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Aquino vs Municipality of Malay, Aklan

Facts:
- Petitioner is the CEO of Boracay West Cove.
- January 7, 2010, While they were already operating in the said area, the
company applied for a zoning compliance with the municipality and was
approved and issued in favor of Boracay West Cove. It sought for a building
permit of a 3 storey hotel located within the Forest land Use Agreement
(FlagT) with the municipality issued in favor of the Company
- The Municipal Zoning Administrator denied the petition for application on the
grounds that it was within the no building zone per municipal ordinance
2000-131:
o SECTION 2. Definition of Terms. As used in this Ordinance, the
following words, terms and phrases shall mean as follows:
xxxx
(b) No Build Zone the space twenty-five (25) meters from the edge of
the mean high water mark measured inland;
xxxx
SECTION 3. No building or structure of any kind whether temporary or
permanent shall be allowed to be set up, erected or constructed on the
beaches around the Island of Boracay and in its offshore waters. During
the conduct of special activities or special events, the Sangguniang
Bayan may, through a Resolution, authorize the Office of the Mayor to
issue Special Permits for construction of temporary structures on the
beach for the duration of the special activity as embodied in the
Resolution.
- Petitioner appealed but no action was taken by the respondent Mayor. A
notice of assessment was sent to petitioner asking for the payment of tax
liabilities and later, However, the Municipal treasurer refused to accept
tendered payment and a cease and desist order was issued by the
municipality, a subsequent EO was issued ordering the building to be
demolished.
- Petitioner filed for injunctive relief with the CA
o He argued that judicial proceedings should first be conducted before
the respondent mayor could order the demolition of the companys
establishment; that Boracay West Cove was granted a FLAgT by the
DENR,
- Respondents: respondents contended that the FLAgT does not excuse the
company from complying with the Ordinance and Presidential Decree No.
1096 (PD 1096), otherwise known as the National Building Code of the
Philippines. Respondents also argued that the demolition needed no court
order because the municipal mayor has the express power under the Local
Government Code (LGC) to order the removal of illegally constructed
buildings.
- CA: the CA dismissed the petition solely on procedural ground, i.e., the
special writ of certiorari can only be directed against a tribunal, board, or
officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions and since the issuance of
EO 10 was done in the exercise of executive functions, and not of judicial or
quasi-judicial functions, certiorari will not lie. Instead, the proper remedy for

the petitioner, according to the CA, is to file a petition for declaratory relief
with the Regional Trial Court.
Issue:
- Whether or not the CA correctly ruled that the respondent mayor was
performing neither a judicial nor quasi-judicial function when he ordered the
closure and demolition of Boracay West Coves hotel;
- Whether or not petitioners right to due process was violated when the
respondent mayor ordered the closure and demolition of Boracay West Coves
hotel without first conducting judicial proceedings
- Whether or not petitioners rights under the FLAgT prevail over the municipal
ordinance providing for a no-build zone;
Held:
Petition denied.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of
merit. The
Decision and the Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 120042 dated
August 13,
2013 and February 3, 2014, respectively, are hereby AFFIRMED.
Ratio:
- Certiorari, not declaratory relief, is the proper remedy
- the LGC, which authorizes city and municipal governments, acting through
their local chief executives, to issue demolition orders. Under existing laws,
the office of the mayor is given powers not only relative to its function as the
executive official of the town; it has also been endowed with authority to hear
issues involving property rights of individuals and to come out with an
effective order or resolution thereon
- The Court ruled that the property involved cannot be classified as a nuisance
per se which can therefore be summarily abated. Here, it is merely the hotels
particular incident, its location and not its inherent qualities that rendered it a
nuisance. Otherwise stated, had it not been constructed in the no build zone,
Boracay West Cove could have secured the necessary permits without issue.
As such, even if the hotel is not a nuisance per se, it is still a nuisance per
accidens
-

Generally, LGUs have no power to declare a particular thing as a nuisance


unless such a thing is a nuisance per se. Despite the hotels classification as a
nuisance per accidens, however, the LGU may nevertheless properly order
the hotels demolition. This is because, in the exercise of police power and
the general welfare clause, property rights of individuals may be subjected to
restraints and burdens in order to fulfill the objectives of the government.
Moreover, the Local Government Code authorizes city and municipal
governments, acting through their local chief executives, to issue demolition
orders. The office of the mayor has quasi-judicial powers to order the closing
and demolition of establishments.

