II. SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS UNITED STATES V. LUIS TORIBIO - CASE DIGEST - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW UNITED STATES V. LUIS TORIBIO January 26, 1910 G.R. No. L-5060 FACTS: Toribio was found by the trial court of Bohol violating Sections 30 and 33 of Act No. 1147, an Act regulating the registration, branding, and slaughter of Large Cattle. The act prohibits the slaughter of large cattle fit for agricultural work or other draft purposes for human consumption. Appellant Toribio slaughtered or caused to be slaughtered his carabao without a permit from the municipal treasurer of the municipality. It appears that in the town of Carmen, in the Province of Bohol, wherein the animal was slaughtered there is no municipal slaughterhouse, and counsel for appellant contends that under such circumstances the provisions of Act No. 1147 do not prohibit nor penalize the slaughter of large cattle without a permit of the municipal treasure. Appellant contends that he applied for a permit to slaughter the animal but was not given one because the carabao was not found to be “unfit for agricultural work” which resulted to appellant to slaughter said carabao in a place other than the municipal slaughterhouse. Appellant then assails the validity of a provision under Act No. 1147 which states that only carabaos unfit for agricultural work can be slaughtered. Appellant also contended that the act constitutes a taking of property for public use in the exercise of the right of eminent domain without providing for the compensation of owners, and it is an undue and unauthorized exercise of police power of the state for it deprives them of the enjoyment of their private property. ISSUE(s): WON the prohibition and the penalty imposed in Act No. 1147 is limited only to the slaughter of large cattle at the municipal slaughterhouse. WON Act. No. 1147, regulating the registration, branding and slaughter of large cattle, is an undue and unauthorized exercise of police power. HELD: 1. NO. The prohibition and penalty imposed in Act No. 1147 applies generally to the slaughter of large cattle for human consumption, anywhere, without a permit duly secured from the municipal treasurer, and specifically to the killing for food of large cattle at a municipal slaughterhouse without such permit. Where the language of a statute is fairly susceptible of two or more constructions, that construction should be adopted which will most tend to give effect to the manifest intent of the lawmaker and promote the object for which the statute was enacted, and a construction should be rejected which would tend to render abortive other provisions of the statute and to defeat the object which the legislator sought to attain by its enactment. Therefore, sections 30 and 33 of the Act prohibit and penalize the slaughtering or causing to be slaughtered for human consumption of large cattle at any place without the permit provided for in section 30. 2. NO. Act no. 1147 is not a taking of the property for public use, within the meaning of the constitution, but is a just and legitimate exercise of the power of the legislature to regulate and restrain such particular use of the property as would be inconsistent with the rights of the publics. All property is acquired and held under the tacit condition that it shall not be so used as to injure the equal rights of others or greatly impair the public rights and interests of the community. The Supreme Court cited events that happen in the Philippines like an epidemic that wiped 70-100% of the population of carabaos.. The Supreme Court also said that these animals are vested with public interest for they are fundamental use for the production of crops. These reasons satisfy the requisites of a valid exercise of police power Finally, SC said that article 1147 is not an exercise of the inherent power of eminent domain. The said law does not constitute the taking of caraboes for public purpose; it just serve as a mere regulation for the consumption of these private properties for the protection of general welfare and public interest. YNOT v INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT (IAC) DIGEST CASE CONSTITUTIONAL LAW YNOT v IAC 1987 G.R. NO. 74457March 20, CRUZ, J. FACTS: Iloilo, for violation of the above measure. The petitioner sued for recovery, and the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City issued a writ of replevin upon his filing of a supersedeas bond of P12,000.00. After considering the merits of the case, the court sustained the confiscation of the carabaos and, since they could no longer be produced, ordered the confiscation of the bond. The court also declined to rule on the constitutionality of the executive order, as raised by the petitioner, for lack of authority and also for its presumed validity. The petitioner appealed the decision to the Intermediate Appellate Court, which upheld the trial court, and now Ynot comes before the SC through a petition for review on certiorari. The case challenges the constitutionality of Executive Order 626-A which amends EO 626 and states that: SECTION 1. Executive Order No. 626 is hereby amended such that henceforth, no carabao regardless of age, sex, physical condition or purpose and no carabeef shall be transported from one province to another. The carabao or carabeef transported in violation of this Executive Order as amended shall be subject to confiscation and forfeiture by the government, to be distributed to charitable institutions and other similar institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat Inspection Commission may ay see fit, in the case of carabeef, and to deserving farmers through dispersal as the Director of Animal Industry may see fit, in the case of carabaos. On January 13, 1984, petitioner Restituto Ynot had transported six carabaos in a pump boat from Masbate to Iloilo when they were confiscated by the police station commander of Barotac Nuevo, Ynot’s petition assails that the questioned EO is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes outright confiscation of the carabao or carabeef being transported across provincial boundaries. Petitioner claims that the penalty is invalid because it is imposed without according the owner a right to be heard before a competent and impartial court as guaranteed by due process. He complains that the measure should not have been presumed, and so sustained, as constitutional. ISSUE: WON EO 626-A constitutional. RULING: NO. In the instant case, the carabaos were arbitrarily confiscated by the police station commander, were returned to the petitioner only after he had filed a complaint for recovery and given a supersedeas bond of P12,000.00, which was ordered confiscated upon his failure to produce the carabaos when ordered by the trial court. The executive order defined the prohibition, convicted the petitioner and immediately imposed punishment, which was carried out forthright. The measure struck at once and pounced upon the petitioner without giving him a chance to be heard, thus denying him the centuries-old guaranty of elementary fair play. It has already been remarked that there are occasions when notice and hearing may be validly dispensed with notwithstanding the usual requirement for these minimum guarantees of due process. It is also conceded that summary action may be validly taken in administrative proceedings as procedural due process is not necessarily judicial only. In the exceptional cases accepted, however there is a justification for the omission of the right to a previous hearing, to wit, the immediacy of the problem sought to be corrected and the urgency of the need to correct it. In the case at bar, there was no such pressure of time or action calling for the petitioner's peremptory treatment. The properties involved were not even inimical per se as to require their instant destruction. There certainly was no reason why the offense prohibited by the executive order should not have been proved first in a court of justice, with the accused being accorded all the rights safeguarded to him under the Constitution. Considering that, as the Court held in Pesigan v. Angeles, Executive Order No. 626-A is penal in nature, the violation thereof should have been pronounced not by the police only but by a court of justice, which alone would have had the authority to impose the prescribed penalty, and only after trial and conviction of the accused. To sum up, then, the SC finds that the challenged measure is an invalid exercise of the police power because the method employed to conserve the carabaos is not reasonably necessary to the purpose of the law and, worse, is unduly oppressive. Due process is violated because the owner of the property confiscated is denied the right to be heard in his defense and is immediately condemned and punished. The conferment on the administrative authorities of the power to adjudge the guilt of the supposed offender is a clear encroachment on judicial functions and militates against the doctrine of separation of powers. There is, finally, also an invalid delegation of legislative powers to the officers mentioned therein who are granted unlimited discretion in the distribution of the properties arbitrarily taken. For these reasons, we hereby declare Executive Order No. 626-A unconstitutional. CHURCHILL & TAIT v. RAFFERTY - CASE DIGEST - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW CHURCHILL & TAIT v. RAFFERTY December 21, 1915 G.R. NO. L-10572, FACTS: Plaintiffs put up a billboard on a private land located in Rizal Province “quite distance from the road and strongly built, not dangerous to the safety of the people, and contained no advertising matter which is filthy, indecent, or deleterious to the morals of the community.” However, defendant Rafferty, Collector of Internal Revenue, decided to remove the billboards after due investigation made upon the complaints of the British and German Consuls. Act No. 2339 authorized the then Collector of Internal Revenue to remove after due investigation, any billboard exposed to the public view if it decides that it is offensive to the sight or is otherwise a nuisance. In the agreed statement of facts submitted by the parties, the plaintiffs "admit that the billboards mentioned were and still are offensive to the sight." The Court of First Instance perpetually restrains and prohibits the defendant and his deputies from collecting and enforcing against the plaintiffs and their property the annual tax mentioned and described in subsection (b) of section 100 of Act No. 2339, effective July 1, 1914, and from destroying or removing any sign, signboard, or billboard, the property of the plaintiffs and decrees the cancellation of the bond given by the plaintiffs. Hence, this petition. ISSUE: WON Act No. 2339 was a legitimate exercise of the police power of the Government? HELD: YES. Things offensive to the senses, such as sight, smell or hearing, may be suppressed by the State especially those situated in thickly populated districts. Aesthetics may be regulated by the police power of the state, as long as it is justified by public interest and safety. Moreover, if the police power may be exercised to encourage a healthy social and economic condition in the country, and if the comfort and convenience of the people are included within those subjects, everything which encroaches upon such territory is amenable to the police power of the State. Hence, the judgment of the CFI is reversed. PEOPLE V. FAJARDO - CASE DIGEST - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PEOPLE V. FAJARDO G.R. No. L-12172; August 29, 1958 FACTS: Fajardo and Babilonia (son-in law) are charged with violation of Ordinance 7 Series of 1950 of the Municipality of Baao, Camarines Sur which penalizes a person who constructs a building without permit from the mayor. After his incumbency, Fajardo applied for a permit to build a building beside the gasoline station near the town plaza. His request was repeatedly denied due to the reason that it “hinders the view of travelers from the National Highway to the public plaza”. Appellants proceeded with the construction of the building without a permit, because they needed a place of residence very badly, their former house having been destroyed by a typhoon and hitherto they had been living on leased property. Appellants were charged and convicted by peace court of Baoo for violating such ordinance. ISSUE: WON Ordinance No. 7 is a valid exercise police power in its regulation of property. HELD: NO. The ordinance doesn’t state any standard that limits the grant of power to the mayor. It is an arbitrary and unlimited conferment. The subject ordinance fails to state any policy, or to set up any standard to guide or limit the mayor’s action. The standards of the ordinance are entirely lacking making it unreasonable and oppressive, hence, not a valid ordinance. While property may be regulated to the interest of the general welfare, and the state may eliminate structures offensive to the sight, the state may not permanently divest owners of the beneficial use of their property and practically confiscate them solely to preserve or assure the aesthetic appearance of the community. Fajardo would be constrained to let the land be fallow and not be used for urban purposes. To do this legally, there must be just compensation and they must be given an opportunity to be heard. An ordinance which permanently so restricts the use of property that it can not be used for any reasonable purpose goes, it is plain, beyond regulation and must be recognized as a taking of the property. Hence, the conviction of herein appellants is reversed, and said accused are acquitted, with costs de oficio. Ermita Malate v City of Manila 20 SCRA 849 (1967) J. Fernando It was also unlawful for the owner to lease any room or portion thereof more than twice every 24 hours. There was also a prohibition for persons below 18 in the hotel. Facts: Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, and one of its members Hotel del Mar Inc. petitioned for the prohibition of Ordinance 4670 on June 14, 1963 to be applicable in the city of Manila. They claimed that the ordinance was beyond the powers of the Manila City Board to regulate due to the fact that hotels were not part of its regulatory powers. They also asserted that Section 1 of the challenged ordinance was unconstitutional and void for being unreasonable and violative of due process insofar because it would impose P6,000.00 license fee per annum for first class motels and P4,500.00 for second class motels; there was also the requirement that the guests would fill up a form specifying their personal information. There was also a provision that the premises and facilities of such hotels, motels and lodging houses would be open for inspection from city authorites. They claimed this to be violative of due process for being vague. The law also classified motels into two classes and required the maintenance of certain minimum facilities in first class motels such as a telephone in each room, a dining room or, restaurant and laundry. The petitioners also invoked the lack of due process on this for being arbitrary. The challenged ordinance also caused the automatic cancellation of the license of the hotels that violated the ordinance. The lower court declared the ordinance unconstitutional. Hence, this appeal by the city of Manila. Issue: Whether Ordinance No. 4760 of the City of Manila is violative of the due process clause? Held: No. Judgment reversed. Ratio: "The presumption is towards the validity of a law.” However, the Judiciary should not lightly set aside legislative action when there is not a clear invasion of personal or property rights under the guise of police regulation. O'Gorman & Young v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co- Case was in the scope of police power. As underlying questions of fact may condition the constitutionality of legislation of this character, the resumption of constitutionality must prevail in the absence of some factual foundation of record for overthrowing the statute." No such factual foundation being laid in the present case, the lower court deciding the matter on the pleadings and the stipulation of facts, the presumption of validity must prevail and the judgment against the ordinance set aside.” There is no question but that the challenged ordinance was precisely enacted to minimize certain practices hurtful to public morals, particularly fornication and prostitution. Moreover, the increase in the licensed fees was intended to discourage "establishments of the kind from operating for purpose other than legal" and at the same time, to increase "the income of the city government." Police power is the power to prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, good order, safety and general welfare of the people. In view of the requirements of due process, equal protection and other applicable constitutional guaranties, however, the power must not be unreasonable or violative of due process. There is no controlling and precise definition of due process. It has a standard to which the governmental action should conform in order that deprivation of life, liberty or property, in each appropriate case, be valid. What then is the standard of due process which must exist both as a procedural and a substantive requisite to free the challenged ordinance from legal infirmity? It is responsiveness to the supremacy of reason, obedience to the dictates of justice. Negatively put, arbitrariness is ruled out and unfairness avoided. Due process is not a narrow or "technical conception with fixed content unrelated to time, place and circumstances," decisions based on such a clause requiring a "close and perceptive inquiry into fundamental principles of our society." Questions of due process are not to be treated narrowly or pedantically in slavery to form or phrase. Nothing in the petition is sufficient to prove the ordinance’s nullity for an alleged failure to meet the due process requirement. Cu Unjieng case: Licenses for non-useful occupations are also incidental to the police power and the right to exact a fee may be implied from the power to license and regulate, but in fixing amount of the license fees the municipal corporations are allowed a much wider discretion in this class of cases than in the former, and aside from applying the well-known legal principle that municipal ordinances must not be unreasonable, oppressive, or tyrannical, courts have, as a general rule, declined to interfere with such discretion. Eg. Sale of liquors. Lutz v. Araneta- Taxation may be made to supplement the state’s police power. In one case- “much discretion is given to municipal corporations in determining the amount," here the license fee of the operator of a massage clinic, even if it were viewed purely as a police power measure. On the impairment of freedom to contract by limiting duration of use to twice every 24 hours- It was not violative of due process. 