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that the contract entered into on February 5, 1966 by and between defendant, Mayor Cuizon on behalf of the city for the purchase of road construction equipment from Tropical be declared as null and void ab initio. Because the contract was without the necessary authority and approval of the city council, and that the city treasurer had not certified to the city mayor, as required by section 607 of the Revised Administrative Code that funds have been duly appropriated for the said contract and that the amount necessary to cover the contract was available for expenditure on account thereof. The City Council approved Resolution No. 1648 authorizing the City Mayor, for and in behalf of the City of Cebu, to negotiate and to contract for, by public bidding, on deferred payment plan and by lot bid, U.S. or European made road construction equipments for the City of Cebu and authorizing him for this purposes, to sign the corresponding contract and other pertinent papers. It also approved Resolution No. 1831, authorizing the City Mayor, in connection with the authority granted him under Resolution No. 1648, current series, to utilize the Time Deposit of the City of Cebu with the Philippine National Bank, as Bond guarantee in the opening of a Letter of Credit in connection with the City of Cebu's application to directly purchase road construction equipments from abroad, to the extent of the amount that the Letter of Credit may require. By reason of the fact that the call to bid by the defendant City Mayor Carlos J. Cuizon were for bidders who should be exclusive distributors of the equipments being bidded and the said supplier must have a sales and service outlet in the City of Cebu, the other bidders then became disqualified and the bid was awarded to the only bidder, the defendant Tropical Commercial Co., Inc. Hence, on January 20, 1966, the City Council approved Resolution No. 122, to request the Award Committee to forward to this Body the pertinent papers in connection with the bidding for two (2) complements of light and heavy equipments to be used by the City Engineering Department for ratification by this Body. Notwithstanding the request contained in Resolution No. 122, the defendant City Mayor, Carlos J. Cuizon, without having been duly authorized thru proper resolution of the City Council, and without compliance with Resolution No. 122, signed a contract with the Tropical Commercial Co., Inc. for the acquisition of the heavy equipments on February 5, 1966. The City Council, without knowledge that the contract had already been signed by defendant City Mayor Carlos J. Cuizon and the Tropical Commercial Co., Inc. and revoked prior resolutions. The presiding officer of the City Council, City Councilor Florencio S. Urot, sent a telegram to the Manager of the Philippine National Bank. The defendant Acting City Treasurer, Jesus E. Zabate, sent a reply to the Asst. Vice-President of the defendant Philippine National Bank in Cebu City refusing the request of the Philippine National Bank (to withhold P3,000,000.00 from the time deposit of the City of Cebu) on the ground that no appropriation for the purchase of heavy equipments was made by the City Council. That notwithstanding the knowledge of the revocation by Resolution No. 473 of Resolution No. 1648 and Resolution No. 1831, series of 1965 of the City Council of Cebu City, the said City Mayor, Carlos J. Cuizon, continued with the transaction by placing the order with the Equipment Division of the Continental Ore
Corporation of New York U.S.A. for the purchase of the said heavy equipment. Hence, plaintiffs-appellants filed their complaint against defendants-appellees. The lower court dismissed the appeal. I: WON City of Cebu is exempted and the same not liable for any and all obligations to the defendant Philippine National Bank H: 1. It seems clearly self-evident from the foregoing recitation of the undisputed antecedents and factual background that the lower court gravely erred in issuing its dismissal order on the ground of plaintiffs' alleged lack of interest or legal standing as city councilors or as taxpayers to maintain the case at bar. The lower court's fundamental error was in treating plaintiffs' complaint as a personal suit on their own behalf and applying the test in such cases that plaintiffs should show personal interest as parties who would be benefited or injured by the judgment sought. Plaintiffs' suit is patently not a personal suit. Plaintiffs clearly and by the express terms of their complaint filed the suit as a representative suit on behalf and for the benefit of the city of Cebu.The appeal at bar must therefore be granted and the case ordered remanded to the lower court where the parties may be properly given the opportunity at the trial to present evidence in support of their respective contentions for disposition and judgment on the merits. 2. The lower court entirely missed the point that the action filed by plaintiffsappellants as city councilors (composing practically the entire city council, at that) and as city taxpayers is to declare null and void the P3-million contract executed by defendant city mayor for the purchase of road construction equipment purportedly on behalf of the city from its co-defendant Tropical and to declare equally null and void the corresponding letters of credit opened with the bank by defendant mayor and to prevent the disbursement of any city funds therefor and toexempt the City of Cebu and hold it not liable for any obligation arising from such contract and letters of credit specifically and precisely questioned in the complaint filed by plaintiffs on behalf of the City as having beenexecuted without authority and contrary to law. Plaintiffs' suit is clearly not one brought by them in their personal capacity for the annulment of a particular contract entered into between two other contracting parties, in which situation Article 1397 of the Civil Code may rightfully be invoked to question their legal capacity or interest to file the action, since they are not in such case in anyway obliged thereby principally or subsidiarily. On the contrary, plaintiffs' suit is one filed on behalf of the City of Cebu, instituted by them in pursuance of their prerogative and duty as city councilors and taxpayers, in order to question and declare null and void a contract which according to their complaint was executed by defendant city mayor purportedly on behalf of the city without valid authority and which had been expressly declared by the Auditor-General to be null and void ab initio and therefore could not give rise to any valid or allowable monetary claims against the city. 3. Plaintiffs' right and legal interest as taxpayers to file the suit below and seek judicial assistance to prevent what they believe to be an attempt to unlawfully disburse public funds of the city and to contest the expenditure of public funds under contracts and commitments with defendants bank and Tropical which they
