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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 non-existent 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 here fore 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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 Case Digest: Leandro Montes vs. The Civil Service Board of Appeals and The Secretary of Public Works and Communications G.R. No. L-10759 :: Labrador, J. FACTS: Montes, a watchman of the Ports and Harbors Division, Bureau of Public Works, was exonerated by the Commissioner of Civil Service in an administrative case instituted against him for negligence in the performance of duty. He failed to pump out water from the bilge of Dredge no. 6 while under his carem which eventually led to the sinking of the same. He was ordered to resign without prejudice to reinstatement at the discretion of the appointing officer. ISSUE: Whether or not, without exhausting all administrative remedies, the CFI of Manila can take jurisdiction of the case. HELD: NO. Section 2 of Commonwealth Act No. 598 is a clear expression of the policy or principle of exhaustion of administrative remedies. If the President, under whom the Civil Service directly falls in our administrative system as head of the executive department, may be able to grant the remedy that petitioner pursues, reasons of comity and orderly procedure demand that resort be made to him before recourse can be had to the
courts.

20 May 1957

Laguna Lake Development Authority v. CA

G.R. Nos. 120865-71, December 7, 1995 Hermosisima Jr., J. Facts: R A 4 8 5 0 w a s e n a c t e d c r e a t i n g t h e " L a g u n a L a k e D e v e l o p m e n t A u t h o r i t y. " T h i s agency was supposed to accelerate the development and balanced growth of the Laguna Lake area and the surrounding provinces, cities and towns, in the act, within the context of the national and regional plans and policies for social and economic development. PD 813 amended certain sections RA 4850 because of the concern for the rapid expansion of Metropolitan Manila, the suburbs and the lakeshore towns of Laguna de Bay, combined with current and prospective uses of the lake for municipal -industrial water supply, irrigation, fisheries, and the like. To effectively perform the role of the Authority under RA 4850, the Chief Executive issued EO 927 further defined and enlarged the functions and powers of the Authority and named and enumerated the towns, cities and provinces encompassed by the term "Laguna de Bay Region". Also, pertinent to the issues in this case are the following provisions of EO927 which include in particular the sharing of fees: Sec 2: xxx the Authority shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue permit for the use of all surface water for any projects or activities in or affecting the said region including navigation, construction, and operation of fish pens, fish enclosures, fish corrals and the like.SEC. 3. Collection of Fees . The Authority is hereby empowered to collect f e e s f o r t h e u s e o f t h e l a k e w a t e r a n d i t s t r i b u t a r i e s f o r a l l b e n e f i c i a l purposes including but not l i m i t e d t o f i s h e r i e s , r e c r e a t i o n , m u n i c i p a l , industrial, agricultural, navigation, irrigation, and waste disposal purpose; Provided, that the rates of the fees to be collected, and the sharing with other government agencies and political subdivisions, if necessary, shall be s u b j e c t t o t h e a p p r o v a l o f t h e P r e s i d e n t o f t h e P h i l i p p i n e s u p o n recommendation of the Authority's Board, except fish pen fee, which will be s h a r e d i n t h e f o l l o w i n g m a n n e r : 2 0 p e r c e n t o f t h e f e e s h a l l g o t o t h e lakeshore local governments, 5 percent shall go to the Project Development Fund which shall be administered by a Council and the remaining 75 percent shall constitute the share of LLDA. However, after the implementation within the three-year period of the Laguna Lake Fishery Zoning and Management Plan the sharing will be modified as follows: 35 percent of the fish pen fee g o e s t o t h e l a k e s h o r e l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t s , 5 p e r c e n t g o e s t o t h e P r o j e c t Development Fund and the remaining 60 percent shall be retained by LLDA; Provided, however, that the share of LLDA shall form part of its corporate funds and shall not be remitted to the National Treasury as an exception to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1234. Then came Republic Act No. 7160. The municipalities in the Laguna Lake Region interpreted the provisions of this law to mean that the newly passed law gave municipal governments the exclusive jurisdiction to issue fishing privileges within their municipal waters because R.A. 7160 provides: Sec. 149. Fishery Rentals; Fees and Charges (a) Municipalities shall have the exclusive authority to grant fishery privileges in the municipal waters and impose rental fees or charges therefor in accordance with the provisions of this Section. Municipal governments thereupon assumed the authority to issue fishing privileges and fish pen permits. Big fish pen operators took advantage of the occasion to establish fish pens and fish cages to the consternation of the Authority. Unregulated fish pens and fish cages occupied almost onethird the entire lake water surface area, increasing the occupation drastically from7 , 0 0 0 h a