Bayan Muna vs Romulo


Facts:
-

Petitioner Bayan Muna is a duly registered party-list group established to


represent the marginalized sectors of society. Respondent Blas F. Ople, now
deceased, was the Secretary of Foreign Affairs during the period material to
this case. Respondent Alberto Romulo was impleaded in his capacity as then
Executive Secretary
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Having a key determinative
bearing on this case is the Rome Statute establishing the International
Criminal Court (ICC) with the power to exercise its jurisdiction over persons
for the most serious crimes of international concern x x x and shall be
complementary to the national criminal jurisdictions. The serious crimes
adverted to cover those considered grave under international law, such as
genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression.
On December 28, 2000, the RP, through Charge dAffaires Enrique A. Manalo,
signed the Rome Statute which, by its terms, is subject to ratification,
acceptance or approval by the signatory states. As of the filing of the instant
petition, only 92 out of the 139 signatory countries appear to have completed
the ratification, approval and concurrence process. The Philippines is not
among the 92.

Issue:
- Whether or not the RP-US Non Surrender Agreement is void ab initio for
contracting obligations that are either immoral or otherwise at variance with
universally recognized principles of international law.
Held:
- No
- WHEREFORE, the petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition is hereby
DISMISSED for lack
of merit. No costs.
Ratio:
- The right of the Executive to enter into binding agreements without the
necessity of subsequent Congressional approval has been confirmed by long
usage. From the earliest days of our history, we have entered executive
agreements covering such subjects as commercial and consular relations,
most favored-nation rights, patent rights, trademark and copyright
protection, postal and navigation arrangements and the settlement of claims.
The validity of these has never been seriously questioned by our courts.
- Executive agreements may be validly entered into without such concurrence.
As the President wields vast powers and influence, her conduct in the
external affairs of the nation is, as Bayan would put it, executive altogether.
The right of the President to enter into or ratify binding executive agreements
has been confirmed by long practice.
- The Agreement does not contravene or undermine, nor does it differ from,
the Rome Statute. Far from going against each other, one complements the
other. As a matter of fact, the principle of complementarity underpins the
creation of the ICC. According to Art. 1 of the Statute, the jurisdiction of the

ICC is to be complementary to national criminal jurisdictions [of the


signatory states]. the Rome Statute expressly recognizes the primary
jurisdiction of states, like the RP, over serious crimes committed within their
respective borders, the complementary jurisdiction of the ICC coming into
play only when the signatory states are unwilling or unable to prosecute.
Also, under international law, there is a considerable difference between a
State-Party and a signatory to a treaty. Under the Vienna Convention on the
Law of Treaties, a signatory state is only obliged to refrain from acts which
would defeat the object and purpose of a treaty. The Philippines is only a
signatory to the Rome Statute and not a State-Party for lack of ratification by
the Senate. Thus, it is only obliged to refrain from acts which would defeat
the object and purpose of the Rome Statute. Any argument obliging the
Philippines to follow any provision in the treaty would be premature. And
even assuming that the Philippines is a State-Party, the Rome Statute still
recognizes the primacy of international agreements entered into between
States, even when one of the States is not a State-Party to the Rome Statute.

Film Development Council vs. Colon heritage realty


Facts:
- In 1993, the City of Cebu, passed Ordinance LXIX or the revised omnibus tax
ordinance of Cebu city
o Sec. 42 and 43 of Chapter XI requires proprietors, lessees or operators
of theaters, cinemas, and the like to pay an amusement tax of 30%.
- on June 7, 2002, Congress passed RA 9167, creating the Film Development
Council of the Philippines (FDCP) and abolishing the Film Development
Foundation of the Philippines, Inc. and the Film Rating Board. Secs. 13 and 14
of RA 9167 provided for the tax treatment of certain graded films
- According to petitioner, from the time RA 9167 took effect up to the present,
all the cities and municipalities in Metro Manila, as well as urbanized and
independent component cities, with the sole exception of Cebu City, have
complied with the mandate of said law.
- Petitioner sent demand letters for the unpaid amusement tax with a 5%
delinquency tax. They were given 10 days to pay the amounts of the said
letter but feel on deaf ears.
- Because of the persistent refusal of the operators, Cebu city file a petition for
declaratory relief and sought secs 13 and 14 of the said RA as
unconstitutional.
- Colon heritage also sought to declare sec 14 of the RA as unconstitutional
- RTC: declared the said sections as unconstitutional
Issue:
- WON the RTC gravely erred in declaring sec 13 and 14 of RA 9167 as unvalid
and unconstitutional
Held:
- No
WHEREFORE, in view of all the disquisitions, judgment is rendered in favor of the
City of Cebu
against the Film Development Council of the Philippines
Ratio:
- The power of taxation, being an essential and inherent attribute of
sovereignty, belongs, as a
matter of right, to every independent government, and needs no express
conferment by the people before it can be exercised. It is purely legislative
and, thus, cannot be delegated to the executive and judicial branches of
government without running afoul to the theory of separation of powers. It
however, can be delegated to municipal corporations, consistent with the
principle that legislative powers may be delegated to local governments in
respect of matters of local concern.
-

