Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 68

G.R. No.

L-24693

July 31, 1967

ERMITA-MALATE HOTEL AND MOTEL OPERATORS


ASSOCIATION, INC., HOTEL DEL MAR INC. and GO
CHIU, petitioners-appellees,
vs.
THE HONORABLE CITY MAYOR OF MANILA, respondentappellant.
VICTOR ALABANZA, intervenor-appellee.
Panganiban, Abad and Associates Law Office for respondentappellant.
J. M. Aruego, Tenchavez and Associates for intervenorappellee.
FERNANDO, J.:
The principal question in this appeal from a judgment of the
lower court in an action for prohibition is whether Ordinance
No. 4760 of the City of Manila is violative of the due process
clause. The lower court held that it is and adjudged it
"unconstitutional, and, therefore, null and void." For reasons
to be more specifically set forth, such judgment must be
reversed, there being a failure of the requisite showing to
sustain an attack against its validity.
The petition for prohibition against Ordinance No. 4760 was
filed on July 5, 1963 by the petitioners, Ermita-Malate Hotel
and Motel Operators Association, one of its members, Hotel
del Mar Inc., and a certain Go Chiu, who is "the president and
general manager of the second petitioner" against the
respondent Mayor of the City of Manila who was sued in his
capacity as such "charged with the general power and duty to
enforce ordinances of the City of Manila and to give the
necessary orders for the faithful execution and enforcement of
such ordinances." (par. 1). It was alleged that the petitioner
non-stock corporation is dedicated to the promotion and
protection of the interest of its eighteen (18) members
"operating hotels and motels, characterized as legitimate
businesses duly licensed by both national and city authorities,
regularly paying taxes, employing and giving livelihood to not
less than 2,500 person and representing an investment of
more than P3 million."1 (par. 2). It was then alleged that on
June 13, 1963, the Municipal Board of the City of Manila
enacted Ordinance No. 4760, approved on June 14, 1963 by
the then Vice-Mayor Herminio Astorga, who was at the time
acting as Mayor of the City of Manila. (par. 3).
After which the alleged grievances against the ordinance were
set forth in detail. There was the assertion of its being beyond
the powers of the Municipal Board of the City of Manila to
enact insofar as it would regulate motels, on the ground that
in the revised charter of the City of Manila or in any other law,
no reference is made to motels; that Section 1 of the
challenged ordinance is unconstitutional and void for being
unreasonable and violative of due process insofar as it would
impose P6,000.00 fee per annum for first class motels and
P4,500.00 for second class motels; that the provision in the
same section which would require the owner, manager,
keeper or duly authorized representative of a hotel, motel, or
lodging house to refrain from entertaining or accepting any
guest or customer or letting any room or other quarter to any
person or persons without his filling up the prescribed form in
a lobby open to public view at all times and in his presence,
wherein the surname, given name and middle name, the date

of birth, the address, the occupation, the sex, the nationality,


the length of stay and the number of companions in the room,
if any, with the name, relationship, age and sex would be
specified, with data furnished as to his residence certificate as
well as his passport number, if any, coupled with a
certification that a person signing such form has personally
filled it up and affixed his signature in the presence of such
owner, manager, keeper or duly authorized representative,
with such registration forms and records kept and bound
together, it also being provided that the premises and
facilities of such hotels, motels and lodging houses would be
open for inspection either by the City Mayor, or the Chief of
Police, or their duly authorized representatives is
unconstitutional and void again on due process grounds, not
only for being arbitrary, unreasonable or oppressive but also
for being vague, indefinite and uncertain, and likewise for the
alleged invasion of the right to privacy and the guaranty
against self-incrimination; that Section 2 of the challenged
ordinance classifying motels into two classes and requiring
the maintenance of certain minimum facilities in first class
motels such as a telephone in each room, a dining room or,
restaurant and laundry similarly offends against the due
process clause for being arbitrary, unreasonable and
oppressive, a conclusion which applies to the portion of the
ordinance requiring second class motels to have a dining
room; that the provision of Section 2 of the challenged
ordinance prohibiting a person less than 18 years old from
being accepted in such hotels, motels, lodging houses, tavern
or common inn unless accompanied by parents or a lawful
guardian and making it unlawful for the owner, manager,
keeper
or
duly authorized representative of such
establishments to lease any room or portion thereof more
than twice every 24 hours, runs counter to the due process
guaranty for lack of certainty and for its unreasonable,
arbitrary and oppressive character; and that insofar as the
penalty provided for in Section 4 of the challenged ordinance
for a subsequent conviction would, cause the automatic
cancellation of the license of the offended party, in effect
causing the destruction of the business and loss of its
investments, there is once again a transgression of the due
process clause.
There was a plea for the issuance of preliminary injunction
and for a final judgment declaring the above ordinance null
and void and unenforceable. The lower court on July 6, 1963
issued a writ of preliminary injunction ordering respondent
Mayor to refrain from enforcing said Ordinance No. 4760 from
and after July 8, 1963.
In the a answer filed on August 3, 1963, there was an
admission of the personal circumstances regarding the
respondent Mayor and of the fact that petitioners are licensed
to engage in the hotel or motel business in the City of Manila,
of the provisions of the cited Ordinance but a denial of its
alleged nullity, whether on statutory or constitutional grounds.
After setting forth that the petition did fail to state a cause of
action and that the challenged ordinance bears a reasonable
relation, to a proper purpose, which is to curb immorality, a
valid and proper exercise of the police power and that only
the guests or customers not before the court could complain
of the alleged invasion of the right to privacy and the
guaranty against self incrimination, with the assertion that the
issuance of the preliminary injunction ex parte was contrary to
law, respondent Mayor prayed for, its dissolution and the
dismissal of the petition.

Instead of evidence being offered by both parties, there was


submitted a stipulation of facts dated September 28, 1964,
which reads:
1. That the petitioners Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel
Operators Association, Inc. and Hotel del Mar Inc. are
duly organized and existing under the laws of the
Philippines, both with offices in the City of Manila,
while the petitioner Go Chin is the president and
general manager of Hotel del Mar Inc., and the
intervenor Victor Alabanza is a resident of Baguio
City, all having the capacity to sue and be sued;
2. That the respondent Mayor is the duly elected and
incumbent City Mayor and chief executive of the City
of Manila charged with the general power and duty to
enforce ordinances of the City of Manila and to give
the necessary orders for the faithful execution and
enforcement of such ordinances;
3. That the petitioners are duly licensed to engage in
the business of operating hotels and motels in Malate
and Ermita districts in Manila;
4. That on June 13, 1963, the Municipal Board of the
City of Manila enacted Ordinance No. 4760, which
was approved on June 14, 1963, by Vice-Mayor
Herminio Astorga, then the acting City Mayor of
Manila, in the absence of the respondent regular City
Mayor, amending sections 661, 662, 668-a, 668-b
and 669 of the compilation of the ordinances of the
City of Manila besides inserting therein three new
sections. This ordinance is similar to the one vetoed
by the respondent Mayor (Annex A) for the reasons
stated in its 4th Indorsement dated February 15,
1963 (Annex B);
5. That
Councilor
proposed
Municipal
Annex C;

the explanatory note signed by then


Herminio Astorga was submitted with the
ordinance (now Ordinance 4760) to the
Board, copy of which is attached hereto as

6. That the City of Manila derived in 1963 an annual


income of P101,904.05 from license fees paid by the
105 hotels and motels (including herein petitioners)
operating in the City of Manila.1wph1.t
Thereafter came a memorandum for respondent on January
22, 1965, wherein stress was laid on the presumption of the
validity of the challenged ordinance, the burden of showing its
lack of conformity to the Constitution resting on the party who
assails it, citing not only U.S. v. Salaveria, but likewise
applicable American authorities. Such a memorandum
likewise refuted point by point the arguments advanced by
petitioners against its validity. Then barely two weeks later, on
February 4, 1965, the memorandum for petitioners was filed
reiterating in detail what was set forth in the petition, with
citations of what they considered to be applicable American
authorities and praying for a judgment declaring the
challenged ordinance "null and void and unenforceable" and
making permanent the writ of preliminary injunction issued.

After referring to the motels and hotels, which are members of


the petitioners association, and referring to the alleged
constitutional questions raised by the party, the lower court
observed: "The only remaining issue here being purely a
question of law, the parties, with the nod of the Court, agreed
to file memoranda and thereafter, to submit the case for
decision of the Court." It does appear obvious then that
without any evidence submitted by the parties, the decision
passed upon the alleged infirmity on constitutional grounds of
the challenged ordinance, dismissing as is undoubtedly right
and proper the untenable objection on the alleged lack of
authority of the City of Manila to regulate motels, and came to
the conclusion that "the challenged Ordinance No. 4760 of the
City of Manila, would be unconstitutional and, therefore, null
and void." It made permanent the preliminary injunction
issued against respondent Mayor and his agents "to restrain
him from enforcing the ordinance in question." Hence this
appeal.
As noted at the outset, the judgment must be reversed. A
decent regard for constitutional doctrines of a fundamental
character ought to have admonished the lower court against
such a sweeping condemnation of the challenged ordinance.
Its decision cannot be allowed to stand, consistently with what
has hitherto been the accepted standards of constitutional
adjudication, in both procedural and substantive aspects.
Primarily what calls for a reversal of such a decision is the
absence of any evidence to offset the presumption of validity
that attaches to a challenged statute or ordinance. As was
expressed categorically by Justice Malcolm: "The presumption
is all in favor of validity x x x . The action of the elected
representatives of the people cannot be lightly set aside. The
councilors must, in the very nature of things, be familiar with
the necessities of their particular municipality and with all the
facts and circumstances which surround the subject and
necessitate action. The local legislative body, by enacting the
ordinance, has in effect given notice that the regulations are
essential to the well being of the people x x x . 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.2
It admits of no doubt therefore that there being a presumption
of validity, the necessity for evidence to rebut it is
unavoidable, unless the statute or ordinance is void on its face
which is not the case here. The principle has been nowhere
better expressed than in the leading case of O'Gorman &
Young v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co.,3 where the American
Supreme Court through Justice Brandeis tersely and succinctly
summed up the matter thus: The statute here questioned
deals with a subject clearly within the scope of the police
power. We are asked to declare it void on the ground that the
specific method of regulation prescribed is unreasonable and
hence deprives the plaintiff of due process of law. 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.

Nor may petitioners assert with plausibility that on its face the
ordinance is fatally defective as being repugnant to the due
process clause of the Constitution. The mantle of protection
associated with the due process guaranty does not cover
petitioners. This particular manifestation of a police power
measure being specifically aimed to safeguard public morals
is immune from such imputation of nullity resting purely on
conjecture and unsupported by anything of substance. To hold
otherwise would be to unduly restrict and narrow the scope of
police power which has been properly characterized as the
most essential, insistent and the least limitable of
powers,4 extending as it does "to all the great public
needs."5 It would be, to paraphrase another leading decision,
to destroy the very purpose of the state if it could be deprived
or allowed itself to be deprived of its competence to promote
public health, public morals, public safety and the genera
welfare.6 Negatively put, police power is "that inherent and
plenary power in the State which enables it to prohibit all that
is hurt full to the comfort, safety, and welfare of society. 7
There is no question but that the challenged ordinance was
precisely enacted to minimize certain practices hurtful to
public morals. The explanatory note of the Councilor Herminio
Astorga included as annex to the stipulation of facts, speaks
of the alarming increase in the rate of prostitution, adultery
and fornication in Manila traceable in great part to the
existence of motels, which "provide a necessary atmosphere
for clandestine entry, presence and exit" and thus become the
"ideal haven for prostitutes and thrill-seekers." The challenged
ordinance then proposes to check the clandestine harboring of
transients and guests of these establishments by requiring
these transients and guests to fill up a registration form,
prepared for the purpose, in a lobby open to public view at all
times, and by introducing several other amendatory
provisions calculated to shatter the privacy that characterizes
the registration of transients and guests." 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." It would appear therefore that the
stipulation of facts, far from sustaining any attack against the
validity of the ordinance, argues eloquently for it.
It is a fact worth noting that this Court has invariably stamped
with the seal of its approval, ordinances punishing vagrancy
and classifying a pimp or procurer as a vagrant; 8 provide a
license tax for and regulating the maintenance or operation of
public
dance
halls;9 prohibiting
gambling;10 prohibiting
jueteng;11 and monte;12 prohibiting playing of panguingui on
days other than Sundays or legal holidays; 13 prohibiting the
operation of pinball machines;14 and prohibiting any person
from keeping, conducting or maintaining an opium joint or
visiting a place where opium is smoked or otherwise
used,15 all of which are intended to protect public morals.
On the legislative organs of the government, whether national
or local, primarily rest the exercise of the police power, which,
it cannot be too often emphasized, 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 exercise of
such police power insofar as it may affect the life, liberty or
property of any person is subject to judicial inquiry. Where
such exercise of police power may be considered as either
capricious, whimsical, unjust or unreasonable, a denial of due

process or a violation of any other applicable constitutional


guaranty may call for correction by the courts.
We are thus led to considering the insistent, almost shrill tone,
in which the objection is raised to the question of due
process.16 There is no controlling and precise definition of due
process. It furnishes though 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, or any governmental action for that
matter, from the imputation of legal infirmity sufficient to spell
its doom? It is responsiveness to the supremacy of reason,
obedience to the dictates of justice. Negatively put,
arbitrariness is ruled out and unfairness avoided. To satisfy
the due process requirement, official action, to paraphrase
Cardozo, must not outrun the bounds of reason and result in
sheer oppression. Due process is thus hostile to any official
action marred by lack of reasonableness. Correctly it has been
identified as freedom from arbitrariness. It is the embodiment
of the sporting idea of fair play. 17 It exacts fealty "to those
strivings for justice" and judges the act of officialdom of
whatever branch "in the light of reason drawn from
considerations of fairness that reflect [democratic] traditions
of legal and political thought." 18 It is not a narrow or "technical
conception with fixed content unrelated to time, place and
circumstances,"19 decisions based on such a clause requiring a
"close and perceptive inquiry into fundamental principles of
our society."20 Questions of due process are not to be treated
narrowly or pedantically in slavery to form or phrases.21
It would thus be an affront to reason to stigmatize an
ordinance enacted precisely to meet what a municipal
lawmaking body considers an evil of rather serious proportion
an arbitrary and capricious exercise of authority. It would
seem that what should be deemed unreasonable and what
would amount to an abdication of the power to govern is
inaction in the face of an admitted deterioration of the state
of public morals. To be more specific, the Municipal Board of
the City of Manila felt the need for a remedial measure. It
provided it with the enactment of the challenged ordinance. A
strong case must be found in the records, and, as has been
set forth, none is even attempted here to attach to an
ordinance of such character the taint of nullity for an alleged
failure to meet the due process requirement. Nor does it lend
any semblance even of deceptive plausibility to petitioners'
indictment of Ordinance No. 4760 on due process grounds to
single out such features as the increased fees for motels and
hotels, the curtailment of the area of freedom to contract,
and, in certain particulars, its alleged vagueness.
Admittedly there was a decided increase of the annual license
fees provided for by the challenged ordinance for hotels and
motels, 150% for the former and over 200% for the latter,
first-class motels being required to pay a P6,000 annual fee
and second-class motels, P4,500 yearly. It has been the
settled law however, as far back as 1922 that municipal
license fees could be classified into those imposed for
regulating occupations or regular enterprises, for the
regulation or restriction of non-useful occupations or
enterprises and for revenue purposes only.22 As was explained
more in detail in the above Cu Unjieng case: (2) 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. The desirability of imposing restraint
upon the number of persons who might otherwise engage in
non-useful enterprises is, of course, generally an important
factor in the determination of the amount of this kind of
license fee. Hence license fees clearly in the nature of
privilege taxes for revenue have frequently been upheld,
especially in of licenses for the sale of liquors. In fact, in the
latter cases the fees have rarely been declared
unreasonable.23

curtailment of liberty which as pointed out by Justice Malcolm


cannot be absolute. Thus: "One thought which runs through
all these different conceptions of liberty is plainly apparent. It
is this: '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.
No man can do exactly as he pleases. Every man must
renounce unbridled license. The right of the individual is
necessarily subject to reasonable restraint by general law for
the common good x x x The liberty of the citizen may be
restrained in the interest of the public health, or of the public
order and safety, or otherwise within the proper scope of the
police power."28

Moreover in the equally leading case of Lutz v. Araneta24 this


Court affirmed the doctrine earlier announced by the
American Supreme Court that taxation may be made to
implement the state's police power. Only the other day, this
Court had occasion to affirm that the broad taxing authority
conferred by the Local Autonomy Act of 1959 to cities and
municipalities is sufficiently plenary to cover a wide range of
subjects with the only limitation that the tax so levied is for
public purposes, just and uniform.25

A similar observation was made by Justice Laurel: "Public


welfare, then, lies at the bottom of the enactment of said law,
and the state in order to promote the general welfare may
interfere with personal liberty, with property, and with
business and occupations. Persons and property may be
subjected to all kinds of restraints and burdens, in order to
secure the general comfort, health, and prosperity of the state
x x x To this fundamental aim of our Government the rights of
the individual are subordinated. Liberty is a blessing without
which life is a misery, but liberty should not be made to
prevail over authority because then society will fall into
anarchy. Neither should authority be made to prevail over
liberty because then the individual will fall into slavery. 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.29

As a matter of fact, even without reference to the wide


latitude enjoyed by the City of Manila in imposing licenses for
revenue, it has been explicitly held in one case that "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.26 The discussion of this particular matter may
fitly close with this pertinent citation from another decision of
significance: "It is urged on behalf of the plaintiffs-appellees
that the enforcement of the ordinance could deprive them of
their lawful occupation and means of livelihood because they
can not rent stalls in the public markets. But it appears that
plaintiffs are also dealers in refrigerated or cold storage meat,
the sale of which outside the city markets under certain
conditions is permitted x x x . And surely, the mere fact, that
some individuals in the community may be deprived of their
present business or a particular mode of earning a living
cannot prevent the exercise of the police power. As was said
in a case, persons licensed to pursue occupations which may
in the public need and interest be affected by the exercise of
the police power embark in these occupations subject to the
disadvantages which may result from the legal exercise of
that power."27
Nor does the restriction on the freedom to contract, insofar as
the challenged ordinance makes it unlawful for the owner,
manager, keeper or duly authorized representative of any
hotel, motel, lodging house, tavern, common inn or the like, to
lease or rent room or portion thereof more than twice every
24 hours, with a proviso that in all cases full payment shall be
charged, call for a different conclusion. Again, such a
limitation cannot be viewed as a transgression against the
command of due process. It is neither unreasonable nor
arbitrary. Precisely it was intended to curb the opportunity for
the immoral or illegitimate use to which such premises could
be, and, according to the explanatory note, are being
devoted. How could it then be arbitrary or oppressive when
there appears a correspondence between the undeniable
existence of an undesirable situation and the legislative
attempt at correction. Moreover, petitioners cannot be
unaware that every regulation of conduct amounts to

It is noteworthy that the only decision of this Court nullifying


legislation because of undue deprivation of freedom to
contract, People v. Pomar,30 no longer "retains its virtuality as
a living principle. 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.31 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.32 How justify then the allegation
of a denial of due process?
Lastly, there is the attempt to impugn the ordinance on
another due process ground by invoking the principles of
vagueness or uncertainty. It would appear from a recital in the
petition itself that what seems to be the gravamen of the
alleged grievance is that the provisions are too detailed and
specific rather than vague or uncertain. Petitioners, however,
point to the requirement that a guest should give the name,
relationship, age and sex of the companion or companions as
indefinite and uncertain in view of the necessity for
determining whether the companion or companions referred
to are those arriving with the customer or guest at the time of
the registry or entering the room With him at about the same
time or coming at any indefinite time later to join him; a
proviso in one of its sections which cast doubt as to whether
the maintenance of a restaurant in a motel is dependent upon
the discretion of its owners or operators; another proviso
which from their standpoint would require a guess as to
whether the "full rate of payment" to be charged for every

such lease thereof means a full day's or merely a half-day's


rate. It may be asked, do these allegations suffice to render
the ordinance void on its face for alleged vagueness or
uncertainty? To ask the question is to answer it. From Connally
v. General Construction Co.33 to Adderley v. Florida,34 the
principle has been consistently upheld that what makes a
statute susceptible to such a charge is an enactment either
forbidding or requiring the doing of an act that men of
common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning
and differ as to its application. Is this the situation before us?
A citation from Justice Holmes would prove illuminating: "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."35
That is all then that this case presents. As it stands, with all
due allowance for the arguments pressed with such vigor and
determination, the attack against the validity of the
challenged ordinance cannot be considered a success. Far
from it. Respect for constitutional law principles so uniformly
held and so uninterruptedly adhered to by this Court compels
a reversal of the appealed decision.
Wherefore, the judgment of the lower court is reversed and
the injunction issued lifted forthwith. With costs.
Facts:
The petitioners filed a petition for prohibition against
Ordinance No. 4760 for being violative of the due process
clause, contending that said ordinance is not only arbitrary,
unreasonable or oppressive but also va gue, in defi nite and
un certain, and likewise a llege th e in va sion of the
r igh t
to
privacy
an d
th e guaranty
against selfincrimination.
Ord in an ce
No. 4 760
propos es
to ch ec k
the clandestin e har bor in g
o f tra nsien ts an d
gu es ts of these establishments by requiring these transients
and guests to fill up a registration form, prepared for th e
pu rpos e, in a lobb y op en to pub lic view at a ll tim es ,
an d
by
intro duc ing
s ever a l
other
amendato ry provisions calculated to shatter the privacy that
characterizes
the
registration
of
transients
and
guests."Moreover, the increase in the licensed fees was
intended to discourage "establishments of the kind
from o p e r a t i n g f o r p u r p o s e o t h e r t h a n l e g a l "
and at the same time, to increase "the
i n c o m e o f t h e c i t y government."
The lower court ruled in favor of the petitioners. Hence, the
appeal.
Issue:
Whether or not Ordinance No. 4760 is unconstitutional
Held:
No. The mantle o f p ro tection asso cia ted with the due
p ro ces s guaranty does no t c over p etition er s. Th is
p articu lar manifes ta tio n o f a polic e po wer measu re
b eing
specifi cally
a im ed
to
sa fegu ard
pub lic
mor als is immun e fro m su ch impu ta tio n o f nu llity
res ting purely on con jec tu re an d unsup por ted by
an yth ing o f subs tanc e. To ho ld o th er wise wo uld be to
und uly res tr ict an d narro w th e sco pe o f polic e power
which has been properly characterized as the most essential,
insistent and the least limitable of powers, extending as it
does "to all the great public needs."

It would be, to paraphrase another leading decision, to


destroy the very purpose of the state if it c ould b e d epr ived
o r allo wed its elf to b e dep rived o f its co mp eten ce to
p rom ote pu blic h ea lth , pub lic morals, public safety and
the general welfare. Negatively put, police power is that
inherent and plenary po wer in th e State wh ich enables
it to prohibit all th at is hur t full to th e comfo rt,
sa fety, and welfa re of society.
On the legislative organs of the government, whether national
or local, primarily rest the exercise of the p olice po wer ,
which , it c anno t b e to o often emp has ized , is th e
po wer to pres cr ib e regu la tio ns 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
exercise of such police power insofar as it may affect the life,
liberty or property of any person is subject to judicial inquiry.
Where such exercise of police power may be considered as
either capricious, whimsical, unjust or unreasonable, a denial
of due process or a violation of any other applicable
constitutional guaranty may call for correction by the courts.
The Court reversed the judgment of the lower court and lifted
the injunction on the Ordinance in question.
L iberty is a bless ing with ou t wh ic h life is a mis er y,
bu t liber ty shou ld no t be m ade to p revail over
authority because then society will fall into anarchy. Neither
should authority be made to prevail over liberty because then
the individual will fall into slavery.

G.R. No. L-5060

January 26, 1910

THEUNITEDSTATESvs.LUIS TORIBIO
CARSON, J.:
The evidence of record fully sustains the findings of the trial
court that the appellant slaughtered or caused to be
slaughtered for human consumption, the carabao described in
the information, without a permit from the municipal treasure
of the municipality wherein it was slaughtered, in violation of
the provisions of sections 30 and 33 of Act No. 1147, an Act
regulating the registration, branding, and slaughter of large
cattle.
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. Sections 30, 31,
32, and 33 of the Act are as follows:
SEC. 30. No large cattle shall be slaughtered or killed
for food at the municipal slaughterhouse except upon
permit secured from the municipal treasure. Before
issuing the permit for the slaughter of large cattle for
human consumption, the municipal treasurer shall
require for branded cattle the production of the
original certificate of ownership and certificates of
transfer showing title in the person applying for the
permit, and for unbranded cattle such evidence as
may satisfy said treasurer as to the ownership of the
animals for which permit to slaughter has been
requested.
SEC. 31. No permit to slaughter has been carabaos
shall be granted by the municipal treasurer unless
such animals are unfit for agricultural work or for
draft purposes, and in no event shall a permit be
given to slaughter for food any animal of any kind
which is not fit for human consumption.
SEC. 32. The municipal treasurer shall keep a record
of all permits for slaughter issued by him, and such
record shall show the name and residence of the
owner, and the class, sex, age, brands, knots of
radiated hair commonly know as remolinos or
cowlicks, and other marks of identification of the
animal for the slaughter of which permit is issued
and the date on which such permit is issued. Names
of owners shall be alphabetically arranged in the
record, together with date of permit.
A copy of the record of permits granted for slaughter
shall be forwarded monthly to the provincial
treasurer, who shall file and properly index the same
under the name of the owner, together with date of
permit.
SEC. 33. Any person slaughtering or causing to be
slaughtered for human consumption or killing for
food at the municipal slaughterhouse any large cattle
except upon permit duly secured from the municipal

treasurer, shall be punished by a fine of not less than


ten nor more than five hundred pesos, Philippine
currency, or by imprisonment for not less than one
month nor more than six months, or by both such
fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.
It is contended that the proper construction of the language of
these provisions limits the prohibition contained in section 30
and the penalty imposed in section 33 to cases (1) of
slaughter of large cattle for human consumption in a
municipal slaughter without a permit duly secured from the
municipal treasurer, and (2) cases of killing of large cattle for
food in a municipal slaughterhouse without a permit duly
secured from the municipal treasurer; and it is urged that the
municipality of Carmen not being provided with a municipal
slaughterhouse, neither the prohibition nor the penalty is
applicable to cases of slaughter of large cattle without a
permit in that municipality.
We are of opinion, however, that the prohibition contained in
section 30 refers (1) to the slaughter of large cattle for human
consumption, anywhere, without a permit duly secured from
the municipal treasurer, and (2) expressly and specifically to
the killing for food of large cattle at a municipal
slaughterhouse without such permit; and that the penalty
provided in section 33 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.
It may be admitted at once, that the pertinent language of
those sections taken by itself and examined apart from the
context fairly admits of two constructions: one whereby the
phrase "at the municipal slaughterhouse" may be taken as
limiting and restricting both the word "slaughtered" and the
words "killed for food" in section 30, and the words
"slaughtering or causing to be slaughtered for human
consumption" and the words "killing for food" in section 33;
and the other whereby the phrase "at the municipal
slaughterhouse" may be taken as limiting and restricting
merely the words "killed for food" and "killing for food" as
used in those sections. But upon a reading of the whole Act,
and keeping in mind the manifest and expressed purpose and
object of its enactment, it is very clear that the latter
construction is that which should be adopted.
The Act primarily seeks to protect the "large cattle" of the
Philippine Islands against theft and to make easy the recovery
and return of such cattle to their proper owners when lost,
strayed, or stolen. To this end it provides an elaborate and
compulsory system for the separate branding and registry of
ownership of all such cattle throughout the Islands, whereby
owners are enabled readily and easily to establish their title; it
prohibits and invalidates all transfers of large cattle
unaccompanied by certificates of transfer issued by the
proper officer in the municipality where the contract of sale is
made; and it provides also for the disposition of thieves or
persons unlawfully in possession, so as to protect the rights of
the true owners. All this, manifestly, in order to make it
difficult for any one but the rightful owner of such cattle to
retain them in his possession or to dispose of them to others.
But the usefulness of this elaborate and compulsory system of
identification, resting as it does on the official registry of the
brands and marks on each separate animal throughout the

Islands, would be largely impaired, if not totally destroyed, if


such animals were requiring proof of ownership and the
production of certificates of registry by the person
slaughtering or causing them to be slaughtered, and this
especially if the animals were slaughtered privately or in a
clandestine manner outside of a municipal slaughterhouse.
Hence, as it would appear, sections 30 and 33 prohibit and
penalize the slaughter for human consumption or killing for
food at a municipal slaughterhouse of such animals without a
permit issued by the municipal treasurer, and section 32
provides for the keeping of detailed records of all such permits
in the office of the municipal and also of the provincial
treasurer.
If, however, the construction be placed on these sections
which is contended for by the appellant, it will readily be seen
that all these carefully worked out provisions for the registry
and record of the brands and marks of identification of all
large cattle in the Islands would prove in large part abortion,
since thieves and persons unlawfully in possession of such
cattle, and naturally would, evade the provisions of the law by
slaughtering them outside of municipal slaughterhouses, and
thus enjoy the fruits of their wrongdoing without exposing
themselves to the danger of detection incident to the bringing
of the animals to the public slaughterhouse, where the brands
and other identification marks might be scrutinized and proof
of ownership required.
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. We are of opinion, therefore, that 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.
It is not essential that an explanation be found for the express
prohibition in these sections of the "killing for food at a
municipal slaughterhouse" of such animals, despite the fact
that this prohibition is clearly included in the general
prohibition of the slaughter of such animals for human
consumption anywhere; but it is not improbable that the
requirement for the issue of a permit in such cases was
expressly and specifically mentioned out of superabundance
of precaution, and to avoid all possibility of misunderstanding
in the event that some of the municipalities should be
disposed to modify or vary the general provisions of the law
by the passage of local ordinances or regulations for the
control of municipal slaughterhouse.
Similar reasoning applied to the specific provisions of section
31 of the Act leads to the same conclusion. One of the
secondary purposes of the law, as set out in that section, is to
prevent the slaughter for food of carabaos fit for agricultural
and draft purposes, and of all animals unfit for human
consumption. A construction which would limit the
prohibitions and penalties prescribed in the statute to the
killing of such animals in municipal slaughterhouses, leaving
unprohibited and unpenalized their slaughter outside of such
establishments, so manifestly tends to defeat the purpose and

object of the legislator, that unless imperatively demanded by


the language of the statute it should be rejected; and, as we
have already indicated, the language of the statute is clearly
susceptible of the construction which we have placed upon it,
which tends to make effective the provisions of this as well as
all the other sections of the Act.
It appears that the defendant did in fact apply for a permit to
slaughter his carabao, and that it was denied him on the
ground that the animal was not unfit "for agricultural work or
for draft purposes." Counsel for appellant contends that the
statute, in so far as it undertakes to penalize the slaughter of
carabaos for human consumption as food, without first
obtaining a permit which can not be procured in the event
that the animal is not unfit "for agricultural work or draft
purposes," is unconstitutional and in violation of the terms of
section 5 of the Philippine Bill (Act of Congress, July 1, 1902),
which provides that "no law shall be enacted which shall
deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due
process of law."
It is not quite clear from the argument of counsel whether his
contention is that this provision of the statute constitutes a
taking of property for public use in the exercise of the right of
eminent domain without providing for the compensation of
the owners, or that it is an undue and unauthorized exercise
of the police power of the State. But whatever may be the
basis of his contention, we are of opinion, appropriating, with
necessary modifications understood, the language of that
great jurist, Chief Justice Shaw (in the case of
Com. vs. Tewksbury, 11 Met., 55, where the question involved
was the constitutionality of a statute prohibiting and
penalizing the taking or carrying away by any person,
including the owner, of any stones, gravel, or sand, from any
of the beaches in the town of Chesea,) that the law in
question "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 or injurious to the rights of the public. 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 interest of the
community."
It may be conceded that the benificial use and exclusive
enjoyment of the property of all carabao owners in these
Islands is to a greater or less degree interfered with by the
provisions of the statute; and that, without inquiring what
quantum of interest thus passes from the owners of such
cattle, it is an interest the deprivation of which detracts from
their right and authority, and in some degree interferes with
their exclusive possession and control of their property, so
that if the regulations in question were enacted for purely
private purpose, the statute, in so far as these regulations are
concerned, would be a violation of the provisions of the
Philippine Bill relied on be appellant; but we are satisfied that
it is not such a taking, such an interference with the right and
title of the owners, as is involved in the exercise by the State
of the right of eminent domain, so as to entitle these owners
to compensation, and that it is no more than "a just restrain of
an injurious private use of the property, which the legislature
had authority to impose."