'Liberty' as understood in democracies, is not license; it is 'liberty regulated by law.' Implied in the term is restraint by law for the good of the individual and for the greater good of the peace and order of society and the general well-being. Laurel- The citizen should achieve the required balance of liberty and authority in his mind through education and personal discipline, so that there may be established the resultant equilibrium, which means peace and order and happiness for all. The freedom to contract no longer "retains its virtuality as a living principle, unlike in the sole case of People v Pomar. The policy of laissez faire has to some extent given way to the assumption by the government of the right of intervention even in contractual relations affected with public interest. What may be stressed sufficiently is that if the liberty involved were freedom of the mind or the person, the standard for the validity of governmental acts is much more rigorous and exacting, but where the liberty curtailed affects at the most rights of property, the permissible scope of regulatory measure is wider. On the law being vague on the issue of personal information, the maintenance of establishments, and the “full rate of payment”Holmes- “We agree to all the generalities about not supplying criminal laws with what they omit but there is no canon against using common sense in construing laws as saying what they obviously mean." WHITE LIGHT CORPORATION V. CITY OF MANILA - CASE DIGEST CONSTITUTIONAL LAW ISSUE: WHITE LIGHT CORPORATION V. CITY OF MANILA G.R.No.122846 January 20, 2009 WON the ordinance is constitutional. FACTS: HELD: In 1992, Mayor Alfredo S. Lim signed into law the Ordinance No. 7744 that prohibits hotels, motels, inns, lodging houses, pension houses and similar establishments from offering short-time admission, as well as pro-rated or “wash up” rates or other similarly concocted terms, in the City of Manila. The apparent goal of the Ordinance is to minimize if not eliminate the use of the covered establishments for illicit sex, prostitution, drug use and alike. Petitioners White Light Corporation (WLC) et. al. filed a petition on the ground that the Ordinance directly affects their business interests as operators of drive-in-hotels and motels in Manila. RTC ruled in favor of the petitioner. CA reversed the decision and asserted that the Ordinance is a valid exercise of police power. NO.The 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. Hence, Petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED. CARLOS BALACUIT ET.AL V. CFI OF AGUSAN DEL NORTE - CASE DIGEST - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW CARLOS BALACUIT ET.AL V. CFI OF AGUSAN DEL NORTE G.R. No. L-38429 June 30, 1988 FACTS: the Municipal Board of the City of Butuan pass an ordinance penalizing any person, group of persons, entity, or corporation engaged in the business of selling admission tickets to any movie or other public exhibitions, games, contests, or other performances to require children between seven (7) and twelve (12) years of age to pay full payment for admission tickets intended for adults but should charge only one-half of the value of the said tickets. The Petitioners, theater owners, aggrieved by said ordinance, they file a complaint before the Court of First Instance of Agusan del Norte and Butuan City assailing the constitutionalit of Ordinance No. 640. The Court rendered judgment declaring Ordinance No. 640 of the City of Butuan constitutional and valid. ISSUE: WON Ordinance No. 640 is a valid exercise of police power HELD: YES. Ordinance No. 640 infringes theater owners’ right to property. While it is true that a business may be regulated, it is equally true that such regulation must be within the bounds of reason, that is, the regulatory ordinance must be reasonable, and its provisions cannot be oppressive amounting to an arbitrary interference with the business or calling subject of regulation. A lawful business or calling may not, under the guise of regulation, be unreasonably interfered with even by the exercise of police power.33 A police measure for the regulation of the conduct, control and operation of a business should not encroach upon the legitimate and lawful exercise by the citizens of their property rights.34 The right of the owner to fix a price at which his property shall be sold or used is an inherent attribute of the property itself and, as such, within the protection of the due process clause."" Hence, the proprietors of a theater have a right to manage their property in their own way, to fix what prices of admission they think most for their own advantage, and that any person who did not approve could stay away. Ordinance No. 640 clearly invades the personal and property rights of petitioners for even if We could assume that, on its face, the interference was reasonable, from the foregoing considerations, it has been fully shown that it is an unwarranted and unlawful curtailment of the property and personal rights of citizens. For being unreasonable and an undue restraint of trade, it cannot, under the guise of exercising police power, be upheld as valid. Wherefore, the decision of the trial court in Special Civil Case No. 237 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new judgment is hereby rendered declaring Ordinance No. 640 unconstitutional and, therefore, null and void. CARLOS SUPERDRUG ET. AL V. DSWD - CASE DIGEST CONSTITUTIONAL LAW medicines, and the law failed to provide a scheme whereby drugstores will be justly compensated for the discount. CARLOS SUPERDRUG ET. AL V. DSWD June 29, 2007 ISSUE: G.R. No. 166494 FACTS: Petitioners are domestic corporations and proprietors operating drugstores in the Philippines. Public respondents, on the other hand, include the DSWD, DOH, DOF, DOJ, and the DILG, specifically tasked to monitor the drugstores’ compliance with the law; promulgate the implementing rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the law; and prosecute and revoke the licenses of erring drugstore establishments. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law R.A. No. 9257 otherwise known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003.” Sec. 4(a) of the Act states that The senior citizens shall be entitled to the following: (a) the grant of twenty percent (20%) discount from all establishments relative to the utilization of services in hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers, and purchase of medicines in all establishments for the exclusive use or enjoyment of senior citizens, including funeral and burial services for the death of senior citizens; Petitioners assert that Section 4(a) of the law is unconstitutional because it constitutes deprivation of private property. Compelling drugstore owners and establishments to grant the discount will result in a loss of profit and capital because according to them drugstores impose a mark-up of only 5% to 10% on branded WON RA 9257 is constitutional. HELD: YES. The law is a legitimate exercise of police power which, similar to the power of eminent domain, has general welfare for its object. Police power is not capable of an exact definition, but has been purposely veiled in general terms to underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and provide enough room for an efficient and flexible response to conditions and circumstances, thus assuring the greatest benefits. Accordingly, it has been described as the most essential, insistent and the least limitable of powers, extending as it does to all the great public needs. It is [t]he power vested in the legislature by the constitution to make, ordain, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws, statutes, and ordinances, either with penalties or without, not repugnant to the constitution, as they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the commonwealth, and of the subjects of the same. For this reason, when the conditions so demand as determined by the legislature, property rights must bow to the primacy of police power because property rights, though sheltered by due process, must yield to general welfare. Police power as an attribute to promote the common good would be diluted considerably if on the mere plea of petitioners that they will suffer loss of earnings and capital, the questioned provision is invalidated. Moreover, in the absence of evidence demonstrating the alleged confiscatory effect of the provision in question, there is no basis for its nullification in view of the presumption of validity which every law has in its favor. Given these, it is incorrect for petitioners to insist that the grant of the senior citizen discount is unduly oppressive to their business, because petitioners have not taken time to calculate correctly and come up with a financial report, so that they have not been able to show properly whether or not the tax deduction scheme really works greatly to their disadvantage. In treating the discount as a tax deduction, petitioners insist that they will incur losses. However,petitioner’s computation is clearly flawed. For purposes of reimbursement, the law states that the cost of the discount shall be deducted from gross income, the amount of income derived from all sources before deducting allowable expenses, which will result in net income. Here, petitioners tried to show a loss on a per transaction basis, which should not be the case. An income statement, showing an accounting of petitioners sales, expenses, and net profit (or loss) for a given period could have accurately reflected the effect of the discount on their income. Absent any financial statement, petitioners cannot substantiate their claim that they will be operating at a loss should they give the discount. In addition, the computation was erroneously based on the assumption that their customers consisted wholly of senior citizens. Lastly, the 32% tax rate is to be imposed on income, not on the amount of the discount. While the Constitution protects property rights, petitioners must accept the realities of business and the State, in the exercise of police power, can intervene in the operations of a business which may result in an impairment of property rights in the process. NDC AGRIX V. PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK (PVB) - CASE DIGEST CONSTITUTIONAL LAW GR No. 84132- FACTS: a petition with the Regional Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna, for the cancellation of the mortgage lien in favor of the private respondent. For its part, the private respondent took steps to extrajudicially foreclose the mortgage, prompting the petitioners to file a second case with the same court to stop the foreclosure. The two cases were consolidated The particular enactment in question is Presidential Decree No. 1717, which ordered the rehabilitation of the Agrix Group of Companies to be administered mainly by the National Development Company. After the submission by the parties of their respective pleadings, the trial court rendered the impugned decision. Judge Francisco Ma. Guerrero annulled not only the challenged provision, viz., Sec. 4 (1), but the entire Pres. Decree No. 1717 on the grounds that: The law outlined the procedure for filling claims against the Agrix Companies and created a claims committee to process these claims. (1) the presidential exercise of legislative power was a violation of the principle of separation of powers; Especially relevant to this case, and noted at the outset, is section 4(1) thereof providing that “all mortgages and other liens presently attaching to any of the assets of the dissolved corporations are hereby extinguished.” (2) The law impaired the obligation of contracts; and NDC AGRIX V. PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK (PVB) 33 December 10, 1990 Earlier, the Agrix Marketing Inc. had executed in favor of private respondent Philippine Veterans Bank a real estate mortgage dated July 7, 1978 over three parcels of land situated in Los Baños, Laguna. During the existence of the mortgage, Agrix went bankrupt. It was the expressed purpose of salvaging this and the other Agrix companies that the aforementioned decree was issued by President Marcos. Pursuant thereto, the private respondent filed a claim with the AGRIX Claims Committee for the payment of its loan credit. In the meantime, the New Agrix, Inc. and the National Development Company, petitioners herein, invoking Sec. 4 (1) of the decree, filed (3) the decree violated the equal protection clause. The motion for reconsideration of this decision having been denied, the present petition was filed. The Court granted the petitioner's prayer for a temporary restraining order and instructed the respondents to cease and desist from conducting a public auction sale of the lands in question. The petitioners contend that the private respondent is now estopped from contesting the validity of the decree. The Court, after noting that the petitioners had already filed their claims with the AGRIX Claims Committee created by the decree, had simply dismissed the petition on the ground of estoppel. The petitioners stress that in the case at bar the private respondent also invoked the provisions of Pres. Decree No. 1717 by filing a claim with the AGRIX Claims Committee. Failing to get results, it sought to foreclose the real estate mortgage executed by AGRIX in its favor, which had been extinguished by the decree. It was only when the petitioners challenged the foreclosure on the basis of Sec. 4 (1) of the decree, that the private respondent attacked the validity of the provision. At that stage, however, consistent with Mendoza, the private respondent was already estopped from questioning the constitutionality of the decree. ISSUE: WON Philippine Veterans Bank as creditor of Agrix is still entitled for payment without prejudice to PD 1717. HELD: YES. A mortgage lien is a property right derived from contract and so comes under the protection of Bill of rights so do interests on loans, as well as penalties and charges, which are also vested rights once they accrue. Private property cannot simply be taken by law from one person and given to another without just compensation and any known public purpose. This is plain arbitrariness and is not permitted under the constitution. The court also feels that the decree impairs the obligation of the contract between Agrix and the private respondent without justification. While it is true that the police power is superior to the impairment clause, the principle will apply only where the contract is so related to the public welfare that it will be considered congenitally susceptible to change by the legislature in the interest of greater number. Our finding in sum, is that PD 1717 is an invalid exercise of the police power, not being in conformity with the traditional requirements of a lawful subject and a lawful method. The extinction of the mortgage and other liens and of the interest and other charges pertaining to the legitimate creditors of Agrix constitutes taking without due process of law, and this is compounded by the reduction of the secured creditors to the category of unsecured creditors in violation of the equal protection clause. Moreover, the new corporation being neither owned nor controlled by the government, should have been created only by general and not special law. And in so far as the decree also interferes with purely private agreements without any demonstrated connection with the public interest, there is likewise an impairment of the obligation of the contract. AGUSTIN V. EDU - CASE DIGEST - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW AGUSTIN V. EDU G.R. No. L-49112 February 2, 1979 FACTS: Petitioner, Agustin assails the validity of the Letter of Instruction No. 229 which requires an early warning device to be carried by users of motor vehicles as being violative of the constitutional guarantee of due process and transgresses the fundamental principle of nondelegation of legislative power. Herein respondent Romeo Edu in his capacity as Land Transportation Commisioner set forth the implementing rules and regulations of the said instruction. Petitioner make known that he "is the owner of a Volkswagen Beetle Car, Model 13035, already properly equipped when it came out from the assembly lines with blinking lights fore and aft, which could very well serve as an early warning device in case of the emergencies mentioned in Letter of Instructions No. 229, as amended, as well as the implementing rules and regulations in Administrative Order No. 1 issued by the land transportation Commission," Furthermore, he contends that the law is "one-sided, onerous and patently illegal and immoral because [they] will make manufacturers and dealers instant millionaires at the expense of car owners who are compelled to buy a set of the so-called early warning device at the rate of P 56.00 to P72.00 per set." are unlawful and unconstitutional and contrary to the precepts of a compassionate New Society [as being] compulsory and confiscatory on the part of the motorists who could very well provide a practical alternative road safety device, or a better substitute to the specified set of Early Warning Device (EWD)." This instruction, signed by President Marcos, aims to prevent accidents on streets and highways, including expressways or limited access roads caused by the presence of disabled, stalled or parked motor vehicles without appropriate early warning devices. The hazards posed by these disabled vehicles are recognized by international bodies concerned with traffic safety. The Philippines is a signatory of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals and the United Nations Organizations and the said Vienna Convention was ratified by the Philippine Government under PD 207. ISSUE: WON the LOI 229 is invalid and violated constitutional guarantees of due process. HELD: NO. The assailed Letter of Instruction was a valid exercise of police power and there was no unlawful delegation of legislative power on the part of the respondent. As identified, police power is a state authority to enact legislation that may interfere personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare. In this case, the particular exercise of police power was clearly intended to promote public safety. It cannot be disputed that the Declaration of Principle found in the Constitution possesses relevance: “The Philippines adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the nation.” Thus, as impressed in the 1968 Vienna Convention it is not for this country to repudiate a commitment to which it had pledged its word. Our country’s word was resembled in our own act of legislative ratification of the said Hague and Vienna Conventions thru P.D. No. 207 . The concept of Pacta sunt servanda stands in the way of such an attitude which is, moreoever, at war with the principle of international morality. Petition dismissed. MAGTAJAS V. PRYCE PROPERTIES - CASE DIGEST - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW MAGTAJAS V. PRYCE PROPERTIES 20, 1994 G.R. No. 111097 July Pryce assailed the ordinances before the Court of Appeals, where it was joined by PAGCOR as intervenor and supplemental petitioner. FACTS: Court of Appeals declared the ordinances invalid and issued the writ prayed for to prohibit their enforcement. 