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Calder vs.

Doctrine: prohibition on ex post facto laws applies only to penal/criminal statues not civil. • That no man should be compelled to do what the laws do not require; nor to refrain
Chase, J from acts which the laws permit.1
Facts • The prohibition against their making any ex post facto laws was introduced for
• 1779 Normand Morrison executed a will in favor of Bull and wife, his grandparents. greater caution because when they were under Great Britain, laws under the
• 1793 The Court of Probate of Hartford disapproved of the will and refused its denomination of bills of attainder or bills of pains and penalties were passed. These
recording. acts were legislative and judicial power. (ex. treason when they aren’t in other times
• Calder and Wife claim their rights as the wife is heiress to N. Morrison as a physician and one witness even when the law required two, all for the “safety of the
after the disapproval of the will. By existing laws of Connecticut, wife is said to have kingdom”). SECs 9 and 10 of the US Consti provided this prohibition(see patterson
the rights as heiress(not explained how). below for text).
• 1795 The Legislature of Connecticut passed a resolution or law(May) setting aside • The prohibition is not to pass any law concerning, and after the fact; but that the
the first negative decree of the court of Probate for Hartford, granting a new hearing Legislatures of the several states, shall not pass laws, after a fact done by a subject,
and appeal within 6 months. The new hearing in the Court of Probate now, approved or citizen, which shall have relation to such fact, and shall punish him for having
the will and ordered its recording(July) . done it.
• 1795 (Aug) An appeal was had in the Superior Court of Hartford, and in 1796, The • This is an additional bulwark in favour of the personal security of the subject, to
superior court of Hartford affirmed the decree of the Court of Probate.
protect his person from punishment by legislative acts, having a retrospective
• And still in 1796, An appeal was gained in the SC of errors of Connecticut who in
operation. BUT NOT to secure the citizen in his private rights, of either
June of that year, adjudged, that there were no errors. property, or contracts. If the prohibition of ex post facto laws included personal
• Since it was more than 18 months since the decree of the Court of Probate, Caleb rights then why the need for other prohibitions in making only gold and silver the
Bull and Wife were barred of all right of appeal by a statute of Connecticut. But their legal tender and not to pass laws impairing obligations in contracts which are
will was indeed affirmed so why bother? retrospective. (Wouldn’t it be superfluous?)
• But the plaintiffs Calder and wife had a reason to appeal because the effect • The restriction against ex post facto law was to secure the person of the subject from
injury from such law, enumerated to be laws that:
of the resolution was divest the right that accrued to Calder and wife when
1. makes an action, which was innocent when done, criminal; and punishes it
the court of Probate denied the will of Norman Morrison. (remember: the new
2. aggravates a crime, or makes it greater than it was, when committed
hearing approved the will affirmed by the superior court and SC of Errors)
3. changes the punishment, and inflicts a greater punishment, than the law
• The plaintiffs Calder and wife petitioned the SC and contended that the resolution
annexed to the crime, when committed
made by Connecticut was an ex post facto law, prohibited by the constitution,
4. alters the legal rules of evidence, and receives less, or different, testimony,
therefore, void. The court then had power to declare such law void.
than the law required at the time of the commission of the offence, in
order to convict the offender
The court will answer the contention of the plaintiffs but whether the Legislature of any of
• Every ex post facto law must necessarily be retrospective(this is the prohibited); but
the States can revise and correct, by law, a decision of any of its Courts of Justice will not
every retrospective law is not an ex post facto law.
be answered now as the case doesn’t go that far. This is only important if the state’s
• Every law that takes away, or impairs, rights vested, agreeably to existing laws, is
constitution does not prohibit the correction or revision. But the ponente gave his opinion.
retrospective and unjust, but not all, take for example a pardon. There is a difference
Plaintiffs argue that the Legislature of Connecticut had no constitutional power in making an unlawful act lawful and one making it a crime. ( ex post facto meaning
to make the resolution (or law) in question, granting a new hearing, etc taken by ponente from Wooddeson, Blackstone; Massachusetts’, Maryland’s and
• The ponente said that without giving opinion at this time, whether the court had North Carolina’s Constitutions, or forms of Government same as one or two of the
jurisdiction to decide that any law made by Congress contrary to the constitution is
• The prohibition contemplated the fact not to be affected by subsequent law, was
void. He is fully satisfied that this court has no jurisdiction to determine that any law
of any state legislature contrary to the consti is void.(before Marbury cguro to!) And some fact to be done by a Citizen, or Subject. Citing Justice Raymond calling stat. 7
if they had problems with the laws contrary to State charters or consti, it is within Geo. 1st. stat. 2 par 8, ex post facto because it affected contracts for South Sea
the state court’s jurisdiction. Stock made before the statute.
• In the present case there is no fact done by the plaintiffs, that is affected by
the resolution of the Connecticut. The 1st decree of the court of probate was
WON the resolution of the Connecticut Legislature is an ex post facto law. NO
given before the resolution and in that’s sense, they lost what they were
• It is accepted that all the people-delegated powers of the Fed. Gov’t are defined, and entitled to were it not for the resolution. And the decree was the only fact
