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Social Justice Society v.


Facts: City of Manila enacted an ordinance that reclassified the Pandacan area
from an Industrial Area into a Commercial Area. Incidentally, the ordinance
called businesses operating in the Pandacan area to cease from operating after 6
months. Subsequently, affected oil companies entered into an MOU with the
City, which was eventually ratified by the SP of Manila. Thus, petitioners assail
the ratification of the MOU noting that the original ordinance should be upheld.

Ruling: However, based on the hierarchy of constitutionally protected rights, the

right to life enjoys precedence over the right to property. The reason is obvious:
life is irreplaceable, property is not. When the state or LGUs exercise of police
power clashes with a few individuals right to property, the former should
prevail. Thus, the original ordinance was upheld over the contentions of the oil

Carlos Superdrug Corp. v. DSWD

Facts: Petitioners assails the constitutionality of the tax deduction scheme of RA

9257 (Senior Citizen’s Act) on the ground that it amounts to taking without due
process of law and taking of property without just compensation.

Ruling: The law is a legitimate exercise of police power which, similar to the
power of eminent domain, has general welfare for its object. Accordingly, it has
been described as the most essential, insistent and the least limitable of powers,
extending as it does to all the great public needs. For this reason, when the
conditions so demand as determined by the legislature, property rights must
bow to the primacy of police power because property rights, though sheltered by
due process, must yield to general welfare. Moreover, the right to property has a
social dimension. While Article XIII of the Constitution provides the precept for
the protection of property, various laws and jurisprudence, particularly on
agrarian reform and the regulation of contracts and public utilities, continuously
serve as a reminder that the right to property can be relinquished upon the
command of the State for the promotion of public good.

Philippine Blooming Mills Employees Org. v. PBM Co.

Facts: Petitioner organization organized a demonstration to protest against the

action of Pasig police officers. Upon learning of such demonstration, respondent
company sought to prohibit certain employees (those belonging to 1 st shift) from
attending the demonstration. Despite this plea, petitioner failed to accede to
respondent’s plea which prompted the later to charge some first shift employees
for violating RA 875.

Ruling: While the Bill of Rights also protects property rights, the primacy of
human rights over property rights is recognized. Because these freedoms are
"delicate and vulnerable, as well as supremely precious in our society" and the
"threat of sanctions may deter their exercise almost as potently as the actual
application of sanctions," they "need breathing space to survive," permitting
government regulation only "with narrow specificity. In the hierarchy of civil
liberties, the rights of free expression and of assembly occupy a preferred
position as they are essential to the preservation and vitality of our civil and
political institutions; and such priority "gives these liberties the sanctity and the
sanction not permitting dubious intrusions. The primacy of human rights —
freedom of expression, of peaceful assembly and of petition for redress of
grievances — over property rights has been sustained.

Balacult v. CFI

Facts: Petitoners assailed an ordinance passed by the SP of Butuan penalizing

movie theaters selling tickets more than a price ceiling fixed by the same

Ruling: To invoke the exercise of police power, not only must it appear that the
interest of the public generally requires an interference with private rights, but
the means adopted must be reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the
purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. Police power legislation
must be firmly grounded on public interest and welfare, and a reasonable
relation must exist between purposes and means. While it is true that a business
may be regulated, it is equally true that such regulation must be within the
bounds of reason, that is, the regulatory ordinance must be reasonable, and its
provisions cannot be oppressive amounting to an arbitrary interference with the
business or calling subject of regulation. The enacted ordinance amounts to
interference of property rights without a lawful subject. Thus invalid

Lozano v. Martinez

Facts: Petitioners assailed the constitutionality of BP 22 on the ground that it

violates the non-imprisonment of debt and non-impairment clauses of the

Ruling: Police power is a dynamic force that enables the state to meet the
exigencies of changing times. There are occasions when the police power of the
state may even override a constitutional guaranty. For example, there have been
cases wherein we held that the constitutional provision on non-impairment of
contracts must yield to the police power of the state. Since BP 22 was enacted by
the state in the exercise of police power, the Court ruled I favor of its validity
notwithstanding the alleged constitutional transgressions

Del Rosario v. Bengzon

Facts: Petitioners assailed the constitutionality of the Generics Act and its
pertinent IRR, this petition is primarily directed against the penal clause of the
said law. The petitioners noted that the law violates the equal protection clause
of the constitution.
Ruling: In any event, no private contract between doctor and patient may be
allowed to override the power of the State to enact laws that are reasonably
necessary to secure the health, safety, good order, comfort, or general welfare of
the community. This power can neither be abdicated nor bargained away. All
contractual and property rights are held subject to its fair exercise. Thus, the
Court sustained the validity of the Generics Act of 1988.

