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Phil. Press Institute vs.

COMELEC
244 SCRA 272
Fundamental Powers of the State
FACTS:
Respondent Comelec promulgated Resolution no. 2772 directing newspapers
to provide free Comelec space of not less than one-half page for the common use of
political parties and candidates. The Comelec space shall be allocated by the
Commission, free of charge, among all candidates to enable them to make known
their qualifications, their stand on public issue and their platforms of government.
The Comelec space shall also be used by the Commission for dissemination of vital
election information.
Petitioner Philippine Press Institute, Inc. (PPI), a non-profit organization of
newspaper and magazine publishers, asks the Supreme Court to declare Comelec
Resolution 2772 unconstitutional and void on gthe ground that it violates the
prohibition imposed by the Constitution upon the government against the taking of
private property for public use without just compensation. On behalf of the
res[ondent Comelec, the Solicitor General claimed that the Resolution is
permissible exercise of the power of supervision (police power) of the Comelec over
the information operations of print media enterprises during the election period to
safeguard and ensure a fair, impartial and credible election.
ISSUE:
Wheteher or not Comemlec Resolution No. 2772 is unconstitutional.
HELD:
The Supreme Court declared the Resolution as unconstitutional. It held that to
compel print media companies to donate Comelec space amounts to taking of
private personal property without payment of the just compensation required in
expropriation cases. Moreover, the element for the taking has not been established
by respondent Comelec, considering that the newspapers are not unwilling to sell
advertising space. The taking of private property for public use is authorized by the
constitution, but not without payment of just compensation. Also Resolution No.
2772 does not constitute a valid exercise of the police power of the state. In such
case at bench, there is no showing of exixtence of national emergency to take
private property of newspapers or magazine publishers.
Note:
Violation of art. III, sec. 9 of the Phil. Constitution:
Sec.9. Private property shall not be taken for public use without just
compensation.