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1. KMU v. GARCIA 146, as amended, but also of Sec.

146, as amended, but also of Sec. 20(a) of the same Act mandating that fares should be "just and
G.R. No. 115381 December 23, 1994 reasonable." It is, likewise, violative of the Rules of Court which places upon each party the burden to
prove his own affirmative allegations. 3 The offending provisions contained in the questioned issuances
KILUSANG MAYO UNO LABOR CENTER, petitioner, pointed out by petitioner, have resulted in the introduction into our highways and thoroughfares
vs. thousands of old and smoke-belching buses, many of which are right-hand driven, and have exposed
HON. JESUS B. GARCIA, JR., the LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY our consumers to the burden of spiraling costs of public transportation without hearing and due
BOARD, and the PROVINCIAL BUS OPERATORS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, process.
respondents.
The following memoranda, circulars and/or orders are sought to be nullified by the instant petition, viz:
Potenciano A. Flores for petitioner. (a) DOTC Memorandum Order 90-395, dated June 26, 1990 relative to the implementation of a fare
Robert Anthony C. Sison, Cesar B. Brillantes and Jose Z. Galsim for private respondent. range scheme for provincial bus services in the country; (b) DOTC Department Order No.
Jose F. Miravite for movants 92-587, dated March 30, 1992, defining the policy framework on the regulation of transport services; (c)
DOTC Memorandum dated October 8, 1992, laying down rules and procedures to implement
KAPUNAN, J.: Department Order No. 92-587; (d) LTFRB Memorandum Circular No. 92-009, providing implementing
guidelines on the DOTC Department Order No. 92-587; and (e) LTFRB Order dated March 24, 1994 in
Public utilities are privately owned and operated businesses whose service are essential to the general Case No. 94-3112.
public. They are enterprises which specially cater to the needs of the public and conduce to their
comfort and convenience. As such, public utility services are impressed with public interest and The relevant antecedents are as follows:
concern. The same is true with respect to the business of common carrier which holds such a peculiar
relation to the public interest that there is superinduced upon it the right of public regulation when On June 26, 1990; then Secretary of DOTC, Oscar M. Orbos, issued Memorandum Circular No. 90-395
private properties are affected with public interest, hence, they cease to be juris privati only. When, to then LTFRB Chairman, Remedios A.S. Fernando allowing provincial bus operators to charge
therefore, one devotes his property to a use in which the public has an interest, he, in effect grants to passengers rates within a range of 15% above and 15% below the LTFRB official rate for a period of
the public an interest in that use, and must submit to the control by the public for the common good, to one (1) year. The text of the memorandum order reads in full:
the extent of the interest he has thus created. 1
One of the policy reforms and measures that is in line with the thrusts and the priorities set out in the
An abdication of the licensing and regulatory government agencies of their functions as the instant Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) 1987 1992) is the liberalization of regulations
petition seeks to show, is indeed lamentable. Not only is it an unsound administrative policy but it is in the transport sector. Along this line, the Government intends to move away gradually from regulatory
inimical to public trust and public interest as well. policies and make progress towards greater reliance on free market forces.

The instant petition for certiorari assails the constitutionality and validity of certain memoranda, Based on several surveys and observations, bus companies are already charging passenger rates
circulars and/or orders of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Land above and below the official fare declared by LTFRB on many provincial routes. It is in this context that
Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board LTFRB) 2 which, among others, (a) authorize some form of liberalization on public transport fares is to be tested on a pilot basis.
provincial bus and jeepney operators to increase or decrease the prescribed transportation fares
without application therefor with the LTFRB and without hearing and approval thereof by said agency in In view thereof, the LTFRB is hereby directed to immediately publicize a fare range scheme for all
violation of Sec. 16(c) of Commonwealth Act No. 146, as amended, otherwise known as the Public provincial bus routes in country (except those operating within Metro Manila). Transport Operators shall
Service Act, and in derogation of LTFRB's duty to fix and determine just and reasonable fares by be allowed to charge passengers within a range of fifteen percent (15%) above and fifteen percent
delegating that function to bus operators, and (b) establish a presumption of public need in favor of (15%) below the LTFRB official rate for a period of one year.
applicants for certificates of public convenience (CPC) and place on the oppositor the burden of
proving that there is no need for the proposed service, in patent violation not only of Sec. 16(c) of CA
Guidelines and procedures for the said scheme shall be prepared by LTFRB in coordination with the 4. In lieu of the said proposal, the DOTC with its agencies involved in public transportation can
DOTC Planning Service. consider measures and reforms in the industry that will be socially uplifting, especially for the people in
the areas devastated by the recent earthquake.
The implementation of the said fare range scheme shall start on 6 August 1990.
In view of the foregoing considerations, the undersigned respectfully suggests that the implementation
For compliance. (Emphasis ours.) of the proposed fare range scheme this year be further studied and evaluated.

Finding the implementation of the fare range scheme "not legally feasible," Remedios A.S. Fernando On December 5, 1990, private respondent Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines, Inc.
submitted the following memorandum to Oscar M. Orbos on July 24, 1990, to wit: (PBOAP) filed an application for fare rate increase. An across-the-board increase of eight and a half
centavos (P0.085) per kilometer for all types of provincial buses with a minimum-maximum fare range
With reference to DOTC Memorandum Order No. 90-395 dated 26 June 1990 which the LTFRB of fifteen (15%) percent over and below the proposed basic per kilometer fare rate, with the said
received on 19 July 1990, directing the Board "to immediately publicize a fare range scheme for all minimum-maximum fare range applying only to ordinary, first class and premium class buses and a
provincial bus routes in the country (except those operating within Metro Manila)" that will allow fifty-centavo (P0.50) minimum per kilometer fare for aircon buses, was sought.
operators "to charge passengers within a range of fifteen percent (15%) above and fifteen percent
(15%) below the LTFRB official rate for a period of one year" the undersigned is respectfully adverting On December 6, 1990, private respondent PBOAP reduced its applied proposed fare to an across-the-
the Secretary's attention to the following for his consideration: board increase of six and a half (P0.065) centavos per kilometer for ordinary buses. The decrease was
due to the drop in the expected price of diesel.
1. Section 16(c) of the Public Service Act prescribes the following for the fixing and determination
of rates (a) the rates to be approved should be proposed by public service operators; (b) there The application was opposed by the Philippine Consumers Foundation, Inc. and Perla C. Bautista
should be a publication and notice to concerned or affected parties in the territory affected; (c) a public alleging that the proposed rates were exorbitant and unreasonable and that the application contained
hearing should be held for the fixing of the rates; hence, implementation of the proposed fare range no allegation on the rate of return of the proposed increase in rates.
scheme on August 6 without complying with the requirements of the Public Service Act may not be
legally feasible. On December 14, 1990, public respondent LTFRB rendered a decision granting the fare rate increase
in accordance with the following schedule of fares on a straight computation method, viz:
2. To allow bus operators in the country to charge fares fifteen (15%) above the present LTFRB
fares in the wake of the devastation, death and suffering caused by the July 16 earthquake will not be AUTHORIZED FARES
socially warranted and will be politically unsound; most likely public criticism against the DOTC and the
LTFRB will be triggered by the untimely motu propio implementation of the proposal by the mere LUZON
expedient of publicizing the fare range scheme without calling a public hearing, which scheme many as MIN. OF 5 KMS. SUCCEEDING KM.
early as during the Secretary's predecessor know through newspaper reports and columnists'
comments to be Asian Development Bank and World Bank inspired. REGULAR P1.50 P0.37
STUDENT P1.15 P0.28
3. More than inducing a reduction in bus fares by fifteen percent (15%) the implementation of the
proposal will instead trigger an upward adjustment in bus fares by fifteen percent (15%) at a time when VISAYAS/MINDANAO
hundreds of thousands of people in Central and Northern Luzon, particularly in Central Pangasinan, La
Union, Baguio City, Nueva Ecija, and the Cagayan Valley are suffering from the devastation and havoc REGULAR P1.60 P0.375
caused by the recent earthquake. STUDENT P1.20 P0.285
FIRST CLASS (PER KM.)
LUZON P0.385
VISAYAS/ In determining public need, the presumption of need for a service shall be deemed in favor of the
MINDANAO P0.395 applicant. The burden of proving that there is no need for a proposed service shall be with the
PREMIERE CLASS (PER KM.) oppositor(s).
LUZON P0.395
VISAYAS/ In the interest of providing efficient public transport services, the use of the "prior operator" and the
MINDANAO P0.405 "priority of filing" rules shall be discontinued. The route measured capacity test or other similar tests of
demand for vehicle/vessel fleet on any route shall be used only as a guide in weighing the merits of
AIRCON (PER KM.) P0.415. 4 each franchise application and not as a limit to the services offered.

On March 30, 1992, then Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications Pete Where there are limitations in facilities, such as congested road space in urban areas, or at airports
Nicomedes Prado issued Department Order No. and ports, the use of demand management measures in conformity with market principles may be
92-587 defining the policy framework on the regulation of transport services. The full text of the said considered.
order is reproduced below in view of the importance of the provisions contained therein:
The right of an operator to leave the industry is recognized as a business decision, subject only to the
WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 125 as amended, designates the Department of Transportation and filing of appropriate notice and following a phase-out period, to inform the public and to minimize
Communications (DOTC) as the primary policy, planning, regulating and implementing agency on disruption of services.
transportation;
2. Rate and Fare Setting. Freight rates shall be freed gradually from government controls.
WHEREAS, to achieve the objective of a viable, efficient, and dependable transportation system, the Passenger fares shall also be deregulated, except for the lowest class of passenger service (normally
transportation regulatory agencies under or attached to the DOTC have to harmonize their decisions third class passenger transport) for which the government will fix indicative or reference fares.
and adopt a common philosophy and direction; Operators of particular services may fix their own fares within a range 15% above and below the
indicative or reference rate.
WHEREAS, the government proposes to build on the successful liberalization measures pursued over
the last five years and bring the transport sector nearer to a balanced longer term regulatory Where there is lack of effective competition for services, or on specific routes, or for the transport of
framework; particular commodities, maximum mandatory freight rates or passenger fares shall be set temporarily
by the government pending actions to increase the level of competition.
NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the powers granted by laws to the DOTC, the following policies and
principles in the economic regulation of land, air, and water transportation services are hereby adopted: For unserved or single operator routes, the government shall contract such services in the most
advantageous terms to the public and the government, following public bids for the services. The
1. Entry into and exit out of the industry. Following the Constitutional dictum against monopoly, no advisability of bidding out the services or using other kinds of incentives on such routes shall be studied
franchise holder shall be permitted to maintain a monopoly on any route. A minimum of two franchise by the government.
holders shall be permitted to operate on any route.
3. Special Incentives and Financing for Fleet Acquisition. As a matter of policy, the government
The requirements to grant a certificate to operate, or certificate of public convenience, shall be: proof of shall not engage in special financing and incentive programs, including direct subsidies for fleet
Filipino citizenship, financial capability, public need, and sufficient insurance cover to protect the riding acquisition and expansion. Only when the market situation warrants government intervention shall
public. programs of this type be considered. Existing programs shall be phased out gradually.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, the Civil Aeronautics Board, the Maritime
Industry Authority are hereby directed to submit to the Office of the Secretary, within forty-five (45) days
of this Order, the detailed rules and procedures for the Implementation of the policies herein set forth.
In the formulation of such rules, the concerned agencies shall be guided by the most recent studies on 1. The existing authorized fare range system of plus or minus 15 per cent for provincial buses
the subjects, such as the Provincial Road Passenger Transport Study, the Civil Aviation Master Plan, and jeepneys shall be widened to 20% and -25% limit in 1994 with the authorized fare to be replaced
the Presidential Task Force on the Inter-island Shipping Industry, and the Inter-island Liner Shipping by an indicative or reference rate as the basis for the expanded fare range.
Rate Rationalization Study.
2. Fare systems for aircon buses are liberalized to cover first class and premier services.
For the compliance of all concerned. (Emphasis ours)
xxx xxx xxx
On October 8, 1992, public respondent Secretary of the Department of Transportation and
Communications Jesus B. Garcia, Jr. issued a memorandum to the Acting Chairman of the LTFRB (Emphasis ours).
suggesting swift action on the adoption of rules and procedures to implement above-quoted
Department Order No. 92-587 that laid down deregulation and other liberalization policies for the Sometime in March, 1994, private respondent PBOAP, availing itself of the deregulation policy of the
transport sector. Attached to the said memorandum was a revised draft of the required rules and DOTC allowing provincial bus operators to collect plus 20% and minus 25% of the prescribed fare
procedures covering (i) Entry Into and Exit Out of the Industry and (ii) Rate and Fare Setting, with without first having filed a petition for the purpose and without the benefit of a public hearing,
comments and suggestions from the World Bank incorporated therein. Likewise, resplendent from the announced a fare increase of twenty (20%) percent of the existing fares. Said increased fares were to
said memorandum is the statement of the DOTC Secretary that the adoption of the rules and be made effective on March 16, 1994.
procedures is a pre-requisite to the approval of the Economic Integration Loan from the World Bank. 5
On March 16, 1994, petitioner KMU filed a petition before the LTFRB opposing the upward adjustment
On February 17, 1993, the LTFRB issued Memorandum Circular of bus fares.
No. 92-009 promulgating the guidelines for the implementation of DOTC Department Order No. 92-587.
The Circular provides, among others, the following challenged portions: On March 24, 1994, the LTFRB issued one of the assailed orders dismissing the petition for lack of
merit. The dispositive portion reads:
xxx xxx xxx
PREMISES CONSIDERED, this Board after considering the arguments of the parties, hereby
IV. Policy Guidelines on the Issuance of Certificate of Public Convenience. DISMISSES FOR LACK OF MERIT the petition filed in the above-entitled case. This petition in this
case was resolved with dispatch at the request of petitioner to enable it to immediately avail of the legal
The issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience is determined by public need. The presumption of remedies or options it is entitled under existing laws.
public need for a service shall be deemed in favor of the applicant, while burden of proving that there is
no need for the proposed service shall be the oppositor'(s). SO ORDERED. 6

xxx xxx xxx Hence, the instant petition for certiorari with an urgent prayer for issuance of a temporary restraining
order.
V. Rate and Fare Setting
The Court, on June 20, 1994, issued a temporary restraining order enjoining, prohibiting and preventing
The control in pricing shall be liberalized to introduce price competition complementary with the quality respondents from implementing the bus fare rate increase as well as the questioned orders and
of service, subject to prior notice and public hearing. Fares shall not be provisionally authorized without memorandum circulars. This meant that provincial bus fares were rolled back to the levels duly
public hearing. authorized by the LTFRB prior to March 16, 1994. A moratorium was likewise enforced on the issuance
of franchises for the operation of buses, jeepneys, and taxicabs.
A. On the General Structure of Rates
Petitioner KMU anchors its claim on two (2) grounds. First, the authority given by respondent LTFRB to redressed by a favorable decision so as to warrant an invocation of the court's jurisdiction and to justify
provincial bus operators to set a fare range of plus or minus fifteen (15%) percent, later increased to the exercise of the court's remedial powers in his behalf. 8
plus twenty (20%) and minus twenty-five (-25%) percent, over and above the existing authorized fare
without having to file a petition for the purpose, is unconstitutional, invalid and illegal. Second, the In the case at bench, petitioner, whose members had suffered and continue to suffer grave and
establishment of a presumption of public need in favor of an applicant for a proposed transport service irreparable injury and damage from the implementation of the questioned memoranda, circulars and/or
without having to prove public necessity, is illegal for being violative of the Public Service Act and the orders, has shown that it has a clear legal right that was violated and continues to be violated with the
Rules of Court. enforcement of the challenged memoranda, circulars and/or orders. KMU members, who avail of the
use of buses, trains and jeepneys everyday, are directly affected by the burdensome cost of arbitrary
In its Comment, private respondent PBOAP, while not actually touching upon the issues raised by the increase in passenger fares. They are part of the millions of commuters who comprise the riding public.
petitioner, questions the wisdom and the manner by which the instant petition was filed. It asserts that Certainly, their rights must be protected, not neglected nor ignored.
the petitioner has no legal standing to sue or has no real interest in the case at bench and in obtaining
the reliefs prayed for. Assuming arguendo that petitioner is not possessed of the standing to sue, this court is ready to brush
aside this barren procedural infirmity and recognize the legal standing of the petitioner in view of the
In their Comment filed by the Office of the Solicitor General, public respondents DOTC Secretary Jesus transcendental importance of the issues raised. And this act of liberality is not without judicial
B. Garcia, Jr. and the LTFRB asseverate that the petitioner does not have the standing to maintain the precedent. As early as the Emergency Powers Cases, this Court had exercised its discretion and
instant suit. They further claim that it is within DOTC and LTFRB's authority to set a fare range scheme waived the requirement of proper party. In the recent case of Kilosbayan, Inc., et al. v. Teofisto
and establish a presumption of public need in applications for certificates of public convenience. Guingona, Jr., et al., 9 we ruled in the same lines and enumerated some of the cases where the same
policy was adopted, viz:
We find the instant petition impressed with merit.
. . . A party's standing before this Court is a procedural technicality which it may, in the exercise of its
At the outset, the threshold issue of locus standi must be struck. Petitioner KMU has the standing to discretion, set aside in view of the importance of the issues raised. In the landmark Emergency Powers
sue. Cases, [G.R. No. L-2044 (Araneta v. Dinglasan); G.R. No. L-2756 (Araneta
v. Angeles); G.R. No. L-3054 (Rodriguez v. Tesorero de Filipinas); G.R. No. L-3055 (Guerrero v.
The requirement of locus standi inheres from the definition of judicial power. Section 1 of Article VIII of Commissioner of Customs); and G.R. No. L-3056 (Barredo v. Commission on Elections), 84 Phil. 368
the Constitution provides: (1949)], this Court brushed aside this technicality because "the transcendental importance to the public
of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely, brushing aside, if we must,
xxx xxx xxx technicalities of procedure. (Avelino vs. Cuenco, G.R. No. L-2621)." Insofar as taxpayers' suits are
concerned, this Court had declared that it "is not devoid of discretion as to whether or not it should be
Judicial power includes the duty of the courts of justice to settle actual controversies involving rights entertained," (Tan v. Macapagal, 43 SCRA 677, 680 [1972]) or that it "enjoys an open discretion to
which are legally demandable and enforceable, and to determine whether or not there has been a entertain the same or not." [Sanidad v. COMELEC, 73 SCRA 333 (1976)].
grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or
instrumentality of the Government. xxx xxx xxx

In Lamb v. Phipps, 7 we ruled that judicial power is the power to hear and decide causes pending In line with the liberal policy of this Court on locus standi, ordinary taxpayers, members of Congress,
between parties who have the right to sue in the courts of law and equity. Corollary to this provision is and even association of planters, and
the principle of locus standi of a party litigant. One who is directly affected by and whose interest is non-profit civic organizations were allowed to initiate and prosecute actions before this court to
immediate and substantial in the controversy has the standing to sue. The rule therefore requires that a question the constitutionality or validity of laws, acts, decisions, rulings, or orders of various
party must show a personal stake in the outcome of the case or an injury to himself that can be government agencies or instrumentalities. Among such cases were those assailing the constitutionality
of (a) R.A. No. 3836 insofar as it allows retirement gratuity and commutation of vacation and sick leave
to Senators and Representatives and to elective officials of both Houses of Congress (Philippine We did no less in De Guia v. COMELEC (Supra) where, although we declared that De Guia "does not
Constitution Association, Inc. v. Gimenez, 15 SCRA 479 [1965]); (b) Executive Order No. 284, issued appear to have locus standi, a standing in law, a personal or substantial interest," we brushed aside the
by President Corazon C. Aquino on 25 July 1987, which allowed members of the cabinet, their procedural infirmity "considering the importance of the issue involved, concerning as it does the political
undersecretaries, and assistant secretaries to hold other government offices or positions (Civil Liberties exercise of qualified voters affected by the apportionment, and petitioner alleging abuse of discretion
Union v. Executive Secretary, 194 SCRA 317 [1991]); (c) the automatic appropriation for debt service in and violation of the Constitution by respondent."
the General Appropriations Act (Guingona v. Carague, 196 SCRA 221 [1991]; (d) R.A. No. 7056 on the
holding of desynchronized elections (Osmea v. Commission on Elections, 199 SCRA 750 [1991]); (e) Now on the merits of the case.
P.D. No. 1869 (the charter of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) on the ground that it
is contrary to morals, public policy, and order (Basco v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., 197 On the fare range scheme.
SCRA 52 [1991]); and (f) R.A. No. 6975, establishing the Philippine National Police. (Carpio v.
Executive Secretary, 206 SCRA 290 [1992]). Section 16(c) of the Public Service Act, as amended, reads:

Other cases where we have followed a liberal policy regarding locus standi include those attacking the Sec. 16. Proceedings of the Commission, upon notice and hearing. The Commission shall
validity or legality of (a) an order allowing the importation of rice in the light of the prohibition imposed have power, upon proper notice and hearing in accordance with the rules and provisions of this Act,
by R.A. No. 3452 (Iloilo Palay and Corn Planters Association, Inc. v. Feliciano, 13 SCRA 377 [1965]; (b) subject to the limitations and exceptions mentioned and saving provisions to the contrary:
P.D. Nos. 991 and 1033 insofar as they proposed amendments to the Constitution and P.D. No. 1031
insofar as it directed the COMELEC to supervise, control, hold, and conduct the referendum-plebiscite xxx xxx xxx
on 16 October 1976 (Sanidad v. Commission on Elections, supra); (c) the bidding for the sale of the
3,179 square meters of land at Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan (Laurel v. Garcia, 187 SCRA 797 (c) To fix and determine individual or joint rates, tolls, charges, classifications, or schedules
[1990]); (d) the approval without hearing by the Board of Investments of the amended application of the thereof, as well as commutation, mileage kilometrage, and other special rates which shall be imposed,
Bataan Petrochemical Corporation to transfer the site of its plant from Bataan to Batangas and the observed, and followed thereafter by any public service: Provided, That the Commission may, in its
validity of such transfer and the shift of feedstock from naphtha only to naphtha and/or liquefied discretion, approve rates proposed by public services provisionally and without necessity of any
petroleum gas (Garcia v. Board of Investments, 177 SCRA 374 [1989]; Garcia v. Board of Investments, hearing; but it shall call a hearing thereon within thirty days thereafter, upon publication and notice to
191 SCRA 288 [1990]); (e) the decisions, orders, rulings, and resolutions of the Executive Secretary, the concerns operating in the territory affected: Provided, further, That in case the public service
Secretary of Finance, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Commissioner of Customs, and the Fiscal equipment of an operator is used principally or secondarily for the promotion of a private business, the
Incentives Review Board exempting the National Power Corporation from indirect tax and duties net profits of said private business shall be considered in relation with the public service of such
(Maceda v. Macaraig, 197 SCRA 771 [1991]); (f) the orders of the Energy Regulatory Board of 5 and 6 operator for the purpose of fixing the rates. (Emphasis ours).
December 1990 on the ground that the hearings conducted on the second provisional increase in oil
prices did not allow the petitioner substantial cross-examination; (Maceda v. Energy Regulatory Board, xxx xxx xxx
199 SCRA 454 [1991]); (g) Executive Order No. 478 which levied a special duty of P0.95 per liter of
imported oil products (Garcia v. Executive Secretary, 211 SCRA 219 [1992]); (h) resolutions of the Under the foregoing provision, the Legislature delegated to the defunct Public Service Commission the
Commission on Elections concerning the apportionment, by district, of the number of elective members power of fixing the rates of public services. Respondent LTFRB, the existing regulatory body today, is
of Sanggunians (De Guia vs. Commission on Elections, 208 SCRA 420 [1992]); and (i) memorandum likewise vested with the same under Executive Order No. 202 dated June 19, 1987. Section 5(c) of the
orders issued by a Mayor affecting the Chief of Police of Pasay City (Pasay Law and Conscience said executive order authorizes LTFRB "to determine, prescribe, approve and periodically review and
Union, Inc. v. Cuneta, 101 SCRA 662 [1980]). adjust, reasonable fares, rates and other related charges, relative to the operation of public land
transportation services provided by motorized vehicles."
In the 1975 case of Aquino v. Commission on Elections (62 SCRA 275 [1975]), this Court, despite its
unequivocal ruling that the petitioners therein had no personality to file the petition, resolved Such delegation of legislative power to an administrative agency is permitted in order to adapt to the
nevertheless to pass upon the issues raised because of the far-reaching implications of the petition. increasing complexity of modern life. As subjects for governmental regulation multiply, so does the
difficulty of administering the laws. Hence, specialization even in legislation has become necessary. enforce new rates without the prior approval of said rates by the commission. The commission must
Given the task of determining sensitive and delicate matters as approve new rates when they are submitted to it, if the evidence shows them to be just and reasonable,
route-fixing and rate-making for the transport sector, the responsible regulatory body is entrusted with otherwise it must disapprove them. Clearly, the commission cannot determine in advance whether or
the power of subordinate legislation. With this authority, an administrative body and in this case, the not the new rates of the Philippine Railway Co. will be just and reasonable, because it does not know
LTFRB, may implement broad policies laid down in a statute by "filling in" the details which the what those rates will be.
Legislature may neither have time or competence to provide. However, nowhere under the aforesaid
provisions of law are the regulatory bodies, the PSC and LTFRB alike, authorized to delegate that In the present case the Philippine Railway Co. in effect asked for permission to change its freight rates
power to a common carrier, a transport operator, or other public service. at will. It may change them every day or every hour, whenever it deems it necessary to do so in order
to meet competition or whenever in its opinion it would be to its advantage. Such a procedure would
In the case at bench, the authority given by the LTFRB to the provincial bus operators to set a fare create a most unsatisfactory state of affairs and largely defeat the purposes of the public service law.
range over and above the authorized existing fare, is illegal and invalid as it is tantamount to an undue 13 (Emphasis ours).
delegation of legislative authority. Potestas delegata non delegari potest. What has been delegated
cannot be delegated. This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such a delegated power One veritable consequence of the deregulation of transport fares is a compounded fare. If transport
constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the delegate through the instrumentality of his operators will be authorized to impose and collect an additional amount equivalent to 20% over and
own judgment and not through the intervening mind of another. 10 A further delegation of such power above the authorized fare over a period of time, this will unduly prejudice a commuter who will be made
would indeed constitute a negation of the duty in violation of the trust reposed in the delegate to pay a fare that has been computed in a manner similar to those of compounded bank interest rates.
mandated to discharge it directly. 11 The policy of allowing the provincial bus operators to change and
increase their fares at will would result not only to a chaotic situation but to an anarchic state of affairs. Picture this situation. On December 14, 1990, the LTFRB authorized provincial bus operators to collect
This would leave the riding public at the mercy of transport operators who may increase fares every a thirty-seven (P0.37) centavo per kilometer fare for ordinary buses. At the same time, they were
hour, every day, every month or every year, whenever it pleases them or whenever they deem it allowed to impose and collect a fare range of plus or minus 15% over the authorized rate. Thus P0.37
"necessary" to do so. In Panay Autobus Co. v. Philippine Railway Co., 12 where respondent Philippine centavo per kilometer authorized fare plus P0.05 centavos (which is 15% of P0.37 centavos) is
Railway Co. was granted by the Public Service Commission the authority to change its freight rates at equivalent to P0.42 centavos, the allowed rate in 1990. Supposing the LTFRB grants another five
will, this Court categorically declared that: (P0.05) centavo increase per kilometer in 1994, then, the base or reference for computation would
have to be P0.47 centavos (which is P0.42 + P0.05 centavos). If bus operators will exercise their
In our opinion, the Public Service Commission was not authorized by law to delegate to the Philippine authority to impose an additional 20% over and above the authorized fare, then the fare to be collected
Railway Co. the power of altering its freight rates whenever it should find it necessary to do so in order shall amount to P0.56 (that is, P0.47 authorized LTFRB rate plus 20% of P0.47 which is P0.29). In
to meet the competition of road trucks and autobuses, or to change its freight rates at will, or to regard effect, commuters will be continuously subjected, not only to a double fare adjustment but to a
its present rates as maximum rates, and to fix lower rates whenever in the opinion of the Philippine compounding fare as well. On their part, transport operators shall enjoy a bigger chunk of the pie. Aside
Railway Co. it would be to its advantage to do so. from fare increase applied for, they can still collect an additional amount by virtue of the authorized fare
range. Mathematically, the situation translates into the following:
The mere recital of the language of the application of the Philippine Railway Co. is enough to show that
it is untenable. The Legislature has delegated to the Public Service Commission the power of fixing the Year** LTFRB authorized Fare Range Fare to be
rates of public services, but it has not authorized the Public Service Commission to delegate that power rate*** collected per
to a common carrier or other public service. The rates of public services like the Philippine Railway Co. kilometer
have been approved or fixed by the Public Service Commission, and any change in such rates must be
authorized or approved by the Public Service Commission after they have been shown to be just and 1990 P0.37 15% (P0.05) P0.42
reasonable. The public service may, of course, propose new rates, as the Philippine Railway Co. did in 1994 P0.42 + 0.05 = 0.47 20% (P0.09) P0.56
case No. 31827, but it cannot lawfully make said new rates effective without the approval of the Public 1998 P0.56 + 0.05 = 0.61 20% (P0.12) P0.73
Service Commission, and the Public Service Commission itself cannot authorize a public service to 2002 P0.73 + 0.05 = 0.78 20% (P0.16) P0.94
While adopting in toto the foregoing requisites for the issuance of a CPC, LTFRB Memorandum
Moreover, rate making or rate fixing is not an easy task. It is a delicate and sensitive government Circular No. 92-009, Part IV, provides for yet incongruous and contradictory policy guideline on the
function that requires dexterity of judgment and sound discretion with the settled goal of arriving at a issuance of a CPC. The guidelines states:
just and reasonable rate acceptable to both the public utility and the public. Several factors, in fact,
have to be taken into consideration before a balance could be achieved. A rate should not be The issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience is determined by public need. The presumption of
confiscatory as would place an operator in a situation where he will continue to operate at a loss. public need for a service shall be deemed in favor of the applicant, while the burden of proving that
Hence, the rate should enable public utilities to generate revenues sufficient to cover operational costs there is no need for the proposed service shall be the oppositor's. (Emphasis ours).
and provide reasonable return on the investments. On the other hand, a rate which is too high
becomes discriminatory. It is contrary to public interest. A rate, therefore, must be reasonable and fair The above-quoted provision is entirely incompatible and inconsistent with Section 16(c)(iii) of the Public
and must be affordable to the end user who will utilize the services. Service Act which requires that before a CPC will be issued, the applicant must prove by proper notice
and hearing that the operation of the public service proposed will promote public interest in a proper
Given the complexity of the nature of the function of rate-fixing and its far-reaching effects on millions of and suitable manner. On the contrary, the policy guideline states that the presumption of public need
commuters, government must not relinquish this important function in favor of those who would benefit for a public service shall be deemed in favor of the applicant. In case of conflict between a statute and
and profit from the industry. Neither should the requisite notice and hearing be done away with. The an administrative order, the former must prevail.
people, represented by reputable oppositors, deserve to be given full opportunity to be heard in their
opposition to any fare increase. By its terms, public convenience or necessity generally means something fitting or suited to the public
need. 16 As one of the basic requirements for the grant of a CPC, public convenience and necessity
The present administrative procedure, 14 to our mind, already mirrors an orderly and satisfactory exists when the proposed facility or service meets a reasonable want of the public and supply a need
arrangement for all parties involved. To do away with such a procedure and allow just one party, an which the existing facilities do not adequately supply. The existence or
interested party at that, to determine what the rate should be, will undermine the right of the other non-existence of public convenience and necessity is therefore a question of fact that must be
parties to due process. The purpose of a hearing is precisely to determine what a just and reasonable established by evidence, real and/or testimonial; empirical data; statistics and such other means
rate is. 15 Discarding such procedural and constitutional right is certainly inimical to our fundamental necessary, in a public hearing conducted for that purpose. The object and purpose of such procedure,
law and to public interest. among other things, is to look out for, and protect, the interests of both the public and the existing
transport operators.
On the presumption of public need.
Verily, the power of a regulatory body to issue a CPC is founded on the condition that after full-dress
A certificate of public convenience (CPC) is an authorization granted by the LTFRB for the operation of hearing and investigation, it shall find, as a fact, that the proposed operation is for the convenience of
land transportation services for public use as required by law. Pursuant to Section 16(a) of the Public the public. 17 Basic convenience is the primary consideration for which a CPC is issued, and that fact
Service Act, as amended, the following requirements must be met before a CPC may be granted, to alone must be consistently borne in mind. Also, existing operators in subject routes must be given an
wit: (i) the applicant must be a citizen of the Philippines, or a corporation or co-partnership, association opportunity to offer proof and oppose the application. Therefore, an applicant must, at all times, be
or joint-stock company constituted and organized under the laws of the Philippines, at least 60 per required to prove his capacity and capability to furnish the service which he has undertaken to
centum of its stock or paid-up capital must belong entirely to citizens of the Philippines; (ii) the applicant render. 18 And all this will be possible only if a public hearing were conducted for that purpose.
must be financially capable of undertaking the proposed service and meeting the responsibilities
incident to its operation; and (iii) the applicant must prove that the operation of the public service Otherwise stated, the establishment of public need in favor of an applicant reverses well-settled and
proposed and the authorization to do business will promote the public interest in a proper and suitable institutionalized judicial, quasi-judicial and administrative procedures. It allows the party who initiates
manner. It is understood that there must be proper notice and hearing before the PSC can exercise its the proceedings to prove, by mere application, his affirmative allegations. Moreover, the offending
power to issue a CPC. provisions of the LTFRB memorandum circular in question would in effect amend the Rules of Court by
adding another disputable presumption in the enumeration of 37 presumptions under Rule 131, Section
5 of the Rules of Court. Such usurpation of this Court's authority cannot be countenanced as only this 2. PASEI v. TORRES
Court is mandated by law to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure. 19
G.R. No. 101279 August 6, 1992
Deregulation, while it may be ideal in certain situations, may not be ideal at all in our country given the
present circumstances. Advocacy of liberalized franchising and regulatory process is tantamount to an PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF SERVICE EXPORTERS, INC., petitioner,
abdication by the government of its inherent right to exercise police power, that is, the right of vs.
government to regulate public utilities for protection of the public and the utilities themselves. HON. RUBEN D. TORRES, as Secretary of the Department of Labor & Employment, and JOSE N.
SARMIENTO, as Administrator of the PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT ADMINISTRATION,
While we recognize the authority of the DOTC and the LTFRB to issue administrative orders to regulate respondents.
the transport sector, we find that they committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing DOTC
Department Order De Guzman, Meneses & Associates for petitioner.
No. 92-587 defining the policy framework on the regulation of transport services and LTFRB
Memorandum Circular No. 92-009 promulgating the implementing guidelines on DOTC Department
Order No. 92-587, the said administrative issuances being amendatory and violative of the Public
Service Act and the Rules of Court. Consequently, we rule that the twenty (20%) per centum fare GRIO-AQUINO, J.:
increase imposed by respondent PBOAP on March 16, 1994 without the benefit of a petition and a
public hearing is null and void and of no force and effect. No grave abuse of discretion however was This petition for prohibition with temporary restraining order was filed by the Philippine Association of
committed in the issuance of DOTC Memorandum Order No. 90-395 and DOTC Memorandum dated Service Exporters (PASEI, for short), to prohibit and enjoin the Secretary of the Department of Labor
October 8, 1992, the same being merely internal communications between administrative officers. and Employment (DOLE) and the Administrator of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
(or POEA) from enforcing and implementing DOLE Department Order No. 16, Series of 1991 and
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED and the challenged POEA Memorandum Circulars Nos. 30 and 37, Series of 1991, temporarily suspending the recruitment
administrative issuances and orders, namely: DOTC Department Order No. 92-587, LTFRB by private employment agencies of Filipino domestic helpers for Hong Kong and vesting in the DOLE,
Memorandum Circular through the facilities of the POEA, the task of processing and deploying such workers.
No. 92-009, and the order dated March 24, 1994 issued by respondent LTFRB are hereby DECLARED
contrary to law and invalid insofar as they affect provisions therein (a) delegating to provincial bus and PASEI is the largest national organization of private employment and recruitment agencies duly
jeepney operators the authority to increase or decrease the duly prescribed transportation fares; and licensed and authorized by the POEA, to engaged in the business of obtaining overseas employment
(b) creating a presumption of public need for a service in favor of the applicant for a certificate of public for Filipino landbased workers, including domestic helpers.
convenience and placing the burden of proving that there is no need for the proposed service to the
oppositor. On June 1, 1991, as a result of published stories regarding the abuses suffered by Filipino housemaids
employed in Hong Kong, DOLE Secretary Ruben D. Torres issued Department Order No. 16, Series of
The Temporary Restraining Order issued on June 20, 1994 is hereby MADE PERMANENT insofar as it 1991, temporarily suspending the recruitment by private employment agencies of "Filipino domestic
enjoined the bus fare rate increase granted under the provisions of the aforementioned administrative helpers going to Hong Kong" (p. 30, Rollo). The DOLE itself, through the POEA took over the business
circulars, memoranda and/or orders declared invalid. of deploying such Hong Kong-bound workers.