assert to have been entered into by the mayor without legal authority and against the express prohibition of law have long received the Court's sanction and recognition. Even defendant Tropical so understood that plaintiffs' suit was a representative suit in behalf of the City of Cebu, hence their counterclaim in their answer, should the lower court uphold plaintiffs' "capacity or interest to bring this suit in behalf of the City of Cebu," for judgment against the City of Cebu for the repayment with legal interest of bank charges in the total sum of P242,939.90 which it had advanced on the letters of credit opened by the defendant bank at the mayor's instance in favor of its U.S. supplier, supra." Parenthetically, it may be noted with reference to said letters of credit opened by the bank at the mayor's instance, that the same were caused by the mayor to be established, according to the allegations of the complaint, notwithstanding the mayor's knowledge and notice of the city council having revoked by its resolution No. 473 onMarch 10, 1966 its previous resolutions authorizing him to enter into the transaction. 4. Plaintiffs' right and legal interest as city councilors to file the suit below and to prevent what they believe to be unlawful disbursements of city funds by virtue of the questioned contracts and commitments entered into by the defendant city mayor notwithstanding the city council's revocation of his authority with due notice thereof to defendant bank must likewise be recognized. The lower court's narrow construction of the city charter, Republic Act No. 3857, that under section 20 (c) thereof, it is only the city mayor who is empowered "to cause to be instituted judicial proceedings to recover properties and funds of the city wherever found and cause to be defended all suits against the city," and that plaintiffs' suit must therefore fail since "there is no provision in the said charter which authorizes expressly or impliedly the city council or its members to bring an action in behalf of the city" cannot receive the Court's sanction. The case at bar shows the manifest untenability of such a narrow construction. Here where the defendant city mayor's acts and contracts purportedly entered into on behalf of the city are precisely questioned as unlawful, ultra vires and beyond the scope of his authority, and the city should therefore not be bound thereby nor incur any liability on account thereof, the city mayor would be the last person to file such a suit on behalf of the city, since he precisely maintains the contrary position that his acts have been lawful and duly bind the city. To adhere to the lower court's narrow and unrealistic interpretation would mean that no action against a city mayor's actuations and contract in the name and on behalf of the city could ever be questioned in court and subjected to judicial action for a declaration of nullity and invalidity, since no city mayor would file such an action on behalf of the city to question, much less nullify, contracts executed by him on behalf of the city and which he naturally believes to be valid and within his authority. 5. Section 20 (c) of the city charter invoked by the lower court, however, has no applicability to the present suit, which is not one to recover properties and funds of the city or a suit against the city, but rather a representativesuit on behalf of and purportedly for the benefit of the city, which the city mayor is however loath to institute. Under such circumstances, in the same manner that a stockholder of a corporation is permitted to institute derivative or representative suits as nominal
party plaintiff for the benefit of the corporation which is the real party in interest, more so may plaintiffs as city councilors exclusively empowered by the city charter to "make all appropriations for the expenses of the government of the city" 21 and who were the very source of the authority granted to the city mayor to enter into the questioned transactions which authority was later revoked by them, as per the allegations of the complaint at bar, be deemed to possess the necessary authority, and interest, if not duty, to file the present suit on behalf of the City and to prevent the disbursement of city funds under contracts impugned by them to have been entered into by the city mayor without lawful authority and in violation of law. ACCORDINGLY, the order appealed from is hereby set aside and the lower court is ordered to proceed with the trial and disposition of the case below on its merits. No costs. So ordered. Ramos vs CA, 269 SCRA 34 F: On April 18, 1990, petitioners Antonio C. Ramos, Rosalinda M. Perez, Norma C. Castillo, and the Baliuag Market Vendors Association, Inc. filed a petition for the Declaration of Nullity of Municipal Ordinances No. 91 (1976) and No. 7 (1990) and the contract of lease over a commercial arcade to be constructed in the municipality of Baliuag, Bulacan. The Provincial Fiscal appeared as counsel for respondent Municipality of Baliuag, which opposed the petition. Petitioners questioned the personality of Atty. Roberto Romanillos to appear as counsel for the respondent municipality, and to declare null and void the proceedings participated and undertaken by Atty. Romanillos. During the hearing on August 10, 1990, petitioners questioned the personality of Atty. Romanillos to appear as counsel of (sic) the respondent municipality, which opposition was reiterated on August 15, 1990, and was put in writing in petitioners' motion of August 20, 1990 to disqualify Atty. Romanillos from appearing as counsel for respondent municipality and to declare null and void the proceedings participated in and undertaken by Atty. Romanillos. The respondent Judge issued the Order now being assailed which, as already stated, denied petitioners' motion to disqualify Atty. Romanillos as counsel for respondent municipality and to declare null and void the proceedings participated in by Atty. Romanillos; and on the other hand, granted Atty. Regalado's motion 'to formally adopt the entire proceedings including the formal offer of evidence'. In support of his foregoing action, respondent Judge reasoned: 'Petitioners' motion for the disqualification of Atty. Romanillos as respondent municipality's counsel is deemed moot and academic in view of his withdrawal as counsel of said municipality pursuant to a joint motion dated August 22, 1990, although he shall remain as counsel on record of private respondent Kristi Corporation. Atty. Oliviano Regalado under the same joint motion moved for the adoption of the entire proceedings conducted by collaborating counsel, Atty. Romanillos. It is noted that Atty. Romanillos initially entered his appearance as collaborating counsel of the Provincial Prosecutor and the Provincial Attorney when he filed a motion to dissolve injunction under motion dated May 30, 1990 and since then
despite his active participation in the proceedings, the opposing counsel has never questioned his appearance until after he made a formal offer of evidence for the respondents. The acquiescence of petitioners,' counsel of his appearance is tantamount to a waiver and petitioners are, therefore, estopped to question the same. In all the pleadings made by Atty. Romanillos, it was clearly indicated that he was appearing as the collaborating counsel of the Provincial Attorney. Petitioners' motion for reconsideration of the foregoing Order was denied by respondent Judge in his Order dated October 19, 1990, the second Order now being assailed. Respondent Judge reiterated the observations which he made in the Order of September 19, 1990 that Atty. Romanillos, while actively handling the said case was merely appearing as the collaborating counsel of both the Provincial Prosecutor and the Provincial Attorney of Bulacan; that Atty. Romanillos' appearance was 'never impugned by petitioners' and was only questioned after his (Atty. Romanillos') submission of the formal offer of evidence for respondent; and that therefore, said court proceedings 'is a fait accompli'. Court of Appeals dismissed the petition and denied the motion for reconsideration. Hence this recourse. I & R:
may act for and in behalf of public entities and that public funds should not be expended to hire private lawyers.
