cityhood Laws are but the express articulations of the clear
legislative intent to exempt the respondents, without exception, from the coverage of R.A. No. 9009.
Thereby, R.A. No. 9009, and, by necessity, the LGC, were amended, not by repeal but by way of the
express exemptions being embodied in the exemption clauses.

League of Cities of the Philippines etc., et al. v. COMELEC, et al./League of Cities of the Philippines etc.,
et al. v. COMELEC, et al./League of Cities of the Philippines etc., et al. v. COMELEC, et al., G.R. No.
176951/G.R. No. 177499/G.R. No. 178056. April 12, 2011.

Doctrine: Cityhood Laws; Just share in national taxesThe Supreme Court noted that the allocation by the
National Government is not a constant, and can either increase or decrease

The share of local government units is a matter of percentage under Section 285 of the Local Government
Code (LGC), not a specific amount. Specifically, the share of the cities is 23%, determined on the basis
of population (50%), land area (25%), and equal sharing (25%). This share is also dependent on the
number of existing cities, such that when the number of cities increases, then more will divide and share
the allocation for cities. However, the Supreme Court noted that the allocation by the National
Government is not a constant, and can either increase or decrease. With every newly converted city
becoming entitled to share the allocation for cities, the percentage of internal revenue allotment (IRA)
entitlement of each city will decrease, although the actual amount received may be more than that
received in the preceding year. That is a necessary consequence of Section 285 and Section 286 of the
LGC. In this case, since the conversion by the Cityhood Laws is not violative of the Constitution and the
LGC, the respondents are thus also entitled to their just share in the IRA allocation for cities.