The authority of provinces, cities, and municipalities to create their own


sources of revenue and to levy taxes, therefore, is not inherent and may be
exercised only to the extent that such power might be delegated to them
either by the basic law or by statute
It is beyond cavil that the City of Cebu had the authority to issue its City
Ordinance No. LXIX and impose an amusement tax on cinemas pursuant to
Sec. 140 in relation to Sec. 151 of the LGC.

Sec. 140 states, among other things, that a province may levy an
amusement tax to be collected from the proprietors, lessees, or operators of
theaters, cinemas, concert halls, circuses, boxing stadia, and other places of
amusement at a rate of not more than thirty percent (30%) of the gross
receipts from admission fees. By operation of said Sec. 151, extending to
them the authority of provinces and municipalities to levy certain taxes, fees,
and charges, cities, such as respondent city government,may therefore
validly levy amusement taxes subject to the parameters set forth under the
law.
-

A reading of the challenged provision reveals that the power to impose


amusement taxes was NOT removed from the covered LGUs, unlike what
Congress did for the taxes enumerated in Sec. 133, Article X of the LGC,
which lays down the common limitations on the taxing powers of LGUs.

Flor Gupilan-Aguilar vs. Office of the Ombudsman


Facts:
- In June 2003, the PNP-CIDG conducted an investigation on the lifestyle of
certain personnel of the BOC (customs). Petitioner here is among them.
- Petitoner was the chief of the Miscellaneous division with a basic annual
salary of 249,876 pesos.
- Her filed SALN did not reflect any other income source.
- It was found that during her time as chief, the Bureau of Immigration said
that she took 13 unofficial trips and spent around 3.4m on her daughters
travel.
- In view of the variance from her SALN and expenses, a complaint for violation
of RA 1379 and RA 6713 was filed against her. She was placed by the
ombudsman under preventive suspension.
- The Ombudsman decided found Agular guilty and dismissed her from service.
- The CA affirmed the decision of the Ombudsman.
Issue:
- Whether or not a Rule 43 petition to assail the findings or decisions of the
Ombudsman in an administrative case is proper;
- Whether or not the acts complained of constitute grave misconduct,
dishonesty or both;
- Whether or not there is substantial evidence to support the assailed findings
of the Ombudsman and the CA; and
- Whether or not the decision of the Ombudsman is but recommendatory or
immediately executory.
Held:
- Yes with modification.
WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The appealed July 22, 2009
Decision and June 13, 2011 Resolution in CAG.R. SP No.88954 are MODIFIED.
The charge for Grave Misconduct against Flor GupilanAguilar is DISMISSED,
while the appellate courts finding of her liability for Dishonesty and the
corresponding penalty imposed are AFFIRMED.
Ratio:
- The Decision of the Ombudsman is mandatory and immediately executory
- SEC. 27. Effectivity and Finality of Decisions. (1) All provisionary orders at
the Office of the Ombudsman are immediately effective and executory.
xxxx
In all administrative disciplinary cases, orders, directives, or decisions of the
Office of the Ombudsman may be appealed to the Supreme Court by filing a
petition for certiorari within ten (10) days from receipt of the written notice of
the order, directive or decision or denial of the motion for reconsideration in
accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
-

The above rules may be amended or modified by the Office of the


Ombudsman x x x. (Emphasis supplied.)

The then Sec. 7, Rule III of Administrative Order No. 07 (AO 07) or the Rules of
Procedure of the OMB, in turn, stated:
Sec. 7. Finality of decision. Where the respondent is absolved of the charge,
and in case of conviction where the penalty imposed is public censure or
reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a fine equivalent to
one month salary, the decision shall be final and unappealable. In all other
cases, the decision shall become final after the expiration of ten (10) days
from receipt thereof by the respondent, unless a motion for reconsideration
or petition for certiorari, shall have been filed by him as prescribed in Section
27 of RA 6770.

