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City of Manila vs. Laguio G.R. No.

118127, April 12, 2005 Due Process Equal Protection Requisites of a Valid Exercise of Police Power by LGU FACTS: The private respondent, Malate Tourist Development Corporation (MTOC) is a corporation engaged in the business ofoperating hotels, motels, hostels, and lodgin houses. It built and opened Victoria Court in Malate which was licensed as a motel although duly accredited with the Department of Tourism as a hotel. March 30, 1993 - City Mayor Alfredo S. Lim approved an ordinance enacted which prohibited certain forms of amusement, entertainment, services and facilities where women are used as tools in entertainment and which tend todisturb the community, annoy the inhabitants, and adversely affect the social and moral welfare of the community. The Ordinance also provided that in case of violation and conviction, the premises of the erring establishment shall be closed and padlocked permanently. June 28, 1993 - MTOC filed a Petition with the lower court, praying that the Ordinance, insofar as it included motels and inns as among its prohibited establishments, be declared invalid and unconstitutional for several reasons but mainly because it is not a valid exercise of police power and it constitutes a denial of equal protection under the law. Judge Laguio ruled for the petitioners. The case was elevated to the Supreme Court. ISSUES: W/N the City of Manila validly exercised police power W/N there was a denial of equal protection under the law HELD: The Ordinance infringes the due process clause since the requisites for a valid exercise of police power are not met. The prohibition of the enumerated establishments will not per se protect and promote the social and moral welfare of the community; it will not in itself eradicate the alluded social ills for prostitution, adultery, fornication nor will it arrest the spread of sexual diseases in Manila. It is baseless and insupportable to bring within that classification sauna parlors, massage parlors, karaoke bars, night clubs, day clubs, super clubs, discotheques,

cabarets, dance halls, motels and inns. These are lawful pursuits which are not per se offensive to the moral welfare of the community. Sexual immorality, being a human frailty, may take place in the most innocent places.... Every house, building, park, curb, street, or even vehicles for that matter will not be exempt from the prohibition. Simply because there are no "pure" places where there are impure men. The Ordinance seeks to legislate morality but fails to address the core issues of morality. Try as the Ordinance may to shape morality, it should not foster the illusion that it can make a moral man out of it because immorality is not a thing, a building or establishment; it is in the hearts of men. The Ordinance violates equal protection clause and is repugnant to general laws; it is ultra vires. The Local Government Code merely empowers local government units to regulate, and not prohibit, the establishments enumerated in Section 1 thereof. All considered, the Ordinance invades fundamental personal and property rights and impairs personal privileges. It is constitutionally infirm. The Ordinance contravenes statutes; it is discriminatory and unreasonable in its operation; it is not sufficiently detailed and explicit that abuses may attend the enforcement of its sanctions. And not to be forgotten, the City Council under the Code had no power to enact the Ordinance and is therefore ultra vires null and void. White Light Corp., vs City of Manila Police Power Not Validly Infringement of Private Rights Exercised

On 3 Dec 1992, then Mayor Lim signed into law Ord 7774 entitled An Ordinance prohibiting short time admission in hotels, motels, lodging houses, pension houses and similar establishments in the City of Manila. White Light Corp is an operator of mini hotels and motels who sought to have the Ordinance be nullified as the said Ordinance infringes on the private rights of their patrons. The RTC ruled in favor of WLC. It ruled that the Ordinance strikes at the personal liberty of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution. The City maintains that the ordinance is valid as it is a valid exercise of police power. Under the LGC, the City is empowered to regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of cafes, restaurants, beerhouses,

hotels, motels, inns, pension houses, lodging houses and other similar establishments, including tourist guides and transports. The CA ruled in favor of the City. ISSUE: Whether or not Ord 7774 is valid. HELD: The SC ruled that the said ordinance is null and void as it indeed infringes upon individual liberty. It also violates the due process clause which serves as a guaranty for protection against arbitrary regulation or seizure. The said ordinance invades private rights. Note that not all who goes into motels and hotels for wash up rate are really there for obscene purposes only. Some are tourists who needed rest or to wash up or to freshen up. Hence, the infidelity sought to be avoided by the said ordinance is more or less subjected only to a limited group of people. The SC reiterates that individual rights may be adversely affected only to the extent that may fairly be required by the legitimate demands of public interest or public welfare.