it has no constructive powers. So, all the powers that remain in the State Gov’t that which the resolution affected, this is not within the intention of the law
are indefinite(trivia:except in Masachusetts). (ex. establishment of the courts of to be prohibited.
justice and justices) • The framers of the prohibition didn’t intend to include vested rights, or else the
• But the Constitution was established for justice, gen. welfare, liberty and protection provision “that private property should not be taken for public use without just
of their persons and property from violence. These purposes and determinants of the compensation” is superfluous/unnecessary. Why need specific prohibition?
nature and terms are the reasons why the people enter into the social compact.
Although not expressly said, they restrain the absolute power of the 1 The Legislature may enjoin, permit, forbid, and punish; they may declare new crimes; and establish rules of conduct for all its citizens in future cases, but they can’t change innocence to punishable guilt or
legislature(nature of free Republican gov’t). Any act in violation of the social compact violate the rights in contracts and private property.(I don’t know why the ponente said this, when he debunked it anyway)
is not a rightful exercise of legislative authority.
Still he also finds that there is no case. Because, 1st. if the act of the Legislature of
• Anyway, the resolution (or law) alone had no manner of effect on any right whatever Connecticut was a judicial act, it is not within the words of the Constitution; and 2nd.
vested in Calder and wife. The Resolution combined with the new hearing, and the even if it was a legislative act, it is not within the meaning of the prohibition.
decision, in virtue of it, took away their right to recover the property in question. But
when combined they took away no right of property vested in Calder and wife; Cushing, J.
because the 1st decree against the will did not vest in or transfer any property to There is no problem in the case, in whichever way, they didn’t commit any wrong. If the
them. Because a vested right means that, that person has the power to do certain resolution is taken to be a judicial act then it is not touched by the FEDERAL constitution.
actions, possess things according to the law of the land. IF it seen as a legislative act, it is within the ancient and uniform practice of the state of
• If any one has a right to property such right is a perfect and exclusive right; but no Connecticut.
one can have such right before he has acquired a better right to the property, than
any other person in the world: a right, therefore, only to recover property cannot be
called a perfect and exclusive right. (I think the will was more excl and perfect as it Judgment Affirmed.
was valid)
Lochner vs. New York [1905]
Then Justice Chase is of the opinion that the petition is void. Judgment affirmed.
 Plaintiff in error is charged for violating Sec. 110, Art. 8, Chapter 415, Laws of 1897
Patterson, J. otherwise known as the Labor Law of the State of New York in wrongfully &
The Connecticut Consti is made up of usages.(I think this means ancient and uniform unlawfully requiring & permitting an employee working for him to work more than
practice) He recognizes that eversince the Connecticut Legislature had been able to do 60hrs. in one week. Plaintiff in error runs a bakery business & employee involved is a
judicial acts(like granting of new trials. Even though in 1762 they imparted this to the baker.
courts, they still retained this right. The imparting didn’t annihilate their power, instead it  Statute provides that “no employee shall be required/permitted to work more than
only shred the jurisdiction. So the resolution could be seen both ways, either a judicial or 10hrs. per day.” Such is equated to “no employee shall contract/agree to work more
legislative act. than 10hrs./day.” It’s mandatory in all instances. Statute prohibits such even if an
But for the purpose of answering the petition of the plaintiffs, WON the resolution was employee wants to do so to earn extra money.
an ex post facto law. We will look at this as a judicial act(remember ex post are Issue: WON the statute is unconstitutional. – YES
legislative). Ratio: It interferes w/the liberty of person or the right of free contract between employer
Using Judge Blackstone’s description 2 and the constitutions of Masachussets3 ,Delaware4 , & employees by determining the hours of labor in the occupation of a baker without any
North Carolina5 and Maryland6, we see that the prohibition of ex post facto laws reasonable ground for doing so.
applies only in penal statutes.
The 1st Art. in Sec 9 of the US Consti says “No state shall pass any bill of
 Gen. right to make a contract in relation to one’s business is a liberty protected by
the 14th amendment7 w/c also protects the rt to purchase or to sell labor.
attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligations of contracts.” The
framers couldn’t have intended it to include the laws on obligation of contracts  However, states have police power w/c relates to the safety, health, morals & gen.
since they had needed to specify it too. welfare of the public. This power enables the states to regulate both property &
liberty and to prevent the individual from making certain kinds of contracts and in
Iredell, J. these instances, the 14th amendment cannot interfere. And when the state’s
He concurs in the result. He dissents only to the reasons used. He argues that the act legislature in its exercise of its police power enacts a statute such as the one
of the resolution granting a new hearing couldn’t be legislative. It is definitely judicial. But challenged in this case, it’s impt to determine w/c shall prevail – rt of individual to
supposing it is legislative, it still falls in the prohibition. And even if the court can’t work at the time of his choice or rt of state to prevent the individual from laboring