Tablarin v. Judge Gutierrez

Facts: Petitioner assails the constitutionality of the National Medical Admissions

Test on the ground that it violates the freedom of education.

Ruling: The power to regulate and control the practice of medicine includes the
power to regulate admission to the ranks of those authorized to practice
medicine, is also well recognized. thus, legislation and administrative regulations
requiring those who wish to practice medicine first to take and pass medical board
examinations have long ago been recognized as valid exercises of governmental
power. Thus, the Court affirmed the validity of NMAT.

Ermita-Malate Hotel & Motel Operators v. City Mayor

Facts: Petitioners assail the constitutionality of a city ordinance which required

guests to fill up a prescribed form in a lobby open to public view at all times.
Petitioners argued that such measure amounts to the violation of the right to

Ruling: he mantle of protection associated with the due process guaranty does
not cover petitioners. This particular manifestation of a police power measure
being specifically aimed to safeguard public morals is immune from such
imputation of nullity resting purely on conjecture and unsupported by anything
of substance. To hold otherwise would be to unduly restrict and narrow the
scope of police power which has been properly characterized as the most
essential, insistent and the least limitable of powers, extending as it does "to all
the great public needs." It would be, to paraphrase another leading decision, to
destroy the very purpose of the state if it could be deprived or allowed itself to
be deprived of its competence to promote public health, public morals, public
safety and the genera welfare.

Cruz v. Paras

Facts: Petitioners assailed the constitutionality of an ordinance promulgated by

the SB of Bocaue prohibiting the operation of nightclubs. The challenge is
anchored on the claim that the ordinance violates the due process clause of the

Ruling: An ordinance is valid unless it contravenes the fundamental law of the

Philippine Islands, or an Act of the Philippine Legislature, or unless it is against
public policy, or is unreasonable, oppressive, partial, discriminating, or in
derogation of common right. It is a general rule that ordinances passed by virtue
of the implied power found in the general welfare clause must be reasonable,
consonant with the general powersand purposes of the corporation, and not
inconsistent with the laws or policy of the State. The Court justified the invalidity
of the ordinance as it was aimed to prohibit the operation of nightclubs, contrary
to the facts under a case where an ordinance was enacted so as to regulate the
operations of night clubs.

Velasco v. Villegas

Facts: Petitioners challenged the constitutionality of an ordinance,which

prohibits barbershops from offering massages to adjacent rooms. In consonance
to this challenge, petitioners argue that it violates the due process clause of the

Ruling: The attack against the validity cannot succeed it is a police power
measure. This, ordinance was deemed to be constitutional.

Magtajas v. Pryce Properties

Facts: Upon learning of PAGCOR’s intent to operate a casino within the City of
Cagayan de Oro, petitioners enacted an ordinance, which sought to prohibit the
operation of casinos within Cagayan de Oro. Respondents’ challenge the
resolution on the ground of its unconstitutionality.
Ruling: While Local Government units are empowered by the General Welfare
Clause to enact ordinances aimed to promote public welfare, it shall be subject to
the conditions as established by jurisprudence, namely: 1) It must not contravene
the constitution or any statute; 2) It must not be unfair or oppressive; 3) It must
not be partial or discriminatory; 4) It must not prohibit but may regulate trade; 5)
It must be general and consistent with public policy; 6) It must not be

Municipal governments are only agents of the national government. Local

councils exercise only delegated legislative powers conferred on them by
Congress as the national lawmaking body. The delegate cannot be superior to the
principal or exercise powers higher than those of the latter. The ordinance is
declared invalid as it runs aground to the statutes pass allowing PAGCOR to
operate casinos.

