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G.R. Nos.

L-32370 & 32767 April 20, 1983 This adverse claim was docketed in the Bureau of Mines as Mines Administrative
Case No. V-404, and on appeal to the Department of Agriculture and Natural
Resources as DANR Case No. 3502.
SIERRA MADRE TRUST, petitioner,
vs.
HONORABLE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES, DIRECTOR OF MINES, JUSAN Likewise, on the same date July 26, 1966, the same Sierra Madre Trust filed with
TRUST MINING COMPANY, and J & S PARTNERSHIP, respondents. the Bureau of Mines an Adverse Claim against LLA No. V-9028 of the J & S
Partnership over six (6) lode mineral claims viz.: (1) A-19, (2) A-20, (3) A-24, (4) A-
25, (5) A-29, and (6) A-30, all registered on March 30, 1965 and amended August 5,
Lobruga Rondoz & Cardenas Law Offices for petitioner.
1965, with the office of the Mining Recorder of Nueva Vizcaya, and situated in Sitio
Gatid, Barrio of Abaca Municipality of Dupax, Province of Nueva Vizcaya.
Fortunato de Leon for respondents.
The adverse claim alleged that the aforementioned six (6) lode mineral claim
covered by LLA No. V-9028, encroached and overlapped the thirteen (13) lode
mineral claims of herein petitioner Sierra Madre Trust, viz.: (1) Wm-14, (2) F-14, (3)
ABAD SANTOS, J.: A-13, (4) H-12 (5) Jc-12, (6) W-12, (7) Jn-11, (8) Wm-11, (9) F-11, (10) Wm-11, (11)
F-11; (12) H-9 and (13) Jc-9, all situated in Sitio Taduan, Barrio of Abaca
Municipality of Dupax, Province of Nueva Vizcaya and duly registered with the
This is a petition to review a decision of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources dated July 8, office of the Mining Recorder at Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, on May 14,1965.
1970, in DANR Cases Numbered 3502 and 3502-A. The decision affirmed a decision of the Director of
Mines dated November 6, 1969.
The adverse claim prayed for an order or decision declaring the above- mentioned
six (6) claims of respondent J & S Partnership, null void, and illegal; and denying
The appeal was made pursuant to Sec. 61 of the Mining Law (C.A. No. 137, as amended) which provides: lode lease application LLA No. V-9028 over the said claims. Further, the adverse
"... Findings of facts in the decision or order of the Director of Mines when affirmed by the Secretary of claimant prayed for such other reliefs and remedies available in the premises.
Agriculture and Natural Resources shall be final and conclusive, and the aggrieved party or parties
desiring to appeal from such decision or order shall file in the Supreme Court a petition for review
wherein only questions of law may be raised." This adverse claim was docketed in the Bureau of Mines as Mines Administrative
Case No. V-404, and on appeal to the Department of Agriculture and Natural
Resources as DANR Case No. 3502A.
The factual background is given in the brief of the petitioner-appellant which has not been contradicted
by the respondents-appellees and is as follows:
These two (2) adverse claims, MAC Nos. V-403 and V-404 were jointly heard in the
Bureau of Mines, and also jointly considered in the appeal in the Department of
On July 26, 1962, the Sierra Madre Trust filed with the Bureau of Mines an Adverse Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Claim against LLA No. V-7872 (Amd) of the Jusan Trust Mining Company over six (6)
lode mineral claims, viz.: (1) Finland 2, (2) Finland 3, (3) Finland 5, (4) Finland 6, (5)
Finland 8 and (6) Finland 9, all registered on December 11, 1964 with the office of The dispositive portion of the decision rendered by the Director of Mines reads:
the Mining Recorder of Nueva Vizcaya, and all situated in Sitio Maghanay, Barrio
Abaca Municipality of Dupax, Province of Nueva Vizcaya. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, this Office believes and so holds that the
respondents have the preferential right over their "Finland-2", "Finland- 3",
The adverse claim alleged that the aforementioned six (6) lode minerals claims "Finland-5", "Finland-6", "Finland-8", "Finland-9", "A-19", "A-20", "A-24", "A-25",
covered by LLA No. V-7872 (Amd) encroached and overlapped the eleven (11) lode "A-29" and "A-30" mining claims. Accordingly, the protests (adverse claims) filed
mineral claims of the herein petitioner Sierra Madre Trust, viz., (1) A-12, (2) H-12, by protestant Sierra Madre Trust should be, as hereby they are, DISMISSED.
(3) JC-11, (4) W-11, (5) JN-11, (6)WM-11, (7) F-10, (8) A-9, (9) N-9, (10) W-8, and
(11) JN-8, all situated in Sitio Taduan Barrio of Abaca, Municipality of Dupax, And that of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources reads:
Province of Nueva Vizcaya, and duly registered with the office of the Mining
Recorder at Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya on May 14, 1965.
IN THE LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the appeal interposed by the appellant,
Sierra Madre Trust is hereby dismissed and the decision of the Director of Mines
The adverse claim prayed for an order or decision declaring the above- mentioned dated November 6, 1969, affirmed. "
six (6) lode mineral claims of respondent Jusan Trust Mining Company, null, void,
and illegal; and denying lode lease application LLA No. V-7872 over said claims.
The adverse claims of Sierra Madre Trust against Jusan Trust Mining Company and J and S Partnership
Further, the adverse claimant prayed for such other reliefs and remedies available
were based on the allegation that the lode lease applications (LLA) of the latter "encroached and
in the premises.
overlapped" the former's mineral claims, However, acting on the adverse claims, the Director of Mines
found that, "By sheer force of evidence, this Office is constrained to believe that there exists no conflict
or overlapping between the protestant's and respondents' mining claims. " And this finding was affirmed
by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources thus: "Anent the first allegation, this Office finds
that the Director of Mines did not err when he found that the twelve (12) claims of respondents Jusan
Trust Mining Company and J & S Partnership did not encroach and overlap the eighteen (18) lode mineral
claims of the appellant Sierra Madre Trust. For this fact has been incotrovertibly proven by the records
appertaining to the case."

It should be noted that according to the Director of Mines in his decision, "during the intervening period
from the 31st day after the discovery [by the respondents] to the date of location nobody else located
the area covered thereby. ... the protestant [petitioner herein] did not establish any intervening right as
it is our findings that their mining claims do not overlap respondents' mining claims."

After the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources had affirmed the factual findings of the Director
of Mines to the effect that there was no overlapping of claims and which findings were final and
conclusive, Sierra Madre Trust should have kept its peace for obviously it suffered no material injury and
had no pecuniary interest to protect. But it was obstinate and raised this legal question before Us: "May
there be a valid location of mining claims after the lapse of thirty (30) days from date of discovery, in
contravention to the mandatory provision of Section 33 of the New Mining Law (Com. Act No. 137, as
amended)?" It also raised ancillary questions.

We see no reason why We have to answer the questions in this petition considering that there is no
justiciable issue between the parties. The officers of the Executive Department tasked with administering
the Mining Law have found that there is neither encroachment nor overlapping in respect of the claims
involved. Accordingly, whatever may be the answers to the questions will not materially serve the
interests of the petitioner. In closing it is useful to remind litigation prone individuals that the
interpretation by officers of laws which are entrusted to their administration is entitled to great respect.'
In his decision, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources said: "This Office is in conformity with
the findings of the Director of Mines that the mining claims of the appellees were validly located,
surveyed and registered."

Finally, the petitioner also asks: "May an association and/or partnership registered with the Mining
Recorder of a province, but not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, be vested with
juridical personality to enable it to locate and then lease mining claims from the government?" Suffice it
to state that this question was not raised before the Director of Mines and the Secretary of Agriculture
and Natural Resources. There is also nothing in the record to indicate whether or not the appellees are
registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For these reasons, even assuming that there is
a justiciable issue between the parties, this question cannot be passed upon.

WHEREFORE, the petition for review is hereby dismissed for lack of merit. Costs against the petitioner.

SO ORDERED.

Makasiar (Chairman), Concepcion Jr., Guerrero, De Castro and Escolin JJ., concur.

Aquino, J., is on leave.


G.R. No. L-50444 August 31, 1987 monthly installments without any penalties or interest charges until such time that
such improvements shall have been completed. 1
ANTIPOLO REALTY CORPORATION, petitioner,
vs. On 14 October 1976, the president of Antipolo Realty sent a notice to private respondent Yuson advising
THE NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, HON. G.V. TOBIAS, in his capacity as General Manager of the that the required improvements in the subdivision had already been completed, and requesting
National Housing Authority, THE HON. JACOBO C. CLAVE, in his capacity as Presidential Executive resumption of payment of the monthly installments on Lot No. 15. For his part, Mr. Yuson replied that he
Assistant and VIRGILIO A. YUSON, respondents. would conform with the request as soon as he was able to verify the truth of the representation in the
notice.

In a second letter dated 27 November 1976, Antipolo Realty reiterated its request that Mr. Yuson resume
payment of his monthly installments, citing the decision rendered by the National Housing Authority
FELICIANO, J.:
(NHA) on 25 October 1976 in Case No. 252 (entitled "Jose B. Viado Jr., complainant vs. Conrado S. Reyes,
respondent") declaring Antipolo Realty to have "substantially complied with its commitment to the lot
By virtue of a Contract to Sell dated 18 August 1970, Jose Hernando acquired prospective and beneficial buyers pursuant to the Contract to Sell executed by and between the lot buyers and the respondent." In
ownership over Lot. No. 15, Block IV of the Ponderosa Heights Subdivision in Antipolo, Rizal, from the addition, a formal demand was made for full and immediate payment of the amount of P16,994.73,
petitioner Antipolo Realty Corporation. representing installments which, Antipolo Realty alleged, had accrued during the period while the
improvements were being completed — i.e., between September 1972 and October 1976.
On 28 August 1974, Mr. Hernando transferred his rights over Lot No. 15 to private respondent Virgilio
Yuson. The transfer was embodied in a Deed of Assignment and Substitution of Obligor (Delegacion), Mr. Yuson refused to pay the September 1972-October 1976 monthly installments but agreed to pay the
executed with the consent of Antipolo Realty, in which Mr. Yuson assumed the performance of the post October 1976 installments. Antipolo Realty responded by rescinding the Contract to Sell, and
vendee's obligations under the original contract, including payment of his predecessor's installments in claiming the forfeiture of all installment payments previously made by Mr. Yuson.
arrears. However, for failure of Antipolo Realty to develop the subdivision project in accordance with its
undertaking under Clause 17 of the Contract to Sell, Mr. Yuson paid only the arrearages pertaining to the
Aggrieved by the rescission of the Contract to Sell, Mr. Yuson brought his dispute with Antipolo Realty
period up to, and including, the month of August 1972 and stopped all monthly installment payments
before public respondent NHA through a letter-complaint dated 10 May 1977 which complaint was
falling due thereafter Clause 17 reads:
docketed in NHA as Case No. 2123.

Clause 17. — SUBDIVISION BEAUTIFICATION. To insure the beauty of the


Antipolo Realty filed a Motion to Dismiss which was heard on 2 September 1977. Antipolo Realty,
subdivision in line with the modern trend of urban development, the SELLER
without presenting any evidence, moved for the consolidation of Case No. 2123 with several other cases
hereby obligates itself to provide the subdivision with:
filed against it by other subdivision lot buyers, then pending before the NHA. In an Order issued on 7
February 1978, the NHA denied the motion to dismiss and scheduled Case No. 2123 for hearing.
a) Concrete curbs and gutters
After hearing, the NHA rendered a decision on 9 March 1978 ordering the reinstatement of the Contract
b) Underground drainage system to Sell under the following conditions:

c) Asphalt paved roads l) Antipolo Realty Corporation shall sent [sic] to Virgilio Yuzon a statement of
account for the monthly amortizations from November 1976 to the present;
d) Independent water system
m) No penalty interest shall be charged for the period from November 1976 to the
e) Electrical installation with concrete posts. date of the statement of account; and

f) Landscaping and concrete sidewall n) Virgilio Yuzon shall be given sixty (60) days to pay the arrears shown in the
statement of account. 2

g) Developed park or amphi-theatre


Antipolo Realty filed a Motion for Reconsideration asserting: (a) that it had been denied due process of
law since it had not been served with notice of the scheduled hearing; and (b) that the jurisdiction to
h) 24-hour security guard service. hear and decide Mr. Yuson's complaint was lodged in the regular courts, not in the NHA, since that
complaint involved the interpretation and application of the Contract to Sell.
These improvements shall be complete within a period of two (2) years from date
of this contract. Failure by the SELLER shall permit the BUYER to suspend his The motion for reconsideration was denied on 28 June 1978 by respondent NHA General Manager G.V.
Tobias, who sustained the jurisdiction of the NHA to hear and decide the Yuson complaint. He also found
that Antipolo Realty had in fact been served with notice of the date of the hearing, but that its counsel In this era of clogged court dockets, the need for specialized administrative boards
had failed to attend the hearing. 3 The case was submitted for decision, and eventually decided, solely on or commissions with the special knowledge, experience and capability to hear and
the evidence presented by the complainant. determine promptly disputes on technical matters or essentially factual matters,
subject to judicial review in case of grave abuse of discretion has become well nigh
indispensable. Thus, in 1984, the Court noted that 'between the power lodged in
On 2 October 1978, Antipolo Realty came to this Court with a Petition for certiorari and Prohibition with
an administrative body and a court, the unmistakeable trend has been to refer it to
Writ of Preliminary Injunction, which was docketed as G.R. No. L-49051. Once more, the jurisdiction of
the former, "Increasingly, this Court has been committed to the view that unless
the NHA was assailed. Petitioner further asserted that, under Clause 7 of the Contract to Sell, it could
the law speaks clearly and unequivocably, the choice should fall on fan
validly terminate its agreement with Mr. Yuson and, as a consequence thereof, retain all the prior
administrative agency]" ' (NFL v. Eisma, 127 SCRA 419, 428, citing precedents). The
installment payments made by the latter. 4
Court in the earlier case of Ebon vs. De Guzman (113 SCRA 52, 56 [1982]), noted
that the lawmaking authority, in restoring to the labor arbiters and the NLRC their
This Court denied certiorari in a minute resolution issued on 11 December 1978, "without prejudice to jurisdiction to award all kinds of damages in labor cases, as against the previous
petitioner's pursuing the administrative remedy." 5 A motion for reconsideration was denied on 29 P.D. amendment splitting their jurisdiction with the regular courts, "evidently, . . .
January 1979. had second thoughts about depriving the Labor Arbiters and the NLRC of the
jurisdiction to award damages in labor cases because that setup would mean
Thereafter, petitioner interposed an appeal from the NHA decision with the Office of the President duplicity of suits, splitting the cause of action and possible conflicting findings and
which, on 9 March 1979, dismissed the same through public respondent Presidential Executive Assistant conclusions by two tribunals on one and the same claim."
Jacobo C. Clave. 6
In an even more recent case, Tropical Homes, Inc. vs. National Housing Authority, et al., 9 Mr. Justice
In the present petition, Antipolo Realty again asserts that, in hearing the complaint of private respondent Gutierrez, speaking for the Court, observed that:
Yuson and in ordering the reinstatement of the Contract to Sell between the parties, the NHA had not
only acted on a matter beyond its competence, but had also, in effect, assumed the performance of There is no question that a statute may vest exclusive original jurisdiction in an
judicial or quasi-judicial functions which the NHA was not authorized to perform. administrative agency over certain disputes and controversies falling within the
agency's special expertise. The very definition of an administrative agency includes
We find the petitioner's arguments lacking in merit. its being vested with quasi-judicial powers. The ever increasing variety of powers
and functions given to administrative agencies recognizes the need for the active
intervention of administrative agencies in matters calling for technical knowledge
It is by now commonplace learning that many administrative agencies exercise and perform adjudicatory and speed in countless controversies which cannot possibly be handled by regular
powers and functions, though to a limited extent only. Limited delegation of judicial or quasi-judicial courts.
authority to administrative agencies (e.g., the Securities and Exchange Commission and the National
Labor Relations Commission) is well recognized in our jurisdiction, 7 basically because the need for special
competence and experience has been recognized as essential in the resolution of questions of complex In general the quantum of judicial or quasi-judicial powers which an administrative agency may exercise
or specialized character and because of a companion recognition that the dockets of our regular courts is defined in the enabling act of such agency. In other words, the extent to which an administrative entity
have remained crowded and clogged. In Spouses Jose Abejo and Aurora Abejo, et al. vs. Hon. Rafael dela may exercise such powers depends largely, if not wholly, on the provisions of the statute creating or
Cruz, etc., et al., 8 the Court, through Mr. Chief Justice Teehankee, said: empowering such agency. 10 In the exercise of such powers, the agency concerned must commonly
interpret and apply contracts and determine the rights of private parties under such contracts. One
thrust of the multiplication of administrative agencies is that the interpretation of contracts and the
In the fifties, the Court taking cognizance of the move to vest jurisdiction in determination of private rights thereunder is no longer a uniquely judicial function, exercisable only by
administrative commissions and boards the power to resolve specialized disputes our regular courts.
in the field of labor (as in corporations, public transportation and public utilities)
ruled that Congress in requiring the Industrial Court's intervention in the resolution
of labor management controversies likely to cause strikes or lockouts meant such Thus, the extent to which the NHA has been vested with quasi-judicial authority must be determined by
jurisdiction to be exclusive, although it did not so expressly state in the law. The referring to the terms of Presidential Decree No. 957, known as "The Subdivision and Condominium
Court held that under the "sense-making and expeditious doctrine of primary Buyers' Decree." 11 Section 3 of this statute provides as follows:
jurisdiction . . . the courts cannot or will not determine a controversy involving a
question which is within the jurisdiction of an administrative tribunal where the National Housing Authority. — The National Housing Authority shall have exclusive
question demands the exercise of sound administrative discretion requiring the jurisdiction to regulate the real estate trade and business in accordance with the
special knowledge, experience, and services of the administrative tribunal to provisions of this decree (emphasis supplied)
determine technical and intricate matters of fact, and a uniformity of ruling is
essential to comply with the purposes of the regulatory statute
The need for and therefore the scope of the regulatory authority thus lodged in the NHA are indicated in
administered" (Pambujan Sur United Mine Workers v. Samar Mining Co., Inc., 94
the second and third preambular paragraphs of the statute which provide:
Phil, 932, 941 [1954]).