adjudged it to be void, because they can claim that they acted within their constitutional beyond the time prescribed by law.
power contrary to natural justice. And even if they acted out of their authority, which is  But then, there is a limit to the valid exercise of the police power of the state. The
entirely void, the court won’t act on such a delicate and awful nature until it is clearly and question asked to test the validity of the exercise: “Is this a fair, reasonable &
urgently needed. appropriate exercise of the police power of the state or is it an unreasonable,
He also subscribes to the belief that the prohibition only applies to criminal/penal unnecessary, & arbitrary interference w/the rt of the individual to his personal liberty,
statues. Because apparently the framers of the constitution intended for Private civil rights or to enter into those contracts in relation to labor w/c may seem to him
to succumb to Public use. appropriate/necessary for the support of himself & his family?”
 This law does not in any way affect any other portion of the public so it can’t be said
that it’s done in the interest of the public. It’s a law pertaining to the health of the
2 'There is, says he, a still more unreasonable method than this, which is called making of laws, ex post facto, when after an action, indifferent in itself, is committed, the Legislator, then, for the first time, individual as a baker. But clean & wholesome bread does not depend on the length of
declares it to have been a crime, and inflicts a punishment upon the person who has committed it. Here it is impossible, that the party could foresee that an action, innocent when it was done, should be
hours a baker spends at work. Limiting their working hours does not come w/in the
afterwards converted to guilt by a subsequent law; he had, therefore, no cause to abstain from it; and all punishment for not abstaining, must, of consequence, be cruel and unjust. police power of the state.
3 'Laws made to punish for actions done before the existence of such laws, and which have not been declared crimes by preceding laws, are unjust, oppressive, and inconsistent with the fundamental principles  Mere assertion that a law slightly relates to public health can’t make it valid
of a free government.'
automatically. It must have a more direct relation as a means to an end & the end
4 'That retrospective laws punishing offences committed before the existence of such laws, are oppressive and unjust, and ought not to be made.' itself must be appropriate & legitimate before it can be held to be valid w/c interferes
w/a personal liberty.
5 'That retrospective laws, punishing facts committed before the existence of such laws, and by them only declared criminal, are oppressive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty; wherefore no ex post facto law
 The trade of a baker is not an alarmingly unhealthy one that would warrant the
ought to be made.'
state’s interference w/rts to labor & contract. As a matter of fact, it’s never been
6 'That retrospective laws, punishing facts committed before the existence of such laws, and by them only declared criminal, are oppressive, unjust, and incompatible with liberty; wherefore no ex post facto law
ought to be made.' No state can deprive any person of life, liberty or property w/o due process of law.
regarded as an unhealthy one. Besides, almost all occupations more or less affect the
health. There must be more than the mere possibility of some small amount of  My take: he thinks the statute is reasonable & he believes any reasonable man would
unhealthiness to justify legislative interference. To say that a man who’s not see that. Ergo, unreasonable yung majority. Hehe…please read the dissent since the
overworked is more likely to be clean and thus producing clean output would be Dean mentioned that it’s one of the most important dissenting opinions in US history.
unreasonable & arbitrary considering that it’s quite impossible to discover the Pa-explain na rin sa kin. It’s too profound for my simple but beautiful pa rin mind.
connection between the no. of working hours & the healthful quality of the bread Hehe. 
made by the baker.
People v. Pomar
Holding: Petition dismissed. Decisions of lower courts reversed. Case remanded to the  The Prosecuting attorney of the City of Manila filed a complaint against defendant Julio
County Court for further proceedings not inconsistent w/this opinion. Pomar for violation of sec. 13, in connection of sec. 15 of Act. No. 3071 of the Philippine
Legislature which essentially orders employers to give pregnant women employees 30
Harlan, dissenting (White & Day join him): days vacation with pay before & after confinement.
 Liberty of contract may, w/in certain limits, be subjected to regulations to promote  Defendant was found guilty of violating said statute by refusing to pay his pregnant
gen. welfare or to guard the public health, morals or safety. employee, Macaria Fajardo, P80.
 A Federal/state legislative enactment can only disregarded/held invalid if it plainly,  Pomar demurred the complaint alleging that the facts therein complained did not
palpably & beyond question in excess of legislative power. Otherwise, any doubt as to constitute an offense. As the demurrer was overruled, he answered and admitted all the
its validity must be resolved in favor of its validity & the courts must keep their allegations trial but contended that the provisions of Act No. 3071 were illegal,
hands off, leaving the legislature to meet the responsibility for unwise legislation. The unconstitutional and void
burden of proof is upon those who assert the statute to be unconstitutional.  The lower court convicted him of crime as charged
 This statute aims to protect the physical well-being of workers in bakery &
confectionery establishments. Working beyond 60hrs/week may endanger their Issue: WON said Act was adopted in the reasonable and lawful exercise of the police
health. The court cannot inquire on the wisdom of the legislation. The court can only power of the state
inquire whether the means devised by the state have a real/substantial relation to  NO. Said section 13 was enacted in the exercise of its supposed police power for the
