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Fernando vs St.

Scholasticas College
GR 1611107, 12 March 2013

Facts: Respondent SSCs property is enclosed by a tall concrete perimeter fence.


Marikina City enacted an ordinance which provides that walls and fences shall not
be built within a five-meter allowance between the front monument line and the
building line of an establishment.
The City Government of Marikina sent a letter to the respondents ordering
them to demolish, replace, and move back the fence. As a response, the
respondents filed a petition for prohibition with an application for a writ of
preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order before the Regional Trial
Court of Marikina. The RTC granted the petition and the CA affirmed. Hence, this
certiorari.

Issue: Is Marikina Ordinance No. 192, imposing a five-meter setback, a valid


exercise of police power?

Ruling: No. Police power is the plenary power vested in the legislature to make
statutes and ordinances to promote the health, morals, peace, education, good
order or safety and general welfare of the people. Two tests have been used by
the Court the rational relationship test and the strict scrutiny test:
Under the rational relationship test, an ordinance must pass the following
requisites:
(1) the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular
class, require its exercise; and (2) the means employed are reasonably necessary
for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive upon individuals.
The real intent of the setback requirement was to make the parking space
free for use by the public and not for the exclusive use of respondents. This would
be tantamount to a taking of private property for public use without just
compensation. Anent the objectives of prevention of concealment of unlawful acts
and un-neighborliness due to the walls and fences, the parking area is not
reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of these goals. The Court, thus, finds
Section 5 of the Ordinance to be unreasonable and oppressive. Hence, the exercise
of police power is not valid.