WHEREAS, numerous reports reveal that many real estate subdivision owners,
developers, operators, and/or sellers have reneged on their representations and
obligations to provide and maintain properly subdivision roads, drainage, holding that private respondent's prior installment payments could not be forfeited in favor of
sewerage, water systems lighting systems and other similar basic petitioner.
requirements, thus endangering the health and safety of home and lot buyers;
Neither did the NHA commit any abuse, let alone a grave abuse of discretion or act in excess of its
WHEREAS, reports of alarming magnitude also show cases of swindling and jurisdiction when it ordered the reinstatement of the Contract to Sell between the parties. Such
fraudulent manipulations perpetrated by unscrupulous subdivision and reinstatement is no more than a logical consequence of the NHA's correct ruling, just noted, that the
condominium sellers and operators, such as failure to deliver titles to the buyers or petitioner was not entitled to rescind the Contract to Sell. There is, in any case, no question that under
titles free from liens and encumbrances, and to pay real estate taxes, and Presidential Decree No. 957, the NHA was legally empowered to determine and protect the rights of
fraudulent sales of the same subdivision lots to different innocent purchasers for contracting parties under the law administered by it and under the respective agreements, as well as to
value — . (emphasis supplied) ensure that their obligations thereunder are faithfully performed.

Presidential Decree No. 1344 12 clarified and spelled out the quasi-judicial dimensions of the grant of We turn to petitioner's assertion that it had been denied the right to due process. This assertion lacks
regulatory authority to the NHA in the following quite specific terms: substance. The record shows that a copy of the order denying the Motion to Dismiss and scheduling the
hearing of the complaint for the morning of 6 March 1978, was duly served on counsel for petitioner, as
evidenced by the annotation appearing at the bottom of said copy indicating that such service had been
SECTION 1. In the exercise of its functions to regulate the real estate trade and
effected. 14 But even if it be assumed, arguendo, that such notice had not been served on the petitioner,
business and in addition to its powers provided for in Presidential Decree No. 957,
nevertheless the latter was not deprived of due process, for what the fundamental law abhors is not the
the National Housing Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide
absence of previous notice but rather the absolute lack of opportunity to be heard. 15 In the instant
cases of the following nature:
case, petitioner was given ample opportunity to present its side and to be heard on a motion for
reconsideration as well, and not just on a motion to dismiss; the claim of denial of due process must
A. Unsound real estate business practices: hence sound even more hollow. 16

B. Claims involving refund and any other claims filed by sub- division lot or We turn finally to the question of the amount of P16,994.73 which petitioner insists had accrued during
condominium unit buyer against the project owner, developer, dealer, broker or the period from September 1972 to October 1976, when private respondent had suspended payment of
salesman; and his monthly installments on his chosen subdivision lot. The NHA in its 9 March 1978 resolution ruled that
the regular monthly installments under the Contract to Sell did not accrue during the September 1972 —
C. Cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations October 1976 period:
filed by buyers of subdivision lots or condominium units against the owner,
developer, dealer, broker or salesman.(emphasis supplied.) [R]espondent allowed the complainant to suspend payment of his monthly
installments until the improvements in the subdivision shall have been completed.
The substantive provisions being applied and enforced by the NHA in the instant case are found in Respondent informed complainant on November 1976 that the improvements
Section 23 of Presidential Decree No. 957 which reads: have been completed. Monthly installments during the period of suspension of
payment did not become due and demandable Neither did they accrue Such must
be the case, otherwise, there is no sense in suspending payments. If the suspension
Sec. 23. Non-Forfeiture of Payments. — No installment payment made by a buyer is lifted the debtor shall resume payments but never did he incur any arrears.
in a subdivision or condominium project for the lot or unit he contracted to buy
shall be forfeited in favor of the owner or developer when the buyer, after due
notice to the owner or developer, desists from further payment due to the failure of Such being the case, the demand of respondent for complainant to pay the arrears
the owner or developer to develop the subdivision or condominium project due during the period of suspension of payment is null and void. Consequently, the
according to the approved plans and within the time limit for complying with the notice of cancellation based on the refusal to pay the s that were not due and
same. Such buyer may, at his option, be reimbursed the total amount paid demandable is also null and void. 17
including amortization and interests but excluding delinquency interests, with
interest thereon at the legal rate. (emphasis supplied.) The NHA resolution is probably too terse and in need of certification and amplification. The NHA
correctly held that no installment payments should be considered as having accrued during the period of
Having failed to comply with its contractual obligation to complete certain specified improvements in the suspension of payments. Clearly, the critical issue is what happens to the installment payments which
subdivision within the specified period of two years from the date of the execution of the Contract to would have accrued and fallen due during the period of suspension had no default on the part of the
Sell, petitioner was not entitled to exercise its options under Clause 7 of the Contract. Hence, petitioner petitioner intervened. To our mind, the NHA resolution is most appropriately read as directing that
could neither rescind the Contract to Sell nor treat the installment payments made by the private the original period of payment in the Contract to Sell must be deemed extended by a period of time equal
respondent as forfeited in its favor. Indeed, under the general Civil Law, 13 in view of petitioner's breach to the period of suspension (i.e., by four (4) years and two (2) months) during which extended time
of its contract with private respondent, it is the latter who is vested with the option either to rescind the (tacked on to the original contract period) private respondent buyer must continue to pay the monthly
contract and receive reimbursement of an installment payments (with legal interest) made for the installment payments until the entire original contract price shall have been paid. We think that such is
purchase of the subdivision lot in question, or to suspend payment of further purchase installments until the intent of the NHA resolution which directed that "[i]f the suspension is lifted, the debtor shall resume
such time as the petitioner had fulfilled its obligations to the buyer. The NHA was therefore correct in payments" and that such is the most equitable and just reading that may be given to the NHA resolution.
To permit Antipolo Realty to collect the disputed amount in a lump sum after it had defaulted on its 6 Rollo, pp. 23-25, Annex "C" of Petition.
obligations to its lot buyers, would tend to defeat the purpose of the authorization (under Sec. 23 of
Presidential Decree No. 957, supra) to lot buyers to suspend installment payments. As the NHA
7 See, e.g., National Federation of Labor v. Eisma, 127 SCRA 419 (1984) and Philex
resolution pointed out, [s]uch must be the case, otherwise, there is no sense in suspending payments."
Mining Corporation v. Reyes, 118 SCRA 602 (1982).
Upon the other hand, to condone the entire amount that would have become due would be an
expressively harsh penalty upon the petitioner and would result in the unjust enrichment of the private
respondent at the expense of the petitioner. It should be recalled that the latter had already fulfilled, 8 G.R. No. L-63558, promulgated 19 May 1987; underscoring supplied.
albeit tardily, its obligations to its lot buyers under their Contracts to Sell. At the same time, the lot buyer
should not be regarded as delinquent and as such charged penalty interest. The suspension of 9 G.R. No. L-48672, promulgated 31 July 1987; underscoring supplied.
installment payments was attributable to the petitioner, not the private respondent. The tacking on of
the period of suspension to the end of the original period precisely prevents default on the part of the lot
buyer. In the words of the NHA resolution, "never would [the buyer] incur any arrears." 10 See, in this connection, DMRC Enterprises v. Este del Sol Mountain Reserve,
Inc., 132 SCRA 293 (1984); Union Glass and Container Corporation v. Securities and
Exchange Commission, 126 SCRA 31 (1983); and Philex Mining Corporation v.
WHEREFORE, the Petition for certiorari is DISMISSED. The NHA decision appealed from is hereby Reyes, supra.
AFFIRMED and clarified as providing for the lengthening of the original contract period for payment of
installments under the Contract to Sell by four (4) years and two (2) months, during which extended time
private respondent shall continue to pay the regular monthly installment payments until the entire
original contract price shall have been paid. No pronouncement as to costs.

SO ORDERED.

Teehankee, C.J., Yap, Fernan, Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Gancayco, Padilla,
Bidin, Sarmiento and Cortes, JJ., concur.

Footnotes

4 Clause 7 provides: "In case the BUYER fails to satisfy any monthly installments, or
any other payments herein agreed upon, he is granted a month of grace within
which to make the retarded payment, it is understood, however, that should the
month of grace herein granted to the BUYER expire, without the payments
corresponding to both months having been satisfied, an interest of 12% per annum
will be charged on the amounts he should have paid; it is understood further, that
should a period of 60 days elapse, to begin from the expiration of the month of
grace herein mentioned, and the BUYER has not paid all the amounts he should
have paid, with the corresponding interest, up to that date, the SELLER has the
right to declare this contract cancelled, ex parte, and of no effect, and as
consequence thereof, the SELLER may dispose of the parcel or parcels of land
covered by this contract, without notice to the BUYER, in favor of other persons, as
if this contract had never been entered into. In case of such cancellation of this
contract, all the amounts paid in accordance with this agreement, together with all
the improvements made on the premises, shall be considered as rents and charges
paid for the use and occupation of the above-mentioned premises, and as
payment for the damages suffered by failure of the BUYER to fulfill his part of this
agreement, and the BUYER hereby renounces all his right to demand or reclaim the
return of the same and obliges himself to peacefully and immediately vacate the
premises and deliver the same to the SELLER without delay.

5 Rollo of G.R. No. 49051, p. 63.


G.R. No. 161811 April 12, 2006 The DENR-CENRO, together with the Demolition Team of Baguio City and the Baguio City police,
desisted, however, in their earlier attempt to enforce the Amended Order of Execution. 6
THE CITY OF BAGUIO, MAURICIO DOMOGAN, and ORLANDO GENOVE, Petitioners,
vs. On July 16, 1997, the Demolition Team of Baguio City headed by Engineer Orlando Genove and the
FRANCISCO NIÑO, JOSEFINA NIÑO, EMMANUEL NIÑO, and EURLIE OCAMPO, Respondents. Baguio City Police, on orders of then Baguio City Police Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Donato Bacquian, started
demolishing the houses of Niño and his herein co-respondents.7
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
The demolition was, however, temporarily stopped upon the instructions of DENR-CENR Officer
Guillermo Fianza, who later advised Niño that the DENR-CENRO would implement the Amended Order of
The Bureau of Lands awarded on May 13, 1966 to Narcisa A. Placino (Narcisa) a parcel of land identified
Execution on August 4, 1997.8
as Lot No. 10 (the lot) located at Saint Anthony Road, Dominican-Mirador Barangay, Baguio City.

Niño and his wife Josefina Niño thereupon filed a Petition 9 for Certiorari and Prohibition with Prayer for
Francisco Niño (Niño), one of the herein respondents, who has been occupying the lot, contested the
Temporary Restraining Order before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Baguio City against Guillermo
award by filing a Petition Protest on December 23, 1975 before the Bureau of Lands.
Fianza, Teofilo Olimpo of the DENR-CENRO, Mayor Mauricio Domogan (hereafter petitioner), Atty.
Claravall, Engr. Orlando Genove (hereafter petitioner), Rolando Angara, and Police Officer Donato
The Director of Lands dismissed the Petition Protest by Order of November 11, 1976. Bacquian challenging the Amended Order of Execution issued by the DENR-CENRO.1avvphil.net

Niño appealed the dismissal all the way to the Supreme Court but he did not succeed. The Niño spouses later filed an Amended Petition 10 by impleading Emmanuel Niño and Eurlie Ocampo as
therein co-petitioners and the City of Baguio (hereafter petitioner) and Narcisa as therein additional
The decision of the Director of Lands dated November 11, 1976 having become final and executory, 1 the respondents, and further praying for damages.
then-Executive Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera
Autonomous Region (DENR-CAR), on petition of Narcisa, issued an Order of Execution dated February 1, Branch 6 of the Baguio RTC dismissed the petition of Niño et al. (hereafter respondents) for lack of
1993 directing the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Officer to enforce the merit.11Respondents’ Motion for Reconsideration12 having been denied, they filed a Petition for
decision "by ordering Petitioner Niño and those acting in his behalf to refrain from continuously Review13 under Rule 42 of the Rules before the Court of Appeals.
occupying the area and remove whatever improvements they may have introduced thereto." 2
By Decision14 of December 11, 2002, the Court of Appeals granted the Petition for Review, holding that
Attempts to enforce the Order of Execution failed, prompting Narcisa to file a complaint for ejectment Sec. 10(d) of Rule 39 of the Rules reading:
before the Baguio City Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC). The MTCC dismissed Narcisa’s complaint,
however, by Order3of August 7, 1996.
SEC. 10. Execution of judgments for specific act.

