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CALALANG v.

WILLIAMS (1940) The Chairman of the National Traffic Commission on


July 18, 1940 recommended to the Director of Public
[J. Laurel] Works with the approval of the Secretary of Public
Works the adoption of thethemeasure proposed in the
SUMMARY AND DOCTRINE resolution aforementioned in pursuance of the
provisions of theCommonwealth Act No. 548 which
The National Traffic Commission recommended authorizes said Director with the approval from the
to the Director of Public Works and to the Secretary of the Public Works and Communication to
Secretary of Public Works and Communication promulgate rules and regulations to regulate and
that animal-drawn vehicles be prohibited from control the use of and traffic on national roads.
passing along Rosario and Rizal Sreets for a
period of one year from the date of the opening of On August 2, 1940, the Director recommended to the
Colgante Bridge. It was subsequently passed and Secretary the approval of the recommendations made
thereafter enforced by the Manila mayor and the by the Chairman of the National Traffic Commission
with modifications. The Secretary of Public Works
acting chief of police.
approved the recommendations on August 10,1940.
Maximo Calalang, as a citizen and a taxpayer The Mayor of Manila and the Acting Chief of Police of
filed a petition for prohibiton before the SC Manila have enforced and caused to be enforced the
rules and regulation. As a consequence, all animal-
averring that the rules being implemented
drawn vehicles are not allowed to pass and pick up
infringe upon the constitutional precept on the passengers in the places above mentioned to the
promotion of social justice to insure the well- detriment not only of their owners but of the riding
being and economic security of all people and public as well.
that it constitutes unlawful interference with
legitimate business or trade and abridge the right Maximo Calalang, in his capacity as a private citizen
to personal liberty and freedom of locomotion. and as a taxpayer of Manila, brought before the Court
a petition for a writ of prohibition, averring that the
The Supreme Court denied the petition for rules and regulations infringe upon constitutional
prohibition saying that it was a valid exercise of precept on the promotion of social justice to insure the
the state’s police power and that the promotion of well-being and economic security of all people and
social justice is to be achieved not through a that it constitutes unlawful interference with legitimate
mistaken sympathy towards any given group. business or trade and abridge the right to personal
The Court said that social justice is the promotion liberty and freedom of locomotion.
of the welfare of all people. It is neither
communism, despotism, nor atomism, nor II. ISSUES:
anarchy but the humanization of laws and the 1) Whether the rules and regulations promulgated
equalization of social and economic forces by the by the respondents constitute an unlawful
state so that justice in its rational and objectively inference with legitimate business or trade and
secular conception may at least be abridged the right to personal liberty and freedom
approximated. of locomotion?

2) Whether the rules and regulations complained


of infringe upon the constitutional precept
I. FACTS: regarding the promotion of social justice to insure
the well-being and economic security of all the
The National Traffic Commission, in its resolution of
people?
July 17, 1940, resolved to recommend to the Director
of the Public Works and to the Secretary of Public III. RATIO:
Works and Communications that animal-drawn
vehicles be prohibited from passing along the 1) No. The promulgation of the Act aims to
following for a period of one year from the date of the promote safe transit upon and avoid obstructions
opening of the Colgante Bridge to traffic: on national roads in the interest and convenience
of the public. In enacting said law, the National
1) Rosario Street extending from Plaza Calderon de la Assembly was prompted by considerations of
Barca to Dasmariñas Street from 7:30Am to 12:30 pm public convenience and welfare. It was inspired
and from 1:30 pm to 530 pm; and by the desire to relieve congestion of traffic,
which is a menace to the public safety. Public
2) along Rizal Avenue extending from the railroad welfare lies at the bottom of the promulgation of
crossing at Antipolo Street to Echague Street from 7 the said law and the state in order to promote the
am to 11pm general welfare may interfere with personal
liberty, with property, and with business and
occupations. Persons and property may be
subject to all kinds of restraints and burdens in
order to secure the general comfort, health, and
prosperity of the State. To this fundamental aims
of the government, the rights of the individual are
subordinated. Liberty is a blessing which should
not be made to prevail over authority because
society will fall into anarchy. Neither should
authority be made to prevail over liberty because
then the individual will fall into slavery. The
paradox lies in the fact that the apparent
curtailment of liberty is precisely the very means
of insuring its preserving.

2) No. Social justice is “neither communism, nor


despotism, nor atomism, nor anarchy,” but the
humanization of laws and the equalization of
social and economic forces by the State so that
justice in its rational and objectively secular
conception may at least be approximated. Social
justice means the promotion of the welfare of all
the people, the adoption by the Government of
measures calculated to insure economic stability
of all the competent elements of society, through
the maintenance of a proper economic and social
equilibrium in the interrelations of the members of
the community, constitutionally, through the
adoption of measures legally justifiable, or extra-
constitutionally, through the exercise of powers
underlying the existence of all governments on
the time-honored principles of salus populi est
suprema lex.

Social justice must be founded on the recognition


of the necessity of interdependence among
divers and diverse units of a society and of the
protection that should be equally and evenly
extended to all groups as a combined force in our
social and economic life, consistent with the
fundamental and paramount objective of the state
of promoting health, comfort and quiet of all
persons, and of bringing about “the greatest good
to the greatest number.”

IV. DISPOSITIVE:

The writ of prohibition prayed for is hereby DENIED,


with costs against the petitioner. So ordered.