in 1990 to almost 21,000 ha in 1995. The Mayor's permit to construct fish pens and fish cages were all undertaken in violation of the policies adopted by the Authority on fish pen zoning and the Laguna Lake carrying capacity. In view of the foregoing circumstances, the Authority served notice to the general public that: 1. All fish pens, fish cages and other aqua-culture structures in the Laguna de Bay Region, which were not registered or to which no application for registration and/or permit has been filed with Laguna Lake Development Authority as of March31, 1993 are hereby declared out rightly as illegal. 2. All fish pens; fish cages and other aqua-culture s t r u c t u r e s s o d e c l a r e d a s illegal shall be subject to demolition which shall be undertaken by the Presidential Task Force for illegal Fish pen and Illegal Fishing. 3.Owners of fish pens, fish cages and other aqua-culture structures declared as illegal shall, without prejudice to demolition of their structures be criminally charged in accordance with Section 39-A of Republic Act 4850 as amended by P.D. 813 for v i o l a t i o n o f t h e same laws. Violations of these laws carries a penalty o f imprisonment of not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Pesos or both at the discretion of the court. A l l o p e r a t o r s o f f i s h p e n s , f i s h c a g e s a n d o t h e r a q u a - c u l t u r e s t r u c t u r e s declared as illegal in accordance with the foregoing Notice shall have one (1)month on or before 27 October 1993 to show cause before the LLDA why their said fish pens, fish cages and other aqua-culture structures should not be demolished/dismantled. One month, thereafter, the Authority sent notices to the concerned owners of the illegally constructed fish pens, fish cages and other aqua-culture structures advising them to d i s m a n t l e t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e s t r u c t u r e s w i t h i n 1 0 d a ys f r o m r e c e i p t t h e r e o f , o t h e r w i s e , demolition shall be effected. The fish pen-- owners filed injunction cases against the LLDA. The LLDA filed motions to dismiss the cases against it on jurisdictional grounds. The motions to dismiss were denied. Meanwhile, TRO/writs of preliminary mandatory injunction were issued enjoining the LLDA from demolishing the fish pens and similar structures in question. Hence, the present petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction. The CA dismissed the LLDAs consolidated petitions. It ruled that (A) LLDA is not among those quasi-judicial agencies of government appealable o n l y t o t h e C o u r t o f Appeals; (B) the LLDA charter does vest LLDA with quasi -judicial functions insofar as fish pens are concerned; (C) the provisions of the LLDA charter insofar as fishing privileges in Laguna de Bay are concerned had been r e p e a l e d b y t h e L o c a l Government Code of 1991; (D) in view of the aforesaid repeal, the power to grant permits devolved to respective local government units concerned. Issue: Which agency of the Government - the LLDA or the towns and m u n i c i p a l i t i e s comprising the region - should exercise jurisdiction over the Laguna Lake and its environs insofar as the issuance of permits for fishery privileges is concerned? Held: LLDA. Section 4 (k) of RA 4850, the provisions of PD 813, and Section 2 of EO 927, specifically provide that the LLDA shall have exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for the use or all surface water for any projects or activities in or affecting the said region, including navigation, construction, and operation of fish pens, fish enclosures, fish corrals and the like. On

