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PEOPLE v VERA 65 Phil 56 LAUREL; November 16, 1937 FACTS -1931: information for criminal case against Mariano

Cu Unjieng, et. al was filed in CFI Manila. HSBC, the offended party, intervened. -1934: CFI convicted Cu Unjieng -1935: SC upholds conviction of Cu Unjieng, modified duration of imprisonment. After MFR and motions for new trial which were denied by SC, final judgment was entered. Cu Unjieng now sought to elevate case to US SC. US SC denied petition for certiorari. -1936: RP SC denied Cu Unjiengs petition for leave to file MFR or new trial, remanded the case to CFI Manila for execution of judgment. Cu Unjieng applied for provation under Act No. 4221, which was referred to the Insular Probation Office (IPO) -1937: IPO recommended denial of Cu Unjiengs application for probation. Petition for probation heard before Judge Veras court. HSBC attacked constitutionality of Act No. 4221 based on the following: equal protection of the laws (its applicability is not uniform throughout the Islands); undue delegation of legislative power (section 11 of the said Act endows provl boards w/ power to make said law effective or otherwise in their respective provinces). Judge Vera eventually promulgates resolution finding Cu Unjieng innocent of the crime of which he stands convicted but denying the latters petition for probation. Counsel for MCU files exception to the resolution denying probation & notice of intention to file MFR. This was followed by a series of alternative motions for new reconsideration or new trial. A motion for leave to intervene in the case as amici curiae signed by 33 (34) attorneys was also filed. (Attorney Eulalio Chaves, 1 of the 34, subsequently filed a petition for leave to withdraw his appearance as amicus curiae on the ground that the motion was circulated at a banquet given by counsel for MCU & that he signed the same "without mature deliberation & purely as a matter of courtesy.) HSBC filed opposition to motion for intervention. The Fiscal of the City of Manila filed motion w/ TC for issuance of an order to execute judgment of Phil SC in said case & to commit MCU to jail in obedience to said judgment. -19 August 1937: hearing on the various motions for CFIs consideration. On this same date, this instant case was field before Phil SC to put an end to what they alleged was an interminable proceeding in CFI Mnla.

- Note Probation implies guilt by final judgment. While a probation case may look into the circumstances attending the commission of the offense, this does not authorize it to reverse the findings and conclusive of this court, either directly or indirectly, especially wherefrom its own admission reliance was merely had on the printed briefs, averments, and pleadings of the parties. If each and every Court of First Instance could enjoy the privilege of overruling decisions of the Supreme Court, there would be no end to litigation, and judicial chaos would result. <emphasis on the hierarchy in the Philippine judicial system> ISSUE NOTE: There were many issues in this case regarding the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 but for purposes of Admininstative law, the focus of the digest is the non delegation doctrine WON section 11 of Act No. 4221 constitute Undue Delegation of Legislative Power, and is therefore unconstitutional and void HELD YES. Section 11 constitutes an improper and unlawful delegation of legislative authority to the provincial boards, therefore, unconstitutional and void. Reasoning. Under the Consti, govt powers are distributed among 3 coordinate and substantially independent organs: legislative, executive and judicial. Each department derives its authority from the Constitution, the highest expression of popular will. Each has exclusive cognizance of the matters within its jurisdiction, supreme within its own sphere. - The power to make laws (the legislative power) is vested in a bicameral Legislature by the Jones Law (sec. 12) and in a unicameral National Assembly by the Constitution (A6,s1). The Philippine Legislature or the National Assembly may not escape its duties and responsibilities by delegating that power to any other body or authority. Any attempt to abdicate the power is unconstitutional and void, on the principle that potestas delegata non delegare potest, an accepted corollary of the principle of separation of powers. - The rule, however, which forbids the delegation of legislative power is not absolute and inflexible. It admits of exceptions like: (1) delegation of legislative powers to local authorities; (2) to such agencies in US territories as Congress may select; (3) to the people at large; and (4) to those whom the Constitution itself delegates such

