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PUBCORP CASES

SALVADOR VILLACORTA vs. GREGORIO BERNARDO FACTS: Ordinance 22 entitled AN ORDINANCE REGULATING SUBDIVISION PLANS OVER PARCELS OF LAND IN THE CITY OF DAGUPAN was enacted by the municipal board of Dagupan City. The said ordinance was imposing additional requirements to that of the national law Act 496. Ordinance 22 was annulled by the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan and was affirmed by the Court of Appeals whose decision reads as follows: Section 1 of said ordinance clearly conflicts with Section 44 of Act 496, because the latter law does not require subdivision plans to be submitted to the City Engineer before the same is submitted for approval to and verification by the General Land Registration Office or by the Director of Lands as provided for in Section 58 of said Act. Section 2 of the same ordinance also contravenes the provisions of Section 44 of Act 496, the latter being silent on a service fee of PO.03 per square meter of every lot subject of such subdivision application; Section 3 of the ordinance in question also conflicts with Section 44 of Act 496, because the latter law does not mention of a certification to be made by the City Engineer before the Register of Deeds allows registration of the subdivision plan; and the last section of said ordinance imposes a penalty for its violation, which Section 44 of Act 496 does not impose. In other words, Ordinance 22 of the City of Dagupan imposes upon a subdivision owner additional conditions. ISSUE: Were the decisions of the CFI and CA to annul the said ordinance was correct? HELD: Yes. To sustain the ordinance would be to open the floodgates to other ordinances amending and so violating national laws in the guise of implementing them. Thus, ordinances could be passed imposing additional requirements for the issuance of marriage licenses, to prevent bigamy; the registration of vehicles, to minimize carnaping; the execution of contracts, to forestall fraud; the validation of passports, to deter imposture; the exercise of freedom of speech, to reduce disorder; and so on. This advice is especially addressed to the local governments which exercise the police power only by virtue of a valid delegation from the national legislature under the general welfare clause. In the instant case, Ordinance No. 22 suffers from the additional defect of violating this authority for legislation in contravention of the national law by adding to its requirements. GORDON VS. VERIDIANO FACTS: Private respondent Rosalinda Yambao owned two drug stores in Olongapo City, the San Sebastian Drug Store and the Olongapo City Drug Store. A joint team from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Philippine Constabulary conducted a "test buy" at San Sebastian Drug Store of Valium without a doctor's prescription. Consequently, Mayor Gordon (petitioner) issued a letter revoking mayor's permit of San Sebastian Drug Store for rampant violation of R.A. 5921, otherwise known as the Pharmacy Law and R.A. 6425 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972. FDA Administrator likewise directed the closure of the drug store for 3 days and its payment of a fine and was allowed to resume operations after 3 days. Yambao wrote a letter to the petitioner seeking reconsideration of the revocation of mayor's permit but got no reply. They filed with the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City a complaint for mandamus. Meanwhile, Yambaos request of permission from the FDA to exchange the locations of the San Sebastian Drug Store and the Olongapo City Drug was granted. But when petitioner came to know about it, he disapproved it and suspended also the mayors permit of the other drug store. A motion for reconsideration was filed by the Yambaos to the FDA was denied. The RTC judge rendered decision declaring the revocation of the mayors permit for San Sebastian Drug Store as null and void and thereafter denied the petitioners motion for reconsideration. ISSUE: May the mayor revoke the mayors permit of the San Sebastian Drug Store based on the above-stated facts? HELD: FDA was created under R.A. No. 3720 and vested with all drug inspection functions in line with "the policy of the State to insure safe and good quality supply of food, drug and cosmetics, and to regulate the production, sale and traffic of the same to protect the health of the people. P.D. No. 280 gave more teeth to the powers of the FDA in regulating the drugstores in the sale or dispensation of drugs, or rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto. For the mayor, it was granted by the charter of Olongapo the power to to arrest violators of health laws, ordinances, rules and regulations and to recommend the revocation or suspension of the permits of the different establishments to the City Mayor for violation of health laws, ordinances, rules and regulations. A study of the said laws will show that the authorization to operate issued by the FDA is a condition precedent to the grant of a mayor's permit to the drug store seeking to operate within the limits of the city. This requirement is imperative. The power to determine if the opening of the drug store is conformable to the national policy and the laws on the regulation of drug sales belongs to the FDA. Hence, a permit issued by the mayor to a drug store not previously cleared with and licensed by the said agency will be a nullity. Thus, if the FDA grants a license upon its finding that the applicant drug store has complied with the requirements of the general laws and the implementing administrative rules and regulations, it is only for their violation that the FDA may revoke the said license. By the same token, having granted the permit upon his ascertainment that the conditions thereof as applied particularly to Olongapo City have been complied with, it is only for the violation of such conditions that the mayor may revoke the said permit. Conversely, the mayor may not revoke his own permit on the ground that the compliance with the conditions laid down and found satisfactory by the FDA when it issued its license is in his own view not acceptable. This very same principle also operates on the FDA. The FDA may not

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revoke its license on the ground that the conditions laid down in the mayor's permit have been violated notwithstanding that no such finding has been made by the mayor. As the infraction involved the pharmacy and drug laws which the FDA had the direct responsibility to execute, the mayor had no authority to interpose his own findings on the matter and substitute them for the decision already made by the FDA. The condition allegedly violated related to a national law, not to a matter of merely local concern, and so came under the 'jurisdiction of the FDA.