No pronouncement as to costs. In view of the need to establish mechanisms that will enhance the protection for Filipino domestic
helpers going to Hong Kong, the recruitment of the same by private employment agencies is hereby
SO ORDERED. temporarily suspended effective 1 July 1991. As such, the DOLE through the facilities of the Philippine
Overseas Employment Administration shall take over the processing and deployment of household
workers bound for Hong Kong, subject to guidelines to be issued for said purpose.
II. Documentary Requirements and Other Conditions for Accreditation of Hong Kong Recruitment
In support of this policy, all DOLE Regional Directors and the Bureau of Local Employment's regional Agencies or Principals
offices are likewise directed to coordinate with the POEA in maintaining a manpower pool of
prospective domestic helpers to Hong Kong on a regional basis. Recruitment agencies in Hong Kong intending to hire Filipino DHs for their employers may negotiate
with the HWPU in Manila directly or through the Philippine Labor Attache's Office in Hong Kong.

For compliance. (Emphasis ours; p. 30, Rollo.) xxx xxx xxx

Pursuant to the above DOLE circular, the POEA issued Memorandum Circular No. 30, Series of 1991, X. Interim Arrangement
dated July 10, 1991, providing GUIDELINES on the Government processing and deployment of Filipino
domestic helpers to Hong Kong and the accreditation of Hong Kong recruitment agencies intending to All contracts stamped in Hong Kong as of June 30 shall continue to be processed by POEA until 31
hire Filipino domestic helpers. July 1991 under the name of the Philippine agencies concerned. Thereafter, all contracts shall be
processed with the HWPU.
Subject:Guidelines on the Temporary Government Processing and Deployment of Domestic Helpers to
Hong Kong. Recruitment agencies in Hong Kong shall submit to the Philippine Consulate General in Hong kong a
list of their accepted applicants in their pool within the last week of July. The last day of acceptance
Pursuant to Department Order No. 16, series of 1991 and in order to operationalize the temporary shall be July 31 which shall then be the basis of HWPU in accepting contracts for processing. After the
government processing and deployment of domestic helpers (DHs) to Hong Kong resulting from the exhaustion of their respective pools the only source of applicants will be the POEA manpower pool.
temporary suspension of recruitment by private employment agencies for said skill and host market,
the following guidelines and mechanisms shall govern the implementation of said policy. For strict compliance of all concerned. (pp. 31-35, Rollo.)

I. Creation of a joint POEA-OWWA Household Workers Placement Unit (HWPU) On August 1, 1991, the POEA Administrator also issued Memorandum Circular No. 37, Series of 1991,
on the processing of employment contracts of domestic workers for Hong Kong.
An ad hoc, one stop Household Workers Placement Unit [or HWPU] under the supervision of the POEA
shall take charge of the various operations involved in the Hong Kong-DH industry segment: TO: All Philippine and Hong Kong Agencies engaged in the recruitment of Domestic helpers for
Hong Kong
The HWPU shall have the following functions in coordination with appropriate units and other entities
concerned: Further to Memorandum Circular No. 30, series of 1991 pertaining to the government processing and
deployment of domestic helpers (DHs) to Hong Kong, processing of employment contracts which have
1. Negotiations with and Accreditation of Hong Kong Recruitment Agencies been attested by the Hong Kong Commissioner of Labor up to 30 June 1991 shall be processed by the
POEA Employment Contracts Processing Branch up to 15 August 1991 only.
2. Manpower Pooling
Effective 16 August 1991, all Hong Kong recruitment agent/s hiring DHs from the Philippines shall
3. Worker Training and Briefing recruit under the new scheme which requires prior accreditation which the POEA.

4. Processing and Deployment Recruitment agencies in Hong Kong may apply for accreditation at the Office of the Labor Attache,
Philippine Consulate General where a POEA team is posted until 31 August 1991. Thereafter, those
5. Welfare Programs who failed to have themselves accredited in Hong Kong may proceed to the POEA-OWWA Household
Workers Placement Unit in Manila for accreditation before their recruitment and processing of DHs
shall be allowed. "2. To establish and maintain a registration and/or licensing system to regulate private sector
participation in the recruitment and placement of workers, locally and overseas, . . ." (Art. 15, Labor
Recruitment agencies in Hong Kong who have some accepted applicants in their pool after the cut-off Code, Emphasis supplied). (p. 13, Rollo.)
period shall submit this list of workers upon accreditation. Only those DHs in said list will be allowed
processing outside of the HWPU manpower pool. 2. It assumed from the defunct Overseas Employment Development Board the power and duty:

For strict compliance of all concerned. (Emphasis supplied, p. 36, Rollo.) 3. To recruit and place workers for overseas employment of Filipino contract workers on a
government to government arrangement and in such other sectors as policy may dictate . . . (Art. 17,
On September 2, 1991, the petitioner, PASEI, filed this petition for prohibition to annul the Labor Code.) (p. 13, Rollo.)
aforementioned DOLE and POEA circulars and to prohibit their implementation for the following
reasons: 3. From the National Seamen Board, the POEA took over:

1. that the respondents acted with grave abuse of discretion and/or in excess of their rule-making 2. To regulate and supervise the activities of agents or representatives of shipping companies in
authority in issuing said circulars; the hiring of seamen for overseas employment; and secure the best possible terms of employment for
contract seamen workers and secure compliance therewith. (Art. 20, Labor Code.)
2. that the assailed DOLE and POEA circulars are contrary to the Constitution, are unreasonable,
unfair and oppressive; and The vesture of quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial powers in administrative bodies is not
unconstitutional, unreasonable and oppressive. It has been necessitated by "the growing complexity of
3. that the requirements of publication and filing with the Office of the National Administrative the modern society" (Solid Homes, Inc. vs. Payawal, 177 SCRA 72, 79). More and more administrative
Register were not complied with. bodies are necessary to help in the regulation of society's ramified activities. "Specialized in the
particular field assigned to them, they can deal with the problems thereof with more expertise and
There is no merit in the first and second grounds of the petition. dispatch than can be expected from the legislature or the courts of justice" (Ibid.).

Article 36 of the Labor Code grants the Labor Secretary the power to restrict and regulate recruitment It is noteworthy that the assailed circulars do not prohibit the petitioner from engaging in the recruitment
and placement activities. and deployment of Filipino landbased workers for overseas employment. A careful reading of the
challenged administrative issuances discloses that the same fall within the "administrative and policing
Art. 36. Regulatory Power. The Secretary of Labor shall have the power to restrict and regulate the powers expressly or by necessary implication conferred" upon the respondents (People vs. Maceren,
recruitment and placement activities of all agencies within the coverage of this title [Regulation of 79 SCRA 450). The power to "restrict and regulate conferred by Article 36 of the Labor Code involves a
Recruitment and Placement Activities] and is hereby authorized to issue orders and promulgate rules grant of police power (City of Naga vs. Court of Appeals, 24 SCRA 898). To "restrict" means "to confine,
and regulations to carry out the objectives and implement the provisions of this title. (Emphasis ours.) limit or stop" (p. 62, Rollo) and whereas the power to "regulate" means "the power to protect, foster,
promote, preserve, and control with due regard for the interests, first and foremost, of the public, then
On the other hand, the scope of the regulatory authority of the POEA, which was created by Executive of the utility and of its patrons" (Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation vs. Alcuaz, 180 SCRA
Order No. 797 on May 1, 1982 to take over the functions of the Overseas Employment Development 218).
Board, the National Seamen Board, and the overseas employment functions of the Bureau of
Employment Services, is broad and far-ranging for: The Solicitor General, in his Comment, aptly observed:

1. Among the functions inherited by the POEA from the defunct Bureau of Employment Services . . . Said Administrative Order [i.e., DOLE Administrative Order No. 16] merely restricted the scope or
was the power and duty: area of petitioner's business operations by excluding therefrom recruitment and deployment of
domestic helpers for Hong Kong till after the establishment of the "mechanisms" that will enhance the
protection of Filipino domestic helpers going to Hong Kong. In fine, other than the recruitment and Art. 5. Rules and Regulations. The Department of Labor and other government agencies charged
deployment of Filipino domestic helpers for Hongkong, petitioner may still deploy other class of Filipino with the administration and enforcement of this Code or any of its parts shall promulgate the necessary
workers either for Hongkong and other countries and all other classes of Filipino workers for other implementing rules and regulations. Such rules and regulations shall become effective fifteen (15) days
countries. after announcement of their adoption in newspapers of general circulation. (Emphasis supplied, Labor
Code, as amended.)
Said administrative issuances, intended to curtail, if not to end, rampant violations of the rule against
excessive collections of placement and documentation fees, travel fees and other charges committed Sec. 3. Filing. (1) Every agency shall file with the University of the Philippines Law Center, three (3)
by private employment agencies recruiting and deploying domestic helpers to Hongkong. [They are certified copies of every rule adopted by it. Rules in force on the date of effectivity of this Code which
reasonable, valid and justified under the general welfare clause of the Constitution, since the are not filed within three (3) months shall not thereafter be the basis of any sanction against any party
recruitment and deployment business, as it is conducted today, is affected with public interest. or persons. (Emphasis supplied, Chapter 2, Book VII of the Administrative Code of 1987.)

xxx xxx xxx Sec. 4. Effectivity. In addition to other rule-making requirements provided by law not inconsistent
with this Book, each rule shall become effective fifteen (15) days from the date of filing as above
The alleged takeover [of the business of recruiting and placing Filipino domestic helpers in Hongkong] provided unless a different date is fixed by law, or specified in the rule in cases of imminent danger to
is merely a remedial measure, and expires after its purpose shall have been attained. This is evident public health, safety and welfare, the existence of which must be expressed in a statement
from the tenor of Administrative Order No. 16 that recruitment of Filipino domestic helpers going to accompanying the rule. The agency shall take appropriate measures to make emergency rules known
Hongkong by private employment agencies are hereby "temporarily suspended effective July 1, 1991." to persons who may be affected by them. (Emphasis supplied, Chapter 2, Book VII of the
Administrative Code of 1987).
The alleged takeover is limited in scope, being confined to recruitment of domestic helpers going to
Hongkong only. Once, more we advert to our ruling in Taada vs. Tuvera, 146 SCRA 446 that:

xxx xxx xxx . . . Administrative rules and regulations must also be published if their purpose is to enforce or
implement existing law pursuant also to a valid delegation. (p. 447.)
. . . the justification for the takeover of the processing and deploying of domestic helpers for Hongkong
resulting from the restriction of the scope of petitioner's business is confined solely to the unscrupulous Interpretative regulations and those merely internal in nature, that is, regulating only the personnel of
practice of private employment agencies victimizing applicants for employment as domestic helpers for the administrative agency and not the public, need not be published. Neither is publication required of
Hongkong and not the whole recruitment business in the Philippines. (pp. 62-65, Rollo.) the so-called letters of instructions issued by administrative superiors concerning the rules or guidelines
to be followed by their subordinates in the performance of their duties. (p. 448.)
The questioned circulars are therefore a valid exercise of the police power as delegated to the
executive branch of Government. We agree that publication must be in full or it is no publication at all since its purpose is to inform the
public of the content of the laws. (p. 448.)
Nevertheless, they are legally invalid, defective and unenforceable for lack of power publication and
filing in the Office of the National Administrative Register as required in Article 2 of the Civil Code, For lack of proper publication, the administrative circulars in question may not be enforced and
Article 5 of the Labor Code and Sections 3(1) and 4, Chapter 2, Book VII of the Administrative Code of implemented.
1987 which provide:
WHEREFORE, the writ of prohibition is GRANTED. The implementation of DOLE Department Order
Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen (15) days following the completion of their publication in the No. 16, Series of 1991, and POEA Memorandum Circulars Nos. 30 and 37, Series of 1991, by the
Official Gazatte, unless it is otherwise provided. . . . (Civil Code.)
public respondents is hereby SUSPENDED pending compliance with the statutory requirements of
publication and filing under the aforementioned laws of the land.

SO ORDERED.
3. SANTIAGO v. COMELEC Delfin alleged in his petition that he is a founding member of the Movement for Peoples Initiative,[6] a
group of citizens desirous to avail of the system intended to institutionalize people power; that he and
[G.R. No. 127325. March 19, 1997] the members of the Movement and other volunteers intend to exercise the power to directly propose
amendments to the Constitution granted under Section 2, Article XVII of the Constitution; that the
MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, ALEXANDER PADILLA and MARIA ISABEL ONGPIN, petitioners, exercise of that power shall be conducted in proceedings under the control and supervision of the
vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, JESUS DELFIN, ALBERTO PEDROSA & CARMEN PEDROSA, COMELEC; that, as required in COMELEC Resolution No. 2300, signature stations shall be
in their capacities as founding members of the Peoples Initiative for Reforms, Modernization and Action established all over the country, with the assistance of municipal election registrars, who shall verify the
(PIRMA), respondents, SENATOR RAUL S. ROCO, DEMOKRASYA-IPAGTANGGOL ANG signatures affixed by individual signatories; that before the Movement and other volunteers can gather
KONSTITUSYON (DIK), MOVEMENT OF ATTORNEYS FOR BROTHERHOOD INTEGRITY AND signatures, it is necessary that the time and dates to be designated for the purpose be first fixed in an
NATIONALISM, INC. (MABINI), INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES (IBP) and LABAN NG order to be issued by the COMELEC; and that to adequately inform the people of the electoral process
DEMOKRATIKONG PILIPINO (LABAN), petitioners-intervenors. involved, it is likewise necessary that the said order, as well as the Petition on which the signatures
DECISION shall be affixed, be published in newspapers of general and local circulation, under the control and
DAVIDE, JR., J.: supervision of the COMELEC.

The heart of this controversy brought to us by way of a petition for prohibition under Rule 65 of the The Delfin Petition further alleged that the provisions sought to be amended are Sections 4 and 7 of
Rules of Court is the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the Article VI,[7] Section 4 of Article VII,[8] and Section 8 of Article X[9] of the Constitution. Attached to the
system of initiative under Section 2 of Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution. Undoubtedly, this demands petition is a copy of a Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution[10] embodying the proposed
special attention, as this system of initiative was unknown to the people of this country, except perhaps amendments which consist in the deletion from the aforecited sections of the provisions concerning
to a few scholars, before the drafting of the 1987 Constitution. The 1986 Constitutional Commission term limits, and with the following proposition:
itself, through the original proponent[1] and the main sponsor[2] of the proposed Article on
Amendments or Revision of the Constitution, characterized this system as innovative.[3] Indeed it is, for DO YOU APPROVE OF LIFTING THE TERM LIMITS OF ALL ELECTIVE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS,
both under the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions, only two methods of proposing amendments to, or AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE SECTIONS 4 AND 7 OF ARTICLE VI, SECTION 4 OF ARTICLE VII,
revision of, the Constitution were recognized, viz., (1) by Congress upon a vote of three-fourths of all its AND SECTION 8 OF ARTICLE X OF THE 1987 PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION?
members and (2) by a constitutional convention.[4] For this and the other reasons hereafter discussed,
we resolved to give due course to this petition. According to Delfin, the said Petition for Initiative will first be submitted to the people, and after it is
signed by at least twelve per cent of the total number of registered voters in the country it will be
On 6 December 1996, private respondent Atty. Jesus S. Delfin filed with public respondent Commission formally filed with the COMELEC.
on Elections (hereafter, COMELEC) a Petition to Amend the Constitution, to Lift Term Limits of Elective
Officials, by Peoples Initiative (hereafter, Delfin Petition)[5] wherein Delfin asked the COMELEC for an Upon the filing of the Delfin Petition, which was forthwith given the number UND 96-037 (INITIATIVE),
order the COMELEC, through its Chairman, issued an Order[11] (a) directing Delfin to cause the publication
of the petition, together with the attached Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution (including the
1. Fixing the time and dates for signature gathering all over the country; proposal, proposed constitutional amendment, and the signature form), and the notice of hearing in
three (3) daily newspapers of general circulation at his own expense not later than 9 December 1996;
2. Causing the necessary publications of said Order and the attached Petition for Initiative on the 1987 and (b) setting the case for hearing on 12 December 1996 at 10:00 a.m.
Constitution, in newspapers of general and local circulation;
At the hearing of the Delfin Petition on 12 December 1996, the following appeared: Delfin and Atty.
3. Instructing Municipal Election Registrars in all Regions of the Philippines, to assist Petitioners and Pete Q. Quadra; representatives of the Peoples Initiative for Reforms, Modernization and Action
volunteers, in establishing signing stations at the time and on the dates designated for the purpose. (PIRMA); intervenor-oppositor Senator Raul S. Roco, together with his two other lawyers; and
representatives of, or counsel for, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Demokrasya-Ipagtanggol
ang Konstitusyon (DIK), Public Interest Law Center, and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LABAN). (6) Finally, Congress has not yet appropriated funds for peoples initiative; neither the COMELEC nor
[12] Senator Roco, on that same day, filed a Motion to Dismiss the Delfin Petition on the ground that it any other government department, agency, or office has realigned funds for the purpose.
is not the initiatory petition properly cognizable by the COMELEC.
To justify their recourse to us via the special civil action for prohibition, the petitioners allege that in the
After hearing their arguments, the COMELEC directed Delfin and the oppositors to file their event the COMELEC grants the Delfin Petition, the peoples initiative spearheaded by PIRMA would
memoranda and/or oppositions/memoranda within five days.[13] entail expenses to the national treasury for general re-registration of voters amounting to at least P180
million, not to mention the millions of additional pesos in expenses which would be incurred in the
On 18 December 1996, the petitioners herein -- Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Alexander Padilla, conduct of the initiative itself. Hence, the transcendental importance to the public and the nation of the
and Maria Isabel Ongpin -- filed this special civil action for prohibition raising the following arguments: issues raised demands that this petition for prohibition be settled promptly and definitely, brushing
aside technicalities of procedure and calling for the admission of a taxpayers and legislators suit.[14]
(1) The constitutional provision on peoples initiative to amend the Constitution can only be Besides, there is no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
implemented by law to be passed by Congress. No such law has been passed; in fact, Senate Bill No.
1290 entitled An Act Prescribing and Regulating Constitutional Amendments by Peoples Initiative, On 19 December 1996, this Court (a) required the respondents to comment on the petition within a
which petitioner Senator Santiago filed on 24 November 1995, is still pending before the Senate non-extendible period of ten days from notice; and (b) issued a temporary restraining order, effective
Committee on Constitutional Amendments. immediately and continuing until further orders, enjoining public respondent COMELEC from
proceeding with the Delfin Petition, and private respondents Alberto and Carmen Pedrosa from
(2) It is true that R.A. No. 6735 provides for three systems of initiative, namely, initiative on the conducting a signature drive for peoples initiative to amend the Constitution.
Constitution, on statutes, and on local legislation. However, it failed to provide any subtitle on initiative
on the Constitution, unlike in the other modes of initiative, which are specifically provided for in Subtitle On 2 January 1997, private respondents, through Atty Quadra, filed their Comment[15] on the petition.
II and Subtitle III. This deliberate omission indicates that the matter of peoples initiative to amend the They argue therein that:
Constitution was left to some future law. Former Senator Arturo Tolentino stressed this deficiency in the
law in his privilege speech delivered before the Senate in 1994: There is not a single word in that law 1. IT IS NOT TRUE THAT IT WOULD ENTAIL EXPENSES TO THE NATIONAL TREASURY FOR
which can be considered as implementing [the provision on constitutional initiative]. Such implementing GENERAL REGISTRATION OF VOTERS AMOUNTING TO AT LEAST PESOS: ONE HUNDRED
provisions have been obviously left to a separate law. EIGHTY MILLION (P180,000,000.00) IF THE COMELEC GRANTS THE PETITION FILED BY
RESPONDENT DELFIN BEFORE THE COMELEC.
(3) Republic Act No. 6735 provides for the effectivity of the law after publication in print media. This
indicates that the Act covers only laws and not constitutional amendments because the latter take 2. NOT A SINGLE CENTAVO WOULD BE SPENT BY THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT IF THE
effect only upon ratification and not after publication. COMELEC GRANTS THE PETITION OF RESPONDENT DELFIN. ALL EXPENSES IN THE
SIGNATURE GATHERING ARE ALL FOR THE ACCOUNT OF RESPONDENT DELFIN AND HIS
(4) COMELEC Resolution No. 2300, adopted on 16 January 1991 to govern the conduct of initiative on VOLUNTEERS PER THEIR PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES AND EXPENDITURES SUBMITTED TO THE
the Constitution and initiative and referendum on national and local laws, is ultra vires insofar as COMELEC. THE ESTIMATED COST OF THE DAILY PER DIEM OF THE SUPERVISING SCHOOL
initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned, since the COMELEC has no power to TEACHERS IN THE SIGNATURE GATHERING TO BE DEPOSITED and TO BE PAID BY DELFIN
provide rules and regulations for the exercise of the right of initiative to amend the Constitution. Only AND HIS VOLUNTEERS IS P2,571, 200.00;
Congress is authorized by the Constitution to pass the implementing law.
3. THE PENDING PETITION BEFORE THE COMELEC IS ONLY ON THE SIGNATURE GATHERING
(5)The peoples initiative is limited to amendments to the Constitution, not to revision thereof. Extending WHICH BY LAW COMELEC IS DUTY BOUND TO SUPERVISE CLOSELY PURSUANT TO ITS
or lifting of term limits constitutes a revision and is, therefore, outside the power of the peoples INITIATORY JURISDICTION UPHELD BY THE HONORABLE COURT IN ITS RECENT SEPTEMBER
initiative. 26, 1996 DECISION IN THE CASE OF SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY VS. COMELEC, ET
AL. G.R. NO. 125416;
(2) Section 9(b) of R.A. No. 6735 specifically provides that the proposition in an initiative to amend the
4. REP. ACT NO. 6735 APPROVED ON AUGUST 4, 1989 IS THE ENABLING LAW IMPLEMENTING Constitution approved by the majority of the votes cast in the plebiscite shall become effective as of the
THE POWER OF PEOPLE INITIATIVE TO PROPOSE AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION. day of the plebiscite.
SENATOR DEFENSOR-SANTIAGOS SENATE BILL NO. 1290 IS A DUPLICATION OF WHAT ARE
ALREADY PROVIDED FOR IN REP. ACT NO. 6735; (3) The claim that COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 is ultra vires is contradicted by (a) Section 2, Article
IX-C of the Constitution, which grants the COMELEC the power to enforce and administer all laws and
5. COMELEC RESOLUTION NO. 2300 PROMULGATED ON JANUARY 16, 1991 PURSUANT TO regulations relative to the conduct of an election, plebiscite, initiative, referendum, and recall; and (b)
REP. ACT 6735 WAS UPHELD BY THE HONORABLE COURT IN THE RECENT SEPTEMBER 26, Section 20 of R.A. 6735, which empowers the COMELEC to promulgate such rules and regulations as
1996 DECISION IN THE CASE OF SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY VS. COMELEC, ET may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act.
AL. G.R. NO. 125416 WHERE THE HONORABLE COURT SAID: THE COMMISSION ON
ELECTIONS CAN DO NO LESS BY SEASONABLY AND JUDICIOUSLY PROMULGATING (4) The proposed initiative does not involve a revision of, but mere amendment to, the Constitution
GUIDELINES AND RULES FOR BOTH NATIONAL AND LOCAL USE, IN IMPLEMENTING OF THESE because it seeks to alter only a few specific provisions of the Constitution, or more specifically, only
LAWS. those which lay term limits. It does not seek to reexamine or overhaul the entire document.

