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Rubi vs Provincial Board of Mindoro

Constitutional Law : Article VI, Sec. 1(Legislative Power; Non-Delegation)


G.R. No. L-14078; March 7, 1919; 39 Phil 660
FACTS:
The case is an application for habeas corpus in favor of Rubi and other Manguianes of the
Province of Mindoro. It is alleged that the Maguianes are being illegally deprived of their
liberty by the provincial officials of that province. Rubi and his companions are said to be
held on the reservation established at Tigbao, Mindoro, against their will, and one Dabalos
is said to be held under the custody of the provincial sheriff in the prison at Calapan for
having run away from the reservation.
The provincial governor of Mindoro and the provincial board thereof directed the
Manguianes in question to take up their habitation in Tigbao, a site on the shore of Lake
Naujan, selected by the provincial governor and approved by the provincial board. The
action was taken in accordance with section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917, and
was duly approved by the Secretary of the Interior as required by said action.
Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 reads as follows:
SEC. 2145. Establishment of non-Christian upon sites selected by provincial governor.
With the prior approval of the Department Head, the provincial governor of any province in
which non-Christian inhabitants are found is authorized, when such a course is deemed
necessary in the interest of law and order, to direct such inhabitants to take up their
habitation on sites on unoccupied public lands to be selected by him an approved by the
provincial board.
Petitioners, however, challenge the validity of this section of the Administrative Code.
ISSUE:
Does section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 constitute an unlawful delegation of
legislative power by the Philippine Legislature to a provincial official and a department
head, therefore making it unconstitutional?
HELD:
No. The Philippine Legislature has here conferred authority upon the Province of Mindoro,
to be exercised by the provincial governor and the provincial board.
In determining whether the delegation of legislative power is valid or not, the 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 later no valid
objection can be made. Discretion may be committed by the Legislature to an executive
department or official. The Legislature may make decisions of executive departments of
subordinate official thereof, to whom it has committed the execution of certain acts, final on
questions of fact. The growing tendency in the decision is to give prominence to the
"necessity" of the case.

In enacting the said provision of the Administrative Code, the Legislature merely conferred
upon the provincial governor, with the approval of the provincial board and the Department
Head, discretionary authority as to the execution of the law. This is necessary since the
provincial governor and the provincial board, as the official representatives of the province,
are better qualified to judge when such as course is deemed necessary in the interest of law
and order. As officials charged with the administration of the province and the protection
of its inhabitants, they are better fitted to select sites which have the conditions most
favorable for improving the people who have the misfortune of being in a backward state.
Hence, Section 2145 of the Administrative Code of 1917 is not an unlawful delegation of
legislative power by the Philippine Legislature to provincial official and a department head.