1 Reconsideration of this decision was denied against petitioners. PAGCOR is a corporation created directly by P.D. 1869 to help centralize and regulate all games of chance, including casinos on land and sea within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines. Hence, this petition for review under Rule 45. ISSUE: PAGCOR decided to expand its operations to Cagayan de Oro City. It leased a portion of a building belonging to Pryce Properties Corporations, Inc., renovated & equipped the same, and prepared to inaugurate its casino during the Christmas season. Then Mayor Magtajas together with the city legislators and civil organizations of the City of Cagayan de Oro denounced such project. In reaction to this project, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Cagayan de Oro City enacted two (2) ordinances prohibiting the issuance of a business permit and canceling existing business permit to establishment for the operation of casino (ORDINANCE NO. 3353) and an ordinance prohibiting the operation of casino and providing penalty for its violation. (ORDINANCE NO. 3375-93). WON Ordinance No. 3353 and Ordinance No. 3375-93 are a valid exercise of police power. HELD: NO. The ordinances enacted are invalid. Ordinances should not contravene a statute. Municipal governments are merely agents of the National Government. Local Councils exercise only delegated powers conferred by Congress. The delegate cannot be superior to the principal powers higher than those of the latter. PD 1869 authorized casino gambling. As a statute, it cannot be amended/nullified by a mere ordinance. As to petitioners attack on gambling as harmful and immoral, the Court stressed that the morality of gambling is not a justiciable issue. Gambling is not illegal per se. While it is generally considered inimical to the interests of the people, there is nothing in the Constitution categorically proscribing or penalizing gambling or, for that matter, even mentioning it at all. It is left to Congress to deal with the activity as it sees fit. In the exercise of its own discretion, the legislature may prohibit gambling altogether or allow it without limitation or it may prohibit some forms of gambling and allow others for whatever reasons it may consider sufficient. Thus, it has prohibited jueteng and monte but permits lotteries, cockfighting, and horse-racing. In making such choices, Congress has consulted its own wisdom, which this Court has no authority to review, much less reverse. Well has it been said that courts do not sit to resolve the merits of conflicting theories. That is the prerogative of the political departments. It is settled that questions regarding the wisdom, morality, or practicability of statutes are not addressed to the judiciary but may be resolved only by the legislative and executive departments, to which the function belongs in our scheme of government. That function is exclusive. Whichever way these branches decide, they are answerable only to their own conscience and the constituents who will ultimately judge their acts, and not to the courts of justice. 349 Phil. 434 [ GR No. 127073, Jan 29, 1998 ] allegedly subleased to Joy Mart Consolidated Corporation (Joy Mart) for P199,710.00 per month. JOSE P. DANS v. PEOPLE + FACTS: Sometime in 1984, then Minister of Human Settlements Imelda R. Marcos and then Transportation and Communications Minister Jose P. Dans, Jr., petitioners herein, entered into several contracts involving the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) and the Philippine General Hospital Foundation, Inc. (PGHFI). Concurrently and respectively, Marcos and Dans served as ex-oficio Chairman and exoficio Vice-Chairman of the LRTA, and as Chairman and Director of the Board of Trustees of the PGHFI. By virtue of these agreements, which were authorized and in fact ratified by the LRTA Board of Directors, two vacant LRTA lots consisting of a 7,340-square meter parcel of land located in Pasay City (the Pasay lot), and a 1,141.20square meter lot in Carriedo, Sta. Cruz, Manila (the Sta. Cruz lot), were leased out to the PGHFI. Specifically, the LRTA and the PGHFI, represented by Dans and Marcos, respectively, approved three deeds, namely, an "Agreement for the Development of the Areas Adjacent to the Light Rail Transit System Stations and the Management and Operation of the Concession Areas Therein," and two lease agreements dated June 8 and June 18, 1984, covering the Pasay and the Sta. Cruz lots. The terms of the lease agreements were identical except as to the price: the lease would be good for 25 years subject to an annual escalation of 7.5%; PGHFI had the right to sublease the lots; and the monthly lease was P102,760.00 for the Pasay lot and P92,437.20 for the Sta. Cruz lot. Within the same month, the Pasay lot was subleased by PGHFI, through Marcos, to Transnational Construction Corporation (TNCC) for P734,000.00 a month, while the Sta. Cruz lot was Because of these deeds, petitioners were charged on January 14, 1992, with a violation of Republic Act No. 3019 (the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). In short, Marcos and Dans were separately charged under Criminal Case Nos. 17451 and 17452 for accepting employment in and/or acting as Chairman and Director, respectively, of the PGHFI while the latter had pending business (the lease agreements) with the LRTA, which they both also headed. With regard to the other cases, Criminal Case Nos. 17449, 17450 and 17453, the accusations against both of them stemmed from the contracts they signed in representation of the LRTA and of the PGHFI which were allegedly entered into "under terms and conditions manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government." When arraigned, petitioners pleaded "not guilty" to all of the charges. Before trial could commence, Dans moved for the advance examination of defense witness Ramon F. Cuervo, Jr., a real estate broker, appraiser and friend of Dans who, as an expert witness, was in a position to inform the court that the agreed lease prices stated in the subject agreements were fair based on standard industry valuation standards. The court a quo granted said motion, and Cuervo was allowed to testify on August 12, 13, and 19, 1992. During this time, Marcos never questioned Cuervo and later expressed that she had no desire to further examine him. Five days after the final hearing of Cuervo's testimony, the trial of the five cases opened with the formal offer of the prosecution's documentary evidence, which included, inter alia, the five agreements mentioned earlier. On November 23, 1992, the court issued an order admitting all the exhibits except Exhibits "D" and "E" as to Dans, who challenged the two sublease agreements, and Exhibit "E-1" as to Marcos, who, while accepting the validity of said sublease agreement, nevertheless questioned the authenticity of her signature thereon. In Criminal Case No. 17543, Dans filed a Motion to Dismiss (demurrer to evidence) dated December 7, 1992, but the court denied the same, as well as his motion for reconsideration thereof. By the time the case was submitted for decision, Marcos had neither submitted a formal offer of evidence, despite notice of the court's orders to do so, nor the required memorandum. She did file a motion for inhibition of the justices of the Sandiganbayan's First Division on the ground of pre-judgment of her case based on the court's denial of Dans' demurrer to evidence, but this was denied in the court's resolution of May 20, 1993. On September 24, 1993, the court a quo rendered judgment, acquitting petitioners in Criminal Case Nos. 17449, 17451, and 17452, but convicting them in Criminal Case Nos. 17450 and 17453. Petitioners filed their respective motions for reconsideration of the court's decision on October 8, 1993. The Office of the Solicitor General also filed a motion for partial reconsideration on the same date, seeking civil indemnity for the People of the Philippines. On November 13, 1996, respondent court promulgated two resolutions, one denying the motion of Dans, and another denying that of Marcos and modifying the assailed September 24, 1993, decision with the addition of a sixth paragraph in the dispositive portion which dealt with the civil liability of petitioners. Aggrieved, petitioners separately elevated their case to this Court for a review on the following grounds: G.R. No. 127073 - Respondent Court erred in denying petitioner's demurrer to evidence in Criminal Case No. 17453 on the basis of baseless assumptions and conjectures not established by evidence. Worse, in violation of mandatory rules of evidence, the denial of the demurrer was made to rest on the advance, conditional testimony of defense witness Ramon Cuervo which had not yet been offered in evidence. - Respondent Court erred in concluding that the two lease contracts in question were manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government despite unrebutted evidence that their terms and conditions were fair and reasonable and did not prejudice the Government. - - - Respondent Court erred when it assumed without evidentiary basis that LRTA had put up or would put up buildings on the leased land. Respondent Court erred in holding that the lease contracts were also grossly disadvantageous to the Government because "non-payment of rentals . . . was not actionable unless the rentals were in arrears for one year", citing the stipulation: "Should there be a delay in any payment of the rental consideration equivalent to one year, the lessor shall have the right to take possession of the premises, the property and improvements thereon, the ownership of all improvements thereby accruing to the lessor." (Stip. II, par. 4). Assuming without admitting that LRTA would receive less than fair rental under the disputed lease contracts, respondent Court erred when it considered injury to LRTA as necessarily an injury to the Government, notwithstanding that such supposed injury to LRTA was offset by the corresponding benefit enuring to the Philippine General Hospital (a government hospital funded by government funds), which is inconsistent with the theory that the disputed lease contracts were disadvantageous to "the Government." Under Sec. 3(g) of R.A. No. 3019 which seeks to protect public interest in general by condemning contracts disadvantageous to the Government, the term "government" is used in its widest sense so as to include "the national government, the government-owned and government-controlled corporations, and all other instrumentalities or agencies of the Republic of the Philippines and their branches." [Sec. 2(a)]. - While respondent Court was duty-bound to be just and impartial, it failed to give petitioner a fair trial, who was thereby denied due process of law. Respondent Court was plainly biased against, if not downright hostile to, petitioner; it unfairly allied itself with the prosecution, which made it prosecutor and judge at the same time. - Aside from the foregoing, the appealed decision is flawed by fatal infirmities which have effectively denied petitioner due process of law." - The questioned Decision is a nullity because Section 3 (g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019, as amended) is unconstitutional for being, on its face, void for vagueness. - The questioned Decision is a nullity because Section 3 (g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019, as amended) is unconstitutional for being a "rider." - The questioned Decision is a nullity because the Informations in SB Criminal Cases Nos. 17450 and 17453 did not state all the essential facts constituting the offense but instead stated conclusions of law, thereby denying the Petitioner her constitutional right to be informed of "the nature and the cause of the accusation" against her (Sec. 14 (2), Bill of Rights). - The questioned Decision is a nullity because the Information in said SB Criminal Cases Nos. 17450 and 17453 charged only two of the total number of members in the Board of Directors of the LRTA and the Board of Directors of the PGH Foundation, who had participated in the collective acts, thereby singling Petitioner and her companion for discriminatory prosecution, in violation of her right to Equal Protection of the Laws, which violation existed from the filing of the information and cannot be cured by post hoc proceedings. - The questioned Decision is a nullity, because of the participation therein of Mr. Justice Garchitorena, whose long-standing bias and hostility towards President Marcos and Petitioner Imelda R. Marcos prevented him from having the requisite "cold neutrality of an impartial judge," in violation of her right as an accused person to Procedural Due Process of Law. - The questioned Decision is a nullity because Petitioner was denied of her Constitutional Right to counsel. - Facts of record showing that Petitioner was deprived of and denied her Right to Counsel. Under the circumstances of record, the absence of counsel resulting from imposition of suspension from the practice of law upon her retained counsel, constituted deprivation of or denial of the Right to Counsel. Facts of record showing legal representation of Petitioner Imelda Marcos was not adequate. - The questioned Decision is premature and had disregarded the constitutional right of the Petitioner to present evidence in her behalf. Her right to testify in her own behalf is a guaranteed right, the exercise of which is her personal choice alone, and which counsel had no authority to waive in her behalf. Besides, counsel being suspended, he could not have made a waiver. This constitutional right "to be heard by himself and counsel" she is invoking now, as part of her right to due process (Sec. 14 (1) and (2), Bill of Rights). - The questioned Decision is a nullity for it was rendered in derogation of Petitioner's subsisting right to be heard and to submit evidence in her defense. The finding of waiver is a prejudicial error. The evidence thereof on the record is tenuous. A waiver by an accused person of the right to be heard in her defense, including her right to testify in her own behalf must be indubitable, and is valid only if personally exercised through her own manifestation in open court. - The questioned Decision is a nullity because the crime charged was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and the presumption of innocence was not overcome, which is required by Due Process. There was no disadvantage to the Government. i. PGH Foundation is part of the "Government". ii. There was no disadvantage to the "Government" because the PGH, which is part of the Government benefitted. iii. Facts of record, especially the questioned leases, show no disadvantage. iv. Conviction was based on weakness of defense evidence and not (on) strength of prosecution's evidence. - Conviction was based on pure speculation. v. Respondent Sandiganbayan (First Division) erred in holding the leases disadvantageous as to rental in absence of evidence existing at the time that higher rentals should have been paid. The questioned Decision and Resolution are null and void because the Respondent Sandiganbayan (First Division) acted without jurisdiction in issuing the questioned Decision and Resolution since the records clearly show that the Court with jurisdiction over these cases is the Special Division of Five Justices created by Admin. Order 288-93 pursuant to Sec. 5 of PD 1606 as amended and not Respondent Sandiganbayan (First Division)." ISSUES: vi. Respondent Sandiganbayan erred in holding that rentals for sub-leases were evidence of disadvantage when such sub-leases were made later and negotiated by a charitable foundation deserving of support through higher rentals. Assuming arguendo alleged disadvantage, the same was not manifest nor gross. Petitioner Marcos did not enter into the questioned lease contracts on behalf of the Government. The charge of conspiracy was not proved hence no basis for liability. 