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G.R. No.

L-57883 March 12, 1982 10


separate opinion in Aquino, Jr. v. Commission on Elections: "Then there is the attack on the standing of petitioners, as
GUALBERTO J. DE LA LLANA Presiding Judge, Branch II of the City Court of Olongapo, ESTANISLAO L. CESA, JR.,
vindicating at most what they consider a public right and not protecting their rights as individuals. This is to conjure the
FIDELA Y. VARGAS, BENJAMIN C. ESCOLANGO, JUANITO C. ATIENZA, MANUEL REYES ROSAPAPAN, JR.,
specter of the public right dogma as an inhibition to parties intent on keeping public officials staying on the path of
VIRGILIO E. ACIERTO, and PORFIRIO AGUILLON AGUILA, petitioners,
constitutionalism. As was so well put by Jaffe: 'The protection of private rights is an essential constituent of public interest
vs.
and, conversely, without a well-ordered state there could be no enforcement of private rights. Private and public interests
MANUEL ALBA, Minister of Budget, FRANCISCO TANTUICO, Chairman, Commission on Audit, and RICARDO
are, both in substantive and procedural sense, aspects of the totality of the legal order.' Moreover, petitioners have
PUNO, Minister of Justice, Respondents.
convincingly shown that in their capacity as taxpayers, their standing to sue has been amply demonstrated. There would be
a retreat from the liberal approach followed in Pascual v. Secretary of Public Works, foreshadowed by the very decision of
FERNANDO, C.J.: This Court, pursuant to its grave responsibility of passing upon the validity of any executive or
People v. Vera where the doctrine was first fully discussed, if we act differently now. I do not think we are prepared to take
legislative act in an appropriate cases, has to resolve the crucial issue of the constitutionality of Batas
that step. Respondents, however, would hark back to the American Supreme Court doctrine in Mellon v. Frothingham with
Pambansa Blg. 129, entitled "An act reorganizing the Judiciary, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other
their claim that what petitioners possess 'is an interest which is shared in common by other people and is comparatively so
Purposes." The task of judicial review, aptly characterized as exacting and delicate, is never more so than when
minute and indeterminate as to afford any basis and assurance that the judicial process can act on it.' That is to speak in
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a conceded legislative power, that of judicial reorganization, may possibly collide with the time-honored the language of a bygone era even in the United States. For as Chief Justice Warren clearly pointed out in the later case of
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principle of the independence of the judiciary as protected and safeguarded by this constitutional provision: Flast v. Cohen, the barrier thus set up if not breached has definitely been lowered."
"The Members of the Supreme Court and judges of inferior courts shall hold office during good behavior until
they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. The 2. The imputation of arbitrariness to the legislative body in the enactment of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 to demonstrate lack
Supreme Court shall have the power to discipline judges of inferior courts and, by a vote of at least eight of good faith does manifest violence to the facts. Petitioners should have exercised greater care in informing themselves as
3 to its antecedents. They had laid themselves open to the accusation of reckless disregard for the truth, On August 7, 1980,
Members, order their dismissal." For the assailed legislation mandates that Justices and judges of inferior 12
courts from the Court of Appeals to municipal circuit courts, except the occupants of the Sandiganbayan and a Presidential Committee on Judicial Reorganization was organized. This Executive Order was later amended by
the Court of Tax Appeals, unless appointed to the inferior courts established by such Act, would be considered Executive Order No. 619-A., dated September 5 of that year. It clearly specified the task assigned to it: "1. The Committee
separated from the judiciary. It is the termination of their incumbency that for petitioners justifies a suit of this shall formulate plans on the reorganization of the Judiciary which shall be submitted within seventy (70) days from August
character, it being alleged that thereby the security of tenure provision of the Constitution has been ignored 7, 1980 to provide the President sufficient options for the reorganization of the entire Judiciary which shall embrace all
and disregarded, lower courts, including the Court of Appeals, the Courts of First Instance, the City and Municipal Courts, and all Special
That is the fundamental issue raised in this proceeding, erroneously entitled Petition for Declaratory Relief 13
Courts, but excluding the Sandigan Bayan." On October 17, 1980, a Report was submitted by such Committee on Judicial
4 Reorganization. It began with this paragraph: "The Committee on Judicial Reorganization has the honor to submit the
and/or for Prohibition considered by this Court as an action for prohibited petition, seeking to enjoin
respondent Minister of the Budget, respondent Chairman of the Commission on Audit, and respondent following Report. It expresses at the outset its appreciation for the opportunity accorded it to study ways and means for
5 what today is a basic and urgent need, nothing less than the restructuring of the judicial system. There are problems, both
Minister of Justice from taking any action implementing Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. Petitioners sought to grave and pressing, that call for remedial measures. The felt necessities of the time, to borrow a phrase from Holmes,
bolster their claim by imputing lack of good faith in its enactment and characterizing as an undue delegation of admit of no delay, for if no step be taken and at the earliest opportunity, it is not too much to say that the people's faith in
legislative power to the President his authority to fix the compensation and allowances of the Justices and the administration of justice could be shaken. It is imperative that there be a greater efficiency in the disposition of cases
judges thereafter appointed and the determination of the date when the reorganization shall be deemed and that litigants, especially those of modest means — much more so, the poorest and the humblest — can vindicate their
6 rights in an expeditious and inexpensive manner. The rectitude and the fairness in the way the courts operate must be
completed. In the very comprehensive and scholarly Answer of Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza, it was
pointed out that there is no valid justification for the attack on the constitutionality of this statute, it being a manifest to all members of the community and particularly to those whose interests are affected by the exercise of their
legitimate exercise of the power vested in the Batasang Pambansa to reorganize the judiciary, the allegations of functions. It is to that task that the Committee addresses itself and hopes that the plans submitted could be a starting point
absence of good faith as well as the attack on the independence of the judiciary being unwarranted and devoid for an institutional reform in the Philippine judiciary. The experience of the Supreme Court, which since 1973 has been
of any support in law. A Supplemental Answer was likewise filed on October 8, 1981, followed by a Reply of empowered to supervise inferior courts, from the Court of Appeals to the municipal courts, has proven that reliance on
petitioners on October 13. After the hearing in the morning and afternoon of October 15, in which not only improved court management as well as training of judges for more efficient administration does not suffice. I hence, to
7 repeat, there is need for a major reform in the judicial so stem it is worth noting that it will be the first of its kind since the
petitioners and respondents were heard through counsel but also the amici curiae, and thereafter submission 14
of the minutes of the proceeding on the debate on Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, this petition was deemed Judiciary Act became effective on June 16, 1901." I t went to say: "I t does not admit of doubt that the last two decades
submitted for decision. of this century are likely to be attended with problems of even greater complexity and delicacy. New social interests are
pressing for recognition in the courts. Groups long inarticulate, primarily those economically underprivileged, have found
The importance of the crucial question raised called for intensive and rigorous study of all the legal aspects of legal spokesmen and are asserting grievances previously ignored. Fortunately, the judicially has not proved inattentive. Its
the case. After such exhaustive deliberation in several sessions, the exchange of views being supplemented by task has thus become even more formidable. For so much grist is added to the mills of justice. Moreover, they are likewise
memoranda from the members of the Court, it is our opinion and so hold that Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 is not to be quite novel. The need for an innovative approach is thus apparent. The national leadership, as is well-known, has
unconstitutional. been constantly on the search for solutions that will prove to be both acceptable and satisfactory. Only thus may there be
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1. The argument as to the lack of standing of petitioners is easily resolved. As far as Judge de la Llana is continued national progress." After which comes: "To be less abstract, the thrust is on development. That has been
8 repeatedly stressed — and rightly so. All efforts are geared to its realization. Nor, unlike in the past, was it to b "considered
concerned, he certainly falls within the principle set forth in Justice Laurel's opinion in People v. Vera. Thus:
as simply the movement towards economic progress and growth measured in terms of sustained increases in per capita
"The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must have a personal and
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substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct injury as a result of its income and Gross National Product (GNP). For the New Society, its implication goes further than economic advance,
9 extending to "the sharing, or more appropriately, the democratization of social and economic opportunities, the
enforcement." The other petitioners as members of the bar and officers of the court cannot be considered as
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devoid of "any personal and substantial interest" on the matter. There is relevance to this excerpt from a substantiation of the true meaning of social justice." This process of modernization and change compels the
government to extend its field of activity and its scope of operations. The efforts towards reducing the gap to enable it to effectively assist the Supreme Court. This preference has been translated into one of the innovations in the
between the wealthy and the poor elements in the nation call for more regulatory legislation. That way the 35
proposed Bill." In accordance with the parliamentary procedure, the Bill was sponsored by the Chairman of the
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social justice and protection to labor mandates of the Constitution could be effectively implemented." There Committee on Justice, Human Rights and Good Government to which it was referred. Thereafter, Committee Report No.
is likelihood then "that some measures deemed inimical by interests adversely affected would be challenged in 225 was submitted by such Committee to the Batasang Pambansa recommending the approval with some amendments. In
court on grounds of validity. Even if the question does not go that far, suits may be filed concerning their the sponsorship speech of Minister Ricardo C. Puno, there was reference to the Presidential Committee on Judicial
interpretation and application. ... There could be pleas for injunction or restraining orders. Lack of success of Reorganization. Thus: "On October 17, 1980, the Presidential Committee on Judicial Reorganization submitted its report to
such moves would not, even so, result in their prompt final disposition. Thus delay in the execution of the the President which contained the 'Proposed Guidelines for Judicial Reorganization.' Cabinet Bill No. 42 was drafted
policies embodied in law could thus be reasonably expected. That is not conducive to progress in substantially in accordance with the options presented by these guidelines. Some options set forth in the aforesaid report
19 were not availed of upon consultation with and upon consensus of the government and parliamentary leadership.
development." For, as mentioned in such Report, equally of vital concern is the problem of clogged dockets,
Moreover, some amendments to the bill were adopted by the Committee on Justice, Human Rights and Good Government,
which "as is well known, is one of the utmost gravity. Notwithstanding the most determined efforts exerted by
to which The bill was referred, following the public hearings on the bill held in December of 1980. The hearings consisted
the Supreme Court, through the leadership of both retired Chief Justice Querube Makalintal and the late Chief
of dialogues with the distinguished members of the bench and the bar who had submitted written proposals, suggestions,
Justice Fred Ruiz Castro, from the time supervision of the courts was vested in it under the 1973 Constitution,
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20 and position papers on the bill upon the invitation of the Committee on Justice, Human Rights and Good Government."
the trend towards more and more cases has continued." It is understandable why. With the accelerated
Stress was laid by the sponsor that the enactment of such Cabinet Bill would, firstly, result in the attainment of more
economic development, the growth of population, the increasing urbanization, and other similar factors, the
efficiency in the disposal of cases. Secondly, the improvement in the quality of justice dispensed by the courts is expected
judiciary is called upon much oftener to resolve controversies. Thus confronted with what appears to be a crisis
as a necessary consequence of the easing of the court's dockets. Thirdly, the structural changes introduced in the bill,
situation that calls for a remedy, the Batasang Pambansa had no choice. It had to act, before the ailment
together with the reallocation of jurisdiction and the revision of the rules of procedure, are designated to suit the court
became even worse. Time was of the essence, and yet it did not hesitate to be duly mindful, as it ought to be,
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of the extent of its coverage before enacting Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. system to the exigencies of the present day Philippine society, and hopefully, of the foreseeable future." it may be
observed that the volume containing the minutes of the proceedings of the Batasang Pambansa show that 590 pages were
3. There is no denying, therefore, the need for "institutional reforms," characterized in the Report as "both devoted to its discussion. It is quite obvious that it took considerable time and effort as well as exhaustive study before the
21 act was signed by the President on August 14, 1981. With such a background, it becomes quite manifest how lacking in
pressing and urgent." It is worth noting, likewise, as therein pointed out, that a major reorganization of such
22 factual basis is the allegation that its enactment is tainted by the vice of arbitrariness. What appears undoubted and
scope, if it were to take place, would be the most thorough after four generations. The reference was to the
undeniable is the good faith that characterized its enactment from its inception to the affixing of the Presidential signature.
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basic Judiciary Act generations . enacted in June of 1901, amended in a significant way, only twice previous
to the Commonwealth. There was, of course, the creation of the Court of Appeals in 1935, originally composed 5. Nothing is better settled in our law than that the abolition of an office within the competence of a legitimate body if
"of a Presiding Judge and ten appellate Judges, who shall be appointed by the President of the Philippines, with 38
done in good faith suffers from no infirmity. The ponencia of Justice J.B.L. Reyes in Cruz v. Primicias, Jr. reiterated such a
24 doctrine: "We find this point urged by respondents, to be without merit. No removal or separation of petitioners from the
the consent of the Commission on Appointments of the National Assembly, It could "sit en banc, but it may
sit in two divisions, one of six and another of five Judges, to transact business, and the two divisions may sit at service is here involved, but the validity of the abolition of their offices. This is a legal issue that is for the Courts to decide.
25 It is well-known rule also that valid abolition of offices is neither removal nor separation of the incumbents. ... And, of
the same time." Two years after the establishment of independence of the Republic of the Philippines, the course, if the abolition is void, the incumbent is deemed never to have ceased to hold office. The preliminary question laid
26 at rest, we pass to the merits of the case. As well-settled as the rule that the abolition of an office does not amount to an
Judiciary Act of 1948 was passed. It continued the existing system of regular inferior courts, namely, the
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Court of Appeals, Courts of First Instance, the Municipal Courts, at present the City Courts, and the Justice illegal removal of its incumbent is the principle that, in order to be valid, the abolition must be made in good faith." The
of the Peace Courts, now the Municipal Circuit Courts and Municipal Courts. The membership of the Court of 40
above excerpt was quoted with approval in Bendanillo, Sr. v. Provincial Governor, two earlier cases enunciating a similar
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Appeals has been continuously increased. Under a 1978 Presidential Decree, there would be forty-five doctrine having preceded it. As with the offices in the other branches of the government, so it is with the judiciary. The
29 test remains whether the abolition is in good faith. As that element is conspicuously present in the enactment of Batas
members, a Presiding Justice and forty-four Associate Justices, with fifteen divisions. Special courts were
30 Pambansa Blg. 129, then the lack of merit of this petition becomes even more apparent. The concurring opinion of Justice
likewise created. The first was the Court of Tax Appeals in 1954, next came the Court of Agrarian Relations in
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31 32 Laurel in Zandueta v. De la Costa cannot be any clearer. This is a quo warranto proceeding filed by petitioner, claiming
1955, and then in the same year a Court of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations for Manila in 1955,
that he, and not respondent, was entitled to he office of judge of the Fifth Branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila.
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subsequently followed by the creation of two other such courts for Iloilo and Quezon City in 1966. In 1967, 43
There was a Judicial Reorganization Act in 1936, a year after the inauguration of the Commonwealth, amending the
Circuit Criminal Courts were established, with the Judges having the same qualifications, rank, compensation,
Administrative Code to organize courts of original jurisdiction known as the Courts of First Instance Prior to such statute,
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and privileges as judges of Courts of First Instance. petitioner was the incumbent of such branch. Thereafter, he received an ad interim appointment, this time to the Fourth
Judicial District, under the new legislation. Unfortunately for him, the Commission on Appointments of then National
4. After the submission of such Report, Cabinet Bill No. 42, which later became the basis of Batas Pambansa Assembly disapproved the same, with respondent being appointed in his place. He contested the validity of the Act insofar
Blg. 129, was introduced. After setting forth the background as above narrated, its Explanatory Note continues: as it resulted in his being forced to vacate his position This Court did not rule squarely on the matter. His petition was
"Pursuant to the President's instructions, this proposed legislation has been drafted in accordance with the dismissed on the ground of estoppel. Nonetheless, the separate concurrence of Justice Laurel in the result reached, to
guidelines of that report with particular attention to certain objectives of the reorganization, to wit, the repeat, reaffirms in no uncertain terms the standard of good faith to preclude any doubt as to the abolition of an inferior
attainment of more efficiency in disposal of cases, a reallocation of jurisdiction, and a revision of procedures court, with due recognition of the security of tenure guarantee. Thus: " I am of the opinion that Commonwealth Act No.
which do not tend to the proper meeting out of justice. In consultation with, and upon a consensus of, the 145 in so far as it reorganizes, among other judicial districts, the Ninth Judicial District, and establishes an entirely new
governmental and parliamentary leadership, however, it was felt that some options set forth in the Report be district comprising Manila and the provinces of Rizal and Palawan, is valid and constitutional. This conclusion flows from
not availed of. Instead of the proposal to confine the jurisdiction of the intermediate appellate court merely to the fundamental proposition that the legislature may abolish courts inferior to the Supreme Court and therefore may
appellate adjudication, the preference has been opted to increase rather than diminish its jurisdiction in order reorganize them territorially or otherwise thereby necessitating new appointments and commissions. Section 2, Article VIII
of the Constitution vests in the National Assembly the power to define, prescribe and apportion the jurisdiction not and could not prove that the challenged statute was not within the bounds of legislative authority.
of the various courts, subject to certain limitations in the case of the Supreme Court. It is admitted that section
9 of the same article of the Constitution provides for the security of tenure of all the judges. The principles 7. This opinion then could very well stop at this point. The implementation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, concededly a task
embodied in these two sections of the same article of the Constitution must be coordinated and harmonized. A incumbent on the Executive, may give rise, however, to questions affecting a judiciary that should be kept independent.
mere enunciation of a principle will not decide actual cases and controversies of every sort. (Justice Holmes in The all-embracing scope of the assailed legislation as far as all inferior courts from the Courts of Appeals to municipal
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Lochner vs. New York, 198 U.S., 45; 49 Law. ed; 937)" justice Laurel continued: "I am not insensible to the courts are concerned, with the exception solely of the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals gave rise, and
argument that the National Assembly may abuse its power and move deliberately to defeat the constitutional understandably so, to misgivings as to its effect on such cherished Ideal. The first paragraph of the section on the transitory
provision guaranteeing security of tenure to all judges, But, is this the case? One need not share the view of provision reads: "The provisions of this Act shall be immediately carried out in accordance with an Executive Order to be
Story, Miller and Tucker on the one hand, or the opinion of Cooley, Watson and Baldwin on the other, to realize issued by the President. The Court of Appeals, the Courts of First Instance, the Circuit Criminal Courts, the Juvenile and
that the application of a legal or constitutional principle is necessarily factual and circumstantial and that fixity Domestic Relations Courts, the Courts of Agrarian Relations, the City Courts, the Municipal Courts, and the Municipal
of principle is the rigidity of the dead and the unprogressive. I do say, and emphatically, however, that cases Circuit Courts shall continue to function as presently constituted and organized, until the completion of the reorganization
may arise where the violation of the constitutional provision regarding security of tenure is palpable and plain, provided in this Act as declared by the President. Upon such declaration, the said courts shall be deemed automatically
and that legislative power of reorganization may be sought to cloak an unconstitutional and evil purpose. When 60
abolished and the incumbents thereof shall cease to hold the office." There is all the more reason then why this Court
a case of that kind arises, it will be the time to make the hammer fall and heavily. But not until then. I am has no choice but to inquire further into the allegation by petitioners that the security of tenure provision, an assurance of
satisfied that, as to the particular point here discussed, the purpose was the fulfillment of what was considered a judiciary free from extraneous influences, is thereby reduced to a barren form of words. The amended Constitution
a great public need by the legislative department and that Commonwealth Act No. 145 was not enacted adheres even more clearly to the long-established tradition of a strong executive that antedated the 1935 Charter. As
purposely to affect adversely the tenure of judges or of any particular judge. Under these circumstances, I am noted in the work of former Vice-Governor Hayden, a noted political scientist, President Claro M. Recto of the 1934
for sustaining the power of the legislative department under the Constitution. To be sure, there was greater Convention, in his closing address, in stressing such a concept, categorically spoke of providing "an executive power which,
necessity for reorganization consequent upon the establishment of the new government than at the time Acts subject to the fiscalization of the Assembly, and of public opinion, will not only know how to govern, but will actually
Nos. 2347 and 4007 were approved by the defunct Philippine Legislature, and although in the case of these two govern, with a firm and steady hand, unembarrassed by vexatious interferences by other departments, or by unholy
Acts there was an express provision providing for the vacation by the judges of their offices whereas in the case 61 62
alliances with this and that social group." The above excerpt was cited with approval by Justice Laurel in Planas v. Gil.
of Commonwealth Act No. 145 doubt is engendered by its silence, this doubt should be resolved in favor of the
Moreover, under the 1981 Amendments, it may be affirmed that once again the principle of separation of powers, to quote
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valid exercise of the legislative power." 63
from the same jurist as ponente in Angara v. Electoral Commission, "obtains not through express provision but by actual
6. A few more words on the question of abolition. In the above-cited opinion of Justice Laurel in Zandueta, 64
division." The president, under Article VII, shall be the head of state and chief executive of the Republic of the
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reference was made to Act No. 2347 on the reorganization of the Courts of First Instance and to Act No. Philippines." Moreover, it is equally therein expressly provided that all the powers he possessed under the 1935
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4007 on the reorganization of all branches of the government, including the courts of first instance. In both Constitution are once again vested in him unless the Batasang Pambansa provides otherwise." Article VII of the 1935
of them, the then Courts of First Instance were replaced by new courts with the same appellation. As Justice 67
Laurel pointed out, there was no question as to the fact of abolition. He was equally categorical as to Constitution speaks categorically: "The Executive power shall be vested in a President of the Philippines." As originally
Commonwealth Act No. 145, where also the system of the courts of first instance was provided for expressly. It 68
framed, the 1973 Constitution created the position of President as the "symbolic head of state." In addition, there was a
was pointed out by Justice Laurel that the mere creation of an entirely new district of the same court is valid provision for a Prime Minister as the head of government exercising the executive power with the assistance of the Cabinet
and constitutional. such conclusion flowing "from the fundamental proposition that the legislature may abolish 69
Clearly, a modified parliamentary system was established. In the light of the 1981 amendments though, this Court in
courts inferior to the Supreme Court and therefore may reorganize them territorially or otherwise thereby
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48 Free Telephone Workers Union v. Minister of Labor could state: "The adoption of certain aspects of a parliamentary
necessitating new appointments and commissions." The challenged statute creates an intermediate
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49 50 51 system in the amended Constitution does not alter its essentially presidential character." The retention, however, of the
appellate court, regional trial courts, metropolitan trial courts of the national capital region, and other
position of the Prime Minister with the Cabinet, a majority of the members of which shall come from the regional
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metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts in cities, as well as in municipalities, and municipal representatives of the Batasang Pambansa and the creation of an Executive Committee composed of the Prime Minister as
55 Chairman and not more than fourteen other members at least half of whom shall be members of the Batasang Pambansa,
circuit trial courts. There is even less reason then to doubt the fact that existing inferior courts were
abolished. For the Batasang Pambansa, the establishment of such new inferior courts was the appropriate 72
clearly indicate the evolving nature of the system of government that is now operative. What is equally apparent is that
response to the grave and urgent problems that pressed for solution. Certainly, there could be differences of the strongest ties bind the executive and legislative departments. It is likewise undeniable that the Batasang Pambansa