Narcisa’s counsel, Atty. Edilberto Claravall (Atty. Claravall), later petitioned the DENR-CAR for the
xxxx
issuance of a Special Order authorizing the City Sheriff of Baguio, the City Police Station, and the
Demolition Team of the City Government to demolish or remove the improvements on the lot
introduced by Niño. The DENR-CAR denied the petition, citing lack of jurisdiction over the City Sheriff of (d) Removal of improvements on property subject of execution. — When the property subject of the
Baguio, the City Police Station, and the Demolition Team of the City Government. The DENR-CAR also execution contains improvements constructed or planted by the judgment obligor or his agent, the
invoked Section 14 (now Section 10 (d)) of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. 4 officer shall not destroy, demolish or remove said improvements except upon special order of the court,
issued upon motion of the judgment obligee after due hearing and after the former has failed to remove
the same within a reasonable time fixed by the court. (Underscoring supplied)
Atty. Claravall thereupon moved to have the Order of Execution previously issued by the DENR-CAR
amended, which was granted. As amended, the Order of Execution addressed to the CENRO Officer read:
applies.
WHEREFORE, pursuant to the provisions of Section 1844 of the Revised Administrative Code as amended
by Act No. 3077, you are hereby enjoined to enforce the aforementioned order, with the assistance upon Thus disposed the appellate court:
request of the City Sheriff of Baguio City, the Demolition Team of Baguio City and the Baguio City Police
Station, by Ordering Petitioner Niño and those acting in his behalf to refrain from continuously occupying
WHEREFORE, the instant appeal is hereby GRANTED and the Orders dated September 24, 1997 and
the area and remove whatever improvements they may have introduced thereto.
November 23, 1998 are hereby SET ASIDE. Public respondent City Mayor Mauricio Domogan thru the
Demolition Team and City Engineer’s Office are hereby ordered to cease and desist from enforcing the
xxxx amended order of execution issued by Oscar N. Hamada, Regional Executive Director of the Department
of Environmental and Natural Resources, concerning the demolition or removal of the structures made
by petitioners until private respondent applied for a special order abovementioned with the proper
SO ORDERED.5 (Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
court.1avvphil.net
SO ORDERED.15 (Underscoring supplied) the constitutional provision that "no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due
process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws."24
Respondents filed before the appellate court an Ex-Parte Motion for Reconsideration16 on January 9,
2003, alleging that some of the reliefs they prayed for in their petition were left unacted Antipolo Realty Corporation v. National Housing Authority teaches:
upon.17 Petitioners too filed a Motion for Reconsideration 18 on January 28, 2003, raising the following
grounds:
In general, the quantum of judicial or quasi-judicial powers which an administrative agency may exercise
is defined in the enabling act of such agency. In other words, the extent to which an administrative entity
1. THE HONORABLE COURT FAILED TO CONSIDER THAT THE CITY MAYOR HAS THE POWER TO may exercise such powers depends largely, if not wholly, on the provisions of the statute creating or
ORDER THE DEMOLITION OF ILLEGALLY-BUILT STRUCTURES; empowering such agency.25(Underscoring supplied)

2. THE HONORABLE COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN GIVING DUE COURSE TO THE PETITION FOR There is, however, no explicit provision granting the Bureau of Lands (now the Land Management
REVIEW; Bureau) or the DENR (which exercises control over the Land Management Bureau) the authority to issue
an order of demolition26— which the Amended Order of Execution, in substance, is.
3. THE HONORABLE COURT MISAPPLIED SEC. 10 (d), RULE 39 of the RULES OF
COURT.19(Underscoring supplied) Indeed,

In support of the first ground, petitioners raised before the appellate court, in their Motion for [w]hile the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands is confined to the determination of the respective rights of
Reconsideration, for the first time, the power of the City Mayor to validly order the demolition of a rival claimants to public lands or to cases which involve the disposition of public lands, the power to
structure constructed without a building permit pursuant to Sec. 455(b) 3(vi) of the Local Government determine who has the actual, physical possession or occupation or the better right of possession over
Code of 1991 in relation to the National Building Code of the Philippines. public lands remains with the courts.

Alleging that respondents built their house without the required entry and building permits, petitioners The rationale is evident. The Bureau of Lands does not have the wherewithal to police public lands.
argued that the City Mayor may order the demolition of a house without a special court order. 20 Neither does it have the means to prevent disorders or breaches of peace among the occupants. Its
power is clearly limited to disposition and alienation and while it may decide disputes over possession,
this is but in aid of making the proper awards. The ultimate power to resolve conflicts of possession is
The Court of Appeals denied both parties’ motions for reconsideration by Resolution 21 of December 17,
recognized to be within the legal competence of the civil courts and its purpose is to extend protection
2003.
to the actual possessors and occupants with a view to quell social unrest.27 (Emphasis added)

Hence, the present petition of the City of Baguio, Mayor Domogan (now a Congressman), and Orlando
Consequently, this Court held:28
Genove, faulting the appellate court:

x x x the power to order the sheriff to remove improvements and turn over the possession of the land
1. . . . IN RULING THAT A SPECIAL COURT ORDER IS NEEDED FOR THE DEMOLITION OF
to the party adjudged entitled thereto, belongs only to the courts of justice and not to the Bureau of
RESPONDENTS’ STRUCTURES;
Lands.29(Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

2. . . . IN APPLYING SEC. 10(d) RULE 39 OF THE RULES OF COURT IN THIS CASE;


In fine, it is the court sheriff which is empowered to remove improvements introduced by respondents
on, and turn over possession of, the lot to Narcisa.
3. . . . IN ENTERTAINING RESPONDENTS’ PETITION FOR REVIEW.22
Petitioners’ invocation of the City Mayor’s authority under Sec. 455(b) 3(vi) of the Local Government
The petition fails. Code to order the demolition or removal of an illegally constructed house, building, or structure within
the period prescribed by law or ordinance and their allegation that respondents’ structures were
While it is noted that respondent’s appeal to the Court of Appeals was erroneously brought under Rule constructed without building permits 30 were not raised before the trial court. Petitioners having, for the
42 of the Rules of Court, instead of under Rule 41, the RTC having rendered the questioned decision in first time, invoked said section of the Local Government Code and respondents’ lack of building entry
the exercise of its original, not appellate, jurisdiction, this Court overlooks the error in view of the merits permits in their Motion for Reconsideration of the Court of Appeals’ decision, it was correctly denied of
of respondents’ case.23 merit,31 it being settled that matters, theories or arguments not brought out in the proceedings below
will ordinarily not be considered by a reviewing court as they cannot be raised for the first time on
appeal.32
Petitioners’ contention that the enforcement of the Amended Order of Execution does not need a
hearing and court order which Sec. 10(d) of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court requires does not lie. That an
administrative agency which is clothed with quasi-judicial functions issued the Amended Order of WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. The questioned Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals
Execution is of no moment, since the requirement in Sec. 10 (d) of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court echoes are AFFIRMED.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN G.R. No. 162070 On April 27, 1993, respondents reiterated to petitioner DAR the withdrawal of their VOS and
REFORM, represented by SECRETARY requested the return of the supporting papers they submitted in connection therewith.[4] Petitioner
JOSE MARI B. PONCE (OIC), Present: ignored their request.
Petitioner, Davide, C.J.,
Puno, On December 27, 1993, DAR issued A.O. No. 9, series of 1993,[5] which provided that only
Panganiban, portions of private agricultural lands used for the raising of livestock, poultry and swine as of June 15, 1988
Quisumbing, shall be excluded from the coverage of the CARL. In determining the area of land to be excluded, the A.O.
Ynares-Santiago, fixed the following retention limits, viz: 1:1 animal-land ratio (i.e., 1 hectare of land per 1 head of animal
Sandoval-Gutierrez, shall be retained by the landowner), and a ratio of 1.7815 hectares for livestock infrastructure for every
Carpio, 21 heads of cattle shall likewise be excluded from the operations of the CARL.
- versus - Austria-Martinez,
Corona, On February 4, 1994, respondents wrote the DAR Secretary and advised him to consider as final and
Carpio Morales, irrevocable the withdrawal of their VOS as, under the Luz Farms doctrine, their entire landholding is
Callejo, Sr., exempted from the CARL.[6]
Azcuna,
Tinga, On September 14, 1995, then DAR Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao issued an Order [7] partially granting the
Chico-Nazario and application of respondents for exemption from the coverage of CARL. Applying the retention limits
Garcia, JJ. outlined in the DAR A.O. No. 9, petitioner exempted 1,209 hectares of respondents land for grazing
DELIA T. SUTTON, ELLA T. purposes, and a maximum of 102.5635 hectares for infrastructure. Petitioner ordered the rest of
SUTTON-SOLIMAN and Promulgated: respondents landholding to be segregated and placed under Compulsory Acquisition.
HARRY T. SUTTON,
Respondents. October 19, 2005 Respondents moved for reconsideration. They contend that their entire landholding should be
x-----------------------------------x exempted as it is devoted exclusively to cattle-raising. Their motion was denied.[8] They filed a notice of
appeal[9] with the Office of the President assailing: (1) the reasonableness and validity of DAR A.O. No. 9,
PUNO, J.: s. 1993, which provided for a ratio between land and livestock in determining the land area qualified for
exclusion from the CARL, and (2) the constitutionality of DAR A.O. No. 9, s. 1993, in view of the Luz Farms
case which declared cattle-raising lands excluded from the coverage of agrarian reform.
This is a petition for review filed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of the Decision and
Resolution of the Court of Appeals, dated September 19, 2003 and February 4, 2004, respectively, which On October 9, 2001, the Office of the President affirmed the impugned Order of petitioner DAR. [10] It ruled
declared DAR Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 9, series of 1993, null and void for being violative of the that DAR A.O. No. 9, s. 1993, does not run counter to the Luz Farms case as the A.O. provided the
Constitution. guidelines to determine whether a certain parcel of land is being used for cattle-raising. However, the
issue on the constitutionality of the assailed A.O. was left for the determination of the courts as the sole
The case at bar involves a land in Aroroy, Masbate, inherited by respondents which has been devoted arbiters of such issue.
exclusively to cow and calf breeding. On October 26, 1987, pursuant to the then existing agrarian reform
program of the government, respondents made a voluntary offer to sell (VOS) [1] their landholdings to On appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the respondents. It declared DAR A.O. No. 9, s. 1993, void
petitioner DAR to avail of certain incentives under the law. for being contrary to the intent of the 1987 Constitutional Commission to exclude livestock farms from the
land reform program of the government. The dispositive portion reads:
On June 10, 1988, a new agrarian law, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657, also known as the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) of 1988, took effect. It included in its coverage farms used for WHEREFORE, premises considered, DAR Administrative Order No. 09, Series of 1993
raising livestock, poultry and swine. is hereby DECLARED null and void. The assailed order of the Office of the President
dated 09 October 2001 in so far as it affirmed the Department of Agrarian Reforms
On December 4, 1990, in an en banc decision in the case of Luz Farms v. Secretary of ruling that petitioners landholding is covered by the agrarian reform program of the
DAR,[2] this Court ruled that lands devoted to livestock and poultry-raising are not included in the definition government is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
of agricultural land. Hence, we declared as unconstitutional certain provisions of the CARL insofar as they SO ORDERED.[11]
included livestock farms in the coverage of agrarian reform.
In view of the Luz Farms ruling, respondents filed with petitioner DAR a formal request to Hence, this petition.
withdraw their VOS as their landholding was devoted exclusively to cattle-raising and thus exempted from
the coverage of the CARL.[3] The main issue in the case at bar is the constitutionality of DAR A.O. No. 9, series of 1993, which prescribes
a maximum retention limit for owners of lands devoted to livestock raising.
On December 21, 1992, the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer of Aroroy, Masbate, inspected Invoking its rule-making power under Section 49 of the CARL, petitioner submits that it issued DAR A.O.
respondents land and found that it was devoted solely to cattle-raising and breeding. He recommended No. 9 to limit the area of livestock farm that may be retained by a landowner pursuant to its mandate to
to the DAR Secretary that it be exempted from the coverage of the CARL. place all public and private agricultural lands under the coverage of agrarian reform. Petitioner also
contends that the A.O. seeks to remedy reports that some unscrupulous landowners have converted their
agricultural farms to livestock farms in order to evade their coverage in the agrarian reform program.
Petitioners arguments fail to impress. after the enactment of the CARL that may lead one to suspect that respondents intended to evade its
coverage. It must be stressed that what the CARL prohibits is the conversion of agricultural lands for non-
agricultural purposes after the effectivity of the CARL. There has been no change of business interest in
Administrative agencies are endowed with powers legislative in nature, i.e., the power to make rules the case of respondents.
and regulations. They have been granted by Congress with the authority to issue rules to regulate the
implementation of a law entrusted to them. Delegated rule-making has become a practical necessity in Moreover, it is a fundamental rule of statutory construction that the reenactment of a statute
modern governance due to the increasing complexity and variety of public functions. However, while by Congress without substantial change is an implied legislative approval and adoption of the previous law.
administrative rules and regulations have the force and effect of law, they are not immune from judicial On the other hand, by making a new law, Congress seeks to supersede an earlier one. [19] In the case at bar,
review.[12] They may be properly challenged before the courts to ensure that they do not violate the after the passage of the 1988 CARL, Congress enacted R.A. No. 7881[20] which amended certain provisions
Constitution and no grave abuse of administrative discretion is committed by the administrative body of the CARL. Specifically, the new law changed the definition of the terms agricultural activity and
concerned. commercial farming by dropping from its coverage lands that are devoted to commercial livestock,
poultry and swine-raising.[21] With this significant modification, Congress clearly sought to align the
The fundamental rule in administrative law is that, to be valid, administrative rules and regulations must provisions of our agrarian laws with the intent of the 1987 Constitutional Commission to exclude
be issued by authority of a law and must not contravene the provisions of the Constitution. [13] The rule- livestock farms from the coverage of agrarian reform.
making power of an administrative agency may not be used to abridge the authority given to it by Congress
or by the Constitution. Nor can it be used to enlarge the power of the administrative agency beyond the In sum, it is doctrinal that rules of administrative bodies must be in harmony with the provisions
scope intended. Constitutional and statutory provisions control with respect to what rules and of the Constitution. They cannot amend or extend the Constitution. To be valid, they must conform to and
regulations may be promulgated by administrative agencies and the scope of their regulations. [14] be consistent with the Constitution. In case of conflict between an administrative order and the provisions
of the Constitution, the latter prevails.[22] The assailed A.O. of petitioner DAR was properly stricken down
In the case at bar, we find that the impugned A.O. is invalid as it contravenes the Constitution. as unconstitutional as it enlarges the coverage of agrarian reform beyond the scope intended by the 1987
The A.O. sought to regulate livestock farms by including them in the coverage of agrarian reform and Constitution.
prescribing a maximum retention limit for their ownership. However, the deliberations of the 1987
Constitutional Commission show a clear intent to exclude, inter alia, all lands exclusively devoted to IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is DISMISSED. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the
livestock, swine and poultry- raising. The Court clarified in the Luz Farms case that livestock, swine and Court of Appeals, dated September 19, 2003 and February 4, 2004, respectively, are AFFIRMED. No
poultry-raising are industrial activities and do not fall within the definition of agriculture or agricultural pronouncement as to costs.
activity. The raising of livestock, swine and poultry is different from crop or tree farming. It is an industrial,
not an agricultural, activity. A great portion of the investment in this enterprise is in the form of industrial
fixed assets, such as: animal housing structures and facilities, drainage, waterers and blowers, feedmill
with grinders, mixers, conveyors, exhausts and generators, extensive warehousing facilities for feeds and
other supplies, anti-pollution equipment like bio-gas and digester plants augmented by lagoons and
concrete ponds, deepwells, elevated water tanks, pumphouses, sprayers, and other technological
appurtenances.[15]

Clearly, petitioner DAR has no power to regulate livestock farms which have been exempted
by the Constitution from the coverage of agrarian reform. It has exceeded its power in issuing the assailed
A.O.