In the case of Com. vs. Alger (7 Cush., 53, 84), wherein the
doctrine laid down in Com. vs. Tewksbury (supra) was
reviewed and affirmed, the same eminent jurist who wrote the
former opinion, in distinguishing the exercise of the right of
eminent domain from the exercise of the sovereign police
powers of the State, said:
We think it is settled principle, growing out of the
nature of well-ordered civil society, that every holder
of property, however absolute and unqualified may
be his title, holds it under the implied liability that his
use of it may be so regulated that is shall not be
injurious to the equal enjoyment of others having an
equal right to the enjoyment of their property, nor
injurious to the rights of the community. . . . Rights of
property, like all other social and conventional rights,
are subject to such reasonable limitations in their
enjoyment as shall prevent them from being
injurious, and to such reasonable restrain and
regulations establish by law, as the legislature, under
the governing and controlling power vested in them
by the constitution, may think necessary and
expedient.
This is very different from the right of eminent
domain, the right of a government to take and
appropriate private property to public use, whenever
the public exigency requires it; which can be done
only on condition of providing a reasonable
compensation therefor. The power we allude to is
rather the police power, the 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.
It is much easier to perceive and realize the
existence and sources of this power than to mark its
boundaries or prescribe limits to its exercise.
Applying these principles, we are opinion that the restrain
placed by the law on the slaughter for human consumption of
carabaos fit for agricultural work and draft purpose is not an
appropriation of property interests to a "public use," and is
not, therefore, within the principle of the exercise by the State
of the right of eminent domain. It is fact a mere restriction or
limitation upon a private use, which the legislature deemed to
be determental to the public welfare. And we think that an
examination of the general provisions of the statute in relation
to the public interest which it seeks to safeguard and the
public necessities for which it provides, leaves no room for
doubt that the limitations and restraints imposed upon the
exercise of rights of ownership by the particular provisions of
the statute under consideration were imposed not for private
purposes but, strictly, in the promotion of the "general
welfare" and "the public interest" in the exercise of the
sovereign police power which every State possesses for the
general public welfare and which "reaches to every species of
property within the commonwealth."
For several years prior to the enactment of the statute a
virulent contagious or infectious disease had threatened the
total extinction of carabaos in these Islands, in many sections

sweeping away seventy, eighty, and in some cases as much


as ninety and even one hundred per cent of these animals.
Agriculture being the principal occupation of the people, and
the carabao being the work animal almost exclusively in use
in the fields as well as for draft purposes, the ravages of the
disease with which they were infected struck an almost vital
blow at the material welfare of the country. large areas of
productive land lay waste for years, and the production of
rice, the staple food of the inhabitants of the Islands, fell off to
such an extent that the impoverished people were compelled
to spend many millions of pesos in its importation,
notwithstanding the fact that with sufficient work animals to
cultivate the fields the arable rice lands of the country could
easily be made to produce a supply more that sufficient for its
own needs. The drain upon the resources of the Islands was
such that famine soon began to make itself felt, hope sank in
the breast of the people, and in many provinces the energies
of the breadwinners seemed to be paralyzed by the
apparently hopeless struggle for existence with which they
were confronted.
To meet these conditions, large sums of money were
expended by the Government in relieving the immediate
needs of the starving people, three millions of dollars were
voted by the Congress of the United States as a relief or
famine fund, public works were undertaken to furnish
employment in the provinces where the need was most
pressing, and every effort made to alleviate the suffering
incident to the widespread failure of the crops throughout the
Islands, due in large measure to the lack of animals fit for
agricultural work and draft purposes.
Such measures, however, could only temporarily relieve the
situation, because in an agricultural community material
progress and permanent prosperity could hardly be hoped for
in the absence of the work animals upon which such a
community must necessarily rely for the cultivation of the
fields and the transportation of the products of the fields to
market. Accordingly efforts were made by the Government to
increase the supply of these animals by importation, but, as
appears from the official reports on this subject, hope for the
future depended largely on the conservation of those animals
which had been spared from the ravages of the diseased, and
their redistribution throughout the Islands where the need for
them was greatest.
At large expense, the services of experts were employed, with
a view to the discovery and applications of preventive and
curative remedies, and it is hoped that these measures have
proved in some degree successful in protecting the present
inadequate supply of large cattle, and that the gradual
increase and redistribution of these animals throughout the
Archipelago, in response to the operation of the laws of supply
and demand, will ultimately results in practically relieving
those sections which suffered most by the loss of their work
animals.
As was to be expected under such conditions, the price of
carabaos rapidly increase from the three to five fold or more,
and it may fairly be presumed that even if the conservative
measures now adopted prove entirely successful, the scant
supply will keep the price of these animals at a high figure
until the natural increase shall have more nearly equalized the
supply to the demand.

Coincident with and probably intimately connected with this


sudden rise in the price of cattle, the crime of cattle stealing
became extremely prevalent throughout the Islands,
necessitating the enactment of a special law penalizing with
the severest penalties the theft of carabaos and other
personal property by roving bands; and it must be assumed
from the legislative authority found that the general welfare of
the Islands necessitated the enactment of special and
somewhat burdensome provisions for the branding and
registration of large cattle, and supervision and restriction of
their slaughter for food. It will hardly be questioned that the
provisions of the statute touching the branding and
registration of such cattle, and prohibiting and penalizing the
slaughter of diseased cattle for food were enacted in the due
and proper exercise of the police power of the State; and we
are of opinion that, under all the circumstances, the provision
of the statute prohibiting and penalizing the slaughter for
human consumption of carabaos fit for work were in like
manner enacted in the due and proper exercise of that power,
justified by the exigent necessities of existing conditions, and
the right of the State to protect itself against the
overwhelming disaster incident to the further reduction of the
supply of animals fit for agricultural work or draft purposes.
It is, we think, a fact of common knowledge in these Islands,
and disclosed by the official reports and records of the
administrative
and
legislative
departments
of
the
Government, that not merely the material welfare and future
prosperity of this agricultural community were threatened by
the ravages of the disease which swept away the work
animals during the years prior to the enactment of the law
under consideration, but that the very life and existence of
the inhabitants of these Islands as a civilized people would be
more or less imperiled by the continued destruction of large
cattle by disease or otherwise. Confronted by such conditions,
there can be no doubt of the right of the Legislature to adopt
reasonable measures for the preservation of work animals,
even to the extent of prohibiting and penalizing what would,
under ordinary conditions, be a perfectly legitimate and
proper exercise of rights of ownership and control of the
private property of the citizen. The police power rests upon
necessity and the right of self-protection and if ever the
invasion of private property by police regulation can be
justified, we think that the reasonable restriction placed upon
the use of carabaos by the provision of the law under
discussion must be held to be authorized as a reasonable and
proper exercise of that power.
As stated by Mr. Justice Brown in his opinion in the case
of Lawton vs. Steele (152 U.S., 133, 136):
The extent and limits of what is known as the police
power have been a fruitful subject of discussion in
the appellate courts of nearly every State in the
Union. It is universally conceded to include
everything essential to the public safely, health, and
morals, and to justify the destruction or abatement,
by summary proceedings, of whatever may be
regarded as a public nuisance. Under this power it
has been held that the State may order the
destruction of a house falling to decay or otherwise
endangering the lives of passers-by; the demolition
of such as are in the path of a conflagration; the
slaughter of diseased cattle; the destruction of
decayed or unwholesome food; the prohibition of
wooden buildings in cities; the regulation of railways

and other means of public conveyance, and of


interments in burial grounds; the restriction of
objectionable trades to certain localities; the
compulsary vaccination of children; the confinement
of the insane or those afficted with contagious
deceases; the restraint of vagrants, beggars, and
habitual drunkards; the suppression of obscene
publications and houses of ill fame; and the
prohibition of gambling houses and places where
intoxicating liquors are sold. Beyond this, however,
the State may interfere wherever the public interests
demand it, and in this particular a large discretion is
necessarily vested in the legislature to determine,
not only what the interests of the public require, but
what measures are necessary for the protection of
such interests. (Barbier vs. Connolly, 113 U. S., 27;
Kidd vs. Pearson, 128 U. S., 1.) To justify the State in
thus interposing its authority in behalf of the public,
it must appear, first, that the interests of the public
generally, as distinguished from those of a particular
class, require such interference; and, second, that
the means are reasonably necessary for the
accomplishment of the purpose, and not unduly
oppressive upon individuals. The legislature may not,
under the guise of protecting the public interests,
arbitrarily interfere with private business, or impose
unusual and unnecessary restrictions upon lawful
occupations. In other words, its determination as to
what is a proper exercise of its police powers is not
final or conclusive, but is subject to the supervision
of the court.
From what has been said, we think it is clear that the
enactment of the provisions of the statute under
consideration was required by "the interests of the public
generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class;"
and that the prohibition of the slaughter of carabaos for
human consumption, so long as these animals are fit for
agricultural work or draft purposes was a "reasonably
necessary" limitation on private ownership, to protect the
community from the loss of the services of such animals by
their slaughter by improvident owners, tempted either by
greed of momentary gain, or by a desire to enjoy the luxury of
animal food, even when by so doing the productive power of
the community may be measurably and dangerously affected.
Chief Justice Redfield, in Thorpe vs. Rutland & Burlington R. R.
Co. (27 Vt., 140), said (p. 149) that by this "general police
power of the State, persons and property are subjected to all
kinds of restraints and burdens, in order to secure the general
comfort, health, and prosperity of the State; of the perfect
right in the legislature to do which no question ever was, or,
upon acknowledge and general principles, ever can be made,
so far as natural persons are concerned."
And Cooley in his "Constitutional Limitations" (6th ed., p. 738)
says:
It would be quite impossible to enumerate all the
instances in which the police power is or may be
exercised, because the various cases in which the
exercise by one individual of his rights may conflict
with a similar exercise by others, or may be
detrimental to the public order or safety, are infinite
in number and in variety. And there are other cases

where it becomes necessary for the public authorities


to interfere with the control by individuals of their
property, and even to destroy it, where the owners
themselves have fully observed all their duties to
their fellows and to the State, but where,
nevertheless, some controlling public necessity
demands the interference or destruction. A strong
instance of this description is where it becomes
necessary to take, use, or destroy the private
property of individuals to prevent the spreading of a
fire, the ravages of a pestilence, the advance of a
hostile army, or any other great public calamity. Here
the individual is in no degree in fault, but his interest
must yield to that "necessity" which "knows no law."
The establishment of limits within the denser
portions of cities and villages within which buildings
constructed of inflammable materials shall not be
erected or repaired may also, in some cases, be
equivalent to a destruction of private property; but
regulations for this purpose have been sustained
notwithstanding this result. Wharf lines may also be
established for the general good, even though they
prevent the owners of water-fronts from building out
on soil which constitutes private property. And,
whenever the legislature deem it necessary to the
protection of a harbor to forbid the removal of
stones, gravel, or sand from the beach, they may
establish regulations to that effect under penalties,
and make them applicable to the owners of the soil
equally with other persons. Such regulations are only
"a just restraint of an injurious use of property, which
the legislature have authority" to impose.
So a particular use of property may sometimes be
forbidden, where, by a change of circumstances, and
without the fault of the power, that which was once
lawful, proper, and unobjectionable has now become
a public nuisance, endangering the public health or
the public safety. Milldams are sometimes destroyed
upon this grounds; and churchyards which prove, in
the advance of urban population, to be detrimental
to the public health, or in danger of becoming so, are
liable to be closed against further use for cemetery
purposes.
These citations from some of the highest judicial and textbook authorities in the United States clearly indicate the wide
scope and extent which has there been given to the doctrine
us in our opinion that the provision of the statute in question
being a proper exercise of that power is not in violation of the
terms of section 5 of the Philippine Bill, which provide that "no
law shall be enacted which shall deprive any person of life,
liberty, or property without due process of law," a provision
which itself is adopted from the Constitution of the United
States, and is found in substance in the constitution of most if
not all of the States of the Union.
The judgment of conviction and the sentence imposed by the
trial court should be affirmed with the costs of this instance
against the appellant. So ordered.
Facts: Respondent Toribio is an owner of carabao, residing in
the town of Carmen in the province of Bohol. The trial court of
Bohol found that the respondent slaughtered or caused to be
slaughtered a carabao without a permit from the municipal

treasurer of the municipality wherein it was slaughtered, in


violation of 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.
The respondent counters by stating that what the Act is (1)
prohibiting is the slaughter of large cattle in the municipal
slaughter house without a permit given by the municipal
treasurer. Furthermore, he contends that the municipality of
Carmen has no slaughter house and that he slaughtered his
carabao in his dwelling, (2) 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: Whether or not Act. No. 1147, regulating the
registration, branding and slaughter of large cattle, is an
undue and unauthorized exercise of police power.
Held:

It is a valid exercise of police power of the state.

Facts: The Supreme court Said 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
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
The Supreme Court also said that if they will follow the
contention of Toribio it will defeat the purpose of the law.
The police power rests upon necessity and the right of selfprotection and if ever the invasion of private property by
police regulation can be justified, The Supreme Court think
that the reasonable restriction placed upon the use of
carabaos by the provision of the law under discussion must be
held to be authorized as a reasonable and proper exercise of
that
power.
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 requesites of a valid exercise of police power
The Supreme court finally 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.

G.R. No. 27484

September 1, 1927

ANGELLORENZO, petitioner-appellant,
vs.
THE DIRECTOR OF HEALTH, respondent-appelle.
MALCOLM, J.:
The purpose of this appeal is to induce the court to set aside
the judgment of the Court of First Instance of Manila
sustaining the law authorizing the segregation of lepers, and
denying the petition for habeas corpus, by requiring the trial
court to receive evidence to determine if leprosy is or is not a
contagious disease.
The petition for the writ of habeas corpus was in the usual
form. Therein it was admitted that the applicant was a leper. It
was, however, alleged that his confinement in the San Lazaro
Hospital in the City of Manila was in violation of his
constitutional rights. The further allegation was made that
leprosy is not an infectious disease. The return of the writ
stated that the leper was confined in the San Lazaro Hospital
in conformity with the provisions of section 1058 of the
Administrative Code. But to this was appended, for some
unknown reason, the averment that each and every fact of
the petition not otherwise admitted by the return was denied.
Although counsel for the appellant makes mention of the form
which the return of the writ of habeas corpus took, so as not
to complicate matters unnecessarily, we prefer to give
attention only to so much of the return as is contemplated by
law and to disregard the rest as surplusage. The petitioner not
having traversed the return, the only issue is whether the
facts stated in the return as a matter of law authorized the
restraint (Code of Civil Procedure, chap. XXVI; Code of
Criminal Procedure, secs. 77 et seq.).
The Philippine law pertaining to the segregation of lepers is
found in article XV of chapter 37 of the Administrative Code.
Codal section 1058 empowers the Director of Health and his
authorized agents "to cause to be apprehended, and
detained, isolated, or confined, all leprous persons in the
Philippine Islands. "In amplification of this portion of the law
are found provisions relating to arrest of suspected lepers,
medical inspection and diagnostic procedure, confirmation of
diagnosis by bacteriological methods, establishment of
hospitals, detention camps, and a leper colony, etc.
In its simplest aspects, therefore, we have this situation
presented: A leper confined in the San Lazaro Hospital by the
health authorities in conformity with law, but with counsel for
the leper contending that the said law is unconstitutional, and
advancing as the basis for that contention the theory to be
substantiated by proof that human beings are not incurable
with leprosy, and that the disease may not be communicated
by contact.
Section 1058 of the Administrative Code was enacted by the
legislative body in the legitimate exercise of the police power
which extends to the preservation of the public health. It was
place on the statute books in recognition of leprosy as a grave
health problem. The methods provided for the control of
leprosy plainly constitute due process of law. The assumption
must be that if evidence was required to establish the
necessity for the law, that it was before the legislature when

the act was passed. In the case of a statute purporting the


have been enacted in the interest of the public health, all
questions relating to the determination of matters of fact are
for the legislature. If there is probable basis for sustaining the
conclusion reached, its findings are not subject to judicial
review. Debatable questions are for the Legislature to decide.
The courts do not sit to resolve the merits of conflicting
theories. (1 Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., pp.
379, 380; R. C. L., pp. 111 et seq.; Jacobson vs. Massachusetts
[1904], 197 U. S., 11 Segregation of Lepers [1884], V
Hawaiian, 162; People vs. Durston [N. Y.] [1890], 7 L. R. A.,
715; Blue vs. Beach [Ind.] [1900], 50 L. R. A., 64;
Nelson vs. Minneapolis [Minn.] [1910], 29 L. R. A., N. S., 260.)
Judicial notice will be taken of the fact that leprosy is
commonly believed to be an infectious disease tending to
cause one afflicted with it to be shunned and excluded from
society, and that compulsory segregation of lepers as a
means of preventing the spread of the disease of supported
by high scientific authority (See Osler and McCrea, The
Principles and Practice of Medicine, 9th ed., p. 153.) Upon this
view, laws for the segregation of lepers have been provided
the world over. Similarly, the local legislature has regarded
leprosy as a contagious disease and has authorized measures
to control the dread scourge. To that forum must the
petitioner go to reopen the question. We are frank to say that
it would require a much stronger case than the one at bar for
us to sanction admitting the testimony of expert or other
witnesses to show that a law of this character may possibly
violate some constitutional provision.
For more reasons than one, we think that Judge Concepcion
took exactly the correct stand in deciding this test case, and
that consequently his decision should be upheld.
Judgment affirmed, with costs.
Summary

of

the

Case:

The statute empowering the Director of Health and his


authorized agents to cause to be apprehended, and
detained, isolated, or confined, all leprous persons in the
Philippine Islands was enacted by the Legislative body in the
legitimate exercise of the police power which extends to the
preservation
of
public
health.
The petitioner and appellant, Angel Lorenzo is a leprous
person and is confined in the San Lazaro Hospital in the City
of Manila. He made an appeal to induce the court to set aside
the judgment of the Court of the First Instance of Manila
sustaining the law authorizing the segregation of lepers.
Lorenzo alleged that his confinement in the San Lazaro
Hospital was in violation of Constitutional rights and alleged
that
leprosy
is
not
an
infectious
disease.
Relation
to
Article
3:
Section 1: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or
property without due process of law, nor shall any person be
denied
the
equal
protection
of
laws.
I pity Angel Lorenzo for having leprosy. However, the law
enacted was for the public safety and not just to make lepers
an outcast of society. Petitioner claims that his constitutional
rights were violated and I believe that he was referring to the
deprivation of liberty. It is true that he is deprived of liberty

but he is deprived with due process of law. His confinement


and treatments is a compensation for his freedom. It should
be taken as an advantage for him. He is helping the country
so as the citizens wont be infected of leprosy and helping his
self to get proper treatment and attention to his illness.
As discussed in class, there are two types of due processes,
the substantive and procedural. In this case, his confinement
is part of the procedural due process. He is isolated, but in
exchange, he is treated. So, there is no violation of the
petitioners constitutional rights. The judgment was affirmed.
On the grounds that Leprosy is not a contagious disease.
People in the past used to think that only by touching a leper,
or by having contact, one would get infected but it isnt really
true. The bacteria that causes leprosy is a weak diseasecausing agent, as to be compared from other contagious
disease. And it was till the mid 19th century that the 1st
effective drug was discovered. So, the mystery of Leprosy still
clouded the minds of the people in the time of Lorenzo, thats
why the law was enacted because it was believed to be a very
grave threat to the public health. Unlike the AH1N1 virus,
wherein the modes of transmission are really known, the
people infected with the virus voluntarily isolated and
quarantined themselves. In this case, the petitioner could not
really defend himself in saying that it is not a highly
contagious disease because the facts about this disease were
not yet very well known. Thats why the law was taken as a
necessary measure to prevent the spread of the disease
which was believed to be highly contagious.

G.R. No. 80508 January 30, 1990


EDDIE GUAZON,
vs.
MAJ. GEN. RENATO DE VILLA,
GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:
This is a petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction to
prohibit the military and police officers represented by public
respondents from conducting "Areal Target Zonings" or
"Saturation Drives" in Metro Manila.
The forty one (41) petitioners state that they are all of legal
age, bona fide residents of Metro Manila and taxpayers and
leaders in their respective communities. They maintain that
they have a common or general interest in the preservation of
the rule of law, protection of their human rights and the reign
of peace and order in their communities. They claim to
represent "the citizens of Metro Manila who have similar
interests and are so numerous that it is impracticable to bring
them all before this Court."
The public respondents, represented by the Solicitor General,
oppose the petition contending inter alia that petitioners lack
standing to file the instant petition for they are not the proper
parties to institute the action.
According to the petitioners, the following "saturation drives"
were conducted in Metro Manila:
1. March 5, 1987 at about 9:30 PM in Tindalo, Kagitingan, and
Magdalena Streets, Tondo, Manila.
2. June l9, 1987 at about l0:00 PM in Mata Street, Panday Pira
Extension and San Sebastian Street, Tondo, Manila.
3. July 20, 1987 at about 8:00 AM in Bangkusay Street, Tondo,
Manila.
4. August 11 to l3, 1987 between 11:00 PM and 2:00 AM in six
blocks along Aroma Beach up to Happy Land, Magsaysay
Village, Tondo, Manila.
5. August 19, 1987 at 9:00 PM in Herbosa Extension, Quirino
Street, and Pacheco Street, Tondo, Manila.
6. August 28, 1987 at l0:30 PM, in Block 34, Dagat-dagatan
Navotas, Metro Manila.
7. August 30, 1987 at 9:30 PM at Paraiso Extension,
Magsaysay Village, Tondo, Manila.
8. October 12, 1987 at 12:00 midnight in Apelo Cruz
Compound, Quezon City.
9. October 17, 1987 at 11:00 PM in Quirino Street, Tondo,
Manila.
10. October 23, 1987 at 2:30 A.M. in Sun Valley Drive, Manila
International Airport, Pasay City.

11. November 1, 1987 at 4:00 A.M. in Cordillera Street, Sta.


Mesa, Manila.
12. November 3, 1987 at 5:00 A.M. in Lower Maricaban, Pasay
City, Metro Manila.
According to the petitioners, the "areal target zonings" or
saturation drives" are in critical areas pinpointed by the
military and police as places where the subversives are
hiding. The arrests range from seven (7) persons during the
July 20 saturation drive in Bangkusay, Tondo to one thousand
five hundred (1,500) allegedly apprehended on November 3
during the drive at Lower Maricaban, Pasay City. The
petitioners claim that the saturation drives follow a common
pattern of human rights abuses. In all these drives, it is
alleged that the following were committed:
1. Having no specific target house in mind,
in the dead of the night or early morning
hours, police and military units without any
search warrant or warrant of arrest cordon
an area of more than one residence and
sometimes whole barangay or areas of
barangay in Metro Manila. Most of them are
in civilian clothes and without nameplates or
identification cards.
2. These raiders rudely rouse residents from
their sleep by banging on the walls and
windows of their homes, shouting, kicking
their doors open (destroying some in the
process), and then ordering the residents
within to come out of their respective
residences.
3. The residents at the point of highpowered guns are herded like cows, the
men are ordered to strip down to their briefs
and examined for tattoo marks and other
imagined marks.
4. While the examination of the bodies of
the men are being conducted by the raiders,
some of the members of the raiding team
force their way into each and every house
within the cordoned off area and then
proceed to conduct search of the said
houses without civilian witnesses from the
neighborhood.
5. In many instances, many residents have
complained that the raiders ransack their
homes, tossing about the residents'
belongings without total regard for their
value. In several instances, walls are
destroyed, ceilings are damaged in the
raiders' illegal effort to 'fish' for
incriminating evidence.
6. Some victims of these illegal operations
have complained with increasing frequency
that their money and valuables have
disappeared after the said operations.

7. All men and some women who respond to


these illegal and unwelcome intrusions are
arrested on the spot and hauled off to
waiting vehicles that take them to detention
centers where they are interrogated and
'verified.' These arrests are all conducted
without any warrants of arrest duly issued
by a judge, nor under the conditions that
will authorize warrantless arrest. Some
hooded men are used to fingerpoint
suspected subversives.
8. In some instances, arrested persons are
released after the expiration of the period
wherein they can be legally detained
without any charge at all. In other instances,
some arrested persons are released without
charge after a few days of arbitrary
detention.
9. The raiders almost always brandish their
weapons and point them at the residents
during these illegal operations.
10. Many have also reported incidents of onthe-spotbeatings, maulings and
maltreatment.
11. Those who are detained for further
'verification' by the raiders are subjected to
mental and physical torture to extract
confessions and tactical information. (Rollo,
pp. 2-4)
The public respondents stress two points in their Comment
which was also adopted as their Memorandum after the
petition was given due course.
First, the respondents have legal authority to conduct
saturation drives. And second, they allege that the
accusations of the petitioners about a deliberate disregard for
human rights are total lies.
Insofar as the legal basis for saturation drives is concerned,
the respondents cite Article VII, Section 17 of the Constitution
which provides:
The President shall have control of all the
executive departments, bureaus and
offices. He shall ensure that the laws be
faithfully executed. (Emphasis supplied )

would be illegal and blantantly violative of the express


guarantees of the Bill of Rights. If the military and the police
must conduct concerted campaigns to flush out and catch
criminal elements, such drives must be consistent with the
constitutional and statutory rights of all the people affected by
such actions.
There is, of course, nothing in the Constitution which denies
the authority of the Chief Executive, invoked by the Solicitor
General, to order police actions to stop unabated criminality,
rising lawlessness, and alarming communist activities. The
Constitution grants to Government the power to seek and
cripple subversive movements which would bring down
constituted authority and substitute a regime where individual
liberties are suppressed as a matter of policy in the name of
security of the State. However, all police actions are governed
by the limitations of the Bill of Rights. The Government cannot
adopt the same reprehensible methods of authoritarian
systems both of the right and of the left, the enlargement of
whose spheres of influence it is trying hard to suppress. Our
democratic institutions may still be fragile but they are not in
the least bit strengthened through violations of the
constitutional protections which are their distinguishing
features.
In Roan v. Gonzales (145 SCRA 687; 690-691 [1986]), the
Court stated:
One of the most precious rights of the
citizen in a free society is the right to be left
alone in the privacy of his own house. That
right has ancient roots, dating back through
the mists of history to the mighty English
kings in their fortresses of power. Even then,
the lowly subject had his own castle where
he was monarch of all he surveyed. This was
his humble cottage from which he could bar
his sovereign lord and all the forces of the
Crown.
That right has endured through the ages
albeit only in a few libertarian regimes.
Their number, regrettably, continues to
dwindle against the onslaughts of
authoritarianism. We are among the
fortunate few, able again to enjoy this right
after the ordeal of the past despotism. We
must cherish and protect it all the more now
because it is like a prodigal son returning.
That right is guaranteed in the following
provisions of Article IV of the 1973
Constitution:

They also cite Section 18 of the same Article which provides:


The President shall be the Commander-inChief of all armed forces of the Philippines
and whenever it becomes necessary, he
may call out such armed forces to prevent
or suppress lawless violence, invasion or
rebellion. ...
There can be no question that under ordinary circumstances,
the police action of the nature described by the petitioners

SEC. 3. The right of the people to be secure


in their persons, houses, papers and effects
against unreasonable searches and seizures
of whatever nature and for any purpose
shall not be violated, and no search warrant
or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon
probable cause to be determined by the
judge, or such other responsible officer as
may be authorized by law, after
examination under oath or affirmation of the
complainant and the witnesses he may

produce, and particularly describing the


place to be searched, and the persons or
things to be seized.
xxx xxx xxx
Only last year, the Court again issued this reminder in 20th
Century Fox Film Corporation v. Court of Appeals (164 SCRA
655; 660- 661 [1988]):
This constitutional right protects a citizen
against wanton and unreasonable invasion
of his privacy and liberty as to his person,
papers and effects. We have explained in
the case of People vs. Burgos (144 SCRA 1)
citing Villanueva v. Querubin (48 SCRA 345)
why the right is so important:
It is deference to one's personality that lies
at the core of this right, but it could be also
looked upon as a recognition of a
constitutionally protected area, primarily
one's home, but not necessarily thereto
confined. (Cf. Hoffa v. United States, 385 US
293 [1966]) What is sought to be guarded is
a man's prerogative to choose who is
allowed entry to his residence. In that haven
of refuge, his individuality can assert itself
not only in the choice of who shall be
welcome but likewise in the kind of objects
he wants around him. There the state,
however powerful, does not as such have
access except under the circumstances
above noted, for in the traditional
formulation, his house, however humble, is
his castle. Thus is outlawed any
unwarranted intrusion by government,
which is called upon to refrain from any
invasion of his dwelling and to respect the
privacies of his life. (Cf. Schmerber v.
California, 384 US 757 [1966], Brennan J.
and Boyd v. United States, 11 6 630 [1886]).
In the same vein, Landynski in his
authoritative work (Search and Seizure and
the Supreme Court [1966]), could fitly
characterize constitutional right as the
embodiment of a spiritual concept: the
belief that to value the privacy of home and
person and to afford its constitutional
protection against the long reach of
government is no less than to value human
dignity, and that his privacy must not be
disturbed except in case of overriding social
need, and then only under stringent
procedural safeguards. (ibid, p. 74.)
The decision of the United States Supreme Court in Rochin v.
California, (342 US 165; 96 L. Ed. 183 [1952]) emphasizes
clearly that police actions should not be characterized by
methods that offend a sense of justice. The court ruled:
Applying these general considerations to the
circumstances of the present case, we are
compelled to conclude that the proceedings
by which this conviction was obtained do

more than offend some fastidious


squeamishness or private sentimentalism
about combatting crime too energetically.
This is conduct that shocks the conscience.
Illegally breaking into the privacy of the
petitioner, the struggle to open his mouth
and remove what was there, the forcible
extraction of his stomach's contents this
course of proceeding by agents of
government to obtain evidence is bound to
offend even hardened sensibilities. They are
methods too close to the rack and the screw
to permit of constitutional differentiation.
It is significant that it is not the police action perse which is
impermissible and which should be prohibited. Rather, it is the
procedure used or in the words of the court, methods which
"offend even hardened sensibilities." In Breithaupt v.
Abram (352 US 432, 1 L. Ed. 2nd 448 [1957]), the same court
validated the use of evidence, in this case blood samples
involuntarily taken from the petitioner, where there was
nothing brutal or offensive in the taking. The Court stated:
Basically the distinction rests on the fact
that there is nothing 'brutal' or 'offensive' in
the taking of a sample of blood when done,
as in this case, under the protective eye of a
physician. To be sure, the driver here was
unconscious when the blood was taken, but
the absence of conscious consent, without
more, does not necessarily render the
taking a violation of a constitutional light;
and certainly the rest was administered here
would not be considered offensive by even
the most delicate. Furthermore, due process
is not measured by the yardstick of personal
reaction or the sphygmogram of the most
sensitive person, but by that whole
community sense of 'decency and fairness
that has been woven by common
experience into the fabric of acceptable
conduct....
The individual's right to immunity from such invasion of his
body was considered as "far outweighed by the value of its
deterrent effect" on the evil sought to be avoided by the
police action.
It is clear, therefore, that the nature of the affirmative relief
hinges closely on the determination of the exact facts
surrounding a particular case.
The violations of human rights alleged by the petitioners are
serious. If an orderly procedure ascertains their truth, not only
a writ of prohibition but criminal prosecutions would
immediately issue as a matter of course. A persistent pattern
of wholesale and gross abuse of civil liberties, as alleged in
the petition, has no place in civilized society.
On the other hand, according to the respondents, the
statements made by the petitioners are a complete lie.
The Solicitor General argues:

This a complete lie.


Just the contrary, they had been conducted
with due regard to human rights. Not only
that, they were intelligently and carefully
planned months ahead of the actual
operation. They were executed in
coordination with barangay officials who
pleaded with their constituents to submit
themselves voluntarily for character and
personal verification. Local and foreign
correspondents, who had joined these
operations, witnessed and recorded the
events that transpired relative thereto.
(After Operation Reports: November 5,
1987, Annex 12; November 20, 1987, Annex
13; November 24, 1987, Annex 14). That is
why in all the drives so far conducted, the
alleged victims who numbered thousands
had not themselves complained.
In her speech during turn-over rites on
January 26, 1987 at Camp Aguinaldo,
President Aquino branded all accusations of
deliberate disregard for human rights as
'total lies'. Here are excerpts from her
strongest speech yet in support of the
military:
All accusations of a deliberate disregard for
human rights have been shown- up to be
total lies.
...To our soldiers, let me say go out and
fight, fight with every assurance that I will
stand by you through thick and thin to share
the blame, defend your actions, mourn the
losses and enjoy with you the final victory
that I am certain will be ours.
You and I will see this through together.
I've sworn to defend and uphold the
Constitution.
We have wasted enough time answering
their barkings for it is still a long way to
lasting peace. . . . The dangers and
hardships to our men in the field are great
enough as it is without having them
distracted by tills worthless carping at their
backs.
Our counter-insurgency policy remains the
same: economic development to pull out
the roots-and military operations to slash
the growth of the insurgency.
The answer to terror is force now.
Only feats of arms can buy us the time
needed to make our economic and social
initiatives bear fruit. . . Now that the
extreme Right has been defeated, I expect

greater vigor in the prosecution of the war


against the communist insurgency, even as
we continue to watch our backs against
attacks from the Right. (Philippine Star,
January 27, 1988, p. 1, Annex 15; emphasis
supplied)
Viewed in the light of President Aquino's
observation on the matter, it can be said
that petitioners misrepresent as human
rights violations the military and police's
zealous vigilance over the people's right to
live in peace and safety. (Rollo, pp. 36-38)
Herein lies the problem of the Court. We can only guess the
truth. Everything before us consists of allegations. According
to the petitioners, more than 3,407 persons were arrested in
the saturation drives covered by the petition. No estimates
are given for the drives in Block 34, Dagat-dagatan, Navotas;
Apelo Cruz Compound, Pasig; and Sun Valley Drive near the
Manila International Airport area. Not one of the several
thousand persons treated in the illegal and inhuman manner
described by the petitioners appears as a petitioner or has
come before a trial court to present the kind of evidence
admissible in courts of justice. Moreover, there must have
been tens of thousands of nearby residents who were
inconvenienced in addition to the several thousand allegedly
arrested. None of those arrested has apparently been charged
and none of those affected has apparently complained.
A particularly intriguing aspect of the Solicitor General's
comments is the statement that local and foreign corespondents actually joined the saturation drives and
witnessed and recorded the events. In other words, the
activities sought to be completely proscribed were in full view
of media. The sight of hooded men allegedly being used to
fingerpoint suspected subversives would have been good
television copy. If true, this was probably effected away from
the ubiquitous eye of the TV cameras or, as the Solicitor
General contends, the allegation is a "complete lie."
The latest attempt to stage a coup d'etat where several
thousand members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
sought to overthrow the present Government introduces
another aspect of the problem and illustrates quite clearly
why those directly affected by human rights violations should
be the ones to institute court actions and why evidence of
what actually transpired should first be developed before
petitions are filed with this Court.
Where there is large scale mutiny or actual rebellion, the
police or military may go in force to the combat areas, enter
affected residences or buildings, round up suspected rebels
and otherwise quell the mutiny or rebellion without having to
secure search warrants and without violating the Bill of Rights.
This is exactly what happened in the White Plains Subdivision
and the commercial center of Makati during the first week of
December, 1989.
The areal target zonings in this petition were intended to flush
out subversives and criminal elements particularly because of
the blatant assassinations of public officers and police officials
by elements supposedly coddled by the communities where
the "drives" were conducted.

It is clear from the pleadings of both petitioners and


respondents, however, that there was no rebellion or criminal
activity similar to that of the attempted coup d' etats. There
appears to have been no impediment to securing search
warrants or warrants of arrest before any houses were
searched or individuals roused from sleep were arrested.
There is no strong showing that the objectives sought to be
attained by the "areal zoning" could not be achieved even as
the rights of squatter and low income families are fully
protected.
Where a violation of human rights specifically guaranteed by
the Constitution is involved, it is the duty of the court to stop
the transgression and state where even the awesome power
of the state may not encroach upon the rights of the
individual. It is the duty of the court to take remedial action
even in cases such as the present petition where the
petitioners do not complain that they were victims of the
police actions, where no names of any of the thousands of
alleged victims are given, and where the prayer is a general
one to stop all police "saturation drives," as long as the Court
is convinced that the event actually happened.

The problem is appropriate for the Commission on Human


Rights. A high level conference should bring together the
heads of the Department of Justice, Department of National
Defense and the operating heads of affected agencies and
institutions to devise procedures for the prevention of abuses.
Under the circumstances of this taxpayers' suit, there is no
erring soldier or policeman whom we can order prosecuted. In
the absence of clear facts ascertained through an orderly
procedure, no permanent relief can be given at this time.
Further investigation of the petitioners' charges and a hard
look by administration officials at the policy implications of the
prayed for blanket prohibition are also warranted.
In the meantime and in the face of a prima facie showing that
some abuses were probably committed and could be
committed during future police actions, we have to
temporarily restrain the alleged banging on walls, the kicking
in of doors, the herding of half-naked men to assembly areas
for examination of tattoo marks, the violation of residences
even if these are humble shanties of squatters, and the other
alleged acts which are shocking to the conscience.