the other hand, RA 7160 has granted to the municipalities the exclusive authority to grant fishery privileges in municipal waters. The Sangguniang Bayan may grant fishery privileges to erect fish corrals, oyster, mussels or other aquatic beds or bangus fry area within a definite zone of the municipal waters. The provisions of RA7160 do not necessarily repeal the laws creating the LLDA and granting the latter water rights authority over Laguna de Bay and the lake region. The Local Government Code of 1991 does not contain any express provision which categorically expressly repeal the charter of the Authority. It has to be conceded that there w a s n o i n t e n t o n t h e p a r t o f t h e l e g i s l a t u r e t o r e p e a l R e p u b l i c A c t N o . 4 8 5 0 a n d i t s amendments. The repeal of laws should be made clear and expressed. It has to be conceded that the charter of the LLDA constitutes a special law. RA 7160is a general law. It is basic is basic in statutory construction that the enactment of a later legislation which is a general law cannot be construed to have repealed a special law. It is a well-settled rule in this jurisdiction that "a special statute, provided for a particular case or class of cases, is not repealed by a subsequent statute, general in its terms, provisions and application, unless the intent to repeal or alter is manifest, although the terms of the general law are broad enough to include the cases embraced in the special law." Where there is conflict between a general law and a special statute, the special statute should prevail since it evinces the legislative intent more clearly that the general statute. The special law is to be taken as an exception to the general law in the absence of special circumstances forcing a c o n t r a r y conclusion. This is because implied repeals are not favored and as much a s possible, given to all enactments of the legislature. A special law cannot be repealed, amended or altered by a subsequent general law by mere implication. C o n s i d e r i n g t h e r e a s o n s b e h i n d t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f t h e A u t h o r i t y, w h i c h a r e environmental protection, navigational safety, and sustainable development, there is every indication that the legislative intent is for the Authority to proceed with its mission. We are on all fours with the manifestation of LLDA that "Laguna de Bay, like any other single body of water has its own unique natural ecosystem. The 900 km lake surface water, the 8 major river tributaries and several other smaller rivers that drain into the lake, t h e 2 , 9 2 0 k m 2 basin or watershed transcending the boundaries of Laguna and Rizal provinces, constitute one integrated delicate natural ecosystem that needs to be protected with uniform set of policies; if we are to be serious in our aims of attaining sustainable development. This is an exhaustible natural resource -a very limited one-which requires judicious management and optimal utilization to ensure renewability and preserve its e c o l o g i c a l i n t e g r i t y a n d b a l a n c e . M a n a g i n g t h e l a k e r e s o u r c e s w o u l d m e a n t h e implementation of a national policy geared towards the protection, conservation, balanced growth and sustainable development of the region with due regard to the inter-generational use of its resources by the inhabitants in this part of the earth. The authors of Republic Act4850 have foreseen this need when they passed this LLDA law-the special law designed to govern the management of our Laguna de Bay lake resources. Laguna de Bay therefore cannot be subjected to fragmented concepts of management policies where lakeshore local government units exercise exclusive dominion over specific portions of the lake water. Theimplementation of a cohesive and integrated lake water resource management policy,therefore, is necessary to conserve, protect and sustainably develop Laguna de Bay." The power of the LGUs to issue fishing privileges was clearly granted for