6. EVEN SENATOR DEFENSOR-SANTIAGOS SENATE BILL NO. 1290 CONTAINS A PROVISION As to the public expenditures for registration of voters, Delfin considers petitioners estimate of P180
DELEGATING TO THE COMELEC THE POWER TO PROMULGATE SUCH RULES AND million as unreliable, for only the COMELEC can give the exact figure. Besides, if there will be a
REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT. (SEC. plebiscite it will be simultaneous with the 1997 Barangay Elections. In any event, fund requirements for
12, S.B. NO. 1290, ENCLOSED AS ANNEX E, PETITION); initiative will be a priority government expense because it will be for the exercise of the sovereign
power of the people.
7. THE LIFTING OF THE LIMITATION ON THE TERM OF OFFICE OF ELECTIVE OFFICIALS
PROVIDED UNDER THE 1987 CONSTITUTION IS NOT A REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION. IT IS In the Comment[17] for the public respondent COMELEC, filed also on 2 January 1997, the Office of
ONLY AN AMENDMENT. AMENDMENT ENVISAGES AN ALTERATION OF ONE OR A FEW the Solicitor General contends that:
SPECIFIC PROVISIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION. REVISION CONTEMPLATES A RE-
EXAMINATION OF THE ENTIRE DOCUMENT TO DETERMINE HOW AND TO WHAT EXTENT IT (1) R.A. No. 6735 deals with, inter alia, peoples initiative to amend the Constitution. Its Section 2 on
SHOULD BE ALTERED. (PP. 412-413, 2ND. ED. 1992, 1097 PHIL. CONSTITUTION, BY JOAQUIN G. Statement of Policy explicitly affirms, recognizes, and guarantees that power; and its Section 3, which
BERNAS, S.J.). enumerates the three systems of initiative, includes initiative on the Constitution and defines the same
as the power to propose amendments to the Constitution. Likewise, its Section 5 repeatedly mentions
Also on 2 January 1997, private respondent Delfin filed in his own behalf a Comment[16] which starts initiative on the Constitution.
off with an assertion that the instant petition is a knee-jerk reaction to a draft Petition for Initiative on the
1987 Constitution ... which is not formally filed yet. What he filed on 6 December 1996 was an Initiatory (2) A separate subtitle on initiative on the Constitution is not necessary in R.A. No. 6735 because,
Pleading or Initiatory Petition, which was legally necessary to start the signature campaign to amend being national in scope, that system of initiative is deemed included in the subtitle on National Initiative
the Constitution or to put the movement to gather signatures under COMELEC power and function. On and Referendum; and Senator Tolentino simply overlooked pertinent provisions of the law when he
the substantive allegations of the petitioners, Delfin maintains as follows: claimed that nothing therein was provided for initiative on the Constitution.

(1) Contrary to the claim of the petitioners, there is a law, R.A. No. 6735, which governs the conduct of (3) Senate Bill No. 1290 is neither a competent nor a material proof that R.A. No. 6735 does not deal
initiative to amend the Constitution. The absence therein of a subtitle for such initiative is not fatal, with initiative on the Constitution.
since subtitles are not requirements for the validity or sufficiency of laws.
(4) Extension of term limits of elected officials constitutes a mere amendment to the Constitution, not a
revision thereof.
(4) R.A. No. 6735 is deficient and inadequate in itself to be called the enabling law that implements the
(5) COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 was validly issued under Section 20 of R.A. No. 6735 and under peoples initiative on amendments to the Constitution. It fails to state (a) the proper parties who may file
the Omnibus Election Code. The rule-making power of the COMELEC to implement the provisions of the petition, (b) the appropriate agency before whom the petition is to be filed, (c) the contents of the
R.A. No. 6735 was in fact upheld by this Court in Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority vs. COMELEC . petition, (d) the publication of the same, (e) the ways and means of gathering the signatures of the
voters nationwide and 3% per legislative district, (f) the proper parties who may oppose or question the
On 14 January 1997, this Court (a) confirmed nunc pro tunc the temporary restraining order; (b) noted veracity of the signatures, (g) the role of the COMELEC in the verification of the signatures and the
the aforementioned Comments and the Motion to Lift Temporary Restraining Order filed by private sufficiency of the petition, (h) the appeal from any decision of the COMELEC, (I) the holding of a
respondents through Atty. Quadra, as well as the latters Manifestation stating that he is the counsel for plebiscite, and (g) the appropriation of funds for such peoples initiative. Accordingly, there being no
private respondents Alberto and Carmen Pedrosa only and the Comment he filed was for the enabling law, the COMELEC has no jurisdiction to hear Delfins petition.
Pedrosas; and (c) granted the Motion for Intervention filed on 6 January 1997 by Senator Raul Roco
and allowed him to file his Petition in Intervention not later than 20 January 1997; and (d) set the case (5) The deficiency of R.A. No. 6735 cannot be rectified or remedied by COMELEC Resolution No.
for hearing on 23 January 1997 at 9:30 a.m. 2300, since the COMELEC is without authority to legislate the procedure for a peoples initiative under
Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution. That function exclusively pertains to Congress. Section 20
On 17 January 1997, the Demokrasya-Ipagtanggol ang Konstitusyon (DIK) and the Movement of of R.A. No. 6735 does not constitute a legal basis for the Resolution, as the former does not set a
Attorneys for Brotherhood Integrity and Nationalism, Inc. (MABINI), filed a Motion for Intervention. sufficient standard for a valid delegation of power.
Attached to the motion was their Petition in Intervention, which was later replaced by an Amended
Petition in Intervention wherein they contend that: On 20 January 1997, Senator Raul Roco filed his Petition in Intervention.[21] He avers that R.A. No.
6735 is the enabling law that implements the peoples right to initiate constitutional amendments. This
(1) The Delfin proposal does not involve a mere amendment to, but a revision of, the Constitution law is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 17 and House Bill No. 21505; he co-authored the House Bill
because, in the words of Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J.,[18] it would involve a change from a political and even delivered a sponsorship speech thereon. He likewise submits that the COMELEC was
philosophy that rejects unlimited tenure to one that accepts unlimited tenure; and although the change empowered under Section 20 of that law to promulgate COMELEC Resolution No. 2300. Nevertheless,
might appear to be an isolated one, it can affect other provisions, such as, on synchronization of he contends that the respondent Commission is without jurisdiction to take cognizance of the Delfin
elections and on the State policy of guaranteeing equal access to opportunities for public service and Petition and to order its publication because the said petition is not the initiatory pleading contemplated
prohibiting political dynasties.[19] A revision cannot be done by initiative which, by express provision of under the Constitution, Republic Act No. 6735, and COMELEC Resolution No. 2300. What vests
Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution, is limited to amendments. jurisdiction upon the COMELEC in an initiative on the Constitution is the filing of a petition for initiative
which is signed by the required number of registered voters. He also submits that the proponents of a
(2) The prohibition against reelection of the President and the limits provided for all other national and constitutional amendment cannot avail of the authority and resources of the COMELEC to assist them
local elective officials are based on the philosophy of governance, to open up the political arena to as is securing the required number of signatures, as the COMELECs role in an initiative on the
many as there are Filipinos qualified to handle the demands of leadership, to break the concentration of Constitution is limited to the determination of the sufficiency of the initiative petition and the call and
political and economic powers in the hands of a few, and to promote effective proper empowerment for supervision of a plebiscite, if warranted.
participation in policy and decision-making for the common good; hence, to remove the term limits is to
negate and nullify the noble vision of the 1987 Constitution. On 20 January 1997, LABAN filed a Motion for Leave to Intervene.

(3) The Delfin proposal runs counter to the purpose of initiative, particularly in a conflict-of-interest The following day, the IBP filed a Motion for Intervention to which it attached a Petition in Intervention
situation. Initiative is intended as a fallback position that may be availed of by the people only if they raising the following arguments:
are dissatisfied with the performance of their elective officials, but not as a premium for good
performance.[20] (1) Congress has failed to enact an enabling law mandated under Section 2, Article XVII of the 1987
Constitution.
(2) COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 cannot substitute for the required implementing law on the initiative
to amend the Constitution. 5. Whether it is proper for the Supreme Court to take cognizance of the petition when there is a
pending case before the COMELEC.
(3) The Petition for Initiative suffers from a fatal defect in that it does not have the required number of
signatures. After hearing them on the issues, we required the parties to submit simultaneously their respective
memoranda within twenty days and requested intervenor Senator Roco to submit copies of the
(4) The petition seeks, in effect a revision of the Constitution, which can be proposed only by Congress deliberations on House Bill No. 21505.
or a constitutional convention.[22]
On 27 January 1997, LABAN filed its Petition in Intervention wherein it adopts the allegations and
On 21 January 1997, we promulgated a Resolution (a) granting the Motions for Intervention filed by the arguments in the main Petition. It further submits that the COMELEC should have dismissed the Delfin
DIK and MABINI and by the IBP, as well as the Motion for Leave to Intervene filed by LABAN; (b) Petition for failure to state a sufficient cause of action and that the Commissions failure or refusal to do
admitting the Amended Petition in Intervention of DIK and MABINI, and the Petitions in Intervention of so constituted grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
Senator Roco and of the IBP; (c) requiring the respondents to file within a nonextendible period of five
days their Consolidated Comments on the aforesaid Petitions in Intervention; and (d) requiring LABAN On 28 January 1997, Senator Roco submitted copies of portions of both the Journal and the Record of
to file its Petition in Intervention within a nonextendible period of three days from notice, and the the House of Representatives relating to the deliberations of House Bill No. 21505, as well as the
respondents to comment thereon within a nonextendible period of five days from receipt of the said transcripts of stenographic notes on the proceedings of the Bicameral Conference Committee,
Petition in Intervention. Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms, of 6 June 1989 on House Bill No. 21505 and Senate Bill
No. 17.
At the hearing of the case on 23 January 1997, the parties argued on the following pivotal issues,
which the Court formulated in light of the allegations and arguments raised in the pleadings so far filed: Private respondents Alberto and Carmen Pedrosa filed their Consolidated Comments on the Petitions
in Intervention of Senator Roco, DIK and MABINI, and IBP.[23] The parties thereafter filed, in due time,
1. Whether R.A. No. 6735, entitled An Act Providing for a System of Initiative and Referendum and their separate memoranda.[24]
Appropriating Funds Therefor, was intended to include or cover initiative on amendments to the
Constitution; and if so, whether the Act, as worded, adequately covers such initiative. As we stated in the beginning, we resolved to give due course to this special civil action.

2. Whether that portion of COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 (In re: Rules and Regulations Governing the For a more logical discussion of the formulated issues, we shall first take up the fifth issue which
Conduct of Initiative on the Constitution, and Initiative and Referendum on National and Local Laws) appears to pose a prejudicial procedural question.
regarding the conduct of initiative on amendments to the Constitution is valid, considering the absence
in the law of specific provisions on the conduct of such initiative. I

3. Whether the lifting of term limits of elective national and local officials, as proposed in the draft THE INSTANT PETITION IS VIABLE DESPITE THE
Petition for Initiative on the 1987 Constitution, would constitute a revision of, or an amendment to, the PENDENCY IN THE COMELEC OF THE DELFIN
Constitution. PETITION.

4. Whether the COMELEC can take cognizance of, or has jurisdiction over, a petition solely intended to Except for the petitioners and intervenor Roco, the parties paid no serious attention to the fifth issue,
obtain an order (a) fixing the time and dates for signature gathering; (b) instructing municipal election i.e., whether it is proper for this Court to take cognizance of this special civil action when there is a
officers to assist Delfin's movement and volunteers in establishing signature stations; and (c) directing pending case before the COMELEC. The petitioners provide an affirmative answer. Thus:
or causing the publication of, inter alia, the unsigned proposed Petition for Initiative on the 1987
Constitution.
28. The Comelec has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the petition filed by private respondent
Delfin. This being so, it becomes imperative to stop the Comelec from proceeding any further, and In any event, as correctly pointed out by intervenor Roco in his Memorandum, this Court may brush
under the Rules of Court, Rule 65, Section 2, a petition for prohibition is the proper remedy. aside technicalities of procedure in cases of transcendental importance. As we stated in Kilosbayan,
Inc. v. Guingona, Jr.:[28]
29. The writ of prohibition is an extraordinary judicial writ issuing out of a court of superior jurisdiction
and directed to an inferior court, for the purpose of preventing the inferior tribunal from usurping a A partys standing before this Court is a procedural technicality which it may, in the exercise of its
jurisdiction with which it is not legally vested. (People v. Vera, supra., p. 84). In this case the writ is an discretion, set aside in view of the importance of issues raised. In the landmark Emergency Powers
urgent necessity, in view of the highly divisive and adverse environmental consequences on the body Cases, this Court brushed aside this technicality because the transcendental importance to the public
politic of the questioned Comelec order. The consequent climate of legal confusion and political of these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely, brushing aside, if we must,
instability begs for judicial statesmanship. technicalities of procedure.

30. In the final analysis, when the system of constitutional law is threatened by the political ambitions of II
man, only the Supreme Court can save a nation in peril and uphold the paramount majesty of the
Constitution.[25] R.A. NO. 6735 INTENDED TO INCLUDE THE SYSTEM
OF INITIATIVE ON AMENDMENTS TO THE
It must be recalled that intervenor Roco filed with the COMELEC a motion to dismiss the Delfin Petition CONSTITUTION, BUT IS, UNFORTUNATELY,
on the ground that the COMELEC has no jurisdiction or authority to entertain the petition.[26] The INADEQUATE TO COVER THAT SYSTEM.
COMELEC made no ruling thereon evidently because after having heard the arguments of Delfin and
the oppositors at the hearing on 12 December 1996, it required them to submit within five days their Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution provides:
memoranda or oppositions/memoranda.[27] Earlier, or specifically on 6 December 1996, it practically
gave due course to the Delfin Petition by ordering Delfin to cause the publication of the petition, SEC. 2. Amendments to this Constitution may likewise be directly proposed by the people through
together with the attached Petition for Initiative, the signature form, and the notice of hearing; and by initiative upon a petition of at least twelve per centum of the total number of registered voters, of which
setting the case for hearing. The COMELECs failure to act on Rocos motion to dismiss and its every legislative district must be represented by at least three per centum of the registered voters
insistence to hold on to the petition rendered ripe and viable the instant petition under Section 2 of Rule therein. No amendment under this section shall be authorized within five years following the ratification
65 of the Rules of Court, which provides: of this Constitution nor oftener than once every five years thereafter.

SEC. 2. Petition for prohibition. -- Where the proceedings of any tribunal, corporation, board, or person, The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right.
whether exercising functions judicial or ministerial, are without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or
with grave abuse of discretion, and there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy This provision is not self-executory. In his book,[29] Joaquin Bernas, a member of the 1986
in the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court Constitutional Commission, stated:
alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the defendant to
desist from further proceedings in the action or matter specified therein. Without implementing legislation Section 2 cannot operate. Thus, although this mode of amending the
Constitution is a mode of amendment which bypasses congressional action, in the last analysis it still is
It must also be noted that intervenor Roco claims that the COMELEC has no jurisdiction over the Delfin dependent on congressional action.
Petition because the said petition is not supported by the required minimum number of signatures of
registered voters. LABAN also asserts that the COMELEC gravely abused its discretion in refusing to Bluntly stated, the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the
dismiss the Delfin Petition, which does not contain the required number of signatures. In light of these system of initiative would remain entombed in the cold niche of the Constitution until Congress provides
claims, the instant case may likewise be treated as a special civil action for certiorari under Section I of for its implementation. Stated otherwise, while the Constitution has recognized or granted that right, the
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. people cannot exercise it if Congress, for whatever reason, does not provide for its implementation.
This system of initiative was originally included in Section 1 of the draft Article on Amendment or FR. BERNAS. And do we also understand, therefore, that for as long as the legislature does not pass
Revision proposed by the Committee on Amendments and Transitory Provisions of the 1986 the necessary implementing law on this, this will not operate?
Constitutional Commission in its Committee Report No. 7 (Proposed Resolution No. 332).[30] That
section reads as follows: MR. SUAREZ. That matter was also taken up during the committee hearing, especially with respect to
the budget appropriations which would have to be legislated so that the plebiscite could be called. We
SECTION 1. Any amendment to, or revision of, this Constitution may be proposed: deemed it best that this matter be left to the legislature. The Gentleman is right. In any event, as
envisioned, no amendment through the power of initiative can be called until after five years from the
(a) by the National Assembly upon a vote of three-fourths of all its members; or date of the ratification of this Constitution. Therefore, the first amendment that could be proposed
through the exercise of this initiative power would be after five years. It is reasonably expected that
(b) by a constitutional convention; or within that five-year period, the National Assembly can come up with the appropriate rules governing
the exercise of this power.
(c) directly by the people themselves thru initiative as provided for in Article ____ Section ____ of the
Constitution.[31] FR. BERNAS. Since the matter is left to the legislature - the details on how this is to be carried out - is
it possible that, in effect, what will be presented to the people for ratification is the work of the
After several interpellations, but before the period of amendments, the Committee submitted a new legislature rather than of the people? Does this provision exclude that possibility?
formulation of the concept of initiative which it denominated as Section 2; thus:
MR. SUAREZ. No, it does not exclude that possibility because even the legislature itself as a body
MR. SUAREZ. Thank you, Madam President. May we respectfully call attention of the Members of the could propose that amendment, maybe individually or collectively, if it fails to muster the three-fourths
Commission that pursuant to the mandate given to us last night, we submitted this afternoon a vote in order to constitute itself as a constituent assembly and submit that proposal to the people for
complete Committee Report No. 7 which embodies the proposed provision governing the matter of ratification through the process of an initiative.
initiative. This is now covered by Section 2 of the complete committee report. With the permission of
the Members, may I quote Section 2: xxx

The people may, after five years from the date of the last plebiscite held, directly propose amendments MS. AQUINO. Do I understand from the sponsor that the intention in the proposal is to vest constituent
to this Constitution thru initiative upon petition of at least ten percent of the registered voters. power in the people to amend the Constitution?

This completes the blanks appearing in the original Committee Report No. 7.[32] MR. SUAREZ. That is absolutely correct, Madam President.

The interpellations on Section 2 showed that the details for carrying out Section 2 are left to the MS. AQUINO. I fully concur with the underlying precept of the proposal in terms of institutionalizing
legislature. Thus: popular participation in the drafting of the Constitution or in the amendment thereof, but I would have a
lot of difficulties in terms of accepting the draft of Section 2, as written. Would the sponsor agree with
FR. BERNAS. Madam President, just two simple, clarificatory questions. me that in the hierarchy of legal mandate, constituent power has primacy over all other legal
mandates?
First, on Section 1 on the matter of initiative upon petition of at least 10 percent, there are no details in
the provision on how to carry this out. Do we understand, therefore, that we are leaving this matter to MR. SUAREZ. The Commissioner is right, Madam President.
the legislature?

MR. SUAREZ. That is right, Madam President.


MS. AQUINO. And would the sponsor agree with me that in the hierarchy of legal values, the MR. SUAREZ. We would be amenable except that, as we clarified a while ago, this process of initiative
Constitution is source of all legal mandates and that therefore we require a great deal of is limited to the matter of amendment and should not expand into a revision which contemplates a total
circumspection in the drafting and in the amendments of the Constitution? overhaul of the Constitution. That was the sense that was conveyed by the Committee.

MS. AQUINO. In other words, the Committee was attempting to distinguish the coverage of modes (a)
MR. SUAREZ. That proposition is nondebatable. and (b) in Section 1 to include the process of revision; whereas the process of initiation to amend,
which is given to the public, would only apply to amendments?
MS. AQUINO. Such that in order to underscore the primacy of constituent power we have a separate
article in the constitution that would specifically cover the process and the modes of amending the MR. SUAREZ.That is right. Those were the terms envisioned in the Committee.[35]
Constitution?
Amendments to the proposed Section 2 were thereafter introduced by then Commissioner Hilario G.
MR. SUAREZ. That is right, Madam President. Davide, Jr., which the Committee accepted. Thus:

MS. AQUINO. Therefore, is the sponsor inclined, as the provisions are drafted now, to again concede MR. DAVIDE. Thank you Madam President. I propose to substitute the entire Section 2 with the
to the legislature the process or the requirement of determining the mechanics of amending the following:
Constitution by people's initiative?
xxx
MR. SUAREZ. The matter of implementing this could very well be placed in the hands of the National
Assembly, not unless we can incorporate into this provision the mechanics that would adequately cover MR. DAVIDE. Madam President, I have modified the proposed amendment after taking into account
all the conceivable situations.[33] the modifications submitted by the sponsor himself and the honorable Commissioners Guingona,
Monsod, Rama, Ople, de los Reyes and Romulo. The modified amendment in substitution of the
It was made clear during the interpellations that the aforementioned Section 2 is limited to proposals to proposed Section 2 will now read as follows: "SECTION 2. -- AMENDMENTS TO THIS
AMEND -- not to REVISE -- the Constitution; thus: CONSTITUTION MAY LIKEWISE BE DIRECTLY PROPOSED BY THE PEOPLE THROUGH
INITIATIVE UPON A PETITION OF AT LEAST TWELVE PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF
MR. SUAREZ. ... This proposal was suggested on the theory that this matter of initiative, which came REGISTERED VOTERS, OF WHICH EVERY LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT MUST BE REPRESENTED BY
about because of the extraordinary developments this year, has to be separated from the traditional AT LEAST THREE PERCENT OF THE REGISTERED VOTERS THEREOF. NO AMENDMENT
modes of amending the Constitution as embodied in Section 1. The committee members felt that this UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE AUTHORIZED WITHIN FIVE YEARS FOLLOWING THE
system of initiative should not extend to the revision of the entire Constitution, so we removed it from RATIFICATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION NOR OFTENER THAN ONCE EVERY FIVE YEARS
the operation of Section 1 of the proposed Article on Amendment or Revision.[34] THEREAFTER.

xxx THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SHALL BY LAW PROVIDE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
EXERCISE OF THIS RIGHT.
MS. AQUINO. In which case, I am seriously bothered by providing this process of initiative as a
separate section in the Article on Amendment. Would the sponsor be amenable to accepting an MR. SUAREZ. Madam President, considering that the proposed amendment is reflective of the sense
amendment in terms of realigning Section 2 as another subparagraph (c) of Section 1, instead of contained in Section 2 of our completed Committee Report No. 7, we accept the proposed amendment.
setting it up as another separate section as if it were a self-executing provision? [36]

The interpellations which ensued on the proposed modified amendment to Section 2 clearly showed
that it was a legislative act which must implement the exercise of the right. Thus:
Commissioner Davide further emphasized that the process of proposing amendments through initiative
MR. ROMULO. Under Commissioner Davide's amendment, is it possible for the legislature to set forth must be more rigorous and difficult than the initiative on legislation. Thus:
certain procedures to carry out the initiative...?
MR. DAVIDE. A distinction has to be made that under this proposal, what is involved is an amendment
MR. DAVIDE. It can. to the Constitution. To amend a Constitution would ordinarily require a proposal by the National
Assembly by a vote of three-fourths; and to call a constitutional convention would require a higher
xxx number. Moreover, just to submit the issue of calling a constitutional convention, a majority of the
National Assembly is required, the import being that the process of amendment must be made more
MR. ROMULO. But the Commissioners amendment does not prevent the legislature from asking rigorous and difficult than probably initiating an ordinary legislation or putting an end to a law proposed
another body to set the proposition in proper form. by the National Assembly by way of a referendum. I cannot agree to reducing the requirement
approved by the Committee on the Legislative because it would require another voting by the
MR. DAVIDE. The Commissioner is correct. In other words, the implementation of this particular right Committee, and the voting as precisely based on a requirement of 10 percent. Perhaps, I might present
would be subject to legislation, provided the legislature cannot determine anymore the percentage of such a proposal, by way of an amendment, when the Commission shall take up the Article on the
the requirement. Legislative or on the National Assembly on plenary sessions.[39]

MR. ROMULO. But the procedures, including the determination of the proper form for submission to The Davide modified amendments to Section 2 were subjected to amendments, and the final version,
the people, may be subject to legislation. which the Commission approved by a vote of 31 in favor and 3 against, reads as follows:

MR. DAVIDE. As long as it will not destroy the substantive right to initiate. In other words, none of the MR. DAVIDE. Thank you Madam President. Section 2, as amended, reads as follows: "AMENDMENT
procedures to be proposed by the legislative body must diminish or impair the right conceded here. TO THIS CONSTITUTION MAY LIKEWISE BE DIRECTLY PROPOSED BY THE PEOPLE THROUGH
INITIATIVE UPON A PETITION OF AT LEAST TWELVE PERCENT OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF
MR. ROMULO. In that provision of the Constitution can the procedures which I have discussed be REGISTERED VOTERS, OF WHICH EVERY LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT MUST BE REPRESENTED BY
legislated? AT LEAST THREE PERCENT OF THE REGISTERED VOTERS THEREOF. NO AMENDMENT
UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE AUTHORIZED WITHIN FIVE YEARS FOLLOWING THE
MR. DAVIDE. Yes.[37] RATIFICATION OF THIS CONSTITUTION NOR OFTENER THAN ONCE EVERY FIVE YEARS
THEREAFTER.
Commissioner Davide also reaffirmed that his modified amendment strictly confines initiative to
AMENDMENTS to -- NOT REVISION of -- the Constitution. Thus: THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SHALL BY LAW PROVIDE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE
EXERCISE OF THIS RIGHT.[40]
MR. DAVIDE. With pleasure, Madam President.
The entire proposed Article on Amendments or Revisions was approved on second reading on 9 July
MR. MAAMBONG. My first question: Commissioner Davide's proposed amendment on line 1 refers to 1986.[41] Thereafter, upon his motion for reconsideration, Commissioner Gascon was allowed to
"amendment." Does it not cover the word "revision" as defined by Commissioner Padilla when he made introduce an amendment to Section 2 which, nevertheless, was withdrawn. In view thereof, the Article
the distinction between the words "amendments" and "revision"? was again approved on Second and Third Readings on 1 August 1986.[42]

However, the Committee on Style recommended that the approved Section 2 be amended by changing
MR. DAVIDE. No, it does not, because "amendments" and "revision" should be covered by Section 1. percent to per centum and thereof to therein and deleting the phrase by law in the second paragraph
So insofar as initiative is concerned, it can only relate to "amendments" not "revision."[38] so that said paragraph reads: The Congress[43] shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of
this right.[44] This amendment was approved and is the text of the present second paragraph of But is R.A. No. 6735 a full compliance with the power and duty of Congress to provide for the
Section 2. implementation of the exercise of the right?

The conclusion then is inevitable that, indeed, the system of initiative on the Constitution under Section A careful scrutiny of the Act yields a negative answer.
2 of Article XVII of the Constitution is not self-executory.
First. Contrary to the assertion of public respondent COMELEC, Section 2 of the Act does not suggest
Has Congress provided for the implementation of the exercise of this right? Those who answer the an initiative on amendments to the Constitution. The said section reads:
question in the affirmative, like the private respondents and intervenor Senator Roco, point to us R.A.
No. 6735. SECTION 2. Statement and Policy. -- The power of the people under a system of initiative and
referendum to directly propose, enact, approve or reject, in whole or in part, the Constitution, laws,
There is, of course, no other better way for Congress to implement the exercise of the right than ordinances, or resolutions passed by any legislative body upon compliance with the requirements of
through the passage of a statute or legislative act. This is the essence or rationale of the last minute this Act is hereby affirmed, recognized and guaranteed. (Underscoring supplied).
amendment by the Constitutional Commission to substitute the last paragraph of Section 2 of Article
XVII then reading: The inclusion of the word Constitution therein was a delayed afterthought. That word is neither
germane nor relevant to said section, which exclusively relates to initiative and referendum on national
The Congress[45] shall by law provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right. laws and local laws, ordinances, and resolutions. That section is silent as to amendments on the
Constitution. As pointed out earlier, initiative on the Constitution is confined only to proposals to
with AMEND. The people are not accorded the power to directly propose, enact, approve, or reject, in whole
or in part, the Constitution through the system of initiative. They can only do so with respect to laws,
The Congress shall provide for the implementation of the exercise of this right. ordinances, or resolutions.