1) Was respondent court correct in denying the demurrer to evidence of petitioner Dans in Criminal Case No. 17453? Dans questioned the denial on the ground that the demurrer should have been resolved solely on the basis of the prosecution's evidence; and even assuming that it could be resolved using the evidence for the defense, the latter must have been previously formally offered. These arguments are specious and must, therefore, be rejected. Although a demurrer to evidence must be resolved based on the evidence of the prosecution, there is nothing in the rules which would bar the court from taking cognizance of any matter taken up during the trial or which has become part of the records of the case, especially in this instance where the disputed evidence was taken in advance at the request of the defendant himself. Additionally, it is erroneous to suppose that Cuervo's testimony was not formally offered at the time because "(t)estimonial evidence is formally offered by the calling of the witness to the stand." Thus, we find merit in the manner by which the trial court justified the denial of Dans' demurrer to evidence. As in judicial notice of a fact, 'admissions made in the course of the judicial proceedings are substitutes for, and dispense with, the actual proof of facts.' The party benefited by the admission is relieved of the duty of presenting evidence of the admitted fact and '(t)he court, for the proper decision of the case, may and should consider, without the introduction of evidence, the fact admitted by the parties.' Third, since the advance testimony of Mr. Cuervo was given in open court and duly recorded, the Court could not just ignore the solemn declarations therein on the technicality that the testimony had not been formally offered in evidence. x x x." In any event, even if the testimony of Cuervo were to be excluded, there was enough evidence proffered by the prosecution, particularly Exhibits "B" (the lease agreement in favor of the PGHFI) and "D" (the sublease agreement in favor of TNCC) which would have more than justified the denial of the demurrer. In other words, notwithstanding Cuervo's testimony, these exhibits constitute solid documentary proof of petitioners' liability under Section 3(g) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended. 2) Were the informations filed in Criminal Case Nos. 17450 and 17453 sufficient in form? There appears to be no doubt that the questioned informations are reasonably adequate as to apprise Marcos on the nature and cause of the accusations against her. In the case of Luciano v. Estrella, the Court had occasion to enumerate the elements of the crime under Section 3(g), R.A. No. 3019, namely, (1) that the accused is a public officer; (2) that he entered into a contract or transaction on behalf of the government; and (3) that such contract or transaction is grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the government. As can be readily observed, the informations meet the minimum requirements for them to be upheld in court. It is also alleged that "for a criminal complaint or information to sufficiently inform the accused of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, all the essential facts constituting the offense must be stated therein, and not mere conclusions of law." Assuming that the matters which Marcos wanted to see alleged in the informations are not evidentiary in character, and that they are really vague and ambiguous, other courses of action could have been taken, such as filing a motion for a bill of particulars. This is what the Court precisely suggested in People v. Arlegui. The more appropriate procedure under the circumstances would have been an order from the court directing the Fiscal to amend the information because the defect, if there ever was one, was curable by the simplest of amendments or clarifications." (Underscoring supplied) In fact, the records reveal that Marcos did file such a motion. After the prosecution had filed its answer thereto, she was given an opportunity to file a reply, but she did not, thereby indicating that she was satisfied with what was already stated in the answer. 3) Is Section 3(g), R.A. No. 3019, as amended, constitutional? The validity of this provision is being assailed by petitioner Marcos on grounds of vagueness and superfluity. She claims that the phrase "manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government" is vague for it does not set a definite standard by which the court will be guided, thus, leaving it open to human subjectivity. There is, however, nothing "vague" about the statute. The assailed provision answers the basic query "What is the violation?" Anything beyond this, the "how's" and the "why's," are evidentiary matters which the law itself cannot possibly disclose in view of the uniqueness of every case. The "disadvantage" in this instance is something that still has to be addressed by the State's evidence as the trial progresses. It may be said that the law is intended to be flexible in order to allow the judge a certain latitude in determining if the disadvantage to the government occasioned by the act of a public officer in entering into a particular contract is, indeed, gross and manifest. The personal circumstances of an accused are, in this regard, also immaterial, because of the nature of the statute. We, therefore, affirm the constitutionality of Section 3(g) of R.A No. 3019, as amended. 4) Was petitioner Marcos deprived of her constitutional right to be heard by herself or counsel? Marcos claims that she was not adequately represented by counsel at the trial due to the suspension from the practice of law of her counsel of record, Atty. Antonio Coronel. It appears from the records, however, that during the absence of Atty. Coronel and sometime thereafter, she was still represented by other lawyers, including Renato Dilag, Luis Sillano, Perfecto V. Fernandez, Jose and Cristobal Fernandez, Vicente D. Millora, Juan T. David, Balbino Diego, and the law firm of Manuel M. Lazaro and Associates. The representation of Atty. Millora and the Fernandezes subsisted even in this Court, where they were later substituted by Atty. Estelito Mendoza. In any event, at the time Atty. Coronel and his replacements withdrew their respective appearances, all evidence had already been presented. It is just that Marcos opted not to present any evidence for her defense, relying, perhaps, on what she perceived to be glaringly weak prosecution evidence. Or it is not impossible or far-fetched that her refusal may have been due to her indifference to or open defiance of the justice system. 5) Was the evidence properly appreciated by respondent court? In proclaiming his innocence, Dans relied only on his and Cuervo's testimony. Marcos, on the other hand, presented no evidence at all, claiming that she had been prejudged by respondent court. The prosecution submitted documentary evidence and nothing else. The question that must first be answered, therefore, is: Was the State's evidence sufficient to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the accused, petitioners herein, committed the crimes for which they were held accountable? Petitioners were charged with and found guilty of violating Section 3(g) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended. It states thus: "SEC. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. -- In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: xxx xxx xxx (g) Entering, on behalf of the Government, into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby." It is clear that for liability to attach under the aforequoted provision, the public officer concerned must have entered into a contract which is "manifestly and grossly disadvantageous" to the Government. The court a quo phrased the focal issue in these petitions in this wise: "(A)re exhibits 'A,' 'B' and 'C', the Lease Agreements executed by the LRTA with the PGH Foundation over the LRT property at the stations in Pasay City and Sta. Cruz (Manila) 'manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government'?" A perusal of the prosecution's documentary evidence would readily reveal, even from a layman's perspective, that the Government was seriously prejudiced in the transactions under review. We concur with the observation of the court a quo that, by itself, Exhibit "A," the "mother contract" which initially granted the PGHFI a virtual exclusive license or franchise over the subject properties, "would neither be prejudicial (n)or beneficial to anybody," because it did not refer to any specific property or consideration. Hence, petitioners were correctly acquitted in Criminal Case No. 17449, which was based on this agreement. With regard to Criminal Case Nos. 17450 and 17453, the Court is likewise constrained to agree with the trial court that the Government suffered a manifest and gross disadvantage with the execution of the two lease agreements, Exhibits "B" and "C." The facts in this regard are undisputed. The monthly rental price agreed upon between the LRTA and the PGHFI for the lease of the Pasay lot was P102,760.00, and for the Sta. Cruz lot, it was P92,437.20. Barely ten days later, the very same properties were subleased by PGHFI to private entities for P734,000.00 (for the Pasay lot) and P199,710.00 (for the Sta. Cruz lot). The difference in the lease price is too enormous to ignore, for no market force could possibly have raised the rental cost in the same site by that margin in just over a week. Even by conservative estimates, the properties could have originally been leased out for at least P500,000.00 more. The Government was thereby deprived of at least an additional half a million pesos per month. Indubitably, there was some kind of conflict of interest in the premises. Marcos and Dans, who were then Cabinet members, occupied the highest positions in the Boards of the LRTA and the PGHFI in a concurrent capacity at the time the questioned deals were made. They were, as it were, playing both ends; but on paper, one was acting for the lessor and the other for the lessee. The fact that petitioners were cleared of the charge that they acted improperly in accepting seats in the PGHFI Board of Trustees at the time when it had pending business transactions with the LRTA, of which they were also officers is of no moment. First, their acquittal in Criminal Case No. 17451 and No. 17452 was simply due to the insufficiency of the informations. Second, the accusation in said informations have no bearing whatsoever on the subject matter of the other cases filed against them as signatories to the assailed lease agreements. The prosecution never attempted to establish a connection between the two defendants in committing the acts for which they were charged. It is a fundamental rule, however, that a charge of conspiracy must be proven just like any other criminal accusation, that is, "independently and beyond reasonable doubt." In this regard, therefore, this Court's opinion that the alleged conspiracy between the petitioners was not sufficiently established by the State's evidence. 6) Were the members of the Sandiganbayan's First Division biased against petitioners? Consequently, is the assailed decision dated September 24, 1993, valid? Petitioners consider erroneous the active participation of the members of the Sandiganbayan's First Division during the hearing of Cuervo's testimony. The records reveal that, indeed, the court a quo may have participated more actively than usual in the examination of Cuervo in order to elicit from him the information that would nail down the prosecution's basic theory, thus rendering unassailable the conclusions which are now being impugned by petitioners who argue that the extensive questioning of Cuervo made the Sandiganbayan, particularly Justice Garchitorena, not only a judge, but a prosecutor as well. To be sure, instead of being satisfied with Cuervo's testimonial affirmation of what it had all along considered to be the fair rental value of the properties, the court a quo relied on his responses to numerous postulated queries thereby concluding there was a "gross disparity" in the lease price, as agreed upon by the parties, and the projected rental price, as estimated by Cuervo. Indeed, if the trial court's conclusions were to be followed, the Pasay lot should fetch a monthly rental of P210,000.00 and the Sta. Cruz lot, P400,000.00. These figures are extrapolated from the potential rental price of the lots, considering its location. Petitioners point out that the limitations on the right of judges to ask questions during the trial were not observed by the Sandiganbayan. They accuse Justice Garchitorena of acting more of a prosecutor than the impartial judge he is supposed to be, particularly during the examination of Cuervo. Lest we be distracted by this allegation of bias on the part of respondent court, it must be remembered that petitioners were never prejudiced by such questioning, which is about the only thing that would make a string of queries by a judge objectionable. As the following discussion will reveal, the trial court's interpretation of Cuervo's testimony is immaterial because of the sufficiency of the documentary evidence of the prosecution to prove the charges against herein petitioners. and gross disadvantage to the government occasioned by Exhibit "B," was admitted by the court and by the parties themselves, the validity of Exhibit "E" cannot, even up to this point, be determined with certainty because it is a mere uncertified photocopy of the original. Thus, the "gross and manifest" disadvantage to the government, which Exhibit "E" was supposed to engender, remains an allegation which cannot be proved by other direct evidence. The fact that only Dans objected to its admissibility does not mean that it is valid as to Marcos. As a result, both petitioners should be, as they are hereby, acquitted in Criminal Case No. 17453 on ground of reasonable doubt. In Criminal Case No. 17450, we must further qualify our judgment. In view of the circumstances obtaining here, we find that the trial court's active role in this regard was necessary to clarify the mostly technical aspect of Cuervo's testimony. DECISION: In Criminal Case No. 17453, we do not concur with the conclusions reached by the court a quo. The culpability of petitioners in this case stems from their entering into the lease agreement (Exhibit "C") over the Sta. Cruz lot under terms and conditions manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the government, which, in this instance, is the LRTA. To prove this assertion, the prosecution presented in evidence the sublease agreement (Exhibit "E") over the same property showing the disparity in the rental price. While the authenticity of Exhibit "D," which was used to prove the manifest As regards petitioner Dans, the Court is of the opinion that the prosecution failed to prove his guilt in committing the offenses charged beyond a reasonable doubt. We believe that his liability, if any, could only stem from a knowledge of the terms of the sublease agreements, Exhibits "D" and "E," which formed the core of the Court's appraisal of the manifest and gross disadvantage to the government. Exhibit "E," as already discussed, was correctly disregarded by the court a quo for being unauthenticated. Even though he was a Board Director of the PGHFI, Dans denied any knowledge of the execution of Exhibits "D" and "E," and his denial was never disproved by the prosecution. In fact, his signature does not appear in either sublease agreements. Neither was the alleged conspiracy between him and Marcos established by the prosecution. It is this Court's opinion, however, that the guilt of petitioner Marcos was proved by the State beyond reasonable doubt. She was charged with violation of Section 3(g) of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, for executing a lease agreement (Exhibit "B") in behalf of the PGHFI, a private enterprise of which she was the Chairman, over a lot located in Pasay City owned by the LRTA, a government corporation of which she was undeniably also the Chairman. The consideration therefor was shown to be unfair and unreasonable upon comparison with the rental price stipulated in the sublease agreement (Exhibit "D") which she subsequently signed for the PGHFI in favor of TNCC. That she should be held responsible is shown by the presence of her signature in Exhibits "A" to "E," where she acts in different capacities. She cannot, under these circumstances, claim ignorance of the great disparity between the rental price stipulated in the lease and the sublease agreements. Consequently, in Criminal Case No. 17450, the conviction of petitioner Marcos should be, as it is hereby, upheld. Finally, the Court observes that the Sandiganbayan awarded damages to the People in the amount of P32,172,000.00 in Criminal Case No. 17450 and P92,268,840.00 in Criminal Case No. 17453. This must be accordingly corrected. Considering that petitioners were acquitted in Criminal Case No. 17453 due to lack of evidence, the Court deems them likewise free from any civil liability since the fact from which such liability might arise no longer exists. On the other hand, in Criminal Case No. 17450, the Court observes that an error has been committed in the computation of the damages to be awarded to the People. The trial court based its figures on the amount it perceived to be the fair rental value of the Pasay lot, as estimated by Cuervo, less the rental price stated in Exhibit "B." Thus, it deducted P102,760.00 (the stipulated monthly rental for the Pasay lot) from P210,000.00 (Cuervo's estimate, as interpreted by the court a quo) to arrive at a difference of P107,240.00, which was multiplied by 12 months to reach an "annual loss" of P1,286,880.00. This amount was then multiplied by the life