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Eunice Moral 2C 1 Case Digests in Admin Law

Introduction/ General Consideration 1. Malaga v Penachos Jr. Facts: De la Llana vs. Alba [GR 57883, 12 March 1982] En Banc, Fernando (J): 2 concur, 1 concurs with condition, 7 concur in separate opinions, 1 dissents in separate opinion Facts: De la Llana, et al. filed a Petition for Declaratory Relief and/or for Prohibition (considered by this Court as an action for prohibition), seeking to enjoin the Minister of the Budget, the Chairman of the Commission on Audit, and the Minister of Justice from taking any action implementing Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. BP 129 mandates that Justices and judges of inferior courts from the Court of Appeals to municipal circuit courts, except the occupants of the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals, unless appointed to the inferior courts established by such Act, would be considered separated from the judiciary. It is the termination of their incumbency that for petitioners justifies a suit of this character, it being alleged that thereby the security of tenure provision of the Constitution has been ignored and disregarded. Issue: Whether the abolition of the existing inferior courts collides with the security of tenure enjoyed by incumbent Justices and judges Under Article X, Section 7 of the Constitution. Held: The Batasang Pambansa is expressly vested with the authority to reorganize inferior courts and in the process to abolish existing ones. The termination of office of their occupants, as a necessary consequence of such abolition, is hardly distinguishable from the practical standpoint from removal, a power that is now vested in the Supreme Court. Removal is, of course, to be distinguished from termination by virtue of the abolition of the office. There can be no tenure to a nonexistent office. After the abolition, there is in law no occupant. In case of removal, there is an office with an occupant who would thereby lose his position. It is in that sense that from the standpoint of strict law, the question of any impairment of security of tenure does not arise. Nonetheless, for the incumbents of inferior courts abolished, the effect is one of separation. As to its effect, no distinction exists between removal and the abolition of the office. Realistically, it is devoid of significance. He ceases to be a member of the judiciary. In the implementation of the assailed legislation, therefore, it would be in accordance with accepted principles of constitutional construction that as far as incumbent justices and judges are concerned, the Supreme Court be consulted and that its view be accorded the fullest consideration. No fear need be entertained that there is a failure to accord respect to the basic principle that the Supreme Court does not render advisory opinions. No question of law is involved. If such were the case, certainly the Supreme Court could not have its say prior to the action taken by either of the two departments. Even then, it could do so but only by way of deciding a case where the matter has been put in issue. Neither is there any intrusion into who shall be appointed to the vacant positions created by the reorganization. That remains in the hands of the Executive to whom it properly belongs. There is no departure therefore from the tried and tested ways of judicial power. Rather what is sought to be achieved by this liberal interpretation is to preclude any plausibility to the charge that in the exercise of the conceded power of reorganizing the inferior courts, the power of removal of the present incumbents vested in this Tribunal is ignored or disregarded. The challenged Act would thus be free from any unconstitutional taint, even one not readily discernible except to those predisposed to view it with distrust. Moreover, such a construction would be in accordance with the basic principle that in the choice of alternatives between one which would save and another which would invalidate a statute, the former is to be preferred. There is an obvious way to do so. The principle that the Constitution enters into and forms part of every act to avoid any unconstitutional taint must be applied. Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 could stand the most rigorous test of constitutionality. Further, it is of the essence of constitutionalism to assure that neither agency is precluded from acting within the boundaries of its conceded competence. That is why it has long been well-settled under the constitutional system we have adopted that the Supreme Court cannot, whenever appropriate, avoid the task of reconciliation. It is a cardinal article of faith of our constitutional regime that it is the people who are endowed with rights, to secure which a government is instituted. Acting as it does through public officials, it has to grant them either expressly or impliedly certain powers. Those they exercise not for their own benefit but for the body politic. The Constitution does not speak in the language of ambiguity: "A public office is a public trust." That is more than a moral adjuration. It is a legal imperative. The law may vest in a public official certain rights. It does so to enable them to perform his functions and fulfill his responsibilities more efficiently. It is from that standpoint that the security of tenure provision to assure judicial

2.

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independence is to be viewed. There is no reason to assume that the failure of this suit to annul BP 129 would be attended with deleterious consequences to the administration of justice. It does not follow that the abolition in good faith of the existing inferior courts except the Sandiganbayan and the Court of Tax Appeals and the creation of new ones will result in a judiciary unable or unwilling to discharge with independence its solemn duty or one recreant to the trust reposed in it. Nor should there be any fear that less than good faith will attend the exercise of the appointing power vested in the Executive. It cannot be denied that an independent and efficient judiciary is something to the credit of any administration. Well and truly has it been said that the fundamental principle of separation of powers assumes, and justifiably so, that the three departments are as one in their determination to pursue the ideals and aspirations and to fulfill the hopes of the sovereign people as expressed in the Constitution. 3. TIO VS. VIDEOGRAM REGULATORY BOARD [151 SCRA 208; G.R. No. L-75697; 18 Jun 1987]

Facts: The case is a petition filed by petitioner on behalf of videogram operators adversely affected by Presidential Decree No. 1987, An Act Creating the Videogram Regulatory Board" with broad powers to regulate and supervise the videogram industry.

A month after the promulgation of the said Presidential Decree, the amended the National Internal Revenue Code provided that:

"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."

"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 orrental 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.

The rationale behind the tax provision is to curb 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 movie houses and theaters. Such unregulated circulation have caused a sharp decline in theatrical attendance by at least forty percent (40%) and a tremendous drop in the collection of sales, contractor's specific, amusement and other taxes, thereby resulting in substantial losses estimated at P450 Million annually in government revenues.