Then came AO 17 dated September 15, 2003 further amending Sec. 7 of Rule
III. Thus, the section now provides:
Section 7. Finality and execution of decision. Where the respondent is
absolved of the charge, and in case of conviction where the penalty imposed
is public censure or reprimand, suspension of not more than one month, or a
fine equivalent to one month salary, the decision shall be final, executory,
and unappealable. In all other cases, the decision may be appealed to the
Court of Appeals x x x.
An appeal shall not stop the decision from being executory. In case the
penalty is suspension or removal and the respondent wins such appeal, he
shall be considered as having been under preventive suspension and shall be
paid the salary and such other emoluments that he did not receive by reason
of the suspension or removal. (Emphasis supplied.)
Clearly then, as early as August 17, 2000, when AO 14A was issued, the
OMBimposed penalties in administrative disciplinary cases were already
immediately executory notwithstanding an appeal timely filed. In this case, it
must be noted that the complaint dated July 28, 2003 was filed on August 20,
2003 or after the AO 14A has come into effect. Thus, no error can be
attributed to the CA when it ruled that the penalties imposed by the
Ombudsman against petitioners are immediately executory. Immediate
execution argues against the outlandish notion that the Ombudsman can only
recommend disciplinary sanctions.

The acts complained of constitute Dishonesty but not Grave Misconduct


a. Grave Misconduct
The charges against petitioners for grave misconduct and dishonesty
basically stemmed from their alleged act of amassing unexplained wealth or
acquiring properties disproportionate to their income, petitioner Aguilars
alleged failure to declare them in her SALNs, and for petitioner Hernandezs
alleged acquiescence to be her dummy. To our mind, however, we find that
even if petitioners, for argument, failed to include several properties in their
SALNs, the omission, by itself, does not amount to grave misconduct.

Owning properties disproportionate to ones salary and not declaring them in


the corresponding SALNs cannot, without more, be classified as grave
misconduct. Even if these allegations were true, we cannot see our way clear
how the fact of nondeclarations would have a bearing on the performance of
functions by petitioner Aguilar, as Customs Chief of the Miscellaneous
Division, and by petitioner Hernandez, as Customs Operations Officer. It is
nonsequitur to assume that the omission to declare has served, in some
way, to hinder the rendition of sound public service for there is no direct
relation or connection between the two. Without a nexus between the act
complained of and the discharge of duty, the charge of grave misconduct
shall necessarily fail.
-

b. Dishonesty
Dishonesty, as juridically understood, implies the disposition to lie, cheat,
deceive, or defraud; untrustworthiness; lack of integrity; lack of honesty or
probity in principle; lack of fairness and straightforwardness; disposition to
defraud, deceive or betray.42 It is a malevolent act that puts serious doubt
upon ones ability to perform duties with the integrity and uprightness
demanded of a public officer or employee
The failure to file a truthful SALN puts in doubts the integrity of the officer
and would normally amount to dishonesty. It should be emphasized, however,
that mere misdeclaration in the SALN does not automatically amount to such
an offense. Dishonesty requires malicious intent to conceal the truth or to
make false statements; otherwise, the government employee may only liable
for negligence, not for dishonesty. In addition, only when the accumulated
wealth becomes manifestly disproportionate to the income of the public
officer/employee and income from other sources, and the public
officer/employee fails to properly account or explain these sources of income
and acquisitions, does he or she become susceptible to dishonesty

Administrative proceedings are governed by the substantial evidence rule,


meaning a finding of guilt in an administrative case may and would issue if
supported by substantial evidence that the respondent has committed the
acts stated in the complaint. Substantial evidence is more than a mere
scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept
as adequate to support a conclusion, even if other minds equally reasonable
might conceivably opine otherwise.58 Its absence is not shown by stressing
that there is contrary evidence, direct or circumstantial, on record.59

In the case at bar, the required evidence sufficient to justify holding petitioner
Aguilar administratively liable has been, to us, as to the CA, satisfied. Not
only did she fail to declare in her SALN the residential lot located at
Panicuason, Naga City, she likewise failed to satisfactorily explain her
beneficial ownership of the Antel Seaview Towers fourbedroom condominium
unit and her use of the two BMWs registered in the name of different
corporations, which, as the records show, are both based in Olongapo City.