opinion as to the appropriate remedy. The choice, however, was for the Batasan to make, not for this Court, retains its full authority to enact whatever legislation may be necessary to carry out national policy as usually formulated in
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which deals only with the question of power. It bears mentioning that in Brillo v. Eñage this Court, in an a caucus of the majority party. It is understandable then why in Fortun v. Labang it was stressed that with the provision
unanimous opinion penned by the late Justice Diokno, citing Zandueta v. De la Costa, ruled: "La segunda transferring to the Supreme Court administrative supervision over the Judiciary, there is a greater need "to preserve
question que el recurrrido plantea es que la Carta de Tacloban ha abolido el puesto. Si efectivamente ha sido unimpaired the independence of the judiciary, especially so at present, where to all intents and purposes, there is a fusion
abolido el cargo, entonces ha quedado extinguido el derecho de recurente a ocuparlo y a cobrar el salario 74
between the executive and the legislative branches."
correspodiente. Mc Culley vs. State, 46 LRA, 567. El derecho de un juez de desempenarlo hasta los 70 años de
edad o se incapacite no priva al Congreso de su facultad de abolir, fusionar o reorganizar juzgados no 8. To be more specific, petitioners contend that the abolition of the existing inferior courts collides with the security of
57 tenure enjoyed by incumbent Justices and judges under Article X, Section 7 of the Constitution. There was a similar
constitucionales." Nonetheless, such well-established principle was not held applicable to the situation
there obtaining, the Charter of Tacloban City creating a city court in place of the former justice of the peace provision in the 1935 Constitution. It did not, however, go as far as conferring on this Tribunal the power to supervise
court. Thus: "Pero en el caso de autos el Juzgado de Tacloban no ha sido abolido. Solo se le ha cambiado el 75
administratively inferior courts. Moreover, this Court is em powered "to discipline judges of inferior courts and, by a
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nombre con el cambio de forma del gobierno local." The present case is anything but that. Petitioners did vote of at least eight members, order their dismissal." Thus it possesses the competence to remove judges. Under the
77 interdependence than in independence and separation of powers, for as observed by Justice Holmes in a case of Philippine
Judiciary Act, it was the President who was vested with such power. Removal is, of course, to be
origin, we cannot lay down 'with mathematical precision and divide the branches into water-tight compartments' not only
distinguished from termination by virtue of the abolition of the office. There can be no tenure to a non-existent
because 'the great ordinances of the Constitution do not establish and divide fields of black and white but also because
office. After the abolition, there is in law no occupant. In case of removal, there is an office with an occupant
'even the more specific of them are found to terminate in a penumbra shading gradually from one extreme to the other.'"
who would thereby lose his position. It is in that sense that from the standpoint of strict law, the question of
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any impairment of security of tenure does not arise. Nonetheless, for the incumbents of inferior courts This too from Justice Tuazon, likewise expressing with force and clarity why the need for reconciliation or balancing is
abolished, the effect is one of separation. As to its effect, no distinction exists between removal and the well-nigh unavodiable under the fundamental principle of separation of powers: "The constitutional structure is a
abolition of the office. Realistically, it is devoid of significance. He ceases to be a member of the judiciary. In the complicated system, and overlappings of governmental functions are recognized, unavoidable, and inherent necessities of
implementation of the assailed legislation, therefore, it would be in accordance with accepted principles of 86
governmental coordination." In the same way that the academe has noted the existence in constitutional litigation of
constitutional construction that as far as incumbent justices and judges are concerned, this Court be consulted
right versus right, there are instances, and this is one of them, where, without this attempt at harmonizing the provisions in
and that its view be accorded the fullest consideration. No fear need be entertained that there is a failure to
question, there could be a case of power against power. That we should avoid.
accord respect to the basic principle that this Court does not render advisory opinions. No question of law is
involved. If such were the case, certainly this Court could not have its say prior to the action taken by either of 10. There are other objections raised but they pose no difficulty. Petitioners would characterize as an undue delegation of
the two departments. Even then, it could do so but only by way of deciding a case where the matter has been legislative power to the President the grant of authority to fix the compensation and the allowances of the Justices and
put in issue. Neither is there any intrusion into who shall be appointed to the vacant positions created by the judges thereafter appointed. A more careful reading of the challenged Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 ought to have cautioned
reorganization. That remains in the hands of the Executive to whom it properly belongs. There is no departure them against raising such an issue. The language of the statute is quite clear. The questioned provisions reads as follows:
therefore from the tried and tested ways of judicial power, Rather what is sought to be achieved by this liberal "Intermediate Appellate Justices, Regional Trial Judges, Metropolitan Trial Judges, municipal Trial Judges, and Municipal
interpretation is to preclude any plausibility to the charge that in the exercise of the conceded power of Circuit Trial Judges shall receive such receive such compensation and allowances as may be authorized by the President
reorganizing tulle inferior courts, the power of removal of the present incumbents vested in this Tribunal is along the guidelines set forth in Letter of Implementation No. 93 pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 985, as amended by
ignored or disregarded. The challenged Act would thus be free from any unconstitutional taint, even one not 87
Presidential Decree No. 1597." The existence of a standard is thus clear. The basic postulate that underlies the doctrine
readily discernidble except to those predisposed to view it with distrust. Moreover, such a construction would
of non-delegation is that it is the legislative body which is entrusted with the competence to make laws and to alter and
be in accordance with the basic principle that in the choice of alternatives between one which would save and
repeal them, the test being the completeness of the statue in all its terms and provisions when enacted. As pointed out in
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another which would invalidate a statute, the former is to be preferred. There is an obvious way to do so. 88
Edu v. Ericta: "To avoid the taint of unlawful delegation, there must be a standard, which implies at the very least that
The principle that the Constitution enters into and forms part of every act to avoid any constitutional taint must
the legislature itself determines matters of principle and lays down fundamental policy. Otherwise, the charge of complete
79
be applied Nuñez v. Sandiganbayan, promulgated last January, has this relevant excerpt: "It is true that abdication may be hard to repel. A standard thus defines legislative policy, marks its limits, maps out its boundaries and
other Sections of the Decree could have been so worded as to avoid any constitutional objection. As of now, specifies the public agency to apply it. It indicates the circumstances under which the legislative command is to be
however, no ruling is called for. The view is given expression in the concurring and dissenting opinion of Justice effected. It is the criterion by which legislative purpose may be carried out. Thereafter, the executive or administrative
Makasiar that in such a case to save the Decree from the direct fate of invalidity, they must be construed in office designated may in pursuance of the above guidelines promulgate supplemental rules and regulations. The standard
such a way as to preclude any possible erosion on the powers vested in this Court by the Constitution. That is a may be either express or implied. If the former, the non-delegation objection is easily met. The standard though does not
80 89
proposition too plain to be committed. It commends itself for approval." Nor would such a step be have to be spelled out specifically. It could be implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered as a whole."
unprecedented. The Presidential Decree constituting Municipal Courts into Municipal Circuit Courts, specifically The undeniably strong links that bind the executive and legislative departments under the amended Constitution assure
provides: "The Supreme Court shall carry out the provisions of this Decree through implementing orders, on a that the framing of policies as well as their implementation can be accomplished with unity, promptitude, and efficiency.
81 There is accuracy, therefore, to this observation in the Free Telephone Workers Union decision: "There is accordingly more
province-to-province basis." It is true there is no such provision in this Act, but the spirit that informs it
82 receptivity to laws leaving to administrative and executive agencies the adoption of such means as may be necessary to
should not be ignored in the Executive Order contemplated under its Section 44. Thus Batas Pambansa Blg. effectuate a valid legislative purpose. It is worth noting that a highly-respected legal scholar, Professor Jaffe, as early as
83 90
129 could stand the most rigorous test of constitutionality. 1947, could speak of delegation as the 'dynamo of modern government.'" He warned against a "restrictive approach"
91
9. Nor is there anything novel in the concept that this Court is called upon to reconcile or harmonize which could be "a deterrent factor to much-needed legislation." Further on this point from the same opinion" "The
constitutional provisions. To be specific, the Batasang Pambansa is expressly vested with the authority to spectre of the non-delegation concept need not haunt, therefore, party caucuses, cabinet sessions or legislative
reorganize inferior courts and in the process to abolish existing ones. As noted in the preceding paragraph, the 92
chambers." Another objection based on the absence in the statue of what petitioners refer to as a "definite time frame
termination of office of their occupants, as a necessary consequence of such abolition, is hardly distinguishable
limitation" is equally bereft of merit. They ignore the categorical language of this provision: "The Supreme Court shall
from the practical standpoint from removal, a power that is now vested in this Tribunal. It is of the essence of
submit to the President, within thirty (30) days from the date of the effectivity of this act, a staffing pattern for all courts
constitutionalism to assure that neither agency is precluded from acting within the boundaries of its conceded
constituted pursuant to this Act which shall be the basis of the implementing order to be issued by the President in
competence. That is why it has long been well-settled under the constitutional system we have adopted that
93
this Court cannot, whenever appropriate, avoid the task of reconciliation. As Justice Laurel put it so well in the accordance with the immediately succeeding section." The first sentence of the next section is even more categorical:
previously cited Angara decision, while in the main, "the Constitution has blocked out with deft strokes and in "The provisions of this Act shall be immediately carried out in accordance with an Executive Order to be issued by the
bold lines, allotment of power to the executive, the legislative and the judicial departments of the government, 94
President." Certainly petitioners cannot be heard to argue that the President is insensible to his constitutional duty to
the overlapping and interlacing of functions and duties between the several departments, however, sometimes 95
84 take care that the laws be faithfully executed. In the meanwhile, the existing inferior courts affected continue
makes it hard to say just where the one leaves off and the other begins." It is well to recall another classic functioning as before, "until the completion of the reorganization provided in this Act as declared by the President. Upon
utterance from the same jurist, even more emphatic in its affirmation of such a view, moreover buttressed by such declaration, the said courts shall be deemed automatically abolished and the incumbents thereof shall cease to hold
one of those insights for which Holmes was so famous "The classical separation of government powers, 96
whether viewed in the light of the political philosophy of Aristotle, Locke, or Motesquieu or of the postulations office." There is no ambiguity. The incumbents of the courts thus automatically abolished "shall cease to hold office."
of Mabini, Madison, or Jefferson, is a relative theory of government. There is more truism and actuality in No fear need be entertained by incumbents whose length of service, quality of performance, and clean record justify their
97 98 106
being named anew, in legal contemplation without any interruption in the continuity of their service. It is reorganize inferior courts." That is to recall one of the greatest Common Law jurists, who at the cost of his office made
equally reasonable to assume that from the ranks of lawyers, either in the government service, private clear that he would not just blindly obey the King's order but "will do what becomes [him] as a judge." So it was pointed
practice, or law professors will come the new appointees. In the event that in certain cases a little more time is 107
out in the first leading case stressing the independence of the judiciary, Borromeo v. Mariano, The ponencia of Justice
necessary in the appraisal of whether or not certain incumbents deserve reappointment, it is not from their
Malcolm Identified good judges with "men who have a mastery of the principles of law, who discharge their duties in
standpoint undesirable. Rather, it would be a reaffirmation of the good faith that will characterize its
accordance with law, who are permitted to perform the duties of the office undeterred by outside influence, and who are
implementation by the Executive. There is pertinence to this observation of Justice Holmes that even
independent and self-respecting human units in a judicial system equal and coordinate to the other two departments of
acceptance of the generalization that courts ordinarily should not supply omissions in a law, a generalization
108
qualified as earlier shown by the principle that to save a statute that could be done, "there is no canon against government." There is no reason to assume that the failure of this suit to annul Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 would be
99 attended with deleterious consequences to the administration of justice. It does not follow that the abolition in good faith
using common sense in construing laws as saying what they obviously mean." Where then is the
of the existing inferior courts except the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals and the creation of new ones will
unconstitutional flaw
result in a judiciary unable or unwilling to discharge with independence its solemn duty or one recreant to the trust
11. On the morning of the hearing of this petition on September 8, 1981, petitioners sought to have the writer reposed in it. Nor should there be any fear that less than good faith will attend the exercise be of the appointing power
of this opinion and Justices Ramon C. Aquino and Ameurfina Melencio-Herrera disqualified because the first- vested in the Executive. It cannot be denied that an independent and efficient judiciary is something to the credit of any
named was the chairman and the other two, members of the Committee on Judicial Reorganization. At the administration. Well and truly has it been said that the fundamental principle of separation of powers assumes, and
hearing, the motion was denied. It was made clear then and there that not one of the three members of the justifiably so, that the three departments are as one in their determination to pursue the Ideals and aspirations and to
Court had any hand in the framing or in the discussion of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. They were not consulted. fulfilling the hopes of the sovereign people as expressed in the Constitution. There is wisdom as well as validity to this
100 109
They did not testify. The challenged legislation is entirely the product of the efforts of the legislative body. pronouncement of Justice Malcolm in Manila Electric Co. v. Pasay Transportation Company, a decision promulgated
Their work was limited, as set forth in the Executive Order, to submitting alternative plan for reorganization. almost half a century ago: "Just as the Supreme Court, as the guardian of constitutional rights, should not sanction
That is more in the nature of scholarly studies. That the undertook. There could be no possible objection to usurpations by any other department or the government, so should it as strictly confine its own sphere of influence to the
such activity. Ever since 1973, this Tribunal has had administrative supervision over interior courts. It has had 110
powers expressly or by implication conferred on it by the Organic Act." To that basic postulate underlying our
the opportunity to inform itself as to the way judicial business is conducted and how it may be improved. Even constitutional system, this Court remains committed.
prior to the 1973 Constitution, it is the recollection of the writer of this opinion that either the then Chairman
101 WHEREFORE, the unconstitutionality of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 not having been shown, this petition is dismissed. No
or members of the Committee on Justice of the then Senate of the Philippines consulted members of the
costs.
Court in drafting proposed legislation affecting the judiciary. It is not inappropriate to cite this excerpt from an
article in the 1975 Supreme Court Review: "In the twentieth century the Chief Justice of the United States has
played a leading part in judicial reform. A variety of conditions have been responsible for the development of
this role, and foremost among them has been the creation of explicit institutional structures designed to
102 G.R. No. L-75697 June 18, 1987
facilitate reform." Also: "Thus the Chief Justice cannot avoid exposure to and direct involvement in judicial
103
reform at the federal level and, to the extent issues of judicial federalism arise, at the state level as well." VALENTIN TIO doing business under the name and style of OMI ENTERPRISES, petitioner,
vs.
12. It is a cardinal article of faith of our constitutional regime that it is the people who are endowed with rights,
VIDEOGRAM REGULATORY BOARD, MINISTER OF FINANCE, METRO MANILA COMMISSION, CITY MAYOR and CITY
to secure which a government is instituted. Acting as it does through public officials, it has to grant them either
TREASURER OF MANILA, respondents.
expressly or impliedly certain powers. Those they exercise not for their own benefit but for the body politic.
104 MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.: This petition was filed on September 1, 1986 by petitioner on his own behalf and purportedly on
The Constitution does not speak in the language of ambiguity: "A public office is a public trust." That is
more than a moral adjuration It is a legal imperative. The law may vest in a public official certain rights. It does behalf of other videogram operators adversely affected. It assails the constitutionality of Presidential Decree No. 1987
so to enable them to perform his functions and fulfill his responsibilities more efficiently. It is from that entitled "An Act Creating the Videogram Regulatory Board" with broad powers to regulate and supervise the videogram
standpoint that the security of tenure provision to assure judicial independence is to be viewed. It is an added industry (hereinafter briefly referred to as the BOARD). The Decree was promulgated on October 5, 1985 and took effect
guarantee that justices and judges can administer justice undeterred by any fear of reprisal or untoward on April 10, 1986, fifteen (15) days after completion of its publication in the Official Gazette.
consequence. Their judgments then are even more likely to be inspired solely by their knowledge of the law On November 5, 1985, a month after the promulgation of the abovementioned decree, Presidential Decree No. 1994
and the dictates of their conscience, free from the corrupting influence of base or unworthy motives. The amended the National Internal Revenue Code providing, inter alia:
independence of which they are assured is impressed with a significance transcending that of a purely personal
right. As thus viewed, it is not solely for their welfare. The challenged legislation Thus subject d to the most SEC. 134. Video Tapes. — There shall be collected on each processed video-tape cassette, ready for
rigorous scrutiny by this Tribunal, lest by lack of due care and circumspection, it allow the erosion of that Ideal playback, regardless of length, an annual tax of five pesos; Provided, That locally manufactured or
so firmly embedded in the national consciousness There is this farther thought to consider. independence in imported blank video tapes shall be subject to sales tax.
thought and action necessarily is rooted in one's mind and heart. As emphasized by former Chief Justice Paras
On October 23, 1986, the Greater Manila Theaters Association, Integrated Movie Producers, Importers and Distributors
105
in Ocampo v. Secretary of Justice, there is no surer guarantee of judicial independence than the God-given Association of the Philippines, and Philippine Motion Pictures Producers Association, hereinafter collectively referred to as
character and fitness of those appointed to the Bench. The judges may be guaranteed a fixed tenure of office the Intervenors, were permitted by the Court to intervene in the case, over petitioner's opposition, upon the allegations
during good behavior, but if they are of such stuff as allows them to be subservient to one administration after that intervention was necessary for the complete protection of their rights and that their "survival and very existence is
another, or to cater to the wishes of one litigant after another, the independence of the judiciary will be threatened by the unregulated proliferation of film piracy." The Intervenors were thereafter allowed to file their Comment
nothing more than a myth or an empty Ideal. Our judges, we are confident, can be of the type of Lord Coke, in Intervention.
regardless or in spite of the power of Congress — we do not say unlimited but as herein exercised — to
The rationale behind the enactment of the DECREE, is set out in its preambular clauses as follows:
1. WHEREAS, the proliferation and unregulated circulation of videograms including, 1. The Constitutional requirement that "every bill shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title
among others, videotapes, discs, cassettes or any technical improvement or variation thereof" 1 is sufficiently complied with if the title be comprehensive enough to include the general purpose which a statute
thereof, have greatly prejudiced the operations of moviehouses and theaters, and have seeks to achieve. It is not necessary that the title express each and every end that the statute wishes to accomplish. The
caused a sharp decline in theatrical attendance by at least forty percent (40%) and a requirement is satisfied if all the parts of the statute are related, and are germane to the subject matter expressed in the
tremendous drop in the collection of sales, contractor's specific, amusement and other 2
title, or as long as they are not inconsistent with or foreign to the general subject and title. An act having a single general
taxes, thereby resulting in substantial losses estimated at P450 Million annually in
subject, indicated in the title, may contain any number of provisions, no matter how diverse they may be, so long as they
government revenues;
are not inconsistent with or foreign to the general subject, and may be considered in furtherance of such subject by
2. WHEREAS, videogram(s) establishments collectively earn around P600 Million per 3
providing for the method and means of carrying out the general object." The rule also is that the constitutional
annum from rentals, sales and disposition of videograms, and such earnings have not 4
been subjected to tax, thereby depriving the Government of approximately P180 Million requirement as to the title of a bill should not be so narrowly construed as to cripple or impede the power of legislation.
in taxes each year; 5
It should be given practical rather than technical construction.
3. WHEREAS, the unregulated activities of videogram establishments have also affected Tested by the foregoing criteria, petitioner's contention that the tax provision of the DECREE is a rider is without merit.
the viability of the movie industry, particularly the more than 1,200 movie houses and That section reads, inter alia:
theaters throughout the country, and occasioned industry-wide displacement and
unemployment due to the shutdown of numerous moviehouses and theaters; Section 10. Tax on Sale, Lease or Disposition of Videograms. — Notwithstanding any provision of law
to the contrary, the province shall collect a tax of thirty percent (30%) of the purchase price or rental
4. "WHEREAS, in order to ensure national economic recovery, it is imperative for the rate, as the case may be, for every sale, lease or disposition of a videogram containing a reproduction
Government to create an environment conducive to growth and development of all of any motion picture or audiovisual program. Fifty percent (50%) of the proceeds of the tax collected
business industries, including the movie industry which has an accumulated investment shall accrue to the province, and the other fifty percent (50%) shall acrrue to the municipality where
of about P3 Billion; the tax is collected; PROVIDED, That in Metropolitan Manila, the tax shall be shared equally by the
City/Municipality and the Metropolitan Manila Commission.
5. WHEREAS, proper taxation of the activities of videogram establishments will not only
alleviate the dire financial condition of the movie industry upon which more than 75,000 xxx xxx xxx
families and 500,000 workers depend for their livelihood, but also provide an additional
source of revenue for the Government, and at the same time rationalize the heretofore The foregoing provision is allied and germane to, and is reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of, the general
uncontrolled distribution of videograms; object of the DECREE, which is the regulation of the video industry through the Videogram Regulatory Board as expressed
6
in its title. The tax provision is not inconsistent with, nor foreign to that general subject and title. As a tool for regulation
6. WHEREAS, the rampant and unregulated showing of obscene videogram features
it is simply one of the regulatory and control mechanisms scattered throughout the DECREE. The express purpose of the
constitutes a clear and present danger to the moral and spiritual well-being of the youth,
DECREE to include taxation of the video industry in order to regulate and rationalize the heretofore uncontrolled
and impairs the mandate of the Constitution for the State to support the rearing of the
distribution of videograms is evident from Preambles 2 and 5, supra. Those preambles explain the motives of the lawmaker
youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character and promote their
in presenting the measure. The title of the DECREE, which is the creation of the Videogram Regulatory Board, is
physical, intellectual, and social well-being;
comprehensive enough to include the purposes expressed in its Preamble and reasonably covers all its provisions. It is
7. WHEREAS, civic-minded citizens and groups have called for remedial measures to curb 7
unnecessary to express all those objectives in the title or that the latter be an index to the body of the DECREE.
these blatant malpractices which have flaunted our censorship and copyright laws;
2. Petitioner also submits that the thirty percent (30%) tax imposed is harsh and oppressive, confiscatory, and in restraint
8. WHEREAS, in the face of these grave emergencies corroding the moral values of the of trade. However, it is beyond serious question that a tax does not cease to be valid merely because it regulates,
people and betraying the national economic recovery program, bold emergency 8
measures must be adopted with dispatch; ... (Numbering of paragraphs supplied). discourages, or even definitely deters the activities taxed. The power to impose taxes is one so unlimited in force and so
searching in extent, that the courts scarcely venture to declare that it is subject to any restrictions whatever, except such as
Petitioner's attack on the constitutionality of the DECREE rests on the following grounds: 9
rest in the discretion of the authority which exercises it. In imposing a tax, the legislature acts upon its constituents. This
1. Section 10 thereof, which imposes a tax of 30% on the gross receipts payable to the is, in general, a sufficient security against erroneous and oppressive taxation. 10
local government is a RIDER and the same is not germane to the subject matter thereof;
The tax imposed by the DECREE is not only a regulatory but also a revenue measure prompted by the realization that
2. The tax imposed is harsh, confiscatory, oppressive and/or in unlawful restraint of trade earnings of videogram establishments of around P600 million per annum have not been subjected to tax, thereby
in violation of the due process clause of the Constitution; depriving the Government of an additional source of revenue. It is an end-user tax, imposed on retailers for every
videogram they make available for public viewing. It is similar to the 30% amusement tax imposed or borne by the movie
3. There is no factual nor legal basis for the exercise by the President of the vast powers industry which the theater-owners pay to the government, but which is passed on to the entire cost of the admission
conferred upon him by Amendment No. 6; ticket, thus shifting the tax burden on the buying or the viewing public. It is a tax that is imposed uniformly on all
4. There is undue delegation of power and authority; videogram operators.