Effect on Proceedings by Adoption of Unauthorized Representation
This Court believes that conferring legitimacy to the appearance of Atty. Romanillos would not cause substantial prejudice on petitioners. Requiring new trial on the mere legal technicality that the municipality was not represented by a legally authorized counsel would not serve the interest of justice. After all, this Court does not see any injustice committed against petitioners by the adoption of the work of private counsel nor any interest of justice being served by requiring retrial of the case by the duly authorized legal representative of the town. In sum, although a municipality may not hire a private lawyer to represent it in litigations, in the interest of substantial justice however, we hold that a municipality may adopt the work already performed in good faith by such private lawyer, which work is beneficial to it (1) provided that no injustice is thereby heaped on the adverse party and (2) provided further that no compensation in any guise is paid therefore by said municipality to the private lawyer. Unless so expressly adopted, the private lawyer's work cannot bind the municipality. Rabuco vs. Villegas, 55 SCRA 656 F: The origin and background of the cases at bar which deal with the decisive issue of constitutionality of Republic Act 3120 enacted on June 17, 1961, as raised by respondent mayor of Manila in resisting petitioners' pleas that respondent mayor not only lacks the authority to demolish their houses or eject them as tenants and bona fide occupants of a parcel of land in San Andres, Malate 2 but is also expressly prohibited from doing so by section 2 of the Act, may be summarized from the Court of Appeals' 3 certification of resolution of May 31, 1965 as follows. The two cases were ordered "consolidated into one" since they were "unavoidably interlaced." The appellate court, finding that the constitutionality of Republic Act 3120 was "the dominant and inextricable issue in the appeal" over which it had no jurisdiction and that the trial court incorrectly "sidetracked" the issue, thereafter certified the said cases to this Court. The constitutionality of Republic Act No. 3120 need not be passed upon as the principal question in issue is whether the houses of the petitioners are public nuisances, which the court resolved in the affirmative. As a matter of fact even if the petitioners were already the owners of the land on which their respected houses are erected, the respondent city officials could cause the removal thereof as they were constructed in violation of city ordinances and constitute public nuisance. Case L-24661 for the continuation and maintenance of the writ of preliminary injunction previously issued by the Court of Appeals for preservation of the status quo was filed by petitioners directly with this Court on June 21, 1965, pending transmittal of the records of Cases L-24915 and L-24916 to this Court as certified by the Court of Appeals which declared itself without jurisdiction over the principal and decisive issue of constitutionality of Republic Act 3120.
Who Is Authorized to Represent a Municipality in Its Lawsuits?
Section 1683. Duty of fiscal to represent provinces and provincial subdivisions in litigation. — The provincial fiscal shall represent the province and any municipality or municipal district thereof in any court, except in cases whereof (sic) original jurisdiction is vested in the Supreme Court or in cases where the municipality or municipal district in question is a party adverse to the provincial government or to some other municipality or municipal district in the same province. When the interests of a provincial government and of any political division thereof are opposed, the provincial fiscal shall act on behalf of the province. When the provincial fiscal is disqualified to serve any municipality or other political subdivision of a province, a special attorney may be employed by its council. Under the above provision, complemented by Section 3, Republic Act No. 2264, the Local Autonomy Law, only the provincial fiscal and the municipal attorney can represent a province or municipality in their lawsuits. The provision is mandatory. The municipality's authority to employ a private lawyer is expressly limited only to situations where the provincial fiscal is disqualified to represent it. It may be said that Atty. Romanillos appeared for respondent municipality inasmuch as he was already counsel of Kristi Corporation which was sued with respondent municipality in this same case. The fact that the municipal attorney and the fiscal are supposed to collaborate with a private law firm does not legalize the latter's representation of the municipality of Hagonoy in Civil Case No. 5095-M. While a private prosecutor is allowed in criminal cases, an analogous arrangement is not allowed in civil cases wherein a municipality is the plaintiff." As already stated, private lawyers may not represent municipalities on their own. Neither may they do so even in collaboration with authorized government lawyers. This is anchored on the principle that only accountable public officers
