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enacted City Ordinance Nos. 1631 and



G.R. No. 148339. February 23, 2005


Two ordinances were enacted by the

Sangguniang Panlungsod of Lucena with
the objective of alleviating the traffic
congestion said to have been caused by
the existence of various bus and
jeepney terminals within the city. City
Ordinance 1631 grants franchise to the
Lucena Grand Central Terminal, Inc. to
construct, finance, establish, operate
and maintain common bus- jeepney
terminal facility in the City of Lucena.
City Ordinance 1778, on the other hand,
strips out all the temporary terminals in
the City of Lucena the right to operate
which as a result favors only the Lucena
Grand Central Terminal, Inc.
The Regional Trial Court of Lucena
declared City Ordinance 1631 as a valid
excercise of police power while
declaring City Ordinance 1778 as null
and void for being invalid. Petitioner
Lucena Grand Central Terminal, Inc.
filed its Motion for Reconsideration
which was denied. Lucena then
elevated it via petition for review under
Rule 45 before the Court. The Court
referred the petition to the Court of
Appeals (CA) with which it has
dismissed the petition and affirmed the
challenged orders of the trial court. Its
motion for reconsideration having been
denied by the CA, Lucena now comes to
the Court via petition for review to
assail the Decision and Resolution of
the CA
Whether the City of Lucena properly
exercised its police power when it

Ordinance directing public utility

vehicles to load and unload at a
specific bus terminal is an invalid
exercise of police power and undue
taking of private property.
Affirming the decision of the Court of
Appeals, the petition of Lucena Grand
Central Terminal, Inc.is DENIED by the
Supreme Court.
The questioned ordinances having been
enacted with the objective of relieving
traffic congestion in the City of Lucena,
involve public interest warranting the
interference of the State. The first
requisite for the proper exercise of
police power is thus present.
But the ordinances go beyond what is
reasonably necessary to solve the
traffic problem. Additionally, since the
compulsory use of the terminal
operated by petitioner would subject
the users thereof to fees, rentals and
charges, such measure is unduly
oppressive, as correctly found by the
appellate court.
As for petitioners claim that the
challenged ordinances have actually
been proven effective in easing traffic
congestion: Whether an ordinance is
effective is an issue different from
whether it is reasonably necessary. It is
effectiveness, which bears upon its
constitutionality. If the constitutionality
of a law were measured by its
effectiveness, then even tyrannical laws
may be justified whenever they happen
to be effective.
Hence, Ordinance No. 1631 is valid,
having been issued in the exercise of
Government of Lucena insofar as the

grant of franchise to the Lucena Grand

Central Terminal, Inc., to construct,
finance, establish, operate and maintain
common bus-jeepney terminal facility in
the City of Lucena.
Sec. 4(c) of Ordinance No. 1631 is
illegal and ultra vires because it
contravenes the provisions of Republic
Act No. 7160, otherwise known as The
Local Government Code.
City Ordinance No. 1778 is null and
void, the same being also an ultra vires
act of the City Government of Lucena
arising from an invalid, oppressive and
unreasonable exercise of the police
MMDA v. Garin
G.R. No. 130230, April 15, 2005, SCRA
Dante O. Garin, a lawyer, was
issued a traffic violation receipt (TVR)
and his drivers license was confiscated
for parking illegally. Garin wrote to then
MMDA Chairman Prospero Oreta
requesting the return of his license and
expressed his preference for his case to
be file in Court. Without an immediate
reply from the chairman, Garin filed for
a preliminary injunction assailing
among others that Sec 5 (f) of RA 7924
violates the constitutional prohibition
against undue delegation of legislative
authority, allowing MMDA to fix and
impose unspecified and unlimited fines
and penalties. RTC rule in his favor,
directing MMDA to return his license
and for the authority to desist from
confiscating drivers license without
first giving the driver the opportunity to
be heard in an appropriate proceeding.
Thus this petition.