5. The Decree is an ex-post facto law; and The levy of the 30% tax is for a public purpose. It was imposed primarily to answer the need for regulating the video
industry, particularly because of the rampant film piracy, the flagrant violation of intellectual property rights, and the
6. There is over regulation of the video industry as if it were a nuisance, which it is not. proliferation of pornographic video tapes. And while it was also an objective of the DECREE to protect the movie industry,
the tax remains a valid imposition.
We shall consider the foregoing objections in seriatim.
The public purpose of a tax may legally exist even if the motive which impelled the ... it is now well settled that "there is no constitutional objection to the passage of a law providing
legislature to impose the tax was to favor one industry over another. 11 that the presumption of innocence may be overcome by a contrary presumption founded upon the
experience of human conduct, and enacting what evidence shall be sufficient to overcome such
It is inherent in the power to tax that a state be free to select the subjects of taxation, presumption of innocence" (People vs. Mingoa 92 Phil. 856 [1953] at 858-59, citing 1 COOLEY, A
and it has been repeatedly held that "inequities which result from a singling out of one TREATISE ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITATIONS, 639-641). And the "legislature may enact that
particular class for taxation or exemption infringe no constitutional limitation". 12 when certain facts have been proved that they shall be prima facie evidence of the existence of the
Taxation has been made the implement of the state's police power. 13 guilt of the accused and shift the burden of proof provided there be a rational connection between
At bottom, the rate of tax is a matter better addressed to the taxing legislature. the facts proved and the ultimate facts presumed so that the inference of the one from proof of the
others is not unreasonable and arbitrary because of lack of connection between the two in common
3. Petitioner argues that there was no legal nor factual basis for the promulgation of the DECREE by the former experience". 16
President under Amendment No. 6 of the 1973 Constitution providing that "whenever in the judgment of the
President ... , there exists a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof, or whenever the interim Applied to the challenged provision, there is no question that there is a rational connection between the fact proved,
Batasang Pambansa or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any matter for any which is non-registration, and the ultimate fact presumed which is violation of the DECREE, besides the fact that the prima
reason that in his judgment requires immediate action, he may, in order to meet the exigency, issue the facie presumption of violation of the DECREE attaches only after a forty-five-day period counted from its effectivity and is,
necessary decrees, orders, or letters of instructions, which shall form part of the law of the land." therefore, neither retrospective in character.

In refutation, the Intervenors and the Solicitor General's Office aver that the 8th "whereas" clause sufficiently 6. We do not share petitioner's fears that the video industry is being over-regulated and being eased out of existence as if
summarizes the justification in that grave emergencies corroding the moral values of the people and betraying it were a nuisance. Being a relatively new industry, the need for its regulation was apparent. While the underlying objective
the national economic recovery program necessitated bold emergency measures to be adopted with dispatch. of the DECREE is to protect the moribund movie industry, there is no question that public welfare is at bottom of its
Whatever the reasons "in the judgment" of the then President, considering that the issue of the validity of the enactment, considering "the unfair competition posed by rampant film piracy; the erosion of the moral fiber of the viewing
exercise of legislative power under the said Amendment still pends resolution in several other cases, we public brought about by the availability of unclassified and unreviewed video tapes containing pornographic films and films
reserve resolution of the question raised at the proper time. with brutally violent sequences; and losses in government revenues due to the drop in theatrical attendance, not to
mention the fact that the activities of video establishments are virtually untaxed since mere payment of Mayor's permit
4. Neither can it be successfully argued that the DECREE contains an undue delegation of legislative power. The and municipal license fees are required to engage in business. 17
grant in Section 11 of the DECREE of authority to the BOARD to "solicit the direct assistance of other agencies
and units of the government and deputize, for a fixed and limited period, the heads or personnel of such The enactment of the Decree since April 10, 1986 has not brought about the "demise" of the video industry. On the
agencies and units to perform enforcement functions for the Board" is not a delegation of the power to contrary, video establishments are seen to have proliferated in many places notwithstanding the 30% tax imposed.
legislate but merely a conferment of authority or discretion as to its execution, enforcement, and In the last analysis, what petitioner basically questions is the necessity, wisdom and expediency of the DECREE. These
implementation. "The true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily considerations, however, are primarily and exclusively a matter of legislative concern.
involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring authority or discretion as to its execution to be
exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter, no valid objection can be Only congressional power or competence, not the wisdom of the action taken, may be the basis for
made." 14 Besides, in the very language of the decree, the authority of the BOARD to solicit such assistance is declaring a statute invalid. This is as it ought to be. The principle of separation of powers has in the
for a "fixed and limited period" with the deputized agencies concerned being "subject to the direction and main wisely allocated the respective authority of each department and confined its jurisdiction to
control of the BOARD." That the grant of such authority might be the source of graft and corruption would not such a sphere. There would then be intrusion not allowable under the Constitution if on a matter left
stigmatize the DECREE as unconstitutional. Should the eventuality occur, the aggrieved parties will not be to the discretion of a coordinate branch, the judiciary would substitute its own. If there be adherence
without adequate remedy in law. to the rule of law, as there ought to be, the last offender should be courts of justice, to which rightly
litigants submit their controversy precisely to maintain unimpaired the supremacy of legal norms and
5. The DECREE is not violative of the ex post facto principle. An ex post facto law is, among other categories, prescriptions. The attack on the validity of the challenged provision likewise insofar as there may be
one which "alters the legal rules of evidence, and authorizes conviction upon less or different testimony than objections, even if valid and cogent on its wisdom cannot be sustained. 18
the law required at the time of the commission of the offense." It is petitioner's position that Section 15 of the
DECREE in providing that: In fine, petitioner has not overcome the presumption of validity which attaches to a challenged statute. We find no clear
violation of the Constitution which would justify us in pronouncing Presidential Decree No. 1987 as unconstitutional and
All videogram establishments in the Philippines are hereby given a period of forty-five void.
(45) days after the effectivity of this Decree within which to register with and secure a
permit from the BOARD to engage in the videogram business and to register with the WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is hereby dismissed.
BOARD all their inventories of videograms, including videotapes, discs, cassettes or other
technical improvements or variations thereof, before they could be sold, leased, or No costs.
otherwise disposed of. Thereafter any videogram found in the possession of any person SO ORDERED.
engaged in the videogram business without the required proof of registration by the
BOARD, shall be prima facie evidence of violation of the Decree, whether the possession
of such videogram be for private showing and/or public exhibition.
raises immediately a prima facie evidence of violation of the DECREE when the required proof of registration of
any videogram cannot be presented and thus partakes of the nature of an ex post facto law.
The argument is untenable. As this Court held in the recent case of Vallarta vs. Court of Appeals, et al. 15
G.R. No. 17122 February 27, 1922
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
ANG TANG HO, defendant-appellant.
JOHNS, J.: At its special session of 1919, the Philippine Legislature passed Act No. 2868, entitled "An Act penalizing the
monopoly and holding of, and speculation in, palay, rice, and corn under extraordinary circumstances, regulating the
distribution and sale thereof, and authorizing the Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of State, to issue the
necessary rules and regulations therefor, and making an appropriation for this purpose," the material provisions of which
are as follows:
Section 1. The Governor-General is hereby authorized, whenever, for any cause, conditions arise resulting in an
extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn, to issue and promulgate, with the consent of the Council of
State, temporary rules and emergency measures for carrying out the purpose of this Act, to wit:
(a) To prevent the monopoly and hoarding of, and speculation in, palay, rice or corn.
(b) To establish and maintain a government control of the distribution or sale of the commodities referred to or
have such distribution or sale made by the Government itself.
(c) To fix, from time to time the quantities of palay rice, or corn that a company or individual may acquire, and
the maximum sale price that the industrial or merchant may demand.
(d) . . .
SEC. 2. It shall be unlawful to destroy, limit, prevent or in any other manner obstruct the production or milling of
palay, rice or corn for the purpose of raising the prices thereof; to corner or hoard said products as defined in
section three of this Act; . . .
Section 3 defines what shall constitute a monopoly or hoarding of palay, rice or corn within the meaning of this Act, but
does not specify the price of rice or define any basic for fixing the price.
SEC. 4. The violations of any of the provisions of this Act or of the regulations, orders and decrees promulgated
in accordance therewith shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousands pesos, or by imprisonment
for not more than two years, or both, in the discretion of the court: Provided, That in the case of companies or
corporations the manager or administrator shall be criminally liable.
SEC. 7. At any time that the Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of State, shall consider that the
public interest requires the application of the provisions of this Act, he shall so declare by proclamation, and any
provisions of other laws inconsistent herewith shall from then on be temporarily suspended.
Upon the cessation of the reasons for which such proclamation was issued, the Governor-General, with the
consent of the Council of State, shall declare the application of this Act to have likewise terminated, and all laws
temporarily suspended by virtue of the same shall again take effect, but such termination shall not prevent the
prosecution of any proceedings or cause begun prior to such termination, nor the filing of any proceedings for
an offense committed during the period covered by the Governor-General's proclamation. can it delegate that power to another, and, if so, was that power legally delegated by Act No. 2868? In other words, does
the Act delegate legislative power to the Governor-General? By the Organic Law, all Legislative power is vested in the
August 1, 1919, the Governor-General issued a proclamation fixing the price at which rice should be sold. Legislature, and the power conferred upon the Legislature to make laws cannot be delegated to the Governor-General, or
August 8, 1919, a complaint was filed against the defendant, Ang Tang Ho, charging him with the sale of rice at any one else. The Legislature cannot delegate the legislative power to enact any law. If Act no 2868 is a law unto itself and
an excessive price as follows: within itself, and it does nothing more than to authorize the Governor-General to make rules and regulations to carry the
law into effect, then the Legislature itself created the law. There is no delegation of power and it is valid. On the other
The undersigned accuses Ang Tang Ho of a violation of Executive Order No. 53 of the Governor- hand, if the Act within itself does not define crime, and is not a law, and some legislative act remains to be done to make it
General of the Philippines, dated the 1st of August, 1919, in relation with the provisions of sections a law or a crime, the doing of which is vested in the Governor-General, then the Act is a delegation of legislative power, is
1, 2 and 4 of Act No. 2868, committed as follows: unconstitutional and void.
That on or about the 6th day of August, 1919, in the city of Manila, Philippine Islands, the said Ang The Supreme Court of the United States in what is known as the Granger Cases (94 U.S., 183-187; 24 L. ed., 94), first laid
Tang Ho, voluntarily, illegally and criminally sold to Pedro Trinidad, one ganta of rice at the price of down the rule:
eighty centavos (P.80), which is a price greater than that fixed by Executive Order No. 53 of the
Governor-General of the Philippines, dated the 1st of August, 1919, under the authority of section 1 Railroad companies are engaged in a public employment affecting the public interest and, under the decision in
of Act No. 2868. Contrary to law. Munn vs. Ill., ante, 77, are subject to legislative control as to their rates of fare and freight unless protected by
their charters.
Upon this charge, he was tried, found guilty and sentenced to five months' imprisonment and to pay a fine of
P500, from which he appealed to this court, claiming that the lower court erred in finding Executive Order No. The Illinois statute of Mar. 23, 1874, to establish reasonable maximum rates of charges for the transportation of
53 of 1919, to be of any force and effect, in finding the accused guilty of the offense charged, and in imposing freights and passengers on the different railroads of the State is not void as being repugnant to the Constitution
the sentence. of the United States or to that of the State.