span of the lease contract, which is 25 years, to come up with the final award of P32,172,000.00. Since the estimates of Cuervo were found to be mere "estimates," it is difficult to imagine why the trial court used them as basis for its calculation of damages. As we have already demonstrated, the gross and manifest disadvantage to the government in Criminal Case No. 17450 was determined by comparing Exhibits "B" and "D." The conviction of Marcos was predicated on the nexus between these two documents, as well as on her obvious conflict of interest in entering into them. By the same token, her civil liability must also be made to depend on these two pieces of evidence. The correct figures should be those stated in Exhibits "B" and "D," to wit: P734,000.00 (the stipulated monthly sublease rental for the Pasay lot) less P102,760.00 (the agreed monthly lease price for said property) times 12 months times 25 years. Thus, P734,000.00 P102,760.00 = P631,240.00 x 12 months = P7,574,880.00 x 25 years = P189,372,000.00. WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered: 1) AFFIRMING the CONVICTION of petitioner Imelda R. Marcos in Criminal Case No. 17450, with the modification that said petitioner is hereby ordered to pay the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) the amount of ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-NINE MILLION, THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-TWO THOUSAND PESOS (P189,372,000.00), as and by way of reimbursement for the prejudice caused thereto resulting from the execution of the lease contract dated June 8, 1984; and 2) REVERSING the CONVICTION of petitioner Imelda R. Marcos in Criminal Case No. 17453 and of petitioner Jose P. Dans, Jr. in Criminal Case No. 17450 and No. 17453, on ground of reasonable doubt. Corona vs. UHPAP FACTS: The Philippine Ports Authority [PPA] was created through PD 505, as amended by PD857 to “control, regulate, supervise pilots and the pilot age profession”. After hearing from relevant government agencies, pursuant to said charter, PPA General Manager Rogelio A. Dayan issued Administrative Order 04-92 [PPA-AO 04-92] and corresponding Memorandum Order in 1992, stating that all existing regular appointments which have been previously issued shall remain valid up to 31 December 1992 only and that all appointments to harbor pilot positions in all pilot age districts shall, henceforth, be only for a term of one year from date of effectivity subject to yearly renewal or cancellation by the Authority after conduct of a rigid evaluation of performance” to regulate and improve pilot services by instilling discipline and give better protection to port users. PPA-AO 04-92 replaces PPA-AO 03-85 which succinctly provides that, aspiring pilots must have a license and train as probationary pilots, and only upon satisfactory performance, are given permanent and regular appointments by the PPA itself and to exercise harbor pilot age until they reach the age of 70.Upon learning of PPA-AO 04-92 only after publication in the newspaper, the United Harbor Pilots Association of the Philippines: (a) questioned said PPA-AO twice before the DOTC, which Secretary Garcia said twice that only the PPA Board of Directors [as governing body] has exclusive jurisdiction to review, recall or annul PPA-AOs, (b) appealed to the Office of the President, which first issued a restraining order to the PPA on the implementation of the PPA-AO, and after PPA’s answer, then dismissed the appeal/petition and lifted said order, stating, through Assistant Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs Renato C. Corona, that the PPA-AO (i) merely implements PPA Charter, (ii) issuance is an act of PPA, not of its General Manager, (iii) merely regulates, not forbids practice of the profession, recognizing that such exercise is property right, and (iv) sufficiently complied with the requirement in the PD to consult only with relevant Government Agencies and (d) finally finding affirmative relief with Manila RTC Br. 6. Court, which ruled that (i) said PPA-AO is null and void (ii) PPA acted in excess of jurisdiction with grave abuse of discretion and (iii) imposed a permanent restraining order on PPA on its implementation.Assistant Executive Secretary Corona thus filed petition for review [of the Manila RTC Decision] to the Supreme Court. ISSUES: 1.) Whether or not the respondents have acted in excess of jurisdiction. 2.) Whether or not the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) violate respondents’ right to exercise their profession and their right to due process of law. RULING: WHEREFORE, for all the foregoing, this Court hereby rules that: Respondents (herein petitioners) have acted in excess of jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion and in a capricious, whimsical and arbitrary manner in promulgating PPA Administrative Order 0492 including all its implementing Memoranda, Circulars and Orders; PPA Administrative Order 04-92 and its implementing Circulars and Orders are declared null and void; The respondents are permanently enjoined from implementing PPA Administrative Order 04-92 and its implementing Memoranda, Circulars and Orders. No costs. SO ORDERED PEOPLE V. DELA PIEDRA - CASE DIGEST - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW PEOPLE V. DELA PIEDRA 2001 G.R. No. 121777. January 24, FACTS: Accused-appellant Carol M. dela Piedra was charged of illegal recruitment in large scale by promising an employment abroad Maria Lourdes Modesto y Gadrino, Nancy Araneta y Aliwanag and Jennelyn Baez y Timbol, a job to Singapore without having previously obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, a license or authority to engage in recruitment and overseas placement of workers. In fact said Maria Lourdes Modesto had already advanced the amount of P2,000.00 to the accused for and in consideration of the promised employment which did not materialize. Thus causing damage and prejudice to the latter in the said sum. Erlie Ramos, Attorney II of the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA), received a telephone call from an unidentified woman inquiring about the legitimacy of the recruitment conducted by a certain Mrs. Carol Figueroa. Ramos. An entrapment was then planned by the Criminal Investigation Service (CIS) headed by Capt. Mendoza and successfully arrested the accused-appellant. Later on, in the course of their investigation, the CIS discovered that Carol Figueroa had many aliases, among them, Carol Llena and Carol dela Piedra. At the trial, the prosecution presented five (5) witnesses, namely, Erlie Ramos, SPO2 Erwin Manalopilar, Eileen Fermindoza, Nancy Araneta and Lourdes Modesto and all of them positively testified that the accused offer them a job to Singapore. The trial found the accused-appellant guilty of beyond reasonable doubt of Illegal Recruitment committed in a large scale. ISSUE: WON Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code defining recruitment and placement is void for vagueness and, thus, violates the due process clause. HELD: NO. Article 13 (b) of the Labor Code is not a vague provision. As a rule, a statute or act may be said to be vague when 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 in two respects: (1) it violates due process for failure to accord persons, especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of the conduct to avoid; and (2) it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out its provisions and become an arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle. The court cannot sustain the Appellant argument that the acts that constitute recruitment and placement suffer from overbreadth since by merely referring a person for employment, a person may be convicted of illegal recruitment. Evidently,appellant has taken the penultimate paragraph in the excerpt quoted above out of context. The Court, in Panis case, merely bemoaned the lack of records that would help shed light on the meaning of the proviso. The absence of such records notwithstanding, the Court was able to arrive at a reasonable interpretation of the proviso by applying principles in criminal law and drawing from the language and intent of the law itself. Section 13 (b), therefore, is not a perfectly vague act whose obscurity is evident on its face. If at all, the proviso therein is merely couched in imprecise language that was salvaged by proper construction. It is not void for vagueness. that it fails to give adequate warning of the boundary between the constitutionally permissible and the constitutionally impermissible applications of the statute An act will be declared void and inoperative on the ground of vagueness and uncertainty, only upon a showing that the defect is such that the courts are unable to determine, with any reasonable degree of certainty, what the legislature intended. x x x. In this connection we cannot permit reference to the rule that legislation should not be held invalid on the ground of uncertainty if susceptible of any reasonable construction that will support and give it effect. An Act will not be declared inoperative and ineffectual on the ground that it furnishes no adequate means to secure the purpose for which it is passed, if men of common sense and reason can devise and provide the means, and all the instrumentalities necessary for its execution are within the reach of those entrusted therewith. In Blo Umpar Adiong vs. Commission on Elections,for instance, we struck down as void for overbreadth provisions prohibiting the posting of election propaganda in any place including private vehicles other than in the common poster areas sanctioned by the COMELEC. We held that the challenged provisions not only deprived the owner of the vehicle the use of his property but also deprived the citizen of his right to free speech and information. The prohibition in Adiong, therefore, was so broad that it covered even constitutionally guaranteed rights and, hence, void for over breadth. That Section 13 (b) encompasses what appellant apparently considers as customary and harmless acts such as labor or employment referral (referring an applicant, according to appellant, for employment to a prospective employer) does not render the law over broad. Evidently, appellant misapprehends concept of over breadth. A statute may be said to be over broad where it operates to inhibit the exercise of individual freedoms affirmatively guaranteed by the Constitution, such as the freedom of speech or religion. A generally worded statute, when construed to punish conduct which cannot be constitutionally punished is unconstitutionally vague to the extent In the present case, however, appellant did not even specify what constitutionally protected freedoms are embraced by the definition of recruitment and placement that would render the same constitutionally over broad. ESTRADA V. SANDIGANBAYAN - CASE DIGEST - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW ESTRADA V. SANDIGANBAYAN November 19, 2001 G.R. No. 148560. FACTS: Former President Estrada and co-accused were charged for Plunder under RA 7080 (An Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder), as amended by RA 7659. On the information, it was alleged that Estrada have received billions of pesos through any or a combination or a series of overt or criminal acts, or similar schemes or means thereby unjustly enriching himself or themselves at the expense and to the damage of the Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines. Estrada questions the constitutionality of the Plunder Law since for him: 1. it suffers from the vice of vagueness 2. it dispenses with the "reasonable doubt" standard in criminal prosecutions Later on, the Sandiganbayan issued a Resolution in Crim. Case No. 26558 finding that a probable cause for the offense of plunder exists to justify the issuance of warrants for the arrest of the accused. Estrada moved to quash the Information in Criminal Case No. 26558 on the ground that the facts alleged therein did NOT constitute an indictable offense since the law on which it was based was unconstitutional for vagueness and that the Amended Information for Plunder charged more than one offense. Same was denied. The questioned provisions of the petitioners are Secs. 1, par. (d), 2 and 4 of the Plunder Law which states that: Section 1. x x x x (d) "Ill-gotten wealth" means any asset, property, business, enterprise or material possession of any person within the purview of Section Two (2) hereof, acquired by him directly or indirectly through dummies, nominees, agents, subordinates and/or business associates by any combination or series of the following means or similar schemes: (1) Through misappropriation, conversion, misuse, or malversation of public funds or raids on the public treasury; Office of the Ombudsman filed before the Sandiganbayan 8 separate Informations against petitioner. (2) By receiving, directly or indirectly, any commission, gift, share, percentage, kickbacks or any other form of pecuniary benefit from any person and/or entity in connection with any government contract or project or by reason of the office or position of the public office concerned; Estrada filed an Omnibus Motion on the grounds of lack of preliminary investigation, reconsideration/reinvestigation of offenses and opportunity to prove lack of probable cause but was denied. (3) By the illegal or fraudulent conveyance or disposition of assets belonging to the National Government or any of its subdivisions, agencies or instrumentalities, or government owned or controlled corporations and their subsidiaries; 3. it abolishes the element of mens rea in crimes already punishable under The Revised Penal Code. (4) By obtaining, receiving or accepting directly or indirectly any shares of stock, equity or any other form of interest or participation including the promise of future employment in any business enterprise or undertaking; (5) By establishing agricultural, industrial or commercial monopolies or other combinations and/or implementation of decrees and orders intended to benefit particular persons or special interests; or (6) By taking advantage of official position, authority, relationship, connection or influence to unjustly enrich himself or themselves at the expense and to the damage and prejudice of the Filipino people and the Republic of the Philippines. Section 2. Definition of the Crime of Plunder, Penalties. - Any public officer who, by himself or in connivance with members of his family, relatives by affinity or consanguinity, business associates, subordinates or other persons, amasses, accumulates or acquires illgotten wealth through a combination or series of overt or criminal acts as described in Section 1 (d) hereof, in the aggregate amount or total value of at least fifty million pesos (P50,000,000.00) shall be guilty of the crime of plunder and shall be punished by reclusion perpetua to death. Any person who participated with the said public officer in the commission of an offense contributing to the crime of plunder shall likewise be punished for such offense. In the imposition of penalties, the degree of participation and the attendance of mitigating and extenuating circumstances as provided by the Revised Penal Code shall be considered by the court. The court shall declare any and all ill-gotten wealth and their interests and other incomes and assets including the properties and shares of stocks derived from the deposit or investment thereof forfeited in favor of the State (underscoring supplied). Section 4. Rule of Evidence. - For purposes of establishing the crime of plunder, it shall not be necessary to prove each and every criminal act done by the accused in furtherance of the scheme or conspiracy to amass, accumulate or acquire ill-gotten wealth, it being sufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt a pattern of overt or criminal acts indicative of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy (underscoring supplied). ISSUE: WON the crime of plunder is unconstitutional for being vague? HELD: NO. As long as the law affords some comprehensible guide or rule that would inform those who are subject to it what conduct would render them liable to its penalties, its validity will be sustained. The amended information itself closely tracks the language of the law, indicating w/ reasonable certainty the various elements of the offense w/c the petitioner is alleged to have committed. We discern nothing in the foregoing that is vague or ambiguous that will confuse petitioner in his defense. Petitioner, however, bewails the failure of the law to provide for the statutory definition of the terms “combination” and “series” in the key phrase “a combination or series of overt or criminal acts. These omissions, according to the petitioner, render the Plunder Law unconstitutional for being impermissibly vague and overbroad and deny him the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, hence violative of his fundamental right to due process. A statute is not rendered uncertain and void merely because general terms are used herein, or because of the employment of terms without defining them. A statute or act may be said to be vague when it lacks comprehensible standards that men of common intelligence most necessarily guess at its meaning and differ in its application. In such instance, the statute is repugnant to the Constitution in two (2) respects – it violates due process for failure to accord persons, especially the parties targeted by it, fair notice of what conduct to avoid; and, it leaves law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out its provisions and becomes an arbitrary flexing of the Government muscle. A facial challenge is allowed to be made to vague statute and to one which is overbroad because of possible “chilling effect” upon protected speech. The possible harm to society in permitting some unprotected speech to go unpunished is outweighed by the possibility that the protected speech of others may be deterred and perceived grievances left to fester because of possible inhibitory effects of overly broad statutes. But in criminal law, the law cannot take chances as in the area of free speech. ABAKADA v. ERMITA Facts: 1.) They question the constitutionality of Sections 4, 5 and 6 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108, respectively, of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). a.) Section 4 imposes a 10% VAT on sale of goods and properties. b.) Section 5 imposes a 10% VAT on importation of goods c.) Section 6 imposes a 10% VAT on sale of services and use or lease of properties 2.) These questioned provisions contain a uniform proviso authorizing the President, upon recommendation of the Secretary of Finance, to raise the VAT rate to 12%, effective January 1, 2006: a.) Value-added tax collection as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the previous year exceeds two and fourfifth percent (2 4/5%); or Article VI, Section 28(2): The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonnage and wharfage dues and other duties or imposts within the framework of the national development program of the Government. Issues: One of the substantive issues is whether Sections 4, 5 and 6 of R.A. No. 9337, amending Sections 106, 107 and 108 of the NIRC, violate the following provisions of the Constitution specifically Article VI, Section 28(2) for ABAKADA Guro vs Ermita. Petitioners contend: 1.) Delegating to the President the legislative power to tax is contrary to republicanism. 