Tano v. Socrates

Facts: The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Palawan enacted an ordinance that

sought to prohibit the shipment of some fishes and penalize those who violated
the ordinance. Petitioners were then apprehended for violating the ordinance
and were charged before the CFI. Thus, petitioners assailed the constitutionality
of the ordinance on the ground that it violates the due process clause.
Respondents countered by alleging that they are vested with the authority to
promulgate ordinances by virtue of the General Welfare Clause of the Local
Government Code.
Ruling: The general welfare provisions of the LGC shall be liberally interpreted
to give more powers to the local government units in accelerating economic
development and upgrading the quality of life for the people of the community.
Thus, the Court ruled that the validity of the ordinance noting that it is within
the purview of the general welfare clause.

City of Manila v. Judge Laguio

Facts: The City of Manila enacted an ordinance that sought to prohibit persons
and corporations from operating motels and other establishment, which tends to
illicit immoral activities. Private respondents argued against the constitutionality
of the ordinance on the ground that it violates the due process clause.

Ruling: What is crucial in judicial consideration of regulatory takings is that

government regulation is a taking if it leaves no reasonable economically viable
use of property in a manner that interferes with reasonable expectations for use.
A regulation that permanently denies all economically beneficial or productive
use of land is, from the owner's point of view, equivalent to a "taking" unless
principles of nuisance or property law that existed when the owner acquired the
land make the use prohibitable. The Court ruled against the validity of the
ordinance as it was an improper exercise of police power being as it amounted to
taking without just compensation. Nonetheless, the ordinance also fails the test
in analyzing the validity of LGU ordinances, to wit: (1) must not contravene the
Constitution or any statute; (2) must not be unfair or oppressive; (3) must not be
partial or discriminatory; (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade; (5) must
be general and consistent with public policy; and (6) must not be unreasonable.

Ortigas and Co. v. Feati Bank and Trust Co.,

Facts: Private individuals initially acquired the subject lots of the case.
Subsequently, defendants acquired the same lots and intend to construct a
banking complex. Plaintiff opposed this plan on the ground that the conditions
for the sale provided that the purchased lots should only be used for residential
purposes. On the other hand, defendants invoked the municipality’s zoning
resolution that classified the area as industrial/commercial. Finally, plaintiff
argued that the resolution is invalid as it would impair the conditions in the sale
of the lots

Ruling: It should be stressed, that while non-impairment of contracts is

constitutionally guaranteed, the rule is not absolute, since it has to be reconciled
with the legitimate exercise of police power. Having been expressly granted the
power to adopt zoning and subdivision ordinances or regulations, the
municipality of Mandaluyong, through its Municipal 'council, was reasonably, if
not perfectly, justified under the circumstances, in passing the subject resolution.
Thus, the state, in order to promote the general welfare, may interfere with
personal liberty, with property, and with business and occupations. Persons may
be subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens, in order to secure the general
comfort health and prosperity of the state and to this fundamental aim of our
Government, the rights of the individual are subordinated. The motives behind
the passage of the questioned resolution being reasonable, and it being a "
legitimate response to a felt public need," not whimsical or oppressive, the non-
impairment of contracts clause of the Constitution will not bar the municipality's
proper exercise of the power. The validity of the ordinance is sustained.

Presley v. Bel-Air Village

Facts: The case started when respondent village filed an action for specific
performance and damages against plaintiff on the ground that she violated the
Deed of Restriction imposed on her lot by building a pan de sal store. The lower
Courts ruled against plaintiff, which prompted to appeal before the SC.
Petitioner argues that the building of the store is justified as the lot is classified as
a commercial area. Respondent village also challenged the Court’s previous
ruling in Sangalang v. IAC noting that the SC misinterpreted the zoning
ordinance classifying the village as a highly commercial area.

Ruling: Undoubtedly, they are valid and can be enforced against the petitioner.
However, these contractual stipulations on the use of the land even if said
conditions are annotated on the torrens title can be impaired if necessary to
reconcile with the legitimate exercise of police power. Above all, it [contract
stipulations] cannot be raised as a deterrent to police power, designed precisely
to promote health, safety, peace, and enhance the common good, at the expense
of contractual rights, whenever necessary.

Bautista v. Juinio

Facts: In lieu of the oil crisis in 1974, respondents implemented Letter of

Instruction 869, which sought to prohibit heavy and extra heavy vehicles from
using roads during 12-5 AM. Pursuant to this, respondents were empowered to
impose penalties upon violators of the said LOI. Petitioners assailed the
constitutionality of the LOI on the ground that it violates the due process clause.