The official records show that the Act was to take effect on its approval; that it was approved July 30, 1919; that It was there for the first time held in substance that a railroad was a public utility, and that, being a public utility, the State
the Governor-General issued his proclamation on the 1st of August, 1919; and that the law was first published had power to establish reasonable maximum freight and passenger rates. This was followed by the State of Minnesota in
on the 13th of August, 1919; and that the proclamation itself was first published on the 20th of August, 1919. enacting a similar law, providing for, and empowering, a railroad commission to hear and determine what was a just and
reasonable rate. The constitutionality of this law was attacked and upheld by the Supreme Court of Minnesota in a learned
The question here involves an analysis and construction of Act No. 2868, in so far as it authorizes the Governor- and exhaustive opinion by Justice Mitchell, in the case of State vs. Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul ry. Co. (38 Minn., 281), in
General to fix the price at which rice should be sold. It will be noted that section 1 authorizes the Governor- which the court held:
General, with the consent of the Council of State, for any cause resulting in an extraordinary rise in the price of
palay, rice or corn, to issue and promulgate temporary rules and emergency measures for carrying out the Regulations of railway tariffs — Conclusiveness of commission's tariffs. — Under Laws 1887, c. 10, sec. 8, the
purposes of the Act. By its very terms, the promulgation of temporary rules and emergency measures is left to determination of the railroad and warehouse commission as to what are equal and reasonable fares and rates
the discretion of the Governor-General. The Legislature does not undertake to specify or define under what for the transportation of persons and property by a railway company is conclusive, and, in proceedings by
conditions or for what reasons the Governor-General shall issue the proclamation, but says that it may be mandamus to compel compliance with the tariff of rates recommended and published by them, no issue can be
issued "for any cause," and leaves the question as to what is "any cause" to the discretion of the Governor- raised or inquiry had on that question.
General. The Act also says: "For any cause, conditions arise resulting in an extraordinary rise in the price of Same — constitution — Delegation of power to commission. — The authority thus given to the commission to
palay, rice or corn." The Legislature does not specify or define what is "an extraordinary rise." That is also left to determine, in the exercise of their discretion and judgement, what are equal and reasonable rates, is not a
the discretion of the Governor-General. The Act also says that the Governor-General, "with the consent of the delegation of legislative power.
Council of State," is authorized to issue and promulgate "temporary rules and emergency measures for carrying
out the purposes of this Act." It does not specify or define what is a temporary rule or an emergency measure, It will be noted that the law creating the railroad commission expressly provides —
or how long such temporary rules or emergency measures shall remain in force and effect, or when they shall
take effect. That is to say, the Legislature itself has not in any manner specified or defined any basis for the That all charges by any common carrier for the transportation of passengers and property shall be equal and
order, but has left it to the sole judgement and discretion of the Governor-General to say what is or what is not reasonable.
"a cause," and what is or what is not "an extraordinary rise in the price of rice," and as to what is a temporary With that as a basis for the law, power is then given to the railroad commission to investigate all the facts, to hear and
rule or an emergency measure for the carrying out the purposes of the Act. Under this state of facts, if the law determine what is a just and reasonable rate. Even then that law does not make the violation of the order of the
is valid and the Governor-General issues a proclamation fixing the minimum price at which rice should be sold, commission a crime. The only remedy is a civil proceeding. It was there held —
any dealer who, with or without notice, sells rice at a higher price, is a criminal. There may not have been any
cause, and the price may not have been extraordinary, and there may not have been an emergency, but, if the That the legislative itself has the power to regulate railroad charges is now too well settled to require either
Governor-General found the existence of such facts and issued a proclamation, and rice is sold at any higher argument or citation of authority.
price, the seller commits a crime.
The difference between the power to say what the law shall be, and the power to adopt rules and regulations,
By the organic law of the Philippine Islands and the Constitution of the United States all powers are vested in or to investigate and determine the facts, in order to carry into effect a law already passed, is apparent. The true
the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. It is the duty of the Legislature to make the law; of the Executive to distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to
execute the law; and of the Judiciary to construe the law. The Legislature has no authority to execute or what it shall be, and the conferring an authority or discretion to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law.
construe the law, the Executive has no authority to make or construe the law, and the Judiciary has no power to
The legislature enacts that all freights rates and passenger fares should be just and reasonable. It had the
make or execute the law. Subject to the Constitution only, the power of each branch is supreme within its own
undoubted power to fix these rates at whatever it deemed equal and reasonable.
jurisdiction, and it is for the Judiciary only to say when any Act of the Legislature is or is not constitutional.
Assuming, without deciding, that the Legislature itself has the power to fix the price at which rice is to be sold, They have not delegated to the commission any authority or discretion as to what the law shall be, — which
would not be allowable, — but have merely conferred upon it an authority and discretion, to be their sheep upon the reserve, in violation of the regulations, they were making an unlawful use of the
exercised in the execution of the law, and under and in pursuance of it, which is entirely permissible. government's property. In doing so they thereby made themselves liable to the penalty imposed by Congress.
The legislature itself has passed upon the expediency of the law, and what is shall be. The
commission is intrusted with no authority or discretion upon these questions. It can neither make The subjects as to which the Secretary can regulate are defined. The lands are set apart as a forest reserve. He is required
nor unmake a single provision of law. It is merely charged with the administration of the law, and to make provisions to protect them from depredations and from harmful uses. He is authorized 'to regulate the occupancy
with no other power. and use and to preserve the forests from destruction.' A violation of reasonable rules regulating the use and occupancy of
the property is made a crime, not by the Secretary, but by Congress."
The delegation of legislative power was before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in Dowling vs. Lancoshire Ins.
Co. (92 Wis., 63). The opinion says: The above are leading cases in the United States on the question of delegating legislative power. It will be noted that in the
"Granger Cases," it was held that a railroad company was a public corporation, and that a railroad was a public utility, and
"The true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves that, for such reasons, the legislature had the power to fix and determine just and reasonable rates for freight and
a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring authority or discretion as to its execution, to be passengers.
exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid
objection can be made." The Minnesota case held that, so long as the rates were just and reasonable, the legislature could delegate the power to
ascertain the facts and determine from the facts what were just and reasonable rates,. and that in vesting the commission
The act, in our judgment, wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what the standard policy should contain, with such power was not a delegation of legislative power.
so that it could be put in use as a uniform policy required to take the place of all others, without the
determination of the insurance commissioner in respect to maters involving the exercise of a legislative The Wisconsin case was a civil action founded upon a "Wisconsin standard policy of fire insurance," and the court held that
discretion that could not be delegated, and without which the act could not possibly be put in use as an act in "the act, . . . wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what the standard policy should contain, so that it could be put in
confirmity to which all fire insurance policies were required to be issued. use as a uniform policy required to take the place of all others, without the determination of the insurance commissioner
in respect to matters involving the exercise of a legislative discretion that could not be delegated."
The result of all the cases on this subject is that a law must be complete, in all its terms and provisions, when it
leaves the legislative branch of the government, and nothing must be left to the judgement of the electors or The case of the United States Supreme Court, supra dealt with rules and regulations which were promulgated by the
other appointee or delegate of the legislature, so that, in form and substance, it is a law in all its details in Secretary of Agriculture for Government land in the forest reserve.
presenti, but which may be left to take effect in futuro, if necessary, upon the ascertainment of any prescribed These decisions hold that the legislative only can enact a law, and that it cannot delegate it legislative authority.
fact or event.
The line of cleavage between what is and what is not a delegation of legislative power is pointed out and clearly defined.
The delegation of legislative power was before the Supreme Court in United States vs. Grimaud (220 U.S., 506; As the Supreme Court of Wisconsin says:
55 L. ed., 563), where it was held that the rules and regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture as to a trespass
on government land in a forest reserve were valid constitutional. The Act there provided that the Secretary of That no part of the legislative power can be delegated by the legislature to any other department of the
Agriculture ". . . may make such rules and regulations and establish such service as will insure the object of government, executive or judicial, is a fundamental principle in constitutional law, essential to the integrity and
such reservations; namely, to regulate their occupancy and use, and to preserve the forests thereon from maintenance of the system of government established by the constitution.
destruction; and any violation of the provisions of this act or such rules and regulations shall be punished, . . ."
Where an act is clothed with all the forms of law, and is complete in and of itself, it may be provided that it shall
The brief of the United States Solicitor-General says: become operative only upon some certain act or event, or, in like manner, that its operation shall be suspended.

In refusing permits to use a forest reservation for stock grazing, except upon stated terms or in The legislature cannot delegate its power to make a law, but it can make a law to delegate a power to determine
stated ways, the Secretary of Agriculture merely assert and enforces the proprietary right of the some fact or state of things upon which the law makes, or intends to make, its own action to depend.
United States over land which it owns. The regulation of the Secretary, therefore, is not an exercise
The Village of Little Chute enacted an ordinance which provides:
of legislative, or even of administrative, power; but is an ordinary and legitimate refusal of the
landowner's authorized agent to allow person having no right in the land to use it as they will. The All saloons in said village shall be closed at 11 o'clock P.M. each day and remain closed until 5 o'clock on the
right of proprietary control is altogether different from governmental authority. following morning, unless by special permission of the president.
The opinion says: 1
Construing it in 136 Wis., 526; 128 A. S. R., 1100, the Supreme Court of that State says:
From the beginning of the government, various acts have been passed conferring upon executive
We regard the ordinance as void for two reasons; First, because it attempts to confer arbitrary power upon an
officers power to make rules and regulations, — not for the government of their departments, but
executive officer, and allows him, in executing the ordinance, to make unjust and groundless discriminations
for administering the laws which did govern. None of these statutes could confer legislative power.
among persons similarly situated; second, because the power to regulate saloons is a law-making power vested
But when Congress had legislated power. But when Congress had legislated and indicated its will, it
in the village board, which cannot be delegated. A legislative body cannot delegate to a mere administrative
could give to those who were to act under such general provisions "power to fill up the details" by
officer power to make a law, but it can make a law with provisions that it shall go into effect or be suspended in
the establishment of administrative rules and regulations, the violation of which could be punished
its operations upon the ascertainment of a fact or state of facts by an administrative officer or board. In the
by fine or imprisonment fixed by Congress, or by penalties fixed by Congress, or measured by the
present case the ordinance by its terms gives power to the president to decide arbitrary, and in the exercise of
injury done.
his own discretion, when a saloon shall close. This is an attempt to vest legislative discretion in him, and cannot
That "Congress cannot delegate legislative power is a principle universally recognized as vital to the be sustained.
integrity and maintenance of the system of government ordained by the Constitution."
The legal principle involved there is squarely in point here.
If, after the passage of the act and the promulgation of the rule, the defendants drove and grazed
It must be conceded that, after the passage of act No. 2868, and before any rules and regulations were promulgated by the
Governor-General, a dealer in rice could sell it at any price, even at a peso per "ganta," and that he would not chickens, coconut, hemp, and tobacco, or any other product of the Islands. In the very nature of things, all of that class of
commit a crime, because there would be no law fixing the price of rice, and the sale of it at any price would not laws should be general and uniform. Otherwise, there would be an unjust discrimination of property rights, which, under
be a crime. That is to say, in the absence of a proclamation, it was not a crime to sell rice at any price. Hence, it the law, must be equal and inform. Act No. 2868 is nothing more than a floating law, which, in the discretion and by a
must follow that, if the defendant committed a crime, it was because the Governor-General issued the proclamation of the Governor-General, makes it a floating crime to sell rice at a price in excess of the proclamation,
proclamation. There was no act of the Legislature making it a crime to sell rice at any price, and without the without regard to grade or quality.
proclamation, the sale of it at any price was to a crime.
When Act No. 2868 is analyzed, it is the violation of the proclamation of the Governor-General which constitutes the crime.
2 Without that proclamation, it was no crime to sell rice at any price. In other words, the Legislature left it to the sole
The Executive order provides:
discretion of the Governor-General to say what was and what was not "any cause" for enforcing the act, and what was and
(5) The maximum selling price of palay, rice or corn is hereby fixed, for the time being as follows: what was not "an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn," and under certain undefined conditions to fix the
price at which rice should be sold, without regard to grade or quality, also to say whether a proclamation should be issued,
In Manila — if so, when, and whether or not the law should be enforced, how long it should be enforced, and when the law should be
Palay at P6.75 per sack of 57½ kilos, or 29 centavos per ganta. suspended. The Legislature did not specify or define what was "any cause," or what was "an extraordinary rise in the price
of rice, palay or corn," Neither did it specify or define the conditions upon which the proclamation should be issued. In the
Rice at P15 per sack of 57½ kilos, or 63 centavos per ganta. absence of the proclamation no crime was committed. The alleged sale was made a crime, if at all, because the Governor-
General issued the proclamation. The act or proclamation does not say anything about the different grades or qualities of
Corn at P8 per sack of 57½ kilos, or 34 centavos per ganta.
rice, and the defendant is charged with the sale "of one ganta of rice at the price of eighty centavos (P0.80) which is a price
In the provinces producing palay, rice and corn, the maximum price shall be the Manila price less the greater than that fixed by Executive order No. 53."
cost of transportation from the source of supply and necessary handling expenses to the place of
We are clearly of the opinion and hold that Act No. 2868, in so far as it undertakes to authorized the Governor-General in
sale, to be determined by the provincial treasurers or their deputies.
his discretion to issue a proclamation, fixing the price of rice, and to make the sale of rice in violation of the price of rice,
In provinces, obtaining their supplies from Manila or other producing provinces, the maximum price and to make the sale of rice in violation of the proclamation a crime, is unconstitutional and void.
shall be the authorized price at the place of supply or the Manila price as the case may be, plus the
It may be urged that there was an extraordinary rise in the price of rice and profiteering, which worked a severe hardship
transportation cost, from the place of supply and the necessary handling expenses, to the place of
on the poorer classes, and that an emergency existed, but the question here presented is the constitutionality of a
sale, to be determined by the provincial treasurers or their deputies.
particular portion of a statute, and none of such matters is an argument for, or against, its constitutionality.
(6) Provincial treasurers and their deputies are hereby directed to communicate with, and execute
The Constitution is something solid, permanent an substantial. Its stability protects the life, liberty and property rights of
all instructions emanating from the Director of Commerce and Industry, for the most effective and
the rich and the poor alike, and that protection ought not to change with the wind or any emergency condition. The
proper enforcement of the above regulations in their respective localities.
fundamental question involved in this case is the right of the people of the Philippine Islands to be and live under a
The law says that the Governor-General may fix "the maximum sale price that the industrial or merchant may republican form of government. We make the broad statement that no state or nation, living under republican form of
demand." The law is a general law and not a local or special law. government, under the terms and conditions specified in Act No. 2868, has ever enacted a law delegating the power to any
one, to fix the price at which rice should be sold. That power can never be delegated under a republican form of
The proclamation undertakes to fix one price for rice in Manila and other and different prices in other and government.
different provinces in the Philippine Islands, and delegates the power to determine the other and different
prices to provincial treasurers and their deputies. Here, then, you would have a delegation of legislative power In the fixing of the price at which the defendant should sell his rice, the law was not dealing with government property. It
to the Governor-General, and a delegation by him of that power to provincial treasurers and their deputies, was dealing with private property and private rights, which are sacred under the Constitution. If this law should be
who "are hereby directed to communicate with, and execute all instructions emanating from the Director of sustained, upon the same principle and for the same reason, the Legislature could authorize the Governor-General to fix
Commerce and Industry, for the most effective and proper enforcement of the above regulations in their the price of every product or commodity in the Philippine Islands, and empower him to make it a crime to sell any product
respective localities." The issuance of the proclamation by the Governor-General was the exercise of the at any other or different price.
delegation of a delegated power, and was even a sub delegation of that power.
It may be said that this was a war measure, and that for such reason the provision of the Constitution should be
Assuming that it is valid, Act No. 2868 is a general law and does not authorize the Governor-General to fix one suspended. But the Stubborn fact remains that at all times the judicial power was in full force and effect, and that while
price of rice in Manila and another price in Iloilo. It only purports to authorize him to fix the price of rice in the that power was in force and effect, such a provision of the Constitution could not be, and was not, suspended even in
Philippine Islands under a law, which is General and uniform, and not local or special. Under the terms of the times of war. It may be claimed that during the war, the United States Government undertook to, and did, fix the price at
law, the price of rice fixed in the proclamation must be the same all over the Islands. There cannot be one price which wheat and flour should be bought and sold, and that is true. There, the United States had declared war, and at the
at Manila and another at Iloilo. Again, it is a mater of common knowledge, and of which this court will take time was at war with other nations, and it was a war measure, but it is also true that in doing so, and as a part of the same
judicial notice, that there are many kinds of rice with different and corresponding market values, and that there act, the United States commandeered all the wheat and flour, and took possession of it, either actual or constructive, and
is a wide range in the price, which varies with the grade and quality. Act No. 2868 makes no distinction in price the government itself became the owner of the wheat and flour, and fixed the price to be paid for it. That is not this case.
for the grade or quality of the rice, and the proclamation, upon which the defendant was tried and convicted, Here the rice sold was the personal and private property of the defendant, who sold it to one of his customers. The
fixes the selling price of rice in Manila "at P15 per sack of 57½ kilos, or 63 centavos per ganta," and is uniform government had not bought and did not claim to own the rice, or have any interest in it, and at the time of the alleged sale,
as to all grades of rice, and says nothing about grade or quality. Again, it will be noted that the law is confined it was the personal, private property of the defendant. It may be that the law was passed in the interest of the public, but
to palay, rice and corn. They are products of the Philippine Islands. Hemp, tobacco, coconut, chickens, eggs, the members of this court have taken on solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and it ought not to be
and many other things are also products. Any law which single out palay, rice or corn from the numerous other construed to meet the changing winds or emergency conditions. Again, we say that no state or nation under a republican
products of the Islands is not general or uniform, but is a local or special law. If such a law is valid, then by the form of government ever enacted a law authorizing any executive, under the conditions states, to fix the price at which a
same principle, the Governor-General could be authorized by proclamation to fix the price of meat, eggs, price person would sell his own rice, and make the broad statement that no decision of any court, on principle or by
analogy, will ever be found which sustains the constitutionality of the particular portion of Act No. 2868 here in CRUZ, J.: The essence of due process is distilled in the immortal cry of Themistocles to Alcibiades "Strike — but hear me
question. By the terms of the Organic Act, subject only to constitutional limitations, the power to legislate and first!" It is this cry that the petitioner in effect repeats here as he challenges the constitutionality of Executive Order No.
enact laws is vested exclusively in the Legislative, which is elected by a direct vote of the people of the 626-A.
Philippine Islands. As to the question here involved, the authority of the Governor-General to fix the maximum
price at which palay, rice and corn may be sold in the manner power in violation of the organic law. The said executive order reads in full as follows:

This opinion is confined to the particular question here involved, which is the right of the Governor-General, WHEREAS, the President has given orders prohibiting the interprovincial movement of carabaos and
upon the terms and conditions stated in the Act, to fix the price of rice and make it a crime to sell it at a higher the slaughtering of carabaos not complying with the requirements of Executive Order No. 626
price, and which holds that portions of the Act unconstitutional. It does not decide or undertake to construe particularly with respect to age;
the constitutionality of any of the remaining portions of the Act. WHEREAS, it has been observed that despite such orders the violators still manage to circumvent the
The judgment of the lower court is reversed, and the defendant discharged. So ordered. prohibition against inter-provincial movement of carabaos by transporting carabeef instead; and
WHEREAS, in order to achieve the purposes and objectives of Executive Order No. 626 and the
prohibition against interprovincial movement of carabaos, it is necessary to strengthen the said
Executive Order and provide for the disposition of the carabaos and carabeef subject of the violation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers
vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby promulgate the following:
SECTION 1. Executive Order No. 626 is hereby amended such that henceforth, no carabao regardless
of age, sex, physical condition or purpose and no carabeef shall be transported from one province to
another. The carabao or carabeef transported in violation of this Executive Order as amended shall
be subject to confiscation and forfeiture by the government, to be distributed to charitable
institutions and other similar institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat Inspection
Commission may ay see fit, in the case of carabeef, and to deserving farmers through dispersal as the
Director of Animal Industry may see fit, in the case of carabaos.
SECTION 2. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 25th day of October, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and
eighty. (SGD, FERDIAND MARCOS, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES)
The petitioner had transported six carabaos in a pump boat from Masbate to Iloilo on January 13, 1984, when they were
confiscated by the police station commander of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, for violation of the above measure. 1 The petitioner
sued for recovery, and the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City issued a writ of replevin upon his filing of a supersedeas bond of
P12,000.00. After considering the merits of the case, the court sustained the confiscation of the carabaos and, since they
could no longer be produced, ordered the confiscation of the bond. The court also declined to rule on the constitutionality
2
of the executive order, as raise by the petitioner, for lack of authority and also for its presumed validity.
3
The petitioner appealed the decision to the Intermediate Appellate Court,* which upheld the trial court, ** and he has
now come before us in this petition for review on certiorari.
The thrust of his petition is that the executive order is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes outright confiscation of the
carabao or carabeef being transported across provincial boundaries. His claim is that the penalty is invalid because it is
imposed without according the owner a right to be heard before a competent and impartial court as guaranteed by due
process. He complains that the measure should not have been presumed, and so sustained, as constitutional. There is also
a challenge to the improper exercise of the legislative power by the former President under Amendment No. 6 of the 1973
4
Constitution.
5
G.R. No. 74457 March 20, 1987 While also involving the same executive order, the case of Pesigan v. Angeles is not applicable here. The question raised
there was the necessity of the previous publication of the measure in the Official Gazette before it could be considered
RESTITUTO YNOT, petitioner, enforceable. We imposed the requirement then on the basis of due process of law. In doing so, however, this Court did not,
vs. as contended by the Solicitor General, impliedly affirm the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 626-A. That is an
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, THE STATION COMMANDER, INTEGRATED NATIONAL POLICE, BAROTAC entirely different matter.
NUEVO, ILOILO and THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY, REGION IV, ILOILO CITY,
respondents. This Court has declared that while lower courts should observe a becoming modesty in examining constitutional questions,
they are nonetheless not prevented from resolving the same whenever warranted, subject only to review by of fairness that is now the hallmark of the free society. The solemn vow that King John made at Runnymede in 1215 has
6 since then resounded through the ages, as a ringing reminder to all rulers, benevolent or base, that every person, when
the highest tribunal. We have jurisdiction under the Constitution to "review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm
confronted by the stern visage of the law, is entitled to have his say in a fair and open hearing of his cause.
on appeal or certiorari, as the law or rules of court may provide," final judgments and orders of lower courts in,
7 The closed mind has no place in the open society. It is part of the sporting Idea of fair play to hear "the other side" before
among others, all cases involving the constitutionality of certain measures. This simply means that the
resolution of such cases may be made in the first instance by these lower courts. an opinion is formed or a decision is made by those who sit in judgment. Obviously, one side is only one-half of the
question; the other half must also be considered if an impartial verdict is to be reached based on an informed appreciation
And while it is true that laws are presumed to be constitutional, that presumption is not by any means of the issues in contention. It is indispensable that the two sides complement each other, as unto the bow the arrow, in
conclusive and in fact may be rebutted. Indeed, if there be a clear showing of their invalidity, and of the need to leading to the correct ruling after examination of the problem not from one or the other perspective only but in its totality.
8 A judgment based on less that this full appraisal, on the pretext that a hearing is unnecessary or useless, is tainted with the
declare them so, then "will be the time to make the hammer fall, and heavily," to recall Justice Laurel's
trenchant warning. Stated otherwise, courts should not follow the path of least resistance by simply presuming vice of bias or intolerance or ignorance, or worst of all, in repressive regimes, the insolence of power.
the constitutionality of a law when it is questioned. On the contrary, they should probe the issue more deeply, The minimum requirements of due process are notice and hearing 13 which, generally speaking, may not be dispensed
9 with because they are intended as a safeguard against official arbitrariness. It is a gratifying commentary on our judicial
to relieve the abscess, paraphrasing another distinguished jurist, and so heal the wound or excise the
affliction. system that the jurisprudence of this country is rich with applications of this guaranty as proof of our fealty to the rule of
law and the ancient rudiments of fair play. We have consistently declared that every person, faced by the awesome power
Judicial power authorizes this; and when the exercise is demanded, there should be no shirking of the task for of the State, is entitled to "the law of the land," which Daniel Webster described almost two hundred years ago in the
fear of retaliation, or loss of favor, or popular censure, or any other similar inhibition unworthy of the bench, famous Dartmouth College Case, 14 as "the law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders
especially this Court. judgment only after trial." It has to be so if the rights of every person are to be secured beyond the reach of officials who,
The challenged measure is denominated an executive order but it is really presidential decree, promulgating a out of mistaken zeal or plain arrogance, would degrade the due process clause into a worn and empty catchword.
new rule instead of merely implementing an existing law. It was issued by President Marcos not for the purpose This is not to say that notice and hearing are imperative in every case for, to be sure, there are a number of admitted
of taking care that the laws were faithfully executed but in the exercise of his legislative authority under exceptions. The conclusive presumption, for example, bars the admission of contrary evidence as long as such presumption
Amendment No. 6. It was provided thereunder that whenever in his judgment there existed a grave emergency is based on human experience or there is a rational connection between the fact proved and the fact ultimately presumed
or a threat or imminence thereof or whenever the legislature failed or was unable to act adequately on any therefrom. 15 There are instances when the need for expeditions action will justify omission of these requisites, as in the
matter that in his judgment required immediate action, he could, in order to meet the exigency, issue decrees, summary abatement of a nuisance per se, like a mad dog on the loose, which may be killed on sight because of the
orders or letters of instruction that were to have the force and effect of law. As there is no showing of any immediate danger it poses to the safety and lives of the people. Pornographic materials, contaminated meat and narcotic
exigency to justify the exercise of that extraordinary power then, the petitioner has reason, indeed, to question drugs are inherently pernicious and may be summarily destroyed. The passport of a person sought for a criminal offense
the validity of the executive order. Nevertheless, since the determination of the grounds was supposed to have may be cancelled without hearing, to compel his return to the country he has fled. 16 Filthy restaurants may be summarily
been made by the President "in his judgment, " a phrase that will lead to protracted discussion not really padlocked in the interest of the public health and bawdy houses to protect the public morals. 17 In such instances,
necessary at this time, we reserve resolution of this matter until a more appropriate occasion. For the nonce, previous judicial hearing may be omitted without violation of due process in view of the nature of the property involved or
we confine ourselves to the more fundamental question of due process. the urgency of the need to protect the general welfare from a clear and present danger.
It is part of the art of constitution-making that the provisions of the charter be cast in precise and unmistakable The protection of the general welfare is the particular function of the police power which both restraints and is restrained
language to avoid controversies that might arise on their correct interpretation. That is the Ideal. In the case of by due process. The police power is simply defined as the power inherent in the State to regulate liberty and property for
the due process clause, however, this rule was deliberately not followed and the wording was purposely kept the promotion of the general welfare. 18 By reason of its function, it extends to all the great public needs and is described
ambiguous. In fact, a proposal to delineate it more clearly was submitted in the Constitutional Convention of as the most pervasive, the least limitable and the most demanding of the three inherent powers of the State, far outpacing
1934, but it was rejected by Delegate Jose P. Laurel, Chairman of the Committee on the Bill of Rights, who taxation and eminent domain. The individual, as a member of society, is hemmed in by the police power, which affects him
forcefully argued against it. He was sustained by the body. 10 even before he is born and follows him still after he is dead — from the womb to beyond the tomb — in practically
The due process clause was kept intentionally vague so it would remain also conveniently resilient. This was felt everything he does or owns. Its reach is virtually limitless. It is a ubiquitous and often unwelcome intrusion. Even so, as
necessary because due process is not, like some provisions of the fundamental law, an "iron rule" laying down long as the activity or the property has some relevance to the public welfare, its regulation under the police power is not
an implacable and immutable command for all seasons and all persons. Flexibility must be the best virtue of only proper but necessary. And the justification is found in the venerable Latin maxims, Salus populi est suprema lex and
the guaranty. The very elasticity of the due process clause was meant to make it adapt easily to every situation, Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas, which call for the subordination of individual interests to the benefit of the greater
enlarging or constricting its protection as the changing times and circumstances may require. number.

Aware of this, the courts have also hesitated to adopt their own specific description of due process lest they It is this power that is now invoked by the government to justify Executive Order No. 626-A, amending the basic rule in
confine themselves in a legal straitjacket that will deprive them of the elbow room they may need to vary the Executive Order No. 626, prohibiting the slaughter of carabaos except under certain conditions. The original measure was
meaning of the clause whenever indicated. Instead, they have preferred to leave the import of the protection issued for the reason, as expressed in one of its Whereases, that "present conditions demand that the carabaos and the
open-ended, as it were, to be "gradually ascertained by the process of inclusion and exclusion in the course of buffaloes be conserved for the benefit of the small farmers who rely on them for energy needs." We affirm at the outset
the decision of cases as they arise." 11 Thus, Justice Felix Frankfurter of the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, the need for such a measure. In the face of the worsening energy crisis and the increased dependence of our farms on
would go no farther than to define due process — and in so doing sums it all up — as nothing more and these traditional beasts of burden, the government would have been remiss, indeed, if it had not taken steps to protect
nothing less than "the embodiment of the sporting Idea of fair play." 12 and preserve them.