2.) The law also effectively nullified the Presidents power of control, which includes the authority to set aside and nullify the acts of her subordinates like the Secretary of Finance, by mandating the fixing of the tax rate by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance. b.) National government deficit as a percentage of GDP of the previous year exceeds one and one-half percent (1 %) 3.) Petitioners argue that the law is unconstitutional, as it constitutes abandonment by Congress of its exclusive authority to fix the rate of taxes under Article VI, Section 28(2) of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. The principle of non-delegation of powers is instructive for the following contentions. The principle of separation of powers ordains that each of the three great branches of government has exclusive cognizance of and is supreme in matters falling within its own constitutionally allocated sphere. A logical corollary to the doctrine of separation of powers is the principle of non-delegation of powers, as expressed in the Latin maxim: potestas delegata non delegari potest which means what has been delegated, cannot be delegated. This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such as delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate through the instrumentality of his own judgment and not through the intervening mind of another. With respect to the Legislature, Section 1 of Article VI of the Constitution provides that the Legislative power shall be vested in the Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The powers which Congress is prohibited from delegating are those which are strictly, or inherently and exclusively, legislative. Purely legislative power, which can never be delegated, has been described as the authority to make a complete law complete as to the time when it shall take effect and as to whom it shall be applicable and to determine the expediency of its enactment. Delegation is only permissible on the following premises: If the law (a) is complete in itself, setting forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out, or implemented by the delegate; (b) fixes a standard the limits of which are sufficiently determinate and determinable to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his functions. A sufficient standard is one which defines legislative policy, marks its limits, maps out its boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. It indicates the circumstances under which the legislative command is to be effected. In Wayman vs. Southard, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the legislature may delegate a power not legislative which it may itself rightfully exercise. The power to ascertain facts is such a power which may be delegated. There is nothing essentially legislative in ascertaining the existence of facts or conditions as the basis of the taking into effect of a law. Clearly, the legislature may delegate to executive officers or bodies the power to determine certain facts or conditions, or the happening of contingencies, on which the operation of a statute is, by its terms, made to depend, but the legislature must prescribe sufficient standards, policies or limitations on their authority. While the power to tax cannot be delegated to executive agencies, details as to the enforcement and administration of an exercise of such power may be left to them, including the power to determine the existence of facts on which its operation depends. The rationale for this is that the preliminary ascertainment of facts as basis for the enactment of legislation is not of itself a legislative function, but is simply ancillary to legislation. Thus, the duty of correlating information and making recommendations is the kind of subsidiary activity which the legislature may perform through its members, or which it may delegate to others to perform. The case before the Court is not a delegation of legislative power. It is simply a delegation of ascertainment of facts upon which enforcement and administration of the increase rate under the law is contingent. The legislature has made the operation of the 12% rate effective January 1, 2006, contingent upon a specified fact or condition. It leaves the entire operation or non-operation of the 12% rate upon factual matters outside of the control of the executive. The Court finds no merit to the contention of petitioners ABAKADA GURO Party List, et al. that the law effectively nullified the Presidents power of control over the Secretary of Finance by mandating the fixing of the tax rate by the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Finance. WHEREFORE, Republic Act No. 9337 not being unconstitutional, the petitions in G.R. Nos. 168056, 168207, 168461, 168463, and 168730, are hereby DISMISSED. GSIS V. MONTESCLAROS - CASE DIGEST - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW GSIS V. MONTESCLAROS G.R. No. 146494. July 14, 2004 FACTS: Nicolas Montesclaros, a 72-year-old widower married Milagros Orbiso, who was then 43 years old, on 10 July 1983. Nicolas filed with the GSIS an application for retirement benefits under the Revised Government Insurance Act of 1977. In his retirement application, he designated his wife as his sole beneficiary. GSIS approved Nicolas’ application for retirement effective 17 February 1984, granting a lump sum payment of annuity for the first five years and a monthly annuity after. Nicolas died on 22 April 1992. Milagros filed with the GSIS a claim for survivorship pension under PD 1146 but was denied the claim because, under section 18 of PD 1146, the surviving spouse has no right to survivorship pension if the surviving spouse contracted the marriage with the pensioner within three years before the pensioner qualified for the pension. Nicolas wed Milagros on 10 July 1983, less than one year from his date of retirement on 17 February 1984. Milagros filed with the trial court a special civil action for declaratory relief questioning the validity of Sec. 18 of PD 1146. The trial court rendered judgment declaring Milagros eligible for survivorship pension and ordered GSIS to pay Milagros the benefits including interest. Citing Articles 115and 117 of the Family Code, the trial court held that retirement benefits, which the pensioner has earned for services rendered and for which the pensioner has contributed through monthly salary deductions, are onerous acquisitions. Since retirement benefits are property the pensioner acquired through labor, such benefits are conjugal property. The trial court held that the prohibition in Section 18 of PD 1146 is deemed repealed for being inconsistent with the Family Code, a later law. The Family Code has retroactive effect if it does not prejudice or impair vested rights. The trial court held that Section 18 of PD 1146 was repealed by the Family Code, a later law. GSIS appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial court’s decision. Hence, this appeal. In a letter dated 10 January 2003, Milagros informed the Court that she has accepted GSIS’ decision disqualifying her from receiving survivorship pension and that she is no longer interested in pursuing the case. However, the Court will still resolve the issue despite the manifestation of Milagros because social justice and public interest demand the resolution of the constitutionality of the proviso. ISSUE: Whether the proviso in Section 18 of PD 1146 is constitutional. HELD: NO. The sole proviso Sec. 18 of PD 1146 is unconstitutional. Under Section 18 of PD 1146, it prohibits the dependent spouse from receiving survivorship pension if such dependent spouse married the pensioner within three years before the pensioner qualified for the pension. The Court holds that such proviso is discriminatory and denies equal protection of the law. The proviso is contrary to Section 1, Article III of the Constitution, which provides that [n]o person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. The proviso is unduly oppressive in outrightly denying a dependent spouses claim for survivorship pension if the dependent spouse contracted marriage to the pensioner within the three-year prohibited period. There is outright confiscation of benefits due the surviving spouse without giving the surviving spouse an opportunity to be heard. The proviso undermines the purpose of PD 1146, which is to assure comprehensive and integrated social security and insurance benefits to government employees and their dependents in the event of sickness, disability, death, and retirement of the government employees. A statute based on reasonable classification does not violate the constitutional guaranty of the equal protection of the law. The requirements for a valid and reasonable classification are: (1) it must rest on substantial distinctions; (2) it must be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) it must apply equally to all members of the same class. Thus, the law may treat and regulate one class differently from another class provided there are real and substantial differences to distinguish one class from another. The proviso in question does not satisfy these requirements. The proviso discriminates against the dependent spouse who contracts marriage to the pensioner within three years before the pensioner qualified for the pension. Under the proviso, even if the dependent spouse married the pensioner more than three years before the pensioners death, the dependent spouse would still not receive survivorship pension if the marriage took place within three years before the pensioner qualified for pension. The object of the prohibition is vague. There is no reasonable connection between the means employed and the purpose intended. The law itself does not provide any reason or purpose for such a prohibition. If the purpose of the proviso is to prevent deathbed marriages, then we do not see why the proviso reckons the three-year prohibition from the date the pensioner qualified for pension and not from the date the pensioner died. The classification does not rest on substantial distinctions. Worse, the classification lumps all those marriages contracted within three years before the pensioner qualified for pension as having been contracted primarily for financial convenience to avail of pension benefits. Indeed, the classification is discriminatory and arbitrary. This is probably the reason Congress deleted the proviso in Republic Act No. 8291 (RA 8291), otherwise known as the Government Service Insurance Act of 1997, the law revising the old charter of GSIS (PD 1146). Under the implementing rules of RA 8291, the surviving spouse who married the member immediately before the members death is still qualified to receive survivorship pension unless the GSIS proves that the surviving spouse contracted the marriage solely to receive the benefit. Thus, the present GSIS law does not presume that marriages contracted within three years before retirement or death of a member are sham marriages contracted to avail of survivorship benefits. The present GSIS law does not automatically forfeit the survivorship pension of the surviving spouse who contracted marriage to a GSIS member within three years before the members retirement or death. The law acknowledges that whether the surviving spouse contracted the marriage mainly to receive survivorship benefits is a matter of evidence. The law no longer prescribes a sweeping classification that unduly prejudices the legitimate surviving spouse and defeats the purpose for which Congress enacted the social legislation. Wherefore, the proviso in Section 18 of Presidential Decree No. 1146 is void for being violative of the constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection of the law. MIRASOL V. DPWH - CASE DIGEST - CONSTITUTIONAL LAW MIRASOL V. DPWH G.R. No. 158793 June 8, 2006 FACTS: Petitioners filed before the court a petition for declaratory judgment with application for temporary restraining order and injunction. It seeks the declaration of nullification of administrative issuances for being inconsistent with the provisions of Republic Act 2000 (Limited Access Highway Act) which was enacted in 1957. Previously, pursuant to its mandate under RA 2000, DPWH issued on June 25, 1998 Dept. Order no. 215 declaring the Manila Cavite (Coastal Road) Toll Expressway as limited access facilities. DPWH issued an order (DO 123) allowing motorcycles with engine displacement of 400 cubic centimeters inside limited access facilities (toll ways). Upon assumption of Hon. Presiding Judge Cornejo, both the petitioners and respondents were required to file their Memoranda. The court issued an order dismissing the petition but declaring invalid DO 123. The petitioners moved for reconsideration but it was denied. Petitioners filed an Amended Petition on February 8, 2001 wherein petitioners sought the declaration of nullity of the aforesaid administrative issuances. The petitioners prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order to prevent the enforcement of the total ban on motorcycles along NLEX, SLEX, Manila-Cavite (Coastal Road) toll Expressway under DO 215. RTC ruled that DO 74 is valid but DO 123 is invalid being violative of the equal protection clause of the Constitution ISSUE: Whether RTC’s decision is barred by res judicata? RTC, after due hearing, granted the petitioner’s application for preliminary injunction conditioned upon petitioner’s filing of cash bond in the amount of P100, 000 which petitioners complied. Whether DO 74, DO 215 and the TRB regulation contravene RA 2000. Whether AO 1 is unconstitutional. HELD: They claim that DPWH is only allowed to redesign the physical structure of toll ways and not to determine “who or what can be qualifies as toll ways user”. 1. NO. The petitioners are mistaken because they rely on the RTC’s Order granting their prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction. Since petitioners did not appeal from that order, the petitioners presumed that the order became a final judgment on the issues. The court ruled that DO 74 and DO 215 are void because the DPWH has no authority to declare certain expressways as limited access facilities. The order granting the prayer is not an adjudication on the merits of the case that would trigger res judicata. Under the law, it is the DOTC which is authorized to administer and enforce all laws, rules and regulations in the field of transportation and to regulate related activities. A preliminary injunction does not serve as a final determination of the issues, it being a provisional remedy. 2. YES. The petitioners claimed that DO 74, DO 215 and TRB’s rules and regulation issued under them unduly expanded the power of the DPWH in sec. 4 of RA 2000 to regulate toll ways. They contend that DPWH’s regulatory authority is limited to acts like redesigning curbings or central dividing sections. Since the DPWH has no authority to regulate activities relative to transportation, the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) cannot derive its power from the DPWH to issue regulations governing limited access facilities. The DPWH cannot delegate a power or function which it does not possess in the first place. 3. NO. The Court emphasized that the secretary of the then Department of Public Works and Communications had issued AO 1 in February 1968, as authorized under Section 3 of Republic Act 2000, prior to the splitting of the department and the eventual devolution of its powers to the DOTC. Because administrative issuances had the force and effect of law, AO 1 enjoyed the presumption of validity and constitutionality. The burden to prove its unconstitutionality rested on the party assailing it, more so when police power was at issue and passed the test of reasonableness. The Administrative Order was not oppressive, as it did not impose unreasonable restrictions or deprive petitioners of their right to use the facilities. It merely set rules to ensure public safety and the uninhibited flow of traffic within those limited-access facilities. The right to travel did not mean the right to choose any vehicle in traversing a tollway. Petitioners were free to access the tollway as much as the rest of the public. However, the mode in which they wished to travel, pertaining to their manner of using the tollway, was a subject that could validly be limited by regulation. There was no absolute right to drive; on the contrary, this privilege was heavily regulated. III. EQUAL PROTECTION OF LAW PEOPLE V. CAYAT legislation based on reasonable classification. (1) must rest on substantial distinctions; (2) must be germane to the purposes of the law; (3) must not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) must apply equally to all members of the same class. 