In the early morning of April 19, 1970, a large fire of undetermined origin gutted the Malate area including the lot on which petitioners had built their homes and dwellings. Respondents city officials then took over the lot and kept petitioners from reconstructing or repairing their burned dwellings. At petitioners' instance, the Court issued on June 17, 1970 a temporary restraining order enjoining respondents city officials "from performing any act constituting an interference in or disturbance of herein petitioners' possession of Lot No. 21-B, Block No. 610, of the Cadastral Survey of the City of Manila" as safeguarded them under the Court's subsisting preliminary injunction of August 17, 1965. The "dominant and inextricable issue" at bar, as correctly perceived by the appellate court is the constitutionality of Republic Act 3120 whereby Congress converted the lot in question together with another lot in San Andres, Malate "which are reserved as communal property" into "disposable or alienable lands of the State to be placed under the administration and disposal of the Land Tenure Administration" for subdivision into small lots not exceeding 120 square meters per lot for sale on installment basis to the tenants or bona fide occupants thereof 6and expressly prohibited ejectment and demolition of petitioners' homes under section 2 of the Act as quoted in the appellate court's certification resolution. The incidental issue seized upon by the trial court as a main issue for "sidetracking" the decisive issue of constitutionality, to wit, that petitioners' houses as they stood at the time of its judgment in 1965 "were constructed in violation of city ordinances and constituted public nuisances" whose removal could be ordered "even if petitioners were already the owners of the land on which their respective houses are erected" has become moot with the burning down of the petitioners' houses in the fire of April 19, 1970. I: WON the Act is invalid and unconstitutional for constituting deprivation of property without due process of law and without just compensation as contended by respondents city officials H: Respondents city officials' contention that the Act must be stricken down as unconstitutional for depriving the city of Manila of the lots in question and providing for their sale in subdivided small lots to bona fide occupants or tenants without payment of just compensation is untenable and without basis, since the lots in question are manifestly owned by the city in its public and governmental capacity and are therefore public property over which Congress had absolute control as distinguished from patrimonial property owned by it in its private or proprietary capacity of which it could not be deprived without due process and without just compensation. Here, Republic Act 3120 expressly declared that the properties were "reserved as communal property" and ordered their conversion into "disposable and alienable lands of the State" for sale in small lots to the bona fide occupants thereof. It is established doctrine that the act of classifying State property calls for the exercise of wide discretionary legislative power which will not be interfered with by the courts. Regardless of the source or classification of land in the possession of a municipality, excepting those acquired with its own funds in its private or
corporate capacity, such property is held in trust for the State for the benefit of its inhabitants, whether it be for governmental or proprietary purposes. It holds such lands subject to the paramount power of the legislature to dispose of the same, for after all it owes its creation to it as an agent for the performance of a part of its public work, the municipality being but a subdivision or instrumentality thereof for purposes of local administration. Accordingly, the legal situation is the same as if the State itself holds the property and puts it to a different use. There as here, the Court holds that the Acts in question (Republic Acts 4118 in Salas and Republic Act 3120 in the case at bar) were intended to implement the social justice policy of the Constitution and the government program of land for the landless and that they were not "intended to expropriate the property involved but merely to confirm its character as communal land of the State and to make it available for disposition by the National Government. Since the challenge of respondents city officials against the constitutionality of Republic Act 3120 must fail as the City was not deprived thereby of anything it owns by acquisition with its private or corporate funds either under the due process clause or under the eminent domain provisions of the Constitution, the provisions of said Act must be enforced and petitioners are entitled to the injunction as prayed for implementing the Act's prohibition against their ejectment and demolition of their houses. WHEREFORE, the appealed decision of the lower court is hereby set aside. Villanueva vs. Castaneda, 154 SCRA 142 F: There is in the vicinity of the public market of San Fernando, Pampanga, along Mercado Street, a strip of land measuring 12 by 77 meters on which stands a conglomeration of vendors stalls together forming what is commonly known as a talipapa. This is the subject of the herein petition. The petitioners claim they have a right to remain in and conduct business in this area by virtue of a previous authorization granted to them by the municipal government. The respondents deny this and justify the demolition of their stalls as illegal constructions on public property. At the petitioners’ behest, we have issued a temporary restraining order to preserve the status quo between the parties pending our decision. This dispute goes back to November 7, 1961, when the municipal council of San Fernando adopted Resolution No. 218 authorizing some 24 members of the Fernandino United Merchants and Traders Association to construct permanent stalls and sell in the above-mentioned place. The action was protested on November 10, 1961, in Civil Case No. 2040, where the Court of First Instance of Pampanga, Branch 2, issued a writ of preliminary injunction that prevented the defendants from constructing the said stalls until final resolution of the controversy. On January 18, 1964, while this case was pending, the municipal council of San Fernando adopted Resolution No. 29, which declared the subject area as “the parking place and as the public plaza of the municipality,” thereby impliedly revoking Resolution No. 218, series of 1961. Four years later, on November 2, 1968, Judge Andres C. Aguilar decided the aforesaid case and held that the land occupied by the petitioners, being public in nature, was beyond the commerce of man and therefore could not be the subject of private occupancy. The writ of preliminary injunction was made permanent.