revenuepurposes. This is evident from the fact that Section 149 of the New Local Government Codeempowering local governments to issue fishing permits is embodied in Chapter 2, Book II, of Republic Act No. 7160 under the heading, "Specific Provisions On The Taxing And Other Revenue Raising Power of LGUs.On the other hand, the power of the Authority to grant permits for fishpens, fishcagesand other aqua-culture structures is for the purpose of effectively regulating and monitoringactivities in the Laguna de Bay region and for lake quality control and management. 6 Itdoes partake of the nature of police power which is the most pervasive, the least limitableand the most demanding of all State powers including the power of taxation. Accordingly thecharter of the Authority which embodies a valid exercise of police power should prevail overthe Local Government Code of 1991 on matters affecting Laguna de Bay. There should be no quarrel over permit fees for fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures in the Laguna de Bay area. Section 3 of Executive Order No. 927 providesfor the proper sharing of fees collected.In respect to the question as to whether the Authority is a quasi-judicial agency ornot, it is our holding that, considering the provisions of Section 4 of Republic Act No. 4850and Section 4 of Executive Order No. 927, series of 1983, and the ruling of this Court inLaguna Lake Development Authority vs. Court of Appeals, there is no question that theAuthority has express powers as a regulatory a quasi-judicial body in respect to pollution c a s e s w i t h a u t h o r i t y t o i s s u e a " c e a s e a d e s i s t o r d e r " a n d o n m a t t e r s a f f e c t i n g t h e construction of illegal fishpens, fishcages and other aqua-culture structures in Laguna de Bay. The Authority's pretense, however, that it is co-equal to the Regional Trial Courts suchthat all actions against it may only be instituted before the Court of Appeals cannot besustained. On actions necessitating the resolution of legal questions affecting the powers of the Authority as provided for in its charter, the Regional Trial Courts have jurisdiction.In view of the foregoing, this Court holds that Section 149 of RA 7160, otherwisek n o w n a s t h e L o c a l G o v e r n m e n t C o d e o f 1 9 9 1 , h a s n o t r e p e a l e d the provisions of thecharter of the LLDA, Republic Act No. 4850, as a m e n d e d . T h u s , t h e A u t h o r i t y h a s t h e exclusive jurisdiction to issue permits for the enjoyment of fishery privileges in Laguna deBay to the exclusion of municipalities situated therein and the authority to exercise such powers as are by its charter vested on it. TAULE vs. SANTOSAugust 12, 1991G. R. No. 90336 x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - xThis is a petition for certiorari seeking the reversal of the resolutions of respondent Secretary datedAugust 4, 1989 and September 5, 1989 for being null and void. Facts: An election for the officers of the Federation of Associations of Barangay Council (FABC) was held onJune 18, 1989 despite the absence of other members of the said council. Including Petitioner waselected as the president.Respondent Verceles sent a letter of protest to respondent Santos, seeking its nullification in view of several flagrant irregularities in the manner it was conducted.Petitioner denied the allegations of respondent Verceles and denouncing respondent for intervening inthe said election which is a purely non-partisan affair. And requesting for his appointment as a memberof the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the province being the duly elected President of the FABC inCatanduanes.Respondent Santos issued a resolution on August 4, 1989 nullifying the election and ordering a new oneto be conducted as early as possible to be

presided by the Regional Director of Region V of theDepartment of Local Government. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied byrespondent Santos in his resolution on September 5, 1989.Thus this petition before the Supreme Court. Issues: 1)WON the respondent Santos has jurisdiction to entertain an election protest involving the election of the officers of the FABC.2)WON the respondent Verceles has the legal personality to file an election protest. Decision: Petition GRANTED. Assailed August 4, 1989 and September 5, 1989 resolution is SET ASIDE for havingbeen issued in excess of jurisdiction. However, the election on June 18, 1989 is annulled. A new electionof officers of the FABC be conducted immediately in accordance with the governing rules andregulations. Supplemental petition is likewise partially granted. TAULE vs. SANTOSAugust 12, 1991G. R. No. 90336 x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - xThis is a petition for certiorari seeking the reversal of the resolutions of respondent Secretary datedAugust 4, 1989 and September 5, 1989 for being null and void. Facts: An election for the officers of the Federation of Associations of Barangay Council (FABC) was held onJune 18, 1989 despite the absence of other members of the said council. Including Petitioner waselected as the president.Respondent Verceles sent a letter of protest to respondent Santos, seeking its nullification in view of several flagrant irregularities in the manner it was conducted.Petitioner denied the allegations of respondent Verceles and denouncing respondent for intervening inthe said election which is a purely non-partisan affair. And requesting for his appointment as a memberof the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the province being the duly elected President of the FABC inCatanduanes.Respondent Santos issued a resolution on August 4, 1989 nullifying the election and ordering a new oneto be conducted as early as possible to be presided by the Regional Director of Region V of theDepartment of Local Government. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied byrespondent Santos in his resolution on September 5, 1989.Thus this petition before the Supreme Court. Issues: 1)WON the respondent Santos has jurisdiction to entertain an election protest involving the election of the officers of the FABC.2)WON the respondent Verceles has the legal personality to file an election protest. Decision: Petition GRANTED. Assailed August 4, 1989 and September 5, 1989 resolution is SET ASIDE for havingbeen issued in excess of jurisdiction. However, the election on June 18, 1989 is annulled. A new electionof officers of the FABC be conducted immediately in accordance with the governing rules andregulations. Supplemental petition is likewise partially granted

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