the protection of health. In this case, the Justice believes that the means used is purpose of safeguarding the health of pregnant women laborers in “factory, shop or
related to the end it seeks to accomplish. He believes it does not invade place of labor of any description,” and insuring to them reasonable support for 1 month
constitutionally mandated rights. Court goes beyond its functions in annulling this before and 1 month after their delivery.
statute.  Definitions of police power are generally limited to particular cases and examples, which
 Remember that statute is limited to workers in bakery & confectionery are as varied as they are numerous. But from all the definitions, the SC concluded that
establishments. The air they constantly breathe is not as pure & healthful as that to it is much easier to perceive and realize the existence and sources of police power than
be found in other establishments or outdoors. He cites Prof. Hirt’s treatise on the to exactly mark its boundaries, or prescribe limits to its exercise by the legislative
“Diseases of the Workers” and the paper of another writer w/c support his belief that department of the government.
the trade of a baker is an unhealthy one. (see p. 100-101 for text)  The Court in this case has to choose between police power and the liberty to contract,
 State is not amenable to the judiciary in respect of its legislative enactments unless much like in the case of Adkins v. Children’s Hospital of the District of Columbia. In that
clearly inconsistent w/the US Constitution. case, the court held that the Minimum Wage Act was void on the ground that the right
to contract about one’s own affairs was a part of the liberty of the individual under the
Holmes, dissenting: constitution, and while there was no such thing as absolute freedom of contract, and it
 Case is decided upon an economic theory w/c a large part of the country does not was necessarily subject to a great variety of restraints, yet none of the exceptional
entertain. circumstances, which at times justify a limitation upon one’s right to contract for his
 State constitutions & laws may regulate life in many ways w/c some may find as own sevices, applied in the particular case. Such may be said in the case at bar and the
injudicious (unwise), tyrannical & w/c interfere w/the liberty to contract. Ex. Sunday SC so holds.
laws, usury laws, prohibition of lotteries. The liberty of a citizen to do as he likes so  The right to liberty includes the right to enter into contracts and to terminate contracts.
long as he does not interfere w/liberty of others to do the same is interfered w/by The statute violates liberty of contract w/o due process. It takes into account only the
school laws, Post office, every state/municipal institution w/c takes his money for welfare of the employee but fails to consider periods of distress in the business.
purposes thought desirable, whether he likes it or not.  It further fails to consider the fact that payment for labor depends upon the type of
 But a Constitution is not intended to embody a particular economic theory such as labor.
paternalism or laissez faire. It’s made for people of fundamentally differing views.  The statute prescribes a sum of money to insure subsistence, health and morals of
And not because we find an opinion novel or shocking, we can already conclude that pregnant employee. The statute creates a mandatory term in any contract entered into
it’s conflicting with the US Consti. by employer. It violates right to enter into contract upon terms which parties may agree
 General propositions don’t decide concrete cases. The decision will depend on a to.
judgment/intuition subtler than any articulate major premise. Every opinion tends to  The court further explained that the state, under the police power, is possessed with
become a law. plenary power to deal with all matters relating to the general health, morals, and safety
of the people, so long as it does not contravene any positive inhibition of the organic law
 “Liberty” in the 14th amendment is perverted if we use it to prevent the natural and providing that such power is not exercised in such a manner as to justify the
outcome of a dominant opinion (the statute in this case) unless a rational & fair man interference of the courts to prevent positive wrong and oppression. The legislature has
would admit that the statute would infringe fundamental principles as we traditionally no authority to pronounce the performance of an innocent act criminal when the public
understand them. A reasonable man might think that the statute is a proper measure health, safety, comfort, or welfare is not interfered with.
on the score of health.  Sec. 13 has deprived every person, firm or corporation owning or managing a factory,
shop or place of labor of any description w/in the Philippine Islands, of his right to enter
into contracts of employment upon such terms as he and the employee may agree ♦ In extinguishing the mortgage and other lien, the decree lumps the secured
upon. creditors with the unsecured creditors and places them on the same level in the
 The state, when providing by legislation for the protection of the public health, the prosecution of their respective claims.
public morals or the public safety, is subject to and is controlled by the paramount ♦ Under the equal protection clause, all persons of things similarly situated must
authority of the constitution of the state, and will not be permitted to violate rights be treated alike, both in the privileges conferred and the obligations imposed.
secured or guaranteed by that instrument or interfere w/ the execution of the powers In this case, persons differently situated are similarly treated, in disregard of
and rights guaranteed to the people under the Constitution. the principle that there should be equality among equals.
2. WON PD 1717 violates section 10 of the bill of rights? YES
NDC v. Phil. Veterans ♦ It is true that the police power is superior to the impairment clause, the