This substitute amendment was an investiture on Congress of a power to provide for the rules The foregoing conclusion is further buttressed by the fact that this section was lifted from Section 1 of
implementing the exercise of the right. The rules means the details on how [the right] is to be carried Senate Bill No. 17, which solely referred to a statement of policy on local initiative and referendum and
out.[46] appropriately used the phrases propose and enact, approve or reject and in whole or in part.[52]

We agree that R.A. No. 6735 was, as its history reveals, intended to cover initiative to propose Second. It is true that Section 3 (Definition of Terms) of the Act defines initiative on amendments to the
amendments to the Constitution. The Act is a consolidation of House Bill No. 21505 and Senate Bill No. Constitution and mentions it as one of the three systems of initiative, and that Section 5 (Requirements)
17. The former was prepared by the Committee on Suffrage and Electoral Reforms of the House of restates the constitutional requirements as to the percentage of the registered voters who must submit
Representatives on the basis of two House Bills referred to it, viz., (a) House Bill No. 497,[47] which the proposal. But unlike in the case of the other systems of initiative, the Act does not provide for the
dealt with the initiative and referendum mentioned in Sections 1 and 32 of Article VI of the Constitution; contents of a petition for initiative on the Constitution. Section 5, paragraph (c) requires, among other
and (b) House Bill No. 988,[48] which dealt with the subject matter of House Bill No. 497, as well as things, statement of the proposed law sought to be enacted, approved or rejected, amended or
with initiative and referendum under Section 3 of Article X (Local Government) and initiative provided repealed, as the case may be. It does not include, as among the contents of the petition, the provisions
for in Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution. Senate Bill No. 17[49] solely dealt with initiative and of the Constitution sought to be amended, in the case of initiative on the Constitution. Said paragraph
referendum concerning ordinances or resolutions of local government units. The Bicameral Conference (c) reads in full as follows:
Committee consolidated Senate Bill No. 17 and House Bill No. 21505 into a draft bill, which was
subsequently approved on 8 June 1989 by the Senate[50] and by the House of Representatives.[51] (c) The petition shall state the following:
This approved bill is now R.A. No. 6735.
c.1 contents or text of the proposed law sought to be enacted, approved or rejected, amended or
repealed, as the case may be;
c.2 the proposition; There are three (3) systems of initiative, namely:

c.3 the reason or reasons therefor; a.1 Initiative on the Constitution which refers to a petition proposing amendments to the Constitution;

c.4 that it is not one of the exceptions provided therein; a.2 Initiative on Statutes which refers to a petition proposing to enact a national legislation; and

c.5 signatures of the petitioners or registered voters; and a.3 Initiative on local legislation which refers to a petition proposing to enact a regional, provincial, city,
municipal, or barangay law, resolution or ordinance. (Underscoring supplied).
c.6 an abstract or summary proposition is not more than one hundred (100) words which shall be
legibly written or printed at the top of every page of the petition. (Underscoring supplied). Hence, to complete the classification under subtitles there should have been a subtitle on initiative on
amendments to the Constitution.[53]
The use of the clause proposed laws sought to be enacted, approved or rejected, amended or repealed
only strengthens the conclusion that Section 2, quoted earlier, excludes initiative on amendments to the A further examination of the Act even reveals that the subtitling is not accurate. Provisions not germane
Constitution. to the subtitle on National Initiative and Referendum are placed therein, like (1) paragraphs (b) and (c)
of Section 9, which reads:
Third. While the Act provides subtitles for National Initiative and Referendum (Subtitle II) and for Local
Initiative and Referendum (Subtitle III), no subtitle is provided for initiative on the Constitution. This (b) The proposition in an initiative on the Constitution approved by the majority of the votes cast in the
conspicuous silence as to the latter simply means that the main thrust of the Act is initiative and plebiscite shall become effective as to the day of the plebiscite.
referendum on national and local laws. If Congress intended R.A. No. 6735 to fully provide for the
implementation of the initiative on amendments to the Constitution, it could have provided for a subtitle (c) A national or local initiative proposition approved by majority of the votes cast in an election called
therefor, considering that in the order of things, the primacy of interest, or hierarchy of values, the right for the purpose shall become effective fifteen (15) days after certification and proclamation of the
of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution is far more important than the Commission. (Underscoring supplied).
initiative on national and local laws.
(2) that portion of Section 11 (Indirect Initiative) referring to indirect initiative with the legislative bodies
We cannot accept the argument that the initiative on amendments to the Constitution is subsumed of local governments; thus:
under the subtitle on National Initiative and Referendum because it is national in scope. Our reading of
Subtitle II (National Initiative and Referendum) and Subtitle III (Local Initiative and Referendum) leaves SEC. 11. Indirect Initiative. -- Any duly accredited peoples organization, as defined by law, may file a
no room for doubt that the classification is not based on the scope of the initiative involved, but on its petition for indirect initiative with the House of Representatives, and other legislative bodies....
nature and character. It is national initiative, if what is proposed to be adopted or enacted is a national
law, or a law which only Congress can pass. It is local initiative if what is proposed to be adopted or and (3) Section 12 on Appeal, since it applies to decisions of the COMELEC on the findings of
enacted is a law, ordinance, or resolution which only the legislative bodies of the governments of the sufficiency or insufficiency of the petition for initiative or referendum, which could be petitions for both
autonomous regions, provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays can pass. This classification of national and local initiative and referendum.
initiative into national and local is actually based on Section 3 of the Act, which we quote for emphasis
and clearer understanding: Upon the other hand, Section 18 on Authority of Courts under subtitle III on Local Initiative and
Referendum is misplaced,[54] since the provision therein applies to both national and local initiative
SEC. 3. Definition of terms -- and referendum. It reads:

xxx
SEC. 18. Authority of Courts. -- Nothing in this Act shall prevent or preclude the proper courts from (g) The issuance of a certification by the COMELEC through its official in the local government unit
declaring null and void any proposition approved pursuant to this Act for violation of the Constitution or concerned as to whether the required number of signatures have been obtained;
want of capacity of the local legislative body to enact the said measure.
(h) The setting of a date by the COMELEC for the submission of the proposition to the registered voters
Curiously, too, while R.A. No. 6735 exerted utmost diligence and care in providing for the details in the for their approval, which must be within the period specified therein;
implementation of initiative and referendum on national and local legislation thereby giving them special
attention, it failed, rather intentionally, to do so on the system of initiative on amendments to the (i) The issuance of a certification of the result;
Constitution. Anent the initiative on national legislation, the Act provides for the following:
(j) The date of effectivity of the approved proposition;
(a) The required percentage of registered voters to sign the petition and the contents of the petition;
(k) The limitations on local initiative; and
(b) The conduct and date of the initiative;
(l) The limitations upon local legislative bodies.[56]
(c) The submission to the electorate of the proposition and the required number of votes for its
approval; Upon the other hand, as to initiative on amendments to the Constitution, R.A. No. 6735, in all of its
twenty-three sections, merely (a) mentions, the word Constitution in Section 2; (b) defines initiative on
(d) The certification by the COMELEC of the approval of the proposition; the Constitution and includes it in the enumeration of the three systems of initiative in Section 3; (c)
speaks of plebiscite as the process by which the proposition in an initiative on the Constitution may be
(e) The publication of the approved proposition in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general approved or rejected by the people; (d) reiterates the constitutional requirements as to the number of
circulation in the Philippines; and voters who should sign the petition; and (e) provides for the date of effectivity of the approved
proposition.
(f) The effects of the approval or rejection of the proposition.[55]
There was, therefore, an obvious downgrading of the more important or the paramount system of
As regards local initiative, the Act provides for the following: initiative. R.A. No. 6735 thus delivered a humiliating blow to the system of initiative on amendments to
the Constitution by merely paying it a reluctant lip service.[57]
(a) The preliminary requirement as to the number of signatures of registered voters for the petition;
The foregoing brings us to the conclusion that R.A. No. 6735 is incomplete, inadequate, or wanting in
(b) The submission of the petition to the local legislative body concerned; essential terms and conditions insofar as initiative on amendments to the Constitution is concerned. Its
lacunae on this substantive matter are fatal and cannot be cured by empowering the COMELEC to
(c) The effect of the legislative bodys failure to favorably act thereon, and the invocation of the power of promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of [the] Act.[58]
initiative as a consequence thereof;
The rule is that what has been delegated, cannot be delegated or as expressed in a Latin maxim:
(d) The formulation of the proposition; potestas delegata non delegari potest.[59] The recognized exceptions to the rule are as follows:

(e) The period within which to gather the signatures; (1) Delegation of tariff powers to the President under Section 28(2) of Article VI of the Constitution;

(f) The persons before whom the petition shall be signed; (2) Delegation of emergency powers to the President under Section 23(2) of Article VI of the
Constitution;
(3) Delegation to the people at large; Even if it be conceded ex gratia that R.A. No. 6735 is a full compliance with the power of Congress to
implement the right to initiate constitutional amendments, or that it has validly vested upon the
(4) Delegation to local governments; and COMELEC the power of subordinate legislation and that COMELEC Resolution No. 2300 is valid, the
COMELEC acted without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in entertaining the Delfin
(5) Delegation to administrative bodies.[60] Petition.

Empowering the COMELEC, an administrative body exercising quasi-judicial functions, to promulgate Under Section 2 of Article XVII of the Constitution and Section 5(b) of R.A. No. 6735, a petition for
rules and regulations is a form of delegation of legislative authority under no. 5 above. However, in initiative on the Constitution must be signed by at least 12% of the total number of registered voters of
every case of permissible delegation, there must be a showing that the delegation itself is valid. It is which every legislative district is represented by at least 3% of the registered voters therein. The Delfin
valid only if the law (a) is complete in itself, setting forth therein the policy to be executed, carried out, Petition does not contain signatures of the required number of voters. Delfin himself admits that he has
or implemented by the delegate; and (b) fixes a standard -- the limits of which are sufficiently not yet gathered signatures and that the purpose of his petition is primarily to obtain assistance in his
determinate and determinable -- to which the delegate must conform in the performance of his drive to gather signatures. Without the required signatures, the petition cannot be deemed validly
functions.[61] A sufficient standard is one which defines legislative policy, marks its limits, maps out its initiated.
boundaries and specifies the public agency to apply it. It indicates the circumstances under which the
legislative command is to be effected.[62] The COMELEC acquires jurisdiction over a petition for initiative only after its filing. The petition then is
the initiatory pleading. Nothing before its filing is cognizable by the COMELEC, sitting en banc. The
Insofar as initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution is concerned, R.A. No. 6735 miserably only participation of the COMELEC or its personnel before the filing of such petition are (1) to prescribe
failed to satisfy both requirements in subordinate legislation. The delegation of the power to the the form of the petition;[63] (2) to issue through its Election Records and Statistics Office a certificate
COMELEC is then invalid. on the total number of registered voters in each legislative district;[64] (3) to assist, through its election
registrars, in the establishment of signature stations;[65] and (4) to verify, through its election registrars,
III the signatures on the basis of the registry list of voters, voters affidavits, and voters identification cards
used in the immediately preceding election.[66]
COMELEC RESOLUTION NO. 2300, INSOFAR AS IT PRESCRIBES RULES AND REGULATIONS
ON THE CONDUCT OF INITIATIVE ON AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION, IS VOID. Since the Delfin Petition is not the initiatory petition under R.A. No. 6735 and COMELEC Resolution
No. 2300, it cannot be entertained or given cognizance of by the COMELEC. The latter knew that the
It logically follows that the COMELEC cannot validly promulgate rules and regulations to implement the petition does not fall under any of the actions or proceedings under the COMELEC Rules of Procedure
exercise of the right of the people to directly propose amendments to the Constitution through the or under Resolution No. 2300, for which reason it did not assign to the petition a docket number.
system of initiative. It does not have that power under R.A. No. 6735. Reliance on the COMELECs Hence, the said petition was merely entered as UND, meaning, undocketed. That petition was nothing
power under Section 2(1) of Article IX-C of the Constitution is misplaced, for the laws and regulations more than a mere scrap of paper, which should not have been dignified by the Order of 6 December
referred to therein are those promulgated by the COMELEC under (a) Section 3 of Article IX-C of the 1996, the hearing on 12 December 1996, and the order directing Delfin and the oppositors to file their
Constitution, or (b) a law where subordinate legislation is authorized and which satisfies the memoranda or oppositions. In so dignifying it, the COMELEC acted without jurisdiction or with grave
completeness and the sufficient standard tests. abuse of discretion and merely wasted its time, energy, and resources.

IV The foregoing considered, further discussion on the issue of whether the proposal to lift the term limits
of the elective national and local officials is an amendment to, and not a revision of, the Constitution is
COMELEC ACTED WITHOUT JURISDICTION OR WITH GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION IN rendered unnecessary, if not academic.
ENTERTAINING THE DELFIN PETITION.
CONCLUSION
This petition must then be granted, and the COMELEC should be permanently enjoined from
entertaining or taking cognizance of any petition for initiative on amendments on the Constitution until a
sufficient law shall have been validly enacted to provide for the implementation of the system.

We feel, however, that the system of initiative to propose amendments to the Constitution should no
longer be kept in the cold; it should be given flesh and blood, energy and strength. Congress should
not tarry any longer in complying with the constitutional mandate to provide for the implementation of
the right of the people under that system.

WHEREFORE, judgment is hreby rendered

a) GRANTING the instant petition;

b) DECLARING R.A. No. 6735 inadequate to cover the system of initiative on amendments to the
Constitution, and to have failed to provide sufficient standard for subordinate legislation;

c) DECLARING void those parts of Resolutions No. 2300 of the Commission on Elections prescribing
rules and regulations on the conduct of initiative or amendments to the Constitution; and

d) ORDERING the Commission on Elections to forthwith DISMISS the DELFIN petition (UND-96-037).

The Temporary Restraining Order issued on 18 December 1996 is made permanent as against the
Commission on Elections, but is LIFTED against private respondents.

Resolution on the matter of contempt is hereby reserved.

SO ORDERED.
4. US v. ANG TANG HO Section 3 defines what shall constitute a monopoly or hoarding of palay, rice or corn within the meaning
of this Act, but does not specify the price of rice or define any basic for fixing the price.
G.R. No. 17122 February 27, 1922
SEC. 4. The violations of any of the provisions of this Act or of the regulations, orders and decrees
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, promulgated in accordance therewith shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousands
vs. pesos, or by imprisonment for not more than two years, or both, in the discretion of the court: Provided,
ANG TANG HO, defendant-appellant. That in the case of companies or corporations the manager or administrator shall be criminally liable.

Williams & Ferrier for appellant. SEC. 7. At any time that the Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of State, shall consider
Acting Attorney-General Tuason for appellee. that the public interest requires the application of the provisions of this Act, he shall so declare by
proclamation, and any provisions of other laws inconsistent herewith shall from then on be temporarily
JOHNS, J.: suspended.

At its special session of 1919, the Philippine Legislature passed Act No. 2868, entitled "An Act Upon the cessation of the reasons for which such proclamation was issued, the Governor-General, with
penalizing the monopoly and holding of, and speculation in, palay, rice, and corn under extraordinary the consent of the Council of State, shall declare the application of this Act to have likewise terminated,
circumstances, regulating the distribution and sale thereof, and authorizing the Governor-General, with and all laws temporarily suspended by virtue of the same shall again take effect, but such termination
the consent of the Council of State, to issue the necessary rules and regulations therefor, and making shall not prevent the prosecution of any proceedings or cause begun prior to such termination, nor the
an appropriation for this purpose," the material provisions of which are as follows: filing of any proceedings for an offense committed during the period covered by the Governor-General's
proclamation.
Section 1. The Governor-General is hereby authorized, whenever, for any cause, conditions arise
resulting in an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn, to issue and promulgate, with the August 1, 1919, the Governor-General issued a proclamation fixing the price at which rice should be
consent of the Council of State, temporary rules and emergency measures for carrying out the purpose sold.
of this Act, to wit:
August 8, 1919, a complaint was filed against the defendant, Ang Tang Ho, charging him with the sale
(a) To prevent the monopoly and hoarding of, and speculation in, palay, rice or corn. of rice at an excessive price as follows:

(b) To establish and maintain a government control of the distribution or sale of the commodities The undersigned accuses Ang Tang Ho of a violation of Executive Order No. 53 of the Governor-
referred to or have such distribution or sale made by the Government itself. General of the Philippines, dated the 1st of August, 1919, in relation with the provisions of sections 1, 2
and 4 of Act No. 2868, committed as follows:
(c) To fix, from time to time the quantities of palay rice, or corn that a company or individual may
acquire, and the maximum sale price that the industrial or merchant may demand. That on or about the 6th day of August, 1919, in the city of Manila, Philippine Islands, the said Ang
Tang Ho, voluntarily, illegally and criminally sold to Pedro Trinidad, one ganta of rice at the price of
(d) . . . eighty centavos (P.80), which is a price greater than that fixed by Executive Order No. 53 of the
Governor-General of the Philippines, dated the 1st of August, 1919, under the authority of section 1 of
SEC. 2. It shall be unlawful to destroy, limit, prevent or in any other manner obstruct the production or Act No. 2868. Contrary to law.
milling of palay, rice or corn for the purpose of raising the prices thereof; to corner or hoard said
products as defined in section three of this Act; . . . Upon this charge, he was tried, found guilty and sentenced to five months' imprisonment and to pay a
fine of P500, from which he appealed to this court, claiming that the lower court erred in finding
Executive Order No. 53 of 1919, to be of any force and effect, in finding the accused guilty of the of each branch is supreme within its own jurisdiction, and it is for the Judiciary only to say when any Act
offense charged, and in imposing the sentence. of the Legislature is or is not constitutional. Assuming, without deciding, that the Legislature itself has
the power to fix the price at which rice is to be sold, can it delegate that power to another, and, if so,
The official records show that the Act was to take effect on its approval; that it was approved July 30, was that power legally delegated by Act No. 2868? In other words, does the Act delegate legislative
1919; that the Governor-General issued his proclamation on the 1st of August, 1919; and that the law power to the Governor-General? By the Organic Law, all Legislative power is vested in the Legislature,
was first published on the 13th of August, 1919; and that the proclamation itself was first published on and the power conferred upon the Legislature to make laws cannot be delegated to the Governor-
the 20th of August, 1919. General, or any one else. The Legislature cannot delegate the legislative power to enact any law. If Act
no 2868 is a law unto itself and within itself, and it does nothing more than to authorize the Governor-
The question here involves an analysis and construction of Act No. 2868, in so far as it authorizes the General to make rules and regulations to carry the law into effect, then the Legislature itself created the
Governor-General to fix the price at which rice should be sold. It will be noted that section 1 authorizes law. There is no delegation of power and it is valid. On the other hand, if the Act within itself does not
the Governor-General, with the consent of the Council of State, for any cause resulting in an define crime, and is not a law, and some legislative act remains to be done to make it a law or a crime,
extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or corn, to issue and promulgate temporary rules and the doing of which is vested in the Governor-General, then the Act is a delegation of legislative power,
emergency measures for carrying out the purposes of the Act. By its very terms, the promulgation of is unconstitutional and void.
temporary rules and emergency measures is left to the discretion of the Governor-General. The
Legislature does not undertake to specify or define under what conditions or for what reasons the The Supreme Court of the United States in what is known as the Granger Cases (94 U.S., 183-187; 24
Governor-General shall issue the proclamation, but says that it may be issued "for any cause," and L. ed., 94), first laid down the rule:
leaves the question as to what is "any cause" to the discretion of the Governor-General. The Act also
says: "For any cause, conditions arise resulting in an extraordinary rise in the price of palay, rice or Railroad companies are engaged in a public employment affecting the public interest and, under the
corn." The Legislature does not specify or define what is "an extraordinary rise." That is also left to the decision in Munn vs. Ill., ante, 77, are subject to legislative control as to their rates of fare and freight
discretion of the Governor-General. The Act also says that the Governor-General, "with the consent of unless protected by their charters.
the Council of State," is authorized to issue and promulgate "temporary rules and emergency measures
for carrying out the purposes of this Act." It does not specify or define what is a temporary rule or an The Illinois statute of Mar. 23, 1874, to establish reasonable maximum rates of charges for the
emergency measure, or how long such temporary rules or emergency measures shall remain in force transportation of freights and passengers on the different railroads of the State is not void as being
and effect, or when they shall take effect. That is to say, the Legislature itself has not in any manner repugnant to the Constitution of the United States or to that of the State.
specified or defined any basis for the order, but has left it to the sole judgement and discretion of the
Governor-General to say what is or what is not "a cause," and what is or what is not "an extraordinary It was there for the first time held in substance that a railroad was a public utility, and that, being a
rise in the price of rice," and as to what is a temporary rule or an emergency measure for the carrying public utility, the State had power to establish reasonable maximum freight and passenger rates. This
out the purposes of the Act. Under this state of facts, if the law is valid and the Governor-General was followed by the State of Minnesota in enacting a similar law, providing for, and empowering, a
issues a proclamation fixing the minimum price at which rice should be sold, any dealer who, with or railroad commission to hear and determine what was a just and reasonable rate. The constitutionality
without notice, sells rice at a higher price, is a criminal. There may not have been any cause, and the of this law was attacked and upheld by the Supreme Court of Minnesota in a learned and exhaustive
price may not have been extraordinary, and there may not have been an emergency, but, if the opinion by Justice Mitchell, in the case of State vs. Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul ry. Co. (38 Minn.,
Governor-General found the existence of such facts and issued a proclamation, and rice is sold at any 281), in which the court held:
higher price, the seller commits a crime.
Regulations of railway tariffs Conclusiveness of commission's tariffs. Under Laws 1887, c. 10,
By the organic law of the Philippine Islands and the Constitution of the United States all powers are sec. 8, the determination of the railroad and warehouse commission as to what are equal and
vested in the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. It is the duty of the Legislature to make the law; of reasonable fares and rates for the transportation of persons and property by a railway company is
the Executive to execute the law; and of the Judiciary to construe the law. The Legislature has no conclusive, and, in proceedings by mandamus to compel compliance with the tariff of rates
authority to execute or construe the law, the Executive has no authority to make or construe the law, recommended and published by them, no issue can be raised or inquiry had on that question.
and the Judiciary has no power to make or execute the law. Subject to the Constitution only, the power
Same constitution Delegation of power to commission. The authority thus given to the exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be done; to the latter no valid objection
commission to determine, in the exercise of their discretion and judgement, what are equal and can be made."
reasonable rates, is not a delegation of legislative power.
The act, in our judgment, wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what the standard policy should
It will be noted that the law creating the railroad commission expressly provides contain, so that it could be put in use as a uniform policy required to take the place of all others, without
the determination of the insurance commissioner in respect to maters involving the exercise of a
That all charges by any common carrier for the transportation of passengers and property shall be legislative discretion that could not be delegated, and without which the act could not possibly be put in
equal and reasonable. use as an act in confirmity to which all fire insurance policies were required to be issued.

With that as a basis for the law, power is then given to the railroad commission to investigate all the
facts, to hear and determine what is a just and reasonable rate. Even then that law does not make the The result of all the cases on this subject is that a law must be complete, in all its terms and provisions,
violation of the order of the commission a crime. The only remedy is a civil proceeding. It was there when it leaves the legislative branch of the government, and nothing must be left to the judgement of
held the electors or other appointee or delegate of the legislature, so that, in form and substance, it is a law
in all its details in presenti, but which may be left to take effect in futuro, if necessary, upon the
That the legislative itself has the power to regulate railroad charges is now too well settled to require ascertainment of any prescribed fact or event.
either argument or citation of authority.
The delegation of legislative power was before the Supreme Court in United States vs. Grimaud (220
The difference between the power to say what the law shall be, and the power to adopt rules and U.S., 506; 55 L. ed., 563), where it was held that the rules and regulations of the Secretary of
regulations, or to investigate and determine the facts, in order to carry into effect a law already passed, Agriculture as to a trespass on government land in a forest reserve were valid constitutional. The Act
is apparent. The true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily there provided that the Secretary of Agriculture ". . . may make such rules and regulations and establish
involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and the conferring an authority or discretion to be exercised such service as will insure the object of such reservations; namely, to regulate their occupancy and
under and in pursuance of the law. use, and to preserve the forests thereon from destruction; and any violation of the provisions of this act
or such rules and regulations shall be punished, . . ."
The legislature enacts that all freights rates and passenger fares should be just and reasonable. It had
the undoubted power to fix these rates at whatever it deemed equal and reasonable. The brief of the United States Solicitor-General says:

They have not delegated to the commission any authority or discretion as to what the law shall be, In refusing permits to use a forest reservation for stock grazing, except upon stated terms or in stated
which would not be allowable, but have merely conferred upon it an authority and discretion, to be ways, the Secretary of Agriculture merely assert and enforces the proprietary right of the United States
exercised in the execution of the law, and under and in pursuance of it, which is entirely permissible. over land which it owns. The regulation of the Secretary, therefore, is not an exercise of legislative, or
The legislature itself has passed upon the expediency of the law, and what is shall be. The commission even of administrative, power; but is an ordinary and legitimate refusal of the landowner's authorized
is intrusted with no authority or discretion upon these questions. It can neither make nor unmake a agent to allow person having no right in the land to use it as they will. The right of proprietary control is
single provision of law. It is merely charged with the administration of the law, and with no other power. altogether different from governmental authority.

The delegation of legislative power was before the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in Dowling vs. The opinion says:
Lancoshire Ins. Co. (92 Wis., 63). The opinion says:
From the beginning of the government, various acts have been passed conferring upon executive
"The true distinction is between the delegation of power to make the law, which necessarily involves a officers power to make rules and regulations, not for the government of their departments, but for
discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring authority or discretion as to its execution, to be administering the laws which did govern. None of these statutes could confer legislative power. But
when Congress had legislated power. But when Congress had legislated and indicated its will, it could
give to those who were to act under such general provisions "power to fill up the details" by the The line of cleavage between what is and what is not a delegation of legislative power is pointed out
establishment of administrative rules and regulations, the violation of which could be punished by fine and clearly defined. As the Supreme Court of Wisconsin says:
or imprisonment fixed by Congress, or by penalties fixed by Congress, or measured by the injury done.
That no part of the legislative power can be delegated by the legislature to any other department of the
That "Congress cannot delegate legislative power is a principle universally recognized as vital to the government, executive or judicial, is a fundamental principle in constitutional law, essential to the
integrity and maintenance of the system of government ordained by the Constitution." integrity and maintenance of the system of government established by the constitution.

If, after the passage of the act and the promulgation of the rule, the defendants drove and grazed their Where an act is clothed with all the forms of law, and is complete in and of itself, it may be provided
sheep upon the reserve, in violation of the regulations, they were making an unlawful use of the that it shall become operative only upon some certain act or event, or, in like manner, that its operation
government's property. In doing so they thereby made themselves liable to the penalty imposed by shall be suspended.
Congress.
The legislature cannot delegate its power to make a law, but it can make a law to delegate a power to
The subjects as to which the Secretary can regulate are defined. The lands are set apart as a forest determine some fact or state of things upon which the law makes, or intends to make, its own action to
reserve. He is required to make provisions to protect them from depredations and from harmful uses. depend.
He is authorized 'to regulate the occupancy and use and to preserve the forests from destruction.' A
violation of reasonable rules regulating the use and occupancy of the property is made a crime, not by The Village of Little Chute enacted an ordinance which provides:
the Secretary, but by Congress."
All saloons in said village shall be closed at 11 o'clock P.M. each day and remain closed until 5 o'clock
The above are leading cases in the United States on the question of delegating legislative power. It will on the following morning, unless by special permission of the president.
be noted that in the "Granger Cases," it was held that a railroad company was a public corporation, and
that a railroad was a public utility, and that, for such reasons, the legislature had the power to fix and Construing it in 136 Wis., 526; 128 A. S. R., 1100,1 the Supreme Court of that State says:
determine just and reasonable rates for freight and passengers.
We regard the ordinance as void for two reasons; First, because it attempts to confer arbitrary power
The Minnesota case held that, so long as the rates were just and reasonable, the legislature could upon an executive officer, and allows him, in executing the ordinance, to make unjust and groundless
delegate the power to ascertain the facts and determine from the facts what were just and reasonable discriminations among persons similarly situated; second, because the power to regulate saloons is a
rates,. and that in vesting the commission with such power was not a delegation of legislative power. law-making power vested in the village board, which cannot be delegated. A legislative body cannot
delegate to a mere administrative officer power to make a law, but it can make a law with provisions
The Wisconsin case was a civil action founded upon a "Wisconsin standard policy of fire insurance," that it shall go into effect or be suspended in its operations upon the ascertainment of a fact or state of
and the court held that "the act, . . . wholly fails to provide definitely and clearly what the standard policy facts by an administrative officer or board. In the present case the ordinance by its terms gives power
should contain, so that it could be put in use as a uniform policy required to take the place of all others, to the president to decide arbitrary, and in the exercise of his own discretion, when a saloon shall close.
without the determination of the insurance commissioner in respect to matters involving the exercise of This is an attempt to vest legislative discretion in him, and cannot be sustained.
a legislative discretion that could not be delegated."
The legal principle involved there is squarely in point here.
The case of the United States Supreme Court, supra dealt with rules and regulations which were
promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture for Government land in the forest reserve. It must be conceded that, after the passage of act No. 2868, and before any rules and regulations were
promulgated by the Governor-General, a dealer in rice could sell it at any price, even at a peso per
These decisions hold that the legislative only can enact a law, and that it cannot delegate it legislative "ganta," and that he would not commit a crime, because there would be no law fixing the price of rice,
authority. and the sale of it at any price would not be a crime. That is to say, in the absence of a proclamation, it
was not a crime to sell rice at any price. Hence, it must follow that, if the defendant committed a crime,
it was because the Governor-General issued the proclamation. There was no act of the Legislature the Governor-General was the exercise of the delegation of a delegated power, and was even a sub
making it a crime to sell rice at any price, and without the proclamation, the sale of it at any price was to delegation of that power.
a crime.
Assuming that it is valid, Act No. 2868 is a general law and does not authorize the Governor-General to
The Executive order2 provides: fix one price of rice in Manila and another price in Iloilo. It only purports to authorize him to fix the price
of rice in the Philippine Islands under a law, which is General and uniform, and not local or special.
(5) The maximum selling price of palay, rice or corn is hereby fixed, for the time being as follows: Under the terms of the law, the price of rice fixed in the proclamation must be the same all over the
Islands. There cannot be one price at Manila and another at Iloilo. Again, it is a mater of common
In Manila knowledge, and of which this court will take judicial notice, that there are many kinds of rice with
different and corresponding market values, and that there is a wide range in the price, which varies with
Palay at P6.75 per sack of 57 kilos, or 29 centavos per ganta. the grade and quality. Act No. 2868 makes no distinction in price for the grade or quality of the rice, and
the proclamation, upon which the defendant was tried and convicted, fixes the selling price of rice in
Rice at P15 per sack of 57 kilos, or 63 centavos per ganta. Manila "at P15 per sack of 57 kilos, or 63 centavos per ganta," and is uniform as to all grades of rice,
and says nothing about grade or quality. Again, it will be noted that the law is confined to palay, rice and
Corn at P8 per sack of 57 kilos, or 34 centavos per ganta. corn. They are products of the Philippine Islands. Hemp, tobacco, coconut, chickens, eggs, and many
other things are also products. Any law which single out palay, rice or corn from the numerous other
In the provinces producing palay, rice and corn, the maximum price shall be the Manila price less the products of the Islands is not general or uniform, but is a local or special law. If such a law is valid, then
cost of transportation from the source of supply and necessary handling expenses to the place of sale, by the same principle, the Governor-General could be authorized by proclamation to fix the price of
to be determined by the provincial treasurers or their deputies. meat, eggs, chickens, coconut, hemp, and tobacco, or any other product of the Islands. In the very
nature of things, all of that class of laws should be general and uniform. Otherwise, there would be an
In provinces, obtaining their supplies from Manila or other producing provinces, the maximum price unjust discrimination of property rights, which, under the law, must be equal and inform. Act No. 2868 is
shall be the authorized price at the place of supply or the Manila price as the case may be, plus the nothing more than a floating law, which, in the discretion and by a proclamation of the Governor-
transportation cost, from the place of supply and the necessary handling expenses, to the place of sale, General, makes it a floating crime to sell rice at a price in excess of the proclamation, without regard to
to be determined by the provincial treasurers or their deputies. grade or quality.