The subsequent case of Natalia Realty, Inc. v. DAR[16] reiterated our ruling in the Luz
Farms case. In Natalia Realty, the Court held that industrial, commercial and residential lands are not
covered by the CARL.[17] We stressed anew that while Section 4 of R.A. No. 6657 provides that the CARL
shall cover all public and private agricultural lands, the term agricultural land does not include lands
classified as mineral, forest, residential, commercial or industrial. Thus, in Natalia Realty, even portions
of the Antipolo Hills Subdivision, which are arable yet still undeveloped, could not be considered as
agricultural lands subject to agrarian reform as these lots were already classified as residential lands.

A similar logical deduction should be followed in the case at bar. Lands devoted to raising of livestock,
poultry and swine have been classified as industrial, not agricultural, lands and thus exempt from agrarian
reform. Petitioner DAR argues that, in issuing the impugned A.O., it was seeking to address the reports it
has received that some unscrupulous landowners have been converting their agricultural lands to livestock
farms to avoid their coverage by the agrarian reform. Again, we find neither merit nor logic in this
contention. The undesirable scenario which petitioner seeks to prevent with the issuance of the A.O.
clearly does not apply in this case. Respondents family acquired their landholdings as early as 1948. They
have long been in the business of breeding cattle in Masbate which is popularly known as the cattle-
breeding capital of the Philippines.[18]Petitioner DAR does not dispute this fact. Indeed, there is no evidence
on record that respondents have just recently engaged in or converted to the business of breeding cattle
[A.C. No. 4634. September 24, 1997] He has not commenced any other action or proceeding involving the same issues in any court, including
JESUS CABARRUS, JR., complainant, vs. JOSE ANTONIO BERNAS, respondents. the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other Tribunal or agency. Where verification-
certification was placed under oath and was conveniently notarized by the wife of the counsel of
TORRES, JR., J.: respondent in both cases at Branch 159 of the RTC in Pasig and at the NBI, an agency within the ambis
(sic) and purview of the circulus (sic) of the Supreme Court prohibiting forum shopping.
On August 30, 1996, Mr. Jesus Cabarrus, Jr. filed and administrative complaint for disbarment
against Atty. Jose Antonio Bernas for alleged violations of Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code and Code F. That Jose Antonio Bernas, the counsel on record of the respondents in Civil Case No. 65646 is the same
of professional Resposibility.In his complaint-affidavit [1] dated August 12, 1996, complainant alleged as lawyer who instigated a criminal complaint at the NBI for forgery and respondents themselves conspired
follows: and confabulated with each other in facilitating and insuring the open, blatant and deliberate violation of
Art. 172 of the Revised Penal Code which states:
A.That on April 16, 1996, respondent Ramon B. Pascual, Jr., subscribe under oath before Marie Lourdes
T. Sia Bernas, a notary public in Makati City, wife of lawyer jose Antonio Bernas, a verification and Art. 172. Falsification by private individual and use of falsified documents.- The penalty of prison
certification of non-forum shopping which was appended to a complaint for reconveyance of property correctional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine of not more than p 5,000 pesos shall be
and damages, denominated as Civil Case No. 65646, filed before the Regional Trial Court in National imposed upon:
Capital Region, RTC, which case was raffled to RTC Branch 159 in Pasig City. A photocopy of said
complaint is hereto attached and marked as Annexex (sic) A, A-1, A-3, A-4, A-5 and A-6;
1. Any private individual who shall commit any of the falsifications enumerated in the next preceding
article in any public or official document or letter of exchange (sic) or any other kind of commercial
B.That as basis for the instant complaint for falsification of public document, I am hereto quoting documents; and
verbatim, the test (sic) of Annex A-6, the verification and certification of non-forum shopping which
states:
2. Any person who, to the damage of the third party, or with the intent to cause such damage, shall in
any private document commit any of the acts of falsification enumerated in the next preceding article.
Ramon B. Pascual, Jr., under oath, depose and states:

Any person who shall knowingly introduce in evidence in any judicial proceeding or the damage of
He is the plaintiff in this case, and certify that he cause the preparation of the foregoing pleading, the another or who, with the intent to cause such damage , shall use any of the false documents embraced
content of which are true to his personal knowledge and that he has not commenced any other action or in the next preceding article, or any of the foregoing subdivisions of this article, shall be punished by the
proceeding involving the same issues in any court, including the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or penalty next lower in degree.
any other tribunal or agency. If he should learn that a similar action of (sic) proceeding has been filed or
is pending before the Supreme Court or any other Tribunal agency, he undertake to report to (sic) that
the fact within Five (5) days from the notice to this notice (sic) to this Honorable Court. Underscoring G. That Atty. Jose Antonio Bernas should be disbarred for having instigated abetted and facilitated the
supplied. perversion and subversion of truth in the said verification and certification of non-forum
shopping. Contrary to Canon 1, Rule 1.01, 1.02, Canon 3, 3.01, Canon 10 of the code of Professional
responsibility for Lawyers, the pertinent provisions of which are herein below quoted and a copy of said
C.That the cause of action relied upon by the respondents in Civil Case No. 65646 is fraud, facilitated by code is hereto attached and marked as Annex E;
forgery as gleaned from paragraph 15, 16, and 22;

CANON 1. A. LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE
D.That contrary to the tenor, import and meanoing (sic) of the allegation under 1-B of the instant RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES.
complaint, respondent and his counsel Jose Antonio Bernas caused the preparation and filing of a
criminal complaint for falsification of a public document on April 11, 1996, (three days before the filing of
the aforecited Civil Case) at the AOED of the National Bureau of Investigation if (sic) Taff (sic) Ave., a Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in lawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful (sic) conduct.
xerox copy of said complaint is hereto attached and marked as Annex B.
Rule 1.02 - A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities simed (sic) at defiance of the law or at lessening
D-1.That as stated in Annex B, the gravaman of the affidavit complaint of the respondent is forgery, the confidence in the legal system.
same legal issue in Civil Case No. 65646;
CANON 3 A. LAWYER IN MAKING KNOWN HIS LEGAL SERVICES SHALL USE ONLY TRUE, HONEST, FAIR,
D-2.That as early as August 14, 1995, respondent counsel, Jose Antonio Bernas filed a written complaint DIGNIFIED AND OBJECTIVE INFORMATION OF (sic) STATEMENT OF FACTS.
at the NBI for the same cause of action which was reiterated in another letter submitting to the NBI
standard specimen signitures dated October 1995, copies of said letter complaint are hereto attached Rule 3.01 - A lawyer shall not use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive,
and marked as Annexes (sic) C. undignified, self-laudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualified (sic) or legal services.

E. That respondent Ramon B. Pascual, Jr., on the basis of Annexes A, B, C, D, inclusive of submarkings CANON 10. A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT.
knowingly subverted and perverted the truth when he falsify certified (sic) and verified under oath in the
verification and certification of non-forum shopping, that:
In his Comment, [2] respondents Jose Antonio Bernas avers that he has not committed forum (d) To give technical aid to all prosecuting and law-enforcement officers and entities of the Government
shopping because the criminal action is not an action that involves the same issue as those in the civil as well as the courts that may request its services;
action and both suits can exist without constituting forum shopping so long as the civil aspect has not yet
been prosecuted in the criminal case. He emphasized that forum shopping only exist when identical reliefs
(e) To extend its services, whenever properly requested in the investigation of cases of administrative or
are issued by the same parties in multiple fora.
civil nature in which the Government is interested;
In his Supplemental Comment,[3] respondent further contends that neither he or his client Pascual
has commenced any criminal action. Pascual merely requested the NBI to assist in the investigation or (f) To undertake the instruction and training of representative number of city and municipal peace
prosecution, and left it to the NBI to determine whether the filing of an endorsement to the prosecutor, officers at the request of their respective superiors along effective methods of crime
who would determine probable caused, would be appropriate. It was only upon request of the NBI the he investigation and detection in order to insure greater efficiency in the discharge of their
assisted Ramon Pascual in drafting an affidavit-complaint for falsification of public documents against duties;
complainant. Likewise, respondent by counsel reiterates that the letter transmitted to the NBI cannot
constitute an action or proceeding because the NBIs functions are merely investigatory and informational
(g) To establish and maintain an up-to-date scientific crime laboratory and to conduct researches inn
in nature. NBI has no prosecutorial functions or quasi-judicial power and is incapable of granting relief or
furtherance of scientific knowledge in criminal investigation;
remedy. The NBI cannot be an agency contemplated by the circular.

The core issue to be resolved here is whether respondent Atty. Bernas transgressed Circular No. 28- (h) To perform such other related function as the secretary of Justice may assign from time to time.
91, Revised Circular No. 28-91, and administrative Circular No. 04-94 on forum shopping.

After a careful scrutiny of the records, we find the administrative complaint bereft of merit and Explicitly, the function of the National Bureau of Investigations are merely investigatory and
should be dismissed. informational in nature. It has no judicial or quasi-judicial powers and is incapable of granting any relief to
a party. It cannot even determine probable cause. It is an investigative agency whose findings are merely
There is forum-shopping whenever, as a result of an adverse opinion in one forum, a party seeks a recommendatory. It undertakes investigation of crimes upon its own initiative and as public welfare may
favorable opinion (other than by appeal or certiorari) in another. Therefore, a party to a case resort to require. It renders assistance when requested in the investigation or detection of crimes which precisely
forum shopping because by filling another petition involving the same essential facts and circumstances, what Atty. Bernas sought in order to prosecute those person responsible for defrauding his client.
xxx, respondents approached two different for a in order to increase their chances of obtaining a favorable
decision or action, [4] In this case, there is no forum shopping to speak of Atty. Bernas, as counsel of Mr. The courts, tribunal and agencies referred to under Circular No. 28-91, revised Circular No. 28-91
Pascual, Jr., merely requested the assistance of the NBI to investigate the the alleged fraud and forgery and Administrative Circular No. 04-94 are those vested with judicial powers or quasi-judicial powers and
committed by Mr. Jesus Cabarrus.[5] The filing of the civil case for conveyance and damages before the those who not only hear and determine controversies between adverse parties, but to make binding
Regional Trial Court of Pasig City does not preclude respondent to institute a criminal action. The rule orders or judgments. As succinctly put it by R.A. 157, the NBI is not performing judicial or quasi-judicial
allows the filing of a civil case independently with the criminal case without violating the circulars on forum functions. The NBI cannot therefore be among those forums contemplated by the Circular that can
shopping. It is scarcely necessary to add that Circular No. 28-91 must be so interpreted and applied as to entertain an action or proceeding, or even grant any relief, declaratory or otherwise.
achieve the purposes projected by the Supreme Court when it promulgated that Circular No. 28-91 was
designed to serve as an instrument to promote and facilitate the orderly administration of justice and WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant complaint is hereby DISMISSED.
should not be interpreted with such absolute literalness as to subvert and legitimate objective or the goal
SO ORDERED.
of all rules of procedure-which is to achieve substantial justice as expeditiously as possible. [6]
Regalado (Chairman), and Puno, JJ., concur.
Adjunct to this, Act No. 157 [7], specifically section 1 hereof provides, viz:
Mendoza, J., on leave.

Section 1. There is hereby created a Bureau of Investigation under the Department of Justice which shall
have the following functions:

(a) To undertake investigation of crimes and other offenses against the laws of the Philippines, upon its
initiative and as public interest may require;

(b) To render assistance, whenever properly requested in the investigation or detection of crimes and
other offenses;

(c) To act as a national clearing house of criminal and other infromations for the benefit and use of the
prosecuting and law-enforcement entities of the Philippines, identification records of all
person without criminal convictions, records of identifying marks, characteristics, and
ownership or possession of all firearms as well as bullets fired therefrom;
GMA NETWORK, INC., G.R. No. 148579
Petitioner, First, Section 3 of PD 1986[5] empowers the MTRCB to screen, review and examine all motion pictures,
Present: television programs including publicity materials. This power of prior review is highlighted in its Rules and
Regulations, particularly Section 7 thereof, which reads:
PUNO, C.J., Chairperson,
- v e r s u s - SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ,
CORONA, SECTION 7. REQUIREMENT OF PRIOR REVIEW. -- No motion picture, television
AZCUNA and program or related publicity material shall be imported, exported, produced,
GARCIA, JJ. copied, distributed, sold, leased, exhibited or broadcasted by television without
MOVIE AND TELEVISION prior permit issued by the BOARD after review of the motion picture, television
REVIEW AND CLASSIFICATION program or publicity material.
BOARD,
Respondent. Promulgated: The only exemptions from the MTRCBs power of review are those expressly mentioned in Section 7, [6] such
as (1) television programs imprinted or exhibited by the Philippine Government and/or departments and
February 5, 2007 agencies, and (2) newsreels.

According to the CA, the subject program was a publicity for the movie, Muro Ami. In adopting this finding,
x---------------------------------------------------x we hold that Muro Ami: The Making, did not fall under any of the exemptions and was therefore within
DECISION the power of review of MTRCB.
On the other hand, petitioner claims that Muro Ami: The Making was a public
CORONA, J.: affairs program.[7] Even if that were so, our resolution of this issue would not change. This Court has
already ruled that a public affairs program -- described as a variety of news treatment; a cross between
pure television news and news-related commentaries, analysis and/or exchange of opinions -- is within
Subject of this petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court is the June 18, 2001 the MTRCBs power of review.[8] Clearly, MuroAmi: The Making (which petitioner claims to be a public
decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) affirming the January 7, 2000 order [2] of respondent Movie and affairs program) was well within the purview of MTRCBs power of prior review.
Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) which read:
However, while MTRCB had jurisdiction over the subject program, Memorandum Circular 98-
In view thereof, the BOARD, by the undersigned, hereby imposes the 17, which was the basis of the suspension order, was not binding on petitioner. The Administrative Code
administrative penalty of SUSPENSION FROM AIRING/BROADCASTING any program of 1987, particularly Section 3 thereof, expressly requires each agency to file with the Office of the National
on EMC Channel 27 for a period of seven (7) days which period shall commence Administrative Register (ONAR) of the University of the Philippines Law Center three certified copies of
immediately upon receipt of this Order. Your failure to comply with this ORDER shall every rule adopted by it. Administrative issuances which are not published or filed with the ONAR are
be construed by the BOARD as defiance on your part of a lawful order of the BOARD. ineffective and may not be enforced.[9]

The facts follow. Memorandum Circular No. 98-17, which provides for the penalties for the first, second and
third offenses for exhibiting programs without valid permit to exhibit, has not been registered with the
Petitioner GMA Network, Inc. operates and manages the UHF television station, EMC Channel ONAR as of January 27, 2000.[10] Hence, the same is yet to be effective.[11] It is thus unenforceable since it
27. On January 7, 2000, respondent MTRCB issued an order of suspension against petitioner for has not been filed in the ONAR.[12] Consequently, petitioner was not bound by said circular and should not
airing Muro Ami: The Making without first securing a permit from it as provided in Section 7 of PD 1986. [3] have been meted the sanction provided thereunder.