When the barons of England extracted from their sovereign liege the reluctant promise that that Crown would A similar prohibition was challenged in United States v. Toribio, 19 where a law regulating the registration, branding and
thenceforth not proceed against the life liberty or property of any of its subjects except by the lawful judgment slaughter of large cattle was claimed to be a deprivation of property without due process of law. The defendant had been
of his peers or the law of the land, they thereby won for themselves and their progeny that splendid guaranty convicted thereunder for having slaughtered his own carabao without the required permit, and he appealed to the
Supreme Court. The conviction was affirmed. The law was sustained as a valid police measure to prevent the to the petitioner only after he had filed a complaint for recovery and given a supersedeas bond of P12,000.00, which was
indiscriminate killing of carabaos, which were then badly needed by farmers. An epidemic had stricken many of ordered confiscated upon his failure to produce the carabaos when ordered by the trial court. The executive order defined
these animals and the reduction of their number had resulted in an acute decline in agricultural output, which the prohibition, convicted the petitioner and immediately imposed punishment, which was carried out forthright. The
in turn had caused an incipient famine. Furthermore, because of the scarcity of the animals and the measure struck at once and pounced upon the petitioner without giving him a chance to be heard, thus denying him the
consequent increase in their price, cattle-rustling had spread alarmingly, necessitating more effective measures centuries-old guaranty of elementary fair play.
for the registration and branding of these animals. The Court held that the questioned statute was a valid
exercise of the police power and declared in part as follows: It has already been remarked that there are occasions when notice and hearing may be validly dispensed with
notwithstanding the usual requirement for these minimum guarantees of due process. It is also conceded that summary
To justify the State in thus interposing its authority in behalf of the public, it must appear, 20
action may be validly taken in administrative proceedings as procedural due process is not necessarily judicial only. In
first, that the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular
the exceptional cases accepted, however. there is a justification for the omission of the right to a previous hearing, to wit,
class, require such interference; and second, that the means are reasonably necessary for
the immediacy of the problem sought to be corrected and the urgency of the need to correct it.
the accomplishment of the purpose, and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. ...
In the case before us, there was no such pressure of time or action calling for the petitioner's peremptory treatment. The
From what has been said, we think it is clear that the enactment of the provisions of the
properties involved were not even inimical per se as to require their instant destruction. There certainly was no reason why
statute under consideration was required by "the interests of the public generally, as
the offense prohibited by the executive order should not have been proved first in a court of justice, with the accused
distinguished from those of a particular class" and that the prohibition of the slaughter of
being accorded all the rights safeguarded to him under the Constitution. Considering that, as we held in Pesigan v. Angeles,
carabaos for human consumption, so long as these animals are fit for agricultural work or
21
draft purposes was a "reasonably necessary" limitation on private ownership, to protect Executive Order No. 626-A is penal in nature, the violation thereof should have been pronounced not by the police only
the community from the loss of the services of such animals by their slaughter by but by a court of justice, which alone would have had the authority to impose the prescribed penalty, and only after trial
improvident owners, tempted either by greed of momentary gain, or by a desire to enjoy and conviction of the accused.
the luxury of animal food, even when by so doing the productive power of the
We also mark, on top of all this, the questionable manner of the disposition of the confiscated property as prescribed in
community may be measurably and dangerously affected.
the questioned executive order. It is there authorized that the seized property shall "be distributed to charitable
In the light of the tests mentioned above, we hold with the Toribio Case that the carabao, as the poor man's institutions and other similar institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat Inspection Commission may see fit, in the
tractor, so to speak, has a direct relevance to the public welfare and so is a lawful subject of Executive Order case of carabeef, and to deserving farmers through dispersal as the Director of Animal Industry may see fit, in the case of
No. 626. The method chosen in the basic measure is also reasonably necessary for the purpose sought to be carabaos." (Emphasis supplied.) The phrase "may see fit" is an extremely generous and dangerous condition, if condition it
achieved and not unduly oppressive upon individuals, again following the above-cited doctrine. There is no is. It is laden with perilous opportunities for partiality and abuse, and even corruption. One searches in vain for the usual
doubt that by banning the slaughter of these animals except where they are at least seven years old if male and standard and the reasonable guidelines, or better still, the limitations that the said officers must observe when they make
eleven years old if female upon issuance of the necessary permit, the executive order will be conserving those their distribution. There is none. Their options are apparently boundless. Who shall be the fortunate beneficiaries of their
still fit for farm work or breeding and preventing their improvident depletion. generosity and by what criteria shall they be chosen? Only the officers named can supply the answer, they and they alone
may choose the grantee as they see fit, and in their own exclusive discretion. Definitely, there is here a "roving
But while conceding that the amendatory measure has the same lawful subject as the original executive order, commission," a wide and sweeping authority that is not "canalized within banks that keep it from overflowing," in short, a
we cannot say with equal certainty that it complies with the second requirement, viz., that there be a lawful clearly profligate and therefore invalid delegation of legislative powers.
method. We note that to strengthen the original measure, Executive Order No. 626-A imposes an absolute ban
not on the slaughter of the carabaos but on their movement, providing that "no carabao regardless of age, sex, To sum up then, we find that the challenged measure is an invalid exercise of the police power because the method
physical condition or purpose (sic) and no carabeef shall be transported from one province to another." The employed to conserve the carabaos is not reasonably necessary to the purpose of the law and, worse, is unduly
object of the prohibition escapes us. The reasonable connection between the means employed and the oppressive. Due process is violated because the owner of the property confiscated is denied the right to be heard in his
purpose sought to be achieved by the questioned measure is missing defense and is immediately condemned and punished. The conferment on the administrative authorities of the power to
adjudge the guilt of the supposed offender is a clear encroachment on judicial functions and militates against the doctrine
We do not see how the prohibition of the inter-provincial transport of carabaos can prevent their of separation of powers. There is, finally, also an invalid delegation of legislative powers to the officers mentioned therein
indiscriminate slaughter, considering that they can be killed anywhere, with no less difficulty in one province who are granted unlimited discretion in the distribution of the properties arbitrarily taken. For these reasons, we hereby
than in another. Obviously, retaining the carabaos in one province will not prevent their slaughter there, any declare Executive Order No. 626-A unconstitutional.
more than moving them to another province will make it easier to kill them there. As for the carabeef, the
prohibition is made to apply to it as otherwise, so says executive order, it could be easily circumvented by We agree with the respondent court, however, that the police station commander who confiscated the petitioner's
simply killing the animal. Perhaps so. However, if the movement of the live animals for the purpose of carabaos is not liable in damages for enforcing the executive order in accordance with its mandate. The law was at that
preventing their slaughter cannot be prohibited, it should follow that there is no reason either to prohibit their time presumptively valid, and it was his obligation, as a member of the police, to enforce it. It would have been
transfer as, not to be flippant dead meat. impertinent of him, being a mere subordinate of the President, to declare the executive order unconstitutional and, on his
own responsibility alone, refuse to execute it. Even the trial court, in fact, and the Court of Appeals itself did not feel they
Even if a reasonable relation between the means and the end were to be assumed, we would still have to had the competence, for all their superior authority, to question the order we now annul.
reckon with the sanction that the measure applies for violation of the prohibition. The penalty is outright
confiscation of the carabao or carabeef being transported, to be meted out by the executive authorities, usually The Court notes that if the petitioner had not seen fit to assert and protect his rights as he saw them, this case would
the police only. In the Toribio Case, the statute was sustained because the penalty prescribed was fine and never have reached us and the taking of his property under the challenged measure would have become a fait accompli
imprisonment, to be imposed by the court after trial and conviction of the accused. Under the challenged despite its invalidity. We commend him for his spirit. Without the present challenge, the matter would have ended in that
measure, significantly, no such trial is prescribed, and the property being transported is immediately pump boat in Masbate and another violation of the Constitution, for all its obviousness, would have been perpetrated,
impounded by the police and declared, by the measure itself, as forfeited to the government. allowed without protest, and soon forgotten in the limbo of relinquished rights.

In the instant case, the carabaos were arbitrarily confiscated by the police station commander, were returned The strength of democracy lies not in the rights it guarantees but in the courage of the people to invoke them whenever
they are ignored or violated. Rights are but weapons on the wall if, like expensive tapestry, all they do is inherent right of citizens to return to their country of birth but also the protection of the Constitution and all of the rights
embellish and impress. Rights, as weapons, must be a promise of protection. They become truly meaningful, guaranteed to Filipinos under the Constitution;
and fulfill the role assigned to them in the free society, if they are kept bright and sharp with use by those who
are not afraid to assert them. 2. the President has no power to bar a Filipino from his own country; if she has, she had exercised it arbitrarily; and

WHEREFORE, Executive Order No. 626-A is hereby declared unconstitutional. Except as affirmed above, the 3. there is no basis for barring the return of the family of former President Marcos. Thus, petitioners prayed that the Court
decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The supersedeas bond is cancelled and the amount thereof is reconsider its decision, order respondents to issue the necessary travel documents to enable Mrs. Imelda R. Marcos,
ordered restored to the petitioner. No costs. Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., Irene M. Araneta, Imee M. Manotoc, Tommy Manotoc and Gregorio Araneta to return to the
Philippines, and enjoin respondents from implementing President Aquino's decision to bar the return of the remains of Mr.
SO ORDERED. Marcos, and the other petitioners, to the Philippines.
Commenting on the motion for reconsideration, the Solicitor General argued that the motion for reconsideration is moot
and academic as to the deceased Mr. Marcos. Moreover, he asserts that "the 'formal' rights being invoked by the Marcoses
under the label 'right to return', including the label 'return of Marcos' remains, is in reality or substance a 'right' to
destabilize the country, a 'right' to hide the Marcoses' incessant shadowy orchestrated efforts at destabilization."
[Comment, p. 29.] Thus, he prays that the Motion for Reconsideration be denied for lack of merit.
We deny the motion for reconsideration.
1. It must be emphasized that as in all motions for reconsideration, the burden is upon the movants, petitioner herein, to
show that there are compelling reasons to reconsider the decision of the Court.
2. After a thorough consideration of the matters raised in the motion for reconsideration, the Court is of the view that no
compelling reasons have been established by petitioners to warrant a reconsideration of the Court's decision.
The death of Mr. Marcos, although it may be viewed as a supervening event, has not changed the factual scenario under
which the Court's decision was rendered. The threats to the government, to which the return of the Marcoses has been
viewed to provide a catalytic effect, have not been shown to have ceased. On the contrary, instead of erasing fears as to
the destabilization that will be caused by the return of the Marcoses, Mrs. Marcos reinforced the basis for the decision to
bar their return when she called President Aquino "illegal," claiming that it is Mr. Marcos, not Mrs. Aquino, who is the
G.R. No. 88211 October 27, 1989 "legal" President of the Philippines, and declared that the matter "should be brought to all the courts of the world."
[Comment, p. 1; Philippine Star, October 4, 1989.]
FERDINAND E. MARCOS, IMELDA R. MARCOS, FERDINAND R. MARCOS. JR., IRENE M. ARANETA, IMEE M.
MANOTOC, TOMAS MANOTOC, GREGORIO ARANETA, PACIFICO E. MARCOS, NICANOR YÑIGUEZ and 3. Contrary to petitioners' view, it cannot be denied that the President, upon whom executive power is vested, has
PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION ASSOCIATION (PHILCONSA), represented by its President, CONRADO F. ESTRELLA, unstated residual powers which are implied from the grant of executive power and which are necessary for her to comply
petitioners, with her duties under the Constitution. The powers of the President are not limited to what are expressly enumerated in
vs. the article on the Executive Department and in scattered provisions of the Constitution. This is so, notwithstanding the
HONORABLE RAUL MANGLAPUS, CATALINO MACARAIG, SEDFREY ORDOÑEZ, MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, avowed intent of the members of the Constitutional Commission of 1986 to limit the powers of the President as a reaction
FIDEL RAMOS, RENATO DE VILLA, in their capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Executive Secretary, to the abuses under the regime of Mr. Marcos, for the result was a limitation of specific power of the President, particularly
Secretary of Justice, Immigration Commissioner, Secretary of National Defense and Chief of Staff, those relating to the commander-in-chief clause, but not a diminution of the general grant of executive power.
respectively, respondents. That the President has powers other than those expressly stated in the Constitution is nothing new. This is recognized
RESOLUTION under the U.S. Constitution from which we have patterned the distribution of governmental powers among three (3)
EN BANC: In its decision dated September 15,1989, the Court, by a vote of eight (8) to seven (7), dismissed the separate branches.
petition, after finding that the President did not act arbitrarily or with grave abuse of discretion in determining Article II, [section] 1, provides that "The Executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United
that the return of former President Marcos and his family at the present time and under present circumstances States of America." In Alexander Hamilton's widely accepted view, this statement cannot be read as
pose a threat to national interest and welfare and in prohibiting their return to the Philippines. On September mere shorthand for the specific executive authorizations that follow it in [sections] 2 and 3. Hamilton
28, 1989, former President Marcos died in Honolulu, Hawaii. In a statement, President Aquino said: stressed the difference between the sweeping language of article II, section 1, and the conditional
In the interest of the safety of those who will take the death of Mr. Marcos in widely and language of article I, [section] 1: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress
passionately conflicting ways, and for the tranquility of the state and order of society, the of the United States . . ." Hamilton submitted that "[t]he [article III enumeration [in sections 2 and 31
remains of Ferdinand E. Marcos will not be allowed to be brought to our country until ought therefore to be considered, as intended merely to specify the principal articles implied in the
such time as the government, be it under this administration or the succeeding one, shall definition of execution power; leaving the rest to flow from the general grant of that power,
otherwise decide. [Motion for Reconsideration, p. 1; Rollo, p, 443.] interpreted in confomity with other parts of the Constitution...
On October 2, 1989, a Motion for Reconsideration was filed by petitioners, raising the following major In Myers v. United States, the Supreme Court — accepted Hamilton's proposition, concluding that the
arguments: federal executive, unlike the Congress, could exercise power from sources not enumerated, so long
1. to bar former President Marcos and his family from returning to the Philippines is to deny them not only the as not forbidden by the constitutional text: the executive power was given in general terms,
strengthened by specific terms where emphasis was regarded as appropriate, and was
limited by direct expressions where limitation was needed. . ." The language of Chief
Justice Taft in Myers makes clear that the constitutional concept of inherent power is not
a synonym for power without limit; rather, the concept suggests only that not all powers
granted in the Constitution are themselves exhausted by internal enumeration, so that,
within a sphere properly regarded as one of "executive' power, authority is implied unless
there or elsewhere expressly limited. [TRIBE, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 158-159
(1978).]
And neither can we subscribe to the view that a recognition of the President's implied or residual powers is
tantamount to setting the stage for another dictatorship. Despite petitioners' strained analogy, the residual
powers of the President under the Constitution should not be confused with the power of the President under
the 1973 Constitution to legislate pursuant to Amendment No. 6 which provides:
Whenever in the judgment of the President (Prime Minister), there exists a grave
emergency or a threat or imminence thereof, or whenever the interim Batasang
Pambansa or the regular National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any
matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate action, he may, in order to
meet the exigency, issue the necessary decrees, orders, or letters of instruction, which
shall form part of the law of the land,
There is no similarity between the residual powers of the President under the 1987 Constitution and the power
of the President under the 1973 Constitution pursuant to Amendment No. 6. First of all, Amendment No. 6
refers to an express grant of power. It is not implied. Then, Amendment No. 6 refers to a grant to the President
of the specific power of legislation.
4. Among the duties of the President under the Constitution, in compliance with his (or her) oath of office, is to
protect and promote the interest and welfare of the people. Her decision to bar the return of the Marcoses and
subsequently, the remains of Mr. Marcos at the present time and under present circumstances is in compliance
with this bounden duty. In the absence of a clear showing that she had acted with arbitrariness or with grave
abuse of discretion in arriving at this decision, the Court will not enjoin the implementation of this decision.
ACCORDINGLY, the Court resolved to DENY the Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit."
teachers at the Ramon Magsaysay High School, Manila, who had agreed to support the non-political demands of the
MPSTA. 4
2. For failure to heed the return-to-work order, the CHR complainants (private respondents) were administratively charged
on the basis of the principal's report and given five (5) days to answer the charges. They were also preventively suspended
for ninety (90) days "pursuant to Section 41 of P.D. 807" and temporarily replaced (unmarked CHR Exhibits, Annexes F, G,
H). An investigation committee was consequently formed to hear the charges in accordance with P.D. 807. 5
3. In the administrative case docketed as Case No. DECS 90-082 in which CHR complainants Graciano Budoy, Jr., Julieta
Babaran, Luz del Castillo, Apolinario Esber were, among others, named respondents, 6 the latter filed separate answers,
opted for a formal investigation, and also moved "for suspension of the administrative proceedings pending resolution
by . . (the Supreme) Court of their application for issuance of an injunctive writ/temporary restraining order." But when
their motion for suspension was denied by Order dated November 8, 1990 of the Investigating Committee, which later also
denied their motion for reconsideration orally made at the hearing of November 14, 1990, "the respondents led by their
counsel staged a walkout signifying their intent to boycott the entire proceedings." 7 The case eventually resulted in a
Decision of Secretary Cariño dated December 17, 1990, rendered after evaluation of the evidence as well as the answers,
affidavits and documents submitted by the respondents, decreeing dismissal from the service of Apolinario Esber and the
suspension for nine (9) months of Babaran, Budoy and del Castillo. 8
4. In the meantime, the "MPSTA filed a petition for certiorari before the Regional Trial Court of Manila against petitioner
(Cariño), which was dismissed (unmarked CHR Exhibit, Annex I). Later, the MPSTA went to the Supreme Court (on
G.R. No. 96681 December 2, 1991
certiorari, in an attempt to nullify said dismissal, grounded on the) alleged violation of the striking teachers" right to due
HON. ISIDRO CARIÑO, in his capacity as Secretary of the Department of Education, Culture & Sports, DR. process and peaceable assembly docketed as G.R. No. 95445, supra. The ACT also filed a similar petition before the
ERLINDA LOLARGA, in her capacity as Superintendent of City Schools of Manila, petitioners, Supreme Court . . . docketed as G.R. No. 95590." 9 Both petitions in this Court were filed in behalf of the teacher
vs. associations, a few named individuals, and "other teacher-members so numerous similarly situated" or "other similarly
THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, GRACIANO BUDOY, JULIETA BABARAN, ELSA IBABAO, HELEN LUPO, situated public school teachers too numerous to be impleaded."
AMPARO GONZALES, LUZ DEL CASTILLO, ELSA REYES and APOLINARIO ESBER, respondents.
5. In the meantime, too, the respondent teachers submitted sworn statements dated September 27, 1990 to the
NARVASA, J.:p The issue raised in the special civil action of certiorari and prohibition at bar, instituted by the Commission on Human Rights to complain that while they were participating in peaceful mass actions, they suddenly
Solicitor General, may be formulated as follows: where the relief sought from the Commission on Human Rights learned of their replacements as teachers, allegedly without notice and consequently for reasons completely unknown to
by a party in a case consists of the review and reversal or modification of a decision or order issued by a court them. 10
of justice or government agency or official exercising quasi-judicial functions, may the Commission take
6. Their complaints — and those of other teachers also "ordered suspended by the . . . (DECS)," all numbering forty-two
cognizance of the case and grant that relief? Stated otherwise, where a particular subject-matter is placed by
(42) — were docketed as "Striking Teachers CHR Case No. 90775." In connection therewith the Commission scheduled a
law within the jurisdiction of a court or other government agency or official for purposes of trial and
"dialogue" on October 11, 1990, and sent a subpoena to Secretary Cariño requiring his attendance therein. 11
adjudgment, may the Commission on Human Rights take cognizance of the same subject-matter for the same
purposes of hearing and adjudication? On the day of the "dialogue," although it said that it was "not certain whether he (Sec. Cariño) received the subpoena
which was served at his office, . . . (the) Commission, with the Chairman presiding, and Commissioners Hesiquio R. Mallilin
The facts narrated in the petition are not denied by the respondents and are hence taken as substantially
and Narciso C. Monteiro, proceeded to hear the case;" it heard the complainants' counsel (a) explain that his clients had
correct for purposes of ruling on the legal questions posed in the present action. These facts, 1 together with
been "denied due process and suspended without formal notice, and unjustly, since they did not join the mass leave," and
others involved in related cases recently resolved by this Court 2 or otherwise undisputed on the record, are
(b) expatiate on the grievances which were "the cause of the mass leave of MPSTA teachers, (and) with which causes they
hereunder set forth.
(CHR complainants) sympathize." 12 The Commission thereafter issued an Order 13 reciting these facts and making the
1. On September 17, 1990, a Monday and a class day, some 800 public school teachers, among them members following disposition:
of the Manila Public School Teachers Association (MPSTA) and Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) undertook
To be properly apprised of the real facts of the case and be accordingly guided in its investigation and
what they described as "mass concerted actions" to "dramatize and highlight" their plight resulting from the
resolution of the matter, considering that these forty two teachers are now suspended and deprived
alleged failure of the public authorities to act upon grievances that had time and again been brought to the
of their wages, which they need very badly, Secretary Isidro Cariño, of the Department of Education,
latter's attention. According to them they had decided to undertake said "mass concerted actions" after the
Culture and Sports, Dr. Erlinda Lolarga, school superintendent of Manila and the Principal of Ramon
protest rally staged at the DECS premises on September 14, 1990 without disrupting classes as a last call for the
Magsaysay High School, Manila, are hereby enjoined to appear and enlighten the Commission en
government to negotiate the granting of demands had elicited no response from the Secretary of Education.
banc on October 19, 1990 at 11:00 A.M. and to bring with them any and all documents relevant to
The "mass actions" consisted in staying away from their classes, converging at the Liwasang Bonifacio,
the allegations aforestated herein to assist the Commission in this matter. Otherwise, the
gathering in peaceable assemblies, etc. Through their representatives, the teachers participating in the mass
Commission will resolve the complaint on the basis of complainants' evidence.
actions were served with an order of the Secretary of Education to return to work in 24 hours or face dismissal,
and a memorandum directing the DECS officials concerned to initiate dismissal proceedings against those who xxx xxx xxx
did not comply and to hire their replacements. Those directives notwithstanding, the mass actions continued
into the week, with more teachers joining in the days that followed. 3 7. Through the Office of the Solicitor General, Secretary Cariño sought and was granted leave to file a motion to dismiss the
case. His motion to dismiss was submitted on November 14, 1990 alleging as grounds therefor, "that the complaint states
Among those who took part in the "concerted mass actions" were the eight (8) private respondents herein, no cause of action and that the CHR has no jurisdiction over the case." 14
8. Pending determination by the Commission of the motion to dismiss, judgments affecting the "striking faculty of receiving evidence and making factual conclusions in a controversy must be accompanied by the authority of
teachers" were promulgated in two (2) cases, as aforestated, viz.: applying the law to those factual conclusions to the end that the controversy may be decided or determined authoritatively,
finally and definitively, subject to such appeals or modes of review as may be provided by law . 21 This function, to repeat,
a) The Decision dated December l7, 1990 of Education Secretary Cariño in Case No. DECS the Commission does not have. 22
90-082, decreeing dismissal from the service of Apolinario Esber and the suspension for
nine (9) months of Babaran, Budoy and del Castillo; 15 and The proposition is made clear by the constitutional provisions specifying the powers of the Commission on Human Rights.
b) The joint Resolution of this Court dated August 6, 1991 in G.R. Nos. 95445 and 95590 The Commission was created by the 1987 Constitution as an independent office. 23 Upon its constitution, it succeeded and
dismissing the petitions "without prejudice to any appeals, if still timely, that the superseded the Presidential Committee on Human Rights existing at the time of the effectivity of the Constitution. 24 Its
individual petitioners may take to the Civil Service Commission on the matters powers and functions are the following 25
complained of," 16 and inter alia "ruling that it was prima facie lawful for petitioner
Cariño to issue return-to-work orders, file administrative charges against recalcitrants, (1) Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving
preventively suspend them, and issue decision on those charges." 17 civil and political rights;