legislative powers (e.g., the President). The case before us does not fall under any of these exceptions. - Test of Undue Delegation: to inquire whether the statute was complete in all its terms and provisions when it left the hands of the legislature so that nothing was left to the judgment of any other appointee or delegate of the legislature. BUT to a certain extent matters of detail may be left to be filled in by rules and regulations to be adopted or promulgated by executive officers and administrative boards. As a rule, an act of the legislature is incomplete and hence invalid if it does not lay down any rule or definite standard by which the administrative officer or board may be guided in the exercise of the discretionary powers delegated to it. - In the case at bar, the provincial boards of the various provinces are to determine for themselves, whether the Probation Law shall apply to their provinces or not at all. The applicability and application of the Probation Act are entirely placed in the hands of the provincial boards. If the provincial board does not wish to have the Act applied in its province, all that it has to do is to decline to appropriate the needed amount for the salary of a probation officer. The plain language of the Act is not susceptible of any other interpretation. - The true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring an authority or discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection can be made. - It is true that laws may be made effective on certain contingencies, as by proclamation of the executive or the adoption by the people of a particular community. The legislature may delegate a power not legislative which it may itself rightfully exercise. The power to ascertain facts is such a power which may be delegated. There is nothing essentially legislative in ascertaining the existence of facts or conditions as the basis of the taking into effect of a law. That is a mental process common to all branches of the government. - The efficiency of an Act as a declaration of legislative will must, of course, come from Congress, but the ascertainment of the contingency upon which the Act shall take effect may be left to such agencies as it may designate. The legislature, then may provide that a contingencies leaving to some other person or body the power to determine when the specified contingencies has arisen. In the case at bar, the various provincial boards are, in practical effect, endowed with the power of suspending the operation of the Probation Law in

their respective provinces. - While the legislature may suspend a law, or the execution or operation of a law, a law may not be suspended as to certain individuals only, leaving the law to be enjoyed by others. The suspension must be general, and cannot be made for individual cases or for particular localities. Here the sovereign and absolute power resides in the people; and the legislature can only exercise what is delegated to them according to the constitution. It is manifestly contrary to the first principles of civil liberty and natural justice, and to the spirit of our constitution and laws, that any one citizen should enjoy privileges and advantages which are denied to all others under like circumstances; or that ant one should be subject to losses, damages, suits, or actions from which all others under like circumstances are exempted. - True, the legislature may enact laws for a particular locality different from those applicable to other localities. But option laws thus sustained treat of subjects purely local in character which should receive different treatment in different localities placed under different circumstances. While we do not deny the right of local selfgovernment and the propriety of leaving matters of purely local concern in the hands of local authorities or for the people of small communities to pass upon, we believe that in matters of general of general legislation like that which treats of criminals in general, and as regards the general subject of probation, discretion may not be vested in a manner so unqualified and absolute as provided in Act No. 4221. The validity of a law is not tested by what has been done but by what may be done under its provisions. - A great deal of latitude should be granted to the legislature not only in the expression of what may be termed legislative policy but in the elaboration and execution thereof. "Without this power, legislation would become oppressive and yet imbecile." The mass of powers of government is vested in the representatives of the people and that these representatives are no further restrained under our system than by the express language of the instrument imposing the restraint, or by particular provisions which by clear intendment, have that effect. (Angara case) Decision WHEREFORE, Act No. 4221 is hereby declared unconstitutional and void and the writ of prohibition is, accordingly, granted. Without any pronouncement regarding costs. So ordered.

Tatad vs. Secretary of the Department of Energy G.R. No. 124360, November 5, 1997 Sunday, January 25, 2009 Posted by Coffeeholic Writes Labels: Case Digests, Political Law Facts: The petitions assail the constitutionality of various provisions of RA 8180 entitiled the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1996. Under the deregulated environment, any person or entity may import or purchase any quantity of crude oil and petroleum products from a foreign or domestic source, lease or own and operate refineries and other downstream oil facilities and market such crude oil or use the same for his own requirement, subject only to monitoring by the Department of Energy. Issues: (1) Whether or not the petitions raise a justiciable controversy (2) Whether or not the petitioners have the standing to assail the validity of the law (3) Whether or not Sec. 5(b) of RA 8180 violates the one title one subject requirement of the Constitution (4) Whether or not Sec. 15 of RA 8180 violates the constitutional prohibition on undue delegation of power (5) Whether or not RA 8180 violates the constitutional prohibition against monopolies, combinations in restraint of trade and unfair competition Held: As to the first issue, judicial power includes not only the duty of the courts to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable, but also the duty to determine whether or not there has been grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. The courts, as guardians of the Constitution, have the inherent authority to determine whether a statute enacted by the legislature transcends the limit imposed by the fundamental law. Where a statute violates the Constitution, it is not only the right but the