The Court believes it highly probable that some violations


were actually committed. This is so inspite of the alleged
pleas of barangay officials for the thousands of residents "to
submit themselves voluntarily for character and personal
verification." We cannot imagine police actions of the
magnitude described in the petitions and admitted by the
respondents, being undertaken without some undisciplined
soldiers and policemen committing certain abuses. However,
the remedy is not to stop all police actions, including the
essential and legitimate ones. We see nothing wrong in police
making their presence visibly felt in troubled areas. Police
cannot respond to riots or violent demonstrations if they do
not move in sufficient numbers. A show of force is sometimes
necessary as long as the rights of people are protected and
not violated. A blanket prohibition such as that sought by the
petitioners would limit all police actions to one on one
confrontations where search warrants and warrants of arrests
against specific individuals are easily procured. Anarchy may
reign if the military and the police decide to sit down in their
offices because all concerted drives where a show of force is
present are totally prohibited.

WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby REMANDED to the


Regional Trial Courts of Manila, Malabon, and Pasay City where
the petitioners may present evidence supporting their
allegations and where specific erring parties may be
pinpointed and prosecuted.

The remedy is not an original action for prohibition brought


through a taxpayers' suit. Where not one victim complains
and not one violator is properly charged, the problem is not
initially for the Supreme Court. It is basically one for the
executive departments and for trial courts. Well meaning
citizens with only second hand knowledge of the events
cannot keep on indiscriminately tossing problems of the
executive, the military, and the police to the Supreme Court
as if we are the repository of all remedies for all evils. The
rules of constitutional litigation have been evolved for an
orderly procedure in the vindication of rights. They should be
followed. If our policy makers sustain the contention of the
military and the police that occasional saturation drives are
essential to maintain the stability of government and to insure
peace and order, clear policy guidelines on the behavior of
soldiers and policemen must not only be evolved, they should
also be enforced. A method of pinpointing human rights
abuses and identifying violators is necessary.

Facts: The 41 petitioners alleged that the "saturation drive"


or "aerial target zoning" that were conducted in their place
(Tondo Manila) were unconstitutional. They alleged that there
is no specific target house to be search and that there is
no search warrant or warrant of arrest served. Most of the
policemen
are
in
their
civilian
clothes
and
without nameplates or identification cards. The residents were
rudely rouse from their sleep by banging on the walls and
windows of their houses. The residents were at the point of
high-powered guns and herded like cows. Men were ordered
to strip down to their briefs for the police to examine their
tattoo marks. The residents complained that they're homes
were ransacked, tossing their belongings and destroying their
valuables. Some of their money and valuables had
disappeared after the operation. The residents also reported
incidents of maulings, spot-beatings and maltreatment. Those
who were detained also suffered mental and physical torture
to extract confessions and tactical informations. The
respondents said that such accusations were all lies.
Respondents contends that the Constitution grants to

Copies of this decision are likewise forwarded to the


Commission on Human Rights, the Secretary of Justice, the
Secretary of National Defense, and the Commanding General
PC-INP for the drawing up and enforcement of clear guidelines
to govern police actions intended to abate riots and civil
disturbances, flush out criminal elements, and subdue
terrorist activities.
In the meantime, the acts violative of human rights alleged by
the petitioners as committed during the police actions are
ENJOINED until such time as permanent rules to govern such
actions are promulgated.
SO ORDERED.

government the power to seek and cripple subversive


movements for the maintenance of peace in the state. The
aerial target zoning were intended to flush out subversives
and criminal elements coddled by the communities were the
said drives were conducted. They said that they have
intelligently and carefully planned months ahead for the
actual operation and that local and foreign media joined the
operation to witness and record such event.
Issue: Whether or
consisted
of

Not the saturation drive committed


violation
of
human
rights.

Held: It is not the police action per se which should be


prohibited rather it is the procedure used or the methods
which "offend even hardened sensibilities" .Based on the facts
stated by the parties, it appears to have been no impediment
to securing search warrants or warrants of arrest before any
houses were searched or individuals roused from sleep were
arrested. There is no showing that the objectives sought to be
attained by the "aerial zoning" could not be achieved even as
th rights of the squatters and low income families are fully
protected. However, the remedy should not be brought by a
tazpaer suit where not one victim complaints and not one
violator is properly charged. In the circumstances of this
taxpayers' suit, there is no erring soldier or policeman whom
the court can order prosecuted. In the absence of clear facts
no
permanent
relief
can
be
given.
In the meantime where there is showing that some abuses
were
committed,
the
court
temporary
restraint
the alleged violations which are shocking to the senses.
Petition is remanded to the RTC of Manila.

ICHONG VS. HERNANDEZ [101 PHIL 1155; L-7995; 31 MAY


1957]

Facts: Republic Act 1180


or
commonly
known
as
An Act to Regulate the Retail Business was passed. The said
law provides for a prohibition against foreigners as well as
corporations owned by foreigners from engaging from retail
trade in our country. This was protested by the petitioner in
this case. According to him, the said law violates the
international and treaty of the Philippines therefore it is
unconstitutional. Specifically, the Treaty of Amitybetween the
Philippines and China was violated according to him.

Issue: Whether or Not Republic Act 1180 is a valid exercise of


police
power.

Held: According to the Court, RA 1180 is a valid exercise of


police power. It was also then provided that police power can
not be bargained away through the medium of a treaty or a
contract. The Court also provided that RA 1180 was enacted
to remedy a real and actual danger to national economy
posed by alien dominance and control. If ever the law
infringes upon the said treaty, the latter is always subject to
qualification or amendment by a subsequent law and the
same may never curtain or restrict the scope of the police
power of the state.
FACTS:
The Legislature passed R.A. 1180 (An Act to Regulate the
Retail Business). Its purpose was to prevent persons who are
not citizens of the Phil. from having a stranglehold upon the
peoples economic life.

a prohibition against aliens and against associations,


partnerships, or corporations the capital of which are not
wholly owned by Filipinos, from engaging directly or indirectly
in the retail trade

aliens actually engaged in the retail business on May


15, 1954 are allowed to continue their business, unless their
licenses are forfeited in accordance with law, until their death
or voluntary retirement. In case of juridical persons, ten years
after the approval of the Act or until the expiration of term.
Citizens and juridical entities of the United States were
exempted from this Act.

provision for the forfeiture of licenses to engage in


the retail business for violation of the laws on nationalization,
economic control weights and measures and labor and other
laws relating to trade, commerce and industry.

provision against the establishment or opening by


aliens actually engaged in the retail business of additional
stores or branches of retail business
Lao Ichong, in his own behalf and behalf of other alien
residents, corporations and partnerships affected by the Act,
filed an action to declare it unconstitutional for the ff:
reasons:
1.
it denies to alien residents the equal protection of the
laws and deprives them of their liberty and property without
due process
2.

the subject of the Act is not expressed in the title

3.

the Act violates international and treaty obligations

4.
the provisions of the Act against the transmission by
aliens of their retail business thru hereditary succession

ISSUE: WON the Act deprives the aliens of the equal


protection
of
the
laws.
HELD: The law is a valid exercise of police power and it does
not deny the aliens the equal protection of the laws. There are
real and actual, positive and fundamental differences between
an alien and a citizen, which fully justify the legislative
classification
adopted.
RATIO:
The equal protection clause does not demand absolute
equality among residents. It merely requires that all persons
shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions
both as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced.
The classification is actual, real and reasonable, and all
persons
of
one
class
are
treated
alike.
The difference in status between citizens and aliens
constitutes a basis for reasonable classification in the exercise
of
police
power.
Official statistics point out to the ever-increasing dominance
and control by alien of the retail trade. It is this domination
and control that is the legislatures target in the enactment of
the
Act.
The mere fact of alienage is the root cause of the distinction
between the alien and the national as a trader. The alien is
naturally lacking in that spirit of loyalty and enthusiasm for
the Phil. where he temporarily stays and makes his living. The
alien owes no allegiance or loyalty to the State, and the State
cannot rely on him/her in times of crisis or emergency.
While the citizen holds his life, his person and his property
subject to the needs of the country, the alien may become the
potential
enemy
of
the
State.
The alien retailer has shown such utter disregard for his
customers and the people on whom he makes his profit.
Through the illegitimate use of pernicious designs and
practices, the alien now enjoys a monopolistic control on the
nations economy endangering the national security in times
of crisis and emergency.

G.R. No. L-34915 June 24, 1983


CITY GOVERNMENT OF QUEZON CITY and CITY COUNCIL
OF QUEZON CITY, petitioners,
vs.
HON. JUDGE VICENTE G. ERICTA as Judge of the Court of
First Instance of Rizal, Quezon City, Branch XVIII;
HIMLAYANG PILIPINO, INC., respondents.
GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:
This is a petition for review which seeks the reversal of the
decision of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch XVIII
declaring Section 9 of Ordinance No. 6118, S-64, of the
Quezon City Council null and void.
Section 9 of Ordinance No. 6118, S-64, entitled "ORDINANCE
REGULATING THE ESTABLISHMENT, MAINTENANCE AND
OPERATION OF PRIVATE MEMORIAL TYPE CEMETERY OR
BURIAL GROUND WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF QUEZON CITY
AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION THEREOF"
provides:
Sec. 9. At least six (6) percent of the total
area of the memorial park cemetery shall be
set aside for charity burial of deceased
persons who are paupers and have been
residents of Quezon City for at least 5 years
prior to their death, to be determined by
competent City Authorities. The area so
designated shall immediately be developed
and should be open for operation not later
than six months from the date of approval of
the application.
For several years, the aforequoted section of the Ordinance
was not enforced by city authorities but seven years after the
enactment of the ordinance, the Quezon City Council passed
the following resolution:
RESOLVED by the council of Quezon
assembled, to request, as it does hereby
request the City Engineer, Quezon City, to
stop any further selling and/or transaction of
memorial park lots in Quezon City where the
owners thereof have failed to donate the
required 6% space intended for paupers
burial.
Pursuant to this petition, the Quezon City Engineer notified
respondent Himlayang Pilipino, Inc. in writing that Section 9 of
Ordinance No. 6118, S-64 would be enforced
Respondent Himlayang Pilipino reacted by filing with the Court
of First Instance of Rizal Branch XVIII at Quezon City, a petition
for declaratory relief, prohibition and mandamus with
preliminary injunction (Sp. Proc. No. Q-16002) seeking to
annul Section 9 of the Ordinance in question The respondent
alleged that the same is contrary to the Constitution, the
Quezon City Charter, the Local Autonomy Act, and the Revised
Administrative Code.
There being no issue of fact and the questions raised being
purely legal both petitioners and respondent agreed to the
rendition of a judgment on the pleadings. The respondent
court, therefore, rendered the decision declaring Section 9 of
Ordinance No. 6118, S-64 null and void.
A motion for reconsideration having been denied, the City
Government and City Council filed the instant petition.

Petitioners argue that the taking of the respondent's property


is a valid and reasonable exercise of police power and that the
land is taken for a public use as it is intended for the burial
ground of paupers. They further argue that the Quezon City
Council is authorized under its charter, in the exercise of local
police power, " to make such further ordinances and
resolutions not repugnant to law as may be necessary to carry
into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred by
this Act and such as it shall deem necessary and proper to
provide for the health and safety, promote the prosperity,
improve the morals, peace, good order, comfort and
convenience of the city and the inhabitants thereof, and for
the protection of property therein."
On the other hand, respondent Himlayang Pilipino, Inc.
contends that the taking or confiscation of property is obvious
because the questioned ordinance permanently restricts the
use of the property such that it cannot be used for any
reasonable purpose and deprives the owner of all beneficial
use of his property.
The respondent also stresses that the general welfare clause
is not available as a source of power for the taking of the
property in this case because it refers to "the power of
promoting the public welfare by restraining and regulating the
use of liberty and property." The respondent points out that if
an owner is deprived of his property outright under the State's
police power, the property is generally not taken for public
use but is urgently and summarily destroyed in order to
promote the general welfare. The respondent cites the case of
a nuisance per se or the destruction of a house to prevent the
spread of a conflagration.
We find the stand of the private respondent as well as the
decision of the respondent Judge to be well-founded. We
quote with approval the lower court's ruling which declared
null and void Section 9 of the questioned city ordinance:
The issue is: Is Section 9 of the ordinance in
question a valid exercise of the police
power?
An examination of the Charter of Quezon
City (Rep. Act No. 537), does not reveal any
provision that would justify the ordinance in
question except the provision granting
police power to the City. Section 9 cannot be
justified under the power granted to Quezon
City to tax, fix the license fee,
and regulatesuch other business, trades,
and occupation as may be established or
practised in the City.' (Subsections 'C', Sec.
12, R.A. 537).
The power to regulate does not include the
power to prohibit (People vs. Esguerra, 81
PhiL 33, Vega vs. Municipal Board of Iloilo, L6765, May 12, 1954; 39 N.J. Law, 70, Mich.
396). A fortiori, the power to regulate does
not include the power to confiscate. The
ordinance in question not only confiscates
but also prohibits the operation of a
memorial park cemetery, because under
Section 13 of said ordinance, 'Violation of
the provision thereof is punishable with a
fine and/or imprisonment and that upon
conviction thereof the permit to operate and
maintain a private cemetery shall be
revoked or cancelled.' The confiscatory
clause and the penal provision in effect
deter one from operating a memorial park
cemetery. Neither can the ordinance in

question be justified under sub- section "t",


Section 12 of Republic Act 537 which
authorizes the City Council to'prohibit the burial of the
dead within the center of
population of the city and
provide for their burial in
such proper place and in
such manner as the
council may determine,
subject to the provisions
of the general law
regulating burial grounds
and cemeteries and
governing funerals and
disposal of the dead.'
(Sub-sec. (t), Sec. 12, Rep.
Act No. 537).
There is nothing in the above provision
which authorizes confiscation or as
euphemistically termed by the respondents,
'donation'
We now come to the question whether or
not Section 9 of the ordinance in question is
a valid exercise of police power. The police
power of Quezon City is defined in subsection 00, Sec. 12, Rep. Act 537 which
reads as follows:
(00) To make such further
ordinance and regulations
not repugnant to law as
may be necessary to carry
into effect and discharge
the powers and duties
conferred by this act and
such as it shall deem
necessary and proper to
provide for the health and
safety, promote, the
prosperity, improve the
morals, peace, good
order, comfort and
convenience of the city
and the inhabitants
thereof, and for the
protection of property
therein; and enforce
obedience thereto with
such lawful fines or
penalties as the City
Council may prescribe
under the provisions of
subsection (jj) of this
section.
We start the discussion with a restatement
of certain basic principles. Occupying the
forefront in the bill of rights is the provision
which states that 'no person shall be
deprived of life, liberty or property without
due process of law' (Art. Ill, Section 1
subparagraph 1, Constitution).
On the other hand, there are three inherent
powers of government by which the state
interferes with the property rights, namely-.
(1) police power, (2) eminent domain, (3)
taxation. These are said to exist
independently of the Constitution as
necessary attributes of sovereignty.

Police power is defined by Freund as 'the


power of promoting the public welfare by
restraining and regulating the use of liberty
and property' (Quoted in Political Law by
Tanada and Carreon, V-11, p. 50). It is
usually exerted in order to merely regulate
the use and enjoyment of property of the
owner. If he is deprived of his property
outright, it is not taken for public use but
rather to destroy in order to promote the
general welfare. In police power, the owner
does not recover from the government for
injury sustained in consequence thereof (12
C.J. 623). It has been said that police power
is the most essential of government powers,
at times the most insistent, and always one
of the least limitable of the powers of
government (Ruby vs. Provincial Board, 39
PhiL 660; Ichong vs. Hernandez, 1,7995,
May 31, 1957). This power embraces the
whole system of public regulation (U.S. vs.
Linsuya Fan, 10 PhiL 104). The Supreme
Court has said that police power is so farreaching in scope that it has almost become
impossible to limit its sweep. As it derives
its existence from the very existence of the
state itself, it does not need to be expressed
or defined in its scope. Being coextensive
with self-preservation and survival itself, it is
the most positive and active of all
governmental processes, the most essential
insistent and illimitable Especially it is so
under the modern democratic framework
where the demands of society and nations
have multiplied to almost unimaginable
proportions. The field and scope of police
power have become almost boundless, just
as the fields of public interest and public
welfare have become almost all embracing
and have transcended human foresight.
Since the Courts cannot foresee the needs
and demands of public interest and welfare,
they cannot delimit beforehand the extent
or scope of the police power by which and
through which the state seeks to attain or
achieve public interest and welfare. (Ichong
vs. Hernandez, L-7995, May 31, 1957).
The police power being the most active
power of the government and the due
process clause being the broadest station on
governmental power, the conflict between
this power of government and the due
process clause of the Constitution is
oftentimes inevitable.
It will be seen from the foregoing authorities
that police power is usually exercised in the
form of mere regulation or restriction in the
use of liberty or property for the promotion
of the general welfare. It does not involve
the taking or confiscation of property with
the exception of a few cases where there is
a necessity to confiscate private property in
order to destroy it for the purpose of
protecting the peace and order and of
promoting the general welfare as for
instance, the confiscation of an illegally
possessed article, such as opium and
firearms.
It seems to the court that Section 9 of
Ordinance No. 6118, Series of 1964 of
Quezon City is not a mere police regulation
but an outright confiscation. It deprives a

person of his private property without due


process of law, nay, even without
compensation.
In sustaining the decision of the respondent court, we are not
unmindful of the heavy burden shouldered by whoever
challenges the validity of duly enacted legislation whether
national or local As early as 1913, this Court ruled in Case v.
Board of Health (24 PhiL 250) that the courts resolve every
presumption in favor of validity and, more so, where the ma
corporation asserts that the ordinance was enacted to
promote the common good and general welfare.
In the leading case of Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel
Operators Association Inc. v. City Mayor of Manila (20 SCRA
849) the Court speaking through the then Associate Justice
and now Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando stated
Primarily what calls for a reversal of such a
decision is the a of any evidence to offset
the presumption of validity that attaches to
a statute or ordinance. As was expressed
categorically by Justice Malcolm 'The
presumption is all in favor of validity. ... The
action of the elected representatives of the
people cannot be lightly set aside. The
councilors must, in the very nature of
things, be familiar with the necessities of
their particular ... municipality and with all
the facts and lances which surround the
subject and necessitate action. The local
legislative body, by enacting the ordinance,
has in effect given notice that the
regulations are essential to the well-being of
the people. ... 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. (U.S. v. Salaveria (1918], 39 Phil.
102, at p. 111. There was an affirmation of
the presumption of validity of municipal
ordinance as announced in the leading
Salaveria decision in Ebona v. Daet,
[1950]85 Phil. 369.)
We have likewise considered the principles
earlier stated in Case v. Board of
Health supra :
... Under the provisions of municipal
charters which are known as the general
welfare clauses, a city, by virtue of its police
power, may adopt ordinances to the peace,
safety, health, morals and the best and
highest interests of the municipality. It is a
well-settled principle, growing out of the
nature of well-ordered and society, that
every holder of property, however absolute
and may be his title, holds it under the
implied liability that his use of it shall not be
injurious to the equal enjoyment of others
having an equal right to the enjoyment of
their property, nor injurious to the rights of
the community. An property in the state is
held subject to its general regulations,
which are necessary to the common good
and general welfare. Rights of property, like
all other social and conventional rights, are
subject to such reasonable limitations in
their enjoyment as shall prevent them from
being injurious, and to such reasonable
restraints and regulations, established by
law, as the legislature, under the governing
and controlling power vested in them by the

constitution, may think necessary and


expedient. The state, under the police
power, is possessed with plenary power to
deal with all matters relating to the general
health, morals, and safety of the people, so
long as it does not contravene any positive
inhibition of the organic law and providing
that such power is not exercised in such a
manner as to justify the interference of the
courts to prevent positive wrong and
oppression.
but find them not applicable to the facts of this case.
There is no reasonable relation between the setting aside of at
least six (6) percent of the total area of an private cemeteries
for charity burial grounds of deceased paupers and the
promotion of health, morals, good order, safety, or the
general welfare of the people. The ordinance is actually a
taking without compensation of a certain area from a private
cemetery to benefit paupers who are charges of the municipal
corporation. Instead of building or maintaining a public
cemetery for this purpose, the city passes the burden to
private cemeteries.
The expropriation without compensation of a portion of
private cemeteries is not covered by Section 12(t) of Republic
Act 537, the Revised Charter of Quezon City which empowers
the city council to prohibit the burial of the dead within the
center of population of the city and to provide for their burial
in a proper place subject to the provisions of general law
regulating burial grounds and cemeteries. When the Local
Government Code, Batas Pambansa Blg. 337 provides in
Section 177 (q) that a Sangguniang panlungsod may "provide
for the burial of the dead in such place and in such manner as
prescribed by law or ordinance" it simply authorizes the city to
provide its own city owned land or to buy or expropriate
private properties to construct public cemeteries. This has
been the law and practise in the past. It continues to the
present. Expropriation, however, requires payment of just
compensation. The questioned ordinance is different from
laws and regulations requiring owners of subdivisions to set
aside certain areas for streets, parks, playgrounds, and other
public facilities from the land they sell to buyers of subdivision
lots. The necessities of public safety, health, and convenience
are very clear from said requirements which are intended to
insure the development of communities with salubrious and
wholesome environments. The beneficiaries of the regulation,
in turn, are made to pay by the subdivision developer when
individual lots are sold to home-owners.
As a matter of fact, the petitioners rely solely on the general
welfare clause or on implied powers of the municipal
corporation, not on any express provision of law as statutory
basis of their exercise of power. The clause has always
received broad and liberal interpretation but we cannot
stretch it to cover this particular taking. Moreover, the
questioned ordinance was passed after Himlayang Pilipino,
Inc. had incorporated. received necessary licenses and
permits and commenced operating. The sequestration of six
percent of the cemetery cannot even be considered as having
been impliedly acknowledged by the private respondent when
it accepted the permits to commence operations.
WHEREFORE, the petition for review is hereby DISMISSED. The
decision of the respondent court is affirmed.
SO ORDERED.
FACTS: Section 9 of Ordinance No. 6118, S-64 provides for the
appropriation of 6% of memorial parks for charity burial of the
paupers. Himlayang Pilipino, Inc (HPI), did not appropriate the

6% requirement. Seven years after, the Quezon City council


issued a resolution to stop any further selling and/or
transaction of memorial park lots in Quezon City where the
owners thereof have failed to donate the required 6% space.
ISSUE: Is Section 9 of the ordinance in question a valid
exercise of the police power?

RULING: No. The ordinance is actually a taking without


compensation of a certain area from a private cemetery to
benefit paupers who are charges of the municipal corporation.
Instead of building or maintaining a public cemetery for this
purpose, the city passes the burden to private cemeteries.
(Thus, even if it is an eminent domain, it would not have been
the proper measure to promote general welfare in this case)
Police power is usually exercised in the form of mere
regulation or restriction in the use of liberty or property for the
promotion of general health, morals, safety of the people and
more so, the general welfare. It does not involve the taking or
confiscation of property with the exception of a few cases
where there is a necessity to confiscate private property in
order to destroy it for the purpose of protecting the peace and
order and of promoting the general welfare as for instance,
the confiscation of an illegally possessed article, such as
opium and firearms

YNOT vs IAC
FACTS:In 1980 President Marcos amended Executive Order No.
626-A which orders that nocarabao and carabeef shall be
transported from one province to another; such violation shall
besubject to confiscation and forfeiture by the government, to
be distributed to charitableinstitutions and other similar
institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat
InspectionCommission may see fit for the carabeef and to
deserving farmers through dispersal as theDirector of Animal
Industry may see fit in the case of the carabaos.On January
13, 1984, Petitioners 6 carabaos were confiscated by the
police stationcommander of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo for having
been transported from Masbate to Iloilo inviolation of EO 626A. He issued a writ for replevin
, challenging the constitutionality of saidEO. The trial court
sustained the confiscation of the animals and declined to rule
on the validityof the law on the ground that it lacked authority
to do so. Its decision was affirmed by the IAC.Hence, this
petition for review filed by Petitioner.ISSUE:Whether or not
police power is properly enforcedHELD: NO. The protection of
the general welfare is the particular function of the police
power which both restraints and is restrained by due process.
The police power is simply defined as the power inherent in
the State to regulate liberty and property for the promotion of
thegeneral welfare. As long as the activity or the property has
some relevance to the public welfare,its regulation under the
police power is not only proper but necessary. In the case at
bar, E.O.626-A has the same lawful subject as the original
executive order (E.O. 626 as cited in Toribiocase) but NOT the
same lawful method. The reasonable connection between the
means employedand the purpose sought to be achieved by
the questioned measure is missing. The challengedmeasure is
an invalid exercise of the police power because the method
employed to conserve thecarabaos is not reasonably
necessary to the purpose of the law and, worse, is unduly
oppressive.

G.R. No. L-42571-72 July 25, 1983


VICENTE DE LA CRUZ, RENATO ALIPIO, JOSE TORRES III,
LEONCIO CORPUZ, TERESITA CALOT, ROSALIA
FERNANDEZ, ELIZABETH VELASCO, NANETTE
VILLANUEVA, HONORATO BUENAVENTURA, RUBEN DE
CASTRO, VICENTE ROXAS, RICARDO DAMIAN, DOMDINO
ROMDINA, ANGELINA OBLIGACION, CONRADO
GREGORIO, TEODORO REYES, LYDIA ATRACTIVO,
NAPOLEON MENDOZA, PERFECTO GUMATAY, ANDRES
SABANGAN, ROSITA DURAN, SOCORRO BERNARDEZ,
and PEDRO GABRIEL, petitioners,
vs.
THE HONORABLE EDGARDO L. PARAS, MATIAS RAMIREZ
as the Municipal Mayor, MARIO MENDOZA as the
Municipal Vice-Mayor, and THE MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF
BOCAUE, BULACAN, respondents.
Federico N. Alday for petitioners.
Dakila F. Castro for respondents.

FERNANDO, C.J.:
The crucial question posed by this certiorari proceeding is
whether or not a municipal corporation, Bocaue, Bulacan,
represented by respondents, 1 can, prohibit the exercise of a
lawful trade, the operation of night clubs, and the pursuit of a
lawful occupation, such clubs employing hostesses. It is
contended that the ordinance assailed as invalid is tainted
with nullity, the municipality being devoid of power to prohibit
a lawful business, occupation or calling, petitioners at the
same time alleging that their rights to due process and equal
protection of the laws were violated as the licenses previously
given to them was in effect withdrawn without judicial
hearing. 2
The assailed ordinance 3 is worded as follows: "Section 1.
Title of Ordinance. This Ordinance shall be known and
may be cited as the [Prohibition and Closure Ordinance] of
Bocaue, Bulacan. Section 2. Definitions of Terms (a)
'Night Club' shall include any place or establishment selling to
the public food or drinks where customers are allowed to
dance. (b) 'Cabaret' or 'Dance Hall' shall include any place or
establishment where dancing is permitted to the public and
where professional hostesses or hospitality girls and
professional dancers are employed. (c) 'Professional
hostesses' or 'hospitality girls' shall include any woman
employed by any of the establishments herein defined to
entertain guests and customers at their table or to dance with
them. (d) 'Professional dancer' shall include any woman who
dances at any of the establishments herein defined for a fee
or remuneration paid directly or indirectly by the operator or
by the persons she dances with. (e) 'Operator' shall include
the owner, manager, administrator or any person who
operates and is responsible for the operation of any night
club, cabaret or dance hall. Section 3. Prohibition in the
Issuance and Renewal of Licenses, Permits. Being the
principal cause in the decadence of morality and because of
their other adverse effects on this community as explained
above, no operator of night clubs, cabarets or dance halls
shall henceforth be issued permits/licenses to operate within

the jurisdiction of the municipality and no license/permit shall


be issued to any professional hostess, hospitality girls and
professional dancer for employment in any of the
aforementioned establishments. The prohibition in the
issuance of licenses/permits to said persons and operators of
said establishments shall include prohibition in the renewal
thereof. Section 4. Revocation of Permits and Licenses.
The licenses and permits issued to operators of night clubs,
cabarets or dance halls which are now in operation including
permits issued to professional hostesses, hospitality girls and
professional dancers are hereby revoked upon the expiration
of the thirty-day period given them as provided in Section 8
hereof and thenceforth, the operation of these establishments
within the jurisdiction of the municipality shall be illegal.
Section 5. Penalty in case of violation. Violation of any of
the provisions of this Ordinance shall be punishable by
imprisonment not exceeding three (3) months or a fine not
exceeding P200.00 or both at the discretion of the Court. If
the offense is committed by a juridical entity, the person
charged with the management and/or operation thereof shall
be liable for the penalty provided herein. Section 6.
Separability Clause. If, for any reason, any section or
provision of this Ordinance is held unconstitutional or invalid,
no other section or provision hereof shall be affected thereby.
Section 7. Repealing Clause. All ordinance, resolutions,
circulars, memoranda or parts thereof that are inconsistent
with the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed.
Section 8. Effectivity. This Ordinance shall take effect
immediately upon its approval; provided, however, that
operators of night clubs, cabarets and dance halls now in
operation including professional hostesses, hospitality girls
and professional dancers are given a period of thirty days
from the approval hereof within which to wind up their
businesses and comply with the provisions of this
Ordinance." 4
On November 5, 1975, two cases for prohibition with
preliminary injunction were filed with the Court of First
Instance of Bulacan. 5 The grounds alleged follow:
1. Ordinance No. 84 is null and void as a municipality has no
authority to prohibit a lawful business, occupation or calling.
2. Ordinance No. 84 is violative of the petitioners' right to due
process and the equal protection of the law, as the license
previously given to petitioners was in effect withdrawn
without judicial hearing. 3. That under Presidential Decree No.
189, as amended, by Presidential Decree No. 259, the power
to license and regulate tourist-oriented businesses including
night clubs, has been transferred to the Department of
Tourism." 6 The cases were assigned to respondent Judge, now
Associate Justice Paras of the Intermediate Appellate Court,
who issued a restraining order on November 7, 1975. The
answers were thereafter filed. It was therein alleged: " 1. That
the Municipal Council is authorized by law not only to regulate
but to prohibit the establishment, maintenance and operation
of night clubs invoking Section 2243 of the RAC, CA 601,
Republic Acts Nos. 938, 978 and 1224. 2. The Ordinance No.
84 is not violative of petitioners' right to due process and the
equal protection of the law, since property rights are
subordinate to public interests. 3. That Presidential Decree No.
189, as amended, did not deprive Municipal Councils of their
jurisdiction to regulate or prohibit night clubs." 7 There was
the admission of the following facts as having been
established: "l. That petitioners Vicente de la Cruz, et al. in
Civil Case No. 4755-M had been previously issued licenses by

the Municipal Mayor of Bocaue-petitioner Jose Torres III, since


1958; petitioner Vicente de la Cruz, since 1960; petitioner
Renato Alipio, since 1961 and petitioner Leoncio Corpuz, since
1972; 2. That petitioners had invested large sums of money in
their businesses; 3. That the night clubs are well-lighted and
have no partitions, the tables being near each other; 4. That
the petitioners owners/operators of these clubs do not allow
the hospitality girls therein to engage in immoral acts and to
go out with customers; 5. That these hospitality girls are
made to go through periodic medical check-ups and not one
of them is suffering from any venereal disease and that those
who fail to submit to a medical check-up or those who are
found to be infected with venereal disease are not allowed to
work; 6. That the crime rate there is better than in other parts
of Bocaue or in other towns of Bulacan." 8 Then came on
January 15, 1976 the decision upholding the constitutionality
and validity of Ordinance No. 84 and dismissing the cases.
Hence this petition for certiorari by way of appeal.
In an exhaustive as well as scholarly opinion, the lower court
dismissed the petitions. Its rationale is set forth in the opening
paragraph thus: "Those who lust cannot last. This in essence
is why the Municipality of Bocaue, Province of Bulacan,
stigmatized as it has been by innuendos of sexual titillation
and fearful of what the awesome future holds for it, had no
alternative except to order thru its legislative machinery, and
even at the risk of partial economic dislocation, the closure of
its night clubs and/or cabarets. This in essence is also why this
Court, obedient to the mandates of good government, and
cognizant of the categorical imperatives of the current legal
and social revolution, hereby [upholds] in the name of police
power the validity and constitutionality of Ordinance No. 84,
Series of 1975, of the Municipal Council of Bocaue, Bulacan.
The restraining orders heretofore issued in these two cases
are therefore hereby rifted, effective the first day of February,
1976, the purpose of the grace period being to enable the
petitioners herein to apply to the proper appellate tribunals
for any contemplated redress." 9 This Court is, however,
unable to agree with such a conclusion and for reasons herein
set forth, holds that reliance on the police power is insufficient
to justify the enactment of the assailed ordinance. It must be
declared null and void.
1. Police power is granted to municipal corporations in general
terms as follows: "General power of council to enact
ordinances and make regulations. - The municipal council
shall enact such ordinances and make such regulations, not
repugnant to law, as may be necessary to carry into effect
and discharge the powers and duties conferred upon it by law
and such as shall seem necessary and proper to provide for
the health and safety, promote the prosperity, improve the
morals, peace, good order, comfort, and convenience of the
municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and for the
protection of property therein." 10 It is practically a
reproduction of the former Section 39 of Municipal Code. 11An
ordinance enacted by virtue thereof, according to Justice
Moreland, speaking for the Court in the leading case of United
States v. Abendan 12 "is valid, unless it contravenes the
fundamental law of the Philippine Islands, or an Act of the
Philippine Legislature, or unless it is against public policy, or is
unreasonable, oppressive, partial, discriminating, or in
derogation of common right. Where the power to legislate
upon a given subject, and the mode of its exercise and the
details of such legislation are not prescribed, the ordinance
passed pursuant thereto must be a reasonable exercise of the
power, or it will be pronounced invalid." 13 In another leading

case, United States v. Salaveria, 14 the ponente this time


being Justice Malcolm, where the present Administrative Code
provision was applied, it was stated by this Court: "The
general welfare clause has two branches: One branch
attaches itself to the main trunk of municipal authority, and
relates to such ordinances and regulations as may be
necessary to carry into effect and discharge the powers and
duties conferred upon the municipal council by law. With this
class we are not here directly concerned. The second branch
of the clause is much more independent of the specific
functions of the council which are enumerated by law. It
authorizes such ordinances as shall seem necessary and
proper to provide for the health and safety, promote the
prosperity, improve the morals, peace, good order, comfort,
and convenience of the municipality and the inhabitants
thereof, and for the protection of property therein.' It is a
general rule that ordinances passed by virtue of the implied
power found in the general welfare clause must be
reasonable, consonant with the general powersand purposes
of the corporation, and not inconsistent with the laws or policy
of the State." 15 If night clubs were merely then regulated and
not prohibited, certainly the assailed ordinance would pass
the test of validity. In the two leading cases above set forth,
this Court had stressed reasonableness, consonant with the
general powers and purposes of municipal corporations, as
well as consistency with the laws or policy of the State. It
cannot be said that such a sweeping exercise of a lawmaking
power by Bocaue could qualify under the term reasonable.
The objective of fostering public morals, a worthy and
desirable end can be attained by a measure that does not
encompass too wide a field. Certainly the ordinance on its
face is characterized by overbreadth. The purpose sought to
be achieved could have been attained by reasonable
restrictions rather than by an absolute prohibition. The
admonition in Salaveria should be heeded: "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." 16 It is clear that in the guise of a police
regulation, there was in this instance a clear invasion of
personal or property rights, personal in the case of those
individuals desirous of patronizing those night clubs and
property in terms of the investments made and salaries to be
earned by those therein employed.
2. The decision now under review refers to Republic Act No.
938 as amended. 17 It was originally enacted on June 20,
1953. It is entitled: "AN ACT GRANTING MUNICIPAL OR CITY
BOARDS AND COUNCILS THE POWER TO REGULATE THE
ESTABLISHMENT, MAINTENANCE AND OPERATION OF CERTAIN
PLACES OF AMUSEMENT WITHIN THEIR RESPECTIVE
TERRITORIAL JURISDICTIONS.' 18 Its first section insofar as
pertinent reads: "The municipal or city board or council of
each chartered city shall have the power to regulate by
ordinance the establishment, maintenance and operation of
night clubs, cabarets, dancing schools, pavilions, cockpits,
bars, saloons, bowling alleys, billiard pools, and other similar
places of amusement within its territorial jurisdiction: ...
" 19 Then on May 21, 1954, the first section was amended to
include not merely "the power to regulate, but likewise
"Prohibit ... " 20 The title, however, remained the same. It is
worded exactly as Republic Act No. 938. It is to be admitted
that as thus amended, if only the above portion of the Act
were considered, a municipal council may go as far as to
prohibit the operation of night clubs. If that were all, then the
appealed decision is not devoid of support in law. That is not
all, however. The title was not in any way altered. It was not

changed one whit. The exact wording was followed. The power
granted remains that of regulation, not prohibition. There is
thus support for the view advanced by petitioners that to
construe Republic Act No. 938 as allowing the prohibition of
the operation of night clubs would give rise to a constitutional
question. The Constitution mandates: "Every bill shall
embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title
thereof. " 21Since there is no dispute as the title limits the
power to regulating, not prohibiting, it would result in the
statute being invalid if, as was done by the Municipality of
Bocaue, the operation of a night club was prohibited. There is
a wide gap between the exercise of a regulatory power "to
provide for the health and safety, promote the prosperity,
improve the morals, 22 in the language of the Administrative
Code, such competence extending to all "the great public
needs, 23 to quote from Holmes, and to interdict any calling,
occupation, or enterprise. In accordance with the well-settled
principle of constitutional construction that between two
possible interpretations by one of which it will be free from
constitutional infirmity and by the other tainted by such grave
defect, the former is to be preferred. A construction that
would save rather than one that would affix the seal of doom
certainly commends itself. We have done so before We do so
again. 24
3. There is reinforcement to the conclusion reached by virtue
of a specific provision of the recently-enacted Local
Government Code. 25 The general welfare clause, a reiteration
of the Administrative Code provision, is set forth in the first
paragraph of Section 149 defining the powers and duties of
the sangguniang bayan. It read as follows: "(a) 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; ..." 26 There are in addition provisions that may have a
bearing on the question now before this Court. Thus
the sangguniang bayan shall "(rr) Regulate cafes, restaurants,
beer-houses, hotels, motels, inns, pension houses and lodging
houses, except travel agencies, tourist guides, tourist
transports, hotels, resorts, de luxe restaurants, and tourist
inns of international standards which shall remain under the
licensing and regulatory power of the Ministry of Tourism
which shall exercise such authority without infringing on the
taxing or regulatory powers of the municipality; (ss) Regulate
public dancing schools, public dance halls, and sauna baths or
massage parlors; (tt) Regulate the establishment and
operation of billiard pools, theatrical performances, circuses
and other forms of entertainment; ..." 27 It is clear that
municipal corporations cannot prohibit the operation of night
clubs. They may be regulated, but not prevented from
carrying on their business. It would be, therefore, an exercise
in futility if the decision under review were sustained. All that
petitioners would have to do is to apply once more for licenses
to operate night clubs. A refusal to grant licenses, because no
such businesses could legally open, would be subject to
judicial correction. That is to comply with the legislative will to
allow the operation and continued existence of night clubs
subject to appropriate regulations. In the meanwhile, to
compel petitioners to close their establishments, the
necessary result of an affirmance, would amount to no more
than a temporary termination of their business. During such
time, their employees would undergo a period of deprivation.