(6) Provincial treasurers and their deputies are hereby directed to communicate with, and execute all When Act No. 2868 is analyzed, it is the violation of the proclamation of the Governor-General which
instructions emanating from the Director of Commerce and Industry, for the most effective and proper constitutes the crime. Without that proclamation, it was no crime to sell rice at any price. In other words,
enforcement of the above regulations in their respective localities. the Legislature left it to the sole discretion of the Governor-General to say what was and what was not
"any cause" for enforcing the act, and what was and what was not "an extraordinary rise in the price of
The law says that the Governor-General may fix "the maximum sale price that the industrial or palay, rice or corn," and under certain undefined conditions to fix the price at which rice should be sold,
merchant may demand." The law is a general law and not a local or special law. without regard to grade or quality, also to say whether a proclamation should be issued, if so, when,
and whether or not the law should be enforced, how long it should be enforced, and when the law
The proclamation undertakes to fix one price for rice in Manila and other and different prices in other should be suspended. The Legislature did not specify or define what was "any cause," or what was "an
and different provinces in the Philippine Islands, and delegates the power to determine the other and extraordinary rise in the price of rice, palay or corn," Neither did it specify or define the conditions upon
different prices to provincial treasurers and their deputies. Here, then, you would have a delegation of which the proclamation should be issued. In the absence of the proclamation no crime was committed.
legislative power to the Governor-General, and a delegation by him of that power to provincial The alleged sale was made a crime, if at all, because the Governor-General issued the proclamation.
treasurers and their deputies, who "are hereby directed to communicate with, and execute all The act or proclamation does not say anything about the different grades or qualities of rice, and the
instructions emanating from the Director of Commerce and Industry, for the most effective and proper defendant is charged with the sale "of one ganta of rice at the price of eighty centavos (P0.80) which is
enforcement of the above regulations in their respective localities." The issuance of the proclamation by a price greater than that fixed by Executive order No. 53."
property of the defendant. It may be that the law was passed in the interest of the public, but the
We are clearly of the opinion and hold that Act No. 2868, in so far as it undertakes to authorized the members of this court have taken on solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and it ought
Governor-General in his discretion to issue a proclamation, fixing the price of rice, and to make the sale not to be construed to meet the changing winds or emergency conditions. Again, we say that no state
of rice in violation of the price of rice, and to make the sale of rice in violation of the proclamation a or nation under a republican form of government ever enacted a law authorizing any executive, under
crime, is unconstitutional and void. the conditions states, to fix the price at which a price person would sell his own rice, and make the
broad statement that no decision of any court, on principle or by analogy, will ever be found which
It may be urged that there was an extraordinary rise in the price of rice and profiteering, which worked sustains the constitutionality of the particular portion of Act No. 2868 here in question. By the terms of
a severe hardship on the poorer classes, and that an emergency existed, but the question here the Organic Act, subject only to constitutional limitations, the power to legislate and enact laws is
presented is the constitutionality of a particular portion of a statute, and none of such matters is an vested exclusively in the Legislative, which is elected by a direct vote of the people of the Philippine
argument for, or against, its constitutionality. Islands. As to the question here involved, the authority of the Governor-General to fix the maximum
price at which palay, rice and corn may be sold in the manner power in violation of the organic law.
The Constitution is something solid, permanent an substantial. Its stability protects the life, liberty and
property rights of the rich and the poor alike, and that protection ought not to change with the wind or This opinion is confined to the particular question here involved, which is the right of the Governor-
any emergency condition. The fundamental question involved in this case is the right of the people of General, upon the terms and conditions stated in the Act, to fix the price of rice and make it a crime to
the Philippine Islands to be and live under a republican form of government. We make the broad sell it at a higher price, and which holds that portions of the Act unconstitutional. It does not decide or
statement that no state or nation, living under republican form of government, under the terms and undertake to construe the constitutionality of any of the remaining portions of the Act.
conditions specified in Act No. 2868, has ever enacted a law delegating the power to any one, to fix the
price at which rice should be sold. That power can never be delegated under a republican form of The judgment of the lower court is reversed, and the defendant discharged. So ordered.
government.
Araullo, C.J., Johnson, Street and Ostrand, JJ., concur.
In the fixing of the price at which the defendant should sell his rice, the law was not dealing with Romualdez, J., concurs in the result.
government property. It was dealing with private property and private rights, which are sacred under the
Constitution. If this law should be sustained, upon the same principle and for the same reason, the
Legislature could authorize the Governor-General to fix the price of every product or commodity in the
Philippine Islands, and empower him to make it a crime to sell any product at any other or different
price.

It may be said that this was a war measure, and that for such reason the provision of the Constitution
should be suspended. But the Stubborn fact remains that at all times the judicial power was in full force
and effect, and that while that power was in force and effect, such a provision of the Constitution could
not be, and was not, suspended even in times of war. It may be claimed that during the war, the United
States Government undertook to, and did, fix the price at which wheat and flour should be bought and
sold, and that is true. There, the United States had declared war, and at the time was at war with other
nations, and it was a war measure, but it is also true that in doing so, and as a part of the same act, the
United States commandeered all the wheat and flour, and took possession of it, either actual or
constructive, and the government itself became the owner of the wheat and flour, and fixed the price to
be paid for it. That is not this case. Here the rice sold was the personal and private property of the
defendant, who sold it to one of his customers. The government had not bought and did not claim to
own the rice, or have any interest in it, and at the time of the alleged sale, it was the personal, private
5. YNOT v. IAC subject to confiscation and forfeiture by the government, to be distributed to charitable institutions and
other similar institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat Inspection Commission may ay see fit, in
G.R. No. 74457 March 20, 1987 the case of carabeef, and to deserving farmers through dispersal as the Director of Animal Industry
may see fit, in the case of carabaos.
RESTITUTO YNOT, petitioner,
vs. SECTION 2. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, THE STATION COMMANDER, INTEGRATED NATIONAL
POLICE, BAROTAC NUEVO, ILOILO and THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF ANIMAL Done in the City of Manila, this 25th day of October, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and
INDUSTRY, REGION IV, ILOILO CITY, respondents. eighty.

Ramon A. Gonzales for petitioner. (SGD.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS

President

CRUZ, J.: Republic of the Philippines

The essence of due process is distilled in the immortal cry of Themistocles to Alcibiades "Strike but The petitioner had transported six carabaos in a pump boat from Masbate to Iloilo on January 13, 1984,
hear me first!" It is this cry that the petitioner in effect repeats here as he challenges the constitutionality when they were confiscated by the police station commander of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, for violation of
of Executive Order No. 626-A. the above measure. 1 The petitioner sued for recovery, and the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City issued
a writ of replevin upon his filing of a supersedeas bond of P12,000.00. After considering the merits of
The said executive order reads in full as follows: the case, the court sustained the confiscation of the carabaos and, since they could no longer be
produced, ordered the confiscation of the bond. The court also declined to rule on the constitutionality
WHEREAS, the President has given orders prohibiting the interprovincial movement of carabaos and of the executive order, as raise by the petitioner, for lack of authority and also for its presumed validity.
the slaughtering of carabaos not complying with the requirements of Executive Order No. 626 2
particularly with respect to age;
The petitioner appealed the decision to the Intermediate Appellate Court,* 3 which upheld the trial
WHEREAS, it has been observed that despite such orders the violators still manage to circumvent the court, ** and he has now come before us in this petition for review on certiorari.
prohibition against inter-provincial movement of carabaos by transporting carabeef instead; and
The thrust of his petition is that the executive order is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes outright
WHEREAS, in order to achieve the purposes and objectives of Executive Order No. 626 and the confiscation of the carabao or carabeef being transported across provincial boundaries. His claim is
prohibition against interprovincial movement of carabaos, it is necessary to strengthen the said that the penalty is invalid because it is imposed without according the owner a right to be heard before
Executive Order and provide for the disposition of the carabaos and carabeef subject of the violation; a competent and impartial court as guaranteed by due process. He complains that the measure should
not have been presumed, and so sustained, as constitutional. There is also a challenge to the improper
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers exercise of the legislative power by the former President under Amendment No. 6 of the 1973
vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby promulgate the following: Constitution. 4

SECTION 1. Executive Order No. 626 is hereby amended such that henceforth, no carabao regardless While also involving the same executive order, the case of Pesigan v. Angeles 5 is not applicable here.
of age, sex, physical condition or purpose and no carabeef shall be transported from one province to The question raised there was the necessity of the previous publication of the measure in the Official
another. The carabao or carabeef transported in violation of this Executive Order as amended shall be Gazette before it could be considered enforceable. We imposed the requirement then on the basis of
due process of law. In doing so, however, this Court did not, as contended by the Solicitor General, Ideal. In the case of the due process clause, however, this rule was deliberately not followed and the
impliedly affirm the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 626-A. That is an entirely different matter. wording was purposely kept ambiguous. In fact, a proposal to delineate it more clearly was submitted in
the Constitutional Convention of 1934, but it was rejected by Delegate Jose P. Laurel, Chairman of the
This Court has declared that while lower courts should observe a becoming modesty in examining Committee on the Bill of Rights, who forcefully argued against it. He was sustained by the body. 10
constitutional questions, they are nonetheless not prevented from resolving the same whenever
warranted, subject only to review by the highest tribunal. 6 We have jurisdiction under the Constitution The due process clause was kept intentionally vague so it would remain also conveniently resilient.
to "review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or rules of court may This was felt necessary because due process is not, like some provisions of the fundamental law, an
provide," final judgments and orders of lower courts in, among others, all cases involving the "iron rule" laying down an implacable and immutable command for all seasons and all persons.
constitutionality of certain measures. 7 This simply means that the resolution of such cases may be Flexibility must be the best virtue of the guaranty. The very elasticity of the due process clause was
made in the first instance by these lower courts. meant to make it adapt easily to every situation, enlarging or constricting its protection as the changing
times and circumstances may require.
And while it is true that laws are presumed to be constitutional, that presumption is not by any means
conclusive and in fact may be rebutted. Indeed, if there be a clear showing of their invalidity, and of the Aware of this, the courts have also hesitated to adopt their own specific description of due process lest
need to declare them so, then "will be the time to make the hammer fall, and heavily," 8 to recall Justice they confine themselves in a legal straitjacket that will deprive them of the elbow room they may need
Laurel's trenchant warning. Stated otherwise, courts should not follow the path of least resistance by to vary the meaning of the clause whenever indicated. Instead, they have preferred to leave the import
simply presuming the constitutionality of a law when it is questioned. On the contrary, they should of the protection open-ended, as it were, to be "gradually ascertained by the process of inclusion and
probe the issue more deeply, to relieve the abscess, paraphrasing another distinguished jurist, 9 and exclusion in the course of the decision of cases as they arise." 11 Thus, Justice Felix Frankfurter of the
so heal the wound or excise the affliction. U.S. Supreme Court, for example, would go no farther than to define due process and in so doing
sums it all up as nothing more and nothing less than "the embodiment of the sporting Idea of fair
Judicial power authorizes this; and when the exercise is demanded, there should be no shirking of the play." 12
task for fear of retaliation, or loss of favor, or popular censure, or any other similar inhibition unworthy of
the bench, especially this Court. When the barons of England extracted from their sovereign liege the reluctant promise that that Crown
would thenceforth not proceed against the life liberty or property of any of its subjects except by the
The challenged measure is denominated an executive order but it is really presidential decree, lawful judgment of his peers or the law of the land, they thereby won for themselves and their progeny
promulgating a new rule instead of merely implementing an existing law. It was issued by President that splendid guaranty of fairness that is now the hallmark of the free society. The solemn vow that King
Marcos not for the purpose of taking care that the laws were faithfully executed but in the exercise of John made at Runnymede in 1215 has since then resounded through the ages, as a ringing reminder
his legislative authority under Amendment No. 6. It was provided thereunder that whenever in his to all rulers, benevolent or base, that every person, when confronted by the stern visage of the law, is
judgment there existed a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof or whenever the entitled to have his say in a fair and open hearing of his cause.
legislature failed or was unable to act adequately on any matter that in his judgment required
immediate action, he could, in order to meet the exigency, issue decrees, orders or letters of instruction The closed mind has no place in the open society. It is part of the sporting Idea of fair play to hear "the
that were to have the force and effect of law. As there is no showing of any exigency to justify the other side" before an opinion is formed or a decision is made by those who sit in judgment. Obviously,
exercise of that extraordinary power then, the petitioner has reason, indeed, to question the validity of one side is only one-half of the question; the other half must also be considered if an impartial verdict is
the executive order. Nevertheless, since the determination of the grounds was supposed to have been to be reached based on an informed appreciation of the issues in contention. It is indispensable that
made by the President "in his judgment, " a phrase that will lead to protracted discussion not really the two sides complement each other, as unto the bow the arrow, in leading to the correct ruling after
necessary at this time, we reserve resolution of this matter until a more appropriate occasion. For the examination of the problem not from one or the other perspective only but in its totality. A judgment
nonce, we confine ourselves to the more fundamental question of due process. based on less that this full appraisal, on the pretext that a hearing is unnecessary or useless, is tainted
with the vice of bias or intolerance or ignorance, or worst of all, in repressive regimes, the insolence of
It is part of the art of constitution-making that the provisions of the charter be cast in precise and power.
unmistakable language to avoid controversies that might arise on their correct interpretation. That is the
The minimum requirements of due process are notice and hearing 13 which, generally speaking, may It is this power that is now invoked by the government to justify Executive Order No. 626-A, amending
not be dispensed with because they are intended as a safeguard against official arbitrariness. It is a the basic rule in Executive Order No. 626, prohibiting the slaughter of carabaos except under certain
gratifying commentary on our judicial system that the jurisprudence of this country is rich with conditions. The original measure was issued for the reason, as expressed in one of its Whereases, that
applications of this guaranty as proof of our fealty to the rule of law and the ancient rudiments of fair "present conditions demand that the carabaos and the buffaloes be conserved for the benefit of the
play. We have consistently declared that every person, faced by the awesome power of the State, is small farmers who rely on them for energy needs." We affirm at the outset the need for such a
entitled to "the law of the land," which Daniel Webster described almost two hundred years ago in the measure. In the face of the worsening energy crisis and the increased dependence of our farms on
famous Dartmouth College Case, 14 as "the law which hears before it condemns, which proceeds upon these traditional beasts of burden, the government would have been remiss, indeed, if it had not taken
inquiry and renders judgment only after trial." It has to be so if the rights of every person are to be steps to protect and preserve them.
secured beyond the reach of officials who, out of mistaken zeal or plain arrogance, would degrade the
due process clause into a worn and empty catchword. A similar prohibition was challenged in United States v. Toribio, 19 where a law regulating the
registration, branding and slaughter of large cattle was claimed to be a deprivation of property without
This is not to say that notice and hearing are imperative in every case for, to be sure, there are a due process of law. The defendant had been convicted thereunder for having slaughtered his own
number of admitted exceptions. The conclusive presumption, for example, bars the admission of carabao without the required permit, and he appealed to the Supreme Court. The conviction was
contrary evidence as long as such presumption is based on human experience or there is a rational affirmed. The law was sustained as a valid police measure to prevent the indiscriminate killing of
connection between the fact proved and the fact ultimately presumed therefrom. 15 There are carabaos, which were then badly needed by farmers. An epidemic had stricken many of these animals
instances when the need for expeditions action will justify omission of these requisites, as in the and the reduction of their number had resulted in an acute decline in agricultural output, which in turn
summary abatement of a nuisance per se, like a mad dog on the loose, which may be killed on sight had caused an incipient famine. Furthermore, because of the scarcity of the animals and the
because of the immediate danger it poses to the safety and lives of the people. Pornographic materials, consequent increase in their price, cattle-rustling had spread alarmingly, necessitating more effective
contaminated meat and narcotic drugs are inherently pernicious and may be summarily destroyed. The measures for the registration and branding of these animals. The Court held that the questioned statute
passport of a person sought for a criminal offense may be cancelled without hearing, to compel his was a valid exercise of the police power and declared in part as follows:
return to the country he has fled. 16 Filthy restaurants may be summarily padlocked in the interest of
the public health and bawdy houses to protect the public morals. 17 In such instances, previous judicial To justify the State in thus interposing its authority in behalf of the public, it must appear, first, that the
hearing may be omitted without violation of due process in view of the nature of the property involved interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require such
or the urgency of the need to protect the general welfare from a clear and present danger. interference; and second, that the means are reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the
purpose, and not unduly oppressive upon individuals. ...
The protection of the general welfare is the particular function of the police power which both restraints
and is restrained by due process. The police power is simply defined as the power inherent in the State From what has been said, we think it is clear that the enactment of the provisions of the statute under
to regulate liberty and property for the promotion of the general welfare. 18 By reason of its function, it consideration was required by "the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of a
extends to all the great public needs and is described as the most pervasive, the least limitable and the particular class" and that the prohibition of the slaughter of carabaos for human consumption, so long
most demanding of the three inherent powers of the State, far outpacing taxation and eminent domain. as these animals are fit for agricultural work or draft purposes was a "reasonably necessary" limitation
The individual, as a member of society, is hemmed in by the police power, which affects him even on private ownership, to protect the community from the loss of the services of such animals by their
before he is born and follows him still after he is dead from the womb to beyond the tomb in slaughter by improvident owners, tempted either by greed of momentary gain, or by a desire to enjoy
practically everything he does or owns. Its reach is virtually limitless. It is a ubiquitous and often the luxury of animal food, even when by so doing the productive power of the community may be
unwelcome intrusion. Even so, as long as the activity or the property has some relevance to the public measurably and dangerously affected.
welfare, its regulation under the police power is not only proper but necessary. And the justification is
found in the venerable Latin maxims, Salus populi est suprema lex and Sic utere tuo ut alienum non In the light of the tests mentioned above, we hold with the Toribio Case that the carabao, as the poor
laedas, which call for the subordination of individual interests to the benefit of the greater number. man's tractor, so to speak, has a direct relevance to the public welfare and so is a lawful subject of
Executive Order No. 626. The method chosen in the basic measure is also reasonably necessary for
the purpose sought to be achieved and not unduly oppressive upon individuals, again following the
above-cited doctrine. There is no doubt that by banning the slaughter of these animals except where
they are at least seven years old if male and eleven years old if female upon issuance of the necessary It has already been remarked that there are occasions when notice and hearing may be validly
permit, the executive order will be conserving those still fit for farm work or breeding and preventing dispensed with notwithstanding the usual requirement for these minimum guarantees of due process. It
their improvident depletion. is also conceded that summary action may be validly taken in administrative proceedings as procedural
due process is not necessarily judicial only. 20 In the exceptional cases accepted, however. there is a
But while conceding that the amendatory measure has the same lawful subject as the original justification for the omission of the right to a previous hearing, to wit, the immediacy of the problem
executive order, we cannot say with equal certainty that it complies with the second requirement, viz., sought to be corrected and the urgency of the need to correct it.
that there be a lawful method. We note that to strengthen the original measure, Executive Order No.
626-A imposes an absolute ban not on the slaughter of the carabaos but on their movement, providing In the case before us, there was no such pressure of time or action calling for the petitioner's
that "no carabao regardless of age, sex, physical condition or purpose (sic) and no carabeef shall be peremptory treatment. The properties involved were not even inimical per se as to require their instant
transported from one province to another." The object of the prohibition escapes us. The reasonable destruction. There certainly was no reason why the offense prohibited by the executive order should
connection between the means employed and the purpose sought to be achieved by the questioned not have been proved first in a court of justice, with the accused being accorded all the rights
measure is missing safeguarded to him under the Constitution. Considering that, as we held in Pesigan v. Angeles, 21
Executive Order No. 626-A is penal in nature, the violation thereof should have been pronounced not
We do not see how the prohibition of the inter-provincial transport of carabaos can prevent their by the police only but by a court of justice, which alone would have had the authority to impose the
indiscriminate slaughter, considering that they can be killed anywhere, with no less difficulty in one prescribed penalty, and only after trial and conviction of the accused.
province than in another. Obviously, retaining the carabaos in one province will not prevent their
slaughter there, any more than moving them to another province will make it easier to kill them there. We also mark, on top of all this, the questionable manner of the disposition of the confiscated property
As for the carabeef, the prohibition is made to apply to it as otherwise, so says executive order, it could as prescribed in the questioned executive order. It is there authorized that the seized property shall "be
be easily circumvented by simply killing the animal. Perhaps so. However, if the movement of the live distributed to charitable institutions and other similar institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat
animals for the purpose of preventing their slaughter cannot be prohibited, it should follow that there is Inspection Commission may see fit, in the case of carabeef, and to deserving farmers through dispersal
no reason either to prohibit their transfer as, not to be flippant dead meat. as the Director of Animal Industry may see fit, in the case of carabaos." (Emphasis supplied.) The
phrase "may see fit" is an extremely generous and dangerous condition, if condition it is. It is laden with
Even if a reasonable relation between the means and the end were to be assumed, we would still have perilous opportunities for partiality and abuse, and even corruption. One searches in vain for the usual
to reckon with the sanction that the measure applies for violation of the prohibition. The penalty is standard and the reasonable guidelines, or better still, the limitations that the said officers must observe
outright confiscation of the carabao or carabeef being transported, to be meted out by the executive when they make their distribution. There is none. Their options are apparently boundless. Who shall be
authorities, usually the police only. In the Toribio Case, the statute was sustained because the penalty the fortunate beneficiaries of their generosity and by what criteria shall they be chosen? Only the
prescribed was fine and imprisonment, to be imposed by the court after trial and conviction of the officers named can supply the answer, they and they alone may choose the grantee as they see fit, and
accused. Under the challenged measure, significantly, no such trial is prescribed, and the property in their own exclusive discretion. Definitely, there is here a "roving commission," a wide and sweeping
being transported is immediately impounded by the police and declared, by the measure itself, as authority that is not "canalized within banks that keep it from overflowing," in short, a clearly profligate
forfeited to the government. and therefore invalid delegation of legislative powers.

In the instant case, the carabaos were arbitrarily confiscated by the police station commander, were To sum up then, we find that the challenged measure is an invalid exercise of the police power because
returned to the petitioner only after he had filed a complaint for recovery and given a supersedeas bond the method employed to conserve the carabaos is not reasonably necessary to the purpose of the law
of P12,000.00, which was ordered confiscated upon his failure to produce the carabaos when ordered and, worse, is unduly oppressive. Due process is violated because the owner of the property
by the trial court. The executive order defined the prohibition, convicted the petitioner and immediately confiscated is denied the right to be heard in his defense and is immediately condemned and punished.
imposed punishment, which was carried out forthright. The measure struck at once and pounced upon The conferment on the administrative authorities of the power to adjudge the guilt of the supposed
the petitioner without giving him a chance to be heard, thus denying him the centuries-old guaranty of offender is a clear encroachment on judicial functions and militates against the doctrine of separation of
elementary fair play. powers. There is, finally, also an invalid delegation of legislative powers to the officers mentioned
therein who are granted unlimited discretion in the distribution of the properties arbitrarily taken. For
these reasons, we hereby declare Executive Order No. 626-A unconstitutional.

We agree with the respondent court, however, that the police station commander who confiscated the
petitioner's carabaos is not liable in damages for enforcing the executive order in accordance with its
mandate. The law was at that time presumptively valid, and it was his obligation, as a member of the
police, to enforce it. It would have been impertinent of him, being a mere subordinate of the President,
to declare the executive order unconstitutional and, on his own responsibility alone, refuse to execute
it. Even the trial court, in fact, and the Court of Appeals itself did not feel they had the competence, for
all their superior authority, to question the order we now annul.

The Court notes that if the petitioner had not seen fit to assert and protect his rights as he saw them,
this case would never have reached us and the taking of his property under the challenged measure
would have become a fait accompli despite its invalidity. We commend him for his spirit. Without the
present challenge, the matter would have ended in that pump boat in Masbate and another violation of
the Constitution, for all its obviousness, would have been perpetrated, allowed without protest, and
soon forgotten in the limbo of relinquished rights.

The strength of democracy lies not in the rights it guarantees but in the courage of the people to invoke
them whenever they are ignored or violated. Rights are but weapons on the wall if, like expensive
tapestry, all they do is embellish and impress. Rights, as weapons, must be a promise of protection.
They become truly meaningful, and fulfill the role assigned to them in the free society, if they are kept
bright and sharp with use by those who are not afraid to assert them.

WHEREFORE, Executive Order No. 626-A is hereby declared unconstitutional. Except as affirmed
above, the decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The supersedeas bond is cancelled and the
amount thereof is ordered restored to the petitioner. No costs.

SO ORDERED.
6. DAR v. SUTTON which declared DAR Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 9, series of 1993, null and void for being violative
of the Constitution.
EN BANC
The case at bar involves a land in Aroroy, Masbate, inherited by respondents which has been devoted
exclusively to cow and calf breeding. On October 26, 1987, pursuant to the then existing agrarian
DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN G.R. No. 162070 reform program of the government, respondents made a voluntary offer to sell (VOS)[1] their
REFORM, represented by SECRETARY landholdings to petitioner DAR to avail of certain incentives under the law.
JOSE MARI B. PONCE (OIC), Present:
Petitioner, Davide, C.J., On June 10, 1988, a new agrarian law, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 6657, also known as the
Puno, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) of 1988, took effect. It included in its coverage farms
Panganiban, used for raising livestock, poultry and swine.
Quisumbing,
Ynares-Santiago, On December 4, 1990, in an en banc decision in the case of Luz Farms v. Secretary of DAR,[2] this
Sandoval-Gutierrez, Court ruled that lands devoted to livestock and poultry-raising are not included in the definition of
Carpio, agricultural land. Hence, we declared as unconstitutional certain provisions of the CARL insofar as they
- versus - Austria-Martinez, included livestock farms in the coverage of agrarian reform.
Corona, In view of the Luz Farms ruling, respondents filed with petitioner DAR a formal request to withdraw their
Carpio Morales, VOS as their landholding was devoted exclusively to cattle-raising and thus exempted from the
Callejo, Sr., coverage of the CARL.[3]
Azcuna,
Tinga, On December 21, 1992, the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer of Aroroy, Masbate, inspected
Chico-Nazario and respondents land and found that it was devoted solely to cattle-raising and breeding. He recommended
Garcia, JJ. to the DAR Secretary that it be exempted from the coverage of the CARL.
DELIA T. SUTTON, ELLA T.
SUTTON-SOLIMAN and Promulgated: On April 27, 1993, respondents reiterated to petitioner DAR the withdrawal of their VOS and requested
HARRY T. SUTTON, the return of the supporting papers they submitted in connection therewith.[4] Petitioner ignored their
Respondents. October 19, 2005 request.
x-----------------------------------x
On December 27, 1993, DAR issued A.O. No. 9, series of 1993,[5] which provided that only portions of
private agricultural lands used for the raising of livestock, poultry and swine as of June 15, 1988 shall
DECISION be excluded from the coverage of the CARL. In determining the area of land to be excluded, the A.O.
fixed the following retention limits, viz: 1:1 animal-land ratio (i.e., 1 hectare of land per 1 head of animal
shall be retained by the landowner), and a ratio of 1.7815 hectares for livestock infrastructure for every
PUNO, J.: 21 heads of cattle shall likewise be excluded from the operations of the CARL.