Facts: principle will apply only where the contract is so related to the public welfare
♦ Involves the constitutionality of PD 1717, which ordered the rehabilitation of the that it will be considered congenitally susceptible to change by the legislature in
Agrix Group of Companies to be administered mainly by the National the interest of the greater number.
Development Company. ♦ The contract of loan and mortgage executed by the Agrux are purely private
♦ Section 4(1) of PD 1717 provides that all mortgages and other liens presently transactions and have not been shown to be affected with public interest,
attaching to any of the assets of the dissolved corporations are hereby
extinguished. PD 1717 is an invalid exercise of the police power, not being in conformity with the
♦ July 7, 1978 – Agrix execute in favour of private respondent Philippine Veterans traditional requirements of a lawful subject and a lawful method. The extinction of the
Bank (PVB) a real estate mortgage over 3 parcels of land situated in Los Banos. mortgage and other liens constitutes taking without due process of law and violation of
During the existence of the mortgage Agrix went bankrupt. the equal protection clause.
♦ PVB filed a claim with the Agrix Claims Committee for the payment of itts loan
credit. New Agrix and National Development Company invoked Sec. 4(10) of People vs. Nazario
PD 1717. Plaintiff: People of the Phils.
♦ PVB took steps to extrajudicially foreclose the mortgage, prompting the Accused-appellant: Eusebio Nazario
petitioners to file a second case with the same court to stop the foreclosure.
♦ Trial court – annulled the entire PD 17171. Appeal from the decision of the CFI of Quezon
o Exercise of legislative power was a violation of the principle of Sarmiento, J.
separation of powers Facts:
o Impaired the obligation of contracts Petitioner is charged with violation of municipal ordinances in Pagbilao, Quezon. He
o Violated the equal protection clause refuses to pay taxes on the operation of the fishponds he leased from the gov’t. asserting
that said tax measures are 1) ambiguous and uncertain, 2) unconstitutional for being ex
Issues: post facto laws and 3) applies only to owners or overseers of fishponds of private
1. WON PD 1717 violates the due process and equal protection clause of the ownership and not to lessees of public land.
♦ Petitioner argues that property rights are subject to regulation under the police Said ordinances, Ordinance # 4 (1955), Ordinance # 15 (1965) and Ordinance # 12 (12
(1966) provides as follows:
power for the promotion of the common welfare. They contend that the
inherent power of the state may be exercised at any time for this purpose as
Ord. # 4: Sec. 1. “Any owner or manager of fishponds … within … Pagbilao, Quezon, shall
long as the taking of the property right, even is based on contract, is done with
pay a municipal tax in the amount of Php 3 per hectare of fishpond on part thereof per
due process of law.
♦ The court held that a legislative act based on the police power requires the
concurrence of a lawful subject and a lawful method.
Ord. # 15: Sec. 1(a) “For … owners or managers of fishponds within … this municipality,
a. The interest of the public should justify the interference of the state
the date of payment of municipal tax … shall begin after the lapse of three (3) years
b. Means employed are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of
starting from the date said fishpond is approved by the Bureau of Fisheries.”
the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.
♦ In this case the public are not sufficiently involved to warrant the interference of
Ord. # 12: Sec 1: “Any owner or manager of fishponds … within … Pagbilao shall pay a
the government with the private contracts of Agrix. the record does not state municipal tax in the amount of Php 3 per hectare or any fraction thereof per annum
how many here are of such investors, and who they are, and why they are beginning and taking effect from the year 1964, if the fishpond started operating before
being preferred to the other creditors of Agrix with vested property rights. the year 1964.”
♦ Public interest has not been shown. It has not been shown that by the creation
of the New Agrix and the extinction of the property rights of the creditors of, The trial court held that the appellant violated the assailed ordinances. So this appeal.
Agrix the interests of the public as a whole, as distinguished from those of a
particular class, would be promoted or protected. Issue:
♦ The decree is oppressive. The right to property in all mortgages, liens,
interests, penalties and charges owing to the creditors of Agrix is arbitrarily 1) WON the Pagbilao municipal ordinances are unconstitutional (vague or ex post
destroyed. facto)? No
♦ The right to property is dissolved by legislative fiat without regard to the private 2) WON the ordinances apply to the accused? Yes
interest violated
The Court finds that Eusebio Nazario violated Pagbilao’s tax ordinances.
1) A statute or act may be said to be vague if it lacks comprehensible standards that men
“of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its
application.” It is repugnant to the Constitution because 1) it violates due process because
it fails to accord persons fair notice of the conduct to avoid, 2) it gives law enforcers
unbridled discretion in carrying it out.
But the act must be utterly vague on its face and not just an imprecisely phrased
legislation, which can still be saved by proper construction or a legislation, which may
appear to be ambiguous, but is applicable if taken in the proper context or applied to
certain types of activities (ex. US Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits “conduct
unbecoming an officer and gentleman”, such a phrase, taken in a military context, is not
ambiguous because there are already military interpretations and practices in place that
provide enough standards on what is permissible conduct.) The assailed ordinances
cannot be said to be tainted by vagueness because it clearly provides what activity is to
be avoided and to whom the law applies.