I: WON petitioners have the right to occupy the subject land. H: A public plaza is beyond the commerce of man, and cannot be the subject of lease or other contractual undertaking. And, even assuming the existence of a valid lease of the public plaza or part thereof, the municipal resolution effectively terminated the agreement, for it is settled that the police power cannot be surrendered or bargained away through the medium of a contract. Even assuming a valid lease of the property in dispute, the resolution could have effectively terminated the agreement for it is settled that the police power cannot be surrendered or bargained away through the medium of a contract. In fact, every contract affecting the public interest suffers a congenital infirmity in that it contains an implied reservation of the police power as a postulate of the existing legal order. This power can be activated at any time to change the provisions of the contract, or even abrogate it entirely, for the promotion or protection of the general welfare. Such an act will not militate against the impairment clause, which is subject to and limited by the paramount police power. We hold that the respondent judge did not commit grave abuse of discretion in denying the petition for prohibition. On the contrary, he acted correctly in sustaining the right and responsibility of the mayor to evict the petitioners from the disputed area and clear it of all the structures illegally constructed therein. City of Angeles vs. CA, 261 SCRA 90 F: In a series of Deed of Donation, private respondent donated to the City of Angeles, 51 parcels of land situated in Barrio Pampang, City of Angeles, with an aggregate area of 50,676 square meters, more or less, part of a bigger area also belonging to private respondent. This is for the site of the Angeles City Sports Center and that no commercial building, commercial complex, market or any other similar complex, mass or tenament (sic) housing/buildings(s) shall be constructed in the properties donated nor shall cockfighting, be allowed in the premises. Any substantial breach of the foregoing provisos shall entitle the DONOR to revoke or rescind this Deed of Donation, and in such eventuality, the DONEE agrees to vacate and return the premises, together with all improvements, to the DONOR peacefully without necessity of judicial action.” Petitioners started the construction of a drug rehabilitation center on a portion of the donated land. Upon learning thereof, private respondent protested such action for being violative of the terms and conditions of the amended deed and prejudicial to its interest and to those of its clients and residents. Private respondent also offered another site for the rehabilitation center. However, petitioners ignored the protest, maintaining that the construction was not violative of the terms of the donation. The alternative site was rejected because, according to petitioners, the site was too isolated and had no electric and water facilities. Private respondent filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court, alleging breach of the conditions imposed in the amended deed of donation and seeking the revocation of the donation and damages, with preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order to halt the construction of the said center.
The trial court issued a temporary restraining order to enjoin the petitioners from further proceeding with the construction of the center, which at that time was already 40% complete. However, the trial court denied the prayer for preliminary injunction based on the prohibition in Presidential Decree No. 1818. Private respondent filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on the ground that the main defense of the petitioners was anchored on a pure question of law and that their legal position was untenable. I & R: Developer Legally Bound to Donate Open Space: It is clear that it is no longer optional on the part of the subdivision owner/developer to donate the open space for parks and playgrounds; rather there is now a legal obligation to donate the same. Although there is a proviso that the donation of the parks and playgrounds may be made to the homeowners association of the project with the consent of the city of municipality concerned, nonetheless, the owner/developer is still obligated under the law to donate. Such option does not change the mandatory character of the provision. The donation has to be made regardless of which donee is picked by the owner/developer. The consent requirement before the same can be donated to the homeowners’ association emphasizes this point. Percentage of Area for Parks and Playgrounds: The language of Section 31 of P.D. 957 as amended by Section 2 of P.D. 1216 is wanting in clarity and exactitude, but it can be easily inferred that the phrase “gross area” refers to the entire subdivision area. The phrase “30% of the gross area” refers to the total area of the subdivision, not of the open space. Otherwise, the definition of “open space” would be circular. Thus, logic dictates that the same basis be applied in the succeeding instances where the phrase “open space” is used, i.e., “9% of gross area . . . 7% of gross area . . . 3.5% of gross area . . .” Moreover, we agree with petitioners that construing the 3.5% to 9% as applying to the totality of the open space would result in far too small an area being devoted for parks, playgrounds, etc., thus rendering meaningless and defeating the purpose of the statute. This becomes clear when viewed in the light of the original requirement of P.D. 953 (“Requiring the Planting of Trees in Certain Places, etc.”), it is clear that P.D. 1216 was an attempt to achieve a happy compromise and a realistic balance between the imperatives of environmental planning and the need to maintain economic feasibility in subdivision and housing development, by reducing the required area for parks, playgrounds and recreational uses from thirty percent (30%) to only 3.5% - 9% of the entire area of the subdivision. Imposition of Conditions in Donation of Open Space: In regard to donations of open spaces, P.D. 1216 itself requires among other things that the recreational areas to be donated be based, as aforementioned, on a percentage (3.5%, 7%, or 9%) of the total area of the subdivision depending on whether the subdivision is low -, medium -, or high-density. It further declares that such open space devoted to parks, playgrounds and recreational areas are non-alienable public land and non-buildable. However, there is no prohibition in either P.D. 957 or P.D. 1216 against imposing conditions on such donation.We hold that any condition may be imposed in the donation, so long as the same is not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy. In the case at bar, one of the conditions imposed in the Amended Deed of Donation is that the donee should build a sports complex on the donated land. Since P.D. 1216 clearly requires that the 3.5% to 9% of the gross area allotted for parks and playgrounds
is “non-buildable,” then the obvious question arises whether or not such condition was validly imposed and is binding on the donee. It is clear that the “non-buildable” character applies only to the 3.5% to 9% area set by law. If there is any excess land over and above the 3.5% to 9% required by the decree, which is also used or allocated for parks, playgrounds and recreational purposes, it is obvious that such excess area is not covered by the non-buildability restriction. In the instant case, if there be an excess, then the donee would not be barred from developing and operating a sports complex thereon, and the condition in the amended deed would then be considered valid and binding. Injunction vs. Construction of the Drug Rehabilitation Center: In light of Sec. 31 of P.D. 957, as amended, declaring the open space for parks, playgrounds and recreational area as non-buildable, it appears indubitable that the construction and operation of a drug rehabilitation center on the land in question is a continuing violation of the law and thus should be enjoined. Furthermore, the factual background of this case warrants that this Court rule against petitioners on this issue. We agree with and affirm the respondent Court’s finding that petitioners committed acts mocking the judicial system. Revocation of a Mandatory Donation Because of Non-compliance With an Illegal Condition: Both petitioners and private respondents are in violation of P.D. 957 as amended, for donating and accepting a donation of open space less than that required by law, and for agreeing to build and operate a sports complex on the non-buildable open space