Ruling: The Court noted that the LOI was pursuant to a lawful subject. In the
interplay between such a fundamental right [due process] and police power,
especially so where the assailed governmental action deals with the use of one's
property, the latter is accorded much leeway. To hold otherwise would be to
unduly restrict and narrow the scope of police power which has been properly
characterized as the most essential, insistent and the least limitable of powers,
extending as it does 'to all the great public needs. Thus the Court upheld the
validity of the LOI and the measure adopted by the respondents.

JIL v. Municipality of Pasig

Facts: Respondents sought to open an access road to a market in Pasig. Thus,

they expropriated the lots that was bought by petitioners. Petitioners on the
other hand opposed the expropriation noting that the was no necessity to
expropriate the lots and that the original owners were not informed of the

Ruling: The Court declared that the following requisites for the valid
exercise of the power of eminent domain by a local government unit must be
complied with:
1. An ordinance is enacted by the local legislative council authorizing the
local chief executive, in behalf of the local government unit, to exercise
the power of eminent domain or pursue expropriation proceedings over
a particular private property.

2. The power of eminent domain is exercised for public use, purpose or

welfare, or for the benefit of the poor and the landless.

3. There is payment of just compensation, as required under Section 9,

Article III of the Constitution, and other pertinent laws.

4. A valid and definite offer has been previously made to the owner of the
property sought to be expropriated, but said offer was not accepted.

The respondent was burdened to prove the mandatory requirement of a valid

and definite offer to the owner of the property before filing its complaint and the
rejection thereof by the latter. It is incumbent upon the condemnor to exhaust all
reasonable efforts to obtain the land it desires by agreement. Failure to prove
compliance with the mandatory requirement will result in the dismissal of the
complaint. In the present case, the respondent failed to prove that before it filed
its complaint, it made a written definite and valid offer to acquire the property
for public use as an access road. Thus, the Court ruled against the validity of the

Republic v. Castellvi

Facts: Petitioners filed a complaint for eminent domain against respondent

seeking to expropriate the land belonging to the later. One of the pertinent issues
raised was the amount of compensation to be awarded. Petitioner argued that
the compensation should be computed based on the land’s market value during
its ‘taking’, which occurred when petitioner leased respondent’s land.
Respondent on the other hand argued that taking should be considered to have
occurred only when the expropriation proceedings were initiated.

Ruling: The elements of taking are as follows: a) Expropriator must enter private
property; b) Entrance in private property must be for more than a momentary
period; c) The entry into the property should be under warrant or color of legal
authority; d) Property must be devoted to public use; e) Utilization of the
property for public use must be in such a way as to oust the owner and deprive
him of all beneficial enjoyment of the property. Upon careful perusal of the facts,
the Court ruled that taking did not happen when the petitioner leased
respondent’s land. The "taking" of the Castellvi property for the purposes of
determining the just compensation to be paid must, therefore, be reckoned as of
June 26, 1959 when the complaint for eminent domain was filed.

People v. Fajardo

Facts: Respondents were prosecuted for violating a local ordinance by

constructing a building that destroys the view of the public plaza without the
necessary permit from the mayor. Incidental to their appeal, respondents
assailed the constitutionality of the ordinance.

Ruling: The ordinance is unreasonable and oppressive, in that it operates to

permanently deprive appellants of the right to use their own property; hence, it
oversteps the bounds of police power, and amounts to a taking of appellants
property without just compensation. Thus, the Court ruled against the validity of
the ordiance.

National Power Corporation v. Sps. Gutierrez

Facts: Petitioner sought to expropriate the land of respondent for the

construction of a transmission lines. The lower court ruled compensation to be
awarded is 10/square meter. Aggrieved, petitioner appealed before CA. In turn
the CA affirmed the RTC’s ruling. Thus, petitioner appealed the matter before
the Court noting that they should only pay a simple easement fee and not the
market value of the lot as the respondents retained full ownership and were not
totally deprive of the use of the land.

Ruling: Normally, of course, the power of eminent domain results in the taking
or appropriation of title to, and possession of, the expropriated property; but no
cogent reason appears why said power may not be availed of to impose only a
burden upon the owner of condemned property, without loss of title and
possession. The easement of right-of-way is definitely a taking under the power
of eminent domain. Considering the nature and effect of the installation of the
230 KV Mexico-Limay transmission lines, the limitation imposed by NPC against
the use of the land for an indefinite period deprives private respondents of its
ordinary use. Thus, spouses were entitled to just compensation and not merely
simple easement fees.