Videogram(s) establishments collectively earn around P600 Million per annum from rentals, sales and disposition of videograms, and these earnings have not been subjected to tax, thereby depriving the Government of approximately P180

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Million in taxes each year.

The unregulated activities of videogram establishments have also affected the viability of the movie industry.

Issues:

(1) Whether or not tax imposed by the DECREE is a valid exercise of police power.

(2) Whether or nor the DECREE is constitutional.

Held: Taxation has been made the implement of the state's police power. 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 pornographicvideo tapes. And while it was also an objective of the DECREE to protect the movie industry, the tax remains a valid imposition.

We find no clear violation of the Constitution which would justify us in pronouncing Presidential Decree No. 1987 as unconstitutional and void. 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 unreviewedvideo 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 Mayor's permit and municipal license fees are required to engage inbusiness."

WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is hereby dismissed. No costs.

4.

COMMISSION OF INTERNAL REVENUE vs. COURT OF APPEALS G.R. NO. 119322, June 4, 1996 FACTS:On June 1, 1993, the President of the Philippines issued a Memorandum creating a Task Force to investigate the tax liabilities of manufacturers engaged in tax evasion scheme, such as selling products through dummy marketing corporations to avoid payment of correct internal revenue tax, to collect from any tax liabilities discovered from such investigation and to file the necessary criminal actions against those who may have violated the tax code.The task force was composed of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, a representative of the Department of Justice and a representative of the Executive

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Secretary.On July 1, 1993, the Commissioner issued a Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 37-93 reclassifying best selling cigarettes bearing the brands Hope, More and Champion as cigarettes of foreign brands subject to a higher rate of tax without notice of hearing to Fortune Tobacco Corporation who sells the mentioned brands.On August 3, 1993, Fortune questioned the validity of the reclassification of said brands as violative of its right to due process and equal protection of law. Parenthetically, the Court of Appeals ruled on September 8, 1993 that the reclassification made by the Commissioner is of doubtful legality and enjoined its enforcement. ISSUE: Whether or not Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 37-93 is valid despite the lack of notice of hearing to Fortune Tobacco Corporatio 5. RIZAL EMPIRE INSURANCE GROUP AND/OR SERGIO CORPUS, petitioners, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, TEODORICO L. RUIZ, as Labor Arbiter and ROGELIO R. CORIA, respondents. G.R. No. 73140 May 29, 1987 Facts: In August, 1977, herein private respondent Rogelio R. Coria was hired by herein petitioner Rizal Empire Insurance Group as a casual employee with a salary of P10.00 a day. On January 1, 1978, he was made a regular employee, having been appointed as clerk-typist, with a monthly salary of P300.00. Being a permanent employee, he was furnished a copy of petitioner company's "General Information, Office Behavior and Other Rules and Regulations." In the same year, without change in his position-designation, he was transferred to the Claims Department and his salary was increased to P450.00 a month. In 1980, he was transferred to the Underwriting Department and his salary was increased to P580.00 a month plus cost of living allowance, until he was transferred to the Fire Department as filing clerk. In July, 1983, he was made an inspector of the Fire Division with a monthly salary of P685.00 plus allowances and other benefits. On October 15, 1983, private respondent Rogelio R. Coria was dismissed from work, allegedly, on the grounds of tardiness and unexcused absences. Accordingly, he filed a complaint with the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE), and in a Decision dated March 14, 1985 (Record, pp. 80-87), Labor Arbiter Teodorico L. Ruiz reinstated him to his position with back wages. Petitioner filed an appeal with the National labor Relations Commission (NLRC) but, in a Resolution dated November 15, 1985 (Ibid, pp. 31-32), the appeal was dismissed on the ground that the same had been filed out of time. Hence, the instant petition. Issue: Whether or not NLRC committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in dismissing petitioner s appeal on a technicality. Held: Rule VIII of the Revised Rules of the National Labor Relations Commission on appeal, provides:

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SECTION 1. (a) Appeal. Decision or orders of a labor Arbiter shall be final and executory unless appealed to the Commission by any or both of the parties within ten (10) calendar days from receipt of notice thereof. SECTION 6. No extension of period. shall be entertained. No motion or request for extension of the period within which to perfect an appeal

The record shows that the employer (petitioner herein) received a copy of the decision of the Labor Arbiter on April 1, 1985. It filed a Motion for Extension of Time to File Memorandum of Appeal on April 11, 1985 and filed the Memorandum of Appeal on April 22, 1985. Pursuant to the "no extension policy" of the National Labor Relations Commission, aforesaid motion for extension of time was denied in its resolution dated November 15, 1985 and the appeal was dismissed for having been filed out of time. The Revised Rules of the National Labor Relations Commission are clear and explicit and leave no room for interpretation. Moreover, it is an elementary rule in administrative law that administrative regulations and policies enacted by administrative bodies to interpret the law which they are entrusted to enforce, have the force of law, and are entitled to great respect (Espanol v. Philippine Veterans Administration, 137 SCRA 314 [1985]). Under the above-quoted provisions of the Revised NLRC Rules, the decision appealed from in this case has become final and executory and can no longer be subject to appeal. Even on the merits, the ruling of the Labor Arbiter appears to be correct; the consistent promotions in rank and salary of the private respondent indicate he must have been a highly efficient worker, who should be retained despite occasional lapses in punctuality and attendance. Perfection cannot after all be demanded. WHEREFORE, this petition is DISMISSED.