so donated; and petitioners, for constructing a drug rehabilitation center on the same non-buildable area. Removal/Demolition of Drug Rehabilitation Center: Inasmuch as the construction and operation of the drug rehabilitation center has been established to be contrary to law, the said center should be removed or demolished. At this juncture, we hasten to add that this Court is and has always been four-square behind the government’s efforts to eradicate the drug scourge in this country. But the end never justifies the means, and however laudable the purpose of the construction in question, this Court cannot and will not countenance an outright and continuing violation of the laws of the land, especially when committed by public officials. Decision of CA is modified. Quezon City vs Lexber, Inc. , GR No. 141616, Mar. 15, 2001 F: A Tri-Partite Memorandum of Agreement was drawn between petitioner City of Quezon, represented by its then Mayor Brigido R. Simon, Jr., respondent Lexber, Inc. and the then Municipality of Antipolo, whereby a 26,010 square meter parcel of land located in Antipolo was to be used as a garbage dumping site by petitioner and other Metro Manila cities or municipalities authorized by the latter, for a 5-year period commencing in January 1991 to December 1995. Part of the agreement was that the landowner, represented by respondent Lexber, shall be hired as the exclusive supplier of manpower, heavy equipment and engineering services for the dumpsite and shall also have the right of first refusal for contracting such services. This led to the drawing of the first negotiated contract between petitioner, represented by Mayor Simon, and respondent Lexber, whereby the latter was engaged to construct the necessary infrastructure at the dumpsite, designated as the Quezon City Sanitary Landfill, for the contract price of P4,381,069.00. Construction of said infrastructure was completed by respondent
Lexber on November 25, 1991, and the contract price agreed upon was accordingly paid to it by petitioner. Meanwhile, a second negotiated contract was entered into by respondent Lexber with petitioner, again represented by Mayor Simon, whereby it was agreed that respondent Lexber shall provide maintenance services in the form of manpower, equipment and engineering operations for the dumpsite for the contract price of P1,536,796.00 monthly. It was further agreed that petitioner shall pay respondent Lexber a reduced fee of fifty percent (50%) of the monthly contract price, or P768,493.00, in the event petitioner fails to dump the agreed volume of 54,000 cubic meters of garbage for any given month. On December 11, 1991, respondent was notified by petitioner, through the City Engineer, Alfredo Macapugay, Project Manager, Rene Lazaro and Mayor Simon to commence maintenance and dumping operations at the site starting on December 15, 1991. Respondent Lexber alleged that petitioner immediately commenced dumping garbage on the landfill site continuously from December 1991 until May 1992. Thereafter, petitioner ceased to dump garbage on the said site for reasons not made known to respondent Lexber. Consequently, even while the dumpsite remained unused, respondent Lexber claimed it was entitled to payment for its services as stipulated in the second negotiated contract. Respondent’s counsel sent a demand letter to petitioner demanding the payment of at least 50% of its service fee under the said contract, in the total amount of P9,989,174.00. In view of the idle state of the dumpsite for more than a year, respondent also sought a clarification from petitioner regarding its intention on the dumpsite project, considering the waste of equipment and manpower in the meantime, as well as its loss of opportunity for the property. Petitioner, this time acting through Mayor Ismael A. Mathay, Jr. who succeeded Mayor Simon in the interim, denied any liability under the contract on the ground that the same was invalid and unenforceable. According to Mayor Mathay, the subject contract was signed only by Mayor Simon and had neither the approval nor ratification of the City Council, and it lacked the required budget appropriation. Thus, a complaint for Breach of Contract, Specific Performance or Rescission of Contract and Damages was filed by respondent Lexber against petitioner on February 21, 1994 before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Respondent Lexber averred that because petitioner stopped dumping garbage on the dumpsite after May 1992, Lexber’s equipment and personnel were idle to its damage and prejudice. Respondent prayed that petitioner be ordered to comply with its obligations under the subject contract or, in the alternative, that the said contract be rescinded and petitioner be ordered to pay damages. Lower Court favored respondents. I: WON the subject negotiated contract is null and void ab initio H: There is no denying that Sections 85 and 86 of P.D. 1445 (Auditing Code of the Philippines) provide that contracts involving expenditure of public funds: 1) can be entered into only when there is an appropriation therefor; and 2) must be certified by the proper accounting official/agency that funds have been duly appropriated for the purpose, which certification shall be attached to and become an integral part of the proposed contact. However, the very same Presidential Decree No. 1445, which is the cornerstone of petitioner’s arguments, does not provide that the absence of an appropriation
law ipso facto makes a contract entered into by a local government unit null and void. Revenue funds shall not be paid out of any public treasury or depository except in pursuance of an appropriation law or other specific statutory authority. Consequently, public funds may be disbursed not only pursuant to an appropriation law, but also in pursuance of other specific statutory authority, i.e., Section 84 of PD 1445. Thus, when a contract is entered into by a city mayor pursuant to specific statutory authority, the law, i.e., PD 1445 allows the disbursement of funds from any public treasury or depository therefor. It can thus be plainly seen that the law invoked by petitioner Quezon City itself provides that an appropriation law is not the only authority upon which public funds shall be disbursed. Furthermore, then Mayor Brigido Simon, Jr. did not enter into the subject contract without legal authority. Under B.P. Blg. 337, while the city mayor has no power to appropriate funds to support the contracts, neither does said law prohibit him from entering into contracts unless and until funds are appropriated therefor. In fact, it is his bounden duty to so represent the city in all its business transactions. By entering into the two contracts, Mayor Simon did not usurp the city council’s power to provide for the proper disposal of garbage and to appropriate funds therefor. The execution of contracts to address such a need is his statutory duty, just as it is the city council’s duty to provide for said services. There is no provision in B.P. Blg. 337, however, that prohibits the city mayor from entering into contracts for the public welfare, unless and until there is prior authority from the city council. This requirement was imposed much later by R.A. No. 7160, long after the contracts had already been executed and implemented. While the powers and duties of the Mayor and the City Council are clearly delineated, there is nothing in the cited provisions, nor even in the statute itself, that requires “prior authorization by the city council by proper enactment of an ordinance” before the City Mayor can enter into contracts. It must be noted that the Negotiated Contract dated November 8, 1990 is not ipso facto absolutely null and void. The subject thereof is perfectly within the authority of the city government. It is pursuant to the Tripartite Agreement entered into between the plaintiff, the defendant, and the Municipality of Antipolo. The plaintiff was given the exclusive right to exercise acts stated in the two negotiated contracts, which are entered into to further carry out and implement the provisions of the Tripartite Agreement. The foregoing authorities therefore fully clothed Mayor Brigido Simon, Jr. with the authority to enter and sign the subject contract for and in behalf of the city government even without express authority from the City Council. There was, thus, no justifiable reason for petitioner not to allocate or appropriate funds at the start of each fiscal year considering that a trust fund had been established to pay for “the effective delivery of basic urban services requiring coordination,” foremost of which is the collection and disposal of garbage.