Whether or not MMDA is vested with

Police Power to confiscate and suspend
or revoke drivers license in the
enforcement of traffic rules and
The MMDA is not vested with
police power; it cannot
confiscate/suspend/revoke a
drivers license in the absence of a
traffic law or regulation validly
enacted by law or ordinance.
It was concluded that MMDA is
not a local government unit of a public
corporation endowed with legislative
power and it has no power to enact
ordinances for the welfare of the

Police power, as an inherent

attribute of sovereignty is the power
vested in the legislature to make,
ordain, establish all manner of
wholesome and reasonable laws,
statutes and ordinances either with
penalties of without, not repugnant to
the constitution, as they shall judge to
be for good and welfare of the
commonwealth and for subjects of the
There is no provision in RA 7924
that empowers MMDA or its council to
enact ordinance, approve resolutions
and appropriate funds for the general
welfare of the inhabitants of Metro
Manila. It is an agency created for the
purpose of laying down policies and
coordinating with the various national
government agencies, Peoples
Organizations, NGOs and private sector
for the efficient and expeditious

delivery of services. All its functions are

administrative in nature.

to declare said resolution

unconstitutional and void on the ground
that it violates the prohibition imposed
by the Constitution upon the
government, and any of its agencies,
against the taking of private property
for public use without just
The Office of the Solicitor General, on
behalf of COMELEC alleged that the
resolution does not impose upon the
publishers any obligation to provide
free print space in the newspapers. It
merely established guidelines to be
followed in connection with the
procurement of COMELEC space. And
if it is viewed as mandatory, the same
would nevertheless be valid as an
exercise of the police power of the
State- a permissible exercise of the
power of supervision or regulation of
the COMELEC over the communication
and information operations of print
media enterprises during the election
period to safeguard and ensure a fair,
impartial and credible election.

Phil. Press Institue v. COMELEC

G.R. No. 119694. May 22, 1995
COMELEC issued resolution 2772
directing newspapers to provide provide
free print space of not less than one
half (1/2) page for use as COMELEC
Space which shall be allocated by the
Commission, free of charge, among all
candidates within the area in which the
newspaper, magazine or periodical is
circulated to enable the candidates to
make known their qualifications, their
stand on public issues and their
platforms and programs of government.
Philippine Press Institute, a non-stock,
non-profit organization of newspaper
and magazine publishers asks the Court

Whether the resolution was a valid
exercise of the power of eminent

Compelling publishers to donate
print space amounts to taking of
private property.
No. The court held that the resolution
does not constitute a valid exercise of
the power of eminent domain. To
compel print media companies to
donate COMELEC-space amounts to
taking of private personal property for
public use or purposes without the
requisite just compensation. The extent
of the taking or deprivation is not

insubstantial; this is not a case of a de

minimis temporary limitation or
restraint upon the use of private
property. The monetary value of the
compulsory donation, measured by
the advertising rates ordinarily charged
by newspaper publishers whether in
cities or in non-urban areas, may be
very substantial indeed.
The threshold requisites for a lawful
taking of private property for public use
are the necessity for the taking and the
legal authority to effect the taking. The
element of necessity for the taking has
not been shown by respondent
COMELEC. It has not been suggested
that the members of PPI are unwilling to
sell print space at their normal rates to
COMELEC for election purposes. Indeed,
the unwillingness or reluctance of
COMELEC to buy print space lies at the

heart of the problem. Similarly, it has

not been suggested, let alone
demonstrated, that COMELEC has been
granted the power of eminent domain
either by the Constitution or by the
legislative authority. A reasonable
relationship between that power and
the enforcement and administration of
election laws by COMELEC must be
shown; it is not casually to be assumed.
The taking of private property for public
use is, of course, authorized by the
Constitution, but not without payment
of just compensation (Article III,
Section 9). And apparently the
necessity of paying compensation for
COMELEC space is precisely what is
sought to be avoided by respondent