9. In an Order dated December 28, 1990, respondent Commission denied Sec. Cariño's motion to dismiss and (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations
required him and Superintendent Lolarga "to submit their counter-affidavits within ten (10) days . . . (after thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court;
which) the Commission shall proceed to hear and resolve the case on the merits with or without respondents (3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the
counter affidavit." 18 It held that the "striking teachers" "were denied due process of law; . . . they should not Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measures and legal aid
have been replaced without a chance to reply to the administrative charges;" there had been a violation of services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection;
their civil and political rights which the Commission was empowered to investigate; and while expressing its
"utmost respect to the Supreme Court . . . the facts before . . . (it) are different from those in the case decided (4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities;
by the Supreme Court" (the reference being unmistakably to this Court's joint Resolution of August 6, 1991 in
(5) Establish a continuing program of research, education, and information to enhance respect for
G.R. Nos. 95445 and 95590, supra).
the primacy of human rights;
It is to invalidate and set aside this Order of December 28, 1990 that the Solicitor General, in behalf of
(6) Recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for
petitioner Cariño, has commenced the present action of certiorari and prohibition.
compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families;
The Commission on Human Rights has made clear its position that it does not feel bound by this Court's joint
(7) Monitor the Philippine Government's compliance with international treaty obligations on human
Resolution in G.R. Nos. 95445 and 95590, supra. It has also made plain its intention "to hear and resolve the
rights;
case (i.e., Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90-775) on the merits." It intends, in other words, to try and decide or
hear and determine, i.e., exercise jurisdiction over the following general issues: (8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of
documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation
1) whether or not the striking teachers were denied due process, and just cause exists for the imposition of
conducted by it or under its authority;
administrative disciplinary sanctions on them by their superiors; and
(9) Request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its
2) whether or not the grievances which were "the cause of the mass leave of MPSTA teachers, (and) with which
functions;
causes they (CHR complainants) sympathize," justify their mass action or strike.
(10) Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law; and
The Commission evidently intends to itself adjudicate, that is to say, determine with character of finality and
definiteness, the same issues which have been passed upon and decided by the Secretary of Education, Culture (11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.
& Sports, subject to appeal to the Civil Service Commission, this Court having in fact, as aforementioned,
declared that the teachers affected may take appeals to the Civil Service Commission on said matters, if still As should at once be observed, only the first of the enumerated powers and functions bears any resemblance to
timely. adjudication or adjudgment. The Constitution clearly and categorically grants to the Commission the power to investigate
all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. It can exercise that power on its own initiative or on
The threshold question is whether or not the Commission on Human Rights has the power under the complaint of any person. It may exercise that power pursuant to such rules of procedure as it may adopt and, in cases of
Constitution to do so; whether or not, like a court of justice, 19 or even a quasi-judicial agency, 20 it has violations of said rules, cite for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court. In the course of any investigation
jurisdiction or adjudicatory powers over, or the power to try and decide, or hear and determine, certain specific conducted by it or under its authority, it may grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose
type of cases, like alleged human rights violations involving civil or political rights. possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth. It may also request the
assistance of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions, in the conduct of its
The Court declares the Commission on Human Rights to have no such power; and that it was not meant by the
investigation or in extending such remedy as may be required by its findings. 26
fundamental law to be another court or quasi-judicial agency in this country, or duplicate much less take over
the functions of the latter. But it cannot try and decide cases (or hear and determine causes) as courts of justice, or even quasi-judicial bodies do. To
investigate is not to adjudicate or adjudge. Whether in the popular or the technical sense, these terms have well
The most that may be conceded to the Commission in the way of adjudicative power is that it may investigate,
understood and quite distinct meanings.
i.e., receive evidence and make findings of fact as regards claimed human rights violations involving civil and
political rights. But fact finding is not adjudication, and cannot be likened to the judicial function of a court of "Investigate," commonly understood, means to examine, explore, inquire or delve or probe into, research on, study. The
justice, or even a quasi-judicial agency or official. The function of receiving evidence and ascertaining dictionary definition of "investigate" is "to observe or study closely: inquire into systematically. "to search or inquire into: . .
therefrom the facts of a controversy is not a judicial function, properly speaking. To be considered such, the . to subject to an official probe . . .: to conduct an official inquiry." 27 The purpose of investigation, of course, is to discover,
to find out, to learn, obtain information. Nowhere included or intimated is the notion of settling, deciding or This cannot be done. It will not be permitted to be done.
resolving a controversy involved in the facts inquired into by application of the law to the facts established by
the inquiry. In any event, the investigation by the Commission on Human Rights would serve no useful purpose. If its investigation
should result in conclusions contrary to those reached by Secretary Cariño, it would have no power anyway to reverse the
The legal meaning of "investigate" is essentially the same: "(t)o follow up step by step by patient inquiry or Secretary's conclusions. Reversal thereof can only by done by the Civil Service Commission and lastly by this Court. The
observation. To trace or track; to search into; to examine and inquire into with care and accuracy; to find out by only thing the Commission can do, if it concludes that Secretary Cariño was in error, is to refer the matter to the
careful inquisition; examination; the taking of evidence; a legal inquiry;" 28 "to inquire; to make an appropriate Government agency or tribunal for assistance; that would be the Civil Service Commission. 35 It cannot
investigation," "investigation" being in turn describe as "(a)n administrative function, the exercise of which arrogate unto itself the appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission.
ordinarily does not require a hearing. 2 Am J2d Adm L Sec. 257; . . . an inquiry, judicial or otherwise, for the
discovery and collection of facts concerning a certain matter or matters." 29 WHEREFORE, the petition is granted; the Order of December 29, 1990 is ANNULLED and SET ASIDE, and the respondent
Commission on Human Rights and the Chairman and Members thereof are prohibited "to hear and resolve the case (i.e.,
"Adjudicate," commonly or popularly understood, means to adjudge, arbitrate, judge, decide, determine, Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90-775) on the merits."
resolve, rule on, settle. The dictionary defines the term as "to settle finally (the rights and duties of the parties
to a court case) on the merits of issues raised: . . . to pass judgment on: settle judicially: . . . act as judge." 30 SO ORDERED.
And "adjudge" means "to decide or rule upon as a judge or with judicial or quasi-judicial powers: . . . to award Melencio-Herrera, Cruz, Feliciano, Bidin, Griño-Aquino, Medialdea, Regalado, Davide, Jr. and Romero, JJ, concur.
or grant judicially in a case of controversy . . . ." 31
In the legal sense, "adjudicate" means: "To settle in the exercise of judicial authority. To determine finally.
Synonymous with adjudge in its strictest sense;" and "adjudge" means: "To pass on judicially, to decide, settle
or decree, or to sentence or condemn. . . . Implies a judicial determination of a fact, and the entry of a
judgment." 32
Hence it is that the Commission on Human Rights, having merely the power "to investigate," cannot and should
not "try and resolve on the merits" (adjudicate) the matters involved in Striking Teachers HRC Case No. 90-775,
as it has announced it means to do; and it cannot do so even if there be a claim that in the administrative
disciplinary proceedings against the teachers in question, initiated and conducted by the DECS, their human
rights, or civil or political rights had been transgressed. More particularly, the Commission has no power to
"resolve on the merits" the question of (a) whether or not the mass concerted actions engaged in by the
teachers constitute and are prohibited or otherwise restricted by law; (b) whether or not the act of carrying on
and taking part in those actions, and the failure of the teachers to discontinue those actions, and return to their
classes despite the order to this effect by the Secretary of Education, constitute infractions of relevant rules and
regulations warranting administrative disciplinary sanctions, or are justified by the grievances complained of by
them; and (c) what where the particular acts done by each individual teacher and what sanctions, if any, may
properly be imposed for said acts or omissions.
These are matters undoubtedly and clearly within the original jurisdiction of the Secretary of Education, being
within the scope of the disciplinary powers granted to him under the Civil Service Law, and also, within the
appellate jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission.
Indeed, the Secretary of Education has, as above narrated, already taken cognizance of the issues and resolved
them, 33 and it appears that appeals have been seasonably taken by the aggrieved parties to the Civil Service
Commission; and even this Court itself has had occasion to pass upon said issues. 34
Now, it is quite obvious that whether or not the conclusions reached by the Secretary of Education in
disciplinary cases are correct and are adequately based on substantial evidence; whether or not the
proceedings themselves are void or defective in not having accorded the respondents due process; and
whether or not the Secretary of Education had in truth committed "human rights violations involving civil and
political rights," are matters which may be passed upon and determined through a motion for reconsideration
addressed to the Secretary Education himself, and in the event of an adverse verdict, may be reviewed by the
Civil Service Commission and eventually the Supreme Court.
The Commission on Human Rights simply has no place in this scheme of things. It has no business intruding
into the jurisdiction and functions of the Education Secretary or the Civil Service Commission. It has no business
going over the same ground traversed by the latter and making its own judgment on the questions involved.
This would accord success to what may well have been the complaining teachers' strategy to abort, frustrate or
negate the judgment of the Education Secretary in the administrative cases against them which they
anticipated would be adverse to them.
Government of Caloocan, the representatives of Task Force Camarin Dumpsite and LLDA at the Office of Environmental
Management Bureau Director Rodrigo U. Fuentes failed to settle the problem.
After an investigation by its team of legal and technical personnel on August 14, 1992, the LLDA issued another order
reiterating the December 5, 1991, order and issued an Alias Cease and Desist Order enjoining the City Government of
G.R. No. 110120 March 16, 1994 Caloocan from continuing its dumping operations at the Camarin area.

LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, petitioner, On September 25, 1992, the LLDA, with the assistance of the Philippine National Police, enforced its Alias Cease and Desist
vs. Order by prohibiting the entry of all garbage dump trucks into the Tala Estate, Camarin area being utilized as a dumpsite.
COURT OF APPEALS, HON. MANUEL JN. SERAPIO, Presiding Judge RTC, Branch 127, Caloocan City, HON. Pending resolution of its motion for reconsideration earlier filed on September 17, 1992 with the LLDA, the City
MACARIO A. ASISTIO, JR., City Mayor of Caloocan and/or THE CITY GOVERNMENT OF CALOOCAN, Government of Caloocan filed with the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City an action for the declaration of nullity of the
respondents. cease and desist order with prayer for the issuance of writ of injunction, docketed as Civil Case No. C-15598. In its
ROMERO, J.: The clash between the responsibility of the City Government of Caloocan to dispose off the 350 complaint, the City Government of Caloocan sought to be declared as the sole authority empowered to promote the
tons of garbage it collects daily and the growing concern and sensitivity to a pollution-free environment of the health and safety and enhance the right of the people in Caloocan City to a balanced ecology within its territorial
residents of Barangay Camarin, Tala Estate, Caloocan City where these tons of garbage are dumped everyday is 9
jurisdiction.
the hub of this controversy elevated by the protagonists to the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) for
adjudication. On September 25, 1992, the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City issued a temporary restraining
order enjoining the LLDA from enforcing its cease and desist order. Subsequently, the case was raffled to the Regional Trial
The instant case stemmed from an earlier petition filed with this Court by Laguna Lake Development Authority Court, Branch 126 of Caloocan which, at the time, was presided over by Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio of the Regional Trial
(LLDA for short) docketed as G.R. Court, Branch 127, the pairing judge of the recently-retired presiding judge.
No. 107542 against the City Government of Caloocan, et al. In the Resolution of November 10, 1992, this Court
referred G.R. No. 107542 to the Court of Appeals for appropriate disposition. Docketed therein as CA-G.R. SP The LLDA, for its part, filed on October 2, 1992 a motion to dismiss on the ground, among others, that under Republic Act
1 No. 3931, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 984, otherwise known as the Pollution Control Law, the cease and desist
No. 29449, the Court of Appeals, in a decision promulgated on January 29, 1993 ruled that the LLDA has no order issued by it which is the subject matter of the complaint is reviewable both upon the law and the facts of the case by
power and authority to issue a cease and desist order enjoining the dumping of garbage in Barangay Camarin, 10
Tala Estate, Caloocan City. The LLDA now seeks, in this petition, a review of the decision of the Court of the Court of Appeals and not by the Regional Trial Court.
Appeals.
On October 12, 1992 Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio issued an order consolidating Civil Case No. C-15598 with Civil Case No. C-
The facts, as disclosed in the records, are undisputed. 15580, an earlier case filed by the Task Force Camarin Dumpsite entitled "Fr. John Moran, et al. vs. Hon. Macario Asistio."
The LLDA, however, maintained during the trial that the foregoing cases, being independent of each other, should have
On March 8, 1991, the Task Force Camarin Dumpsite of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Barangay Camarin, been treated separately.
2
Caloocan City, filed a letter-complaint with the Laguna Lake Development Authority seeking to stop the On October 16, 1992, Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio, after hearing the motion to dismiss, issued in the consolidated cases an
operation of the 8.6-hectare open garbage dumpsite in Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City due to its 11
harmful effects on the health of the residents and the possibility of pollution of the water content of the order denying LLDA's motion to dismiss and granting the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the LLDA,
surrounding area. its agent and all persons acting for and on its behalf, from enforcing or implementing its cease and desist order which
prevents plaintiff City of Caloocan from dumping garbage at the Camarin dumpsite during the pendency of this case and/or
On November 15, 1991, the LLDA conducted an on-site investigation, monitoring and test sampling of the until further orders of the court.
3
leachate that seeps from said dumpsite to the nearby creek which is a tributary of the Marilao River. The On November 5, 1992, the LLDA filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction with prayer for restraining order
LLDA Legal and Technical personnel found that the City Government of Caloocan was maintaining an open with the Supreme Court, docketed as G.R. No. 107542, seeking to nullify the aforesaid order dated October 16, 1992 issued
dumpsite at the Camarin area without first securing an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from the by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 127 of Caloocan City denying its motion to dismiss.
Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, as
4 12
required under Presidential Decree No. 1586, and clearance from LLDA as required under Republic Act No. The Court, acting on the petition, issued a Resolution on November 10, 1992 referring the case to the Court of Appeals
5 6 for proper disposition and at the same time, without giving due course to the petition, required the respondents to
4850, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983.
comment on the petition and file the same with the Court of Appeals within ten (10) days from notice. In the meantime,
After a public hearing conducted on December 4, 1991, the LLDA, acting on the complaint of Task Force the Court issued a temporary restraining order, effective immediately and continuing until further orders from it, ordering
Camarin Dumpsite, found that the water collected from the leachate and the receiving streams could the respondents: (1) Judge Manuel Jn. Serapio, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 127, Caloocan City to cease
considerably affect the quality, in turn, of the receiving waters since it indicates the presence of bacteria, other and desist from exercising jurisdiction over the case for declaration of nullity of the cease and desist order issued by the
7 Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA); and (2) City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan to
than coliform, which may have contaminated the sample during collection or handling. On December 5, 1991,
cease and desist from dumping its garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City.
8
the LLDA issued a Cease and Desist Order ordering the City Government of Caloocan, Metropolitan Manila
Authority, their contractors, and other entities, to completely halt, stop and desist from dumping any form or Respondents City Government of Caloocan and Mayor Macario A. Asistio, Jr. filed on November 12, 1992 a motion for
kind of garbage and other waste matter at the Camarin dumpsite. reconsideration and/or to quash/recall the temporary restraining order and an urgent motion for reconsideration alleging
that ". . . in view of the calamitous situation that would arise if the respondent city government fails to collect 350 tons of
The dumping operation was forthwith stopped by the City Government of Caloocan. However, sometime in garbage daily for lack of dumpsite (i)t is therefore, imperative that the issue be resolved with dispatch or with sufficient
August 1992 the dumping operation was resumed after a meeting held in July 1992 among the City leeway to allow the respondents to find alternative solutions to this garbage problem."
13 The Court of Appeals sustained the position of the City of Caloocan on the theory that Section 7 of Presidential Decree No.
On November 17, 1992, the Court issued a Resolution directing the Court of Appeals to immediately set the
984, otherwise known as the Pollution Control law, authorizing the defunct National Pollution Control Commission to issue
case for hearing for the purpose of determining whether or not the temporary restraining order issued by the
an ex-parte cease and desist order was not incorporated in Presidential Decree No. 813 nor in Executive Order No. 927,
Court should be lifted and what conditions, if any, may be required if it is to be so lifted or whether the
series of
restraining order should be maintained or converted into a preliminary injunction.
1983. The Court of Appeals ruled that under Section 4, par. (d), of Republic Act No. 4850, as amended, the LLDA is instead
The Court of Appeals set the case for hearing on November 27, 1992, at 10:00 in the morning at the Hearing required "to institute the necessary legal proceeding against any person who shall commence to implement or continue
14 implementation of any project, plan or program within the Laguna de Bay region without previous clearance from the
Room, 3rd Floor, New Building, Court of Appeals. After the oral argument, a conference was set on
Authority."
December 8, 1992 at 10:00 o'clock in the morning where the Mayor of Caloocan City, the General Manager of
LLDA, the Secretary of DENR or his duly authorized representative and the Secretary of DILG or his duly The LLDA now assails, in this partition for review, the abovementioned ruling of the Court of Appeals, contending that, as
authorized representative were required to appear. an administrative agency which was granted regulatory and adjudicatory powers and functions by Republic Act No. 4850
and its amendatory laws, Presidential Decree No. 813 and Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, it is invested with the
It was agreed at the conference that the LLDA had until December 15, 1992 to finish its study and review of
power and authority to issue a cease and desist order pursuant to Section 4 par. (c), (d), (e), (f) and (g) of Executive Order
respondent's technical plan with respect to the dumping of its garbage and in the event of a rejection of
No. 927 series of 1983 which provides, thus:
respondent's technical plan or a failure of settlement, the parties will submit within 10 days from notice their
respective memoranda on the merits of the case, after which the petition shall be deemed submitted for Sec. 4. Additional Powers and Functions. The authority shall have the following powers and functions:
15
resolution. Notwithstanding such efforts, the parties failed to settle the dispute. xxx xxx xxx
On April 30, 1993, the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision holding that: (1) the Regional Trial Court has (c) Issue orders or decisions to compel compliance with the provisions of this Executive Order and its
no jurisdiction on appeal to try, hear and decide the action for annulment of LLDA's cease and desist order, implementing rules and regulations only after proper notice and hearing.
including the issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in relation thereto, since
appeal therefrom is within the exclusive and appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals under Section 9, par. (d) Make, alter or modify orders requiring the discontinuance of pollution specifying the conditions
(3), of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129; and (2) the Laguna Lake Development Authority has no power and authority to and the time within which such discontinuance must be accomplished.
issue a cease and desist order under its enabling law, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and
(e) Issue, renew, or deny permits, under such conditions as it may determine to be reasonable, for
Executive Order
the prevention and abatement of pollution, for the discharge of sewage, industrial waste, or for the
No. 927, series of 1983.
installation or operation of sewage works and industrial disposal system or parts thereof.
The Court of Appeals thus dismissed Civil Case No. 15598 and the preliminary injunction issued in the said case
(f) After due notice and hearing, the Authority may also revoke, suspend or modify any permit issued
was set aside; the cease and desist order of LLDA was likewise set aside and the temporary restraining order
under this Order whenever the same is necessary to prevent or abate pollution.
enjoining the City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan to cease and desist from
dumping its garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City was lifted, subject, however, to the (g) Deputize in writing or request assistance of appropriate government agencies or instrumentalities
condition that any future dumping of garbage in said area, shall be in conformity with the procedure and for the purpose of enforcing this Executive Order and its implementing rules and regulations and the
protective works contained in the proposal attached to the records of this case and found on pages 152-160 of orders and decisions of the Authority.
the Rollo, which was thereby adopted by reference and made an integral part of the decision, until the
corresponding restraining and/or injunctive relief is granted by the proper Court upon LLDA's institution of the The LLDA claims that the appellate court deliberately suppressed and totally disregarded the above provisions of Executive
necessary legal proceedings. Order No. 927, series of 1983, which granted administrative quasi-judicial functions to LLDA on pollution abatement cases.