The penalty of suspension was based on Memorandum Circular 98-17 dated December 15, WHEREFORE, the instant petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The decision of the Court of Appeals
1998[4] which provided for the penalties for exhibiting a program without a valid permit from the MTRCB. dated June 18, 2001, insofar as it affirmed the public respondent Movie and Television Review and
Classification Boards jurisdiction over Muro Ami: The Making, is hereby AFFIRMED with the
Petitioner moved for reconsideration of the suspension order and, at the same time, informed MODIFICATION that the suspension order issued against petitioner GMA Network, Inc. pursuant to
MTRCB that Channel 27 had complied with the suspension order by going off the air since midnight of Memorandum Circular No. 98-17 is hereby declared null and void.
January 11, 2000. It also filed a letter-protest which was merely noted by the MTRCB thereby, in effect, No pronouncement as to costs.
denying both the motion for reconsideration and letter-protest.
Petitioner then filed with the CA a petition for certiorari which was dismissed in the now
assailed June 18, 2001 decision. The January 7, 2000 suspension order issued by MTRCB was
SO ORDERED.
affirmed in toto.

Hence, this recourse.


The pivotal issues for our resolution are:
(1) whether the MTRCB has the power or authority to review the show Muro Ami: The
Making prior to its broadcast by television and
(2) whether Memorandum Circular No. 98-17 was enforceable and binding on petitioner.
G.R. No. L-63915 April 24, 1985 e] Executive Orders Nos.: 411, 413, 414, 427, 429-454, 457- 471, 474-492, 494-507,
509-510, 522, 524-528, 531-532, 536, 538, 543-544, 549, 551-553, 560, 563, 567-
568, 570, 574, 593, 594, 598-604, 609, 611- 647, 649-677, 679-703, 705-707, 712-
LORENZO M. TAÑADA, ABRAHAM F. SARMIENTO, and MOVEMENT OF ATTORNEYS FOR
786, 788-852, 854-857.
BROTHERHOOD, INTEGRITY AND NATIONALISM, INC. [MABINI], petitioners,
vs.
HON. JUAN C. TUVERA, in his capacity as Executive Assistant to the President, HON. JOAQUIN VENUS, f] Letters of Implementation Nos.: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11-22, 25-27, 39, 50, 51, 59, 76, 80-
in his capacity as Deputy Executive Assistant to the President , MELQUIADES P. DE LA CRUZ, in his 81, 92, 94, 95, 107, 120, 122, 123.
capacity as Director, Malacañang Records Office, and FLORENDO S. PABLO, in his capacity as Director,
Bureau of Printing, respondents.
g] Administrative Orders Nos.: 347, 348, 352-354, 360- 378, 380-433, 436-439.

The respondents, through the Solicitor General, would have this case dismissed outright on the ground
that petitioners have no legal personality or standing to bring the instant petition. The view is submitted
ESCOLIN, J.: that in the absence of any showing that petitioners are personally and directly affected or prejudiced by
the alleged non-publication of the presidential issuances in question 2 said petitioners are without the
requisite legal personality to institute this mandamus proceeding, they are not being "aggrieved parties"
Invoking the people's right to be informed on matters of public concern, a right recognized in Section 6,
within the meaning of Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, which we quote:
Article IV of the 1973 Philippine Constitution, 1 as well as the principle that laws to be valid and
enforceable must be published in the Official Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated, petitioners
seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish, and/or cause the publication SEC. 3. Petition for Mandamus.—When any tribunal, corporation, board or person
in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as
proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders. a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another
from the use a rd enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled, and
there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law,
Specifically, the publication of the following presidential issuances is sought:
the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court
alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered
a] Presidential Decrees Nos. 12, 22, 37, 38, 59, 64, 103, 171, 179, 184, 197, 200, commanding the defendant, immediately or at some other specified time, to do
234, 265, 286, 298, 303, 312, 324, 325, 326, 337, 355, 358, 359, 360, 361, 368, 404, the act required to be done to Protect the rights of the petitioner, and to pay the
406, 415, 427, 429, 445, 447, 473, 486, 491, 503, 504, 521, 528, 551, 566, 573, 574, damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the
594, 599, 644, 658, 661, 718, 731, 733, 793, 800, 802, 835, 836, 923, 935, 961, defendant.
1017-1030, 1050, 1060-1061, 1085, 1143, 1165, 1166, 1242, 1246, 1250, 1278,
1279, 1300, 1644, 1772, 1808, 1810, 1813-1817, 1819-1826, 1829-1840, 1842-
Upon the other hand, petitioners maintain that since the subject of the petition concerns a public right
1847.
and its object is to compel the performance of a public duty, they need not show any specific interest for
their petition to be given due course.
b] Letter of Instructions Nos.: 10, 39, 49, 72, 107, 108, 116, 130, 136, 141, 150,
153, 155, 161, 173, 180, 187, 188, 192, 193, 199, 202, 204, 205, 209, 211-213, 215-
The issue posed is not one of first impression. As early as the 1910 case of Severino vs. Governor
224, 226-228, 231-239, 241-245, 248, 251, 253-261, 263-269, 271-273, 275-283,
General, 3 this Court held that while the general rule is that "a writ of mandamus would be granted to a
285-289, 291, 293, 297-299, 301-303, 309, 312-315, 325, 327, 343, 346, 349, 357,
private individual only in those cases where he has some private or particular interest to be subserved,
358, 362, 367, 370, 382, 385, 386, 396-397, 405, 438-440, 444- 445, 473, 486, 488,
or some particular right to be protected, independent of that which he holds with the public at large,"
498, 501, 399, 527, 561, 576, 587, 594, 599, 600, 602, 609, 610, 611, 612, 615, 641,
and "it is for the public officers exclusively to apply for the writ when public rights are to be subserved
642, 665, 702, 712-713, 726, 837-839, 878-879, 881, 882, 939-940, 964,997,1149-
[Mithchell vs. Boardmen, 79 M.e., 469]," nevertheless, "when the question is one of public right and the
1178,1180-1278.
object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty, the people are regarded as the
real party in interest and the relator at whose instigation the proceedings are instituted need not show
c] General Orders Nos.: 14, 52, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64 & 65. that he has any legal or special interest in the result, it being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and as
such interested in the execution of the laws [High, Extraordinary Legal Remedies, 3rd ed., sec. 431].
d] Proclamation Nos.: 1126, 1144, 1147, 1151, 1196, 1270, 1281, 1319-1526, 1529,
1532, 1535, 1538, 1540-1547, 1550-1558, 1561-1588, 1590-1595, 1594-1600, Thus, in said case, this Court recognized the relator Lope Severino, a private individual, as a proper party
1606-1609, 1612-1628, 1630-1649, 1694-1695, 1697-1701, 1705-1723, 1731-1734, to the mandamus proceedings brought to compel the Governor General to call a special election for the
1737-1742, 1744, 1746-1751, 1752, 1754, 1762, 1764-1787, 1789-1795, 1797, position of municipal president in the town of Silay, Negros Occidental. Speaking for this Court, Mr.
1800, 1802-1804, 1806-1807, 1812-1814, 1816, 1825-1826, 1829, 1831-1832, Justice Grant T. Trent said:
1835-1836, 1839-1840, 1843-1844, 1846-1847, 1849, 1853-1858, 1860, 1866,
1868, 1870, 1876-1889, 1892, 1900, 1918, 1923, 1933, 1952, 1963, 1965-1966,
We are therefore of the opinion that the weight of authority supports the
1968-1984, 1986-2028, 2030-2044, 2046-2145, 2147-2161, 2163-2244.
proposition that the relator is a proper party to proceedings of this character when
a public right is sought to be enforced. If the general rule in America were The clear object of the above-quoted provision is to give the general public adequate notice of the
otherwise, we think that it would not be applicable to the case at bar for the various laws which are to regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without such notice and
reason 'that it is always dangerous to apply a general rule to a particular case publication, there would be no basis for the application of the maxim "ignorantia legis non excusat." It
without keeping in mind the reason for the rule, because, if under the particular would be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law of
circumstances the reason for the rule does not exist, the rule itself is not applicable which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one.
and reliance upon the rule may well lead to error'
Perhaps at no time since the establishment of the Philippine Republic has the publication of laws taken
No reason exists in the case at bar for applying the general rule insisted upon by so vital significance that at this time when the people have bestowed upon the President a power
counsel for the respondent. The circumstances which surround this case are heretofore enjoyed solely by the legislature. While the people are kept abreast by the mass media of the
different from those in the United States, inasmuch as if the relator is not a proper debates and deliberations in the Batasan Pambansa—and for the diligent ones, ready access to the
party to these proceedings no other person could be, as we have seen that it is not legislative records—no such publicity accompanies the law-making process of the President. Thus,
the duty of the law officer of the Government to appear and represent the people without publication, the people have no means of knowing what presidential decrees have actually been
in cases of this character. promulgated, much less a definite way of informing themselves of the specific contents and texts of such
decrees. As the Supreme Court of Spain ruled: "Bajo la denominacion generica de leyes, se comprenden
tambien los reglamentos, Reales decretos, Instrucciones, Circulares y Reales ordines dictadas de
The reasons given by the Court in recognizing a private citizen's legal personality in the aforementioned
conformidad con las mismas por el Gobierno en uso de su potestad. 5
case apply squarely to the present petition. Clearly, the right sought to be enforced by petitioners herein
is a public right recognized by no less than the fundamental law of the land. If petitioners were not
allowed to institute this proceeding, it would indeed be difficult to conceive of any other person to The very first clause of Section I of Commonwealth Act 638 reads: "There shall be published in the
initiate the same, considering that the Solicitor General, the government officer generally empowered to Official Gazette ... ." The word "shall" used therein imposes upon respondent officials an imperative duty.
represent the people, has entered his appearance for respondents in this case. That duty must be enforced if the Constitutional right of the people to be informed on matters of public
concern is to be given substance and reality. The law itself makes a list of what should be published in
the Official Gazette. Such listing, to our mind, leaves respondents with no discretion whatsoever as to
Respondents further contend that publication in the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non requirement
what must be included or excluded from such publication.
for the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves provide for their own effectivity dates. It is thus
submitted that since the presidential issuances in question contain special provisions as to the date they
are to take effect, publication in the Official Gazette is not indispensable for their effectivity. The point The publication of all presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is mandated
stressed is anchored on Article 2 of the Civil Code: by law. Obviously, presidential decrees that provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties for their violation
or otherwise impose a burden or. the people, such as tax and revenue measures, fall within this
category. Other presidential issuances which apply only to particular persons or class of persons such as
Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their
administrative and executive orders need not be published on the assumption that they have been
publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided, ...
circularized to all concerned. 6

The interpretation given by respondent is in accord with this Court's construction of said article. In a long
It is needless to add that the publication of presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general
line of decisions,4 this Court has ruled that publication in the Official Gazette is necessary in those cases
applicability" is a requirement of due process. It is a rule of law that before a person may be bound by
where the legislation itself does not provide for its effectivity date-for then the date of publication is
law, he must first be officially and specifically informed of its contents. As Justice Claudio Teehankee said
material for determining its date of effectivity, which is the fifteenth day following its publication-but not
in Peralta vs. COMELEC 7:
when the law itself provides for the date when it goes into effect.

In a time of proliferating decrees, orders and letters of instructions which all form
Respondents' argument, however, is logically correct only insofar as it equates the effectivity of laws
part of the law of the land, the requirement of due process and the Rule of Law
with the fact of publication. Considered in the light of other statutes applicable to the issue at hand, the
demand that the Official Gazette as the official government repository promulgate
conclusion is easily reached that said Article 2 does not preclude the requirement of publication in the
and publish the texts of all such decrees, orders and instructions so that the people
Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the date of its effectivity. Thus, Section 1 of
may know where to obtain their official and specific contents.
Commonwealth Act 638 provides as follows:

The Court therefore declares that presidential issuances of general application, which have not been
Section 1. There shall be published in the Official Gazette [1] all important
published, shall have no force and effect. Some members of the Court, quite apprehensive about the
legisiative acts and resolutions of a public nature of the, Congress of the
possible unsettling effect this decision might have on acts done in reliance of the validity of those
Philippines; [2] all executive and administrative orders and proclamations, except
presidential decrees which were published only during the pendency of this petition, have put the
such as have no general applicability; [3] decisions or abstracts of decisions of the
question as to whether the Court's declaration of invalidity apply to P.D.s which had been enforced or
Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals as may be deemed by said courts of
implemented prior to their publication. The answer is all too familiar. In similar situations in the past this
sufficient importance to be so published; [4] such documents or classes of
Court had taken the pragmatic and realistic course set forth in Chicot County Drainage District vs. Baxter
documents as may be required so to be published by law; and [5] such documents
Bank 8 to wit:
or classes of documents as the President of the Philippines shall determine from
time to time to have general applicability and legal effect, or which he may
authorize so to be published. ...
The courts below have proceeded on the theory that the Act of Congress, having Concepcion, Jr., J., is on leave
been found to be unconstitutional, was not a law; that it was inoperative,
conferring no rights and imposing no duties, and hence affording no basis for the
Separate Opinions
challenged decree. Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425, 442; Chicago, 1. & L. Ry.
Co. v. Hackett, 228 U.S. 559, 566. It is quite clear, however, that such broad
statements as to the effect of a determination of unconstitutionality must be FERNANDO, C.J., concurring (with qualification):
taken with qualifications. The actual existence of a statute, prior to such a
determination, is an operative fact and may have consequences which cannot There is on the whole acceptance on my part of the views expressed in the ably written opinion of
justly be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration. Justice Escolin. I am unable, however, to concur insofar as it would unqualifiedly impose the requirement
The effect of the subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in of publication in the Official Gazette for unpublished "presidential issuances" to have binding force and
various aspects-with respect to particular conduct, private and official. Questions effect.
of rights claimed to have become vested, of status, of prior determinations
deemed to have finality and acted upon accordingly, of public policy in the light of
the nature both of the statute and of its previous application, demand I shall explain why.
examination. These questions are among the most difficult of those which have
engaged the attention of courts, state and federal and it is manifest from 1. It is of course true that without the requisite publication, a due process question would arise if made
numerous decisions that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of absolute to apply adversely to a party who is not even aware of the existence of any legislative or executive act
retroactive invalidity cannot be justified. having the force and effect of law. My point is that such publication required need not be confined to the
Official Gazette. From the pragmatic standpoint, there is an advantage to be gained. It conduces to
Consistently with the above principle, this Court in Rutter vs. Esteban 9 sustained the right of a party certainty. That is too be admitted. It does not follow, however, that failure to do so would in all cases
under the Moratorium Law, albeit said right had accrued in his favor before said law was declared and under all circumstances result in a statute, presidential decree or any other executive act of the
unconstitutional by this Court. same category being bereft of any binding force and effect. To so hold would, for me, raise a
constitutional question. Such a pronouncement would lend itself to the interpretation that such a
legislative or presidential act is bereft of the attribute of effectivity unless published in the Official
Similarly, the implementation/enforcement of presidential decrees prior to their publication in the Gazette. There is no such requirement in the Constitution as Justice Plana so aptly pointed out. It is true
Official Gazette is "an operative fact which may have consequences which cannot be justly ignored. The that what is decided now applies only to past "presidential issuances". Nonetheless, this clarification is,
past cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration ... that an all-inclusive statement of a to my mind, needed to avoid any possible misconception as to what is required for any statute or
principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified." presidential act to be impressed with binding force or effectivity.