68 Phil. 12 (1939) Facts/Issue: Accused Cayat, a native of Baguio, Benguet, Mountain Province, and a member of the non-Christian tribes, was found guilty of violating sections 2 and 3 of Act No. 1639 for having acquired and possessed one bottle of A-1-1 gin, an intoxicating liquor, which is not a native wine. The law made it unlawful for any native of the Philippines who is a member of a non-Christian tribe within the meaning of Act 1397 to buy, receive, have in his possession, or drink any ardent spirits, ale, beer, wine or intoxicating liquors of any kind, other than the so-called native wines and liquors which the members of such tribes have been accustomed to prior to the passage of the law. Cayat challenges the constitutionality of Act 1639 on the grounds that it is discriminatory and denies the equal protection of the laws, violates due process clause, and is an improper exercise of police power. Held: It is an established principle of constitutional law that the guaranty of the equal protection of the laws is not violated by a Act No. 1639 satisfies these requirements. The classification rests on real or substantial, not merely imaginary or whimsical distinctions. It is not based upon “accident of birth or parentage,” as counsel for the appellant asserts, but upon the degree of civilization and culture. “The term ‘non-Christian tribes’ refers, not to religious belief but in a way, to the geographical area and more directly, to natives of the Philippine Islands of a low grade of civilization, usually living in tribal relationship apart from settled communities.” (Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindora, supra.) This distinction is unquestionably reasonable, for the Act was intended to meet the peculiar conditions existing in the non-Christian tribes. The prohibition enshrined in Act 1397 is designed to insure peace and order in and among non-Christian tribes. It applies equally to all members of the class evident from perusal thereof. That it may be unfair in its operation against a certain number of non-Christians by reason of their degree of culture, is not an argument against the equality of its application. Ichong vs Hernandez Conflict with fundamental law; Police power Facts: ICHONG VS HERNANDEZ G.R. No. L-7995 May 31, 1957 LAO H. ICHONG, in his own behalf and in behalf of other alien residents, corporations and partnerships adversely affected. by Republic Act No. 1180, petitioner, vs. Driven by aspirations for economic independence and national security, the Congress enacted Act No. 1180 entitled “An Act to Regulate the Retail Business.” The main provisions of the Act, among others, are: (1) Prohibition against persons, not citizens of the Philippines, and against associations, among others, from engaging directly or indirectly in the retail trade; and (2) Prohibition against the establishment or opening by aliens actually engaged in the retail business of additional stores or branches of retail business. JAIME HERNANDEZ, Secretary of Finance, and MARCELINO SARMIENTO, City Treasurer of Manila, respondents. Lao H. Ichong, in his own behalf and on behalf of other alien residents, corporations and partnerships adversely affected by the said Act, brought an action to obtain a judicial declaration, and to enjoin the Secretary of Finance, Jaime Hernandez, and all other persons acting under him, particularly city and municipal treasurers, from enforcing its provisions. Petitioner attacked the constitutionality of the Act, contending that: exercise of the police power which, being inherent could not be bargained away or surrendered through the medium of a treaty. It denies to alien residents the equal protection of the laws and deprives of their liberty and property without due process of law. The subject of the Act is not expressed or comprehended in the title thereof. The Act violates international and treaty obligations of the Republic of the Philippines. Issue/s: Ruling/s: Whether or not a law may invalidate or supersede treaties or generally accepted principles. Yes, a law may supersede a treaty or a generally accepted principle. In this case, the Supreme Court saw no conflict between the raised generally accepted principle and with RA 1180. The equal protection of the law clause “does not demand absolute equality amongst residents; it merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced”; and, that the equal protection clause “is not infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable grounds exist for making a distinction between those who fall within such class and those who do not.” Discussions: A generally accepted principle of international law, should be observed by us in good faith. If a treaty would be in conflict with a statute then the statute must be upheld because it represented an Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. vs Secretary of Agrarian Reform enactments, nevertheless gives them suppletory effect insofar as they are not inconsistent with its provisions. [Two of the consolidated cases are discussed below] 175 SCRA 343 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – Bill of Rights – Equal Protection – Valid Classification Eminent Domain – Just Compensation FACTS: These are four consolidated cases questioning the constitutionality of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Act (R.A. No. 6657 and related laws i.e., Agrarian Land Reform Code or R.A. No. 3844). Brief background: Article XIII of the Constitution on Social Justice and Human Rights includes a call for the adoption by the State of an agrarian reform program. The State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the right of farmers and regular farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. RA 3844 was enacted in 1963. P.D. No. 27 was promulgated in 1972 to provide for the compulsory acquisition of private lands for distribution among tenant-farmers and to specify maximum retention limits for landowners. In 1987, President Corazon Aquino issued E.O. No. 228, declaring full land ownership in favor of the beneficiaries of PD 27 and providing for the valuation of still unvalued lands covered by the decree as well as the manner of their payment. In 1987, P.P. No. 131, instituting a comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) was enacted; later, E.O. No. 229, providing the mechanics for its (PP131’s) implementation, was also enacted. Afterwhich is the enactment of R.A. No. 6657, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law in 1988. This law, while considerably changing the earlier mentioned G.R. No. 78742: (Association of Small Landowners vs Secretary) The Association of Small Landowners in the Philippines, Inc. sought exception from the land distribution scheme provided for in R.A. 6657. The Association is comprised of landowners of ricelands and cornlands whose landholdings do not exceed 7 hectares. They invoke that since their landholdings are less than 7 hectares, they should not be forced to distribute their land to their tenants under R.A. 6657 for they themselves have shown willingness to till their own land. In short, they want to be exempted from agrarian reform program because they claim to belong to a different class. G.R. No. 79777: (Manaay vs Juico) Nicolas Manaay questioned the validity of the agrarian reform laws (PD 27, EO 228, and 229) on the ground that these laws already valuated their lands for the agrarian reform program and that the specific amount must be determined by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Manaay averred that this violated the principle in eminent domain which provides that only courts can determine just compensation. This, for Manaay, also violated due process for under the constitution, no property shall be taken for public use without just compensation. Manaay also questioned the provision which states that landowners may be paid for their land in bonds and not necessarily in cash. Manaay averred that just compensation has always been in the form of money and not in bonds. ISSUE: 1. Whether or not there was a violation of the equal protection clause. 2. Whether or not there is a violation of due process. 3. Whether or not just compensation, under the agrarian reform program, must be in terms of cash. HELD: 1. No. The Association had not shown any proof that they belong to a different class exempt from the agrarian reform program. Under the law, classification has been defined as the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in certain particulars and different from each other in these same particulars. To be valid, it must conform to the following requirements: (1) it must be based on substantial distinctions; (2) it must be germane to the purposes of the law; (3) it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and (4) it must apply equally to all the members of the class. Equal protection simply means that all persons or things similarly situated must be treated alike both as to the rights conferred and the liabilities imposed. The Association have not shown that they belong to a different class and entitled to a different treatment. The argument that not only landowners but also owners of other properties must be made to share the burden of implementing land reform must be rejected. There is a substantial distinction between these two classes of owners that is clearly visible except to those who will not see. There is no need to elaborate on this matter. In any event, the Congress is allowed a wide leeway in providing for a valid classification. Its decision is accorded recognition and respect by the courts of justice except only where its discretion is abused to the detriment of the Bill of Rights. In the contrary, it appears that Congress is right in classifying small landowners as part of the agrarian reform program. 2. No. It is true that the determination of just compensation is a power lodged in the courts. However, there is no law which prohibits administrative bodies like the DAR from determining just compensation. In fact, just compensation can be that amount agreed upon by the landowner and the government – even without judicial intervention so long as both parties agree. The DAR can determine just compensation through appraisers and if the landowner agrees, then judicial intervention is not needed. What is contemplated by law however is that, the just compensation determined by an administrative body is merely preliminary. If the landowner does not agree with the finding of just compensation by an administrative body, then it can go to court and the determination of the latter shall be the final determination. This is even so provided by RA 6657: Section 16 (f): Any party who disagrees with the decision may bring the matter to the court of proper jurisdiction for final determination of just compensation. 3. No. Money as [sole] payment for just compensation is merely a concept in traditional exercise of eminent domain. The agrarian reform program is a revolutionary exercise of eminent domain. The program will require billions of pesos in funds if all compensation have to be made in cash – if everything is in cash, then the government will not have sufficient money hence, bonds, and other securities, i.e., shares of stocks, may be used for just compensation. Villegas vs Hiu Chiong Tsai Pao Ho (1978) Facts: The Municipal Board of Manila enacted Ordinance 6537 requiring aliens (except those employed in the diplomatic and consular missions of foreign countries, in technical assistance programs of the government and another country, and members of religious orders or congregations) to procure the requisite mayor’s permit so as to be employed or engage in trade in the City of Manila. The permit fee is P50, and the penalty for the violation of the ordinance is 3 to 6 months imprisonment or a fine of P100 to P200, or both. Issue: Whether the ordinance imposes a regulatory fee or a tax. Held: The ordinance’s purpose is clearly to raise money under the guise of regulation by exacting P50 from aliens who have been cleared for employment. The amount is unreasonable and excessive because it fails to consider difference in situation among aliens required to pay it, i.e. being casual, permanent, part-time, rank-andfile or executive. [ The Ordinance was declared invalid as it is arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable, being applied only to aliens who are thus deprived of their rights to life, liberty and property and therefore violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution. Further, the ordinance does not lay down any criterion or standard to guide the Mayor in the exercise of his discretion, thus conferring upon the mayor arbitrary and unrestricted powers. ] DUMLAO vs. COMELEC Case Digest DUMLAO vs. COMELEC 95 SCRA 392 L-52245 January 22, 1980 Facts: Petitioner Patricio Dumlao, is a former Governor of Nueva Vizcaya, who has filed his certificate of candidacy for said position of Governor in the forthcoming elections of January 30, 1980. Petitioner Dumlao specifically questions the constitutionality of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 52 as discriminatory and contrary to the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Constitution which provides that “….Any retired elective provincial city or municipal official who has received payment of the retirement benefits to which he is entitled under the law and who shall have been 65 years of age at the commencement of the term of office to which he seeks to be elected shall not be qualified to run for the same elective local office from which he has retired.” He likewise alleges that the provision is directed insidiously against him, and is based on “purely arbitrary grounds, therefore, class legislation. Issue: Whether or not 1st paragraph of section 4 of BP 22 is valid. Held: In the case of a 65-year old elective local official, who has retired from a provincial, city or municipal office, there is reason to disqualify him from running for the same office from which he had retired, as provided for in the challenged provision. The need for new blood assumes relevance. The tiredness of the retiree for government work is present, and what is emphatically significant is that the retired employee has already declared himself tired and unavailable for the same government work, but, which, by virtue of a change of mind, he would like to assume again. It is for this very reason that inequality will neither result from the application of the challenged provision. Just as that provision does not deny equal protection, neither does it permit of such denial. The equal protection clause does not forbid all legal classification. What is proscribes is a classification which is arbitrary and unreasonable. That constitutional guarantee is not violated by a reasonable classification based upon substantial distinctions, where the classification is germane to the purpose of the low and applies to all those belonging to the same class. WHEREFORE, the first paragraph of section 4 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 52 is hereby declared valid. Ormoc Sugar vs Treasurer of Ormoc City (1968) Facts: In 1964, the Municipal Board of Ormoc City passed Ordinance 4, imposing on any and all productions of centrifuga sugar milled at the Ormoc Sugar Co. Inc. in Ormoc City a municpal tax equivalent to 1% per export sale to the United States and other foreign countries. The company paid the said tax under protest. It subsequently filed a case seeking to invalidate the ordinance for being unconstitutional. Issue: Whether the ordinance violates the equal protection clause. Held: The Ordinance taxes only centrifugal sugar produced and exported by the Ormoc Sugar Co. Inc. and none other. At the time of the taxing ordinance’s enacted, the company was the only sugar central in Ormoc City. The classification, to be reasonable, should be in terms applicable to future conditions as well. The taxing ordinance should not be singular and exclusive as to exclude any subsequently established sugar central, of the same class as the present company, from the coverage of the tax. As it is now, even if later a similar company is set up, it cannot be subject to the tax because the ordinance expressly points only to the company as the entity to be levied upon. Basco vs. PAGCOR (G.R. No. 91649) - Digest Facts: Petitioner is seeking to annul the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Charter -- PD 1869, because it is allegedly contrary to morals, public policy and order, and because it constitutes a waiver of a right prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law. It waived the Manila Cit government’s right to impose taxes and license fees, which is recognized by law. For the same reason, the law has intruded into the local government’s right to impose local taxes and license fees. This is in contravention of the constitutionally enshrined principle of local autonomy. Issue: Whether or not Presidential Decree No. 1869 is valid. Ruling: 1. The City of Manila, being a mere Municipal corporation has no inherent right to impose taxes. Their charter or statute must plainly show an intent to confer that power, otherwise the municipality cannot assume it. Its power to tax therefore must always yield to a legislative act which is superior having been passed upon by the state itself which has the “inherent power to tax.” corporations” due to its “general legislative powers”. Congress, therefore, has the power of control over the Local governments. And if Congress can grant the City of Manila the power to tax certain matters, it can also provide for exemptions or even take back the power. 2. The City of Manila’s power to impose license fees on gambling, has long been revoked by P.D. No. 771 and vested exclusively on the National Government. Therefore, only the National Government has the power to issue “license or permits” for the operation of gambling. 