Hence, the Laguna Lake Development Authority filed the instant petition for review on certiorari, now docketed In light of the relevant environmental protection laws cited which are applicable in this case, and the corresponding
as G.R. No. 110120, with prayer that the temporary restraining order lifted by the Court of Appeals be re-issued overlapping jurisdiction of government agencies implementing these laws, the resolution of the issue of whether or not
until after final determination by this Court of the issue on the proper interpretation of the powers and the LLDA has the authority and power to issue an order which, in its nature and effect was injunctive, necessarily requires a
authority of the LLDA under its enabling law. determination of the threshold question: Does the Laguna Lake Development Authority, under its Charter and its
amendatory laws, have the authority to entertain the complaint against the dumping of garbage in the open dumpsite in
16 Barangay Camarin authorized by the City Government of Caloocan which is allegedly endangering the health, safety, and
On July, 19, 1993, the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining the City Mayor of Caloocan
and/or the City Government of Caloocan to cease and desist from dumping its garbage at the Tala Estate, welfare of the residents therein and the sanitation and quality of the water in the area brought about by exposure to
Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City, effective as of this date and containing until otherwise ordered by the Court. pollution caused by such open garbage dumpsite?

It is significant to note that while both parties in this case agree on the need to protect the environment and to The matter of determining whether there is such pollution of the environment that requires control, if not prohibition, of
maintain the ecological balance of the surrounding areas of the Camarin open dumpsite, the question as to the operation of a business establishment is essentially addressed to the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the
which agency can lawfully exercise jurisdiction over the matter remains highly open to question. 18
DENR which, by virtue of Section 16 of Executive Order No. 192, series of 1987, has assumed the powers and functions
of the defunct National Pollution Control Commission created under Republic Act No. 3931. Under said Executive Order, a
The City Government of Caloocan claims that it is within its power, as a local government unit, pursuant to the
Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) under the Office of the DENR Secretary now assumes the powers and functions of the
17
general welfare provision of the Local Government Code, to determine the effects of the operation of the 19
National Pollution Control Commission with respect to adjudication of pollution cases.
dumpsite on the ecological balance and to see that such balance is maintained. On the basis of said contention,
it questioned, from the inception of the dispute before the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City, the power and As a general rule, the adjudication of pollution cases generally pertains to the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB), except in
authority of the LLDA to issue a cease and desist order enjoining the dumping of garbage in the Barangay cases where the special law provides for another forum. It must be recognized in this regard that the LLDA, as a specialized
Camarin over which the City Government of Caloocan has territorial jurisdiction. administrative agency, is specifically mandated under Republic Act No. 4850 and its amendatory laws to carry out and
20 region, the authority of the LLDA to issue a "cease and desist order" is, perforce, implied. Otherwise, it may well be
make effective the declared national policy of promoting and accelerating the development and balanced
reduced to a "toothless" paper agency.
growth of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces of Rizal and Laguna and the cities of San Pablo,
21 27
Manila, Pasay, Quezon and Caloocan with due regard and adequate provisions for environmental In this connection, it must be noted that in Pollution Adjudication Board v. Court of Appeals, et al., the Court ruled that
management and control, preservation of the quality of human life and ecological systems, and the prevention the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) has the power to issue an ex-parte cease and desist order when there is prima facie
of undue ecological disturbances, deterioration and pollution. Under such a broad grant and power and evidence of an establishment exceeding the allowable standards set by the anti-pollution laws of the country. The ponente,
authority, the LLDA, by virtue of its special charter, obviously has the responsibility to protect the inhabitants of Associate Justice Florentino P. Feliciano, declared:
the Laguna Lake region from the deleterious effects of pollutants emanating from the discharge of wastes from
the surrounding areas. In carrying out the aforementioned declared policy, the LLDA is mandated, among Ex parte cease and desist orders are permitted by law and regulations in situations like that here
others, to pass upon and approve or disapprove all plans, programs, and projects proposed by local presented precisely because stopping the continuous discharge of pollutive and untreated effluents
government offices/agencies within the region, public corporations, and private persons or enterprises where into the rivers and other inland waters of the Philippines cannot be made to wait until protracted
22 litigation over the ultimate correctness or propriety of such orders has run its full course, including
such plans, programs and/or projects are related to those of the LLDA for the development of the region. multiple and sequential appeals such as those which Solar has taken, which of course may take
In the instant case, when the complainant Task Force Camarin Dumpsite of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, several years. The relevant pollution control statute and implementing regulations were enacted and
Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City, filed its letter-complaint before the LLDA, the latter's jurisdiction under its promulgated in the exercise of that pervasive, sovereign power to protect the safety, health, and
charter was validly invoked by complainant on the basis of its allegation that the open dumpsite project of the general welfare and comfort of the public, as well as the protection of plant and animal life,
City Government of Caloocan in Barangay Camarin was undertaken without a clearance from the LLDA, as commonly designated as the police power. It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary
required under Section 4, par. (d), of Republic Act. No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and Executive Order requirements of procedural due process yield to the necessities of protecting vital public interests
No. 927. While there is also an allegation that the said project was without an Environmental Compliance like those here involved, through the exercise of police power. . . .
Certificate from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the DENR, the primary jurisdiction of the The immediate response to the demands of "the necessities of protecting vital public interests" gives vitality to the
LLDA over this case was recognized by the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR when the latter statement on ecology embodied in the Declaration of Principles and State Policies or the 1987 Constitution. Article II,
acted as intermediary at the meeting among the representatives of the City Government of Caloocan, Task Section 16 which provides:
Force Camarin Dumpsite and LLDA sometime in July 1992 to discuss the possibility of
re-opening the open dumpsite. The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in
accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.
Having thus resolved the threshold question, the inquiry then narrows down to the following issue: Does the
LLDA have the power and authority to issue a "cease and desist" order under Republic Act No. 4850 and its As a constitutionally guaranteed right of every person, it carries the correlative duty of non-impairment. This is but in
amendatory laws, on the basis of the facts presented in this case, enjoining the dumping of garbage in Tala consonance with the declared policy of the state "to protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill
Estate, Barangay Camarin, Caloocan City. 28
health consciousness among them." It is to be borne in mind that the Philippines is party to the Universal Declaration of
The irresistible answer is in the affirmative. 29
Human Rights and the Alma Conference Declaration of 1978 which recognize health as a fundamental human right.
The cease and desist order issued by the LLDA requiring the City Government of Caloocan to stop dumping its The issuance, therefore, of the cease and desist order by the LLDA, as a practical matter of procedure under the
garbage in the Camarin open dumpsite found by the LLDA to have been done in violation of Republic Act No. circumstances of the case, is a proper exercise of its power and authority under its charter and its amendatory laws. Had
23 the cease and desist order issued by the LLDA been complied with by the City Government of Caloocan as it did in the first
4850, as amended, and other relevant environment laws, cannot be stamped as an unauthorized exercise by
the LLDA of injunctive powers. By its express terms, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended by P.D. No. 813 and instance, no further legal steps would have been necessary.
Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, authorizes the LLDA to "make, alter or modify order requiring the
The charter of LLDA, Republic Act No. 4850, as amended, instead of conferring upon the LLDA the means of directly
24
discontinuance or pollution." (Emphasis supplied) Section 4, par. (d) explicitly authorizes the LLDA to make enforcing such orders, has provided under its Section 4 (d) the power to institute "necessary legal proceeding against any
whatever order may be necessary in the exercise of its jurisdiction. person who shall commence to implement or continue implementation of any project, plan or program within the Laguna
de Bay region without previous clearance from the LLDA."
To be sure, the LLDA was not expressly conferred the power "to issue and ex-parte cease and desist order" in a
language, as suggested by the City Government of Caloocan, similar to the express grant to the defunct Clearly, said provision was designed to invest the LLDA with sufficiently broad powers in the regulation of all projects
National Pollution Control Commission under Section 7 of P.D. No. 984 which, admittedly was not reproduced initiated in the Laguna Lake region, whether by the government or the private sector, insofar as the implementation of
in P.D. No. 813 and E.O. No. 927, series of 1983. However, it would be a mistake to draw therefrom the these projects is concerned. It was meant to deal with cases which might possibly arise where decisions or orders issued
conclusion that there is a denial of the power to issue the order in question when the power "to make, alter or pursuant to the exercise of such broad powers may not be obeyed, resulting in the thwarting of its laudabe objective. To
modify orders requiring the discontinuance of pollution" is expressly and clearly bestowed upon the LLDA by meet such contingencies, then the writs of mandamus and injunction which are beyond the power of the LLDA to issue,
Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983. may be sought from the proper courts.
Assuming arguendo that the authority to issue a "cease and desist order" were not expressly conferred by law, Insofar as the implementation of relevant anti-pollution laws in the Laguna Lake region and its surrounding provinces, cities
there is jurisprudence enough to the effect that the rule granting such authority need not necessarily be and towns are concerned, the Court will not dwell further on the related issues raised which are more appropriately
25 addressed to an administrative agency with the special knowledge and expertise of the LLDA.
express. While it is a fundamental rule that an administrative agency has only such powers as are expressly
granted to it by law, it is likewise a settled rule that an administrative agency has also such powers as are WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The temporary restraining order issued by the Court on July 19, 1993 enjoining the
26 City Mayor of Caloocan and/or the City Government of Caloocan from dumping their garbage at the Tala Estate, Barangay
necessarily implied in the exercise of its express powers. In the exercise, therefore, of its express powers
under its charter as a regulatory and quasi-judicial body with respect to pollution cases in the Laguna Lake Camarin, Caloocan City is hereby made permanent.
SO ORDERED. Feliciano, Bidin, Melo and Vitug, JJ., concur.

G.R. No. 73140 May 29, 1987


RIZAL EMPIRE INSURANCE GROUP AND/OR SERGIO CORPUS, petitioners,
vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, TEODORICO L. RUIZ, as Labor Arbiter and ROGELIO R. CORIA, respondents.
PARAS, J.: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the March 14, 1985 Decision of Labor Arbiter Teodorico L. Ruiz which
held that herein private respondent Rogelio R. Coria was illegally dismissed; and of the Resolution of the National Labor
Relations Commission which dismissed petitioner's appeal on the ground that the same was filed out of time.
In August, 1977, herein private respondent Rogelio R. Coria was hired by herein petitioner Rizal Empire Insurance Group as
a casual employee with a salary of P10.00 a day. On January 1, 1978, he was made a regular employee, having been
appointed as clerk-typist, with a monthly salary of P300.00. Being a permanent employee, he was furnished a copy of
petitioner company's "General Information, Office Behavior and Other Rules and Regulations." In the same year, without
change in his position-designation, he was transferred to the Claims Department and his salary was increased to P450,00 a
month. In 1980, he was transferred to the Underwriting Department and his salary was increased to P580.00 a Even on the merits, the ruling of the Labor Arbiter appears to be correct; the consistent promotions in rank and salary of
month plus cost of living allowance, until he was transferred to the Fire Department as filing clerk. In July, 1983, the private respondent indicate he must have been a highly efficient worker, who should be retained despite occasional
he was made an inspector of the Fire Division with a monthly salary of P685.00 plus allowances and other lapses in punctuality and attendance. Perfection cannot after all be demanded.
benefits.
WHEREFORE, this petition is DISMISSED. SO ORDERED.
On October 15, 1983, private respondent Rogelio R. Coria was dismissed from work, allegedly, on the grounds
of tardiness and unexcused absences. Accordingly, he filed a complaint with the Ministry of Labor and
Employment (MOLE), and in a Decision dated March 14, 1985 (Record, pp. 80-87), Labor Arbiter Teodorico L.
Ruiz reinstated him to his position with back wages. Petitioner filed an appeal with the National labor Relations
Commission (NLRC) but, in a Resolution dated November 15, 1985 (Ibid, pp. 31-32), the appeal was dismissed
on the ground that the same had been filed out of time. Hence, the instant petition (Ibid, pp. 2-22).
In compliance with the resolution of the Second Division of this Court dated April 30, 1986 (Ibid., p. 94), private
respondent filed his Comment on May 23, 1986 (Ibid., pp. 97-101) and public respondent on July 2, 1986 (Ibid.,
pp. 120-124).
On June 6, 1986, petitioners filed their Reply to private respondent's Comment (Ibid, pp. 102-105) and on July
25, 1986, their Reply to public respondent's Comment (Ibid., pp. 126-131).
In a Resolution dated August 18, 1986, the Second Division of this Court resolved to give due course to the
petition and to require the parties to submit their respective memoranda (Ibid., P. 132).
In compliance with the above mentioned Resolution, petitioners filed the,.r memorandum on November 10,
1986; while private respondent filed his Memorandum on October 17, 1986 (Ibid, pp. 139-144), and public
respondent on November 16, 1986 (Ibid., pp. 160-166).
Before going however, into the merits of the case, an important point to consider is whether or not it is still
within the jurisdiction of this Court to review.
Rule VIII of the Revised Rules of the National Labor Relations Commission on appeal, provides:
SECTION 1. (a) Appeal. — Decision or orders of a labor Arbiter shall be final and executory unless appealed to
the Commission by any or both of the parties within ten (10) calendar days from receipt of notice thereof.
xxx xxx xxx
SECTION 6. No extension of period. — No motion or request for extension of the period within which to perfect
an appeal shall be entertained.
The record shows that the employer (petitioner herein) received a copy of the decision of the Labor Arbiter on
April 1, 1985. It filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File Memorandum of Appeal on April 11, 1985 and filed
the Memorandum of Appeal on April 22, 1985. Pursuant to the "no extension policy" of the National Labor
Relations Commission, aforesaid motion for extension of time was denied in its resolution dated November 15,
1985 and the appeal was dismissed for having been filed out of time (Rollo, pp. 31-32).
Petitioners claim, among other things, that respondent Commission committed a grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction in arbitrarily dismissing petitioners' appeal on a technicality (Rollo, p. 9). It
invokes the Rules of Court provision on liberal construction of the Rules in the interest of substantial justice.
It will be noted however, that the foregoing provision refers to the Rules of Court. On the other hand, the
Revised Rules of the National Labor Relations Commission are clear and explicit and leave no room for
interpretation.
Moreover, it is an elementary rule in administrative law that administrative regulations and policies enacted by
administrative bodies to interpret the law which they are entrusted to enforce, have the force of law, and are
entitled to great respect (Espanol v. Philippine Veterans Administration, 137 SCRA 314 [1985]).
Under the above-quoted provisions of the Revised NLRC Rules, the decision appealed from in this case has
become final and executory and can no longer be subject to appeal.