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MMDA Vs. Bel-Air Village [328 SCRA 836; G.R. No.

135962; 27 Mar 2000] Friday, January 30, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law

Facts: Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), petitioner herein, is a Government Agency tasked with the delivery of basic services in Metro Manila. Bel-Air Village Association (BAVA), respondent herein, received a letter of request from the petitioner to open Neptune Street of Bel-Air Village for the use of the public. The said opening of Neptune Street will be for the safe and convenient movement of persons and to regulate the flow of traffic in Makati City. This was pursuant to MMDA law or Republic Act No. 7924. On the same day, the respondent was appraised that the perimeter wall separating the subdivision and Kalayaan Avenue would be demolished. The respondent, to stop the opening of the said street and demolition of the wall, filed a preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining order. Respondent claimed that the MMDA had no authority to do so and the lower court decided in favor of the Respondent. Petitioner appealed the decision of the lower courts and claimed that it has the authority to open Neptune Street to public traffic because it is an agent of the State that can practice police power in the delivery of basic services in Metro Manila.

Issue: Whether or not the MMDA has the mandate to open Neptune Street to public traffic pursuant to its regulatory and police powers.

Held: The Court held that the MMDA does not have the capacity to exercise police power. Police power is primarily lodged in the National Legislature. However, police power may be delegated to government units. Petitioner herein is a development authority and not a political government unit. Therefore, the MMDA cannot exercise police power because it cannot be delegated to them. It is not a legislative unit of the government. Republic Act No. 7924 does not empower the MMDA to enact ordinances, approve resolutions and appropriate funds for the general welfare of the inhabitants of Manila. There is no syllable in the said act that grants MMDA police power. It is an agency created for the purpose of laying down policies and coordinating with various national government agencies, peoples organizations, non-governmental organizations and the private sector for the efficient and expeditious delivery of basic services in the vast metropolitan area.

On July 11, 1983, PAGCOR was created under PD 1869 to enable the Government to regulate and centralize all games of chance authorized by existing franchise or permitted by law. Basco and four others (all lawyers) assailed the validity of the law creating PAGCOR on constitutional grounds among others particularly citing that the PAGCORs charter is against the constitutional provision on local autonomy. Basco et al contend that P.D. 1869 constitutes a waiver of the right of the City of Manila to impose taxes and legal fees; that Section 13 par. (2) of P.D. 1869 which exempts PAGCOR, as the franchise holder from paying any tax of any kind or form, income or otherwise, as well as fees, charges or levies of whatever nature, whether National or Local is violative of the local autonomy principle. ISSUE: Whether or not PAGCORs charter is violative of the principle of local autonomy. HELD: NO. Section 5, Article 10 of the 1987 Constitution provides: Each local government unit shall have the power to create its own source of revenue and to levy taxes, fees, and other charges subject to such guidelines and limitation as the congress may provide, consistent with the basic policy on local autonomy. Such taxes, fees and charges shall accrue exclusively to the local government. A close reading of the above provision does not violate local autonomy (particularly on taxing powers) as it was clearly stated that the taxing power of LGUs are subject to such guidelines and limitation as Congress may provide. Further, the City of Manila, being a mere Municipal corporation has no inherent right to impose taxes. The Charter of the City of Manila is subject to control by Congress. It should be stressed that municipal corporations are mere creatures of Congress which has the power to create and abolish municipal corporations due to its general legislative powers. Congress, therefore, has the power of control over Local governments. And if Congress can grant the City of Manila the power to tax certain matters, it can also provide for exemptions or even take back the power. Further still, local governments have no power to tax instrumentalities of the National Government. PAGCOR is a government owned or controlled corporation with an original charter, PD 1869. All of its shares of stocks are owned by the National Government. Otherwise, its operation might be burdened, impeded or subjected to control by a mere Local government. This doctrine emanates from the supremacy of the National Government over local governments. Read full text here. Read another version of this digest here: Equal Protection