Certainly, if such an undesirable outcome can be avoided, it


should be. The law should not be susceptible to the reproach
that it displays less than sympathetic concern for the plight of
those who, under a mistaken appreciation of a municipal
power, were thus left without employment. Such a deplorable
consequence is to be avoided. If it were not thus, then the
element of arbitrariness enters the picture. That is to pay less,
very much less, than full deference to the due process clause
with its mandate of fairness and reasonableness.
4. The conclusion reached by this Court is not to be
interpreted as a retreat from its resolute stand sustaining
police power legislation to promote public morals. The
commitment to such an Ideal forbids such a backward step.
Legislation of that character is deserving of the fullest
sympathy from the judiciary. Accordingly, the judiciary has not
been hesitant to lend the weight of its support to measures
that can be characterized as falling within that aspect of the
police power. Reference is made by respondents to ErmitaMalate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. v. City
Mayor of Manila. 28 There is a misapprehension as to what was
decided by this Court. That was a regulatory measure.
Necessarily, there was no valid objection on due process or
equal protection grounds. It did not prohibit motels. It merely
regulated the mode in which it may conduct business in order
precisely to put an end to practices which could encourage
vice and immorality. This is an entirely different case. What
was involved is a measure not embraced within the regulatory
power but an exercise of an assumed power to prohibit.
Moreover, while it was pointed out in the aforesaid ErmitaMalate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. decision
that there must be a factual foundation of invalidity, it was
likewise made clear that there is no need to satisfy such a
requirement if a statute were void on its face. That it certainly
is if the power to enact such ordinance is at the most dubious
and under the present Local Government Code non-existent.
WHEREFORE, the writ of certiorari is granted and the decision
of the lower court dated January 15, 1976 reversed, set aside,
and nullied. Ordinance No. 84, Series of 1975 of the
Municipality of Bocaue is declared void and unconstitutional.
The temporary restraining order issued by this Court is hereby
made permanent. No costs.

Vicente De La Cruz et al were club & cabaret operators. They


assail the constitutionality of Ord. No. 84, Ser. of 1975 or the
Prohibition and Closure Ordinance of Bocaue, Bulacan. De la
Cruz averred that the said Ordinance violates their right to
engage in a lawful business for the said ordinance would close
out their business. That the hospitality girls they employed
are healthy and are not allowed to go out with customers.
Judge Paras however lifted the TRO he earlier issued against
Ord. 84 after due hearing declaring that Ord 84. is
constitutional for it is pursuant to RA 938 which reads AN ACT
GRANTING MUNICIPAL OR CITY BOARDS AND COUNCILS THE
POWER TO REGULATE THE ESTABLISHMENT, MAINTENANCE
AND OPERATION OF CERTAIN PLACES OF AMUSEMENT WITHIN
THEIR RESPECTIVE TERRITORIAL JURISDICTIONS. Paras ruled
that the prohibition is a valid exercise of police power to
promote general welfare. De la Cruz then appealed citing that
they were deprived of due process.
ISSUE: Whether or not a municipal corporation, Bocaue,
Bulacan can, prohibit the exercise of a lawful trade, the
operation of night clubs, and the pursuit of a lawful
occupation, such clubs employing hostesses pursuant to Ord
84 which is further in pursuant to RA 938.
HELD: The SC ruled against Paras. If night clubs were merely
then regulated and not prohibited, certainly the assailed
ordinance would pass the test of validity. SC had stressed
reasonableness, consonant with the general powers and
purposes of municipal corporations, as well as consistency
with the laws or policy of the State. It cannot be said that such
a sweeping exercise of a lawmaking power by Bocaue could
qualify under the term reasonable. The objective of fostering
public morals, a worthy and desirable end can be attained by
a measure that does not encompass too wide a field. Certainly
the ordinance on its face is characterized by overbreadth. The
purpose sought to be achieved could have been attained by
reasonable restrictions rather than by an absolute prohibition.
Pursuant to the title of the Ordinance, Bocaue should and can
only regulate not prohibit the business of cabarets.

Didipio Earth Savers Multipurpose Association et al vs


DENR Sec Elisea Gozun et al
In 1987, Cory rolled out EO 279 w/c empowered DENR to
stipulate with foreign companies when it comes to either
technical or financial large scale exploration or mining. In
1995, Ramos signed into law RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining
Act. In 1994, Ramos already signed an FTAA with Arimco
Mining Co, an Australian company. The FTAA authorized AMC
(later CAMC) to explore 37,000 ha of land in Quirino and N.
Vizcaya including Brgy Didipio. After the passage of the law,
DENR rolled out its implementing RRs. Didipio petitioned to
have the law and the RR to be annulled as it is
unconstitutional and it constitutes unlawful taking of property.
In seeking to nullify Rep. Act No. 7942 and its implementing
rules DAO 96-40 as unconstitutional, petitioners set their sight
on Section 76 of Rep. Act No. 7942 and Section 107 of DAO
96-40 which they claim allow the unlawful and unjust taking
of private property for private purpose in contradiction with
Section 9, Article III of the 1987 Constitution mandating that
private property shall not be taken except for public use and
the corresponding payment of just compensation. They assert
that public respondent DENR, through the Mining Act and its
Implementing Rules and Regulations, cannot, on its own,
permit entry into a private property and allow taking of land
without payment of just compensation.
Traversing petitioners assertion, public respondents argue
that Section 76 is not a taking provision but a valid exercise of
the police power and by virtue of which, the state may
prescribe regulations to promote the health, morals, peace,
education, good order, safety and general welfare of the
people. This government regulation involves the adjustment
of rights for the public good and that this adjustment curtails
some potential for the use or economic exploitation of private
property.
Public respondents concluded that to require
compensation in all such circumstances would compel the
government to regulate by purchase.
ISSUE: Whether or not RA 7942 and the DENR RRs are valid.
HELD: The SC ruled against Didipio. The SC noted the
requisites of eminent domain. They are;
(1) the expropriator must enter a private property;(2) the
entry must be for more than a momentary period. (3) the
entry must be under warrant or color of legal authority; (4)
the property must be devoted to public use or otherwise
informally appropriated or injuriously affected;(5) the
utilization of the property for public use must be in such a way
as to oust the owner and deprive him of beneficial enjoyment
of the property.
In the case at bar, Didipio failed to show that the law is
invalid. Indeed there is taking involved but it is not w/o just
compensation. Sec 76 of RA 7942 provides for just
compensation as well as section 107 of the DENR RR. To wit,
Section 76. xxx Provided, that any damage to the property of
the surface owner, occupant, or concessionaire as a
consequence of such operations shall be properly
compensated as may be provided for in the implementing
rules and regulations.
Section 107. Compensation of the Surface Owner and
Occupant- Any damage done to the property of the surface
owners, occupant, or concessionaire thereof as a consequence

of the mining operations or as a result of the construction or


installation of the infrastructure mentioned in 104 above shall
be properly and justly compensated.
Further, mining is a public policy and the government can
invoke eminent domain to exercise entry, acquisition and use
of private lands.

Taxicab Operators vs Board of Transportation


Petitioner Taxicab Operators of Metro Manila, Inc. (TOMMI) is a
domestic corporation composed of taxicab operators, who are
grantees of Certificates of Public Convenience to operate
taxicabs within the City of Manila and to any other place in
Luzon accessible to vehicular traffic.

On October 10, 1977, respondent Board of Transportation


(BOT) issued Memorandum Circular No. 77-42 which reads:

SUBJECT:
Phasing out and Replacement of
Dilapidated Taxis

Old and

On January 27, 1981, petitioners filed a Petition with the BOT,


docketed as Case No. 80-7553, seeking to nullify MC No. 7742 or to stop its implementation; to allow the registration and
operation in 1981 and subsequent years of taxicabs of model
1974, as well as those of earlier models which were phasedout, provided that, at the time of registration, they are
roadworthy and fit for operation.
ISSUES:
A. Did BOT and BLT promulgate the questioned memorandum
circulars in accord with the manner required by Presidential
Decree No. 101, thereby safeguarding the petitioners
constitutional right to procedural due process?
B. Granting arguendo, that respondents did comply with the
procedural requirements imposed by Presidential Decree No.
101, would the implementation and enforcement of the
assailed memorandum circulars violate the petitioners
constitutional rights to.
(1) Equal protection of the law;
(2) Substantive due process; and
(3)
Protection against
classification and standard?

arbitrary

and

unreasonable

HELD
As enunciated in the preambular clauses of the challenged
BOT Circular, the overriding consideration is the safety and
comfort of the riding public from the dangers posed by old
and dilapidated taxis. The State, in the exercise of its police
power, can prescribe regulations to promote the health,
morals, peace, good order, safety and general welfare of the

people. It can prohibit all things hurtful to comfort, safety and


welfare of society. It may also regulate property rights. In the
language of Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando the necessities
imposed by public welfare may justify the exercise of
governmental authority to regulate even if thereby certain
groups may plausibly assert that their interests are
disregarded.

FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ, vs HON. ALBERTO G. ROMULO,


et al

and instructions on such matters as may be necessary to


effectively carry out thefunctions, powers and duties of the
PNP.

G.R. No. 157036. June 9, 2004


2.Police Power
Facts:
Petition for prohibition and injunction seeking to enjoin the
implementation of the Guidelines inthe Implementation of
the Ban on the Carrying of Firearms Outside of Residence
(Guidelines)issued by respondent Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr.,
Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).Petitioner
Francisco I. Chavez, a licensed gun owner to whom a PTCFOR
has been issued,requested the DILG to reconsider the
implementation of the assailed Guidelines. However,
hisrequest was denied. Thus, he filed the present petition
impleading public respondents Ebdane, asChief of PNP;
Alberto G. Romulo, as Executive Secretary; and Gerry L.
Barias, as Chief of thePNP-Firearms and Explosives Division.

At any rate, assuming that petitioners PTCFOR constitutes a


property right protected by theConstitution,
the same cannot be considered as absolute as to be placed
beyond the reachof the States police power. All property in
the state is held subject to its generalregulations, necessary
to the common good and general welfare.
The Court laid down the test to determine the validity of a
police measure, thus:(1)The interests of the public generally,
as distinguished from those of a particular class,require the
exercise of the police power; and(2)The means employed are
reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the
purposeand not unduly oppressive upon individuals.

Issues:
1.whether respondent Ebdane is authorized to issue the
assailed Guidelines;
2.whether the issuance of the assailed Guidelines is a valid
exercise of police power?;
Ruling:
1.Authority of the PNP Chief
It is true that under our constitutional system, the powers of
government are distributedamong three coordinate and
substantially independent departments: the legislative,
theexecutive and the judiciary. Each has exclusive cognizance
of the matters within its jurisdiction and is supreme within its
own sphere.The power to make laws the legislative power
is vested in Congress. Any attempt toabdicate the power is
unconstitutional and void, on the principle that delegata
potestas non potest delegari delegated power may not be
delegated.The rule which forbids the delegation of legislative
power,
however, is not absolute andinflexible. It admits of exceptions
. An exception sanctioned by immemorial practice permits the
legislative body to delegate its licensing power to certain
persons, municipalcorporations, towns, boards, councils,
commissions, commissioners, auditors, bureaus anddirectors.
Such licensing power includes the power to promulgate
necessary rules andregulations.Act No. 1780 delegated upon
the Governor-General (now the President) the authority (1)
toapprove or disapprove applications of any person for a
license to deal in firearms or to possess the same for personal
protection, hunting and other lawful purposes; and (2)
torevoke such license any time. Further, it authorized him to
issue regulations which he maydeem necessary for the proper
enforcement of the Act.By virtue of Republic Act No. 6975, the
PNP absorbed the Philippine Constabulary (PC).Consequently,
the PNP Chief succeeded the Chief of the Constabulary and,
therefore,assumed the latters licensing authority.
Section 24 thereof specifies, as one of PNPs powers, the
issuance of licenses for the possession of firearms and
explosives in accordancewith law. This is in conjunction with
the PNP Chiefs power to issue detailed implementing policies

It is apparent from the assailed Guidelines that


the basis for its issuance was the need forpeace and order in
the society.
Owing
to
the
proliferation
of
crimes,
particularly
thosecommitted by the New Peoples Army (NPA), which tends
to disturb the peace of thecommunity, President Arroyo
deemed it best to impose a nationwide gun ban.
Undeniably,the motivating factor in the issuance of the
assailed Guidelines is the interest of the public ingeneral.The
only question that can then arise is
whether the means employed are appropriate andreasonably
necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and are not
undulyoppressive
. In the instant case,
the assailed Guidelines do not entirely prohibit possessionof
firearms. What they proscribe is merely the carrying of
firearms outside of residence
. However, those who wish to carry their firearms outside of
their residences mayre-apply for a new PTCFOR. This is a
reasonable regulation. If the carrying of firearms isregulated,
necessarily, crime incidents will be curtailed. Criminals carry
their weapon to huntfor their victims; they do not wait in the
comfort of their homes. With the revocation of allPTCFOR, it
would be difficult for criminals to roam around with their guns.
On the other hand, it would be easier for the PNP to
apprehend them.The petition is hereby DISMISSED.

G.R. No. 115044 January 27, 1995


HON. ALFREDO S. LIM, in his capacity as Mayor of
Manila, and the City of Manila, petitioners,
vs.
HON. FELIPE G. PACQUING, as Judge, branch 40,
Regional Trial Court of Manila and ASSOCIATED
CORPORATION, respondents.
G.R. No. 117263 January 27, 1995
TEOFISTO GUINGONA, JR. and DOMINADOR R.
CEPEDA, petitioners,
vs.
HON. VETINO REYES and ASSOCIATED DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION, respondents.

PADILLA, J.:
These two (2) cases which are inter-related actually involve
simple issues. if these issues have apparently become
complicated, it is not by reason of their nature because of the
events and dramatis personae involved.
The petition in G.R. No. 115044 was dismissed by the First
Division of this Court on 01 September 1994 based on a
finding that there was "no abuse of discretion, much less lack
of or excess of jurisdiction, on the part of respondent judge
[Pacquing]", in issuing the questioned orders. Judge Pacquing
had earlier issued in Civil Case No. 88-45660, RTC of Manila,
Branch 40, the following orders which were assailed by the
Mayor of the City of Manila, Hon. Alfredo S. Lim, in said G.R.
No. 115044:
a. order dated 28 March 1994 directing
Manila mayor Alfredo S. Lim to issue
the permit/license to operate the jai-alai in
favor of Associated Development
Corporation (ADC).
b. order dated 11 April 1994 directing mayor
Lim to explain why he should not be cited
for contempt for non-compliance with the
order dated 28 March 1994.
c. order dated 20 April 1994 reiterating the
previous order directing Mayor Lim to
immediately issue thepermit/license to
Associated Development Corporation (ADC).
The order dated 28 march 1994 was in turn issued upon
motion by ADC for execution of a final judgment rendered on
9 September 1988 which ordered the Manila Mayor to
immediately issue to ADC the permit/license to operate the
jai-alai in Manila, under Manila Ordinance No. 7065.
On 13 September 1994, petitioner Guingona (as executive
secretary) issued a directive to then chairman of the Games
and Amusements Board (GAB) Francisco R. Sumulong, jr. to
hold in abeyance the grant of authority, or if any had been
issued, to withdraw such grant of authority, to Associated

Development Corporation to operate the jai-alai in the City of


Manila, until the following legal questions are properly
resolved:
1. Whether P.D. 771 which revoked all
existing Jai-Alai franchisers issued by local
governments as of 20 August 1975 is
unconstitutional.
2. Assuming that the City of Manila had the
power on 7 September 1971 to issue a JaiAlai franchise to Associated Development
Corporation, whether the franchise granted
is valied considering that the franchise has
no duration, and appears to be granted in
perpetuity.
3. Whether the City of Manila had the power
to issue a Jai-Alai franchise to Associated
Development Corporation on 7 September
1971 in view of executive Order No. 392
dated 1 January 1951 which transferred
from local governments to the Games and
Amusements Board the power to regulate
Jai-Alai. 1
On 15 September 1994, respondent Associated Development
Corporation (ADC) filed a petition for prohibition, mandamus,
injunction and damages with prayer for temporary restraining
order and/or writ of preliminary injunction in the Regional Trial
Court of Manila against petitioner Guingona and then GAB
chairman Sumulong, docketed as Civil Case No. 94-71656,
seeking to prevent GAB from withdrawing the provisional
authority that had earlier been granted to ADC. On the same
day, the RTC of Manila, Branch 4, through presiding Judge
Vetino Reyes, issued a temporary restraining order enjoining
the GAB from withdrawing ADC's provisional authority. This
temporary restraining order was converted into a writ of
preliminary injunction upon ADC's posting of a bond in the
amount of P2,000,000.00. 2
Subsequently, also in G.R. No. 115044, the Republic of the
Philippines, through the Games and Amusements Board, filed
a "Motion for Intervention; for Leave to File a Motion for
reconsideration in Intervention; and to Refer the case to the
Court En Banc" and later a "Motion for Leave to File
Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration-in-Intervention and
to Admit Attached Supplemental Motion for Reconsiderationin-Intervention".
In an En Banc Resolution dated 20 September 1994, this Court
referred G.R. No. 115044 to the Court En Bancand required
the respondents therein to comment on the aforementioned
motions.
Meanwhile, Judge Reyes on 19 October 1994 issued another
order, this time, granting ADC a writ of
preliminary mandatory injunction against Guingona and GAB
to compel them to issue in favor of ADC the authority to
operate jai-alai.
Guingona, as executive secretary, and Dominador Cepeda, Jr.
as the new GAB chairman, then filed the petition in G.R. No.

117263 assailing the abovementioned orders of respondent


Judge Vetino Reyes.
On 25 October 1994, in G.R. No. 117263, this Court granted
petitioner's motion for leave to file supplemental petition and
to admit attached supplemental petition with urgent prayer
for restraining order. The Court further required respondents
to file their comment on the petition and supplemental
petition with urgent prayer for restraining order. The Court
likewise set the case and all incidents thereof for hearing on
10 November 1994.
At the hearing on 10 November 1994, the issues to be
resolved were formulated by the Court as follows:
1. whether or not intervention by the
Republic of the Philippines at this stage of
the proceedings is proper;
2. assuming such intervention is proper,
whether or not the Associated Development
Corporation has a valid and subsisting
franchise to maintain and operate the jaialai;
3. whether or not there was grave abuse of
discretion committed by respondent Judge
Reyes in issuing the aforementioned
temporary restraining order (later writ of
preliminary injunction); and
4. whether or not there was grave abuse of
discretion committed by respondent Judge
Reyes in issuing the aforementioned writ of
preliminary mandatory injunction.
On the issue of the propriety of the intervention by the
Republic of the Philippines, a question was raised during the
hearing on 10 November 1994 as to whether intervention in
G.R. No. 115044 was the proper remedy for the national
government to take in questioning the existence of a valid
ADC franchise to operate the jai-alai or whether a separate
action for quo warranto under Section 2, Rule 66 of the Rules
of Court was the proper remedy.
We need not belabor this issue since counsel for respondent
ADC agreed to the suggestion that this Court once and for all
settle all substantive issues raised by the parties in these
cases. Moreover, this Court can consider the petition filed in
G.R. No. 117263 as one for quo warranto which is within the
original jurisdiction of the Court under section 5(1), Article VIII
of the Constitution. 3
On the propriety of intervention by the Republic, however, it
will be recalled that this Court in Director of Lands v. Court of
Appeals (93 SCRA 238) allowed intervention even beyond the
period prescribed in Section 2 Rule 12 of the Rules of Court.
The Court ruled in said case that a denial of the motions for
intervention would "lead the Court to commit an act of
injustice to the movants, to their successor-in-interest and to
all purchasers for value and in good faith and thereby open
the door to fraud, falsehood and misrepresentation, should
intervenors' claim be proven to be true."

In the present case, the resulting injustice and injury, should


the national government's allegations be proven correct, are
manifest, since the latter has squarely questioned the very
existence of a valid franchise to maintain and operate the jaialai (which is a gambling operation) in favor of ADC. As will be
more extensively discussed later, the national government
contends that Manila Ordinance No. 7065 which purported to
grant to ADC a franchise to conduct jai-alai operations is void
and ultra vires since Republic Act No. 954, approved on 20
June 1953, or very much earlier than said Ordinance No. 7065,
the latter approved 7 September 1971, in Section 4 thereof,
requires a legislative franchise, not a municipal franchise, for
the operation of jai-alai. Additionally, the national government
argues that even assuming, arguendo, that the
abovementioned ordinance is valid, ADC's franchise was
nonetheless effectively revoked by Presidential decree No.
771, issued on 20 August 1975, Sec. 3 of which expressly
revoked all existing franchises and permits to operate all
forms of gambling facilities (including the jai-alai) issued by
local governments.
On the other hand, ADC's position is that Ordinance No. 7065
was validly enacted by the City of Manila pursuant to its
delegated powers under it charter, Republic Act No. 409. ADC
also squarely assails the constitutionality of PD No. 771 as
violative of the equal protection and non-impairment clauses
of the Constitution. In this connection, counsel for ADC
contends that this Court should really rule on the validity of
PD No. 771 to be able to determine whether ADC continues to
possess a valid franchise.
It will undoubtedly be a grave injustice to both parties in this
case if this Court were to shirk from ruling on the issue of
constitutionality of PD No. 771. Such issue has, in our view,
become the very lis mota in resolving the present
controversy, in view of ADC's insistence that it was granted a
valid and legal franchise by Ordinance No. 7065 to operate
the jai-alai.
The time-honored doctrine is that all laws (PD No. 771
included) are presumed valid and constitutional until or unless
otherwise ruled by this Court. Not only this; Article XVIII
Section 3 of the Constitution states:
Sec. 3. All existing laws, decrees, executive
orders, proclamations, letters of instructions
and other executive issuances not
inconsistent with this Constitution shall
remain operative until amended, repealed
or revoked.
There is nothing on record to show or even suggest that PD
No. 771 has been repealed, altered or amended by any
subsequent law or presidential issuance (when the executive
still exercised legislative powers).
Neither can it be tenably stated that the issue of the
continued existence of ADC's franchise by reason of the
unconstitutionality of PD No. 771 was settled in G.R. No.
115044, for the decision of the Court's First Division in said
case, aside from not being final, cannot have the effect of
nullifying PD No. 771 as unconstitutional, since only the
Court En Banc has that power under Article VIII, Section 4(2)
of the Constitution. 4

And on the question of whether or not the government


is estopped from contesting ADC's possession of a valid
franchise, the well-settled rule is that the State cannot be put
in estoppel by the mistakes or errors, if any, of its officials or
agents (Republic v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 209 SCRA
90)
Consequently, in the light of the foregoing expostulation, we
conclude that the republic (in contra distinction to the City of
Manila) may be allowed to intervene in G.R. No. 115044. The
Republic is intervening in G.R. No. 115044 in the exercise, not
of its business or proprietary functions, but in the exercise of
its governmental functions to protect public morals and
promote the general welfare.

take, or arrange bets on any basque pelota


game or event, or maintain or use a
totalizator or other device, method or
system to bet or gamble on any basque
pelota game or event outside the
place, enclosure, or fronton where the
basque pelota game is held. (emphasis
supplied).
4. On 07 September 1971, however, the Municipal Board of
Manila nonetheless passed Ordinance No. 7065 entitled "An
Ordinance Authorizing the Mayor To Allow And Permit The
Associated Development Corporation To Establish, Maintain
And Operate A Jai-Alai In The City Of Manila, Under Certain
Terms And Conditions And For Other Purposes."

II
Anent the question of whether ADC has a valid franchise to
operate the Jai-Alai de Manila, a statement of the pertinent
laws is in order.
1. The Charter of the City of Manila was enacted by Congress
on 18 June 1949. Section 18 thereof provides:
Sec. 18. Legislative Powers. The Municipal
Board shall have the following legislative
powers:
xxx xxx xxx
(jj) To tax, license, permit and regulate
wagers or betting by the public on boxing,
sipa, bowling, billiards, pools, horse and dog
races, cockpits, jai-alai, roller or ice-skating
on any sporting or athletic contests, as well
as grant exclusive rights to establishments
for this purpose, notwithstanding any
existing law to the contrary.
2. On 1 January 1951, Executive Order No. 392 was issued
transferring the authority to regulate jai-alais from local
government to the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
3. On 20 June 1953, Congress enacted Republic Act No. 954,
entitled "An Act to Prohibit With Horse Races and Basque
Pelota Games (Jai-Alai), And To Prescribe Penalties For Its
Violation". The provisions of Republic Act No. 954 relating to
jai-alai are as follows:
Sec. 4. No person, or group of
persons other than the operator or
maintainer of a fronton with legislative
franchise to conduct basque pelota games
(Jai-alai), shall offer, to take or
arrange bets on any basque pelota game or
event, or maintain or use a totalizator or
other device, method or system to bet or
gamble on any basque pelota game or
event. (emphasis supplied).
Sec. 5. No person, operator or maintainer of
a fronton with legislative franchise to
conduct basque pelota games shall offer,

5. On 20 August 1975, Presidential Decree No. 771 was issued


by then President Marcos. The decree, entitled "Revoking All
Powers and Authority of Local Government(s) To Grant
Franchise, License or Permit And Regulate Wagers Or Betting
By The Public On Horse And Dog Races, Jai-Alai Or Basque
Pelota, And Other Forms Of Gambling", in Section 3 thereof,
expressly revoked all existing franchises and permits issued
by local governments.
6. On 16 October 1975, Presidential Decree No. 810, entitled
"An Act granting The Philippine Jai-Alai And Amusement
Corporation A Franchise To Operate, Construct And Maintain A
Fronton For Basque Pelota And Similar Games of Skill In THE
Greater Manila Area," was promulgated.
7 On 08 May 1987, then President Aquino, by virtue of Article
XVIII, Section 6, of the Constitution, which allowed the
incumbent legislative powers until the first Congress was
convened, issued Executive Order No. 169 expressly repealing
PD 810 and revoking and cancelling the franchise granted to
the Philippine Jai-Alai and Amusement Corporation.
Petitioners in G.R. No. 117263 argue that Republic Act No. 954
effectively removed the power of the Municipal Board of
Manila to grant franchises for gambling operations. It is
argued that the term "legislative franchise" in Rep. Act No.
954 is used to refer to franchises issued by Congress.
On the other hand, ADC contends that Republic Act N. 409
(Manila Chapter) gives legislative powers to the Municipal
Board to grant franchises, and since Republic Act No. 954
does not specifically qualify the word "legislative" as referring
exclusively to Congress, then Rep. Act No. 954 did not remove
the power of the Municipal Board under Section 18(jj) of
Republic Act No. 409 and consequently it was within the
power of the City of Manila to allow ADC to operate the jai-alai
in the City of Manila.
On this point, the government counter-argues that the term
"legislative powers" is used in Rep. Act No. 409 merely to
distinguish the powers under Section 18 of the law from the
other powers of the Municipal Board, but that the term
"legislative franchise" in Rep. Act No. 954 refers to a franchise
granted solely by Congress.
Further, the government argues that Executive Order No. 392
dated 01 January 1951 transferred even the power to regulate

Jai-Alai from the local governments to the Games and


Amusements Board (GAB), a national government agency.
It is worthy of note that neither of the authorities relied upon
by ADC to support its alleged possession of a valid franchise,
namely the Charter of the City of Manila (Rep. Act No. 409)
and Manila Ordinance No. 7065 uses the word "franchise".
Rep. Act No. 409 empowers the Municipal Board of Manila to
"tax, license, permit and regulatewagers or betting" and to
"grant exclusive rights to establishments", while Ordinance
No. 7065 authorized the Manila City Mayor to "allow and
permit" ADC to operate jai-alai facilities in the City of Manila.
It is clear from the foregoing that Congress did not delegate to
the City of Manila the power "to franchise" wagers or betting,
including the jai-alai, but retained for itself such power "to
franchise". What Congress delegated to the City of Manila in
Rep. Act No. 409, with respect to wagers or betting, was the
power to "license, permit, or regulate" which therefore means
that a license or permit issued by the City of Manila to operate
a wager or betting activity, such as the jai-alai where bets are
accepted, would not amount to something meaningful UNLESS
the holder of the permit or license was also FRANCHISED by
the national government to so operate. Moreover, even this
power to license, permit, or regulate wagers or betting on jaialai was removed from local governments, including the City
of Manila, and transferred to the GAB on 1 January 1951 by
Executive Order No. 392. The net result is that the authority to
grant franchises for the operation of jai-alai frontons is in
Congress, while the regulatory function is vested in the GAB.
In relation, therefore, to the facts of this case, since ADC has
no franchise from Congress to operate the jai-alai, it may not
so operate even if its has a license or permit from the City
Mayor to operate the jai-alai in the City of Manila.
It cannot be overlooked, in this connection, that the Revised
Penal Code punishes gambling and betting under Articles 195
to 199 thereof. Gambling is thus generally prohibited by law,
unless another law is enacted by Congress expressly
exempting or excluding certain forms of gambling from the
reach of criminal law. Among these form the reach of criminal
law. Among these forms of gambling allowed by special law
are the horse races authorized by Republic Acts Nos. 309 and
983 and gambling casinos authorized under Presidential
Decree No. 1869.
While jai-alai as a sport is not illegal per se, the accepting of
bets or wagers on the results of jai-alai games is undoubtedly
gambling and, therefore, a criminal offense punishable under
Articles 195-199 of the Revised Penal Code, unless it is shown
that a later or special law had been passed allowing it. ADC
has not shown any such special law.
Republic Act No. 409 (the Revised Charter of the City of
Manila) which was enacted by Congress on 18 June 1949 gave
the Municipal Board certain delegated legislative powers
under Section 18. A perusal of the powers enumerated under
Section 18 shows that these powers are basically regulatory in
nature. 5 The regulatory nature of these powers finds support
not only in the plain words of the enumerations under Section
28 but also in this Court's ruling in People v. Vera (65 Phil. 56).