On February 4, 1994, respondents wrote the DAR Secretary and advised him to consider as final and
This is a petition for review filed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of the Decision and irrevocable the withdrawal of their VOS as, under the Luz Farms doctrine, their entire landholding is
Resolution of the Court of Appeals, dated September 19, 2003 and February 4, 2004, respectively, exempted from the CARL.[6]
On September 14, 1995, then DAR Secretary Ernesto D. Garilao issued an Order[7] partially granting
the application of respondents for exemption from the coverage of CARL. Applying the retention limits Administrative agencies are endowed with powers legislative in nature, i.e., the power to make rules
outlined in the DAR A.O. No. 9, petitioner exempted 1,209 hectares of respondents land for grazing and regulations. They have been granted by Congress with the authority to issue rules to regulate the
purposes, and a maximum of 102.5635 hectares for infrastructure. Petitioner ordered the rest of implementation of a law entrusted to them. Delegated rule-making has become a practical necessity in
respondents landholding to be segregated and placed under Compulsory Acquisition. modern governance due to the increasing complexity and variety of public functions. However, while
administrative rules and regulations have the force and effect of law, they are not immune from judicial
Respondents moved for reconsideration. They contend that their entire landholding should be review.[12] They may be properly challenged before the courts to ensure that they do not violate the
exempted as it is devoted exclusively to cattle-raising. Their motion was denied.[8] They filed a notice Constitution and no grave abuse of administrative discretion is committed by the administrative body
of appeal[9] with the Office of the President assailing: (1) the reasonableness and validity of DAR A.O. concerned.
No. 9, s. 1993, which provided for a ratio between land and livestock in determining the land area
qualified for exclusion from the CARL, and (2) the constitutionality of DAR A.O. No. 9, s. 1993, in view The fundamental rule in administrative law is that, to be valid, administrative rules and regulations must
of the Luz Farms case which declared cattle-raising lands excluded from the coverage of agrarian be issued by authority of a law and must not contravene the provisions of the Constitution.[13] The
reform. rule-making power of an administrative agency may not be used to abridge the authority given to it by
Congress or by the Constitution. Nor can it be used to enlarge the power of the administrative agency
On October 9, 2001, the Office of the President affirmed the impugned Order of petitioner DAR.[10] It beyond the scope intended. Constitutional and statutory provisions control with respect to what rules
ruled that DAR A.O. No. 9, s. 1993, does not run counter to the Luz Farms case as the A.O. provided and regulations may be promulgated by administrative agencies and the scope of their regulations.[14]
the guidelines to determine whether a certain parcel of land is being used for cattle-raising. However,
the issue on the constitutionality of the assailed A.O. was left for the determination of the courts as the In the case at bar, we find that the impugned A.O. is invalid as it contravenes the Constitution. The A.O.
sole arbiters of such issue. sought to regulate livestock farms by including them in the coverage of agrarian reform and prescribing
a maximum retention limit for their ownership. However, the deliberations of the 1987 Constitutional
On appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the respondents. It declared DAR A.O. No. 9, s. 1993, Commission show a clear intent to exclude, inter alia, all lands exclusively devoted to livestock, swine
void for being contrary to the intent of the 1987 Constitutional Commission to exclude livestock farms and poultry- raising. The Court clarified in the Luz Farms case that livestock, swine and poultry-raising
from the land reform program of the government. The dispositive portion reads: are industrial activities and do not fall within the definition of agriculture or agricultural activity. The
WHEREFORE, premises considered, DAR Administrative Order No. 09, Series of 1993 is hereby raising of livestock, swine and poultry is different from crop or tree farming. It is an industrial, not an
DECLARED null and void. The assailed order of the Office of the President dated 09 October 2001 in agricultural, activity. A great portion of the investment in this enterprise is in the form of industrial fixed
so far as it affirmed the Department of Agrarian Reforms ruling that petitioners landholding is covered assets, such as: animal housing structures and facilities, drainage, waterers and blowers, feedmill with
by the agrarian reform program of the government is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. grinders, mixers, conveyors, exhausts and generators, extensive warehousing facilities for feeds and
SO ORDERED.[11] other supplies, anti-pollution equipment like bio-gas and digester plants augmented by lagoons and
Hence, this petition. concrete ponds, deepwells, elevated water tanks, pumphouses, sprayers, and other technological
The main issue in the case at bar is the constitutionality of DAR A.O. No. 9, series of 1993, which appurtenances.[15]
prescribes a maximum retention limit for owners of lands devoted to livestock raising.
Invoking its rule-making power under Section 49 of the CARL, petitioner submits that it issued DAR Clearly, petitioner DAR has no power to regulate livestock farms which have been exempted by the
A.O. No. 9 to limit the area of livestock farm that may be retained by a landowner pursuant to its Constitution from the coverage of agrarian reform. It has exceeded its power in issuing the assailed
mandate to place all public and private agricultural lands under the coverage of agrarian reform. A.O.
Petitioner also contends that the A.O. seeks to remedy reports that some unscrupulous landowners
have converted their agricultural farms to livestock farms in order to evade their coverage in the The subsequent case of Natalia Realty, Inc. v. DAR[16] reiterated our ruling in the Luz Farms case. In
agrarian reform program. Natalia Realty, the Court held that industrial, commercial and residential lands are not covered by the
CARL.[17] We stressed anew that while Section 4 of R.A. No. 6657 provides that the CARL shall cover
Petitioners arguments fail to impress. all public and private agricultural lands, the term agricultural land does not include lands classified as
mineral, forest, residential, commercial or industrial. Thus, in Natalia Realty, even portions of the
Antipolo Hills Subdivision, which are arable yet still undeveloped, could not be considered as SO ORDERED.
agricultural lands subject to agrarian reform as these lots were already classified as residential lands.

A similar logical deduction should be followed in the case at bar. Lands devoted to raising of livestock,
poultry and swine have been classified as industrial, not agricultural, lands and thus exempt from
agrarian reform. Petitioner DAR argues that, in issuing the impugned A.O., it was seeking to address
the reports it has received that some unscrupulous landowners have been converting their agricultural
lands to livestock farms to avoid their coverage by the agrarian reform. Again, we find neither merit nor
logic in this contention. The undesirable scenario which petitioner seeks to prevent with the issuance of
the A.O. clearly does not apply in this case. Respondents family acquired their landholdings as early as
1948. They have long been in the business of breeding cattle in Masbate which is popularly known as
the cattle-breeding capital of the Philippines.[18] Petitioner DAR does not dispute this fact. Indeed,
there is no evidence on record that respondents have just recently engaged in or converted to the
business of breeding cattle after the enactment of the CARL that may lead one to suspect that
respondents intended to evade its coverage. It must be stressed that what the CARL prohibits is the
conversion of agricultural lands for non-agricultural purposes after the effectivity of the CARL. There
has been no change of business interest in the case of respondents.

Moreover, it is a fundamental rule of statutory construction that the reenactment of a statute by


Congress without substantial change is an implied legislative approval and adoption of the previous
law. On the other hand, by making a new law, Congress seeks to supersede an earlier one.[19] In the
case at bar, after the passage of the 1988 CARL, Congress enacted R.A. No. 7881[20] which amended
certain provisions of the CARL. Specifically, the new law changed the definition of the terms agricultural
activity and commercial farming by dropping from its coverage lands that are devoted to commercial
livestock, poultry and swine-raising.[21] With this significant modification, Congress clearly sought to
align the provisions of our agrarian laws with the intent of the 1987 Constitutional Commission to
exclude livestock farms from the coverage of agrarian reform.

In sum, it is doctrinal that rules of administrative bodies must be in harmony with the provisions of the
Constitution. They cannot amend or extend the Constitution. To be valid, they must conform to and be
consistent with the Constitution. In case of conflict between an administrative order and the provisions
of the Constitution, the latter prevails.[22] The assailed A.O. of petitioner DAR was properly stricken
down as unconstitutional as it enlarges the coverage of agrarian reform beyond the scope intended by
the 1987 Constitution.

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the petition is DISMISSED. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of
Appeals, dated September 19, 2003 and February 4, 2004, respectively, are AFFIRMED. No
pronouncement as to costs.
7. SOL. GEN v. MMA
This was followed by a letter-complaint filed on March 7, 1991, from Dan R. Calderon, a lawyer, also for
G.R. No. 102782 December 11, 1991 confiscation of his driver's license by Pat. R.J. Tano-an of the Makati Police Force.

THE SOLICITOR GENERAL, RODOLFO A. MALAPIRA, STEPHEN A. MONSANTO, DAN R. Still another complaint was received by the Court dated April 29, 1991, this time from Grandy N.
CALDERON, and GRANDY N. TRIESTE, petitioners Trieste, another lawyer, who also protested the removal of his front license plate by E. Ramos of the
vs. Metropolitan Manila Authority-Traffic Operations Center and the confiscation of his driver's license by
THE METROPOLITAN MANILA AUTHORITY and the MUNICIPALITY OF MANDALUYONG, Pat. A.V. Emmanuel of the Metropolitan Police Command-Western Police District.
respondents.
Required to submit a Comment on the complaint against him, Allan D. Martinez invoked Ordinance No.
7, Series of 1988, of Mandaluyong, authorizing the confiscation of driver's licenses and the removal of
license plates of motor vehicles for traffic violations.

For his part, A.V. Emmanuel said he confiscated Trieste's driver's license pursuant to a memorandum
CRUZ, J.:p dated February 27, 1991, from the District Commander of the Western Traffic District of the Philippine
National Police, authorizing such sanction under certain conditions.
In Metropolitan Traffic Command, West Traffic District vs. Hon. Arsenio M. Gonong, G.R. No. 91023,
promulgated on July 13, 1990, 1 the Court held that the confiscation of the license plates of motor Director General Cesar P. Nazareno of the Philippine National Police assured the Court in his own
vehicles for traffic violations was not among the sanctions that could be imposed by the Metro Manila Comment that his office had never authorized the removal of the license plates of illegally parked
Commission under PD 1605 and was permitted only under the conditions laid dowm by LOI 43 in the vehicles and that he had in fact directed full compliance with the above-mentioned decision in a
case of stalled vehicles obstructing the public streets. It was there also observed that even the memorandum, copy of which he attached, entitled Removal of Motor Vehicle License Plates and dated
confiscation of driver's licenses for traffic violations was not directly prescribed by the decree nor was it February 28, 1991.
allowed by the decree to be imposed by the Commission. No motion for reconsideration of that
decision was submitted. The judgment became final and executory on August 6, 1990, and it was duly Pat. R.J. Tano-an, on the other hand, argued that the Gonong decision prohibited only the removal of
entered in the Book of Entries of Judgments on July 13, 1990. license plates and not the confiscation of driver's licenses.

Subsequently, the following developments transpired: On May 24, 1990, the Metropolitan Manila Authority issued Ordinance No. 11, Series of 1991,
authorizing itself "to detach the license plate/tow and impound attended/ unattended/ abandoned motor
In a letter dated October 17, 1990, Rodolfo A. Malapira complained to the Court that when he was vehicles illegally parked or obstructing the flow of traffic in Metro Manila."
stopped for an alleged traffic violation, his driver's license was confiscated by Traffic Enforcer Angel de
los Reyes in Quezon City. On July 2, 1991, the Court issued the following resolution:

On December 18,1990, the Caloocan-Manila Drivers and Operators Association sent a letter to the The attention ofthe Court has been called to the enactment by the Metropolitan Manila Authority of
Court asking who should enforce the decision in the above-mentioned case, whether they could seek Ordinance No. 11, Series of 1991, providing inter alia that:
damages for confiscation of their driver's licenses, and where they should file their complaints.
Section 2. Authority to Detach Plate/Tow and Impound. The Metropolitan Manila Authority, thru the
Another letter was received by the Court on February 14, 1991, from Stephen L. Monsanto, Traffic Operatiom Center, is authorized to detach the license plate/tow and impound
complaining against the confiscation of his driver's license by Traffic Enforcer A.D. Martinez for an attended/unattended/abandoned motor vehicles illegally parked or obstructing the flow of traffic in
alleged traffic violation in Mandaluyong. Metro Manila.
was filed by the Metropolitan Manila Authority, which reiterated its contention that the incidents in
The provision appears to be in conflict with the decision of the Court in the case at bar (as reported in question should be dismissed because there was no actual case or controversy before the Court.
187 SCRA 432), where it was held that the license plates of motor vehicles may not be detached
except only under the conditions prescribed in LOI 43. Additionally, the Court has received several The Metropolitan Manila Authority is correct in invoking the doctrine that the validity of a law or act can
complaints against the confiscation by police authorities of driver's licenses for alleged traffic violations, be challenged only in a direct action and not collaterally. That is indeed the settled principle. However,
which sanction is, according to the said decision, not among those that may be imposed under PD that rule is not inflexible and may be relaxed by the Court under exceptional circumstances, such as
1605. those in the present controversy.

To clarify these matters for the proper guidance of law-enforcement officers and motorists, the Court The Solicitor General notes that the practices complained of have created a great deal of confusion
resolved to require the Metropolitan Manila Authority and the Solicitor General to submit, within ten (10) among motorists about the state of the law on the questioned sanctions. More importantly, he
days from notice hereof, separate COMMENTS on such sanctions in light of the said decision. maintains that these sanctions are illegal, being violative of law and the Gonong decision, and should
therefore be stopped. We also note the disturbing report that one policeman who confiscated a driver's
In its Comment, the Metropolitan Manila Authority defended the said ordinance on the ground that it license dismissed the Gonong decision as "wrong" and said the police would not stop their "habit"
was adopted pursuant to the powers conferred upon it by EO 392. It particularly cited Section 2 thereof unless they received orders "from the top." Regrettably, not one of the complainants has filed a formal
vesting in the Council (its governing body) the responsibility among others of: challenge to the ordinances, including Monsanto and Trieste, who are lawyers and could have been
more assertive of their rights.
1. Formulation of policies on the delivery of basic services requiring coordination or consolidation
for the Authority; and Given these considerations, the Court feels it must address the problem squarely presented to it and
decide it as categorically rather than dismiss the complaints on the basis of the technical objection
2. Promulgation of resolutions and other issuances of metropolitan wide application, approval of a raised and thus, through its inaction, allow them to fester.
code of basic services requiring coordination, and exercise of its rule-making powers. (Emphasis
supplied) The step we now take is not without legal authority or judicial precedent. Unquestionably, the Court has
the power to suspend procedural rules in the exercise of its inherent power, as expressly recognized in
The Authority argued that there was no conflict between the decision and the ordinance because the the Constitution, to promulgate rules concerning "pleading, practice and procedure in all courts." 2 In
latter was meant to supplement and not supplant the latter. It stressed that the decision itself said that proper cases, procedural rules may be relaxed or suspended in the interest of substantial justice, which
the confiscation of license plates was invalid in the absence of a valid law or ordinance, which was why otherwise may be miscarried because of a rigid and formalistic adherence to such rules.
Ordinance No. 11 was enacted. The Authority also pointed out that the ordinance could not be attacked
collaterally but only in a direct action challenging its validity. The Court has taken this step in a number of such cases, notably Araneta vs. Dinglasan, 3 where
Justice Tuason justified the deviation on the ground that "the transcendental importance to the public of
For his part, the Solicitor General expressed the view that the ordinance was null and void because it these cases demands that they be settled promptly and definitely, brushing aside, if we must,
represented an invalid exercise of a delegated legislative power. The flaw in the measure was that it technicalities of procedure."
violated existing law, specifically PD 1605, which does not permit, and so impliedly prohibits, the
removal of license plates and the confiscation of driver's licenses for traffic violations in Metropolitan We have made similar rulings in other cases, thus:
Manila. He made no mention, however, of the alleged impropriety of examining the said ordinance in
the absence of a formal challenge to its validity. Be it remembered that rules of procedure are but mere tools designed to facilitate the attainment
ofjustice. Their strict and rigid application, which would result in technicalities that tend to frustrate
On October 24, 1991, the Office of the Solicitor General submitted a motion for the early resolution of rather than promote substantial justice, must always be avoided. (Aznar III vs. Bernad, G.R. No. 81190,
the questioned sanctions, to remove once and for all the uncertainty of their vahdity. A similar motion May 9, 1988, 161 SCRA 276.) Time and again, this Court has suspended its own rules and excepted a
particular case from their operation whenever the higher interests of justice so require. In the instant
petition, we forego a lengthy disquisition of the proper procedure that should have been taken by the The Court holds that there is a valid delegation of legislative power to promulgate such measures, it
parties involved and proceed directly to the merits of the case. (Piczon vs. Court of Appeals, 190 SCRA appearing that the requisites of such delegation are present. These requisites are. 1) the completeness
31). of the statute making the delegation; and 2) the presence of a sufficient standard. 5

Three of the cases were consolidated for argument and the other two were argued separately on other Under the first requirement, the statute must leave the legislature complete in all its terms and
dates. Inasmuch as all of them present the same fundamental question which, in our view, is decisive, provisions such that all the delegate will have to do when the statute reaches it is to implement it. What
they will be disposed of jointly. For the same reason we will pass up the objection to the personality or only can be delegated is not the discretion to determine what the law shall be but the discretion to
sufficiency of interest of the petitioners in case G.R. No. L-3054 and case G.R. No. L-3056 and the determine how the law shall be enforced. This has been done in the case at bar.
question whether prohibition lies in cases G.R. Nos. L-2044 and L2756. No practical benefit can be
gained from a discussion of these procedural matters, since the decision in the cases wherein the As a second requirement, the enforcement may be effected only in accordance with a sufficient
petitioners'cause of action or the propriety of the procedure followed is not in dispute, will be controlling standard, the function of which is to map out the boundaries of the delegate's authority and thus
authority on the others. Above all, the transcendental importance to the public of these cases demands "prevent the delegation from running riot." This requirement has also been met. It is settled that the
that they be settled promptly and definitely, brushing aside, if we must, technicalities of procedure. "convenience and welfare" of the public, particularly the motorists and passengers in the case at bar, is
(Avelino vs. Cuenco, G.R. No. L-2821 cited in Araneta vs. Dinglasan, 84 Phil. 368.) an acceptable sufficient standard to delimit the delegate's authority. 6

Accordingly, the Court will consider the motion to resolve filed by the Solicitor General a petition for But the problem before us is not the validity of the delegation of legislative power. The question we
prohibition against the enforcement of Ordinance No. 11, Series of 1991, of the Metropohtan Manila must resolve is the validity of the exercise of such delegated power.
Authority, and Ordinance No. 7, Series of 1988, of the Municipality of Mandaluyong. Stephen A.
Monsanto, Rodolfo A. Malapira, Dan R. Calderon, and Grandy N. Trieste are considered co-petitioners The measures in question are enactments of local governments acting only as agents of the national
and the Metropolitan Manila Authority and the Municipality of Mandaluyong are hereby impleaded as legislature. Necessarily, the acts of these agents must reflect and conform to the will of their principal.
respondents. This petition is docketed as G.R. No. 102782. The comments already submitted are duly To test the validity of such acts in the specific case now before us, we apply the particular requisites of
noted and shall be taken into account by the Court in the resolution of the substantive issues raised. a valid ordinance as laid down by the accepted principles governing municipal corporations.

It is stressed that this action is not intended to disparage procedural rules, which the Court has According to Elliot, a municipal ordinance, to be valid: 1) must not contravene the Constitution or any
recognized often enough as necessary to the orderly administration of justice. If we are relaxing them statute; 2) must not be unfair or oppressive; 3) must not be partial or discriminatory; 4) must not prohibit
in this particular case, it is because of the failure of the proper parties to file the appropriate proceeding but may regulate trade; 5) must not be unreasonable; and 6) must be general and consistent with
against the acts complained of, and the necessity of resolving, in the interest of the public, the public policy. 7
important substantive issues raised.
A careful study of the Gonong decision will show that the measures under consideration do not pass
Now to the merits. the first criterion because they do not conform to existing law. The pertinent law is PD 1605. PD 1605
does not allow either the removal of license plates or the confiscation of driver's licenses for traffic
The Metro Manila Authority sustains Ordinance No. 11, Series of 1991, under the specific authority violations committed in Metropolitan Manila. There is nothing in the following provisions of the decree
conferred upon it by EO 392, while Ordinance No. 7, Series of 1988, is justified on the basis of the authorizing the Metropolitan Manila Commission (and now the Metropolitan Manila Authority) to impose
General Welfare Clause embodied in the Local Government Code. 4 It is not disputed that both such sanctions:
measures were enacted to promote the comfort and convenience of the public and to alleviate the
worsening traffic problems in Metropolitan Manila due in large part to violations of traffic rules. Section 1. The Metropolitan Manila Commission shall have the power to impose fines and
otherwise discipline drivers and operators of motor vehicles for violations of traffic laws, ordinances,
rules and regulations in Metropolitan Manila in such amounts and under such penalties as are herein
prescribed. For this purpose, the powers of the Land Transportation Commission and the Board of
Transportation under existing laws over such violations and punishment thereof are hereby transferred Section 8. Insofar as the Metropolitan Manila area is concerned, all laws, decrees, orders,
to the Metropolitan Manila Commission. When the proper penalty to be imposed is suspension or ordinances, rules and regulations, or parts thereof inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed or
revocation of driver's license or certificate of public convenience, the Metropolitan Manila Commission modified accordingly. (Emphasis supplied).
or its representatives shall suspend or revoke such license or certificate. The suspended or revoked
driver's license or the report of suspension or revocation of the certificate of public convenience shall In fact, the above provisions prohibit the imposition of such sanctions in Metropolitan Manila. The
be sent to the Land Transportation Commission or the Board of Transportation, as the case may be, for Commission was allowed to "impose fines and otherwise discipline" traffic violators only "in such
their records update. amounts and under such penalties as are herein prescribed," that is, by the decree itself. Nowhere is
the removal of license plates directly imposed by the decree or at least allowed by it to be imposed by
xxx xxx xxx the Commission. Notably, Section 5 thereof expressly provides that "in case of traffic violations, the
driver's license shall not be confiscated." These restrictions are applicable to the Metropolitan Manila
Section 3.` Violations of traffic laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, committed within a twelve- Authority and all other local political subdivisions comprising Metropolitan Manila, including the
month period, reckoned from the date of birth of the licensee, shall subject the violator to graduated Municipality of Mandaluyong.
fines as follows: P10.00 for the first offense, P20.00 for the and offense, P50.00 for the third offense, a
one-year suspension of driver's license for the fourth offense, and a revocation of the driver's license The requirement that the municipal enactment must not violate existing law explains itself. Local
for the fifth offense: Provided, That the Metropolitan Manila Commission may impose higher penalties political subdivisions are able to legislate only by virtue of a valid delegation of legislative power from
as it may deem proper for violations of its ordinances prohibiting or regulating the use of certain public the national legislature (except only that the power to create their own sources of revenue and to levy
roads, streets and thoroughfares in Metropolitan Manila. taxes is conferred by the Constitution itself). 8 They are mere agents vested with what is called the
power of subordinate legislation. As delegates of the Congress, the local government unit cannot
xxx xxx xxx contravene but must obey at all times the will of their principal. In the case before us, the enactments in
question, which are merely local in origin, cannot prevail against the decree, which has the force and
Section 5. In case of traffic violations, the driver's license shall not be confiscated but the erring effect of a statute.
driver shall be immediately issued a traffic citation ticket prescribed by the Metropolitan Manila
Commission which shall state the violation committed, the amount of fine imposed for the violation and The self-serving language of Section 2 of the challenged ordinance is worth noting. Curiously, it is the
an advice that he can make payment to the city or municipal treasurer where the violation was measure itself, which was enacted by the Metropolitan Manila Authority, that authorizes the
committed or to the Philippine National Bank or Philippine Veterans Bank or their branches within Metropolitan Manila Authority to impose the questioned sanction.
seven days from the date of issuance of the citation ticket.
In Villacorta vs, Bemardo, 9 the Court nullified an ordinance enacted by the Municipal Board of
If the offender fails to pay the fine imposed within the period herein prescribed, the Metropolitan Manila Dagupan City for being violative of the Land Registration Act. The decision held in part:
Commission or the law-enforcement agency concerned shall endorse the case to the proper fiscal for
appropriate proceedings preparatory to the filing of the case with the competent traffic court, city or In declaring the said ordinance null and void, the court a quo declared:
municipal court.
From the above-recited requirements, there is no showing that would justify the enactment of the
If at the time a driver renews his driver's license and records show that he has an unpaid fine, his questioned ordinance. Section 1 of said ordinance clearly conflicts with Section 44 of Act 496, because
driver's license shall not be renewed until he has paid the fine and corresponding surcharges. the latter law does not require subdivision plans to be submitted to the City Engineer before the same
is submitted for approval to and verification by the General Land Registration Office or by the Director
xxx xxx xxx of Lands as provided for in Section 58 of said Act. Section 2 of the same ordinance also contravenes
the provisions of Section 44 of Act 496, the latter being silent on a service fee of P0.03 per square
meter of every lot subject of such subdivision application; Section 3 of the ordinance in question also
conflicts with Section 44 of Act 496, because the latter law does not mention of a certification to be
made by the City Engineer before the Register of Deeds allows registration of the subdivision plan; and It is for Congress to determine, in the exercise of its own discretion, whether or not to impose such
the last section of said ordinance impose a penalty for its violation, which Section 44 of Act 496 does sanctions, either directly through a statute or by simply delegating authority to this effect to the local
not impose. In other words, Ordinance 22 of the City of Dagupan imposes upon a subdivision owner governments in Metropolitan Manila. Without such action, PD 1605 remains effective and continues
additional conditions. prohibit the confiscation of license plates of motor vehicles (except under the conditions prescribed in
LOI 43) and of driver licenses as well for traffic violations in Metropolitan Manila.
xxx xxx xxx
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered:
The Court takes note of the laudable purpose of the ordinance in bringing to a halt the surreptitious
registration of lands belonging to the government. But as already intimated above, the powers of the (1) declaring Ordinance No.11, Seriesof l991,of theMetropolitan Manila Authority and Ordinance
board in enacting such a laudable ordinance cannot be held valid when it shall impede the exercise of No. 7, Series of 1988 of the Municipality of Mandaluyong, NULL and VOID; and
rights granted in a general law and/or make a general law subordinated to a local ordinance.
(2) enjoining all law enforcement authorities in Metropolitan Manila from removing the license plates of
We affirm. motor vehicles (except when authorized under LOI 43) and confiscating driver licenses for traffic
violations within the said area.
To sustain the ordinance would be to open the floodgates to other ordinances amending and so
violating national laws in the guise of implementing them. Thus, ordinances could be passed imposing SO ORDERED.
additional requirements for the issuance of marriage licenses, to prevent bigamy; the registration of
vehicles, to minimize carnapping; the execution of contracts, to forestall fraud; the validation of parts, to
deter imposture; the exercise of freedom of speech, to reduce disorder; and so on. The list is endless,
but the means, even if the end be valid, would be ultra vires.

The measures in question do not merely add to the requirement of PD 1605 but, worse, impose
sanctions the decree does not allow and in fact actually prohibits. In so doing, the ordinances disregard
and violate and in effect partially repeal the law.

We here emphasize the ruling in the Gonong case that PD 1605 applies only to the Metropolitan Manila
area. It is an exception to the general authority conferred by R.A. No. 413 on the Commissioner of
Land Transportation to punish violations of traffic rules elsewhere in the country with the sanction
therein prescribed, including those here questioned.

The Court agrees that the challenged ordinances were enacted with the best of motives and shares the
concern of the rest of the public for the effective reduction of traffic problems in Metropolitan Manila
through the imposition and enforcement of more deterrent penalties upon traffic violators. At the same
time, it must also reiterate the public misgivings over the abuses that may attend the enforcement of
such sanction in eluding the illicit practices described in detail in the Gonong decision. At any rate, the
fact is that there is no statutory authority for and indeed there is a statutory prohibition against the
imposition of such penalties in the Metropolitan Manila area. Hence, regardless of their merits, they
cannot be impose by the challenged enactments by virtue only of the delegated legislative powers.
8. BOIE-TAKEDA v. DELA SERNA Sec 1. All employees are hereby required to pay all their employees receiving basic salary of not more
than P1,000.00 a month, regardless of the nature of the employment, a 13th month pay not later than
G.R. No. 92174 December 10, 1993 December 24 of every year.

BOIE-TAKEDA CHEMICALS, INC., petitioner, Sec. 2. Employers already paying their employees a 13th month pay or its equivalent are not covered
vs. by this Decree.
HON. DIONISIO DE LA SERNA, Acting Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment,
respondent. The Rules and Regulations Implementing P.D. 851 promulgated by then Labor Minister Blas Ople on
December 22, 1975 contained the following relevant provisions relative to the concept of "thirteenth
G.R. No. L-102552 December 10, 1993 month pay" and the employers exempted from giving it, to wit:

PHILIPPINE FUJI XEROX CORP., petitioner, Sec. 2. Definition of certain terms. . . .


vs.
CRESENCIANO B. TRAJANO, Undersecretary of the Department of Labor and Employment, and a) "Thirteenth month pay" shall mean one twelfth (1/12) of the basic salary of an employee within
PHILIPPINE FUJI XEROX EMPLOYEES UNION, respondents. a calendar year;

Herrera, Laurel, De los Reyes, Roxas & Teehankee for Boie-Takeda Chemicals, Inc. and Phil Xerox b) "Basic Salary" shall include all remunerations or earnings paid by an employer to an employee
Corp. for services rendered but may not include cost of living allowances granted pursuant to Presidential
Decree No. 525 or Letter of Instructions No. 174, profit sharing payments, and all allowances and
The Solicitor General for public respondents. monetary benefits which are not considered or integrated as part of the regular or basic salary of the
employee at the time of the promulgation of the Decree on December 16, 1975.
NARVASA, C.J.:
Sec. 3. Employers covered. . . . (The law applies) to all employers except to:
What items or items of employee remuneration should go into the computation of thirteenth month pay
is the basic issue presented in these consolidated petitions. Otherwise stated, the question is whether xxx xxx xxx
or not the respondent labor officials in computing said benefit, committed "grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction," by giving effect to Section 5 of the Revised Guidelines on the c) Employers already paying their employers a 13-month pay or more in calendar year or is
implementation of the Thirteenth Month Pay (Presidential Decree No. 851) promulgated by then equivalent at the time of this issuance;
Secretary of Labor and Employment, Hon. Franklin Drilon, and overruling petitioner's contention that
said provision constituted a usurpation of legislative power because not justified by or within the xxx xxx xxx
authority of the law sought to be implemented besides being violative of the equal protection of the law
clause of the Constitution. e) Employers of those who are paid on purely commission, boundary, or task basis, and those
who are paid a fixed amount for performing a specific work, irrespective of the time consumed in the
Resolution of the issue entails, first, a review of the pertinent provisions of the laws and implementing performance thereof, except where the workers are paid on piece-rate basis in which case the
regulations. employer shall be covered by this issuance insofar as such workers are concerned.