Facts: COMELEC promulgated a resolution, which required various publishers

of newspapers to provide free print space for COMELEC’s use. Petitioner
challenged the validity of the ordinance noting that it amounts to taking of
property without just compensation. Respondent argues that the measure may
be justified under the guise of police power.

Ruling: To compel petitioners to donate COMELEC-space amounts to taking of

private personal property. Eminent domain is exercised if the threshold
requisites are present, to wit: a) necessity for the taking; b) legal authority to
effect the taking. In the present case, COMELEC failed to demonstrate the
necessity in acquiring such print space, more so the same failed to provide for its
basis to exercise eminent domain. Thus, resolution was void.

City of Mandaluyog v. Francisco

Facts: Petitioner filed a complaint before the RTC seeking to expropriate the land
belonging to the respondents. Respondents sought for the dismissal of the case
noting that their lots were exempted from expropriation by virtue of RA 7279.
On the other hand, petitioner argued that the modern exercise of eminent
domain calls for a less restricted exercise of power by virtue of more liberal
jurisprudences interpreting the power in favor of the general welfare.

Ruling: While we adhere to the expanded notion of public use, the passage of
R.A. No. 7279, the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 introduced a
limitation on the size of the land sought to be expropriated for socialized
housing. Small-property owners are defined by two elements: (1) those owners of
real property whose property consists of residential lands with an area of not
more than 300 square meters in highly urbanized cities and 800 square meters in
other urban areas; and (2) that they do not own real property other than the
same. In the present case, while the lot of the heirs of Francisco was noted to be
more than 300 sq. meters, each heir as co-owners were only entitled to 69 sq.
meters. Thus, their lot was considered to be exempt from expropriation.

Sumulong v. Guerrero

Facts: NHA filed a petition to expropriate the lot of petitioner at a price of 1.oo
per square. Consequently, respondent judge issued a writ of possession in favor
of NHA. Because of this, petitioners assailed the issuance of the writ on the
ground that they are deprived of property without due process of law.
Petitioners also noted that the term social housing does not fall under the
purview of ‘public use’.

Ruling: It is accurate to state then that at present whatever may be beneficially

employed for the general welfare satisfies the requirement of public use.
Specifically, urban renewal or redevelopment and the construction of low-cost
housing is recognized as a public purpose, not only because of the expanded
concept of public use but also because of specific provisions in the Constitution.
The issuance of a writ of possession rests on the satisfaction of the following
requisite: (1) There must be a Complaint for expropriation sufficient in form and
in substance; (2) A provisional determination of just compensation for the
properties sought to be expropriated must be made by the trial court on the basis
of judicial (not legislative or executive) discretion; and (3) The deposit
requirement. Once these are complied the issuance of a writ is ministerial
function of the expropriation court.
Heirs of Ardona v. Reyes

Facts: The Philippine Tourist Authority sought to expropriate the land belonging
to petitioners for the promotion of tourism by creating, among others, golf course
and other recreational activities. Petitioner challenge the act on the ground that
the ‘promotion of tourism’ does not fall under the purview of public use.

Ruling: As long as the purpose of the taking is public, then the power of eminent
domain comes into play. Ostensibly the Court also noted that the non-
impairment clause has never been a barrier to the exercise of police power and
likewise eminent domain. Thus, the Court ruled in favor of the expropriation.

Province of Camarines Sur v. CA

Facts: Petitioner sought to expropriate the land belonging to respondent in order

to establish a pilot farm for non-food and non-traditional crops and as housing
project for provincial government employees. Private respondents opposed the
act on the ground that the reason behind the expropriation does not fall within
the purview of public use. The OSG, when asked by the CA to comment on the
expropriation, noted that the expropriation of the agricultural land needs the
approval of the Secretary of DAR as it would entail the conversion of an
agricultural land to a non-agricultural one.

Ruling: Under the new concept, "public use" means public advantage,
convenience or benefit, which tends to contribute to the general welfare and the
prosperity of the whole community, like a resort complex for tourists or housing
project. Requiring approval of the DAR Secretary prior to the expropriation of
agricultural land would give his the unbridled authority to ascertain whether it
is for public purpose or use. Thus, expropriation is valid.

Jimenez v. PEZA