duty of the judiciary to declare such act as unconstitutional and void. The effort of respondents to question the legal standing of petitioners also failed. The Court has brightlined its liberal stance on a petitioners locus standi where the petitioner is able to craft an issue of transcendental significance to the people. In the case, petitioners pose issues which are significant to the people and which deserve the Courts forthright resolution. It is also contended that Sec. 5(b) of RA 8180 on tariff differential violates the provision of the Constitution requiring every law to have only one subject which should be expressed in its title. The Court did not concur with this contention. The title need not mirror, fully index or catalogue all contents and minute details of a law. A law having a single general subject indicated in the title may contain any number of provisions, no matter how diverse they may be, so long as they are not inconsistent with or foreign to the general subject, and may be considered in furtherance of such subject by providing for the method and means of carrying out the general subject. The Court held that Sec. 5 providing for tariff differential is germane to the subject of RA 8180 which is the deregulation of the downstream oil industry. Petitioners also assail Sec. 15 of RA 8180 which fixes the time frame for the full deregulation of the downstream oil industry for being violative of the constitutional prohibition on undue delegation of power. There are two accepted tests to determine whether or not there is a valid delegation of legislative power: the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. Under the first test, the law must be complete in all its terms and conditions when it leaves the legislative such that when it reaches the delegate the only thing he will have to do is to enforce it. Under the sufficient standard test, there must be adequate guidelines or limitations in the law to map out the boundaries of the delegates authority and prevent the delegation from running riot. Section 15 can hurdle both the completeness test and the sufficient standard test. Congress

expressly provided in RA 8180 that full deregulation will start at the end of March 1997, regardless of the occurrence of any event. Full deregulation at the end of March 1997 is mandatory and the Executive has no discretion to postpone it for any purported reason. Thus, the law is complete on the question of the final date of full deregulation. The discretion given to the President is to advance the date of full deregulation before the end of March 1997. Section 15 lays down the standard to guide the judgment of the President. He is to time it as far as practicable when the prices of crude oil and petroleum products in the world market are declining and when the exchange rate of the peso in relation to the US dollar is stable. Petitioners also argued that some provisions of RA 8180 violate Sec. 19, Art. XII of the Constitution. Section 19, Art. XII of the Constitution espouses competition. The desirability of competition is the reason for the prohibition against restraint of trade, the reason for the interdiction of unfair competition, and the reason for regulation of unmitigated monopolies. Competition is thus the underlying principle of Sec. 19, Art. XII of the Constitution which cannot be violated by RA 8180. Petron, Shell and Caltex stand as the only major league players in the oil market. As the dominant players, they boast of existing refineries of various capacities. The tariff differential of 4% on imported crude oil and refined petroleum products therefore works to their immense benefit. It erects a high barrier to the entry of new players. New players that intend to equalize the market power of Petron, Shell and Caltex by building refineries of their own will have to spend billions of pesos. Those who will not build refineries but compete with them will suffer the huge disadvantage of increasing their product cost by 4%. They will be competing on an uneven field. The provision on inventory widens the balance of advantage of Petron, Shell and Caltex against prospective new players. Petron, Shell and Caltex can easily comply with the inventory requirement of RA 8180 in view of their existing storage facilities. Prospective competitors again will find compliance with this requirement difficult as it will entail a prohibitive cost.

The most important question is whether the offending provisions can be individually struck down without invalidating the entire RA 8180. The general rule is that where part of a statute is void as repugnant to the Constitution, while another part is valid, the valid portion, if separable from the invalid, may stand and be enforced. The exception to the general rule is that when the parts of a statute are so mutually dependent and connected, as conditions, considerations, inducements or compensations for each other, as to warrant a belief that the legislature intended them as a whole, the nullity of one part will vitiate the rest. RA 8180 contains a separability clause. The separability clause notwithstanding, the Court held that the offending provisions of RA 8180 so permeate its essence that the entire law has to be struck down. The provisions on tariff differential, inventory and predatory pricing are among the principal props of RA 8180. Congress could not have regulated the downstream oil industry without these provisions. Unfortunately, contrary to their intent, these provisions on tariff differential, inventory and predatory pricing inhibit fair competition, encourage monopolistic power and interfere with the free interaction of market forces.