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L-32166 10/18/1977 Aquino, J
Petitioners Respondents

People of the Philippines Hon. Maximo A. Maceren, CFI Sta. Cruz, Laguna,
Jose Buenaventura, Godofredo Reyes, Benjamin
Reyes, Nazario Aquino, Carlo del Rosario
Procedural History

Facts of the Case

Private respondents were charged in municipal court of Judge Maceren of violation of FAO84-1 (they were
electro-fishing, which is banned under said order). CFI quashed the complaint, thus this appeal.

Issues Ruling
Does Fisheries Admin Order 84-1 (FAO84-1) constitute undue excess Yes
of authority?
Rationale/Analysis/Legal Basis

Section 11 of the Fisheries Law prohibits "the use of any obnoxious or poisonous substance in
fishing", and punishes the use of such. Note that said section does not expressly prohibit electro-
fishing (nor is electro-fishing punished anywhere else in the Fisheries Law, for that matter).
Nonetheless, Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources promulgated FAO84-1 to ban electro-
fishing. The court, however, finds that the Fisheries Law does not specifically punish electro-fishing,
nor can electro-fishing be classified as an "other violation" as the penalty in the order (fine not
exceeding P500 and/or imprisonment not exceeding 6 months) is not the same as that fixed in the
Fisheries Law for other violations (fine not exceeding P200 and/or imprisonment not exceeding 6
months). In fine, as electro-fishing is not banned under the law, the Secretary of Agriculture and
Natural Resources and the Commissioner of Fisheries cannot punish it (legislative body cannot
delegate to an executive official the power to declare what acts constitute an offense). Delegated
rule-making power of administrative officials/agencies does not allow for promulgation of rules not
included within statutes created by the legislature. In fact, Presidential Decree 704 (which amended
all laws/decrees affecting fishing and was promulgated 5/16/1975) amended the Fisheries Law to
expressly ban electro-fishing, and is an admission that a mere executive regulation is not legally
adequate to penalize electro-fishing. Note that the accused used electro-fishing on 3/1/1969 and were
charged 3/7/1969, 6 years before PD704 expressly banned electro-fishing

Separate Opinions