Magtajas vs Pryce Properties, Inc. [234 SCRA 255] Posted by Pius Morados on November 6, 2011 (Municipal Corporation Tests of a Valid Ordinance) Facts: The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is a corporation created directly by P.D. 1869 to help centralize and regulate all games of chance, including casinos on land and sea within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines. In Basco v. Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation, this Court sustained the constitutionality of the decree and even cited the benefits of the entity to the national economy as the third highest revenueearner in the government. PAGCOR decided to expand its operations to Cagayan de Oro City by leasing a portion of a building belonging to Pryce Properties Corporation Inc. for its casino. On December 7, 1992, Sangguniang Panlungsod of CDO enacted ordinance 3353, prohibiting the issuance of business permit and cancelling existing business permit to any establishment for the using and allowing to be used its premises or portion thereof for the operation of a casino. On January 4, 1993, it enacted Ordinance 3375-93, prohibiting the operation of casino and providing penalty for violation therefore. Pryce assailed the ordinances before the CA, where it was joined by PAGCOR as intervenor. The Court found the ordinances invalid and issued the writ prayed for to prohibit their enforcement. CDO City and its mayor filed a petition for review under Rules of Court with the Supreme Court. Issue: WON the Sangguniang Panlungsod can prohibit the establishment of casino operated by PAGCOR through an ordinance or resolution. Held: No. Gambling is not illegal per se. While it is generally considered inimical to the interests of the people, there is nothing in the Constitution categorically proscribing or penalizing gambling or, for that matter, even mentioning it at all. In the exercise of its own discretion, the Congress 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. Under Sec. 458 of the Local Government Code, local government units are authorized to prevent or suppress, among others, gambling and other prohibited games of chance. Ordinances should not contravene a statue as municipal governments are only agents of the national government. Local councils exercise only delegated powers conferred on them by Congress as the national lawmaking body. The delegate cannot be superior to the principal or exercise powers higher than those of the latter.

The tests of a valid ordinance are well established. A long line of decisions has held that to be valid, an ordinance must conform to the following substantive requirements: 1) It must not contravene the constitution or any statute. 2) It must not be unfair or oppressive. 3) It must not be partial or discriminatory. 4) It must not prohibit but may regulate trade. 5) It must be general and consistent with public policy. 6) It must not be unreasonable. EN BANC SULTAN ALIMBUSAR P. LIMBONA, petitioner, vs. CONTE MANGELIN, SALIC ALI, SALINDATO ALI, PILIMPINAS CONDING, ACMAD TOMAWIS, GERRY TOMAWIS, JESUS ORTIZ, ANTONIO DELA FUENTE, DIEGO PALOMARES, JR., RAUL DAGALANGIT, and BIMBO SINSUAT, respondents. G.R. No. 80391 FACTS: On March 12, 1987 petitioner Limbona was elected Speaker of the Regional Legislative Assembly or Batasang Pampook of Central Mindanao. On November 2, 1987, members of Regional Legislative Assembly sans the petitioner Limbona convened in defiance to short recess called for by petitioner as the latter was to attend a congressional committee hearing for Muslim Affairs in Congress. During the convention, having acquired quorum, members thereof move to declare the Speakership of the Regional Legislative Assembly vacant, thereby expelling petitioner from office. Petitioner Limbona filed petition for injunction praying that a restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction be issued enjoining respondents from proceeding with their session to be held on November 5, 1987, and on any day thereafter and that judgment be rendered declaring the proceedings held by respondents of their session on November 2, 1987 as null and void. In view thereof, the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to hear and decide matters over autonomous region was challenged by respondents. February 28, 1989

ISSUE: Are the so-called autonomous governments of Mindanao, as they are now constituted, subject to the jurisdiction of the national courts?

HELD: An autonomy is either decentralization of administration or decentralization of power. An autonomous government that enjoys autonomy of the latter category (decentralization of power) [CONST. (1987), art. X, sec. 15.] is subject alone to the decree of the organic act creating it and accepted principles on the effects and limits of "autonomy." On the other hand, an autonomous government of the former class (decentralization of government) is, as we noted, under the supervision of the national government acting through the President (and the Department of Local Government). 32 If the Sangguniang Pampook (of Region XII), then, is autonomous in the latter sense (decentralization of power), its acts are, debatably beyond the domain of this Court in perhaps the same way that the internal acts, say, of the Congress of the Philippines are beyond our jurisdiction. But if it is autonomous in the former category only (decentralization of administration) it comes unarguably under our jurisdiction. An examination of the very Presidential Decree creating the autonomous governments of Mindanao persuades us that they were never meant to exercise autonomy in the second sense (decentralization of power), that is, in which the central government commits an act of selfimmolation. Presidential Decree No. 1618, in the first place, mandates that "[t]he President shall have the power of general supervision and control over Autonomous Regions." Hence, we assume jurisdiction. And if we can make an inquiry in the validity of the expulsion in question, with more reason can we review the petitioner's removal as Speaker.

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