As evident from the provisions themselves, the appellant falls within its coverage. As the
operator and financier of the fishponds and employer of the laborers therein he comes
within the term “manager.” Though the gov’t owns the land, it never had a share in the
profits so it is only logical t hat he shoulders the burden of the tax.

As to the appellants claim that the imposition of the tax has to depend upon an uncertain
date yet to be determined (“3 years after the approval of the fishpond” by the Bureau of
Fisheries) and upon an uncertain event (“if the fishpond started operating before 1964”),
it is merely a problem in computation.

The liability for the tax accrues on Jan. 1, 1964 for fishponds already in operation, this
amendment (Ord # 12) to the earlier ordinances served only as an amnesty to delinquent
fishpond operators and it did not repeal the mother ordinances (Ords. # 4 & 15). For
fishponds not yet in operation on Jan. 1, 1964, Ord # 15 applies, and it provides that for
new fishpond operators, the tax accrues 3 years after their approval by the Bureau of

The contention that the ordinances were ex post facto laws because Ord # 12 was passed
on Sept 19, 1966 and yet it takes effect and penalizes acts done from the year 1964 has
no merit. As explained in the previous paragraph, Ord # 12 merely served as an amnesty
to delinquent taxpayers, it did not repeal the mother ordinance (Ord # 4) which was
already in effect since May 14, 1955 and as the act of non-payment of the tax was already
penalized since 1955 it is clear that Ord # 12 does not impose a retroactive penalty.