There is also no merit in petitioner’s claim that there was no appropriation therefor, for it is evident that even as early as April 4, 1991, funds which were certified to as available had been allocated for use in the first few months operation of the sanitary landfill. The problem arose only because the new administration unjustifiably refused to abide by the stipulations in the second negotiated contract. Hence, petitioner’s arguments on this issue fail to convince this Court that the second negotiated contract was null and void ab initio for lack of prior appropriation or authority on the part of Mayor Brigido Simon, Jr. Granting but without conceding that Mayor Brigido Simon, Jr. needs to secure prior authorization from the City Council for the enforceability of the contracts entered into in the name of the City government, which he failed to do according to the appellant, We believe that such will not affect the enforceability of the contract because of the subsequent ratification made by the City government. Thus, when appellant City government, after the construction by the appellee of the dumpsite structure in accordance with the contract plans and specifications, started to dump garbage collected in the City and consequently paid the appellee for the services rendered, such acts produce and constitute a ratification and approval of the negotiated contract and necessarily should imply its waiver of the right to assail the contract’s enforceability. Be that as it may, it cannot be denied that there was constructive ratification on the part of petitioner. The records show that upon completion of the infrastructure and other facilities, petitioner, albeit still under the administration of Mayor Brigido Simon, Jr., started to dump garbage in the premises. The records also reveal that petitioner issued Disbursement Vouchers of various amounts covering the period between March 1, 1992 to April 30, 1992 for the services rendered by the Mud Regal Group, Incorporated to haul garbage to the sanitary landfill. The said disbursement vouchers were passed in audit and duly approved and paid by petitioner. These are facts and circumstances on record which led the trial court, the appellate court, and this Court to affirm the conclusion that petitioner had actually ratified the subject contract. It is evident that petitioner dealt unfairly with respondent Lexber. By the mere pretext that the subject contract was not approved nor ratified by the city council, petitioner refused to perform its obligations under the subject contract. Verily, the same was entered into pursuant to law or specific statutory authority, funds therefor were initially available and allocated, and petitioner used the sanitary landfill for several months. The present leadership cannot unilaterally decide to disregard the subject contract to the detriment of respondent Lexber. The mere fact that petitioner later refused to continue dumping garbage on the sanitary landfill does not necessarily prove that it did not benefit at the expense of respondent Lexber. Whether or not garbage was actually dumped is of no moment, for respondent Lexber’s undertaking was to make available to petitioner the landfill site and to provide the manpower and machinery to maintain the facility. Petitioner, by refusing to abide by its obligations as stipulated in the subject negotiated contract, should be held liable to respondent Lexber in accordance with the terms of the subject contract. Petitioner’s refusal to abide by its commitments gave rise to an untenable situation wherein petitioner effectively denied the existence and validity of the
subject contract even while respondent Lexber was still bound by it. This situation is inconsistent with the principle that obligations arising from contracts have the force of law between the contracting parties and each party is bound to fulfill what has been expressly stipulated therein.  Only respondent Lexber was bound by the contract while petitioner acted as if it were free therefrom. Clearly then, the contract entered into by the former Mayor Duterte was void from the very beginning since the agreed cost for the project (P8,368,920.00) was way beyond the appropriated amount (P5,419,180.00) as certified by the City Treasurer. Besides, neither the petitioner nor HFCCI questioned the ruling of COA declaring the invalidity of the abattoir contract, thereby resulting in its finality even before the civil case was instituted. Petitioner could have brought the case to the Supreme Court on a petition for certiorari within thirty days from receipt of a copy of the COA decision in the manner provided by law and the Rules of Court. A decision of the Commission or any of its Auditor not appealed within the period provided by law, shall be final and executor. Public bidding may have been dispensed with, not only because “time is of the essence” but in recognition of the reality that offering property to be used as a dumpsite is not an attractive nor lucrative option for property owners. This reality is all the more glaring in the current situation where Metro Manila local government units are seemingly unable to cope with the disastrous lack of garbage dumping sites. A major part of the problem is that no one wants to be the dumping ground of someone else’s garbage. This problem is compounded by recent events where tragedy has befallen scavengers and residents in a Quezon City dumpsite that should have been closed years ago. It would no longer be prophetic to say that had Quezon City used the subject dumpsite and discontinued the use of the Payatas dumpsite way back in 1991, tragedy therein would have been averted.