Sections 1 and 2 of Presidential Decree No. 851, the Thirteenth Month Pay Law, read as follows: xxx xxx xxx
The term "its equivalent" as used in paragraph (c) shall include Christmas bonus, mid-year bonus,
profit-sharing payments and other cash bonuses amounting to not less than 1/12th of the basic salary xxx xxx xxx
but shall not include cash and stock dividends, cost of living allowances and all other allowances
regularly enjoyed by the employee, as well as non-monetary benefits. Where an employer pays less 5. 13th Month Pay for Certain Types of Employees.
than 1/12th of the employee's basic salary, the employer shall pay the difference.
(a) Employees Paid by Results. Employees who are paid on piece work basis are by law
Supplementary Rules and Regulations implementing P.D. 851 were subsequently issued by Minister entitled to the 13th month pay.
Ople which inter alia set out items of compensation not included in the computation of the 13th month
pay, viz.: Employees who are paid a fixed or guaranteed wage plus commission are also entitled to the
mandated 13th month pay based on their total earnings during the calendar year, i.e., on both their
Sec. 4. Overtime pay, earnings and other remunerations which are not part of the basic salary shall not fixed or guaranteed wage and commission.
be included in the computation of the 13th month pay.
This was the state of the law when the controversies at bar arose out of the following antecedents:
On August 13, 1986, President Corazon C. Aquino promulgated Memorandum Order No. 28, which
contained a single provision modifying Presidential Decree No. 851 by removing the salary ceiling of (RE G.R. No. 92174) A routine inspection was conducted on May 2, 1989 in the premises of petitioner
P1,000.00 a month set by the latter, as follows: Boie-Takeda Chemicals, Inc. by Labor
and Development Officer Reynaldo B. Ramos under Inspection Authority
Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 851 is hereby modified to the extent that all employers are hereby No. 4-209-89. Finding that Boie-Takeda had not been including the commissions earned by its medical
required to pay all their rank-and-file employees a 13th month pay not later than December 24, of every representatives in the computation of their 13th month pay, Ramos served a Notice of Inspection
year. Results 1 on Boie-Takeda through its president, Mr. Benito Araneta, requiring Boie-Takeda within ten
(10) calendar days from notice to effect restitution or correction of "the underpayment of 13th month
Slightly more than a year later, on November 16, 1987, Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of pay for the year(s) 1986, 1987 and 1988 of Med Rep (Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of
the 13th Month Pay Law were promulgated by then Labor Secretary Franklin Drilon which, among 13th month pay # 5) in the total amount of P558,810.89."
other things, defined with particularity what remunerative items were and were not embraced in the
concept of 13th month pay, and specifically dealt with employees who are paid a fixed or guaranteed Boie-Takeda wrote the Labor Department contesting the Notice of Inspection Results, and expressing
wage plus commission. The relevant provisions read: the view "that the commission paid to our medical representatives are not to be included in the
computation of the 13th month pay . . . (since the) law and its implementing rules speak of REGULAR
4. Amount and payment of 13th Month Pay. or BASIC salary and therefore exclude all other remunerations which are not part of the REGULAR
salary." It pointed out that, "if no sales is (sic) made under the effort of a particular representative, there
xxx xxx xxx is no commission during the period when no sale was transacted, so that commissions are not and
cannot be legally defined as regular in nature. 2
The basic salary of an employee for the purpose of computing the 13th month pay shall include all
remunerations or earnings paid by the employer for services rendered but does not include allowances Regional Director Luna C. Piezas directed Boie-Takeda to appear before his Office on June 9 and 16,
and monetary benefits which are not considered or integrated as part of the regular or basic salary, 1989. On the appointed dates, however, and despite due notice, no one appeared for Boie-Takeda, and
such as the cash equivalent of unused vacation and sick leave credits, overtime, premium, night the matter had perforce to be resolved on the basis of the evidence at hand. On July 24, 1989, Director
differential and holiday pay, and cost-of-living allowances. However, these salary-related benefits Piezas issued an Order 3 directing Boie-Takeda:
should be included as part of the basic salary in the computation of the 13th month pay if by individual
or collective agreement, company practice or policy, the same are treated as part of the basic salary of . . . to pay . . . (its) medical representatives and its managers the total amount of FIVE HUNDRED
the employees. SIXTY FIVE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FORTY SIX AND FORTY SEVEN CENTAVOS
(P565,746.47) representing underpayment of thirteenth (13th) month pay for the years 1986, 1987, MR. NICANOR TORRES, the SR. LABOR EMPLOYMENT OFFICER is hereby Ordered to proceed to
1988, inclusive, pursuant to the . . . revised guidelines within ten (10) days from receipt of this Order. the premises of the Respondent for the purpose of computing the said deficiency (sic) should
respondent fail to heed his Order.
A motion for reconsideration 4 was seasonably filed by Boie-Takeda under date of August 3, 1989.
Treated as an appeal, it was resolved on Philippine Fuji Xerox appealed the aforequoted Order to the Office of the Secretary of Labor. In an
January 17, 1990 by then Acting Labor Secretary Dionisio de la Serna, who affirmed the July 24, 1989 Order dated October 120, 1991, Undersecretary Cresenciano B. Trajano denied the appeal for lack of
Order with modification that the sales commissions earned by Boie-Takeda's medical representatives merit. Hence, the petition in G.R. No. 102552, which was ordered consolidated with G.R. No. 92174 as
before August 13, 1989, the effectivity date of Memorandum Order No. 28 and its Implementing involving the same issue.
Guidelines, shall be excluded in the computation of their 13th month pay. 5
In their almost identically-worded petitioner, petitioners, through common counsel, attribute grave
Hence the petition docketed as G.R. No. 92174. abuse of discretion to respondent labor officials
Hon. Dionisio dela Serna and Undersecretary Cresenciano B. Trajano in issuing the questioned Orders
(RE G.R. No. 102552) A similar Routine Inspection was conducted in the premises of Philippine Fuji of January 17, 1990 and October 10, 1991, respectively. They maintain that under P.D. 851, the 13th
Xerox Corp. on September 7, 1989 pursuant to Routine Inspection Authority No. NCR-LSED-RI-494- month pay is based solely on basic salary. As defined by the law itself and clarified by the implementing
89. In his Notice of Inspection Results, 6 addressed to the Manager, Mr. Nicolas O. Katigbak, Senior and Supplementary Rules as well as by the Supreme Court in a long line of decisions, remunerations
Labor and Employment Officer Nicanor M. Torres noted the following violation committed by Philippine which do not form part of the basic or regular salary of an employee, such as commissions, should not
Fuji Xerox Corp., to wit: be considered in the computation of the 13th month pay. This being the case, the Revised Guidelines
on the Implementation of the 13th Month Pay Law issued by then Secretary Drilon providing for the
Underpayment of 13th month pay of 62 employees, more or less pursuant to Revised Guidelines on inclusion of commissions in the 13th month pay, were issued in excess of the statutory authority
the Implementation of the 13th month pay law for the period covering 1986, 1987 and 1988. conferred by P.D. 851. According to petitioners, this conclusion becomes even more evident when
considered in light of the opinion rendered by Labor Secretary Drilon himself in "In Re: Labor Dispute at
Philippine Fuji Xerox was requested to effect rectification and/or restitution of the noted violation within the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company" which affirmed the contemporaneous interpretation
five (5) working days from notice. by then Secretary Ople that commissions are excluded from the basic salary. Petitioners further
contend that assuming that Secretary Drilon did not exceed the statutory authority conferred by P.D.
No action having been taken thereon by Philippine Fuji Xerox, 851, still the Revised Guidelines are null and void as they violate the equal protection of the law clause.
Mr. Eduardo G. Gonzales, President of the Philxerox Employee Union, wrote then Labor Secretary
Franklin Drilon requesting a follow-up of the inspection findings. Messrs. Nicolas and Gonzales were Respondents through the Office of the Solicitor General question the propriety of petitioners' attack on
summoned to appear before Labor Employment and Development Officer Mario F. Santos, NCR Office, the constitutionality of the Revised Guidelines in a petition for certiorari which, they contend, should be
Department of Labor for a conciliation conference. When no amicable settlement was reached, the confined purely to the correction of errors and/or defects of jurisdiction, including matters of grave
parties were required to file their position papers. abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction and not extend to a collateral attack on
the validity and/or constitutionality of a law or statute. They aver that the petitions do not advance any
Subsequently, Regional Director Luna C. Piezas issued an Order dated August 23, 1990, 7 disposing cogent reason or state any valid ground to sustain the allegation of grave abuse of discretion, and that
as follows: at any rate, P.D. No. 851, otherwise known as the 13th Month Pay Law has already been amended by
Memorandum Order No. 28 issued by President Corazon C. Aquino on August 13, 1986 so that
WHEREFORE, premises considered, Respondent PHILIPPINE FUJI XEROX is hereby ordered to commissions are now imputed into the computation of the 13th Month Pay. They add that the Revised
restitute to its salesmen the portion of the 13th month pay which arose out of the non-implementation of Guidelines issued by then Labor Secretary Drilon merely clarified a gray area occasioned by the
the said revised guidelines, ten (10) days from receipt hereof, otherwise, silence of the law as to the nature of commissions; and worked no violation of the equal protection
clause of the Constitution, said Guidelines being based on reasonable classification. Respondents
point to the case of Songco vs. National Labor Relations Commission, 183 SCRA 610, wherein the
Court declared that Article 97(f) of the Labor Code is explicit that commission is included in the which are properly considered as "fringe" benefits. Likewise, the catch-all exclusionary phrase "all
definition of the term "wage". allowances and monetary benefits which are not considered or integrated as part of the basic salary"
shows also the intention to strip basic salary of any and all additions which may be in the form of
We rule for the petitioners. allowances or "fringe" benefits.

Contrary to respondents' contention, Memorandum Order No. 28 did not repeal, supersede or abrogate Moreover, the Supplementary Rules and Regulations Implementing Presidential Decree 851 is even
P.D. 851. As may be gleaned from the language of the Memorandum Order No. 28, it merely "modified" more emphatic in declaring that earnings and other remunerations which are not part of the basic
Section 1 of the decree by removing the P1,000.00 salary ceiling. The concept of 13th Month Pay as salary shall not be included in the computation of the 13th-month pay.
envisioned, defined and implemented under P.D. 851 remained unaltered, and while entitlement to said
benefit was no longer limited to employees receiving a monthly basic salary of not more than While doubt may have been created by the prior Rules and Regulations Implementing Presidential
P1,000.00, said benefit was, and still is, to be computed on the basic salary of the employee-recipient Decree 851 which defines basic salary to include all remunerations or earnings paid by an employer to
as provided under P.D. 851. Thus, the interpretation given to the term "basic salary" as defined in P.D. an employee, this cloud is dissipated in the later and more controlling Supplementary Rules and
851 applies equally to "basic salary" under Memorandum Order No. 28. Regulations which categorically exclude from the definitions of basic salary earnings and other
remunerations paid by an employer to an employee. A cursory perusal of the two sets of Rules
In the case of San Miguel Corp. vs. Inciong, 103 SCRA 139, this Court delineated the coverage of the indicates that what has hitherto been the subject of a broad inclusion is now a subject of broad
term "basic salary" as used in P.D. 851. We said at some length: exclusion. The Supplementary Rules and Regulations cure the seeming tendency of the former rules to
include all remunerations and earnings within the definition of basic salary.
Under Presidential Decree 851 and its implementing rules, the basic salary of an employee is used as
the basis in the determination of his 13th month pay. Any compensations or remunerations which are The all embracing phrase "earnings and other remunerations" which are deemed not part of the basic
deemed not part of the basic pay is excluded as basis in the computation of the mandatory bonus. salary includes within its meaning payments for sick, vacation, or maternity leaves, premium for works
performed on rest days and special holidays, pays for regular holidays and night differentials. As such
Under the Rules and Regulations implementing Presidential Decree 851, the following compensations they are deemed not part of the basic salary and shall not be considered in the computation of the
are deemed not part of the basic salary: 13th-month pay. If they were not excluded, it is hard to find any "earnings and other remunerations"
expressly excluded in the computation of the 13th month pay. Then the exclusionary provision would
a) Cost-of-living allowances granted pursuant to Presidential Decree 525 and Letter of prove to be idle and with no purpose.
Instructions No. 174;
This conclusion finds strong support under the Labor Code of the Philippines. To cite a few provisions:
b) Profit-sharing payments;
Art. 87. Overtime Work. Work may be performed beyond eight (8) hours a day provided that the
c) All allowances and monetary benefits which are not considered or integrated as part of the employee is paid for the overtime work, additional compensation equivalent to his regular wage plus at
regular basic salary of the employee at the time of the promulgation of the Decree on December 16, least twenty-five (25%) percent thereof.
1975.
It is clear that overtime pay is an additional compensation other than and added to the regular wage or
Under a later set of Supplementary Rules and Regulations Implementing Presidential Decree 851 basic salary, for reason of which such is categorically excluded from the definition of basic salary under
Presidential Decree 851 issued by then Labor Secretary Blas Ople, overtime pay, earnings and other the Supplementary Rules and Regulations Implementing Presidential Decree 851.
remunerations are excluded as part of the basic salary and in the computation of the 13th month pay.
In Article 93 of the same Code, paragraph
The exclusion of the cost-of-living allowances under Presidential Decree 525 and Letter of Instructions
No. 174, and profit-sharing payments indicate the intention to strip basic salary of other payments
c) work performed on any special holiday shall be paid an additional compensation of at least Having reached this conclusion, we deem it unnecessary to discuss the other issues raised in these
thirty percent (30%) of the regular wage of the employee. petitions.

It is likewise clear the premiums for special holiday which is at least 30% of the regular wage is an WHEREFORE, the consolidated petitions are hereby GRANTED. The second paragraph of Section 5
additional pay other than and added to the regular wage or basic salary. For similar reason, it shall not (a) of the Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of the 13th Month Pay Law issued on November
be considered in the computation of the 13th month pay. 126, 1987 by then Labor Secretary Franklin M. Drilon is declared null and void as being violative of the
law said Guidelines were issued to implement, hence issued with grave abuse of discretion correctible
Quite obvious from the foregoing is that the term "basic salary" is to be understood in its common, by the writ of prohibition and certiorari. The assailed Orders of January 17, 1990 and October 10, 1991
generally-accepted meaning, i.e., as a rate of pay for a standard work period exclusive of such based thereon are SET ASIDE.
additional payments as bonuses and overtime. 8 This is how the term was also understood in the case
of Pless v. Franks, 308 S.W. 2nd. 402, 403, 202 Tenn. 630, which held that in statutes providing that SO ORDERED.
pension should not less than 50 percent of "basic salary" at the time of retirement, the quoted words
meant the salary that an employee (e.g., a policeman) was receiving at the time he retired without
taking into consideration any extra compensation to which he might be entitled for extra work. 9

In remunerative schemes consisting of a fixed or guaranteed wage plus commission, the fixed or
guaranteed wage is patently the "basic salary" for this is what the employee receives for a standard
work period. Commissions are given for extra efforts exerted in consummating sales or other related
transactions. They are, as such, additional pay, which this Court has made clear do not form part of the
"basic salary."

Respondents would do well to distinguish this case from Songco vs. National Labor Relations
Commission, supra, upon which they rely so heavily. What was involved therein was the term "salary"
without the restrictive adjective "basic". Thus, in said case, we construed the term in its generic sense
to refer to all types of "direct remunerations for services rendered," including commissions. In the same
case, we also took judicial notice of the fact "that some salesmen do not receive any basic salary but
depend on commissions and allowances or commissions alone, although an employer-employee
relationship exists," which statement is quite significant in that it speaks of a "basic salary" apart and
distinct from "commissions" and "allowances". Instead of supporting respondents' stand, it would
appear that Songco itself recognizes that commissions are not part of "basic salary."

In including commissions in the computation of the 13th month pay, the second paragraph of Section
5(a) of the Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of the 13th Month Pay Law unduly expanded the
concept of "basic salary" as defined in P.D. 851. It is a fundamental rule that implementing rules cannot
add to or detract from the provisions of the law it is designed to implement. Administrative regulations
adopted under legislative authority by a particular department must be in harmony with the provisions
of the law they are intended to carry into effect. They cannot widen its scope. An administrative agency
cannot amend an act of Congress. 10
9. UNITED BFHA v. BF HOMES Respondent BFHI, through its receiver, turned over to petitioner UBFHAI the administration and
operation of the subdivisions clubhouse at #37 Pilar Banzon Street,[7] and a strip of open space in
[G.R. No. 124873. July 14, 1999] Concha Cruz Garden Row,[8] on June 23, 1989 and May, 1993, respectively.

UNITED BF HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, and HOME INSURANCE AND GUARANTY On November 7, 1994, the first receiver was relieved and a new committee of receivers, composed of
CORPORATION, petitioners, vs. BF HOMES, INC., respondents. respondent BFHIs eleven (11) members of the board of directors was appointed.[9]
DECISION
PARDO, J. On April 7, 1995, based on BFHIs title to the main roads, the newly appointed committee of receivers
sent a letter to the different homeowners association in the subdivision informing them that as a basic
Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari is the decision[1] and resolution[2] of the Court of requirement for BFHIs rehabilitation, respondent BFHI would be responsible for the security of the
Appeals granting respondent BFHIs petition for prohibition, and ordering Atty. Roberto C. Abrajano, subdivision in order to centralize it and abate the continuing proliferation of squatters.[10]
hearing officer of the Home Insurance and Guaranty Corporation, to refrain from hearing HIGC CASE
NO. HOA-95-027 and to dismiss it for lack of jurisdiction. On the same day, petitioner UBFHAI filed with the HIGC a petition for mandamus with preliminary
injunction against respondent BFHI.[11] In substance, petitioner UBFHAI alleged that the committee of
The antecedent facts are as follows: receivers illegally revoked their security agreement with the previous receiver. They complained that
even prior to said date, the new committee of receivers committed the following acts: (1) deferred
Petitioner United BF Homeowners Association, Inc. (UBFHAI) is the umbrella organization and sole petitioner UBFHAIs purchase of additional pumps; (2) terminated the collection agreement for the
representative of all homeowners in the BF Homes Paraaque Subdivision, a seven hundred sixty five community assessment forged by the petitioner UBFHAI with the first receiver; (3) terminated the
(765) hectare subdivision located in the south of Manila. Respondent BF Homes, Inc. (BFHI) is the administration and maintenance of the Concha Cruz Garden Row; (4) sent a letter to petitioner UBFHAI
owner-developer of the said subdivision, which first opened in 1968.[3] stating that it recognized BFPHAI[12] only, and that the subdivisions clubhouse was to be administered
by it only; and (5) took over the administration of security in the main avenues in the subdivision.
In 1988, because of financial difficulties, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) placed
respondent BFHI under receivership to undergo a ten-year (10) rehabilitation program, and appointed On April 11, 1995, the HIGC issued ex parte a temporary restraining order. Particularly, respondent
Atty. Florencio B. Orendain receiver. The program was composed of two stages: (1) payment of BFHI was enjoined from:
obligations to external creditors; and (2) payment of obligations to Banco Filipino.[4]
taking over the Clubhouse located at 37 Pilar Banzon St., BF Homes Paraaque, Metro Manila, taking
When Atty. Florencio B. Orendain took over management of respondent BFHI in 1988, several things over security in all the entry and exit points and main avenues of BF Homes Paraaque Subdivision,
were not in order in the subdivision.[5] Preliminary to the rehabilitation, Atty. Orendain entered into an impeding or preventing the execution and sale at auction of the properties of BF Paraaque
agreement with the two major homeowners associations, the BF Paraaque Homeowners Association, Homeowners Association, Inc., in HIGC HOA-90-138 and otherwise repudiating or invalidating any
Inc. (BFPHAI) and the Confederation of BF Homeowners Association, Inc. (CBFHAI), for the creation of contract or agreement of petitioner with the former receiver/BFHI concerning funding or delivery of
a single, representative homeowners association and the setting up of an integrated security program community services to the homeowners represented by the latter.[13]
that would cover the eight (8) entry and exit points to and from the subdivision. On December 20, 1988,
this tripartite agreement was reduced into a memorandum of agreement, and amended on March 1989. On April 24, 1995, without filing an answer to petitioner UBFHAIs petition with the HIGC, respondent
BFHI filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for prohibition for the issuance of preliminary injunction
Pursuant to these agreements, on May 18, 1989, petitioner UBFHAI was created and registered with and temporary restraining order, to enjoin HIGC from proceeding with the case.[14]
the Home Insurance and Guaranty Corporation (HIGC),[6] and recognized as the sole representative of
all the homeowners association inside the subdivision. On May 2, 1995, the HIGC issued an order deferring the resolution of petitioner UBFHAIs application
for preliminary injunction, until such time that respondent BFHIs application for prohibition with the
appellate court has been resolved. When the twenty-day (20) effectivity of the temporary restraining By virtue of this amendatory law, the HIGC not only assumed the regulatory and adjudicative functions
order had lapsed, the HIGC ordered the parties to maintain the status quo.[15] of the SEC over homeowners associations, but also the original and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and
decide cases involving:
Meanwhile, on November 27, 1995, the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision[16] granting
respondent BFHIs petition for prohibition, as follows: (b) Controversies arising out of intra-corporate or partnership relations, between and among
stockholders, members or associates; between any or all of them and the corporation, partnership or
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby GRANTED, prohibiting the public association of which they are stockholders, members or associates respectively; and between such
respondent Roberto C. Abrajano from proceeding with the hearing of HIGC CASE NO. HOA-95-027. corporation, partnership or association and the state insofar as it concerns their individual franchise or
Consequently, the public respondent is hereby ordered to DISMISS HIGC CASE NO. HOA-95-027 for right to exist as such entity.[22]
lack of jurisdiction.
On December 21, 1989, the HIGC adopted its rules of procedure in the hearing of homeowners
SO ORDERED.[17] disputes. Section 1(b), Rule II enumerated the types of disputes over which the HIGC has jurisdiction,
and these include:
On April 24, 1996, the appellate court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration.[18]
Section 1. Types of Disputes- The HIGC or any person, officer, body, board, or committee duly
Hence, this petition for review on certiorari. designated or created by it shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide cases involving the following:

Petitioner UBFHAI raises two issues: (1) whether or not the Rules of procedure promulgated by the xxx
HIGC, specifically Section 1(b), Rule II of the Rules of Procedure in the Settlement of Homeowners
Disputes is valid; (2) whether or not the acts committed by the respondent constitute an attack on (b) Controversies arising out of intra-corporate relations between and among members of the
petitioners corporate existence.[19] Corollary to these, petitioner questions the appellate courts association, between any and/or all of them and the association of which they are members, and
jurisdiction over the subject case. insofar as it concerns its right to exist as a corporate entity, between the association and the
state/general public or other entity. [emphasis supplied]
Originally, administrative supervision over homeowners associations was vested by law with the
Securities and Exchange Commission. On May 3, 1979, pursuant to Executive Order 535,[20] this Therefore, in relation to Section 5 (b), Presidential Decree 902-A, the HIGCs jurisdiction over
function was delegated to the Home Insurance and Guaranty Corporation (HIGC).[21] Section 2 of homeowners disputes is limited to controversies that arise out of the following intra-corporate relations:
Executive Order 535 provides: (1) between and among members of the association; (2) between any or all of them and the
association of which they are members or associates; and (3) between such association and the state,
2. In addition to the powers and functions vested under the Home Financing Act, the Corporation, shall insofar as it concerns their individual franchise or right to exist as such entity. (Emphasis supplied.)
have among others, the following additional powers;
Though it would seem that Section 1(b), Rule II of the HIGCs revised rules of procedure is just a
(a) To require submission of and register articles of incorporation of homeowners associations and reproduction of Section 5 (b), Presidential Decree 902-A, the rules deviated from the provisions of the
issue certificates of incorporation/registration, upon compliance by the registering associations with the latter. If the provisions of the law would be followed to the letter, the third type of dispute over which the
duly promulgated rules and regulations thereon; maintain a registry thereof; and exercise all the HIGC has jurisdiction should be limited only to a dispute between the state and the association, insofar
powers, authorities and responsibilities that are vested on the Securities and Exchange Commission as it concerns the associations franchise or corporate existence. However, under the HIGCs revised
with respect to homeowners association, the provision of Act 1459, as amended by P. D. 902-A, to the rules of procedure, the phrase general public or other entity[23] was added.
contrary notwithstanding;
It was on this third type of dispute, as provided in Section 1 (b), Rule II of the HIGCs revised rules of
procedure that petitioner UBFHAI anchors its claim that the HIGC has original and exclusive jurisdiction
over the case. In the comment filed by the HIGC with the appellate court, it maintained that it has regulation must bear upon, and be consistent with, the provisions of the enabling statute if such rule or
original and exclusive jurisdiction over the dispute pursuant to the power and authority granted it in the regulation is to be valid.[32]
revised rules of procedure. Respondent BFHI disputes this, contending that the rules of procedure
relied upon by petitioner are not valid implementation of Executive Order No. 535, as amended, in Thus, we hold that Rule II, Section 1(b) of HIGCs Revised Rules of Procedure in the Hearing of
relation to Presidential Decree 902-A. Homeowners Disputes is void, without ruling on the validity of the rest of the rules.

The question now is whether HIGC, in promulgating the above-mentioned rules of procedure, went Neither can the HIGC claim original and exclusive jurisdiction over the petition for mandamus under the
beyond the authority delegated to it and unduly expanded the provisions of the delegating law. In two other types of disputes enumerated in Presidential Decree 902-A and in the revised rules. The
relation to this, the question is whether or not the revised rules of procedure are valid. dispute is not one involving the members of the homeowners association nor it is one between any
and/or all of the members and the associations of which they are members. The parties are the
As early as 1970, in the case of Teoxon vs. Members of the Board of Administrators (PVA),[24] we homeowners association and the owner-developer, acting at the same time as the corporations
ruled that the power to promulgate rules in the implementation of a statute is necessarily limited to what committee of receivers.
is provided for in the legislative enactment. Its terms must be followed for an administrative agency
cannot amend an Act of Congress.[25] The rule-making power must be confined to details for To reiterate, the HIGC exercises a very limited jurisdiction over homeowners disputes. The law
regulating the mode or proceedings to carry into effect the law as it has been enacted, and it cannot be confined this authority to controversies that arise out of the following intra-corporate relations: (1)
extended to amend or expand the statutory requirements or to embrace matters not covered by the between and among members of the association; (2) between any and/or all of them and the
statute.[26] If a discrepancy occurs between the basic law and an implementing rule or regulation, it is association of which they are members; and (3) insofar as it concerns its right to exist as a corporate
the former that prevails.[27] entity, between the association and the state. None of the parties to the litigation can enlarge or
diminish it or dictate when it shall attach or when it shall be removed.[33]
In the present case, the HIGC went beyond the authority provided by the law when it promulgated the
revised rules of procedure. There was a clear attempt to unduly expand the provisions of Presidential Jurisdiction is defined as the power and authority of a court to hear, try and decide a case. Jurisdiction
Decree 902-A. As provided in the law, insofar as the associations franchise or corporate existence is over the subject matter is conferred by the Constitution or by law. Nothing can change the jurisdiction of
involved, it is only the State, not the general public or other entity that could question this. The the court over the subject matter. That power is a matter of legislative enactment which none by the
appellate court correctly held that: The inclusion of the phrase GENERAL PUBLIC OR OTHER ENTITY legislature may change.[34]
is a matter which HIGC cannot legally do x x x.[28] The rule-making power of a public administrative
body is a delegated legislative power, which it may not use either to abridge the authority given it by In light of the foregoing, we do not see the need to discuss the second issue. Whether or not the acts
Congress or the Constitution or to enlarge its power beyond the scope intended. Constitutional and committed or threatened to be committed by the respondent against the petitioner would constitute an
statutory provisions control what rules and regulations may be promulgated by such a body, as well as attack on the latters corporate existence would be immaterial. The HIGC has no jurisdiction to hear and
with respect to what fields are subject to regulation by it. It may not make rules and regulations which resolve the dispute.
are inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution or a statute, particularly the statute it is
administering or which created it, or which are in derogation of, or defeat, the purpose of a statute.[29] Having dispensed with the question of jurisdiction, there is no need for the HIGC to proceed with the
hearing of HIGC-HOA 95-027. It would just be an exercise in futility since it has no jurisdiction.
Moreover, where the legislature has delegated to an executive or administrative officers and boards
authority to promulgate rules to carry out an express legislative purpose, the rules of administrative Furthermore, it was apparent that the board of directors of respondent BFHI, acting as the committee of
officers and boards, which have the effect of extending, or which conflict with the authority-granting receivers, was only trying to find ways and means to rehabilitate the corporation so that it can pay off
statute, do not represent a valid exercise of the rule-making power but constitute an attempt by an its creditors. The revocation of the security agreements and the removal of administration and
administrative body to legislate.[30] A statutory grant of powers should not be extended by implication maintenance of certain property that are still under the name of respondent BFHI, were acts done in
beyond what may be necessary for their just and reasonable execution.[31] It is axiomatic that a rule or pursuance of the rehabilitation program. All the security agreements and undertakings were contractual
in nature, which respondent BFHI, acting as a committee of receivers and being the successor of the
former receiver, could very well alter or modify.

WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition for review on certiorari, for lack of merit. The decision
and resolution appealed from in CA-G. R. SP. NO. 37072 are AFFIRMED.

No costs.