From the report submitted to the Court by the Clerk of Court, it appears that of the presidential decrees 2. It is quite understandable then why I concur in the separate opinion of Justice Plana. Its first paragraph
sought by petitioners to be published in the Official Gazette, only Presidential Decrees Nos. 1019 to sets forth what to me is the constitutional doctrine applicable to this case. Thus: "The Philippine
1030, inclusive, 1278, and 1937 to 1939, inclusive, have not been so published. 10 Neither the subject Constitution does not require the publication of laws as a prerequisite for their effectivity, unlike some
matters nor the texts of these PDs can be ascertained since no copies thereof are available. But whatever Constitutions elsewhere. It may be said though that the guarantee of due process requires notice of laws
their subject matter may be, it is undisputed that none of these unpublished PDs has ever been to affected Parties before they can be bound thereby; but such notice is not necessarily by publication in
implemented or enforced by the government. In Pesigan vs. Angeles, 11 the Court, through Justice Ramon the Official Gazette. The due process clause is not that precise. 1 I am likewise in agreement with its
Aquino, ruled that "publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of [penal] regulations closing paragraph: "In fine, I concur in the majority decision to the extent that it requires notice before
and make the said penalties binding on the persons affected thereby. " The cogency of this holding is laws become effective, for no person should be bound by a law without notice. This is elementary
apparently recognized by respondent officials considering the manifestation in their comment that "the fairness. However, I beg to disagree insofar as it holds that such notice shall be by publication in the
government, as a matter of policy, refrains from prosecuting violations of criminal laws until the same Official Gazette. 2
shall have been published in the Official Gazette or in some other publication, even though some
criminal laws provide that they shall take effect immediately.
3. It suffices, as was stated by Judge Learned Hand, that law as the command of the government "must
be ascertainable in some form if it is to be enforced at all. 3 It would indeed be to reduce it to the level of
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby orders respondents to publish in the Official Gazette all unpublished mere futility, as pointed out by Justice Cardozo, "if it is unknown and unknowable. 4 Publication, to
presidential issuances which are of general application, and unless so published, they shall have no repeat, is thus essential. What I am not prepared to subscribe to is the doctrine that it must be in the
binding force and effect. Official Gazette. To be sure once published therein there is the ascertainable mode of determining the
exact date of its effectivity. Still for me that does not dispose of the question of what is the jural effect of
SO ORDERED. past presidential decrees or executive acts not so published. For prior thereto, it could be that parties
aware of their existence could have conducted themselves in accordance with their provisions. If no legal
consequences could attach due to lack of publication in the Official Gazette, then serious problems could
Relova, J., concurs.
arise. Previous transactions based on such "Presidential Issuances" could be open to question. Matters
deemed settled could still be inquired into. I am not prepared to hold that such an effect is contemplated
Aquino, J., took no part. by our decision. Where such presidential decree or executive act is made the basis of a criminal
prosecution, then, of course, its ex post facto character becomes evident. 5 In civil cases though,
retroactivity as such is not conclusive on the due process aspect. There must still be a showing of
arbitrariness. Moreover, where the challenged presidential decree or executive act was issued under the best example of this is the Civil Code itself: the same Article 2 provides otherwise that it "shall take effect
police power, the non-impairment clause of the Constitution may not always be successfully invoked. [only] one year [not 15 days] after such publication. 2 To sustain respondents' misreading that "most laws
There must still be that process of balancing to determine whether or not it could in such a case be or decrees specify the date of their effectivity and for this reason, publication in the Official Gazette is
tainted by infirmity. 6 In traditional terminology, there could arise then a question of unconstitutional not necessary for their effectivity 3 would be to nullify and render nugatory the Civil Code's indispensable
application. That is as far as it goes. and essential requirement of prior publication in the Official Gazette by the simple expedient of
providing for immediate effectivity or an earlier effectivity date in the law itself before the completion of
15 days following its publication which is the period generally fixed by the Civil Code for its proper
4. Let me make therefore that my qualified concurrence goes no further than to affirm that publication is
dissemination.
essential to the effectivity of a legislative or executive act of a general application. I am not in agreement
with the view that such publication must be in the Official Gazette. The Civil Code itself in its Article 2
expressly recognizes that the rule as to laws taking effect after fifteen days following the completion of
their publication in the Official Gazette is subject to this exception, "unless it is otherwise provided."
Moreover, the Civil Code is itself only a legislative enactment, Republic Act No. 386. It does not and
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., concurring:
cannot have the juridical force of a constitutional command. A later legislative or executive act which has
the force and effect of law can legally provide for a different rule.
I agree. There cannot be any question but that even if a decree provides for a date of effectivity, it has to
be published. What I would like to state in connection with that proposition is that when a date of
5. Nor can I agree with the rather sweeping conclusion in the opinion of Justice Escolin that presidential
effectivity is mentioned in the decree but the decree becomes effective only fifteen (15) days after its
decrees and executive acts not thus previously published in the Official Gazette would be devoid of any
publication in the Official Gazette, it will not mean that the decree can have retroactive effect to the date
legal character. That would be, in my opinion, to go too far. It may be fraught, as earlier noted, with
of effectivity mentioned in the decree itself. There should be no retroactivity if the retroactivity will run
undesirable consequences. I find myself therefore unable to yield assent to such a pronouncement.
counter to constitutional rights or shall destroy vested rights.

I am authorized to state that Justices Makasiar, Abad Santos, Cuevas, and Alampay concur in this
separate opinion.

PLANA, J., concurring (with qualification):


Makasiar, Abad Santos, Cuevas and Alampay, JJ., concur.

The Philippine Constitution does not require the publication of laws as a prerequisite for their effectivity,
unlike some Constitutions elsewhere. * It may be said though that the guarantee of due process requires
notice of laws to affected parties before they can be bound thereby; but such notice is not necessarily by
TEEHANKEE, J., concurring: publication in the Official Gazette. The due process clause is not that precise. Neither is the publication
of laws in the Official Gazette required by any statute as a prerequisite for their effectivity, if said laws
already provide for their effectivity date.
I concur with the main opinion of Mr. Justice Escolin and the concurring opinion of Mme. Justice Herrera.
The Rule of Law connotes a body of norms and laws published and ascertainable and of equal application
to all similarly circumstances and not subject to arbitrary change but only under certain set procedures. Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that "laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion
The Court has consistently stressed that "it is an elementary rule of fair play and justice that a reasonable of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided " Two things may be said of this
opportunity to be informed must be afforded to the people who are commanded to obey before they provision: Firstly, it obviously does not apply to a law with a built-in provision as to when it will take
can be punished for its violation,1 citing the settled principle based on due process enunciated in earlier effect. Secondly, it clearly recognizes that each law may provide not only a different period for reckoning
cases that "before the public is bound by its contents, especially its penal provisions, a law, regulation or its effectivity date but also a different mode of notice. Thus, a law may prescribe that it shall be
circular must first be published and the people officially and specially informed of said contents and its published elsewhere than in the Official Gazette.
penalties.
Commonwealth Act No. 638, in my opinion, does not support the proposition that for their
Without official publication in the Official Gazette as required by Article 2 of the Civil Code and the effectivity, laws must be published in the Official Gazette. The said law is simply "An Act to Provide for
Revised Administrative Code, there would be no basis nor justification for the corollary rule of Article 3 of the Uniform Publication and Distribution of the Official Gazette." Conformably therewith, it authorizes
the Civil Code (based on constructive notice that the provisions of the law are ascertainable from the the publication of the Official Gazette, determines its frequency, provides for its sale and distribution,
public and official repository where they are duly published) that "Ignorance of the law excuses no one and defines the authority of the Director of Printing in relation thereto. It also enumerates what shall be
from compliance therewith. published in the Official Gazette, among them, "important legislative acts and resolutions of a public
nature of the Congress of the Philippines" and "all executive and administrative orders and
proclamations, except such as have no general applicability." It is noteworthy that not all legislative acts
Respondents' contention based on a misreading of Article 2 of the Civil Code that "only laws which are
are required to be published in the Official Gazette but only "important" ones "of a public nature."
silent as to their effectivity [date] need be published in the Official Gazette for their effectivity" is
Moreover, the said law does not provide that publication in the Official Gazette is essential for the
manifestly untenable. The plain text and meaning of the Civil Code is that "laws shall take effect after
effectivity of laws. This is as it should be, for all statutes are equal and stand on the same footing. A law,
fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise
especially an earlier one of general application such as Commonwealth Act No. 638, cannot nullify or
provided, " i.e. a different effectivity date is provided by the law itself. This proviso perforce refers to a
law that has been duly published pursuant to the basic constitutional requirements of due process. The
restrict the operation of a subsequent statute that has a provision of its own as to when and how it will 2. It is quite understandable then why I concur in the separate opinion of Justice Plana. Its first paragraph
take effect. Only a higher law, which is the Constitution, can assume that role. sets forth what to me is the constitutional doctrine applicable to this case. Thus: "The Philippine
Constitution does not require the publication of laws as a prerequisite for their effectivity, unlike some
Constitutions elsewhere. It may be said though that the guarantee of due process requires notice of laws
In fine, I concur in the majority decision to the extent that it requires notice before laws become
to affected Parties before they can be bound thereby; but such notice is not necessarily by publication in
effective, for no person should be bound by a law without notice. This is elementary fairness. However, I
the Official Gazette. The due process clause is not that precise. 1 I am likewise in agreement with its
beg to disagree insofar as it holds that such notice shall be by publication in the Official Gazette.
closing paragraph: "In fine, I concur in the majority decision to the extent that it requires notice before
laws become effective, for no person should be bound by a law without notice. This is elementary
Cuevas and Alampay, JJ., concur. fairness. However, I beg to disagree insofar as it holds that such notice shall be by publication in the
Official Gazette. 2

3. It suffices, as was stated by Judge Learned Hand, that law as the command of the government "must
GUTIERREZ, Jr., J., concurring: be ascertainable in some form if it is to be enforced at all. 3 It would indeed be to reduce it to the level of
mere futility, as pointed out by Justice Cardozo, "if it is unknown and unknowable. 4 Publication, to
repeat, is thus essential. What I am not prepared to subscribe to is the doctrine that it must be in the
I concur insofar as publication is necessary but reserve my vote as to the necessity of such publication Official Gazette. To be sure once published therein there is the ascertainable mode of determining the
being in the Official Gazette. exact date of its effectivity. Still for me that does not dispose of the question of what is the jural effect of
past presidential decrees or executive acts not so published. For prior thereto, it could be that parties
aware of their existence could have conducted themselves in accordance with their provisions. If no legal
consequences could attach due to lack of publication in the Official Gazette, then serious problems could
arise. Previous transactions based on such "Presidential Issuances" could be open to question. Matters
DE LA FUENTE, J., concurring: deemed settled could still be inquired into. I am not prepared to hold that such an effect is contemplated
by our decision. Where such presidential decree or executive act is made the basis of a criminal
I concur insofar as the opinion declares the unpublished decrees and issuances of a public nature or prosecution, then, of course, its ex post facto character becomes evident. 5 In civil cases though,
general applicability ineffective, until due publication thereof. retroactivity as such is not conclusive on the due process aspect. There must still be a showing of
arbitrariness. Moreover, where the challenged presidential decree or executive act was issued under the
police power, the non-impairment clause of the Constitution may not always be successfully invoked.
Separate Opinions
There must still be that process of balancing to determine whether or not it could in such a case be
tainted by infirmity. 6 In traditional terminology, there could arise then a question of unconstitutional
FERNANDO, C.J., concurring (with qualification): application. That is as far as it goes.

There is on the whole acceptance on my part of the views expressed in the ably written opinion of 4. Let me make therefore that my qualified concurrence goes no further than to affirm that publication is
Justice Escolin. I am unable, however, to concur insofar as it would unqualifiedly impose the requirement essential to the effectivity of a legislative or executive act of a general application. I am not in agreement
of publication in the Official Gazette for unpublished "presidential issuances" to have binding force and with the view that such publication must be in the Official Gazette. The Civil Code itself in its Article 2
effect. expressly recognizes that the rule as to laws taking effect after fifteen days following the completion of
their publication in the Official Gazette is subject to this exception, "unless it is otherwise provided."
I shall explain why. Moreover, the Civil Code is itself only a legislative enactment, Republic Act No. 386. It does not and
cannot have the juridical force of a constitutional command. A later legislative or executive act which has
the force and effect of law can legally provide for a different rule.
1. It is of course true that without the requisite publication, a due process question would arise if made
to apply adversely to a party who is not even aware of the existence of any legislative or executive act
having the force and effect of law. My point is that such publication required need not be confined to the 5. Nor can I agree with the rather sweeping conclusion in the opinion of Justice Escolin that presidential
Official Gazette. From the pragmatic standpoint, there is an advantage to be gained. It conduces to decrees and executive acts not thus previously published in the Official Gazette would be devoid of any
certainty. That is too be admitted. It does not follow, however, that failure to do so would in all cases legal character. That would be, in my opinion, to go too far. It may be fraught, as earlier noted, with
and under all circumstances result in a statute, presidential decree or any other executive act of the undesirable consequences. I find myself therefore unable to yield assent to such a pronouncement.
same category being bereft of any binding force and effect. To so hold would, for me, raise a
constitutional question. Such a pronouncement would lend itself to the interpretation that such a I am authorized to state that Justices Makasiar, Abad Santos, Cuevas, and Alampay concur in this
legislative or presidential act is bereft of the attribute of effectivity unless published in the Official separate opinion.
Gazette. There is no such requirement in the Constitution as Justice Plana so aptly pointed out. It is true
that what is decided now applies only to past "presidential issuances". Nonetheless, this clarification is,
Makasiar, Abad Santos, Cuevas and Alampay, JJ., concur.
to my mind, needed to avoid any possible misconception as to what is required for any statute or
presidential act to be impressed with binding force or effectivity.
TEEHANKEE, J., concurring: publication in the Official Gazette. The due process clause is not that precise. Neither is the publication
of laws in the Official Gazette required by any statute as a prerequisite for their effectivity, if said laws
already provide for their effectivity date.
I concur with the main opinion of Mr. Justice Escolin and the concurring opinion of Mme. Justice Herrera.
The Rule of Law connotes a body of norms and laws published and ascertainable and of equal application
to all similarly circumstances and not subject to arbitrary change but only under certain set procedures. Article 2 of the Civil Code provides that "laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion
The Court has consistently stressed that "it is an elementary rule of fair play and justice that a reasonable of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided " Two things may be said of this
opportunity to be informed must be afforded to the people who are commanded to obey before they provision: Firstly, it obviously does not apply to a law with a built-in provision as to when it will take
can be punished for its violation,1 citing the settled principle based on due process enunciated in earlier effect. Secondly, it clearly recognizes that each law may provide not only a different period for reckoning
cases that "before the public is bound by its contents, especially its penal provisions, a law, regulation or its effectivity date but also a different mode of notice. Thus, a law may prescribe that it shall be
circular must first be published and the people officially and specially informed of said contents and its published elsewhere than in the Official Gazette.
penalties.
Commonwealth Act No. 638, in my opinion, does not support the proposition that for their
Without official publication in the Official Gazette as required by Article 2 of the Civil Code and the effectivity, laws must be published in the Official Gazette. The said law is simply "An Act to Provide for
Revised Administrative Code, there would be no basis nor justification for the corollary rule of Article 3 of the Uniform Publication and Distribution of the Official Gazette." Conformably therewith, it authorizes
the Civil Code (based on constructive notice that the provisions of the law are ascertainable from the the publication of the Official Gazette, determines its frequency, provides for its sale and distribution,
public and official repository where they are duly published) that "Ignorance of the law excuses no one and defines the authority of the Director of Printing in relation thereto. It also enumerates what shall be
from compliance therewith. published in the Official Gazette, among them, "important legislative acts and resolutions of a public
nature of the Congress of the Philippines" and "all executive and administrative orders and
proclamations, except such as have no general applicability." It is noteworthy that not all legislative acts
Respondents' contention based on a misreading of Article 2 of the Civil Code that "only laws which are
are required to be published in the Official Gazette but only "important" ones "of a public nature."
silent as to their effectivity [date] need be published in the Official Gazette for their effectivity" is
Moreover, the said law does not provide that publication in the Official Gazette is essential for the
manifestly untenable. The plain text and meaning of the Civil Code is that "laws shall take effect after
effectivity of laws. This is as it should be, for all statutes are equal and stand on the same footing. A law,
fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise
especially an earlier one of general application such as Commonwealth Act No. 638, cannot nullify or
provided, " i.e. a different effectivity date is provided by the law itself. This proviso perforce refers to a
restrict the operation of a subsequent statute that has a provision of its own as to when and how it will
law that has been duly published pursuant to the basic constitutional requirements of due process. The
take effect. Only a higher law, which is the Constitution, can assume that role.
best example of this is the Civil Code itself: the same Article 2 provides otherwise that it "shall take effect
[only] one year [not 15 days] after such publication. 2 To sustain respondents' misreading that "most laws
or decrees specify the date of their effectivity and for this reason, publication in the Official Gazette is In fine, I concur in the majority decision to the extent that it requires notice before laws become
not necessary for their effectivity 3 would be to nullify and render nugatory the Civil Code's indispensable effective, for no person should be bound by a law without notice. This is elementary fairness. However, I
and essential requirement of prior publication in the Official Gazette by the simple expedient of beg to disagree insofar as it holds that such notice shall be by publication in the Official Gazette.
providing for immediate effectivity or an earlier effectivity date in the law itself before the completion of
15 days following its publication which is the period generally fixed by the Civil Code for its proper
Cuevas and Alampay, JJ., concur.
dissemination.