NEGROS ORIENTAL II ELEC. COOP., INC. vs. SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD OF DUMAGUETE FACTS: A subpoena was sent by the Ad Hoc Committee of Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dumaguete (respondent) to the petitioners Paterio Torres and Arturo Umbac, Chairman of the Board of Directors and the General Manager, respectively, of petitioner Negros Oriental II Electric Cooperative NORECO II), requiring their attendance and testimony at the Committee's investigation. However, they failed to appear at said investigation and were sent were ordered to show cause why they should not be punished for legislative contempt due to their failure to appear at said investigation. The investigation to be conducted by respondent Committee was "in connection with pending legislation related to the operations of public utilities" in the City of Dumaguete and the inquiry was to focus on the alleged installation and use by the petitioner NORECO II of inefficient power lines in that city. Petitioners moved to quash the subpoena but the motion to quash was denied. Petitioners contend that the respondent Sangguniang Panlungsod of Dumaguete is bereft of the power to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses, nor the power to order the arrest of witnesses who fail to obey its subpoena. It is further argued that assuming the power to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses to be lodged in said body, it cannot be exercised in the investigation of matters affecting the terms and conditions of the franchise granted to NORECO II which are beyond the jurisdiction of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. ISSUE: Does a Sangguniang Panglungsod have a power to punish for a legislative contempt for a partys disobedience of subpoena? HELD: No. There is no express provision either in the 1973 Constitution or in the Local Government granting local legislative bodies, the power to subpoena witnesses and the power to punish non-members for contempt. There being no provision in the Local Government Code explicitly granting local legislative bodies, the power to issue compulsory process and the power to punish for contempt, the Sanggunian Panlungsod of Dumaguete is devoid of power to punish the petitioners Torres and Umbac for contempt. The Ad-Hoc Committee of said legislative body has even less basis to claim that it can exercise these powers. Even assuming that the respondent Sangguniang Panlungsod and the respondent Ad-Hoc Committee had the power to issue the subpoena and the order complained of, such issuances would still be void for being ultra vires. The contempt power (and the subpoena power) if actually possessed, may only be exercised where the subject matter of the investigation is within the jurisdiction of the legislative body. As admitted by the respondents in their Comment, the investigation to be conducted by the Ad-Hoc Committee was to look into the use by NORECO II of inefficient power lines "of pre-war vintage" which the latter had acquired from the Visayan Electric Com. company, and "to hear the side of the petitioners". It comes evident that the inquiry would touch upon the efficiency of the electric service of NORECO II and, necessarily, its compliance with the franchise. Such inquiry is beyond the jurisdiction of the respondent Sangguniang Panlungsod and the respondent committee. MANUEL E. ZAMORA vs. JOSE R. CABALLERO, ET AL. FACTS: Vice-Governor Reynaldo Navarro sent a written notice of a special session on February 7, 2001. Upon the request of Governor Jose R. Caballero, however, the scheduled special session was reset to February 8, 2001 without the benefit of a written notice. On February 8, 2001, the Sanggunian thus held a special session to, among other things, allow the Governor to deliver his State of the Province Address. As only seven members of the fourteen-member Sanggunian were present,3 no resolution was considered. The Sanggunian held its 4th regular session during which it issued Resolution No. 05 4 declaring the entire province of Compostela Valley under a state of calamity and Resolution No. 075 authorizing the Governor to, on behalf of the province, enter into a construction contract. During the same session, the Sanggunian accepted the letter of irrevocable resignation submitted by Board Member Gemma Sotto. Petitioner thus filed a petition before the RTC against the Governor, et al., challenging the validity of the acts of the Sanggunian on February 26, 2001, alleging that while the Journal and Resolutions indicated the presence of 13 members, the Sanggunian nonetheless "conducted official business without a quorum. Respondents, on the other hand, contended that since Board Member Sotto was in the United States 19 at the time the questioned acts were executed and resolutions adopted, the actual number of Board Members then in the country was thirteen which should be the basis of the determination of a quorum. The RTC dismissed the petition as Sotto should not be counted as member for the purpose of determining the number to constitute a quorum because she is in the USA. Quorum should be determined on the basis of the actual number of members of the body concerned rather than upon its full membership which is fourteen (14). Therefore, in this case, with seven (7) members of the thirteen (13) members present in constitutive of a quorum.RTC based its decision in the case of Avelino vs. Cuenco. ISSUES: (1) whether there was a quorum in the sessions; (2) Whether Board Member Osorio, who presided the session in behalf of the vice governor, can cast his vote for the resolution. HELD: (1) There was no quorum. There is nothing on record, save for respondents allegation, to show that Board Member Sotto was out of the country and to thereby conclude that she was outside the coercive power of the Sanggunian when the February 8 and 26, 2001 sessions were held. In fact it is undisputed that the leave form filed by said Board Member before the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) did not mention that she was going out of the country. The case of Avelino is not applicable. Moreover, the present case, however, involves a local legislative body, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Compostela Valley Province, and the applicable rule respecting quorum is found in Section

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53(a) of the LGC. "Quorum" is defined as that number of members of a body which, when legally assembled in their proper places, will enable the body to transact its proper business or that number which makes a lawful body and gives it power to pass upon a law or ordinance or do any valid act.44 "Majority," when required to constitute a quorum, means the number greater than half or more than half of any total. 45 In fine, the entire membership must be taken into account in computing the quorum of the sangguniang panlalawigan, for while the constitution merely states that "majority of each House shall constitute a quorum," Section 53 of the LGC is more exacting as it requires that the "majority of all members of the sanggunian . . . elected and qualified" shall constitute a quorum. The trial court should thus have based its determination of the existence of a quorum on the total number of members of the Sanggunian without regard to the filing of a leave of absence by Board Member Sotto. (2) No. The LGC clearly limits the power of presiding officers to vote only in case of a tie. While acting as presiding officer, Board Member Osorio may not, at the same time, be allowed to exercise the rights of a regular board member including that of voting even when there is no tie to break. A temporary presiding officer who merely steps into the shoes of the presiding officer could not have greater power than that possessed by the latter who can vote only in case of a tie.