In Vera, this Court declared that a law which gives the


Provincial Board the discretion to determine whether or not a
law of general application (such as, the Probation law-Act No.
4221) would or would not be operative within the province, is
unconstitutional for being an undue delegation of legislative
power.
From the ruling in Vera, it would be logical to conclude that, if
ADC's arguments were to prevail, this Court would likewise
declare Section 18(jj) of the Revised Charter of Manila
unconstitutional for the power it would delegate to the
Municipal Board of Manila would give the latter the absolute
and unlimited discretion to render the penal code provisions
on gambling inapplicable or inoperative to persons or entities
issued permits to operate gambling establishments in the City
of Manila.
We need not go to this extent, however, since the rule is that
laws must be presumed valid, constitutional and in harmony
with other laws. Thus, the relevant provisions of Rep. Acts
Nos. 409 and 954 and Ordinance No. 7065 should be taken
together and it should then be clear that the legislative
powers of the Municipal Board should be understood to be
regulatory in nature and that Republic Act No. 954 should be
understood to refer to congressional franchises, as a necessity
for the operation of jai-alai.
We need not, however, again belabor this issue further since
the task at hand which will ultimately, and with finality, decide
the issues in this case is to determine whether PD No. 771
validly revoked ADC's franchise to operate the jai-alai,
assuming (without conceding) that it indeed possessed such
franchise under Ordinance No. 7065.
ADC argues that PD No. 771 is unconstitutional for being
violative of the equal protection and non-impairment
provisions of the Constitution. On the other hand, the
government contends that PD No. 771 is a valid exercise of
the inherent police power of the State.
The police power has been described as the least limitable of
the inherent powers of the State. It is based on the ancient
doctrine salus populi est suprema lex (the welfare of the
people is the supreme law.) In the early case of Rubi v.
Provincial Board of Mindoro (39 Phil. 660), this Court through
Mr. Justice George A. Malcolm stated thus:
The police power of the State . . . is a power
co-extensive with self-protection, and is not
inaptly termed the "law of overruling
necessity." It may be said to be that
inherent and plenary power in the State
which enables it to prohibit all things hurtful
to the comfort, safety and welfare of society.
Carried onward by the current of legislation,
the judiciary rarely attempts to dam the
onrushing power of legislative discretion,
provided the purposes of the law do not go
beyond the great principles that mean
security for the public welfare or do not
arbitrarily interfere with the right of the
individual.

In the matter of PD No. 771, the purpose of the law is clearly


stated in the "whereas clause" as follows:
WHEREAS, it has been reported that in spite
of the current drive of our law enforcement
agencies against vices and illegal gambling,
these social ills are still prevalent in many
areas of the country;
WHEREAS, there is need to consolidate all
the efforts of the government to eradicate
and minimize vices and other forms of social
ills in pursuance of the social and economic
development program under the new
society;
WHEREAS, in order to effectively control and
regulate wagers or betting by the public on
horse and dog races, jai-alai and other
forms of gambling there is a necessity to
transfer the issuance of permit and/or
franchise from local government to the
National Government.
It cannot be argued that the control and regulation of
gambling do not promote public morals and welfare. Gambling
is essentially antagonistic and self-reliance. It breeds
indolence and erodes the value of good, honest and hard
work. It is, as very aptly stated by PD No. 771, a vice and a
social ill which government must minimize (if not eradicate) in
pursuit of social and economic development.
In Magtajas v. Pryce Properties Corporation (20 July 1994, G.R.
No. 111097), this Court stated thru Mr. Justice Isagani A. Cruz:
In the exercise of its own discretion, the
legislative power 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 wisdom, morality and
practicability of statutes are not addressed
to the judiciary but may be resolved only by
the executive and legislative departments,
to which the function belongs in our scheme
of government. (Emphasis supplied)
Talks regarding the supposed vanishing line
between right and privilege in American constitutional law has
no relevance in the context of these cases since the reference
there is to economic regulations. On the other hand, jai-alai is
not a mere economic activity which the law seeks to regulate.
It is essentially gambling and whether it should be permitted
and, if so, under what conditions are questions primarily for

the lawmaking authority to determine, talking into account


national and local interests. Here, it is the police power of the
State that is paramount.
ADC questions the motive for the issuance of PD Nos. 771.
Clearly, however, this Court cannot look into allegations that
PD No. 771 was enacted to benefit a select group which was
later given authority to operate the jai-alai under PD No. 810.
The examination of legislative motivation is generally
prohibited. (Palmer v. Thompson, 403 U.S. 217, 29 L. Ed. 2d
438 [1971] per Black, J.) There is, the first place, absolute lack
of evidence to support ADC's allegation of improper
motivation in the issuance of PD No. 771. In the second place,
as already averred, this Court cannot go behind the
expressed and proclaimed purposes of PD No. 771, which are
reasonable and even laudable.
It should also be remembered that PD No. 771 provides that
the national government can subsequently grant franchises
"upon proper application and verification of the qualifications
of the applicant." ADC has not alleged that it filed an
application for a franchise with the national government
subsequent to the enactment of PD No. 771; thus, the
allegations abovementioned (of preference to a select group)
are based on conjectures, speculations and imagined biases
which do not warrant the consideration of this Court.
On the other hand, it is noteworthy that while then president
Aquino issued Executive Order No. 169 revoking PD No. 810
(which granted a franchise to a Marcos-crony to operate the
jai-alai), she did not scrap or repeal PD No. 771 which had
revoked all franchises to operate jai-alais issued by local
governments, thereby re-affirming the government policy that
franchises to operate jai-alais are for the national government
(not local governments) to consider and approve.
On the alleged violation of the non-impairment and equal
protection clauses of the Constitution, it should be
remembered that a franchise is not in the strict sense a
simple contract but rather it is more importantly, a mere
privilege specially in matters which are within the
government's power to regulate and even prohibit through the
exercise of the police power. Thus, a gambling franchise is
always subject to the exercise of police power for the public
welfare.
In RCPI v. NTC (150 SCRA 450), we held that:
A franchise started out as a "royal privilege
or (a) branch of the King's prerogative,
subsisting in the hands of a subject." This
definition was given by Finch, adopted by
Blackstone, and accepted by every authority
since . . . Today, a franchise being merely a
privilege emanating from the sovereign
power of the state and owing its existence
to a grant, is subject to regulation by the
state itself by virtue of its police power
through its administrative agencies.
There is a stronger reason for holding ADC's permit to be a
mere privilege because jai-alai, when played for bets, is pure
and simple gambling. To analogize a gambling franchise for
the operation of a public utility, such as public transportation

company, is to trivialize the great historic origin of this branch


of royal privilege.
As earlier noted, ADC has not alleged ever applying for a
franchise under the provisions of PD No. 771. and yet, the
purpose of PD No. 771 is quite clear from its provisions, i.e., to
give to the national government the exclusive power to grant
gambling franchises. Thus, all franchises then existing were
revoked but were made subject to reissuance by the national
government upon compliance by the applicant with
government-set qualifications and requirements.
There was no violation by PD No. 771 of the equal protection
clause since the decree revoked all franchises issued by local
governments without qualification or exception. ADC cannot
allege violation of the equal protection clause simply because
it was the only one affected by the decree, for as correctly
pointed out by the government, ADC was not singled out
when all jai-alai franchises were revoked. Besides, it is too late
in the day for ADC to seek redress for alleged violation of its
constitutional rights for it could have raised these issues as
early as 1975, almost twenty 920) years ago.
Finally, we do not agree that Section 3 of PD No. 771 and the
requirement of a legislative franchise in Republic Act No. 954
are "riders" to the two 92) laws and are violative of the rule
that laws should embrace one subject which shall be
expressed in the title, as argued by ADC. In Cordero v.
Cabatuando (6 SCRA 418), this Court ruled that the
requirement under the constitution that all laws should
embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title
is sufficiently met if the title is comprehensive enough
reasonably to include the general object which the statute
seeks to effect, without expressing each and every end and
means necessary or convenient for the accomplishing of the
objective.
III
On the issue of whether or not there was grave abuse of
discretion committed by respondent Judge Reyes in issuing
the temporary restraining order (later converted to a writ of
preliminary injunction) and the writ of
preliminary mandatory injunction, we hold and rule there was.
Section 3, Rule 58 of the rules of Court provides for the
grounds for the issuance of a preliminary injunction. While
ADC could allege these grounds, respondent judge should
have taken judicial notice of Republic Act No. 954 and PD 771,
under Section 1 rule 129 of the Rules of court. These laws
negate the existence of any legal right on the part of ADC to
the reliefs it sought so as to justify the issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction. since PD No. 771 and Republic Act No.
954 are presumed valid and constitutional until ruled
otherwise by the Supreme Court after due hearing, ADC was
not entitled to the writs issued and consequently there was
grave abuse of discretion in issuing them.
WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, judgment is hereby
rendered:

Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB) vs. CA


[G.R. No. 93891 March 11, 1991]
Facts: Respondent, Solar Textile Finishing Corporation is
involved in bleaching, rinsing and dyeing textiles with
untreated wastewater which were being discharged directly
into a canal leading to the adjacent Tullahan-Tinejeros River.
On September 22, 1988, petitioner Pollution Adjudication
Board issued an ex parte Order based on 2 findings made on
Solar Textile Finishing Corportions plant, directing Solar
immediately to cease and desist from utilizing its wastewater
pollution source installations as they were clearly in violation
of Section 8 of Presidential Decree No. 984 (Pollution Control
Law) and Section 103 of its Implementing Rules and
Regulations and the 1982 Effluent Regulations. Solar then filed
a motion for reconsideration which was granted by the
Pollution Adjudication Board for a temporary operation.
However, Solar went to the RTC for certiorari and preliminary
injunction against the Board but the same was dismissed. On
appeal, the CA reversed the Order of dismissal of the trial
court and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Petitioner Board claims that under P.D. No. 984, Section 7(a),
it has legal authority to issue ex parte orders to suspend the
operations of an establishment when there is prima facie
evidence that such establishment is discharging effluents or
wastewater, the pollution level of which exceeds the
maximum permissible standards set by the NPCC (now, the
Board). Solar, on the other hand, contends that under the
Board's own rules and regulations, an ex parte order may
issue only if the effluents discharged pose an "immediate
threat to life, public health, safety or welfare, or to animal and
plant life" and argued that there were no findings that Solar's
wastewater discharged posed such a threat. ISSUE: Whether
or not the Pollution Adjudication Board has legal authority to
issue the Order and Writ of Execution against Solar Textile
Finishing Corporation. YES. RULING: Section 7(a) of P.D. No.
984 authorized petitioner Board to issue ex parte cease and
desist orders under the following circumstances
: (a)
Public Hearing
....
Provided , That
whenever the Commission finds prima facie evidence that the
discharged sewage or wastes are of immediate threat to life,
public health, safety or welfare, or to animal or plant life, or
exceeds the allowable standards set by the Commission, the
Commissioner may issue an ex-parte order directing the
discontinuance of the same or the temporary suspension or
cessation of operation of the establishment
or person generating such sewage or wastes
without the necessity of a prior public hearing
.
The said ex-parte order shall be immediately executory
and shall remain in force until said establishment or person
prevents or abates the said pollution within the allowable
standards or modified or nullified by a competent court. The

Court found that the Order and Writ of Execution issued by


petitioner Board were entirely within its lawful authority Ex
parte cease and desist orders are permitted by law and
regulations in situations like in this case. The relevant
pollution control statute and implementing regulations were
enacted and promulgated in the exercise of that pervasive,
sovereign power to protect the safety, health, and general
welfare and comfort of the public, as well as the protection of
plant and animal life, commonly designated as the police
power. It is a constitutional commonplace that the ordinary
requirements of procedural due process yield to the
necessities of protecting vital public interests like those here
involved, through the exercise of police power. Hence, the trial
court did not err when it dismissed Solar's petition for
certiorari. It follows that the proper remedy was an appeal
from the trial court to the Court of Appeals, as Solar did in fact
appeal. The Court gave due course on the Petition for Review
and the Decision of the Court of Appeals and its Resolution
were set aside. The Order of petitioner Board and the Writ of
Execution, as well as the decision of the trial court were
reinstated, without prejudice to the right of Solar to contest
the correctness of the basis of the Board's Order and Writ of
Execution at a public hearing before the Board

G.R. No. 78164

July 31, 1987

TERESITA TABLARIN, MA, LUZ CIRIACO, MA NIMFA B.


ROVIRA, EVANGELINA S. LABAO, in their behalf and in
behalf of applicants for admission into the Medical
Colleges during the school year 1987-88 and future
years who have not taken or successfully hurdled tile
National Medical Admission Test (NMAT). petitioners,
vs.
THE HONORABLE JUDGE ANGELINA S. GUTIERREZ,
Presiding Judge of Branch XXXVII of the Regional Trial
Court of the National Capital Judicial Region with seat
at Manila, THE HONORABLE SECRETARY LOURDES
QUISUMBING, in her capacity as Chairman of the
BOARD OF MEDICAL EDUCATION, and THE CENTER FOR
EDUCATIONAL MEASUREMENT (CEM), respondents.
FELICIANO, J.:
The petitioners sought admission into colleges or schools of
medicine for the school year 1987-1988. However, the
petitioners either did not take or did not successfully take the
National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) required by the Board
of Medical Education, one of the public respondents, and
administered by the private respondent, the Center for
Educational Measurement (CEM).
On 5 March 1987, the petitioners filed with the Regional Trial
Court, National Capital Judicial Region, a Petition for
Declaratory Judgment and Prohibition with a prayer for
Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction. The
petitioners sought to enjoin the Secretary of Education,
Culture and Sports, the Board of Medical Education and the
Center for Educational Measurement from enforcing Section 5
(a) and (f) of Republic Act No. 2382, as amended, and MECS
Order No. 52, series of 1985, dated 23 August 1985 and from
requiring the taking and passing of the NMAT as a condition
for securing certificates of eligibility for admission, from
proceeding with accepting applications for taking the NMAT
and from administering the NMAT as scheduled on 26 April
1987 and in the future. After hearing on the petition for
issuance of preliminary injunction, the trial court denied said
petition on 20 April 1987. The NMAT was conducted and
administered as previously scheduled.
Petitioners accordingly filed this Special Civil Action for
certiorari with this Court to set aside the Order of the
respondent judge denying the petition for issuance of a writ of
preliminary injunction.
Republic Act 2382, as amended by Republic Acts Nos. 4224
and 5946, known as the "Medical Act of 1959" defines its
basic objectives in the following manner:
Section 1. Objectives. This Act provides for and
shall govern (a) the standardization and regulation of
medical education (b) the examination for
registration of physicians; and (c) the supervision,
control and regulation of the practice of medicine in
the Philippines. (Underscoring supplied)
The statute, among other things, created a Board of Medical
Education which is composed of (a) the Secretary of
Education, Culture and Sports or his duly authorized

representative, as Chairman; (b) the Secretary of Health or his


duly authorized representative; (c) the Director of Higher
Education or his duly authorized representative; (d) the
Chairman of the Medical Board or his duly authorized
representative; (e) a representative of the Philippine Medical
Association; (f) the Dean of the College of Medicine, University
of the Philippines; (g) a representative of the Council of Deans
of Philippine Medical Schools; and (h) a representative of the
Association of Philippine Medical Colleges, as members. The
functions of the Board of Medical Education specified in
Section 5 of the statute include the following:
(a) To determine and prescribe equirements for
admission into a recognized college of medicine;
(b) To determine and prescribe requirements for
minimum physical facilities of colleges of medicine,
to wit: buildings, including hospitals, equipment and
supplies, apparatus, instruments, appliances,
laboratories, bed capacity for instruction purposes,
operating and delivery rooms, facilities for outpatient
services, and others, used for didactic and practical
instruction in accordance with modern trends;
(c) To determine and prescribe the minimum number
and minimum qualifications of teaching personnel,
including student-teachers ratio;
(d) To determine and prescribe the minimum required
curriculum leading to the degree of Doctor of
Medicine;
(e) To authorize the implementation of experimental
medical curriculum in a medical school that has
exceptional faculty and instrumental facilities. Such
an experimental curriculum may prescribe admission
and graduation requirements other than those
prescribed in this Act; Provided, That only exceptional
students shall be enrolled in the experimental
curriculum;
(f) To accept applications for certification for
admission to a medical school and keep a register of
those issued said certificate; and to collect from said
applicants the amount of twenty-five pesos each
which shall accrue to the operating fund of the Board
of Medical Education;
(g) To select, determine and approve hospitals or
some departments of the hospitals for training which
comply with the minimum specific physical facilities
as provided in subparagraph (b) hereof; and
(h) To promulgate and prescribe and enforce the
necessary rules and regulations for the proper
implementation of the foregoing functions.
(Emphasis supplied)
Section 7 prescribes certain minimum requirements for
applicants to medical schools:
Admission requirements. The medical college may
admit any student who has not been convicted by
any court of competent jurisdiction of any offense

involving moral turpitude and who presents (a) a


record of completion of a bachelor's degree in
science or arts; (b) a certificate of eligibility for
entrance to a medical school from the Board of
Medical Education; (c) a certificate of good moral
character issued by two former professors in the
college of liberal arts; and (d) birth certificate.
Nothing in this act shall be construed to inhibit any
college of medicine from establishing, in addition to
the preceding, other entrance requirements that may
be deemed admissible.
xxx

xxx

x x x (Emphasis supplied)

MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, issued by the then Minister of


Education, Culture and Sports and dated 23 August 1985,
established a uniform admission test called the National
Medical Admission Test (NMAT) as an additional requirement
for issuance of a certificate of eligibility for admission into
medical schools of the Philippines, beginning with the school
year 1986-1987. This Order goes on to state that:
2. The NMAT, an aptitude test, is considered as an
instrument toward upgrading the selection of
applicants for admission into the medical schools
and its calculated to improve the quality of medical
education in the country. The cutoff score for the
successful applicants, based on the scores on the
NMAT, shall be determined every year by the Board
of Medical Education after consultation with the
Association of Philippine Medical Colleges. The NMAT
rating of each applicant, together with the other
admission requirements as presently called for under
existing rules, shall serve as a basis for the issuance
of the prescribed certificate of elegibility for
admission into the medical colleges.
3. Subject to the prior approval of the Board of
Medical Education, each medical college may give
other tests for applicants who have been issued a
corresponding certificate of eligibility for
admission that will yield information on other aspects
of the applicant's personality to complement the
information derived from the NMAT.
xxx

xxx

xxx

8. No applicant shall be issued the requisite


Certificate of Eligibility for Admission (CEA), or
admitted for enrollment as first year student in any
medical college, beginning the school year, 1986-87,
without the required NMAT qualification as called for
under this Order. (Underscoring supplied)
Pursuant to MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, the private
respondent Center conducted NMATs for entrance to medical
colleges during the school year 1986-1987. In December 1986
and in April 1987, respondent Center conducted the NMATs for
admission to medical colleges during the school year
1987.1988.1avvphi1
Petitioners raise the question of whether or not a writ of
preliminary injunction may be issued to enjoin the
enforcement of Section 5 (a) and (f) of Republic Act No. 2382,

as amended, and MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, pending


resolution of the issue of constitutionality of the assailed
statute and administrative order. We regard this issue as
entirely peripheral in nature. It scarcely needs documentation
that a court would issue a writ of preliminary injunction only
when the petitioner assailing a statute or administrative order
has made out a case of unconstitutionality strong enough to
overcome, in the mind of the judge, the presumption of
constitutionality, aside from showing a clear legal right to the
remedy sought. The fundamental issue is of course the
constitutionality of the statute or order assailed.
1. The petitioners invoke a number of provisions of the 1987
Constitution which are, in their assertion, violated by the
continued implementation of Section 5 (a) and (f) of Republic
Act 2381, as amended, and MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985. The
provisions invoked read as follows:
(a) Article 11, Section 11: "The state values the
dignity of every human person and guarantees full
respect of human rights. "
(b) ArticleII, Section l3: "The State recognizes the
vital role of the youth in nation building and shall
promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual,
intellectual and social well being. It shall inculcate in
the youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage
their involvement in public and civic affairs."
(c) Article II, Section 17: "The State shall give priority
to education, science and technology, arts, culture
and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism,
accelerate social progress and to promote total
human liberation and development. "
(d) Article XIV, Section l: "The State shall protect and
promote the right of all citizens to quality education
at all levels and take appropriate steps to make such
education accessible to all. "
(e) Article XIV, Section 5 (3): "Every citizen has a
right to select a profession or course of study,
subject to fair, reasonable and equitable admission
and academic requirements."
Article II of the 1987 Constitution sets forth in its second half
certain "State policies" which the government is enjoined to
pursue and promote. The petitioners here have not seriously
undertaken to demonstrate to what extent or in what manner
the statute and the administrative order they assail collide
with the State policies embodied in Sections 11, 13 and 17.
They have not, in other words, discharged the burden of proof
which lies upon them. This burden is heavy enough where the
constitutional provision invoked is relatively specific, rather
than abstract, in character and cast in behavioral or
operational terms. That burden of proof becomes of necessity
heavier where the constitutional provision invoked is cast, as
the second portion of Article II is cast, in language descriptive
of basic policies, or more precisely, of basic objectives of State
policy and therefore highly generalized in tenor. The
petitioners have not made their case, even a prima facie case,
and we are not compelled to speculate and to imagine how
the legislation and regulation impugned as unconstitutional

could possibly offend the constitutional provisions pointed to


by the petitioners.
Turning to Article XIV, Section 1, of the 1987 Constitution, we
note that once more petitioners have failed to demonstrate
that the statute and regulation they assail in fact clash with
that provision. On the contrary we may note-in anticipation of
discussion infra that the statute and the regulation which
petitioners attack are in fact designed to promote "quality
education" at the level of professional schools. When one
reads Section 1 in relation to Section 5 (3) of Article XIV as
one must one cannot but note that the latter phrase of
Section 1 is not to be read with absolute literalness. The State
is not really enjoined to take appropriate steps to make
quality education " accessible to all who might for any number
of reasons wish to enroll in a professional school but rather
merely to make such education accessible to all who qualify
under "fair, reasonable and equitable admission and academic
requirements. "
2. In the trial court, petitioners had made the argument that
Section 5 (a) and (f) of Republic Act No. 2382, as amended,
offend against the constitutional principle which forbids the
undue delegation of legislative power, by failing to establish
the necessary standard to be followed by the delegate, the
Board of Medical Education. The general principle of nondelegation of legislative power, which both flows from the
reinforces the more fundamental rule of the separation and
allocation of powers among the three great departments of
government,1 must be applied with circumspection in respect
of statutes which like the Medical Act of 1959, deal with
subjects as obviously complex and technical as medical
education and the practice of medicine in our present day
world. Mr. Justice Laurel stressed this point 47 years ago
in Pangasinan Transportation Co., Inc. vs. The Public Service
Commission:2
One thing, however, is apparent in the development
of the principle of separation of powers and that is
that the maxim of delegatus non potest delegare or
delegate potestas non potest delegare, adopted this
practice (Delegibus et Consuetudiniis Anglia edited
by G.E. Woodbine, Yale University Press, 1922, Vol. 2,
p. 167) but which is also recognized in principle in
the Roman Law (d. 17.18.3) has been made to adapt
itself to the complexities of modern government,
giving rise to the adoption, within certain limits of the
principle of "subordinate legislation," not only in the
United States and England but in practically all
modern governments. (People vs. Rosenthal and
Osmena [68 Phil. 318, 1939]. Accordingly, with the
growing complexity of modern life, the multiplication
of the subjects of governmental regulation and
the increased difficulty of administering the laws,
there is a constantly growing tendency toward the
delegation of greater power by the legislature, and
toward the approval of the practice by the courts." 3
The standards set for subordinate legislation in the exercise of
rule making authority by an administrative agency like the
Board of Medical Education are necessarily broad and highly
abstract. As explained by then Mr. Justice Fernando in Edu v.
Ericta4

The standard may be either expressed or implied. If


the former, the non-delegation objection is easily
met. The standard though does not have to be
spelled out specifically. It could be implied from the
policy and purpose of the act considered as a whole.
In the Reflector Law, clearly the legislative objective
is public safety. What is sought to be attained as in
Calalang v. Williams is "safe transit upon the roads. 5
We believe and so hold that the necessary standards are set
forth in Section 1 of the 1959 Medical Act: "the
standardization and regulation of medical education" and in
Section 5 (a) and 7 of the same Act, the body of the statute
itself, and that these considered together are sufficient
compliance with the requirements of the non-delegation
principle.
3. The petitioners also urge that the NMAT prescribed in MECS
Order No. 52, s. 1985, is an "unfair, unreasonable and
inequitable requirement," which results in a denial of due
process. Again, petitioners have failed to specify just what
factors or features of the NMAT render it "unfair" and
"unreasonable" or "inequitable." They appear to suggest that
passing the NMAT is an unnecessary requirement when added
on top of the admission requirements set out in Section 7 of
the Medical Act of 1959, and other admission requirements
established by internal regulations of the various medical
schools, public or private. Petitioners arguments thus appear
to relate to utility and wisdom or desirability of the NMAT
requirement. But constitutionality is essentially a question of
power or authority: this Court has neither commission or
competence to pass upon questions of the desirability or
wisdom or utility of legislation or administrative regulation.
Those questions must be address to the political departments
of the government not to the courts.
There is another reason why the petitioners' arguments must
fail: the legislative and administrative provisions impugned by
them constitute, to the mind of the Court, a valid exercise of
the police power of the state. The police power, it is
commonplace learning, is the pervasive and non-waivable
power and authority of the sovereign to secure and promote
an the important interests and needs in a word, the public
order of the general community.6 An important component
of that public order is the health and physical safety and well
being of the population, the securing of which no one can
deny is a legitimate objective of governmental effort and
regulation.7
Perhaps the only issue that needs some consideration is
whether there is some reasonable relation between the
prescribing of passing the NMAT as a condition for admission
to medical school on the one hand, and the securing of the
health and safety of the general community, on the other
hand. This question is perhaps most usefully approached by
recalling that the regulation of the practice of medicine in all
its branches has long been recognized as a reasonable
method of protecting the health and safety of the public.8 That
the power to regulate and control the practice of medicine
includes the power to regulate admission to the ranks of those
authorized to practice medicine, is also well recognized. thus,
legislation and administrative regulations requiring those who
wish to practice medicine first to take and pass medical board
examinations have long ago been recognized as valid
exercises of governmental power.9 Similarly, the

establishment of minimum medical educational requirements


i.e., the completion of prescribed courses in a recognized
medical school for admission to the medical profession, has
also been sustained as a legitimate exercise of the regulatory
authority of the state.10 What we have before us in the instant
case is closely related: the regulation of access to medical
schools. MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, as noted earlier,
articulates the rationale of regulation of this type: the
improvement of the professional and technical quality of the
graduates of medical schools, by upgrading the quality of
those admitted to the student body of the medical schools.
That upgrading is sought by selectivity in the process of
admission, selectivity consisting, among other things, of
limiting admission to those who exhibit in the required degree
the aptitude for medical studies and eventually for medical
practice. The need to maintain, and the difficulties of
maintaining, high standards in our professional schools in
general, and medical schools in particular, in the current
stage of our social and economic development, are widely
known.

forth. To establish a permanent and immutable cutoff score


regardless of changes in circumstances from year to year,
may wen result in an unreasonable rigidity. The above
language in MECS Order No. 52, far from being arbitrary or
capricious, leaves the Board of Medical Education with the
measure of flexibility needed to meet circumstances as they
change.

We believe that the government is entitled to prescribe an


admission test like the NMAT as a means for achieving its
stated objective of "upgrading the selection of applicants into
[our] medical schools" and of "improv[ing] the quality of
medical education in the country." Given the widespread use
today of such admission tests in, for instance, medical schools
in the United States of America (the Medical College
Admission Test [MCAT]11 and quite probably in other countries
with far more developed educational resources than our own,
and taking into account the failure or inability of the
petitioners to even attempt to prove otherwise, we are
entitled to hold that the NMAT is reasonably related to the
securing of the ultimate end of legislation and regulation in
this area. That end, it is useful to recall, is the protection of
the public from the potentially deadly effects of incompetence
and ignorance in those who would undertake to treat our
bodies and minds for disease or trauma.

Facts:

4. Petitioners have contended, finally, that MECS Order No.


52, s. 1985, is in conflict with the equal protection clause of
the Constitution. More specifically, petitioners assert that that
portion of the MECS Order which provides that

the cutoff score for the successful applicants, based


on the scores on the NMAT, shall be determined
every-year by the Board of Medical 11 Education
after consultation with the Association of Philippine
Medical Colleges. (Emphasis supplied)
infringes the requirements of equal protection. They assert, in
other words, that students seeking admission during a given
school year, e.g., 1987-1988, when subjected to a different
cutoff score than that established for an, e.g., earlier school
year, are discriminated against and that this renders the
MECS Order "arbitrary and capricious." The force of this
argument is more apparent than real. Different cutoff scores
for different school years may be dictated by differing
conditions obtaining during those years. Thus, the appropriate
cutoff score for a given year may be a function of such factors
as the number of students who have reached the cutoff score
established the preceding year; the number of places
available in medical schools during the current year; the
average score attained during the current year; the level of
difficulty of the test given during the current year, and so

We conclude that prescribing the NMAT and requiring certain


minimum scores therein as a condition for admission to
medical schools in the Philippines, do not constitute an
unconstitutional imposition.
WHEREFORE, the Petition for certiorari is DISMISSED and the
Order of the respondent trial court denying the petition for a
writ of preliminary injunction is AFFIRMED. Costs against
petitioners.
SO ORDERED

The petitioners sought to enjoin the Secretary of Education,


Culture and Sports, theBoard of Medical Education and the
Center for Educational Measurement from enforcingSection 5
(a) and (f) of Republic Act No. 2382, as amended, and MECS
Order No. 52, series of 1985, dated 23 August 1985 and from
requiring the taking and passing of the NMAT as acondition for
securing certificates of eligibility for admission, from
proceeding with acceptingapplications for taking the NMAT
and from administering the NMAT as scheduled on 26
April1987 and in the future. The trial court denied said petition
on 20 April 1987. The NMAT wasconducted and administered
as previously scheduled.Republic Act 2382, as amended by
Republic Acts Nos. 4224 and 5946, known as the "MedicalAct
of 1959" defines its basic objectives in the following
manner:"SECTION 1. Objectives.

This Act provides for and shall govern (a) the standardization
andregulation of medical education; (b) the examination for
registration of physicians; and (c) thesupervision, control and
regulation of the practice of medicine in the Philippines."The
statute, among other things, created a Board of Medical
Education. Its functions asspecified in Section 5 of the statute
include the following:"(a) To determine and prescribe
requirements for admission into a recognized college of
medicine;x x x(f) To accept applications for certification for
admission to a medical school and keep a registerof those
issued said certificate; and to collect from said applicants the
amount of twenty-fivepesos each which shall accrue to the
operating fu
nd of the Board of Medical Education;
Section 7 prescribes certain minimum requirements for
applicants to medical schools:"Admission requirements.

The medical college may admit any student who has not been
convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction of any
offense involving moral turpitude andwho presents (a) a
record of completion of a bachelor's degree in science or arts;

(b) acertificate of eligibility for entrance to a medical school


from the Board of Medical Education;(c) a certificate of good
moral character issued by two former professors in the college
of liberalarts; and (d) birth certificate. Nothing in this act shall
be construed to inhibit any college of medicine from
establishing, in addition to the preceding, other entrance
requirements that may
be deemed admissible.
MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, issued by the then Minister of
Education, Culture and Sports anddated 23 August 1985,
established a uniform admission test called the National
MedicalAdmission Test (NMAT) as an additional requirement
for issuance of a certificate of eligibilityfor admission into
medical schools of the Philippines, beginning with the school
year 1986-1987. This Order goes on to state that: "2. The
NMAT, an aptitude test, is considered as aninstrument toward
upgrading the selection of applicants for admission into the
medical schoolsand its calculated to improve the quality of
medical education in the country. The cutoff scorefor the
successful applicants, based on the scores on the NMAT, shall
be determined every yearby the Board of Medical Education
after consultation with the Association of Philippine
MedicalColleges. The NMAT rating of each applicant, together
with the other admission requirementsas presently called for
under existing rules, shall serve as a basis for the issuance of
theprescribed certificate of eligibility for admission into the
medical colleges.
Issue:
Whether or not Section 5 (a) and (f) of Republic Act No. 2382,
as amended, and MECSOrder No. 52, s. 1985 are
constitutional.
Held:
Yes. We conclude that prescribing the NMAT and requiring
certain minimum scorestherein as a condition for admission to
medical schools in the Philippines, do not constitute
anunconstitutional imposition.The police power, it is
commonplace learning, is the pervasive and non-waivable
power andauthority of the sovereign to secure and promote all
the important interests and needs

its branches has long been recognized as a reasonable


method of protecting the health and safety of the public.MECS
Order No. 52, s. 1985 articulates the rationale of regulation of
this type: theimprovement of the professional and technical
quality of the graduates of medical schools, byupgrading the
quality of those admitted to the student body of the medical
schools. Thatupgrading is sought by selectivity in the process
of admission, selectivity consisting, amongother things, of
limiting admission to those who exhibit in the required degree
the aptitude formedical studies and eventually for medical
practice. The need to maintain, and the difficultiesof
maintaining, high standards in our professional schools in
general, and medical schools inparticular, in the current stage
of our social and economic development, are widely known.
Webelieve that the government is entitled to prescribe an
admission test like the NMAT as ameans for achieving its
stated objective of "upgrading the selection of applicants into
[our]medical schools" and of "improv[ing] the quality of
medical education in the country. We areentitled to hold that
the NMAT is reasonably related to the securing of the ultimate
end of legislation and regulation in this area. That end, it is
useful to recall, is the protection of thepublic from the
potentially deadly effects of incompetence and ignorance in
those who wouldundertake to treat our bodies and minds for
disease or trauma.WHEREFORE, the Petition for Certiorari is
DISMISSED and the Order of the respondent trialcourt denying
the petition for a writ of preliminary injunction is AFFIRMED.
Costs againstpetitioners
Facts: The petitioners seek admission into colleges or schools
of medicine. However the petitioners either did not take or did
not successfully take the National Medical Admission Test
(NMAT). Republic Act 2382 as amended by R.A. 4224 and
5946, known as the Medical Act of 1959 created, among
others, the Board of Medical Education (BME) whose functions
include "to determine and prescribe requirements for
admission into a recognized college of medicine" (Sec. 5 (a).
Section 7 of the same Act requires from applicants to present
a certificate of eligibility for entrance (cea) to medical school
from the BME. MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, issued by the then
Minister of Education, Culture and Sports, established a
uniform admission test called National Medical Admission Test
as additional requirement for issuance of a certificate of
eligibility.

in aword, the public order

of the general community. An important component of that


public

order is the health and physical safety and well being of the
population, the securing of whichno one can deny is a
legitimate objective of governmental effort and regulation.
Perhaps theonly issue that needs some consideration is
whether there is some reasonable relation betweenthe
prescribing of passing the NMAT as a condition for admission
to medical school on the onehand, and the securing of the
health and safety of the general community, on the other
hand.This question is perhaps most usefully approached by
recalling that the regulation of thepractice of medicine in all

Petitioners then filed with the RTC a petition for Declaratory


Judgment and Prohibition with a prayer Temporary Restraining
Order and Preliminary Injunction seeking to enjoin the Sec. of
educ, BME from enforcing Sec. 5(a) and (f) of R.A. 4224 and
MECS Order no. 2 and from requiring the taking and passing
of the NMAT as condition for securing (cea).