GUTIERREZ, Jr., J., concurring:


MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., concurring:

I concur insofar as publication is necessary but reserve my vote as to the necessity of such publication
I agree. There cannot be any question but that even if a decree provides for a date of effectivity, it has to
being in the Official Gazette.
be published. What I would like to state in connection with that proposition is that when a date of
effectivity is mentioned in the decree but the decree becomes effective only fifteen (15) days after its
publication in the Official Gazette, it will not mean that the decree can have retroactive effect to the date DE LA FUENTE, J., concurring:
of effectivity mentioned in the decree itself. There should be no retroactivity if the retroactivity will run
counter to constitutional rights or shall destroy vested rights. I concur insofar as the opinion declares the unpublished decrees and issuances of a public nature or
general applicability ineffective, until due publication thereof.

PLANA, J., concurring (with qualification):

The Philippine Constitution does not require the publication of laws as a prerequisite for their effectivity,
unlike some Constitutions elsewhere. * It may be said though that the guarantee of due process requires
notice of laws to affected parties before they can be bound thereby; but such notice is not necessarily by
G.R. No. L-6791 March 29, 1954 laws in the Gazette. Manresa, commenting on this article is of the opinion that the word "laws" include
regulations and circulars issued in accordance with the same. He says:
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
vs. El Tribunal Supremo, ha interpretado el articulo 1. del codigo Civil en Sentencia de 22 de Junio
QUE PO LAY, defendant-appellant. de 1910, en el sentido de que bajo la denominacion generica de leyes, se comprenden
tambien los Reglamentos, Reales decretos, Instrucciones, Circulares y Reales ordenes dictadas
de conformidad con las mismas por el Gobierno en uso de su potestad. Tambien el poder
Prudencio de Guzman for appellant.
ejecutivo lo ha venido entendiendo asi, como lo prueba el hecho de que muchas de sus
First Assistant Solicitor General Ruperto Kapunan, Jr., and Solicitor Lauro G. Marquez for appellee.
disposiciones contienen la advertencia de que empiezan a regir el mismo dia de su
publicacion en la Gaceta, advertencia que seria perfectamente inutil si no fuera de aplicacion
MONTEMAYOR, J.: al caso el articulo 1.o del Codigo Civil. (Manresa, Codigo Civil Español, Vol. I. p. 52).

Que Po Lay is appealing from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila, finding him guilty of In the present case, although circular No. 20 of the Central Bank was issued in the year 1949, it was not
violating Central Bank Circular No. 20 in connection with section 34 of Republic Act No. 265, and published until November 1951, that is, about 3 months after appellant's conviction of its violation. It is
sentencing him to suffer six months imprisonment, to pay a fine of P1,000 with subsidiary imprisonment clear that said circular, particularly its penal provision, did not have any legal effect and bound no one
in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs. until its publication in the Official Gazzette or after November 1951. In other words, appellant could not
be held liable for its violation, for it was not binding at the time he was found to have failed to sell the
The charge was that the appellant who was in possession of foreign exchange consisting of U.S. dollars, foreign exchange in his possession thereof.
U.S. checks and U.S. money orders amounting to about $7,000 failed to sell the same to the Central Bank
through its agents within one day following the receipt of such foreign exchange as required by Circular But the Solicitor General also contends that this question of non-publication of the Circular is being
No. 20. the appeal is based on the claim that said circular No. 20 was not published in the Official Gazette raised for the first time on appeal in this Court, which cannot be done by appellant. Ordinarily, one may
prior to the act or omission imputed to the appellant, and that consequently, said circular had no force raise on appeal any question of law or fact that has been raised in the court below and which is within
and effect. It is contended that Commonwealth Act. No., 638 and Act 2930 both require said circular to the issues made by the parties in their pleadings. (Section 19, Rule 48 of the Rules of Court). But the
be published in the Official Gazette, it being an order or notice of general applicability. The Solicitor question of non-publication is fundamental and decisive. If as a matter of fact Circular No. 20 had not
General answering this contention says that Commonwealth Act. No. 638 and 2930 do not require the been published as required by law before its violation, then in the eyes of the law there was no such
publication in the Official Gazette of said circular issued for the implementation of a law in order to have circular to be violated and consequently appellant committed no violation of the circular or committed
force and effect. any offense, and the trial court may be said to have had no jurisdiction. This question may be raised at
any stage of the proceeding whether or not raised in the court below.
We agree with the Solicitor General that the laws in question do not require the publication of the
circulars, regulations and notices therein mentioned in order to become binding and effective. All that In view of the foregoing, we reverse the decision appealed from and acquit the appellant, with costs de
said two laws provide is that laws, resolutions, decisions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, oficio.
notices and documents required by law to be of no force and effect. In other words, said two Acts merely
enumerate and make a list of what should be published in the Official Gazette, presumably, for the
Paras, C.J., Bengzon, Padilla, Reyes, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion and Diokno, JJ., concur.
guidance of the different branches of the Government issuing same, and of the Bureau of Printing.

However, section 11 of the Revised Administrative Code provides that statutes passed by Congress shall,
in the absence of special provision, take effect at the beginning of the fifteenth day after the completion
of the publication of the statute in the Official Gazette. Article 2 of the new Civil Code (Republic Act No.
386) equally provides that laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their
publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. It is true that Circular No. 20 of the
Central Bank is not a statute or law but being issued for the implementation of the law authorizing its
issuance, it has the force and effect of law according to settled jurisprudence. (See U.S. vs. Tupasi Molina,
29 Phil., 119 and authorities cited therein.) Moreover, as a rule, circulars and regulations especially like
the Circular No. 20 of the Central Bank in question which prescribes a penalty for its violation should be
published before becoming effective, this, on the general principle and theory that before the public is
bound by its contents, especially its penal provisions, a law, regulation or circular must first be published
and the people officially and specifically informed of said contents and its penalties.

Our Old Civil code, ( Spanish Civil Code of 1889) has a similar provision about the effectivity of laws,
(Article 1 thereof), namely, that laws shall be binding twenty days after their promulgation, and that
their promulgation shall be understood as made on the day of the termination of the publication of the
G.R. No. L-32166 October 18, 1977 Commissioner of Fisheries, promulgated Fisheries Administrative Order No. 84 (62 O.G. 1224),
prohibiting electro fishing in all Philippine waters. The order is quoted below: ñé+.£ªwph!1
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellant,
vs. SUBJECT: PROHIBITING ELECTRO FISHING IN ALL WATERS ñé+.£ªwph!1
HON. MAXIMO A. MACEREN CFI, Sta. Cruz, Laguna, JOSE BUENAVENTURA, GODOFREDO REYES,
BENJAMIN REYES, NAZARIO AQUINO and CARLO DEL ROSARIO, accused-appellees.
OF THE PHILIPPINES.

Office of the Solicitor General for appellant.


Pursuant to Section 4 of Act No. 4003, as amended, and Section 4 of R.A. No. 3512, the following rules
and regulations regarding the prohibition of electro fishing in all waters of the Philippines are
Rustics F. de los Reyes, Jr. for appellees. promulgated for the information and guidance of all concerned.ñé+.£ªwph!1

AQUINO, J.:têñ.£îhqw⣠SECTION 1. — Definition. — Words and terms used in this Order 11 construed as
follows:
This is a case involving the validity of a 1967 regulation, penalizing electro fishing in fresh water fisheries,
promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Commissioner of Fisheries (a) Philippine waters or territorial waters of the Philippines' includes all waters of
under the old Fisheries Law and the law creating the Fisheries Commission. the Philippine Archipelago, as defined in the t between the United States and
Spain, dated respectively the tenth of December, eighteen hundred ninety eight
and the seventh of November, nineteen hundred. For the purpose of this order,
On March 7, 1969 Jose Buenaventura, Godofredo Reyes, Benjamin Reyes, Nazario Aquino and Carlito del
rivers, lakes and other bodies of fresh waters are included.
Rosario were charged by a Constabulary investigator in the municipal court of Sta. Cruz, Laguna with
having violated Fisheries Administrative Order No. 84-1.
(b) Electro Fishing. — Electro fishing is the catching of fish with the use of electric
current. The equipment used are of many electrical devices which may be battery
It was alleged in the complaint that the five accused in the morning of March 1, 1969 resorted to electro
or generator-operated and from and available source of electric current.
fishing in the waters of Barrio San Pablo Norte, Sta. Cruz by "using their own motor banca, equipped with
motor; with a generator colored green with attached dynamo colored gray or somewhat white; and
electrocuting device locally known as sensored with a somewhat webbed copper wire on the tip or other (c) 'Persons' includes firm, corporation, association, agent or employee.
end of a bamboo pole with electric wire attachment which was attached to the dynamo direct and with
the use of these devices or equipments catches fish thru electric current, which destroy any aquatic
(d) 'Fish' includes other aquatic products.
animals within its cuffed reach, to the detriment and prejudice of the populace" (Criminal Case No.
5429).
SEC. 2. — Prohibition. — It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in electro
fishing or to catch fish by the use of electric current in any portion of the Philippine
Upon motion of the accused, the municipal court quashed the complaint. The prosecution appealed. The
waters except for research, educational and scientific purposes which must be
Court of First Instance of Laguna affirmed the order of dismissal (Civil Case No. SC-36). The case is now
covered by a permit issued by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources
before this Court on appeal by the prosecution under Republic Act No. 5440. which shall be carried at all times.

The lower court held that electro fishing cannot be penalize because electric current is not an obnoxious
SEC. 3. — Penalty. — Any violation of the provisions of this Administrative Order
or poisonous substance as contemplated in section I I of the Fisheries Law and that it is not a substance
shall subject the offender to a fine of not exceeding five hundred pesos (P500.00)
at all but a form of energy conducted or transmitted by substances. The lower court further held that,
or imprisonment of not extending six (6) months or both at the discretion of the
since the law does not clearly prohibit electro fishing, the executive and judicial departments cannot
Court.
consider it unlawful.

SEC. 4. — Repealing Provisions. — All administrative orders or parts thereof


As legal background, it should be stated that section 11 of the Fisheries Law prohibits "the use of any
inconsistent with the provisions of this Administrative Order are hereby revoked.
obnoxious or poisonous substance" in fishing.

SEC. 5. — Effectivity. — This Administrative Order shall take effect six (60) days
Section 76 of the same law punishes any person who uses an obnoxious or poisonous substance in
after its publication in the Office Gazette.
fishing with a fine of not more than five hundred pesos nor more than five thousand, and by
imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than five years.
On June 28, 1967 the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, upon the recommendation of the
Fisheries Commission, issued Fisheries Administrative Order No. 84-1, amending section 2 of
It is noteworthy that the Fisheries Law does not expressly punish .electro fishing." Notwithstanding the
Administrative Order No. 84, by restricting the ban against electro fishing to fresh water fisheries (63
silence of the law, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, upon the recommendation of the
O.G. 9963).
Thus, the phrase "in any portion of the Philippine waters" found in section 2, was changed by the As already pointed out above, the prosecution's reference to section 83 is out of place because the
amendatory order to read as follows: "in fresh water fisheries in the Philippines, such as rivers, lakes, penalty for electro fishing under Administrative order No. 84 is not the same as the penalty fixed in
swamps, dams, irrigation canals and other bodies of fresh water." section 83.