appeal, ruled that the City of Manila should pay damages to Teotico. The City of Manila assailed the decision of the CA on the ground that the charter of Manila states that it shall not be liable for damages caused by the negligence of the city officers in enforcing the charter; that the charter is a special law and shall prevail over the Civil Code which is a general law; and that the accident happened in national highway. I: WON City of Manila is liable in the case at bar. H: Yes. It is true that in case of conflict, a special law prevails over a general law; that the charter of Manila is a special law and that the Civil Code is a general law. However, looking at the particular provisions of each law concerned, the provision of the Manila Charter exempting it from liability caused by the negligence of its officers is a general law in the sense that it exempts the city from negligence of its officers in general. There is no particular exemption but merely a general exemption. On the other hand, Article 2189 of the Civil Code provides a particular prescription to the effect that it makes provinces, cities, and municipalities liable for the damages caused to a certain person by reason of the “…defective condition of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and otherpublic works under their control or supervision.” It is not necessary for the liability therein established to attach that the defective roads or streets belong to the province, city or municipality from which responsibility is exacted. What said article requires is that the province, city or municipality have either "control or supervision" over said street or road. Even if P. Burgos Avenue were, therefore, a national highway, this circumstance would not necessarily detract from the City's "control or supervision."
The allegation that the incident happened in a national highway was only raised for the first time in the City’s motion for reconsideration in the Court of Appeals, hence it cannot be given due weight. At any rate, even though it is a national highway, the law contemplates that regardless if whether or not the road is national, provincial, city, or municipal, so long as it is under the City’s control and Finally, petitioner’s refusal to honor the contract is not only contrary to law, supervision, it shall be responsible for damages by reason of the defective but also grossly unfair to respondent Lexber. It was petitioner that first offered conditions thereof. In the case at bar, the City admitted they have control and and later persuaded respondent Lexber to convert the latter’s property into a supervision over the road where Teotico fell when the City alleged that it has sanitary landfill for petitioner’s exclusive use. While the property could have been doing constant and regular inspection of the city’s roads, P. Burgos been used for other more lucrative and pleasant purposes, petitioner convinced included. respondent Lexber by its assurances and stipulations in the contract. In turn, respondent Lexber relied on petitioner to abide by their contract, only to be Jimenez vs. City of Manila, 150 SCRA 510 rebuffed after petitioner had already taken initial advantage of the facilities. By virtue of the infrastructure intended for the sanitary landfill that was erected F: Jimenez bought bagoong at the Santa Ana public market at the time that it thereon, respondent Lexber could not divert its use to other purposes. It is but was flooded with ankle-deep water. As he turned around to go home, he stepped fair that respondent Lexber be compensated for the financial losses it has on an uncovered opening w/c could not be seen because of dirty rainwater. A incurred in accordance with the obligation of petitioner as stipulated in the dirty and rusty 4-inch nail, stuck inside the uncovered opening, pierced his left second negotiated contract. Petition is denied. leg to a depth of 1½ inches. His left leg swelled and he developed fever. He was City of Manila vs Teotico, 22 SCRA 267 F: In January 1958, at about 8pm, Teotico was about to board a jeepney in P. Burgos, Manila when he fell into an uncovered manhole. This caused injuries upon him. Thereafter he sued for damages under Article 2189 of the Civil Code the City of Manila, the mayor, the city engineer, the city health officer, the city treasurer, and the chief of police. CFI Manila ruled against Teotico. The CA, on confined for 20 days, walked w/ crutches for 15 days and could not operate his school buses. He sued City of Manila and Asiatic Integrated Corp under whose administration the Sta. Ana had been placed by virtue of Management and Operating Contract.TC found for respondent. CA reversed and held Asiatec liable and absolved City of Manila. I: WON City of Manila should be jointly and solidarily liable with Asiatec
H: YES. In the City of Manila v Teotico case, it was held that Art 1, Sec 4 of RA 409, which City of Manila is invoking in this case, establishes a general rule regulating the liability of City Of Manila while Art 2189 CC governs the liability due to “defective streets, public buildings and other public works” in particular and is therefore decisive in this case. It was also held that for liability under 2189 to attach, control and supervision by the province, city or municipality over the defective public building in question is enough. It is not necessary that suchbelongs to such province, city or municipality. In the case at bar, there is no question that Sta. Ana public market remained under the control of the City as evidenced by: 1. The contract bet Asiatec and City which explicitly states that “prior approval” of the City is still needed in the operations. 2. Mayor Bagatsing of Manila admitted such control and supervision in his letter to Finance Sec. Virata (“The City retains the power of supervision and control over its public markets…) 3. City employed a market master for the Sta. Ana public Market whose primary duty is to take direct supervision and control of that particular public market 4. Sec. 30 of Tax Code “The treasurer shall exercise direct and immediate supervision, administration and control over public markets…” It is thus the duty of the City to exercise reasonable care to keep the public market reasonably safe for people frequenting the place for their marketing needs. Ordinary precautions could have been taken during good weather to minimize danger to life and limb. The drainage hole could have been placed under the stalls rather than the passageways. The City should have seen to it that the openings were covered. It was evident that the certain opening was already uncovered, and 5 months after this incident it was still uncovered. There were also findings that during floods, vendors would remove the iron grills to hasten the flow of water. Such acts were not prohibited nor penalized by the City. No warning sign of impending danger was evident. Petitioner had the right to assume there were no openings in the middle of the passageways and if any, that they were adequately covered. Had it been covered, petitioner would not have fallen into it. Thus the negligence of the City is the proximate cause of the injury suffered. Asiatec and City are joint tort feasors and are solidarily liable.