Issue: Whether or not Sec. 5(a) and (f) of R.A. 4224 and MECS
Order no. 2 violate the constitution as they prescribe an
unfair, unreasonable and inequitable requirement

Held: The legislative and administrative provisions impugned


in this case constitute a valid exercise of the police power of
the state.

Perhaps the only issue that needs some consideration is


whether there is some reasonable relation between the
prescribing of passing the NMAT as a condition for admission
to medical school on the one hand, and the securing of the
health and safety of the general community, on the other
hand. This question is perhaps most usefully approached by
recalling that the regulation of the practice of medicine in all
its branches has long been recognized as a reasonable
method of protecting the health and safety of the public. That
the power to regulate and control the practice of medicine
includes the power to regulate admission to the ranks of those
authorized to practice medicine, is also well recognized. Thus,
legislation and administrative regulations requiring those who
wish to practice medicine first to take and pass medical board
examinations have long ago been recognized as valid
exercises of governmental power. Similarly, the establishment
of minimum medical educational requirements-i.e., the
completion of prescribed courses in a recognized medical
school-for admission to the medical profession, has also been
sustained as a legitimate exercise of the regulatory authority
of the state. What we have before us in the instant case is
closely related: the regulation of access to medical schools.
MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, articulates the rationale of
regulation of this type: the improvement of the professional
and technical quality of the graduates of medical schools, by
upgrading the quality of those admitted to the student body
of the medical schools. That upgrading is sought by selectivity
in the process of admission, selectivity consisting, among
other things, of limiting admission to those who exhibit in the
required degree the aptitude for medical studies and
eventually for medical practice. The need to maintain, and the
difficulties of maintaining, high standards in our professional
schools in general, and medical schools in particular, in the
current state of our social and economic development, are
widely known.

The Court believes that the government is entitled to


prescribe an admission test like the NMAT as a means of
achieving its stated objective of "upgrading the selection of
applicants into [our] medical schools" and of "improv[ing] the
quality of medical education in the country."

Valentin Tio vs Videogram Regulatory Boar


151 SCRA 208
Subject by a Bill

Political Law The Embrace of Only One

Delegation of Power Delegation to Administrative Bodies


In 1985, Presidential Dedree No. 1987 entitled An Act
Creating the Videogram Regulatory Board was enacted which
gave broad powers to the VRB to regulate and supervise the
videogram industry. The said law sought to minimize the
economic effects of piracy. There was a need to regulate the
sale of videograms as it has adverse effects to the movie
industry. The proliferation of videograms has significantly
lessened the revenue being acquired from the movie industry,
and that such loss may be recovered if videograms are to be
taxed. Section 10 of the PD imposes a 30% tax on the gross
receipts payable to the LGUs.
In 1986, Valentin Tio assailed the said PD as he averred that it
is unconstitutional on the following grounds:
1. Section 10 thereof, which imposed the 30% tax on gross
receipts, is a rider and is not germane to the subject matter of
the law.
2. There is also undue delegation of legislative power to the
VRB, an administrative body, because the law allowed the
VRB to deputize, upon its discretion, other government
agencies to assist the VRB in enforcing the said PD.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Valentin Tios arguments are
correct.
HELD: No.
1. The Constitutional requirement that every bill shall
embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title
thereof is sufficiently complied with if the title be
comprehensive enough to include the general purpose which
a statute seeks to achieve. In the case at bar, the questioned
provision is allied and germane to, and is reasonably
necessary for the accomplishment of, the general object of
the PD, which is the regulation of the video industry through
the VRB as expressed in its title. The tax provision is not
inconsistent with, nor foreign to that general subject and title.
As a tool for regulation it is simply one of the regulatory and
control mechanisms scattered throughout the PD.
2. There is no undue delegation of legislative powers to the
VRB. VRB is not being tasked to legislate. What was conferred
to the VRB was the authority or discretion to seek assistance
in the execution, enforcement, and implementation of the law.
Besides, in the very language of the decree, the authority of
the BOARD to solicit such assistance is for a fixed and limited
period with the deputized agencies concerned being subject
to the direction and control of the [VRB].
DECISION

and supervise the videogram industry (hereinafter briefly


referred to as the BOARD). The Decree was promulgated on
October 5, 1985 and took effect on April 10, 1986, fifteen (15)
days after completion of its publication in the Official Gazette.
On November 5, 1985, a month after the promulgation of the
abovementioned decree, Presidential Decree No. 1994
amended the National Internal Revenue Code providing, inter
alia:
SEC. 134. Video Tapes. There shall be collected on each
processed video-tape cassette, ready for playback, regardless
of length, an annual tax of five pesos; Provided, That locally
manufactured or imported blank video tapes shall be subject
to sales tax.
On October 23, 1986, the Greater Manila Theaters
Association, Integrated Movie Producers, Importers and
Distributors Association of the Philippines, and Philippine
Motion Pictures Producers Association, hereinafter collectively
referred to as the Intervenors, were permitted by the Court to
intervene in the case, over petitioners opposition, upon the
allegations that intervention was necessary for the complete
protection of their rights and that their survival and very
existence is threatened by the unregulated proliferation of
film piracy. The Intervenors were thereafter allowed to file
their Comment in Intervention.
The rationale behind the enactment of the DECREE, is set out
in its preambular clauses as follows:
1. WHEREAS, the proliferation and unregulated circulation of
videograms including, among others, videotapes, discs,
cassettes or any technical improvement or variation thereof,
have greatly prejudiced the operations of moviehouses and
theaters, and have caused a sharp decline in theatrical
attendance by at least forty percent (40%) and a tremendous
drop in the collection of sales, contractors specific,
amusement and other taxes, thereby resulting in substantial
losses estimated at P450 Million annually in government
revenues;
2. WHEREAS, videogram(s) establishments collectively earn
around P600 Million per annum from rentals, sales and
disposition of videograms, and such earnings have not been
subjected to tax, thereby depriving the Government of
approximately P180 Million in taxes each year;
3. WHEREAS, the unregulated activities of videogram
establishments have also affected the viability of the movie
industry, particularly the more than 1,200 movie houses and
theaters throughout the country, and occasioned industrywide displacement and unemployment due to the shutdown of
numerous moviehouses and theaters;
4. WHEREAS, in order to ensure national economic recovery,
it is imperative for the Government to create an environment
conducive to growth and development of all business
industries, including the movie industry which has an
accumulated investment of about P3 Billion;

MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:
This petition was filed on September 1, 1986 by petitioner on
his own behalf and purportedly on behalf of other videogram
operators adversely affected. It assails the constitutionality of
Presidential Decree No. 1987 entitled An Act Creating the
Videogram Regulatory Board with broad powers to regulate

5. WHEREAS, proper taxation of the activities of videogram


establishments will not only alleviate the dire financial
condition of the movie industry upon which more than 75,000
families and 500,000 workers depend for their livelihood, but
also provide an additional source of revenue for the

Government, and at the same time rationalize the heretofore


uncontrolled distribution of videograms;
6. WHEREAS, the rampant and unregulated showing of
obscene videogram features constitutes a clear and present
danger to the moral and spiritual well-being of the youth, and
impairs the mandate of the Constitution for the State to
support the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the
development of moral character and promote their physical,
intellectual, and social well-being;
7. WHEREAS, civic-minded citizens and groups have called for
remedial measures to curb these blatant malpractices which
have flaunted our censorship and copyright laws;
8. WHEREAS, in the face of these grave emergencies
corroding the moral values of the people and betraying the
national economic recovery program, bold emergency
measures must be adopted with dispatch; (Numbering of
paragraphs supplied).
Petitioners attack on the constitutionality of the DECREE rests
on the following grounds:

1. Section 10 thereof, which imposes a tax of 30% on the


gross receipts payable to the local government is a RIDER and
the same is not germane to the subject matter thereof;
2. The tax imposed is harsh, confiscatory, oppressive and/or in
unlawful restraint of trade in violation of the due process
clause of the Constitution;
3. There is no factual nor legal basis for the exercise by the
President of the vast powers conferred upon him by
Amendment No. 6;
4. There is undue delegation of power and authority;
5. The Decree is an ex-post facto law; and
6. There is over regulation of the video industry as if it were a
nuisance, which it is not.
We shall consider the foregoing objections in seriatim.
1. The Constitutional requirement that every bill shall
embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title
thereof 1 is sufficiently complied with if the title be
comprehensive enough to include the general purpose which
a statute seeks to achieve. It is not necessary that the title
express each and every end that the statute wishes to
accomplish. The requirement is satisfied if all the parts of the
statute are related, and are germane to the subject matter
expressed in the title, or as long as they are not inconsistent
with or foreign to the general subject and title. 2 An act
having a single general subject, indicated in the title, may
contain any number of provisions, no matter how diverse they
may be, so long as they are not inconsistent with or foreign to
the general subject, and may be considered in furtherance of
such subject by providing for the method and means of
carrying out the general object. 3 The rule also is that the
constitutional requirement as to the title of a bill should not be
so narrowly construed as to cripple or impede the power of
legislation. 4 It should be given practical rather than technical
construction. 5

Tested by the foregoing criteria, petitioners contention that


the tax provision of the DECREE is a rider is without merit.
That section reads, inter alia:
Section 10. Tax on Sale, Lease or Disposition of Videograms.
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the
province shall collect a tax of thirty percent (30%) of the
purchase price or rental rate, as the case may be, for every
sale, lease or disposition of a videogram containing a
reproduction of any motion picture or audiovisual program.
Fifty percent (50%) of the proceeds of the tax collected shall
accrue to the province, and the other fifty percent (50%) shall
accrue to the municipality where the tax is collected;
PROVIDED, That in Metropolitan Manila, the tax shall be
shared equally by the City/Municipality and the Metropolitan
Manila Commission.
xxx xxx xxx
The foregoing provision is allied and germane to, and is
reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of, the general
object of the DECREE, which is the regulation of the video
industry through the Videogram Regulatory Board as
expressed in its title. The tax provision is not inconsistent
with, nor foreign to that general subject and title. As a tool for
regulation 6 it is simply one of the regulatory and control
mechanisms scattered throughout the DECREE. The express
purpose of the DECREE to include taxation of the video
industry in order to regulate and rationalize the heretofore
uncontrolled distribution of videograms is evident from
Preambles 2 and 5, supra. Those preambles explain the
motives of the lawmaker in presenting the measure. The title
of the DECREE, which is the creation of the Videogram
Regulatory Board, is comprehensive enough to include the
purposes expressed in its Preamble and reasonably covers all
its provisions. It is unnecessary to express all those objectives
in the title or that the latter be an index to the body of the
DECREE. 7
2. Petitioner also submits that the thirty percent (30%) tax
imposed is harsh and oppressive, confiscatory, and in restraint
of trade. However, it is beyond serious question that a tax
does not cease to be valid merely because it regulates,
discourages, or even definitely deters the activities taxed. 8
The power to impose taxes is one so unlimited in force and so
searching in extent, that the courts scarcely venture to
declare that it is subject to any restrictions whatever, except
such as rest in the discretion of the authority which exercises
it. 9 In imposing a tax, the legislature acts upon its
constituents. This is, in general, a sufficient security against
erroneous and oppressive taxation. 10
The tax imposed by the DECREE is not only a regulatory but
also a revenue measure prompted by the realization that
earnings of videogram establishments of around P600 million
per annum have not been subjected to tax, thereby depriving
the Government of an additional source of revenue. It is an
end-user tax, imposed on retailers for every videogram they
make available for public viewing. It is similar to the 30%
amusement tax imposed or borne by the movie industry
which the theater-owners pay to the government, but which is
passed on to the entire cost of the admission ticket, thus
shifting the tax burden on the buying or the viewing public. It
is a tax that is imposed uniformly on all videogram operators.
The levy of the 30% tax is for a public purpose. It was
imposed primarily to answer the need for regulating the video

industry, particularly because of the rampant film piracy, the


flagrant violation of intellectual property rights, and the
proliferation of pornographic video tapes. And while it was
also an objective of the DECREE to protect the movie industry,
the tax remains a valid imposition.
The public purpose of a tax may legally exist even if the
motive which impelled the legislature to impose the tax was
to favor one industry over another. 11
It is inherent in the power to tax that a state be free to select
the subjects of taxation, and it has been repeatedly held that
inequities which result from a singling out of one particular
class for taxation or exemption infringe no constitutional
limitation. 12 Taxation has been made the implement of the
states police power.13
At bottom, the rate of tax is a matter better addressed to the
taxing legislature.
3. Petitioner argues that there was no legal nor factual basis
for the promulgation of the DECREE by the former President
under Amendment No. 6 of the 1973 Constitution providing
that whenever in the judgment of the President , there
exists a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof, or
whenever the interim Batasang Pambansa or the regular
National Assembly fails or is unable to act adequately on any
matter for any reason that in his judgment requires immediate
action, he may, in order to meet the exigency, issue the
necessary decrees, orders, or letters of instructions, which
shall form part of the law of the land.
In refutation, the Intervenors and the Solicitor Generals Office
aver that the 8th whereas clause sufficiently summarizes
the justification in that grave emergencies corroding the
moral values of the people and betraying the national
economic recovery program necessitated bold emergency
measures to be adopted with dispatch. Whatever the reasons
in the judgment of the then President, considering that the
issue of the validity of the exercise of legislative power under
the said Amendment still pends resolution in several other
cases, we reserve resolution of the question raised at the
proper time.
4. Neither can it be successfully argued that the DECREE
contains an undue delegation of legislative power. The grant
in Section 11 of the DECREE of authority to the BOARD to
solicit the direct assistance of other agencies and units of the
government and deputize, for a fixed and limited period, the
heads or personnel of such agencies and units to perform
enforcement functions for the Board is not a delegation of
the power to legislate but merely a conferment of authority or
discretion
as
to
its
execution,
enforcement,
and
implementation. The true distinction is between the
delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily
involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring
authority or discretion as to its execution to be exercised
under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done;
to the latter, no valid objection can be made. 14 Besides, in
the very language of the decree, the authority of the BOARD
to solicit such assistance is for a fixed and limited period
with the deputized agencies concerned being subject to the
direction and control of the BOARD. That the grant of such
authority might be the source of graft and corruption would
not stigmatize the DECREE as unconstitutional. Should the
eventuality occur, the aggrieved parties will not be without
adequate remedy in law.

5. The DECREE is not violative of the ex post facto principle.


An ex post facto law is, among other categories, one which
alters the legal rules of evidence, and authorizes conviction
upon less or different testimony than the law required at the
time of the commission of the offense. It is petitioners
position that Section 15 of the DECREE in providing that:
All videogram establishments in the Philippines are hereby
given a period of forty-five (45) days after the effectivity of
this Decree within which to register with and secure a permit
from the BOARD to engage in the videogram business and to
register with the BOARD all their inventories of videograms,
including videotapes, discs, cassettes or other technical
improvements or variations thereof, before they could be sold,
leased, or otherwise disposed of. Thereafter any videogram
found in the possession of any person engaged in the
videogram business without the required proof of registration
by the BOARD, shall be prima facie evidence of violation of
the Decree, whether the possession of such videogram be for
private showing and/or public exhibition.
raises immediately a prima facie evidence of violation of the
DECREE when the required proof of registration of any
videogram cannot be presented and thus partakes of the
nature of an ex post facto law.
The argument is untenable. As this Court held in the recent
case of Vallarta vs. Court of Appeals, et al. 15
it is now well settled that there is no constitutional
objection to the passage of a law providing that the
presumption of innocence may be overcome by a contrary
presumption founded upon the experience of human conduct,
and enacting what evidence shall be sufficient to overcome
such presumption of innocence (People vs. Mingoa, 92 Phil.
856 [1953] at 858-59, citing 1 COOLEY, A TREATISE ON THE
CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITATIONS, 639-641). And the legislature
may enact that when certain facts have been proved that they
shall be prima facie evidence of the existence of the guilt of
the accused and shift the burden of proof provided there be a
rational connection between the facts proved and the ultimate
facts presumed so that the inference of the one from proof of
the others is not unreasonable and arbitrary because of lack
of connection between the two in common experience. 16

Applied to the challenged provision, there is no question that


there is a rational connection between the fact proved, which
is non-registration, and the ultimate fact presumed which is
violation of the DECREE, besides the fact that the prima facie
presumption of violation of the DECREE attaches only after a
forty-five-day period counted from its effectivity and is,
therefore, neither retrospective in character.
6. We do not share petitioners fears that the video industry is
being over-regulated and being eased out of existence as if it
were a nuisance. Being a relatively new industry, the need for
its regulation was apparent. While the underlying objective of
the DECREE is to protect the moribund movie industry, there
is no question that public welfare is at bottom of its
enactment, considering the unfair competition posed by
rampant film piracy; the erosion of the moral fiber of the
viewing public brought about by the availability of unclassified
and unreviewed video tapes containing pornographic films
and films with brutally violent sequences; and losses in
government revenues due to the drop in theatrical

attendance, not to mention the fact that the activities of video


establishments are virtually untaxed since mere payment of
Mayors permit and municipal license fees are required to
engage in business. 17
The enactment of the Decree since April 10, 1986 has not
brought about the demise of the video industry. On the
contrary, video establishments are seen to have proliferated
in many places notwithstanding the 30% tax imposed.
In the last analysis, what petitioner basically questions is the
necessity, wisdom and expediency of the DECREE. These
considerations, however, are primarily and exclusively a
matter of legislative concern.
Only congressional power or competence, not the wisdom of
the action taken, may be the basis for declaring a statute
invalid. This is as it ought to be. The principle of separation of
powers has in the main wisely allocated the respective
authority of each department and confined its jurisdiction to
such a sphere. There would then be intrusion not allowable
under the Constitution if on a matter left to the discretion of a
coordinate branch, the judiciary would substitute its own. If
there be adherence to the rule of law, as there ought to be,
the last offender should be courts of justice, to which rightly
litigants submit their controversy precisely to maintain
unimpaired the supremacy of legal norms and prescriptions.
The attack on the validity of the challenged provision likewise
insofar as there may be objections, even if valid and cogent
on its wisdom cannot be sustained. 18
In fine, petitioner has not overcome the presumption of
validity which attaches to a challenged statute. We find no
clear violation of the Constitution which would justify us in
pronouncing Presidential Decree No. 1987 as unconstitutional
and void.
WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is hereby DISMISSED

G.R. No. L-50908 January 31, 1984


MARY CONCEPCION BAUTISTA and ENRIQUE D.
BAUTISTA, petitioners,
vs.
ALFREDO L. JUINIO, ROMEO F. EDU and FIDEL V.
RAMOS, respondents.
Mary Concepcion Bautista for and in his own behalf.

which respondents had no knowledge. There was a denial of


the allegations that the classification of vehicles into heavy H
and extra heavy (EH) on the other hand and light and bantam
on the other hand was violative of equal protection and the
regulation as to the use of the former cars on the dates
specified a transgression of due process. The answer likewise
denied that there was an undue delegation of legislative
power, reference being made to the Land Transportation and
Traffic Code. 8 There was also a procedural objection raised,
namely, that what is sought amounts at most to an advisory
opinion rather than an ajudication of a case or controversy.

The Solicitor General for respondents.

FERNANDO, C.J.:
The validity of an energy conservation measure, Letter of
Instruction No. 869, issued on May 31, 1979 the response
to the protracted oil crisis that dates back to 1974 is put in
issue in this prohibition proceeding filed by petitioners,
spouses Mary Concepcion Bautista and Enrique D. Bautista,
for being allegedly violative of the due process and equal
protection guarantees 1 of the Constitution. The use of private
motor vehicles with H and EH plates on week-ends and
holidays was banned from "[12:00] a.m. Saturday morning to
5:00 a.m. Monday morning, or 1:00 a.m. of the holiday to 5:00
a.m. of the day after the holiday." 2 Motor vehicles of the
following classifications are exempted: (a) S (Service); (b) T
(Truck); (e) DPL (Diplomatic); (d) CC (Consular Corps); (e) TC
(Tourist Cars). 3 Pursuant thereto, respondent Alfredo L. Juinio,
then Minister of Public Works, Transportation and
Communications and respondent Romeo P. Edu, then
Commissioner of Land Transportation Commission issued on
June 11, 1979, Memorandum Circular No. 39, which imposed
"the penalties of fine, confiscation of vehicle and cancellation
of registration on owners of the above-specified vehicles"
found violating such Letter of Instruction. 4 It was then alleged
by petitioners that "while the purpose for the issuance of the
LOI 869 is laudable, to wit, energy conservation, the provision
banning the use of H and EH [vehicles] is unfair,
discriminatory, [amounting to an] arbitrary classification" and
thus
in
contravention
of
the
equal
protection
clause. 5 Moreover, for them, such Letter of Instruction is a
denial of due process, more specifically, "of their right to use
and enjoy their private property and of their freedom to travel
and hold family gatherings, reunions and outings on weekends and holidays," inviting attention to the fact that others
not included in the ban enjoying "unrestricted freedom." 6 It
would follow, so they contend that Memorandum Circular No.
39 imposing penalties of fine, confiscation of the vehicle and
cancellation of license is likewise unconstitutional, for being
violative of the doctrine of "undue delegation of legislative
power." 7 It is to be noted that such Memorandum Circular
does not impose the penalty of confiscation but merely that of
impounding, fine, and for the third offense that of cancellation
of certificate of registration and for the rest of the year or for
ninety days whichever is longer.
This Court gave due course to the petition requiring
respondent to answer. There was admission of the facts as
substantially alleged except, as previously noted, that the ban
starts at 12:00 a.m. rather than 1:00 a.m. of a Saturday or of
a holiday and as to the mention of a Willy's Kaiser jeep being
registered in the name of a certain Teresita Urbina, about

Petitioners filed a motion to be allowed to reply to the answer.


It was granted. The reply, considering its exhaustive character
serving as its memorandum, stressed anew what it
emphasized as the arbitrary, unreasonable, and oppressive
aspects of the challenged Letter of Instruction and
Memorandum Circular No. 39. It disputed what it
characterized as an "erroneous and arbitrary presumption
that heavy car owners unnecessarily use and therefore waste
gasoline whenever they drive their cars on week-ends and
holidays;" 9 it stigmatized the ban as defeating its "avowed
purpose in the case of the affluent who own not only heavy
limousines but also many small cars [as] they may be
compelled to use at least two small cars;" 10 referred to the
high cost of taxis or other public transports for those "not able
to afford expensive small cars [possibly] only one heavy and
possible old model;" 11 cited the case of "many eight cylinder
vehicles which because of their weight have been registered
as light but in fact consume more or as much gasoline as the
banned vehicles." 12 Their conclusion is that "the ban
imposed, in result and effect is class legislation." 13
The parties were required to submit memoranda. Respondents
did so but not petitioners. They relied on their reply to the
answer as noted, a rather comprehensive pleading. For
reasons to be set forth, this Court holds that the petition
cannot prosper.
1. First as to the procedural objection. In the memorandum for
respondents, one of the issues raised was whether "the power
of judicial review may be invoked considering the inadequacy
of the record and the highly abstract and academic questions
raised by the petitioners." 14 It is inaccurate to say that the
record is inadequate. It does not admit of doubt that the ban
applies to petitioners who are "the registered owners of an
eight cylinder 1969 Buick, and the vendees of a six cylinder
Willy's kaiser jeep, which are both classified as heavy or
H." 15 To that extent, therefore, the enforcement of the
assailed Letter of Instruction will amount to a deprivation of
what otherwise would be a valid exercise of a property right.
Thus they fall squarely within "the unchallenged rule" as to
who may raise a constitutional question, namely, to quote the
language of Justice Laurel in the leading case of People v.
Vera, 16 "that the person who impugns the validity of a
statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the
case such that he has sustained, or will sustain direct injury as
a result of its enforcement. 17 Moreover, that rule has been
considerably relaxed. 18 The question then is neither abstract
nor academic as contended by respondents.
2. There is, however, this formidable obstacle that confronts
petitioners. What they seek is for this Court to hold that a
Letter of Instruction, a regulatory measure precisely enacted
to cope with the serious and grave problem of energy

conservation, is void on its face. Such a task is rendered


unusually difficult by what has been referred to by Justice
Laurel in the leading case of Angara v. Electoral
Commission 19 as the "presumption of constitutionality" and
by the same jurist in the case of People v. Vera 20 in slightly
different words "a presumption that such an act falls within
constitutional limitations." There is need then for a factual
foundation of invalidity. In the language of Ermita-Malate
Hotel & Motel Operations Association, Inc. v. City Mayor or
Manila: "It admits of no doubt therefore that there being a
presumption of validity, the necessity for evidence to rebut it
is unavoidable, unless the statute or ordinance is void on its
face, which is not the case here. The principle has been
nowhere better expressed than in the leading case
of O'Gorman & Young v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., where the
American Supreme Court through Justice Brandeis tersely and
succinctly summed up the matter thus: 'The statute here
questioned deals with a subject clearly within the scope of the
police power. We are asked to declare it void on the ground
that the specific method of regulation prescribed is
unreasonable and hence deprives the plaintiff of due process
of law. As underlying questions of fact may condition the
constitutionality of legislation of this character, the
presumption of constitutionality must prevail in the absence
of some factual foundation of record for overthrowing the
statute.' " 21
3. It is true, of course, that there may be instances where a
police power measure may, because of its arbitrary,
oppressive or unjust character, be held offensive to the due
process clause and, therefore, may, when challenged in an
appropriate legal proceeding, be declared void on its face.
This is not one of them. A recital of the whereas clauses of the
Letter of Instruction makes it clear. Thus: "[Whereas],
developments in the international petroleum supply situation
continue to follow a trend of limited production and spiralling
prices thereby precluding the possibility of immediate relief in
supplies within the foreseeable future; [Whereas], the
uncertainty of fuel supply availability underscores a
compelling need for the adoption of positive measures
designed to insure the viability of the country's economy and
sustain its developmental growth; [Whereas], to cushion the
effect of increasing oil prices and avoid fuel supply
disruptions, it is imperative to adopt a program directed
towards the judicious use of our energy resources
complemented with intensified conservation efforts and
efficient utilization thereof; * * *." 22 That is undeniable is that
the action taken is an appropriate response to a problem that
presses urgently for solution. It may not be the only
alternative, but its reasonableness is immediately apparent.
Thus, to repeat, substantive due process, which is the epitome
of reasonableness and fair play, is not ignored, much less
infringed.
4. In the interplay between such a fundamental right and
police power, especially so where the assailed governmental
action deals with the use of one's property, the latter is
accorded much leeway. That is settled law. What is more, it is
good law. Due process, therefore, cannot be validly invoked.
As stressed in the cited Ermita-Malate Hotel decision: "To hold
otherwise would be to unduly restrict and narrow the scope of
police power which has been properly characterized as the
most essential, insistent and the least limitable of powers,
extending as it does 'to all the great public needs.' It would
be, to paraphrase another leading decision, to destroy the
very purpose of the state if it could be deprived or allowed

itself to be deprived of its competence to promote public


health, public morals, public safety and the general welfare.
Negatively put, police power is 'that inherent and plenary
power in the State which enables it to prohibit all that is
hurtful to the comfort, safety, and welfare of society.' " 23
5. The due process question having been disposed of, there is
still the objection based on the equal protection clause to be
considered. A governmental act may not be offensive to the
due process clause, but may run counter to such a guarantee.
Such is the case when there is no rational basis for the
classification followed. That is the point raised by petitioners.
For them, there is no rational justification for the ban being
imposed on vehicles classified as heavy (H) and extra-heavy
(EH), for precisely those owned by them fall within such
category. Tested by the applicable standard that must be
satisfied to avoid the charge of a denial of equal protection,
the objection of petitioners is shown to be lacking in merit.
Such a classification on its face cannot be characterized as an
affront to reason. A legal norm according to J.M. Tuason & Co.,
Inc. vs. Land Tenure Administration, 24 "whether embodied in a
rule, principle, or standard, constitutes a defense against
anarchy at one extreme and tyranny at the other. Thereby,
people living together in a community with its myriad and
complex problems can minimize the friction and reduce the
conflicts, to assure, at the very least, a peaceful ordering of
existence. The Ideal situation is for the law's benefits to be
available to all, that none be placed outside the sphere of its
coverage. Only thus could chance and favor be excluded and
the affairs of men governed by that serene and impartial
uniformity, which is of the very essence of the Idea of law. The
actual, given things as they are and likely to continue to be,
cannot approximate the Ideal. Nor is the law susceptible to
the reproach that it does not take into account the realties of
the situation. * * * To assure that the general welfare be
promoted, which is the end of law, a regulatory measure may
cut into the rights to liberty and property. Those adversely
affected may under such circumstances invoke the equal
protection clause only if they can show that the governmental
act assailed, far from being inspired by the attainment of the
common weal was prompted by the spirit of hostility, or at the
very least, discrimination that finds no support in reason. It
suffices then that the laws operate equally and uniformly on
all persons under similar circumstances or that all persons
must be treated in the same manner, the conditions not being
different, both in the privileges conferred and the liabilities
imposed. Favoritism and undue preference cannot be allowed.
For the principle is that equal protection and security shall be
given to every person under circumstances, which if not
Identical are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of
burden or charges, those that fall within a class should be
treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on
some in the group equally binding on the rest." 25
6. Nor does it militate against the validity of the Letter of
Instruction just because the ban imposed does not go as far
as it could have and therefore could be less efficacious in
character. That was the solution which for the President
expressing a power validly lodged in him, recommended itself.
There was a situation that called for a corrective measure. He
decided that what was issued by him would do just that or, at
the very least, help in easing the situation. That it did not
cover other matters which could very well have been
regulated does not call for a declaration of nullity. The
President, to paraphrase Lutz v. Araneta, 26 "is not required by

the Constitution to adhere to the policy of all or none." 27 It is


quite obvious then that no equal protection question arises.
7. It may not be amiss to refer to a 1981 American Supreme
Court
decision, Minnesota
v.
Clover
Leaf
Creamery
Company. 28 Respondent along with several other business
corporations adversely affected involved in the manufacture
and utilization of plastic milk containers filed suit in a
Minnesota district court seeking to enjoin enforcement of a
Minnesota statute banning the retail sale of milk in plastic
nonreturnable, nonrefillable containers, but permitting such
sale in other nonreturnable, nonrefillable containers, such as
paperboard, milk cartons. After conducting extensive
evidentiary
hearings, the Minnesota court
enjoined
enforcement of the statute, finding that it violated among
others the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment to the Federal Constitution. The Minnesota
Supreme Court affirmed. On certiorari, the United States
Supreme Court reversed, with only Justice Stevens dissenting.
The opinion by Justice Brennan noted that "proponents of the
legislation argued that it would promote resource
conservation, ease solid waste disposal problems, and
conserve energy." 29 That sufficed for the Court to conclude
"that the ban on plastic nonreturnable milk containers bears a
rational relation to the State's objectives, and must be
sustained under the Equal Protection Clause." 30 It does show
that notwithstanding the "new equal protection approach"
with
its
emphasis
on
"suspect
classification"
and
"fundamental rights and interests standard," a concept so
ably expounded by professor Gunther, the "rational relation
test" 31 still retains its validity. Not that there could be any
objection to the classification here followed as being in any
way susceptible to such a pejorative expression as "suspect"
or that the assailed Letter of Instruction does not qualify
under "the fundamental rights and interests" standard
8. There was set forth in the petition what were referred to as
"other reasonable measures which the authorities concerned
with energy conservation can take immediately, which are in
fact acceptable and obviously called for and should have been
done long ago, to wit: 1. require and establish taxi stands
equipped with efficient telephone and communication
systems; 2. strict implementation and observance of cargo
truck hours on main arteries; 3. strict observance of traffic
rules; 4. effective solution of traffic problems and
decongestion of traffic through rerouting and quick repair of
roads and efficient operation of double decker buses; 5.
rationing of gasoline to avoid panic buying and give the
private car owner the option and responsibility of deciding on
the use of his allocation; 6. allow neon and electrically devised
advertising signs only from five o'clock p.m. to nine o'clock
p.m. 7. prohibit immediately the importation of heavy and
luxury cars and seriously re-examine the car manufacturing
program." 32 Admittedly, such measures are conducive to
energy conservation. The question before us however is
limited to whether or not Letter of Instruction 869 as
implemented by Memorandum Circular No. 39 is violative of
certain constitutional rights. It goes no further than that. The
determination of the mode and manner through which the
objective of minimizing the consumption of oil products may
be attained is left to the discretion of the political
branches. 33 Absent therefore the alleged infringement of
constitutional rights, more precisely the due process and
equal protection guarantees, this Court cannot adjudge Letter
of Instruction No. 869 as tainted by unconstitutionality.

9. It was likewise contended that Memorandum Circular No.


39, issued by the then respondent Minister of Public Works,
Transportation and Communications, and then respondent
Land Transportation Commissioner, imposing the penalties "of
fine, confiscation of vehicle and cancellation of license is
likewise unconstitutional," petitioners invoking the principle of
non-delegation of legislative power. 34 To that extent that a
Letter of Instruction may be viewed as an exercise of the
decree-making power of the President, then such an argument
is futile. If, however, viewed as a compliance with the duty to
take care that the laws be faithfully executed, as a
consequence of which subordinate executive officials may in
turn issue implementing rules and regulations, then the
objection would properly be considered as an ultra
viresallegation. There is this relevant excerpt from Teoxon v.
Member of the Board of Administrators: 35 "1. The recognition
of the power of administrative officials to promulgate rules in
the implementation of the statute, necessarily limited to what
is provided for in the legislative enactment, may be found in
the early case of United States v. Barrias decided in 1908.
Then came, in a 1914 decision, United States v. Tupasi Molina,
a delineation of the scope of such competence. Thus: 'Of
course the regulations adopted under legislative authority by
a particular department must be in harmony with the
provisions of the law, and for the sole purpose of carrying into
effect its general provisions. By such regulations, of course,
the law itself can not be extended. So long, however, as the
regulations relate solely to carrying into effect the provisions
of the law, they are valid.' In 1936, in People v. Santos, this
Court expressed its disapproval of an administrative order
that would amount to an excess of the regulatory power
vested in an administrative official. We reaffirmed such a
doctrine in a 1951 decision, where we again made clear that
where an administrative order betrays inconsistency or
repugnancy to the provisions of the Act, 'the mandate of the
Act must prevail and must be followed.' Justice Barrera,
speaking for the Court in Victorias Milling Company, Inc. v.
Social Security Commission, citing Parker as well as Davis did
tersely sum up the matter thus: 'A rule is binding on tile
courts so long as the procedure fixed for its promulgation is
followed and its scope is within the statutory granted by the
legislature, even if the courts are not in agreement with the
policy stated therein or its innate wisdom * * *. On the other
hand, administrative interpretation of the law is at best
merely advisory, for it is the courts that finally determine what
the law means.' It cannot be otherwise as the Constitution
limits the authority of the President, in whom all executive
power resides, to take care that the laws be faithfully
executed. No lesser administrative executive office or agency
then can, contrary to the express language of the
Constitution,
assert
for
itself
a
more
extensive
prerogative." 36 It was alleged in the Answer of Solicitor
General Estelito P. Mendoza that Letter of Instruction 869 and
Memorandum Circular No. 39 were adopted pursuant to the
Land Transportation and Traffic Code. 37 It contains a specific
provision as to penalties. 38 Thus: "For violation of any
provisions of this Act or regulations promulgated pursuant
hereto, not hereinbefore specifically punished, a fine of not
less than ten nor more than fifty pesos shall be
imposed." 39Memorandum Circular No. 39 cannot be held to
be ultra vires as long as the fine imposed is not less than ten
nor more than fifty pesos. As to suspension of
registration, 40 the Code, insofar as applicable, provides:
"Whenever it shall appear from the records of the Commission
that during any twelve-month period more than three
warnings for violations of this Act have been given to the
owner of a motor vehicle, or that the said owner has been

convicted by a competent court more than once for violation


of such laws, the Commissioner may, in his discretion,
suspend the certificate of registration for a period not
exceeding ninety days and, thereupon, shall require the
immediate surrender of the number plates * * *." 41 It follows
that while the imposition of a fine or the suspension of
registration under the conditions therein set forth is valid
under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, the
impounding of a vehicle finds no statutory justification. To
apply that portion of Memorandum Circular No. 39 would
be ultra vires. It must likewise be made clear that a penalty
even if warranted can only be imposed in accordance with the
procedure required by law. 42
WHEREFORE, the petition is dismissed.
GR # L-50908 January 31, 1984 (Constitutional Law Police
Power, LOI, No Violation of Equal Protection Clause)

FACTS: The constitutionality of Letter of Instruction (LOI) No.