The Court of First Instance and the prosecution (p. 11 of brief) assumed that electro fishing is punishable We are of the opinion that the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Commissioner of
under section 83 of the Fisheries Law (not under section 76 thereof), which provides that any other Fisheries exceeded their authority in issuing Fisheries Administrative Orders Nos. 84 and 84-1 and that
violation of that law "or of any rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall subject the offender those orders are not warranted under the Fisheries Commission, Republic Act No. 3512.
to a fine of not more than two hundred pesos (P200), or in t for not more than six months, or both, in the
discretion of the court."
The reason is that the Fisheries Law does not expressly prohibit electro fishing. As electro fishing is not
banned under that law, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Commissioner of
That assumption is incorrect because 3 of the aforequoted Administrative Order No. 84 imposes a fm of Fisheries are powerless to penalize it. In other words, Administrative Orders Nos. 84 and 84-1, in
not exceeding P500 on a person engaged in electro fishing, which amount the 83. It seems that the penalizing electro fishing, are devoid of any legal basis.
Department of Fisheries prescribed their own penalty for swift fishing which penalty is less than the
severe penalty imposed in section 76 and which is not Identified to the at penalty imposed in section 83.
Had the lawmaking body intended to punish electro fishing, a penal provision to that effect could have
been easily embodied in the old Fisheries Law.
Had Administrative Order No. 84 adopted the fighter penalty prescribed in on 83, then the crime of
electro fishing would be within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the inferior court (Sec. 44 [f],
That law punishes (1) the use of obnoxious or poisonous substance, or explosive in fishing; (2) unlawful
Judiciary Law; People vs. Ragasi, L-28663, September 22,
fishing in deepsea fisheries; (3) unlawful taking of marine molusca, (4) illegal taking of sponges; (5) failure
of licensed fishermen to report the kind and quantity of fish caught, and (6) other violations.
We have discussed this pre point, not raised in the briefs, because it is obvious that the crime of electro
fishing which is punishable with a sum up to P500, falls within the concurrent original jurisdiction of the
Nowhere in that law is electro fishing specifically punished. Administrative Order No. 84, in punishing
inferior courts and the Court of First instance (People vs. Nazareno, L-40037, April 30, 1976, 70 SCRA 531
electro fishing, does not contemplate that such an offense fails within the category of "other violations"
and the cases cited therein).
because, as already shown, the penalty for electro fishing is the penalty next lower to the penalty for
fishing with the use of obnoxious or poisonous substances, fixed in section 76, and is not the same as the
And since the instant case was filed in the municipal court of Sta. Cruz, Laguna, a provincial capital, the penalty for "other violations" of the law and regulations fixed in section 83 of the Fisheries Law.
order of d rendered by that municipal court was directly appealable to the Court, not to the Court of First
Instance of Laguna (Sec. 45 and last par. of section 87 of the Judiciary Law; Esperat vs. Avila, L-25992,
The lawmaking body cannot delegate to an executive official the power to declare what acts should
June 30, 1967, 20 SCRA 596).
constitute an offense. It can authorize the issuance of regulations and the imposition of the penalty
provided for in the law itself. (People vs. Exconde 101 Phil. 11 25, citing 11 Am. Jur. 965 on p. 11 32).
It results that the Court of First Instance of Laguna had no appellate jurisdiction over the case. Its order
affirming the municipal court's order of dismissal is void for lack of motion. This appeal shall be treated Originally, Administrative Order No. 84 punished electro fishing in all waters. Later, the ban against
as a direct appeal from the municipal court to this Court. (See People vs. Del Rosario, 97 Phil. 67).
electro fishing was confined to fresh water fisheries. The amendment created the impression that electro
fishing is not condemnable per se. It could be tolerated in marine waters. That circumstances
In this appeal, the prosecution argues that Administrative Orders Nos. 84 and 84-1 were not issued strengthens the view that the old law does not eschew all forms of electro fishing.
under section 11 of the Fisheries Law which, as indicated above, punishes fishing by means of an
obnoxious or poisonous substance. This contention is not well-taken because, as already stated, the
However, at present, there is no more doubt that electro fishing is punishable under the Fisheries Law
Penal provision of Administrative Order No. 84 implies that electro fishing is penalized as a form of
and that it cannot be penalized merely by executive revolution because Presidential Decree No. 704,
fishing by means of an obnoxious or poisonous substance under section 11.
which is a revision and consolidation of all laws and decrees affecting fishing and fisheries and which was
promulgated on May 16, 1975 (71 O.G. 4269), expressly punishes electro fishing in fresh water and salt
The prosecution cites as the legal sanctions for the prohibition against electro fishing in fresh water water areas.
fisheries (1) the rule-making power of the Department Secretary under section 4 of the Fisheries Law; (2)
the function of the Commissioner of Fisheries to enforce the provisions of the Fisheries Law and the
That decree provides: ñé+.£ªwph!1
regulations Promulgated thereunder and to execute the rules and regulations consistent with the
purpose for the creation of the Fisheries Commission and for the development of fisheries (Sec. 4[c] and
[h] Republic Act No. 3512; (3) the declared national policy to encourage, Promote and conserve our SEC. 33. — Illegal fishing, dealing in illegally caught fish or fishery/aquatic
fishing resources (Sec. 1, Republic Act No. 3512), and (4) section 83 of the Fisheries Law which provides products. — It shall he unlawful for any person to catch, take or gather or cause to
that "any other violation of" the Fisheries Law or of any rules and regulations promulgated thereunder be caught, taken or gathered fish or fishery/aquatic products in Philippine waters
"shall subject the offender to a fine of not more than two hundred pesos, or imprisonment for not more with the use of explosives, obnoxious or poisonous substance, or by the use of
than six months, or both, in the discretion of the court." electricity as defined in paragraphs (1), (m) and (d), respectively, of Section 3
hereof: ...
The decree Act No. 4003, as amended, Republic Acts Nos. 428, 3048, 3512 and 3586, Presidential 46. As to invalid regulations, see of Internal Revenue vs. Villaflor 69 Phil. 319, Wise & Co. vs. Meer, 78
Decrees Nos. 43, 534 and 553, and all , Acts, Executive Orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof Phil. 655, 676; Del March vs. Phil. Veterans Administrative, L-27299, June 27, 1973, 51 SCRA 340, 349).
inconsistent with it (Sec. 49, P. D. No. 704).
There is no question that the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources has rule-making powers.
The inclusion in that decree of provisions defining and penalizing electro fishing is a clear recognition of Section 4 of the Fisheries law provides that the Secretary "shall from time to time issue instructions,
the deficiency or silence on that point of the old Fisheries Law. It is an admission that a mere executive orders, and regulations consistent" with that law, "as may be and proper to carry into effect the
regulation is not legally adequate to penalize electro fishing. provisions thereof." That power is now vested in the Secretary of Natural Resources by on 7 of the
Revised Fisheries law, Presidential December No. 704.
Note that the definition of electro fishing, which is found in section 1 (c) of Fisheries Administrative
Order No. 84 and which is not provided for the old Fisheries Law, is now found in section 3(d) of the Section 4(h) of Republic Act No. 3512 empower the Co of Fisheries "to prepare and execute upon the
decree. Note further that the decree penalty electro fishing by "imprisonment from two (2) to four (4) approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, forms instructions, rules and regulations
years", a punishment which is more severe than the penalty of a time of not excluding P500 or consistent with the purpose" of that enactment "and for the development of fisheries."
imprisonment of not more than six months or both fixed in section 3 of Fisheries Administrative Order
No. 84.
Section 79(B) of the Revised Administrative Code provides that "the Department Head shall have the
power to promulgate, whenever he may see fit do so, all rules, regulates, orders, memorandums, and
An examination of the rule-making power of executive officials and administrative agencies and, in other instructions, not contrary to law, to regulate the proper working and harmonious and efficient
particular, of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources (now Secretary of Natural Resources) administration of each and all of the offices and dependencies of his Department, and for the strict
under the Fisheries Law sustains the view that he ex his authority in penalizing electro fishing by means enforcement and proper execution of the laws relative to matters under the jurisdiction of said
of an administrative order. Department; but none of said rules or orders shall prescribe penalties for the violation thereof, except as
expressly authorized by law."
Administrative agent are clothed with rule-making powers because the lawmaking body finds it
impracticable, if not impossible, to anticipate and provide for the multifarious and complex situations Administrative regulations issued by a Department Head in conformity with law have the force of law
that may be encountered in enforcing the law. All that is required is that the regulation should be (Valerie vs. Secretary of culture and Natural Resources, 117 Phil. 729, 733; Antique Sawmills, Inc. vs.
germane to the defects and purposes of the law and that it should conform to the standards that the law Zayco, L- 20051, May 30, 1966, 17 SCRA 316). As he exercises the rule-making power by delegation of the
prescribes (People vs. Exconde 101 Phil. 1125; Director of Forestry vs. Muñ;oz, L-24796, June 28, 1968, lawmaking body, it is a requisite that he should not transcend the bound demarcated by the statute for
23 SCRA 1183, 1198; Geukeko vs. Araneta, 102 Phil. 706, 712). the exercise of that power; otherwise, he would be improperly exercising legislative power in his own
right and not as a surrogate of the lawmaking body.
The lawmaking body cannot possibly provide for all the details in the enforcement of a particular statute
(U.S. vs. Tupasi Molina, 29 Phil. 119, 125, citing U.S. vs. Grimaud 220 U.S. 506; Interprovincial Autobus Article 7 of the Civil Code embodies the basic principle that administrative or executive acts, orders and
Co., Inc. vs. Coll. of Internal Revenue, 98 Phil. 290, 295-6). regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution."

The grant of the rule-making power to administrative agencies is a relaxation of the principle of As noted by Justice Fernando, "except for constitutional officials who can trace their competence to act
separation of powers and is an exception to the nondeleption of legislative, powers. Administrative to the fundamental law itself, a public office must be in the statute relied upon a grant of power before
regulations or "subordinate legislation calculated to promote the public interest are necessary because he can exercise it." "department zeal may not be permitted to outrun the authority conferred by
of "the growing complexity of modem life, the multiplication of the subjects of governmental statute." (Radio Communications of the Philippines, Inc. vs. Santiago, L-29236, August 21, 1974, 58 SCRA
regulations, and the increased difficulty of administering the law" Calalang vs. Williams, 70 Phil. 726; 493, 496-8).
People vs. Rosenthal and Osmeñ;a, 68 Phil. 328).
"Rules and regulations when promulgated in pursuance of the procedure or authority conferred upon
Administrative regulations adopted under legislative authority by a particular department must be in the administrative agency by law, partake of the nature of a statute, and compliance therewith may be
harmony with the provisions of the law, and should be for the sole purpose of carrying into effect its enforced by a penal sanction provided in the law. This is so because statutes are usually couched in
general provisions. By such regulations, of course, the law itself cannot be extended. (U.S. vs. Tupasi general terms, after expressing the policy, purposes, objectives, remedies and sanctions intended by the
Molina, supra). An administrative agency cannot amend an act of Congress (Santos vs. Estenzo, 109 Phil. legislature. The details and the manner of carrying out the law are oftentimes left to the administrative
419, 422; Teoxon vs. Members of the d of Administrators, L-25619, June 30, 1970, 33 SCRA 585; Manuel agency entrusted with its enforcement. In this sense, it has been said that rules and regulations are the
vs. General Auditing Office, L-28952, December 29, 1971, 42 SCRA 660; Deluao vs. Casteel, L-21906, product of a delegated power to create new or additional legal provisions that have the effect of law."
August 29, 1969, 29 SCRA 350). The rule or regulation should be within the scope of the statutory authority granted by the legislature to
the administrative agency. (Davis, Administrative Law, p. 194, 197, cited in Victories Milling Co., Inc. vs.
Social Security Commission, 114 Phil. 555, 558).
The rule-making power must be confined to details for regulating the mode or proceeding to carry into
effect the law as it his been enacted. The power cannot be extended to amending or expanding the
statutory requirements or to embrace matters not covered by the statute. Rules that subvert the statute In case of discrepancy between the basic law and a rule or regulation issued to implement said law, the
cannot be sanctioned. (University of Santo Tomas vs. Board of Tax A 93 Phil. 376, 382, citing 12 C.J. 845- basic law prevails because said rule or regulation cannot go beyond the terms and provisions of the basic
law (People vs. Lim, 108 Phil. 1091).
This Court in its decision in the Lim case, supra, promulgated on July 26, 1960, called the attention of A penal statute is strictly construed. While an administrative agency has the right to make ranks and
technical men in the executive departments, who draft rules and regulations, to the importance and regulations to carry into effect a law already enacted, that power should not be confused with the power
necessity of closely following the legal provisions which they intend to implement so as to avoid any to enact a criminal statute. An administrative agency can have only the administrative or policing powers
possible misunderstanding or confusion. expressly or by necessary implication conferred upon it. (Glustrom vs. State, 206 Ga. 734, 58 Second 2d
534; See 2 Am. Jr. 2nd 129-130).
The rule is that the violation of a regulation prescribed by an executive officer of the government in
conformity with and based upon a statute authorizing such regulation constitutes an offense and renders Where the legislature has delegated to executive or administrative officers and boards authority to
the offender liable to punishment in accordance with the provisions of the law (U.S. vs. Tupasi Molina, 29 promulgate rules to carry out an express legislative purpose, the rules of administrative officers and
Phil. 119, 124). boards, which have the effect of extending, or which conflict with the authority granting statute, do not
represent a valid precise of the rule-making power but constitute an attempt by an administrative body
to legislate (State vs. Miles, Wash. 2nd 322, 105 Pac. 2nd 51).
In other words, a violation or infringement of a rule or regulation validly issued can constitute a crime
punishable as provided in the authorizing statute and by virtue of the latter (People vs. Exconde 101 Phil.
1125, 1132). In a prosecution for a violation of an administrative order, it must clearly appear that the order is one
which falls within the scope of the authority conferred upon the administrative body, and the order will
be scrutinized with special care. (State vs. Miles supra).
It has been held that "to declare what shall constitute a crime and how it shall be punished is a power
vested exclusively in the legislature, and it may not be delegated to any other body or agency" (1 Am.
Jur. 2nd, sec. 127, p. 938; Texas Co. vs. Montgomery, 73 F. Supp. 527). The Miles case involved a statute which authorized the State Game Commission "to adopt, promulgate,
amend and/or repeal, and enforce reasonable rules and regulations governing and/or prohibiting
the taking of the various classes of game.
In the instant case the regulation penalizing electro fishing is not strictly in accordance with the Fisheries
Law, under which the regulation was issued, because the law itself does not expressly punish electro
fishing. Under that statute, the Game Commission promulgated a rule that "it shall be unlawful to offer, pay or
receive any reward, prize or compensation for the hunting, pursuing, taking, killing or displaying of any
game animal, game bird or game fish or any part thereof."
The instant case is similar to People vs. Santos, 63 Phil. 300. The Santos case involves section 28 of Fish
and Game Administrative Order No. 2 issued by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources
pursuant to the aforementioned section 4 of the Fisheries Law. Beryl S. Miles, the owner of a sporting goods store, regularly offered a ten-down cash prize to the person
displaying the largest deer in his store during the open for hunting such game animals. For that act, he
was charged with a violation of the rule Promulgated by the State Game Commission.
Section 28 contains the proviso that a fishing boat not licensed under the Fisheries Law and under the
said administrative order may fish within three kilometers of the shoreline of islands and reservations
over which jurisdiction is exercised by naval and military reservations authorities of the United States It was held that there was no statute penalizing the display of game. What the statute penalized was the
only upon receiving written permission therefor, which permission may be granted by the Secretary taking of game. If the lawmaking body desired to prohibit the display of game, it could have readily said
upon recommendation of the military or naval authorities concerned. A violation of the proviso may be so. It was not lawful for the administrative board to extend or modify the statute. Hence, the indictment
proceeded against under section 45 of the Federal Penal Code. against Miles was quashed. The Miles case is similar to this case.

Augusto A. Santos was prosecuted under that provision in the Court of First Instance of Cavite for having WHEREFORE, the lower court's decision of June 9, 1970 is set aside for lack of appellate jurisdiction and
caused his two fishing boats to fish, loiter and anchor without permission from the Secretary within the order of dismissal rendered by the municipal court of Sta. Cruz, Laguna in Criminal Case No. 5429 is
three kilometers from the shoreline of Corrigidor Island. affirmed. Costs de oficio.

This Court held that the Fisheries Law does not prohibit boats not subject to license from fishing within SO ORDERED.
three kilometers of the shoreline of islands and reservations over which jurisdiction is exercised by naval
and military authorities of the United States, without permission from the Secretary of Agriculture and
Natural Resources upon recommendation of the military and naval authorities concerned.

As the said law does not penalize the act mentioned in section 28 of the administrative order, the
promulgation of that provision by the Secretary "is equivalent to legislating on the matter, a power
which has not been and cannot be delegated to him, it being expressly reserved" to the lawmaking body.
"Such an act constitutes not only an excess of the regulatory power conferred upon the Secretary but
also an exercise of a legislative power which he does not have, and therefore" the said provision "is null
and void and without effect". Hence, the charge against Santos was dismiss.