3. Local governments have no power to tax instrumentalities of the National Government. PAGCOR is government owned or controlled corporation with an original charter, P.D. No. 1869. All of its shares of stocks are owned by the National Government. PAGCOR has a dual role, to operate and to regulate gambling casinos. The latter role is governmental, which places it in the category of an agency or instrumentality of the Government. Being an instrumentality of the Government, PAGCOR should be and actually is exempt from local taxes. Otherwise, its operation might be burdened, impeded or subjected to control by a mere Local Government. 4. Petitioners also argue that the Local Autonomy Clause of the Constitution will be violated by P.D. No. 1869. The Charter of Manila is subject to control by Congress. It should be stressed that “municipal corporations are mere creatures of Congress”, which has the power to “create and abolish municipal Article 10, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution: “Each local government unit shall have the power to create its own source of revenue and to levy taxes, fees, and other charges subject to such guidelines and limitation as the congress may provide, consistent with the basic policy on local autonomy. Such taxes, fees and charges shall accrue exclusively to the local government.” SC said this is a pointless argument. The power of the local government to “impose taxes and fees” is always subject to “limitations” which Congress may provide by law. Besides, the principle of local autonomy under the 1987 Constitution simply means “decentralization.” It does not make local governments sovereign within the state. Wherefore, the petition is DISMISSED. Binay vs Domingo Case Digest 2. Whether the questioned resolution is for a public purpose Equal Protection Clause, General Welfare Clause, Police Power, Powers of Municipal Corporations 3. Whether the resolution violates the equal protection clause Held: Facts: Petitioner Municipality of Makati, through its Council, approved Resolution No. 60 which extends P500 burial assistance to bereaved families whose gross family income does not exceed P2,000.00 a month. The funds are to be taken out of the unappropriated available funds in the municipal treasury. The Metro Manila Commission approved the resolution. Thereafter, the municipal secretary certified a disbursement of P400,000.00 for the implementation of the program. However, the Commission on Audit disapproved said resolution and the disbursement of funds for the implementation thereof for the following reasons: (1) the resolution has no connection to alleged public safety, general welfare, safety, etc. of the inhabitants of Makati; (2) government funds must be disbursed for public purposes only; and, (3) it violates the equal protection clause since it will only benefit a few individuals. Issues: 1. Whether Resolution No. 60 is a valid exercise of the police power under the general welfare clause 1. The police power is a governmental function, an inherent attribute of sovereignty, which was born with civilized government. It is founded largely on the maxims, "Sic utere tuo et ahenum non laedas and "Salus populi est suprema lex. Its fundamental purpose is securing the general welfare, comfort and convenience of the people. Police power is inherent in the state but not in municipal corporations. Before a municipal corporation may exercise such power, there must be a valid delegation of such power by the legislature which is the repository of the inherent powers of the State. Municipal governments exercise this power under the general welfare clause. Pursuant thereto they are clothed with authority to "enact such ordinances and issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out and discharge the responsibilities conferred upon it by law, and such as shall be necessary and proper to provide for the health, safety, comfort and convenience, maintain peace and order, improve public morals, promote the prosperity and general welfare of the municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and insure the protection of property therein. 2. Police power is not capable of an exact definition but has been, purposely, veiled in general terms to underscore its all comprehensiveness. Its scope, over-expanding to meet the exigencies of the times, even to anticipate the future where it could be done, provides enough room for an efficient and flexible response to conditions and circumstances thus assuring the greatest benefits. The police power of a municipal corporation is broad, and has been said to be commensurate with, but not to exceed, the duty to provide for the real needs of the people in their health, safety, comfort, and convenience as consistently as may be with private rights. It extends to all the great public needs, and, in a broad sense includes all legislation and almost every function of the municipal government. It covers a wide scope of subjects, and, while it is especially occupied with whatever affects the peace, security, health, morals, and general welfare of the community, it is not limited thereto, but is broadened to deal with conditions which exists so as to bring out of them the greatest welfare of the people by promoting public convenience or general prosperity, and to everything worthwhile for the preservation of comfort of the inhabitants of the corporation. Thus, it is deemed inadvisable to attempt to frame any definition which shall absolutely indicate the limits of police power. Public purpose is not unconstitutional merely because it incidentally benefits a limited number of persons. As correctly pointed out by the Office of the Solicitor General, "the drift is towards social welfare legislation geared towards state policies to provide adequate social services, the promotion of the general welfare, social justice as well as human dignity and respect for human rights." The care for the poor is generally recognized as a public duty. The support for the poor has long been an accepted exercise of police power in the promotion of the common good. 3. There is no violation of the equal protection clause. Paupers may be reasonably classified. Different groups may receive varying treatment. Precious to the hearts of our legislators, down to our local councilors, is the welfare of the paupers. Thus, statutes have been passed giving rights and benefits to the disabled, emancipating the tenant-farmer from the bondage of the soil, housing the urban poor, etc. Resolution No. 60, re-enacted under Resolution No. 243, of the Municipality of Makati is a paragon of the continuing program of our government towards social justice. The Burial Assistance Program is a relief of pauperism, though not complete. The loss of a member of a family is a painful experience, and it is more painful for the poor to be financially burdened by such death. Resolution No. 60 vivifies the very words of the late President Ramon Magsaysay 'those who have less in life, should have more in law." This decision, however must not be taken as a precedent, or as an official go-signal for municipal governments to embark on a philanthropic orgy of inordinate dole-outs for motives political or otherwise. (Binay vs Domingo, G.R. No. 92389, September 11, 1991) NPC (NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION) vs DE GUZMAN FACTS: RA 6975, otherwise known as "An Act Establishing the Philippine National Police Under a Reorganized Department of the Interior and Local Government", took effect on January 2, 1991. RA 6975 provides for a uniform retirement system for PNP members. Section 39 reads: "SEC. 39.Compulsory Retirement. — Compulsory retirement, for officer and non-officer, shall be upon the attainment of age fifty-six (56); Provided, That, in case of any officer with the rank of chief superintendent, director or deputy Private respondents filed a complaint for declaratory relief with prayer for the issuance of an ex parte restraining order and/or injunction before the RTC of Makati. They aver that the age of retirement set at fifty-six (56) by Section 39 of RA 6975 cannot be applied to them since they are also covered by Sec. 89 thereof which provides: "Any provision hereof to the contrary notwithstanding, and within the transition period of four (4) years following the effectively of this Act, the following members of the INP shall be considered compulsorily retired: "a)Those who shall attain the age of sixty (60) on the first year of the effectivity of this Act. director general, the Commission may allow his retention in the service for an "b)Those who shall attain the age of fifty-nine (59) on the second year of the unextendible period of one (1) year. effectivity of this Act. Based on the above provision, petitioners sent notices of retirement to private "c)Those who shall attain the age of fifty-eight (58) on the third year of the respondents who are all members of the defunct Philippine Constabulary and have effectivity of this Act. reached the age of fifty-six. "d)Those who shall attain the age of fifty-seven (57) on the fourth year of the effectivity of this Act." Respondents added that the term "INP" includes both the former members of the Philippine been the intention of Congress to refer to the local police forces as the "INP" but the PNP Law Constabulary and the local police force who were earlier constituted as the Integrated failed to define who or what constituted the INP. The natural recourse of the court is to trace the National Police (INP) by virtue of PD 765 in 1975. source of the "INP" as courts are permitted to look to prior laws on the same subject and to On the other hand, it is the belief of petitioners that the 4-year transition period provided in investigate the antecedents involved. Section 89 applies only to the local police forces who previously retire, compulsorily, at age ISSUE: Whether or not Section 89 of the PNP Law includes all members of the present sixty (60) for those in the ranks of Police/Fire Lieutenant or higher, while the retirement age for Philippine National police, irrespective of the original status of its present members and that the PC had already been set at fifty-six (56) under the AFP law. Section 39 of RA 6975 shall become applicable to petitioners only after the lapse of the four-year Respondent judge De Guzman issued a restraining order followed by a writ of injunction. He declared that the term "INP" in Section 89 of the PNP Law includes all members of the present Philippine National police, irrespective of the original status of the present members of the Philippine National police before its creation and establishment, and that Section 39 thereof shall become operative after the lapse of the four-year transition period. Thus, the preliminary injunction issued is made permanent. Moreover, he observed, among others, that it may have transition period. HELD: From a careful review of Sections 23 and 85 of RA 6975, it appears that the use of the term INP is not synonymous with the PC. Had it been otherwise, the statute could have just made a uniform reference to the members of the whole Philippine National police (PNP) for retirement purposes and not just the INP. The law itself distinguishes INP from the PC and it cannot be construed that "INP" as used in Sec. 89 includes the members of the PC. Contrary to the pronouncement of respondent judge that “the law failed to define who constitutes local police forces for it would be a mere superfluity as the PC component of the INP was the INP”, Sec. 90 of RA 6975 has in fact defined the same. Thus, already retirable at age fifty-six (56). "SEC. 90. Status of Present NAPOLCOM, PC-INP. — Upon the effectivity of this Act, Having defined the meaning of INP, the trial court need not have belabored on the supposed the present National police Commisdion and the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated dubious meaning of the term. Nonetheless, if confronted with such a situation, courts are not National police shall cease to exist. The Philippine Constabulary, which is the nucleus of the without recourse in determining the construction of the statute with doubtful meaning for they Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National police shall cease to be a major service of the may avail themselves of the actual proceedings of the legislative body. In case of doubt as to Armed Forces of the Philippines. The Integrated National police, which is the civilian what a provision of a statute means, the meaning put to the provision during the legislative component of the Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National police, shall cease to be the deliberations may be adopted. Courts should not give a literal interpretation to the letter of the national police force and lieu thereof, a new police force shall be establish and constituted law if it runs counter to the legislative intent. pursuant to this Act." The legislative intent to classify the INP in such manner that Section 89 of R.A. 6975 is It is not altogether correct to state, therefore, that the legislature failed to define who the applicable only to the local police force is clear. The question now is whether the classification is members of the INP are. In this regard, it is of no moment that the legislature failed to valid. The test for this is reasonableness such that it must conform to the following requirements: categorically restrict the application of the transition period in Sec. 89 specifically in favor of the (1) It must be based upon substantial distinctions; (2) It must be germane to the purpose of the law; (3) It must not be limited to existing conditions only; (4) It must apply equally to all members of the same class (People vs. Cayat, 68 Phil. 12 ). WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The writ of injunction issued on January 8, 1992 is hereby LIFTED and the assailed decision of respondent judge is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Ishmael Himagan vs People of the Philippines 237 SCRA 538 – Political Law – Constitutional Law – Bill of Rights – Equal Protection – Suspension of PNP Members Charged with Grave Felonies Ishmael Himagan was a policeman assigned in Davao City. He was charged for the murder of Benjamin Machitar, Jr. and for the attempted murder of Benjamin’s younger brother, Barnabe. Pursuant to Section 47 of Republic Act No. 6975, Himagan was placed into suspension pending the murder case. The law provides that: Upon the filing of a complaint or information sufficient in form and substance against a member of the PNP for grave felonies where the penalty imposed by law is six (6) years and one (1) day or more, the court shall immediately suspend the accused from office until the case is terminated. Such case shall be subject to continuous trial and shall be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment of the accused. Himagan assailed the suspension averring that Section 42 of P.D. 807 of the Civil Service Decree provides that his suspension should be limited to ninety (90) days only. He claims that an imposition of preventive suspension of over 90 days is contrary to the Civil Service Law and would be a violation of his constitutional right to equal protection of laws . ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 47, RA 6975 violates equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution. HELD: No. The language of the first sentence of Sec 47 of RA 6975 is clear, plain and free from ambiguity. It gives no other meaning than that the suspension from office of the member of the PNP charged with grave offense where the penalty is six years and one day or more shall last until the termination of the case. The suspension cannot be lifted before the termination of the case. The second sentence of the same Section providing that the trial must be terminated within ninety (90) days from arraignment does not qualify or limit the first sentence. The two can stand independently of each other. The first refers to the period of suspension. The second deals with the time from within which the trial should be finished. The reason why members of the PNP are treated differently from the other classes of persons charged criminally or administratively insofar as the application of the rule on preventive suspension is concerned is that policemen carry weapons and the badge of the law which can be used to harass or intimidate witnesses against them, as succinctly brought out in the legislative discussions. If a suspended policeman criminally charged with a serious offense is reinstated to his post while his case is pending, his victim and the witnesses against him are obviously exposed to constant threat and thus easily cowed to silence by the mere fact that the accused is in uniform and armed. the imposition of preventive suspension for over 90 days under Sec 47 of RA 6975 does not violate the suspended policeman’s constitutional right to equal protection of the laws. Suppose the trial is not terminated within ninety days from arraignment, should the suspension of accused be lifted? The answer is certainly no. While the law uses the mandatory word “shall” before the phrase “be terminated within ninety (90) days”, there is nothing in RA 6975 that suggests that the preventive suspension of the accused will be lifted if the trial is not terminated within that period. Nonetheless, the Judge who fails to decide the case within the period without justifiable reason may be subject to administrative sanctions and, in appropriate cases where the facts so warrant, to criminal or civil liability. If the trial is unreasonably delayed without fault of the accused such that he is deprived of his right to a speedy trial, he is not without a remedy. He may ask for the dismissal of the case. Should the court refuse to dismiss the case, the accused can compel its dismissal by certiorari,prohibition or mandamus, or secure his liberty by habeas corpus.