869, a response to protracted oil crisis, banning the use of
private motor vehicles with H (heavy) and EH (extra heavy)
plates on week-ends and holidays, was assailed for being
allegedly violative of the due process and equal protection
guarantees of the Constitution.
Petitioners also contends that Memorandum Circular No. 39
issued by herein respondents imposing penalties of fine,
confiscation of the vehicle and cancellation of license of
owners of the above specified vehicles found violating such
LOI, is likewise unconstitutional, for being violative of the
doctrine of undue delegation of legislative power.
Respondents denied the above allegations.
ISSUE: Whether or not Letter of Instruction 869 as
implemented by Memorandum Circular No. 39 is violative of
certain constitutional rights.
HELD: No, the disputed regulatory measure is an appropriate
response to a problem that presses urgently for solution,
wherein its reasonableness is immediately apparent. Thus due
process is not ignored, much less infringed. The exercise of
police power may cut into the rights to liberty and property
for the promotion of the general welfare. Those adversely
affected may invoke the equal protection clause only if they
can show a factual foundation for its invalidity.
Moreover, since LOI No. 869 and MC No. 39 were adopted
pursuant to the Land Transportation and Traffic Code which
contains a specific provision as to penalties, the imposition of
a fine or the suspension of registration under the conditions
therein set forth is valid with the exception of the impounding
of a vehicle.

City of Manila vs. Judge Laguio, G.R. No. 118127


DECISION
TINGA, J.:
I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and
what is immoral is what you feel bad after.
Ernest Hermingway
Death in the Afternoon, Ch. 1
It is a moral and political axiom that any dishonorable act, if
performed by oneself, is less immoral than if performed by
someone else, who would be well-intentioned in his
dishonesty.
J. Christopher Gerald
Bonaparte in Egypt, Ch. I
The Court's commitment to the protection of morals is
secondary to its fealty to the fundamental law of the land. It is
foremost a guardian of the Constitution but not the
conscience of individuals. And if it need be, the Court will not
hesitate to "make the hammer fall, and heavily" in the words
of Justice Laurel, and uphold the constitutional guarantees
when faced with laws that, though not lacking in zeal to
promote morality, nevertheless fail to pass the test of
constitutionality.

SECTION 1. Any provision of existing laws and ordinances to


the contrary notwithstanding, no person, partnership,
corporation or entity shall, in the Ermita-Malate area bounded
by Teodoro M. Kalaw Sr. Street in the North, Taft Avenue in the
East, Vito Cruz Street in the South and Roxas Boulevard in the
West, pursuant to P.D. 499 be allowed or authorized to
contract and engage in, any business providing certain forms
of amusement, entertainment, services and facilities where
women are used as tools in entertainment and which tend to
disturb the community, annoy the inhabitants, and adversely
affect the social and moral welfare of the community, such as
but not limited to:

1. Sauna Parlors
2. Massage Parlors
3. Karaoke Bars
4. Beerhouses
5. Night Clubs
6. Day Clubs
7. Super Clubs
8. Discotheques
9. Cabarets

The pivotal issue in this Petition1 under Rule 45 (then Rule 42)
of the Revised Rules on Civil Procedure seeking the reversal of
the Decision2 in Civil Case No. 93-66511 of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 18 (lower court),3 is the validity
of Ordinance No. 7783 (the Ordinance) of the City of Manila.4
The antecedents are as follows:
Private respondent Malate Tourist Development Corporation
(MTDC) is a corporation engaged in the business of operating
hotels, motels, hostels and lodging houses.5 It built and
opened Victoria Court in Malate which was licensed as a motel
although duly accredited with the Department of Tourism as a
hotel.6 On 28 June 1993, MTDC filed a Petition for Declaratory
Relief with Prayer for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or
Temporary Restraining Order7 (RTC Petition) with the lower
court impleading as defendants, herein petitioners City of
Manila, Hon. Alfredo S. Lim (Lim), Hon. Joselito L. Atienza, and
the members of the City Council of Manila (City Council).
MTDC prayed that the Ordinance, insofar as it includes motels
and inns as among its prohibited establishments, be declared
invalid and unconstitutional.8

10. Dance Halls


11. Motels
12. Inns
SEC. 2 The City Mayor, the City Treasurer or any person acting
in behalf of the said officials are prohibited from issuing
permits, temporary or otherwise, or from granting licenses
and accepting payments for the operation of business
enumerated in the preceding section.
SEC. 3. Owners and/or operator of establishments engaged in,
or devoted to, the businesses enumerated in Section 1 hereof
are hereby given three (3) months from the date of approval
of this ordinance within which to wind up business operations
or to transfer to any place outside of the Ermita-Malate area
or convert said businesses to other kinds of business
allowable within the area, such as but not limited to:
1. Curio or antique shop

Enacted by the City Council9 on 9 March 1993 and approved


by petitioner City Mayor on 30 March 1993, the said
Ordinance is entitled

2. Souvenir Shops

AN ORDINANCE PROHIBITING THE ESTABLISHMENT OR


OPERATION OF BUSINESSES PROVIDING CERTAIN FORMS OF
AMUSEMENT, ENTERTAINMENT, SERVICES AND FACILITIES IN
THE ERMITA-MALATE AREA, PRESCRIBING PENALTIES FOR
VIOLATION THEREOF, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.10

4. Art galleries

The Ordinance is reproduced in full, hereunder:

3. Handicrafts display centers

5. Records and music shops


6. Restaurants
7. Coffee shops
8. Flower shops

9. Music lounge and sing-along restaurants, with well-defined


activities for wholesome family entertainment that cater to
both local and foreign clientele.
10. Theaters engaged in the exhibition, not only of motion
pictures but also of cultural shows, stage and theatrical plays,
art exhibitions, concerts and the like.
11. Businesses allowable within the law and medium intensity
districts as provided for in the zoning ordinances for
Metropolitan Manila, except new warehouse or open-storage
depot, dock or yard, motor repair shop, gasoline service
station, light industry with any machinery, or funeral
establishments.
SEC. 4. Any person violating any provisions of this ordinance,
shall upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment of one (1)
year or fine of FIVE THOUSAND (P5,000.00) PESOS, or both, at
the discretion of the Court, PROVIDED, that in case of juridical
person, the President, the General Manager, or person-incharge of operation shall be liable thereof; PROVIDED
FURTHER, that in case of subsequent violation and conviction,
the premises of the erring establishment shall be closed and
padlocked permanently.

reasonable basis exists for prohibiting the operation of motels


and inns, but not pension houses, hotels, lodging houses or
other similar establishments, and for prohibiting said business
in the Ermita-Malate area but not outside of this area.14
In their Answer15 dated 23 July 1993, petitioners City of
Manila and Lim maintained that the City Council had the
power to "prohibit certain forms of entertainment in order to
protect the social and moral welfare of the community" as
provided for in Section 458 (a) 4 (vii) of the Local Government
Code,16 which reads, thus:
Section 458. Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation. (a)
The sangguniang panlungsod, as the legislative body of the
city, shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions and
appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city and its
inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code and in the
proper exercise of the corporate powers of the city as
provided for under Section 22 of this Code, and shall:
....
(4) Regulate activities relative to the use of land, buildings
and structures within the city in order to promote the general
welfare and for said purpose shall:

SEC. 5. This ordinance shall take effect upon approval.


....
Enacted by the City Council of Manila at its regular session
today, March 9, 1993.
Approved by His Honor, the Mayor on March 30, 1993.
(Emphasis supplied)
In the RTC Petition, MTDC argued that the Ordinance
erroneously and improperly included in its enumeration of
prohibited establishments, motels and inns such as MTDC's
Victoria Court considering that these were not establishments
for "amusement" or "entertainment" and they were not
"services or facilities for entertainment," nor did they use
women as "tools for entertainment," and neither did they
"disturb the community," "annoy the inhabitants" or
"adversely affect the social and moral welfare of the
community."11
MTDC further advanced that the Ordinance was invalid and
unconstitutional for the following reasons: (1) The City Council
has no power to prohibit the operation of motels as Section
458 (a) 4 (iv)12 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (the
Code) grants to the City Council only the power to regulate
the establishment, operation and maintenance of hotels,
motels, inns, pension houses, lodging houses and other
similar establishments; (2) The Ordinance is void as it is
violative of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 49913 which
specifically declared portions of the Ermita-Malate area as a
commercial zone with certain restrictions; (3) The Ordinance
does not constitute a proper exercise of police power as the
compulsory closure of the motel business has no reasonable
relation to the legitimate municipal interests sought to be
protected; (4) The Ordinance constitutes an ex post facto law
by punishing the operation of Victoria Court which was a
legitimate business prior to its enactment; (5) The Ordinance
violates MTDC's constitutional rights in that: (a) it is
confiscatory and constitutes an invasion of plaintiff's property
rights; (b) the City Council has no power to find as a fact that
a particular thing is a nuisance per se nor does it have the
power to extrajudicially destroy it; and (6) The Ordinance
constitutes a denial of equal protection under the law as no

(vii) Regulate the establishment, operation, and maintenance


of any entertainment or amusement facilities, including
theatrical performances, circuses, billiard pools, public
dancing schools, public dance halls, sauna baths, massage
parlors, and other places for entertainment or amusement;
regulate such other events or activities for amusement or
entertainment, particularly those which tend to disturb the
community or annoy the inhabitants, or require the
suspension or suppression of the same; or, prohibit certain
forms of amusement or entertainment in order to protect the
social and moral welfare of the community.
Citing Kwong Sing v. City of Manila,17 petitioners insisted that
the power of regulation spoken of in the above-quoted
provision included the power to control, to govern and to
restrain places of exhibition and amusement.18
Petitioners likewise asserted that the Ordinance was enacted
by the City Council of Manila to protect the social and moral
welfare of the community in conjunction with its police power
as found in Article III, Section 18(kk) of Republic Act No.
409,19 otherwise known as the Revised Charter of the City of
Manila (Revised Charter of Manila)20 which reads, thus:
ARTICLE III
THE MUNICIPAL BOARD
. . .
Section 18. Legislative powers. The Municipal Board shall
have the following legislative powers:
. . .
(kk) To enact all ordinances it may deem necessary and
proper for the sanitation and safety, the furtherance of the
prosperity, and the promotion of the morality, peace, good
order, comfort, convenience, and general welfare of the city
and its inhabitants, and such others as may be necessary to

carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties


conferred by this chapter; and to fix penalties for the violation
of ordinances which shall not exceed two hundred pesos fine
or six months' imprisonment, or both such fine and
imprisonment, for a single offense.
Further, the petitioners noted, the Ordinance had the
presumption of validity; hence, private respondent had the
burden to prove its illegality or unconstitutionality.21
Petitioners also maintained that there was no inconsistency
between P.D. 499 and the Ordinance as the latter simply
disauthorized certain forms of businesses and allowed the
Ermita-Malate area to remain a commercial zone.22 The
Ordinance, the petitioners likewise claimed, cannot be
assailed as ex post facto as it was prospective in operation.23
The Ordinance also did not infringe the equal protection
clause and cannot be denounced as class legislation as there
existed substantial and real differences between the ErmitaMalate area and other places in the City of Manila.24
On 28 June 1993, respondent Judge Perfecto A.S. Laguio, Jr.
(Judge Laguio) issued an ex-parte temporary restraining order
against the enforcement of the Ordinance.25 And on 16 July
1993, again in an intrepid gesture, he granted the writ of
preliminary injunction prayed for by MTDC.26
After trial, on 25 November 1994, Judge Laguio rendered the
assailed Decision, enjoining the petitioners from implementing
the Ordinance. The dispositive portion of said Decision
reads:27
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered declaring
Ordinance No. 778[3], Series of 1993, of the City of Manila null
and void, and making permanent the writ of preliminary
injunction that had been issued by this Court against the
defendant. No costs.
SO ORDERED.28
Petitioners filed with the lower court a Notice of Appeal29 on
12 December 1994, manifesting that they are elevating the
case to this Court under then Rule 42 on pure questions of
law.30
On 11 January 1995, petitioners filed the present Petition,
alleging that the following errors were committed by the lower
court in its ruling: (1) It erred in concluding that the subject
ordinance is ultra vires, or otherwise, unfair, unreasonable and
oppressive exercise of police power; (2) It erred in holding that
the questioned Ordinance contravenes P.D. 49931 which
allows operators of all kinds of commercial establishments,
except those specified therein; and (3) It erred in declaring
the Ordinance void and unconstitutional.32
In the Petition and in its Memorandum,33 petitioners in
essence repeat the assertions they made before the lower
court. They contend that the assailed Ordinance was enacted
in the exercise of the inherent and plenary power of the State
and the general welfare clause exercised by local government
units provided for in Art. 3, Sec. 18 (kk) of the Revised Charter
of Manila and conjunctively, Section 458 (a) 4 (vii) of the
Code.34 They allege that the Ordinance is a valid exercise of
police power; it does not contravene P.D. 499; and that it
enjoys the presumption of validity.35

In its Memorandum36 dated 27 May 1996, private respondent


maintains that the Ordinance is ultra vires and that it is void
for being repugnant to the general law. It reiterates that the
questioned Ordinance is not a valid exercise of police power;
that it is violative of due process, confiscatory and amounts to
an arbitrary interference with its lawful business; that it is
violative of the equal protection clause; and that it confers on
petitioner City Mayor or any officer unregulated discretion in
the execution of the Ordinance absent rules to guide and
control his actions.
This is an opportune time to express the Court's deep
sentiment and tenderness for the Ermita-Malate area being its
home for several decades. A long-time resident, the Court
witnessed the area's many turn of events. It relished its glory
days and endured its days of infamy. Much as the Court harks
back to the resplendent era of the Old Manila and yearns to
restore its lost grandeur, it believes that the Ordinance is not
the fitting means to that end. The Court is of the opinion, and
so holds, that the lower court did not err in declaring the
Ordinance, as it did, ultra vires and therefore null and void.
The Ordinance is so replete with constitutional infirmities that
almost every sentence thereof violates a constitutional
provision. The prohibitions and sanctions therein transgress
the cardinal rights of persons enshrined by the Constitution.
The Court is called upon to shelter these rights from attempts
at rendering them worthless.
The tests of a valid ordinance are well established. A long line
of decisions has held that for an ordinance to be valid, it must
not only be within the corporate powers of the local
government unit to enact and must be passed according to
the procedure prescribed by law, it must also conform to the
following substantive requirements: (1) must not contravene
the Constitution or any statute; (2) must not be unfair or
oppressive; (3) must not be partial or discriminatory; (4) must
not prohibit but may regulate trade; (5) must be general and
consistent with public policy; and (6) must not be
unreasonable.37
Anent the first criterion, ordinances shall only be valid when
they are not contrary to the Constitution and to the laws.38
The Ordinance must satisfy two requirements: it must pass
muster under the test of constitutionality and the test of
consistency with the prevailing laws. That ordinances should
be constitutional uphold the principle of the supremacy of the
Constitution. The requirement that the enactment must not
violate existing law gives stress to the precept that local
government units are able to legislate only by virtue of their
derivative legislative power, a delegation of legislative power
from the national legislature. The delegate cannot be superior
to the principal or exercise powers higher than those of the
latter.39
This relationship between the national legislature and the
local government units has not been enfeebled by the new
provisions in the Constitution strengthening the policy of local
autonomy. The national legislature is still the principal of the
local government units, which cannot defy its will or modify or
violate it.40
The Ordinance was passed by the City Council in the exercise
of its police power, an enactment of the City Council acting as
agent of Congress. Local government units, as agencies of the
State, are endowed with police power in order to effectively
accomplish and carry out the declared objects of their

creation.41 This delegated police power is found in Section 16


of the Code, known as the general welfare clause, viz:
SECTION 16. General Welfare.Every local government unit
shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily
implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate,
or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and
those which are essential to the promotion of the general
welfare. Within their respective territorial jurisdictions, local
government units shall ensure and support, among other
things, the preservation and enrichment of culture, promote
health and safety, enhance the right of the people to a
balanced ecology, encourage and support the development of
appropriate and self-reliant scientific and technological
capabilities, improve public morals, enhance economic
prosperity and social justice, promote full employment among
their residents, maintain peace and order, and preserve the
comfort and convenience of their inhabitants.
Local government units exercise police power through their
respective legislative bodies; in this case, the sangguniang
panlungsod or the city council. The Code empowers the
legislative bodies to "enact ordinances, approve resolutions
and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the
province/city/municipality and its inhabitants pursuant to
Section 16 of the Code and in the proper exercise of the
corporate powers of the province/city/ municipality provided
under the Code.42 The inquiry in this Petition is concerned
with the validity of the exercise of such delegated power.
The Ordinance contravenes
the Constitution
The police power of the City Council, however broad and farreaching, is subordinate to the constitutional limitations
thereon; and is subject to the limitation that its exercise must
be reasonable and for the public good.43 In the case at bar,
the enactment of the Ordinance was an invalid exercise of
delegated power as it is unconstitutional and repugnant to
general laws.
The relevant constitutional provisions are the following:
SEC. 5. The maintenance of peace and order, the protection of
life, liberty, and property, and the promotion of the general
welfare are essential for the enjoyment by all the people of
the blessings of democracy.44
SEC. 14. The State recognizes the role of women in nationbuilding, and shall ensure the fundamental equality before the
law of women and men.45
SEC. 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property
without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied
the equal protection of laws.46
Sec. 9. Private property shall not be taken for public use
without just compensation.47
A. The Ordinance infringes
the Due Process Clause
The constitutional safeguard of due process is embodied in
the fiat "(N)o person shall be deprived of life, liberty or
property without due process of law. . . ."48

There is no controlling and precise definition of due process.


It furnishes though a standard to which governmental action
should conform in order that deprivation of life, liberty or
property, in each appropriate case, be valid. This standard is
aptly described as a responsiveness to the supremacy of
reason, obedience to the dictates of justice,49 and as such it
is a limitation upon the exercise of the police power.50
The purpose of the guaranty is to prevent governmental
encroachment against the life, liberty and property of
individuals; to secure the individual from the arbitrary
exercise of the powers of the government, unrestrained by the
established principles of private rights and distributive justice;
to protect property from confiscation by legislative
enactments, from seizure, forfeiture, and destruction without
a trial and conviction by the ordinary mode of judicial
procedure; and to secure to all persons equal and impartial
justice and the benefit of the general law.51
The guaranty serves as a protection against arbitrary
regulation, and private corporations and partnerships are
"persons" within the scope of the guaranty insofar as their
property is concerned.52
This clause has been interpreted as imposing two separate
limits on government, usually called "procedural due process"
and "substantive due process."
Procedural due process, as the phrase implies, refers to the
procedures that the government must follow before it
deprives a person of life, liberty, or property. Classic
procedural due process issues are concerned with what kind
of notice and what form of hearing the government must
provide when it takes a particular action.53
Substantive due process, as that phrase connotes, asks
whether the government has an adequate reason for taking
away a person's life, liberty, or property. In other words,
substantive due process looks to whether there is a sufficient
justification for the government's action.54 Case law in the
United States (U.S.) tells us that whether there is such a
justification depends very much on the level of scrutiny
used.55 For example, if a law is in an area where only rational
basis review is applied, substantive due process is met so long
as the law is rationally related to a legitimate government
purpose. But if it is an area where strict scrutiny is used, such
as for protecting fundamental rights, then the government will
meet substantive due process only if it can prove that the law
is necessary to achieve a compelling government purpose.56
The police power granted to local government units must
always be exercised with utmost observance of the rights of
the people to due process and equal protection of the law.
Such power cannot be exercised whimsically, arbitrarily or
despotically57 as its exercise is subject to a qualification,
limitation or restriction demanded by the respect and regard
due to the prescription of the fundamental law, particularly
those forming part of the Bill of Rights. Individual rights, it
bears emphasis, may be adversely affected only to the extent
that may fairly be required by the legitimate demands of
public interest or public welfare.58 Due process requires the
intrinsic validity of the law in interfering with the rights of the
person to his life, liberty and property.59
Requisites for the valid exercise of Police Power are not met

To successfully invoke the exercise of police power as the


rationale for the enactment of the Ordinance, and to free it
from the imputation of constitutional infirmity, not only must it
appear that the interests of the public generally, as
distinguished from those of a particular class, require an
interference with private rights, but the means adopted must
be reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the
purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.60 It
must be evident that no other alternative for the
accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of private rights
can work. A reasonable relation must exist between the
purposes of the police measure and the means employed for
its accomplishment, for even under the guise of protecting the
public interest, personal rights and those pertaining to private
property will not be permitted to be arbitrarily invaded.61

which are not per se offensive to the moral welfare of the


community.

Lacking a concurrence of these two requisites, the police


measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into
private rights62 a violation of the due process clause.

That these are used as arenas to consummate illicit sexual


affairs and as venues to further the illegal prostitution is of no
moment. We lay stress on the acrid truth that sexual
immorality, being a human frailty, may take place in the most
innocent of places that it may even take place in the
substitute establishments enumerated under Section 3 of the
Ordinance. If the flawed logic of the Ordinance were to be
followed, in the remote instance that an immoral sexual act
transpires in a church cloister or a court chamber, we would
behold the spectacle of the City of Manila ordering the closure
of the church or court concerned. Every house, building, park,
curb, street or even vehicles for that matter will not be
exempt from the prohibition. Simply because there are no
"pure" places where there are impure men. Indeed, even the
Scripture and the Tradition of Christians churches continually
recall the presence and universality of sin in man's history.66

The Ordinance was enacted to address and arrest the social


ills purportedly spawned by the establishments in the ErmitaMalate area which are allegedly operated under the deceptive
veneer of legitimate, licensed and tax-paying nightclubs, bars,
karaoke bars, girlie houses, cocktail lounges, hotels and
motels. Petitioners insist that even the Court in the case of
Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel Operators Association, Inc. v.
City Mayor of Manila63 had already taken judicial notice of the
"alarming increase in the rate of prostitution, adultery and
fornication in Manila traceable in great part to existence of
motels, which provide a necessary atmosphere for clandestine
entry, presence and exit and thus become the ideal haven for
prostitutes and thrill-seekers."64

The problem, it needs to be pointed out, is not the


establishment, which by its nature cannot be said to be
injurious to the health or comfort of the community and which
in itself is amoral, but the deplorable human activity that may
occur within its premises. While a motel may be used as a
venue for immoral sexual activity, it cannot for that reason
alone be punished. It cannot be classified as a house of illrepute or as a nuisance per se on a mere likelihood or a naked
assumption. If that were so and if that were allowed, then the
Ermita-Malate area would not only be purged of its supposed
social ills, it would be extinguished of its soul as well as every
human activity, reprehensible or not, in its every nook and
cranny would be laid bare to the estimation of the authorities.

The object of the Ordinance was, accordingly, the promotion


and protection of the social and moral values of the
community. Granting for the sake of argument that the
objectives of the Ordinance are within the scope of the City
Council's police powers, the means employed for the
accomplishment thereof were unreasonable and unduly
oppressive.

The Ordinance seeks to legislate morality but fails to address


the core issues of morality. Try as the Ordinance may to shape
morality, it should not foster the illusion that it can make a
moral man out of it because immorality is not a thing, a
building or establishment; it is in the hearts of men. The City
Council instead should regulate human conduct that occurs
inside the establishments, but not to the detriment of liberty
and privacy which are covenants, premiums and blessings of
democracy.

It is undoubtedly one of the fundamental duties of the City of


Manila to make all reasonable regulations looking to the
promotion of the moral and social values of the community.
However, the worthy aim of fostering public morals and the
eradication of the community's social ills can be achieved
through means less restrictive of private rights; it can be
attained by reasonable restrictions rather than by an absolute
prohibition. The closing down and transfer of businesses or
their conversion into businesses "allowed" under the
Ordinance have no reasonable relation to the accomplishment
of its purposes. Otherwise stated, the prohibition of the
enumerated establishments will not per se protect and
promote the social and moral welfare of the community; it will
not in itself eradicate the alluded social ills of prostitution,
adultery, fornication nor will it arrest the spread of sexual
disease in Manila.
Conceding for the nonce that the Ermita-Malate area teems
with houses of ill-repute and establishments of the like which
the City Council may lawfully prohibit,65 it is baseless and
insupportable to bring within that classification sauna parlors,
massage parlors, karaoke bars, night clubs, day clubs, super
clubs, discotheques, cabarets, dance halls, motels and inns.
This is not warranted under the accepted definitions of these
terms. The enumerated establishments are lawful pursuits

While petitioners' earnestness at curbing clearly objectionable


social ills is commendable, they unwittingly punish even the
proprietors and operators of "wholesome," "innocent"
establishments. In the instant case, there is a clear invasion of
personal or property rights, personal in the case of those
individuals desirous of owning, operating and patronizing
those motels and property in terms of the investments made
and the salaries to be paid to those therein employed. If the
City of Manila so desires to put an end to prostitution,
fornication and other social ills, it can instead impose
reasonable regulations such as daily inspections of the
establishments for any violation of the conditions of their
licenses or permits; it may exercise its authority to suspend or
revoke their licenses for these violations;67 and it may even
impose increased license fees. In other words, there are other
means to reasonably accomplish the desired end.
Means employed are constitutionally infirm
The Ordinance disallows the operation of sauna parlors,
massage parlors, karaoke bars, beerhouses, night clubs, day
clubs, super clubs, discotheques, cabarets, dance halls,
motels and inns in the Ermita-Malate area. In Section 3

thereof, owners and/or operators of the enumerated


establishments are given three (3) months from the date of
approval of the Ordinance within which "to wind up business
operations or to transfer to any place outside the ErmitaMalate area or convert said businesses to other kinds of
business allowable within the area." Further, it states in
Section 4 that in cases of subsequent violations of the
provisions of the Ordinance, the "premises of the erring
establishment shall be closed and padlocked permanently."
It is readily apparent that the means employed by the
Ordinance for the achievement of its purposes, the
governmental
interference
itself,
infringes
on
the
constitutional guarantees of a person's fundamental right to
liberty and property.
Liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution was defined by
Justice Malcolm to include "the right to exist and the right to
be free from arbitrary restraint or servitude. The term cannot
be dwarfed into mere freedom from physical restraint of the
person of the citizen, but is deemed to embrace the right of
man to enjoy the facilities with which he has been endowed
by his Creator, subject only to such restraint as are necessary
for the common welfare."68 In accordance with this case, the
rights of the citizen to be free to use his faculties in all lawful
ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by
any lawful calling; and to pursue any avocation are all
deemed embraced in the concept of liberty.69
The U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Roth v. Board of
Regents,70 sought to clarify the meaning of "liberty." It said:
While the Court has not attempted to define with exactness
the liberty. . . guaranteed [by the Fifth and Fourteenth
Amendments], the term denotes not merely freedom from
bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract,
to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire
useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up
children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own
conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long
recognizedas essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness
by free men. In a Constitution for a free people, there can be
no doubt that the meaning of "liberty" must be broad indeed.
In another case, it also confirmed that liberty protected by the
due process clause includes personal decisions relating to
marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships,
child rearing, and education. In explaining the respect the
Constitution demands for the autonomy of the person in
making these choices, the U.S. Supreme Court explained:
These matters, involving the most intimate and personal
choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to
personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty
protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of
liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of
meaning, of universe, and of the mystery of human life.
Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of
personhood where they formed under compulsion of the
State.71

Persons desirous to own, operate and patronize the


enumerated establishments under Section 1 of the Ordinance
may seek autonomy for these purposes.

Motel patrons who are single and unmarried may invoke this
right to autonomy to consummate their bonds in intimate
sexual conduct within the motel's premisesbe it stressed
that their consensual sexual behavior does not contravene
any fundamental state policy as contained in the
Constitution.72 Adults have a right to choose to forge such
relationships with others in the confines of their own private
lives and still retain their dignity as free persons. The liberty
protected by the Constitution allows persons the right to make
this choice.73 Their right to liberty under the due process
clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct
without intervention of the government, as long as they do
not run afoul of the law. Liberty should be the rule and
restraint the exception.

Liberty in the constitutional sense not only means freedom


from unlawful government restraint; it must include privacy as
well, if it is to be a repository of freedom. The right to be let
alone is the beginning of all freedomit is the most
comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized
men.74

The concept of liberty compels respect for the individual


whose claim to privacy and interference demands respect. As
the case of Morfe v. Mutuc,75 borrowing the words of Laski, so
very aptly stated:

Man is one among many, obstinately refusing reduction to


unity. His separateness, his isolation, are indefeasible; indeed,
they are so fundamental that they are the basis on which his
civic obligations are built. He cannot abandon the
consequences of his isolation, which are, broadly speaking,
that his experience is private, and the will built out of that
experience personal to himself. If he surrenders his will to
others, he surrenders himself. If his will is set by the will of
others, he ceases to be a master of himself. I cannot believe
that a man no longer a master of himself is in any real sense
free.
Indeed, the right to privacy as a constitutional right was
recognized in Morfe, the invasion of which should be justified
by a compelling state interest. Morfe accorded recognition to
the right to privacy independently of its identification with
liberty; in itself it is fully deserving of constitutional protection.
Governmental powers should stop short of certain intrusions
into the personal life of the citizen.76
There is a great temptation to have an extended discussion on
these civil liberties but the Court chooses to exercise restraint
and restrict itself to the issues presented when it should. The
previous pronouncements of the Court are not to be
interpreted as a license for adults to engage in criminal
conduct. The reprehensibility of such conduct is not
diminished. The Court only reaffirms and guarantees their
right to make this choice. Should they be prosecuted for their
illegal conduct, they should suffer the consequences of the
choice they have made. That, ultimately, is their choice.

Modality employed is
unlawful taking

In addition, the Ordinance is unreasonable and oppressive as


it substantially divests the respondent of the beneficial use of
its property.77 The Ordinance in Section 1 thereof forbids the
running of the enumerated businesses in the Ermita-Malate
area and in Section 3 instructs its owners/operators to wind up
business operations or to transfer outside the area or convert
said businesses into allowed businesses. An ordinance which
permanently restricts the use of property that it can not be
used for any reasonable purpose goes beyond regulation and
must be recognized as a taking of the property without just
compensation.78 It is intrusive and violative of the private
property rights of individuals.

The Constitution expressly provides in Article III, Section 9,


that "private property shall not be taken for public use without
just compensation." The provision is the most important
protection of property rights in the Constitution. This is a
restriction on the general power of the government to take
property. The constitutional provision is about ensuring that
the government does not confiscate the property of some to
give it to others. In part too, it is about loss spreading. If the
government takes away a person's property to benefit society,
then society should pay. The principal purpose of the
guarantee is "to bar the Government from forcing some
people alone to bear public burdens which, in all fairness and
justice, should be borne by the public as a whole.79

There are two different types of taking that can be identified.


A "possessory" taking occurs when the government
confiscates or physically occupies property. A "regulatory"
taking occurs when the government's regulation leaves no
reasonable economically viable use of the property.80

In the landmark case of Pennsylvania Coal v. Mahon,81 it was


held that a taking also could be found if government
regulation of the use of property went "too far." When
regulation reaches a certain magnitude, in most if not in all
cases there must be an exercise of eminent domain and
compensation to support the act. While property may be
regulated to a certain extent, if regulation goes too far it will
be recognized as a taking.82

No formula or rule can be devised to answer the questions of


what is too far and when regulation becomes a taking. In
Mahon, Justice Holmes recognized that it was "a question of
degree and therefore cannot be disposed of by general
propositions." On many other occasions as well, the U.S.
Supreme Court has said that the issue of when regulation
constitutes a taking is a matter of considering the facts in
each case. The Court asks whether justice and fairness require
that the economic loss caused by public action must be
compensated by the government and thus borne by the public
as a whole, or whether the loss should remain concentrated
on those few persons subject to the public action.83

What is crucial in judicial consideration of regulatory takings is


that government regulation is a taking if it leaves no
reasonable economically viable use of property in a manner
that interferes with reasonable expectations for use.84 A
regulation that permanently denies all economically beneficial
or productive use of land is, from the owner's point of view,
equivalent to a "taking" unless principles of nuisance or
property law that existed when the owner acquired the land
make the use prohibitable.85 When the owner of real property
has been called upon to sacrifice all economically beneficial
uses in the name of the common good, that is, to leave his
property economically idle, he has suffered a taking.86

A regulation which denies all economically beneficial or


productive use of land will require compensation under the
takings clause. Where a regulation places limitations on land
that fall short of eliminating all economically beneficial use, a
taking nonetheless may have occurred, depending on a
complex of factors including the regulation's economic effect
on the landowner, the extent to which the regulation
interferes with reasonable investment-backed expectations
and the character of government action. These inquiries are
informed by the purpose of the takings clause which is to
prevent the government from forcing some people alone to
bear public burdens which, in all fairness and justice, should
be borne by the public as a whole.87

A restriction on use of property may also constitute a "taking"


if not reasonably necessary to the effectuation of a substantial
public purpose or if it has an unduly harsh impact on the
distinct investment-backed expectations of the owner.88

The Ordinance gives the owners and operators of the


"prohibited" establishments three (3) months from its
approval within which to "wind up business operations or to
transfer to any place outside of the Ermita-Malate area or
convert said businesses to other kinds of business allowable
within the area." The directive to "wind up business
operations" amounts to a closure of the establishment, a
permanent deprivation of property, and is practically
confiscatory. Unless the owner converts his establishment to
accommodate an "allowed" business, the structure which
housed the previous business will be left empty and gathering
dust. Suppose he transfers it to another area, he will likewise
leave the entire establishment idle. Consideration must be
given to the substantial amount of money invested to build

the edifices which the owner reasonably expects to be


returned within a period of time. It is apparent that the
Ordinance leaves no reasonable economically viable use of
property in a manner that interferes with reasonable
expectations for use.