Appellant also assails the power of municipal gov’ts to tax “public forest land.” As held in
Golden Ribbon Lumber Co. Inc v City of Butuan local gov’ts taxing power do not extend to
forest products or concessions under RA 2264 (Local Autonomy Act), which also prohibits
municipalities from imposing percentage taxes on sales.

But the tax in question is not on property, though it is based on the area of the
fishponds, they are actually privilege taxes on the business of fishpond maintenance. They
are not charged against sales, which goes against the decision in Golden Ribbon Lumber
Co. Inc but on occupation, which is allowed under RA 2264. Also fishponds are not forest
lands although they are considered by jurisprudence as agricultural lands so necessarily
do not produce the forest products referred to in the prohibition of RA 2264.

Held: Appeal is DISMISSED.

Balacuit vs. CFI
Agustin vs. Edu
Action: Action for prohibition
Petitioner assails Letter of Instruction No. 229 which provides for the mandatory use of
early warning devices for all motor vehicles. Petitioner owns a Volkswagen Beetle
equipped with blinking lights that could well serve as an early warning device. He alleges
that the statute:
1. violates the provision against delegation of police power
2. immoral – will only enrich the manufacturer of the devices at the car
owner’s expense
3. prevents car owners from finding alternatives
Petitioner prays for a declaration of nullity and a restraining order in the
On the other hand, respondents’ answers are based on case law and other
authoritative decisions of the tribunal issues.

1. WON LOI 229 is constitutional (due process)
2. WON LOI 229 is an invalid delegation of legislative power, as far as
implementation is concerned

1. Yes. Respondents assert that LOI 229 is backed by factual data & statistics,
whereas petitioner’s conjectural assertions are without merit. The statute is a
valid exercise of police power in so far as it promotes public safety, and
petitioner failed to present factual evidence to rebut the presumed validity of
the statute. Early warning devices have a clear emergency meaning, whereas
blinking lights are equivocal and would increase accidents. The petitioner’s
contention that the devices’ manufacturers may be abusive does not invalidate
the law. Petitioner’s objection is based on a negative view of the statute’s
wisdom-something the court can’t decide on.

2. No. The authority delegated in the implementation is not legislative in nature.
Respondent Edu was merely enforcing the law forms part of Philippine law. PD
207 ratified the Vienna Convention’s recommendation of enacting road safety
signs and devices. Respondents are merely enforcing this law. Moreover, the
equal protection under the laws contention was not elaborated upon.

Wherefore: Petition is dismissed. Judgment immediately executory.

Teehankee, dissenting:
The rules and regulations outlined by the LTO Commission does not reflect the
real intent of LOI229.
1. Effectivity and utility of statute not yet demonstrated.
2. public necessity for LOI not yet shown
3. big financial burden on motorists
4. no real effort shown to illustrate less burdensome alternative to early warning
5. imperative need to impose blanket requirement on all vehicles
-people still drive dilapidated vehicle
-need for sustained education campaign to instill safe driving
The exercise of police power affecting the life , liberty, and property of any person is till
subject to judicial inquiry.