The second and third options to transfer to any place


outside of the Ermita-Malate area or to convert into allowed
businessesare confiscatory as well. The penalty of
permanent closure in cases of subsequent violations found in
Section 4 of the Ordinance is also equivalent to a "taking" of
private property.

The second option instructs the owners to abandon their


property and build another one outside the Ermita-Malate
area. In every sense, it qualifies as a taking without just
compensation with an additional burden imposed on the
owner to build another establishment solely from his coffers.
The proffered solution does not put an end to the "problem," it
merely relocates it. Not only is this impractical, it is
unreasonable, onerous and oppressive. The conversion into
allowed enterprises is just as ridiculous. How may the
respondent convert a motel into a restaurant or a coffee shop,
art gallery or music lounge without essentially destroying its
property? This is a taking of private property without due
process of law, nay, even without compensation.

The penalty of closure likewise constitutes unlawful taking


that should be compensated by the government. The burden
on the owner to convert or transfer his business, otherwise it
will be closed permanently after a subsequent violation should
be borne by the public as this end benefits them as a whole.

Petitioners cannot take refuge in classifying the measure as a


zoning ordinance. A zoning ordinance, although a valid
exercise of police power, which limits a "wholesome" property
to a use which can not reasonably be made of it constitutes
the taking of such property without just compensation.
Private property which is not noxious nor intended for noxious
purposes may not, by zoning, be destroyed without
compensation. Such principle finds no support in the
principles of justice as we know them. The police powers of
local government units which have always received broad and
liberal interpretation cannot be stretched to cover this
particular taking.

Distinction should be made between destruction from


necessity and eminent domain. It needs restating that the
property taken in the exercise of police power is destroyed
because it is noxious or intended for a noxious purpose while
the property taken under the power of eminent domain is
intended for a public use or purpose and is therefore
"wholesome."89 If it be of public benefit that a "wholesome"
property remain unused or relegated to a particular purpose,
then certainly the public should bear the cost of reasonable
compensation for the condemnation of private property for
public use.90

Further, the Ordinance fails to set up any standard to guide or


limit the petitioners' actions. It in no way controls or guides
the discretion vested in them. It provides no definition of the
establishments covered by it and it fails to set forth the
conditions when the establishments come within its ambit of
prohibition. The Ordinance confers upon the mayor arbitrary
and unrestricted power to close down establishments.
Ordinances such as this, which make possible abuses in its
execution, depending upon no conditions or qualifications
whatsoever other than the unregulated arbitrary will of the
city authorities as the touchstone by which its validity is to be
tested, are unreasonable and invalid. The Ordinance should
have established a rule by which its impartial enforcement
could be secured.91

Ordinances placing restrictions upon the lawful use of


property must, in order to be valid and constitutional, specify
the rules and conditions to be observed and conduct to avoid;
and must not admit of the exercise, or of an opportunity for
the exercise, of unbridled discretion by the law enforcers in
carrying out its provisions.92

Thus, in Coates v. City of Cincinnati,93 as cited in People v.


Nazario,94
the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an
ordinance that had made it illegal for "three or more persons
to assemble on any sidewalk and there conduct themselves in
a manner annoying to persons passing by." The ordinance was
nullified as it imposed no standard at all "because one may
never know in advance what 'annoys some people but does
not annoy others.' "

Similarly, the Ordinance does not specify the standards to


ascertain which establishments "tend to disturb the
community," "annoy the inhabitants," and "adversely affect
the social and moral welfare of the community." The cited
case supports the nullification of the Ordinance for lack of
comprehensible standards to guide the law enforcers in
carrying out its provisions.

Petitioners cannot therefore order the closure of the


enumerated establishments without infringing the due
process clause. These lawful establishments may be
regulated, but not prevented from carrying on their business.
This is a sweeping exercise of police power that is a result of a
lack of imagination on the part of the City Council and which
amounts to an interference into personal and private rights
which the Court will not countenance. In this regard, we take a
resolute stand to uphold the constitutional guarantee of the
right to liberty and property.

Worthy of note is an example derived from the U.S. of a


reasonable regulation which is a far cry from the ill-considered
Ordinance enacted by the City Council.

In FW/PBS, INC. v. Dallas,95 the city of Dallas adopted a


comprehensive ordinance regulating "sexually oriented
businesses," which are defined to include adult arcades,
bookstores, video stores, cabarets, motels, and theaters as
well as escort agencies, nude model studio and sexual
encounter centers. Among other things, the ordinance
required that such businesses be licensed. A group of motel
owners were among the three groups of businesses that filed
separate suits challenging the ordinance. The motel owners
asserted that the city violated the due process clause by
failing to produce adequate support for its supposition that
renting room for fewer than ten (10) hours resulted in
increased crime and other secondary effects. They likewise
argued than the ten (10)-hour limitation on the rental of motel
rooms placed an unconstitutional burden on the right to
freedom of association. Anent the first contention, the U.S.
Supreme Court held that the reasonableness of the legislative
judgment combined with a study which the city considered,
was adequate to support the city's determination that motels
permitting room rentals for fewer than ten (10 ) hours should
be included within the licensing scheme. As regards the
second point, the Court held that limiting motel room rentals
to ten (10) hours will have no discernible effect on personal
bonds as those bonds that are formed from the use of a motel
room for fewer than ten (10) hours are not those that have
played a critical role in the culture and traditions of the nation
by cultivating and transmitting shared ideals and beliefs.

The ordinance challenged in the above-cited case merely


regulated the targeted businesses. It imposed reasonable
restrictions; hence, its validity was upheld.

The case of Ermita Malate Hotel and Motel Operators


Association, Inc. v. City Mayor of Manila,96 it needs pointing
out, is also different from this case in that what was involved
therein was a measure which regulated the mode in which
motels may conduct business in order to put an end to
practices which could encourage vice and immorality.
Necessarily, there was no valid objection on due process or
equal protection grounds as the ordinance did not prohibit
motels. The Ordinance in this case however is not a regulatory
measure but is an exercise of an assumed power to
prohibit.97

The foregoing premises show that the Ordinance is an


unwarranted and unlawful curtailment of property and
personal rights of citizens. For being unreasonable and an
undue restraint of trade, it cannot, even under the guise of
exercising police power, be upheld as valid.

B. The Ordinance violates Equal

should not be treated differently, so as to give undue favor to


some and unjustly discriminate against others.98 The
guarantee means that no person or class of persons shall be
denied the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other
persons or other classes in like circumstances.99 The "equal
protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal
laws."100 It limits governmental discrimination. The equal
protection clause extends to artificial persons but only insofar
as their property is concerned.101

The Court has explained the scope of the equal protection


clause in this wise:

What does it signify? To quote from J.M. Tuason & Co. v.


Land Tenure Administration: "The ideal situation is for the
law's benefits to be available to all, that none be placed
outside the sphere of its coverage. Only thus could chance
and favor be excluded and the affairs of men governed by
that serene and impartial uniformity, which is of the very
essence of the idea of law." There is recognition, however, in
the opinion that what in fact exists "cannot approximate the
ideal. Nor is the law susceptible to the reproach that it does
not take into account the realities of the situation. The
constitutional guarantee then is not to be given a meaning
that disregards what is, what does in fact exist. To assure that
the general welfare be promoted, which is the end of law, a
regulatory measure may cut into the rights to liberty and
property. Those adversely affected may under such
circumstances invoke the equal protection clause only if they
can show that the governmental act assailed, far from being
inspired by the attainment of the common weal was prompted
by the spirit of hostility, or at the very least, discrimination
that finds no support in reason." Classification is thus not
ruled out, it being sufficient to quote from the Tuason decision
anew "that the laws operate equally and uniformly on all
persons under similar circumstances or that all persons must
be treated in the same manner, the conditions not being
different, both in the privileges conferred and the liabilities
imposed. Favoritism and undue preference cannot be allowed.
For the principle is that equal protection and security shall be
given to every person under circumstances which, if not
identical, are analogous. If law be looked upon in terms of
burden or charges, those that fall within a class should be
treated in the same fashion, whatever restrictions cast on
some in the group equally binding on the rest.102

Legislative bodies are allowed to classify the subjects of


legislation. If the classification is reasonable, the law may
operate only on some and not all of the people without
violating the equal protection clause.103 The classification
must, as an indispensable requisite, not be arbitrary. To be
valid, it must conform to the following requirements:

Protection Clause
1) It must be based on substantial distinctions.

Equal protection requires that all persons or things similarly


situated should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred
and responsibilities imposed. Similar subjects, in other words,

2) It must be germane to the purposes of the law.

3) It must not be limited to existing conditions only.

4) It must apply equally to all members of the class.104

In the Court's view, there are no substantial distinctions


between motels, inns, pension houses, hotels, lodging houses
or other similar establishments. By definition, all are
commercial establishments providing lodging and usually
meals and other services for the public. No reason exists for
prohibiting motels and inns but not pension houses, hotels,
lodging houses or other similar establishments. The
classification in the instant case is invalid as similar subjects
are not similarly treated, both as to rights conferred and
obligations imposed. It is arbitrary as it does not rest on
substantial distinctions bearing a just and fair relation to the
purpose of the Ordinance.

The Court likewise cannot see the logic for prohibiting the
business and operation of motels in the Ermita-Malate area
but not outside of this area. A noxious establishment does not
become any less noxious if located outside the area.

The standard "where women are used as tools for


entertainment" is also discriminatory as prostitution one of
the hinted ills the Ordinance aims to banishis not a
profession exclusive to women. Both men and women have an
equal propensity to engage in prostitution. It is not any less
grave a sin when men engage in it. And why would the
assumption that there is an ongoing immoral activity apply
only when women are employed and be inapposite when men
are in harness? This discrimination based on gender violates
equal protection as it is not substantially related to important
government objectives.105 Thus, the discrimination is invalid.

Section 458. Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation. (a)


The sangguniang panlungsod, as the legislative body of the
city, shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions and
appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city and its
inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code and in the
proper exercise of the corporate powers of the city as
provided for under Section 22 of this Code, and shall:

. . .

(4) Regulate activities relative to the use of land, buildings


and structures within the city in order to promote the general
welfare and for said purpose shall:

. . .

(iv) Regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance


of cafes, restaurants, beerhouses, hotels, motels, inns,
pension houses, lodging houses, and other similar
establishments, including tourist guides and transports . . . .

While its power to regulate the establishment, operation and


maintenance of any entertainment or amusement facilities,
and to prohibit certain forms of amusement or entertainment
is provided under Section 458 (a) 4 (vii) of the Code, which
reads as follows:

Failing the test of constitutionality, the Ordinance likewise


failed to pass the test of consistency with prevailing laws.

Section 458. Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation. (a)


The sangguniang panlungsod, as the legislative body of the
city, shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions and
appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city and its
inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code and in the
proper exercise of the corporate powers of the city as
provided for under Section 22 of this Code, and shall:

C.

. . .

The Ordinance is repugnant

to general laws; it is ultra vires

The Ordinance is in contravention of the Code as the latter


merely empowers local government units to regulate, and not
prohibit, the establishments enumerated in Section 1 thereof.

(4) Regulate activities relative to the use of land, buildings


and structures within the city in order to promote the general
welfare and for said purpose shall:

. . .
The power of the City Council to regulate by ordinances the
establishment, operation, and maintenance of motels, hotels
and other similar establishments is found in Section 458 (a) 4
(iv), which provides that:

(vii) Regulate the establishment, operation, and maintenance


of any entertainment or amusement facilities, including
theatrical performances, circuses, billiard pools, public

dancing schools, public dance halls, sauna baths, massage


parlors, and other places for entertainment or amusement;
regulate such other events or activities for amusement or
entertainment, particularly those which tend to disturb the
community or annoy the inhabitants, or require the
suspension or suppression of the same; or, prohibit certain
forms of amusement or entertainment in order to protect the
social and moral welfare of the community.

Clearly, with respect to cafes, restaurants, beerhouses, hotels,


motels, inns, pension houses, lodging houses, and other
similar establishments, the only power of the City Council to
legislate relative thereto is to regulate them to promote the
general welfare. The Code still withholds from cities the power
to suppress and prohibit altogether the establishment,
operation and maintenance of such establishments. It is well
to recall the rulings of the Court in Kwong Sing v. City of
Manila106 that:

The word "regulate," as used in subsection (l), section 2444 of


the Administrative Code, means and includes the power to
control, to govern, and to restrain; but "regulate" should not
be construed as synonymous with "suppress" or "prohibit."
Consequently, under the power to regulate laundries, the
municipal authorities could make proper police regulations as
to the mode in which the employment or business shall be
exercised.107

And in People v. Esguerra,108 wherein the Court nullified an


ordinance of the Municipality of Tacloban which prohibited the
selling, giving and dispensing of liquor ratiocinating that the
municipality is empowered only to regulate the same and not
prohibit. The Court therein declared that:

(A)s a general rule when a municipal corporation is specifically


given authority or power to regulate or to license and regulate
the liquor traffic, power to prohibit is impliedly withheld.109

These doctrines still hold contrary to petitioners' assertion110


that they were modified by the Code vesting upon City
Councils prohibitory powers.

Similarly, the City Council exercises regulatory powers over


public dancing schools, public dance halls, sauna baths,
massage parlors, and other places for entertainment or
amusement as found in the first clause of Section 458 (a) 4
(vii). Its powers to regulate, suppress and suspend "such other
events or activities for amusement or entertainment,
particularly those which tend to disturb the community or
annoy the inhabitants" and to "prohibit certain forms of
amusement or entertainment in order to protect the social
and moral welfare of the community" are stated in the second
and third clauses, respectively of the same Section. The
several powers of the City Council as provided in Section 458
(a) 4 (vii) of the Code, it is pertinent to emphasize, are

separated by semi-colons (;), the use of which indicates that


the clauses in which these powers are set forth are
independent of each other albeit closely related to justify
being put together in a single enumeration or paragraph.111
These powers, therefore, should not be confused, commingled
or consolidated as to create a conglomerated and unified
power of regulation, suppression and prohibition.112

The Congress unequivocably specified the establishments and


forms of amusement or entertainment subject to regulation
among which are beerhouses, hotels, motels, inns, pension
houses, lodging houses, and other similar establishments
(Section 458 (a) 4 (iv)), public dancing schools, public dance
halls, sauna baths, massage parlors, and other places for
entertainment or amusement (Section 458 (a) 4 (vii)). This
enumeration therefore cannot be included as among "other
events or activities for amusement or entertainment,
particularly those which tend to disturb the community or
annoy the inhabitants" or "certain forms of amusement or
entertainment" which the City Council may suspend, suppress
or prohibit.

The rule is that the City Council has only such powers as are
expressly granted to it and those which are necessarily
implied or incidental to the exercise thereof. By reason of its
limited powers and the nature thereof, said powers are to be
construed strictissimi juris and any doubt or ambiguity arising
out of the terms used in granting said powers must be
construed against the City Council.113 Moreover, it is a
general rule in statutory construction that the express
mention of one person, thing, or consequence is tantamount
to an express exclusion of all others. Expressio unius est
exclusio alterium. This maxim is based upon the rules of logic
and the natural workings of human mind. It is particularly
applicable in the construction of such statutes as create new
rights or remedies, impose penalties or punishments, or
otherwise come under the rule of strict construction.114

The argument that the City Council is empowered to enact the


Ordinance by virtue of the general welfare clause of the Code
and of Art. 3, Sec. 18 (kk) of the Revised Charter of Manila is
likewise without merit. On the first point, the ruling of the
Court in People v. Esguerra,115 is instructive. It held that:

The powers conferred upon a municipal council in the general


welfare clause, or section 2238 of the Revised Administrative
Code, refers to matters not covered by the other provisions of
the same Code, and therefore it can not be applied to
intoxicating liquors, for the power to regulate the selling,
giving away and dispensing thereof is granted specifically by
section 2242 (g) to municipal councils. To hold that, under the
general power granted by section 2238, a municipal council
may enact the ordinance in question, notwithstanding the
provision of section 2242 (g), would be to make the latter
superfluous and nugatory, because the power to prohibit,
includes the power to regulate, the selling, giving away and
dispensing of intoxicating liquors.

On the second point, it suffices to say that the Code being a


later expression of the legislative will must necessarily prevail
and override the earlier law, the Revised Charter of Manila.
Legis posteriores priores contrarias abrogant, or later statute
repeals prior ones which are repugnant thereto. As between
two laws on the same subject matter, which are irreconcilably
inconsistent, that which is passed later prevails, since it is the
latest expression of legislative will.116 If there is an
inconsistency or repugnance between two statutes, both
relating to the same subject matter, which cannot be removed
by any fair and reasonable method of interpretation, it is the
latest expression of the legislative will which must prevail and
override the earlier.117

city, shall enact ordinances, approve resolutions and


appropriate funds for the general welfare of the city and its
inhabitants pursuant to Section 16 of this Code and in the
proper exercise of the corporate powers of the city as
provided for under Section 22 of this Code, and shall:

(1) Approve ordinances and pass resolutions necessary for an


efficient and effective city government, and in this connection,
shall:

. . .
Implied repeals are those which take place when a
subsequently enacted law contains provisions contrary to
those of an existing law but no provisions expressly repealing
them. Such repeals have been divided into two general
classes: those which occur where an act is so inconsistent or
irreconcilable with an existing prior act that only one of the
two can remain in force and those which occur when an act
covers the whole subject of an earlier act and is intended to
be a substitute therefor. The validity of such a repeal is
sustained on the ground that the latest expression of the
legislative will should prevail.118

In addition, Section 534(f) of the Code states that "All general


and special laws, acts, city charters, decrees, executive
orders, proclamations and administrative regulations, or part
or parts thereof which are inconsistent with any of the
provisions of this Code are hereby repealed or modified
accordingly." Thus, submitting to petitioners' interpretation
that the Revised Charter of Manila empowers the City Council
to prohibit motels, that portion of the Charter stating such
must be considered repealed by the Code as it is at variance
with the latter's provisions granting the City Council mere
regulatory powers.

It is well to point out that petitioners also cannot seek cover


under the general welfare clause authorizing the abatement
of nuisances without judicial proceedings. That tenet applies
to a nuisance per se, or one which affects the immediate
safety of persons and property and may be summarily abated
under the undefined law of necessity. It can not be said that
motels are injurious to the rights of property, health or
comfort of the community. It is a legitimate business. If it be a
nuisance per accidens it may be so proven in a hearing
conducted for that purpose. A motel is not per se a nuisance
warranting its summary abatement without judicial
intervention.119

Notably, the City Council was conferred powers to prevent and


prohibit certain activities and establishments in another
section of the Code which is reproduced as follows:

Section 458. Powers, Duties, Functions and Compensation. (a)


The sangguniang panlungsod, as the legislative body of the

(v) Enact ordinances intended to prevent, suppress and


impose appropriate penalties for habitual drunkenness in
public
places,
vagrancy,
mendicancy,
prostitution,
establishment and maintenance of
houses of ill repute,
gambling and other prohibited games of chance, fraudulent
devices and ways to obtain money or property, drug
addiction, maintenance of drug dens, drug pushing, juvenile
delinquency, the printing, distribution or exhibition of obscene
or pornographic materials or publications, and such other
activities inimical to the welfare and morals of the inhabitants
of the city;

. . .

If it were the intention of Congress to confer upon the City


Council the power to prohibit the establishments enumerated
in Section 1 of the Ordinance, it would have so declared in
uncertain terms by adding them to the list of the matters it
may prohibit under the above-quoted Section. The Ordinance
now vainly attempts to lump these establishments with
houses of ill-repute and expand the City Council's powers in
the second and third clauses of Section 458 (a) 4 (vii) of the
Code in an effort to overreach its prohibitory powers. It is
evident that these establishments may only be regulated in
their establishment, operation and maintenance.

It is important to distinguish the punishable activities from the


establishments themselves. That these establishments are
recognized legitimate enterprises can be gleaned from
another Section of the Code. Section 131 under the Title on
Local Government Taxation expressly mentioned proprietors
or operators of massage clinics, sauna, Turkish and Swedish
baths, hotels, motels and lodging houses as among the
"contractors" defined in paragraph (h) thereof. The same
Section also defined "amusement" as a "pleasurable diversion
and entertainment," "synonymous to relaxation, avocation,
pastime or fun;" and "amusement places" to include
"theaters, cinemas, concert halls, circuses and other places of
amusement where one seeks admission to entertain oneself
by seeing or viewing the show or performances." Thus, it can
be inferred that the Code considers these establishments as
legitimate enterprises and activities. It is well to recall the
maxim reddendo singula singulis which means that words in

different parts of a statute must be referred to their


appropriate connection, giving to each in its place, its proper
force and effect, and, if possible, rendering none of them
useless or superfluous, even if strict grammatical construction
demands
otherwise.
Likewise,
where
words
under
consideration appear in different sections or are widely
dispersed throughout an act the same principle applies.120

Not only does the Ordinance contravene the Code, it likewise


runs counter to the provisions of P.D. 499. As correctly argued
by MTDC, the statute had already converted the residential
Ermita-Malate area into a commercial area. The decree
allowed the establishment and operation of all kinds of
commercial establishments except warehouse or open storage
depot, dump or yard, motor repair shop, gasoline service
station, light industry with any machinery or funeral
establishment. The rule is that for an ordinance to be valid
and to have force and effect, it must not only be within the
powers of the council to enact but the same must not be in
conflict with or repugnant to the general law.121 As succinctly
illustrated in Solicitor General v. Metropolitan Manila
Authority:122

The requirement that the enactment must not violate existing


law explains itself. Local political subdivisions are able to
legislate only by virtue of a valid delegation of legislative
power from the national legislature (except only that the
power to create their own sources of revenue and to levy
taxes is conferred by the Constitution itself). They are mere
agents vested with what is called the power of subordinate
legislation. As delegates of the Congress, the local
government units cannot contravene but must obey at all
times the will of their principal. In the case before us, the
enactment in question, which are merely local in origin cannot
prevail against the decree, which has the force and effect of a
statute.123

Petitioners contend that the Ordinance enjoys the


presumption of validity. While this may be the rule, it has
already been held that although the presumption is always in
favor of the validity or reasonableness of the ordinance, such
presumption must nevertheless be set aside when the
invalidity or unreasonableness appears on the face of the
ordinance itself or is established by proper evidence. The
exercise of police power by the local government is valid
unless it contravenes the fundamental law of the land, or an
act of the legislature, or unless it is against public policy or is
unreasonable, oppressive, partial, discriminating or in
derogation of a common right.124

Conclusion

All considered, the Ordinance invades fundamental personal


and property rights and impairs personal privileges. It is
constitutionally infirm. The Ordinance contravenes statutes; it
is discriminatory and unreasonable in its operation; it is not
sufficiently detailed and explicit that abuses may attend the

enforcement of its sanctions. And not to be forgotten, the City


Council under the Code had no power to enact the Ordinance
and is therefore ultra vires, null and void.

Concededly, the challenged Ordinance was enacted with the


best of motives and shares the concern of the public for the
cleansing of the Ermita-Malate area of its social sins. Police
power legislation of such character deserves the full
endorsement of the judiciary we reiterate our support for it.
But inspite of its virtuous aims, the enactment of the
Ordinance has no statutory or constitutional authority to stand
on. Local legislative bodies, in this case, the City Council,
cannot prohibit
the operation
of the
enumerated
establishments under Section 1 thereof or order their transfer
or conversion without infringing the constitutional guarantees
of due process and equal protection of laws not even under
the guise of police power.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DENIED and the decision


of the Regional Trial Court declaring the Ordinance void is
AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.

SO ORDERED.
FACTS: Private respondent Malate Tourist Development
Corporation (MTDC) is a corporation engaged in the business
of operating hotels, motels, hostels and lodging houses. It
built and opened Victoria Court in Malate which was licensed
as a motel although duly accredited with the DOT as a hotel.
On 28 June 1993, MTDC filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief
with Prayer for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or
Temporary Restraining Order7 with the lower court impleading
as defendants, herein petitioners City of Manila, Hon. Alfredo
S. Lim (Lim), Hon. Joselito L. Atienza, and the members of the
City Council of Manila (City Council). MTDC prayed that the
Ordinance, insofar as it includes motels and inns as among its
prohibited
establishments,
be
declared
invalid
and
unconstitutional.

Enacted by the City Council and approved by petitioner City


Mayor, the said Ordinance is entitled

AN ORDINANCE PROHIBITING THE ESTABLISHMENT OR


OPERATION OF BUSINESSES PROVIDING CERTAIN FORMS OF
AMUSEMENT, ENTERTAINMENT, SERVICES AND FACILITIES IN
THE ERMITA-MALATE AREA, PRESCRIBING PENALTIES FOR
VIOLATION THEREOF, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Judge Laguio rendered the assailed Decision (in favour of
respondent).

On 11 January 1995, petitioners filed the present Petition,


alleging that the following errors were committed by the lower
court in its ruling:

the intrinsic validity of the law in interfering with the rights of


the person to his life, liberty and property.
(1) It erred in concluding that the subject ordinance is ultra
vires, or otherwise, unfair, unreasonable and oppressive
exercise of police power;
Requisites for the valid exercise
(2) It erred in holding that the questioned Ordinance
contravenes P.D. 499 which allows operators of all kinds of
commercial establishments, except those specified therein;
and
(3) It erred in
unconstitutional.

declaring

the

Ordinance

void

and

ISSUE: WON the ordinance is unconstitutional.

HELD: The Court is of the opinion, and so holds, that the lower
court did not err in declaring the Ordinance, as it did, ultra
vires and therefore null and void.

The tests of a valid ordinance are well established. A long line


of decisions has held that for an ordinance to be valid, it must
not only be within the corporate powers of the local
government unit to enact and must be passed according to
the procedure prescribed by law, it must also conform to the
following substantive requirements:

of Police Power are not met

To successfully invoke the exercise of police power as the


rationale for the enactment of the Ordinance, and to free it
from the imputation of constitutional infirmity, not only must it
appear that the interests of the public generally, as
distinguished from those of a particular class, require an
interference with private rights, but the means adopted must
be reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the
purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.60 It
must be evident that no other alternative for the
accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of private rights
can work. A reasonable relation must exist between the
purposes of the police measure and the means employed for
its accomplishment, for even under the guise of protecting the
public interest, personal rights and those pertaining to private
property will not be permitted to be arbitrarily invaded.

Lacking a concurrence of these two requisites, the police


measure shall be struck down as an arbitrary intrusion into
private rights a violation of the due process clause.

(1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute;


(2) must not be unfair or oppressive;
(3) must not be partial or discriminatory;
(4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade;
(5) must be general and consistent with public policy; and

The object of the Ordinance was, accordingly, the promotion


and protection of the social and moral values of the
community. Granting for the sake of argument that the
objectives of the Ordinance are within the scope of the City
Councils police powers, the means employed for the
accomplishment thereof were unreasonable and unduly
oppressive.

(6) must not be unreasonable.


The Ordinance was passed by the City Council in the exercise
of its police power, an enactment of the City Council acting as
agent of Congress. This delegated police power is found in
Section 16 of the LGC, known as the general welfare clause.
The inquiry in this Petition is concerned with the validity of the
exercise of such delegated power.

A. The Ordinance contravenes


the Constitution

The enactment of the Ordinance was an invalid exercise of


delegated power as it is unconstitutional and repugnant to
general laws.
The police power granted to LGUs must always be exercised
with utmost observance of the rights of the people to due
process and equal protection of the law. Due process requires

The worthy aim of fostering public morals and the eradication


of the communitys social ills can be achieved through means
less restrictive of private rights; it can be attained by
reasonable restrictions rather than by an absolute prohibition.
The closing down and transfer of businesses or their
conversion into businesses allowed under the Ordinance
have no reasonable relation to the accomplishment of its
purposes. Otherwise stated, the prohibition of the enumerated
establishments will not per se protect and promote the social
and moral welfare of the community; it will not in itself
eradicate the alluded social ills of prostitution, adultery,
fornication nor will it arrest the spread of sexual disease in
Manila.

The enumerated establishments are lawful pursuits which are


not per se offensive to the moral welfare of the community.
While a motel may be used as a venue for immoral sexual
activity, it cannot for that reason alone be punished. It cannot
be classified as a house of ill-repute or as a nuisance per se
on a mere likelihood or a naked assumption.

If the City of Manila so desires to put an end to prostitution,


fornication and other social ills, it can instead impose
reasonable regulations such as daily inspections of the
establishments for any violation of the conditions of their
licenses or permits; it may exercise its authority to suspend or
revoke their licenses for these violations; and it may even
impose increased license fees. In other words, there are other
means to reasonably accomplish the desired end.

It is readily apparent that the means employed by the


Ordinance for the achievement of its purposes, the
governmental
interference
itself,
infringes
on
the
constitutional guarantees of a persons fundamental right to
liberty and property.

Modality employed is

The second and third options to transfer to any place


outside of the Ermita-Malate area or to convert into allowed
businessesare confiscatory as well. The penalty of
permanent closure in cases of subsequent violations found in
Section 4 of the Ordinance is also equivalent to a taking of
private property.

Petitioners cannot take refuge in classifying the measure as a


zoning ordinance. A zoning ordinance, although a valid
exercise of police power, which limits a wholesome property
to a use which can not reasonably be made of it constitutes
the taking of such property without just compensation. Private
property which is not noxious nor intended for noxious
purposes may not, by zoning, be destroyed without
compensation. Such principle finds no support in the
principles of justice as we know them. The police powers of
local government units which have always received broad and
liberal interpretation cannot be stretched to cover this
particular taking.

unlawful taking

It is an ordinance which permanently restricts the use of


property that it can not be used for any reasonable purpose
goes beyond regulation and must be recognized as a taking of
the property without just compensation.78 It is intrusive and
violative of the private property rights of individuals.

There are two different types of taking that can be identified.


A possessory taking occurs when the government
confiscates or physically occupies property. A regulatory
taking occurs when the governments regulation leaves no
reasonable economically viable use of the property.

What is crucial in judicial consideration of regulatory takings is


that government regulation is a taking if it leaves no
reasonable economically viable use of property in a manner
that interferes with reasonable expectations for use. When the
owner of real property has been called upon to sacrifice all
economically beneficial uses in the name of the common
good, that is, to leave his property economically idle, he has
suffered a taking.

Further, The Ordinance confers upon the mayor arbitrary and


unrestricted power to close down establishments. Ordinances
such as this, which make possible abuses in its execution,
depending upon no conditions or qualifications whatsoever
other than the unregulated arbitrary will of the city authorities
as the touchstone by which its validity is to be tested, are
unreasonable and invalid. The Ordinance should have
established a rule by which its impartial enforcement could be
secured. Similarly, the Ordinance does not specify the
standards to ascertain which establishments tend to disturb
the community, annoy the inhabitants, and adversely
affect the social and moral welfare of the community.

The cited case supports the nullification of the Ordinance for


lack of comprehensible standards to guide the law enforcers
in carrying out its provisions.

Petitioners cannot therefore order the closure of the


enumerated establishments without infringing the due
process clause. These lawful establishments may be
regulated, but not prevented from carrying on their business.

B. The Ordinance violates Equal


The Ordinance gives the owners and operators of the
prohibited establishments three (3) months from its
approval within which to wind up business operations or to
transfer to any place outside of the Ermita-Malate area or
convert said businesses to other kinds of business allowable
within the area. The directive to wind up business
operations amounts to a closure of the establishment, a
permanent deprivation of property, and is practically
confiscatory. Unless the owner converts his establishment to
accommodate an allowed business, the structure which
housed the previous business will be left empty and gathering
dust. It is apparent that the Ordinance leaves no reasonable
economically viable use of property in a manner that
interferes with reasonable expectations for use.

Protection Clause

In the Courts view, there are no substantial distinctions


between motels, inns, pension houses, hotels, lodging houses
or other similar establishments. By definition, all are
commercial establishments providing lodging and usually
meals and other services for the public. No reason exists for
prohibiting motels and inns but not pension houses, hotels,
lodging houses or other similar establishments. The
classification in the instant case is invalid as similar subjects
are not similarly treated, both as to rights conferred and
obligations imposed. It is arbitrary as it does not rest on

substantial distinctions bearing a just and fair relation to the


purpose of the Ordinance.

The Court likewise cannot see the logic for prohibiting the
business and operation of motels in the Ermita-Malate area
but not outside of this area. A noxious establishment does not
become any less noxious if located outside the area.

The standard where women are used as tools for


entertainment is also discriminatory as prostitution one of
the hinted ills the Ordinance aims to banishis not a
profession exclusive to women. Both men and women have an
equal propensity to engage in prostitution. Thus, the
discrimination is invalid.

C. The Ordinance is repugnant


to general laws; it is ultra vires

The Ordinance is in contravention of the Code (Sec 458) as


the latter merely empowers local government units to
regulate, and not prohibit, the establishments enumerated in
Section 1 thereof.

It is well to point out that petitioners also cannot seek cover


under the general welfare clause authorizing the abatement
of nuisances without judicial proceedings. That tenet applies
to a nuisance per se, or one which affects the immediate
safety of persons and property and may be summarily abated
under the undefined law of necessity. It can not be said that
motels are injurious to the rights of property, health or
comfort of the community. It is a legitimate business. If it be a
nuisance per accidens it may be so proven in a hearing
conducted for that purpose. A motel is not per se a nuisance
warranting its summary abatement without judicial
intervention.

Not only does the Ordinance contravene the Code, it likewise


runs counter to the provisions of P.D. 499. As correctly argued
by MTDC, the statute had already converted the residential
Ermita-Malate area into a commercial area. The decree
allowed the establishment and operation of all kinds of
commercial establishments except warehouse or open storage
depot, dump or yard, motor repair shop, gasoline service
station, light industry with any machinery or funeral
establishment. The rule is that for an ordinance to be valid
and to have force and effect, it must not only be within the
powers of the council to enact but the same must not be in
conflict with or repugnant to the general law.

Conclusion
With respect to cafes, restaurants, beerhouses, hotels, motels,
inns, pension houses, lodging houses, and other similar
establishments, the only power of the City Council to legislate
relative thereto is to regulate them to promote the general
welfare. The Code still withholds from cities the power to
suppress and prohibit altogether the establishment, operation
and maintenance of such establishments.

All considered, the Ordinance invades fundamental personal


and property rights and impairs personal privileges. It is
constitutionally infirm. The Ordinance contravenes statutes; it
is discriminatory and unreasonable in its operation; it is not
sufficiently detailed and explicit that abuses may attend the
enforcement of its sanctions. And not to be forgotten, the City
Council under the Code had no power to enact the Ordinance
and is therefore ultra vires, null and void.