SO ORDERED.
10. LUPANGCO v. CA
Any examinee violating this instruction shall be subject to the sanctions prescribed by Sec. 8, Art. III of
G.R. No. 77372 April 29, 1988 the Rules and Regulations of the Commission. 1

LUPO L. LUPANGCO, RAYMOND S. MANGKAL, NORMAN A. MESINA, ALEXANDER R. REGUYAL, On October 16, 1986, herein petitioners, all reviewees preparing to take the licensure examinations in
JOCELYN P. CATAPANG, ENRICO V. REGALADO, JEROME O. ARCEGA, ERNESTOC. BLAS, JR., accountancy schedule on October 25 and November 2 of the same year, filed on their own behalf of all
ELPEDIO M. ALMAZAN, KARL CAESAR R. RIMANDO, petitioner, others similarly situated like them, with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XXXII, a complaint
vs. for injuction with a prayer with the issuance of a writ of a preliminary injunction against respondent PRC
COURT OF APPEALS and PROFESSIONAL REGULATION COMMISSION, respondent. to restrain the latter from enforcing the above-mentioned resolution and to declare the same
unconstitution.
Balgos & Perez Law Offices for petitioners.
Respondent PRC filed a motion to dismiss on October 21, 1987 on the ground that the lower court had
The Solicitor General for respondents. no jurisdiction to review and to enjoin the enforcement of its resolution. In an Order of October 21,
1987, the lower court declared that it had jurisdiction to try the case and enjoined the respondent
commission from enforcing and giving effect to Resolution No. 105 which it found to be
unconstitutional.
GANCAYCO, J.:
Not satisfied therewith, respondent PRC, on November 10, 1986, filed with the Court of Appeals a
Is the Regional Trial Court of the same category as the Professional Regulation Commission so that it petition for the nullification of the above Order of the lower court. Said petiton was granted in the
cannot pass upon the validity of the administrative acts of the latter? Can this Commission lawfully Decision of the Court of Appeals promulagated on January 13, 1987, to wit:
prohibit the examiness from attending review classes, receiving handout materials, tips, or the like
three (3) days before the date of the examination? Theses are the issues presented to the court by this WHEREFORE, finding the petition meritorious the same is hereby GRANTED and the other dated
petition for certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals promulagated on January 13, 1987, October 21, 1986 issued by respondent court is declared null and void. The respondent court is further
in CA-G.R. SP No. 10598, * declaring null and void the other dated Ocober 21, 1986 issued by the directed to dismiss with prejudice Civil Case No. 86-37950 for want of jurisdiction over the subject
Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 32 in Civil Case No. 86-37950 entitled " Lupo L. Lupangco, et al. matter thereof. No cost in this instance.
vs. Professional Regulation Commission."
SO ORDERED. 2
The records shows the following undisputed facts:
Hence, this petition.
On or about October 6, 1986, herein respondent Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) issued
Resolution No. 105 as parts of its "Additional Instructions to Examiness," to all those applying for The Court of Appeals, in deciding that the Regional Trial Court of Manila had no jurisdiction to entertain
admission to take the licensure examinations in accountancy. The resolution embodied the following the case and to enjoin the enforcement of the Resolution No. 105, stated as its basis its conclusion that
pertinent provisions: the Professional Regulation Commission and the Regional Trial Court are co-equal bodies. Thus it held

No examinee shall attend any review class, briefing, conference or the like conducted by, or shall
receive any hand-out, review material, or any tip from any school, college or university, or any review That the petitioner Professional Regulatory Commission is at least a co-equal body with the Regional
center or the like or any reviewer, lecturer, instructor official or employee of any of the aforementioned Trial Court is beyond question, and co-equal bodies have no power to control each other or interfere
or similars institutions during the three days immediately proceeding every examination day including with each other's acts. 3
examination day.
To strenghten its position, the Court of Appeals relied heavily on National Electrification Administration jurisprudence is the view that even acts of the Office of the President may be reviewed by the Court of
vs. Mendoza, 4 which cites Pineda vs. Lantin 5 and Philippine Pacific Fishing, Inc. vs. Luna, 6 where First Instance (now the Regional Trial Court). In Medalla vs. Sayo, 9 this rule was thoroughly
this Court held that a Court of First Instance cannot interfere with the orders of the Securities and propounded on, to wit:
Exchange Commission, the two being co-equal bodies.
In so far as jurisdiction of the Court below to review by certiorari decisions and/or resolutions of the
After a close scrutiny of the facts and the record of this case, Civil Service Commission and of the residential Executive Asssistant is concerned, there should be no
question but that the power of judicial review should be upheld. The following rulings buttress this
We rule in favor of the petitioner. conclusion:

The cases cited by respondent court are not in point. It is glaringly apparent that the reason why this The objection to a judicial review of a Presidential act arises from a failure to recognize the most
Court ruled that the Court of First Instance could not interfere with the orders of the Securities and important principle in our system of government, i.e., the separation of powers into three co-equal
Exchange Commission was that this was so provided for by the law. In Pineda vs. Lantin, We explained departments, the executives, the legislative and the judicial, each supreme within its own assigned
that whenever a party is aggrieved by or disagree with an order or ruling of the Securities and powers and duties. When a presidential act is challenged before the courts of justice, it is not to be
Exchange Commission, he cannot seek relief from courts of general jurisdiction since under the Rules implied therefrom that the Executive is being made subject and subordinate to the courts. The legality
of Court and Commonwealth Act No. 83, as amended by Republic Act No. 635, creating and setting of his acts are under judicial review, not because the Executive is inferior to the courts, but because the
forth the powers and functions of the old Securities and Exchange Commission, his remedy is to go the law is above the Chief Executive himself, and the courts seek only to interpret, apply or implement it
Supreme Court on a petition for review. Likewise, in Philippine Pacific Fishing Co., Inc. vs. Luna, it was (the law). A judicial review of the President's decision on a case of an employee decided by the Civil
stressed that if an order of the Securities and Exchange Commission is erroneous, the appropriate Service Board of Appeals should be viewed in this light and the bringing of the case to the Courts
remedy take is first, within the Commission itself, then, to the Supreme Court as mandated in should be governed by the same principles as govern the jucucial review of all administrative acts of all
Presidential Decree No. 902-A, the law creating the new Securities and Exchange Commission. administrative officers. 10
Nowhere in the said cases was it held that a Court of First Instance has no jurisdiction over all other
government agencies. On the contrary, the ruling was specifically limited to the Securities and Republic vs. Presiding Judge, CFI of Lanao del Norte, Br. II, 11 is another case in point. Here, "the
Exchange Commission. Executive Office"' of the Department of Education and Culture issued Memorandum Order No. 93
under the authority of then Secretary of Education Juan Manuel. As in this case, a complaint for
The respondent court erred when it place the Securities and Exchange Commission and the injunction was filed with the Court of First Instance of Lanao del Norte because, allegedly, the
Professional Regulation Commsision in the same category. As alraedy mentioned, with respect to the enforcement of the circular would impair some contracts already entered into by public school teachers.
Securities and Exchange Commission, the laws cited explicitly provide with the procedure that need be It was the contention of petitioner therein that "the Court of First Instance is not empowered to amend,
taken when one is aggrieved by its order or ruling. Upon the other hand, there is no law providing for reverse and modify what is otherwise the clear and explicit provision of the memorandum circular
the next course of action for a party who wants to question a ruling or order of the Professional issued by the Executive Office which has the force and effect of law." In resolving the issue, We held:
Regulation Commission. Unlike Commonwealth Act No. 83 and Presidential Decree No. 902-A, there is
no provision in Presidential Decree No. 223, creating the Professional Regulation Commission, that ... We definitely state that respondent Court lawfully acquired jurisdiction in Civil Case No. II-240 (8)
orders or resolutions of the Commission are appealable either to the Court of Appeals or to because the plaintiff therein asked the lower court for relief, in the form of injunction, in defense of a
theSupreme Court. Consequently, Civil Case No. 86-37950, which was filed in order to enjoin the legal right (freedom to enter into contracts) . . . . .
enforcement of a resolution of the respondent Professional Regulation Commission alleged to be
unconstitutional, should fall within the general jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance, now the Hence there is a clear infringement of private respondent's constitutional right to enter into agreements
Regional Trial Court. 7 not contrary to law, which might run the risk of being violated by the threatened implementation of
Executive Office Memorandum Circular No. 93, dated February 5, 1968, which prohibits, with certain
What is clear from Presidential Decree No. 223 is that the Professional Regulation Commission is exceptions, cashiers and disbursing officers from honoring special powers of attorney executed by the
attached to the Office of the President for general direction and coordination. 8 Well settled in our payee employees. The respondent Court is not only right but duty bound to take cognizance of cases
of this nature wherein a constitutional and statutory right is allegedly infringed by the administrative
action of a government office. Courts of first Instance have original jurisdiction over all civil actions in The above rule was adhered to in Filipinas Engineering and Machine Shop vs. Ferrer. 15 In this case,
which the subject of the litigation is not capable of pecuniary estimation (Sec. 44, Republic Act 296, as the issue presented was whether or not the Court of First Instance had jurisdiction over a case
amended). 12 (Emphasis supplied.) involving an order of the Commission on Elections awarding a contract to a private party which
originated from an invitation to bid. The said issue came about because under the laws then in force,
In San Miguel Corporation vs. Avelino, 13 We ruled that a judge of the Court of First Instance has the final awards, judgments, decisions or orders of the Commission on Elections fall within the exclusive
authority to decide on the validity of a city tax ordinance even after its validity had been contested jurisdiction of the Supreme Court by way of certiorari. Hence, it has been consistently held that "it is the
before the Secretary of Justice and an opinion thereon had been rendered. Supreme Court, not the Court of First Instance, which has exclusive jurisdiction to review on certiorari
final decisions, orders, or rulings of the Commission on Elections relative to the conduct of elections
In view of the foregoing, We find no cogent reason why Resolution No. 105, issued by the respondent and the enforcement of election laws." 16
Professional Regulation Commission, should be exempted from the general jurisdiction of the Regional
Trial Court. As to whether or not the Court of First Instance had jurisdiction in saidcase, We said:

Respondent PRC, on the other hand, contends that under Section 9, paragraph 3 of B.P. Blg. 129, it is We are however, far from convinced that an order of the COMELEC awarding a contract to a private
the Court of Appeals which has jurisdiction over the case. The said law provides: party, as a result of its choice among various proposals submitted in response to its invitation to bid
comes within the purview of a "final order" which is exclusively and directly appealable to this court on
SEC. 9. Jurisdiction. The Intermediate Appellate Court shall exercise: certiorari. What is contemplated by the term "final orders, rulings and decisions, of the COMELEC
reviewable by certiorari by the Supreme Court as provided by law are those rendered in actions or
xxx xxx xxx proceedings before the COMELEC and taken cognizance of by the said body in the exercise of its
adjudicatory or quasi-judicial powers. (Emphasis supplied.)
(3) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders, or
awards of Regional Trial Courts and quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, xxx xxx xxx
except those falling within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the
Constitution, the provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and We agree with petitioner's contention that the order of the Commission granting the award to a bidder is
subparagraph (4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948. not an order rendered in a legal controversy before it wherein the parties filed their respective
pleadings and presented evidence after which the questioned order was issued; and that this order of
The contention is devoid of merit. the commission was issued pursuant to its authority to enter into contracts in relation to election
purposes. In short, the COMELEC resolution awarding the contract in favor of Acme was not issued
In order to invoke the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals as provided for in Section pursuant to its quasi-judicial functions but merely as an incident of its inherent administrative functions
9, paragraph 3 of B.P. Blg. 129, there has to be a final order or ruling which resulted from proceedings over the conduct of elections, and hence, the said resolution may not be deemed as a "final order
wherein the administrative body involved exercised its quasi-judicial functions. In Black's Law reviewable by certiorari by the Supreme Court. Being non-judicial in character, no contempt order may
Dictionary, quasi-judicial is defined as a term applied to the action, discretion, etc., of public be imposed by the COMELEC from said order, and no direct and exclusive appeal by certiorari to this
administrative officers or bodies required to investigate facts, or ascertain the existence of facts, hold Tribunal lie from such order. Any question arising from said order may be well taken in an ordinary civil
hearings, and draw conclusions from them, as a basis for their official action, and to exercise discretion action before the trial courts. (Emphasis supplied.) 17
of a judicial nature. To expound thereon, quasi-judicial adjudication would mean a determination of
rights, privileges and duties resulting in a decision or order which applies to a specific situation . 14 One other case that should be mentioned in this regard is Salud vs. Central Bank of the Philippines. 18
This does not cover rules and regulations of general applicability issued by the administrative body to Here, petitioner Central Bank, like respondent in this case, argued that under Section 9, paragraph 3 of
implement its purely administrative policies and functions like Resolution No. 105 which was adopted B.P. Blg. 129, orders of the Monetary Board are appealable only to the Intermediate Appellate Court.
by the respondent PRC as a measure to preserve the integrity of licensure examinations. Thus:
from taking all the lawful steps needed to assure the fulfillment of their ambition to become public
The Central Bank and its Liquidator also postulate, for the very first time, that the Monetary Board is accountants. They have every right to make use of their faculties in attaining success in their
among the "quasi-judicial ... boards" whose judgments are within the exclusive appellate jurisdiction of endeavors. They should be allowed to enjoy their freedom to acquire useful knowledge that will
the IAC; hence, it is only said Court, "to the exclusion of the Regional Trial Courts," that may review the promote their personal growth. As defined in a decision of the United States Supreme Court:
Monetary Board's resolutions. 19
The term "liberty" means more than mere freedom from physical restraint or the bounds of a prison. It
Anent the posture of the Central Bank, We made the following pronouncement: means freedom to go where one may choose and to act in such a manner not inconsistent with the
equal rights of others, as his judgment may dictate for the promotion of his happiness, to pursue such
The contention is utterly devoid of merit. The IAC has no appellate jurisdiction over resolution or orders callings and vocations as may be most suitable to develop his capacities, and giv to them their highest
of the Monetary Board. No law prescribes any mode of appeal from the Monetary Board to the IAC. 20 enjoyment. 23

In view of the foregoing, We hold that the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction to entertain Civil Case Another evident objection to Resolution No. 105 is that it violates the academic freedom of the schools
No. 86-37950 and enjoin the respondent PRC from enforcing its resolution. concerned. Respondent PRC cannot interfere with the conduct of review that review schools and
centers believe would best enable their enrolees to meet the standards required before becoming a full
Although We have finally settled the issue of jurisdiction, We find it imperative to decide once and for all fledged public accountant. Unless the means or methods of instruction are clearly found to be
the validity of Resolution No. 105 so as to provide the much awaited relief to those who are and will be inefficient, impractical, or riddled with corruption, review schools and centers may not be stopped from
affected by it. helping out their students. At this juncture, We call attention to Our pronouncement in Garcia vs. The
Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology, 24 regarding academic freedom to wit:
Of course, We realize that the questioned resolution was adopted for a commendable purpose which is
"to preserve the integrity and purity of the licensure examinations." However, its good aim cannot be a ... It would follow then that the school or college itself is possessed of such a right. It decides for itself
cloak to conceal its constitutional infirmities. On its face, it can be readily seen that it is unreasonable in its aims and objectives and how best to attain them. It is free from outside coercion or interference save
that an examinee cannot even attend any review class, briefing, conference or the like, or receive any possibly when the overriding public welfare calls for some restraint. It has a wide sphere of autonomy
hand-out, review material, or any tip from any school, collge or university, or any review center or the certainly extending to the choice of students. This constitutional provision is not to be construed in a
like or any reviewer, lecturer, instructor, official or employee of any of the aforementioned or similar niggardly manner or in a grudging fashion.
institutions . ... 21
Needless to say, the enforcement of Resolution No. 105 is not a guarantee that the alleged leakages in
The unreasonableness is more obvious in that one who is caught committing the prohibited acts even the licensure examinations will be eradicated or at least minimized. Making the examinees suffer by
without any ill motives will be barred from taking future examinations conducted by the respondent depriving them of legitimate means of review or preparation on those last three precious days-when
PRC. Furthermore, it is inconceivable how the Commission can manage to have a watchful eye on they should be refreshing themselves with all that they have learned in the review classes and
each and every examinee during the three days before the examination period. preparing their mental and psychological make-up for the examination day itself-would be like uprooting
the tree to get ride of a rotten branch. What is needed to be done by the respondent is to find out the
It is an aixiom in administrative law that administrative authorities should not act arbitrarily and source of such leakages and stop it right there. If corrupt officials or personnel should be terminated
capriciously in the issuance of rules and regulations. To be valid, such rules and regulations must be from their loss, then so be it. Fixers or swindlers should be flushed out. Strict guidelines to be observed
reasonable and fairly adapted to the end in view. If shown to bear no reasonable relation to the by examiners should be set up and if violations are committed, then licenses should be suspended or
purposes for which they are authorized to be issued, then they must be held to be invalid. 22 revoked. These are all within the powers of the respondent commission as provided for in Presidential
Decree No. 223. But by all means the right and freedom of the examinees to avail of all legitimate
Resolution No. 105 is not only unreasonable and arbitrary, it also infringes on the examinees' right to means to prepare for the examinations should not be curtailed.
liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. Respondent PRC has no authority to dictate on the reviewees
as to how they should prepare themselves for the licensure examinations. They cannot be restrained
In the light of the above, We hereby REVERSE and SET ASIDE, the decision of the Court of Appeals in
CA-G.R. SP No. 10591 and another judgment is hereby rendered declaring Resolution No. 105 null
and void and of no force and effect for being unconstitutional. This decision is immediately executory.
No costs.

SO ORDERED.
11. PEOPLE v. QUE PO LAY (Republic Act No. 386) equally provides that laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the
completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided. It is true that
G.R. No. L-6791 March 29, 1954 Circular No. 20 of the Central Bank is not a statute or law but being issued for the implementation of
the law authorizing its issuance, it has the force and effect of law according to settled jurisprudence.
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee, (See U.S. vs. Tupasi Molina, 29 Phil., 119 and authorities cited therein.) Moreover, as a rule, circulars
vs. and regulations especially like the Circular No. 20 of the Central Bank in question which prescribes a
QUE PO LAY, defendant-appellant. penalty for its violation should be published before becoming effective, this, on the general principle
and theory that before the public is bound by its contents, especially its penal provisions, a law,
Prudencio de Guzman for appellant. regulation or circular must first be published and the people officially and specifically informed of said
First Assistant Solicitor General Ruperto Kapunan, Jr., and Solicitor Lauro G. Marquez for appellee. contents and its penalties.

MONTEMAYOR, J.: Our Old Civil code, ( Spanish Civil Code of 1889) has a similar provision about the effectivity of laws,
(Article 1 thereof), namely, that laws shall be binding twenty days after their promulgation, and that their
Que Po Lay is appealing from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila, finding him guilty of promulgation shall be understood as made on the day of the termination of the publication of the laws
violating Central Bank Circular No. 20 in connection with section 34 of Republic Act No. 265, and in the Gazette. Manresa, commenting on this article is of the opinion that the word "laws" include
sentencing him to suffer six months imprisonment, to pay a fine of P1,000 with subsidiary imprisonment regulations and circulars issued in accordance with the same. He says:
in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs.
El Tribunal Supremo, ha interpretado el articulo 1. del codigo Civil en Sentencia de 22 de Junio de
The charge was that the appellant who was in possession of foreign exchange consisting of U.S. 1910, en el sentido de que bajo la denominacion generica de leyes, se comprenden tambien los
dollars, U.S. checks and U.S. money orders amounting to about $7,000 failed to sell the same to the Reglamentos, Reales decretos, Instrucciones, Circulares y Reales ordenes dictadas de conformidad
Central Bank through its agents within one day following the receipt of such foreign exchange as con las mismas por el Gobierno en uso de su potestad. Tambien el poder ejecutivo lo ha venido
required by Circular No. 20. the appeal is based on the claim that said circular No. 20 was not entendiendo asi, como lo prueba el hecho de que muchas de sus disposiciones contienen la
published in the Official Gazette prior to the act or omission imputed to the appellant, and that advertencia de que empiezan a regir el mismo dia de su publicacion en la Gaceta, advertencia que
consequently, said circular had no force and effect. It is contended that Commonwealth Act. No., 638 seria perfectamente inutil si no fuera de aplicacion al caso el articulo 1.o del Codigo Civil. (Manresa,
and Act 2930 both require said circular to be published in the Official Gazette, it being an order or Codigo Civil Espaol, Vol. I. p. 52).
notice of general applicability. The Solicitor General answering this contention says that
Commonwealth Act. No. 638 and 2930 do not require the publication in the Official Gazette of said In the present case, although circular No. 20 of the Central Bank was issued in the year 1949, it was
circular issued for the implementation of a law in order to have force and effect. not published until November 1951, that is, about 3 months after appellant's conviction of its violation. It
is clear that said circular, particularly its penal provision, did not have any legal effect and bound no one
We agree with the Solicitor General that the laws in question do not require the publication of the until its publication in the Official Gazzette or after November 1951. In other words, appellant could not
circulars, regulations and notices therein mentioned in order to become binding and effective. All that be held liable for its violation, for it was not binding at the time he was found to have failed to sell the
said two laws provide is that laws, resolutions, decisions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, foreign exchange in his possession thereof.
notices and documents required by law to be of no force and effect. In other words, said two Acts
merely enumerate and make a list of what should be published in the Official Gazette, presumably, for But the Solicitor General also contends that this question of non-publication of the Circular is being
the guidance of the different branches of the Government issuing same, and of the Bureau of Printing. raised for the first time on appeal in this Court, which cannot be done by appellant. Ordinarily, one may
raise on appeal any question of law or fact that has been raised in the court below and which is within
However, section 11 of the Revised Administrative Code provides that statutes passed by Congress the issues made by the parties in their pleadings. (Section 19, Rule 48 of the Rules of Court). But the
shall, in the absence of special provision, take effect at the beginning of the fifteenth day after the question of non-publication is fundamental and decisive. If as a matter of fact Circular No. 20 had not
completion of the publication of the statute in the Official Gazette. Article 2 of the new Civil Code been published as required by law before its violation, then in the eyes of the law there was no such
circular to be violated and consequently appellant committed no violation of the circular or committed
any offense, and the trial court may be said to have had no jurisdiction. This question may be raised at
any stage of the proceeding whether or not raised in the court below.
12. TANADA v. TUVERA
d] Proclamation Nos.: 1126, 1144, 1147, 1151, 1196, 1270, 1281, 1319-1526, 1529, 1532, 1535,
G.R. No. L-63915 April 24, 1985 1538, 1540-1547, 1550-1558, 1561-1588, 1590-1595, 1594-1600, 1606-1609, 1612-1628, 1630-1649,
1694-1695, 1697-1701, 1705-1723, 1731-1734, 1737-1742, 1744, 1746-1751, 1752, 1754, 1762, 1764-
LORENZO M. TAADA, ABRAHAM F. SARMIENTO, and MOVEMENT OF ATTORNEYS FOR 1787, 1789-1795, 1797, 1800, 1802-1804, 1806-1807, 1812-1814, 1816, 1825-1826, 1829, 1831-1832,
BROTHERHOOD, INTEGRITY AND NATIONALISM, INC. [MABINI], petitioners, 1835-1836, 1839-1840, 1843-1844, 1846-1847, 1849, 1853-1858, 1860, 1866, 1868, 1870, 1876-1889,
vs. 1892, 1900, 1918, 1923, 1933, 1952, 1963, 1965-1966, 1968-1984, 1986-2028, 2030-2044, 2046-
HON. JUAN C. TUVERA, in his capacity as Executive Assistant to the President, HON. JOAQUIN 2145, 2147-2161, 2163-2244.
VENUS, in his capacity as Deputy Executive Assistant to the President , MELQUIADES P. DE LA
CRUZ, in his capacity as Director, Malacaang Records Office, and FLORENDO S. PABLO, in his e] Executive Orders Nos.: 411, 413, 414, 427, 429-454, 457- 471, 474-492, 494-507, 509-510,
capacity as Director, Bureau of Printing, respondents. 522, 524-528, 531-532, 536, 538, 543-544, 549, 551-553, 560, 563, 567-568, 570, 574, 593, 594, 598-
604, 609, 611- 647, 649-677, 679-703, 705-707, 712-786, 788-852, 854-857.

f] Letters of Implementation Nos.: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11-22, 25-27, 39, 50, 51, 59, 76, 80-81, 92, 94, 95,
ESCOLIN, J.: 107, 120, 122, 123.

Invoking the people's right to be informed on matters of public concern, a right recognized in Section 6, g] Administrative Orders Nos.: 347, 348, 352-354, 360- 378, 380-433, 436-439.
Article IV of the 1973 Philippine Constitution, 1 as well as the principle that laws to be valid and
enforceable must be published in the Official Gazette or otherwise effectively promulgated, petitioners The respondents, through the Solicitor General, would have this case dismissed outright on the ground
seek a writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to publish, and/or cause the publication that petitioners have no legal personality or standing to bring the instant petition. The view is submitted
in the Official Gazette of various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, that in the absence of any showing that petitioners are personally and directly affected or prejudiced by
proclamations, executive orders, letter of implementation and administrative orders. the alleged non-publication of the presidential issuances in question 2 said petitioners are without the
requisite legal personality to institute this mandamus proceeding, they are not being "aggrieved parties"
Specifically, the publication of the following presidential issuances is sought: within the meaning of Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, which we quote:

a] Presidential Decrees Nos. 12, 22, 37, 38, 59, 64, 103, 171, 179, 184, 197, 200, 234, 265, 286, SEC. 3. Petition for Mandamus.When any tribunal, corporation, board or person unlawfully neglects
298, 303, 312, 324, 325, 326, 337, 355, 358, 359, 360, 361, 368, 404, 406, 415, 427, 429, 445, 447, the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or
473, 486, 491, 503, 504, 521, 528, 551, 566, 573, 574, 594, 599, 644, 658, 661, 718, 731, 733, 793, station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use a rd enjoyment of a right or office to which such
800, 802, 835, 836, 923, 935, 961, 1017-1030, 1050, 1060-1061, 1085, 1143, 1165, 1166, 1242, 1246, other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law,
1250, 1278, 1279, 1300, 1644, 1772, 1808, 1810, 1813-1817, 1819-1826, 1829-1840, 1842-1847. the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court alleging the facts with
certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the defendant, immediately or at some
b] Letter of Instructions Nos.: 10, 39, 49, 72, 107, 108, 116, 130, 136, 141, 150, 153, 155, 161, other specified time, to do the act required to be done to Protect the rights of the petitioner, and to pay
173, 180, 187, 188, 192, 193, 199, 202, 204, 205, 209, 211-213, 215-224, 226-228, 231-239, 241-245, the damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the defendant.
248, 251, 253-261, 263-269, 271-273, 275-283, 285-289, 291, 293, 297-299, 301-303, 309, 312-315,
325, 327, 343, 346, 349, 357, 358, 362, 367, 370, 382, 385, 386, 396-397, 405, 438-440, 444- 445, Upon the other hand, petitioners maintain that since the subject of the petition concerns a public right
473, 486, 488, 498, 501, 399, 527, 561, 576, 587, 594, 599, 600, 602, 609, 610, 611, 612, 615, 641, and its object is to compel the performance of a public duty, they need not show any specific interest
642, 665, 702, 712-713, 726, 837-839, 878-879, 881, 882, 939-940, 964,997,1149-1178,1180-1278. for their petition to be given due course.

c] General Orders Nos.: 14, 52, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64 & 65.
The issue posed is not one of first impression. As early as the 1910 case of Severino vs. Governor submitted that since the presidential issuances in question contain special provisions as to the date
General, 3 this Court held that while the general rule is that "a writ of mandamus would be granted to a they are to take effect, publication in the Official Gazette is not indispensable for their effectivity. The
private individual only in those cases where he has some private or particular interest to be subserved, point stressed is anchored on Article 2 of the Civil Code:
or some particular right to be protected, independent of that which he holds with the public at large,"
and "it is for the public officers exclusively to apply for the writ when public rights are to be subserved Art. 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the
[Mithchell vs. Boardmen, 79 M.e., 469]," nevertheless, "when the question is one of public right and the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise provided, ...
object of the mandamus is to procure the enforcement of a public duty, the people are regarded as the
real party in interest and the relator at whose instigation the proceedings are instituted need not show The interpretation given by respondent is in accord with this Court's construction of said article. In a
that he has any legal or special interest in the result, it being sufficient to show that he is a citizen and long line of decisions, 4 this Court has ruled that publication in the Official Gazette is necessary in
as such interested in the execution of the laws [High, Extraordinary Legal Remedies, 3rd ed., sec. 431]. those cases where the legislation itself does not provide for its effectivity date-for then the date of
publication is material for determining its date of effectivity, which is the fifteenth day following its
Thus, in said case, this Court recognized the relator Lope Severino, a private individual, as a proper publication-but not when the law itself provides for the date when it goes into effect.
party to the mandamus proceedings brought to compel the Governor General to call a special election
for the position of municipal president in the town of Silay, Negros Occidental. Speaking for this Court, Respondents' argument, however, is logically correct only insofar as it equates the effectivity of laws
Mr. Justice Grant T. Trent said: with the fact of publication. Considered in the light of other statutes applicable to the issue at hand, the
conclusion is easily reached that said Article 2 does not preclude the requirement of publication in the
We are therefore of the opinion that the weight of authority supports the proposition that the relator is a Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the date of its effectivity. Thus, Section 1 of
proper party to proceedings of this character when a public right is sought to be enforced. If the general Commonwealth Act 638 provides as follows:
rule in America were otherwise, we think that it would not be applicable to the case at bar for the
reason 'that it is always dangerous to apply a general rule to a particular case without keeping in mind Section 1. There shall be published in the Official Gazette [1] all important legisiative acts and
the reason for the rule, because, if under the particular circumstances the reason for the rule does not resolutions of a public nature of the, Congress of the Philippines; [2] all executive and administrative
exist, the rule itself is not applicable and reliance upon the rule may well lead to error' orders and proclamations, except such as have no general applicability; [3] decisions or abstracts of
decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals as may be deemed by said courts of
No reason exists in the case at bar for applying the general rule insisted upon by counsel for the sufficient importance to be so published; [4] such documents or classes of documents as may be
respondent. The circumstances which surround this case are different from those in the United States, required so to be published by law; and [5] such documents or classes of documents as the President
inasmuch as if the relator is not a proper party to these proceedings no other person could be, as we of the Philippines shall determine from time to time to have general applicability and legal effect, or
have seen that it is not the duty of the law officer of the Government to appear and represent the which he may authorize so to be published. ...
people in cases of this character.
The clear object of the above-quoted provision is to give the general public adequate notice of the
The reasons given by the Court in recognizing a private citizen's legal personality in the various laws which are to regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without such notice and
aforementioned case apply squarely to the present petition. Clearly, the right sought to be enforced by publication, there would be no basis for the application of the maxim "ignorantia legis non excusat." It
petitioners herein is a public right recognized by no less than the fundamental law of the land. If would be the height of injustice to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the transgression of a law of
petitioners were not allowed to institute this proceeding, it would indeed be difficult to conceive of any which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one.
other person to initiate the same, considering that the Solicitor General, the government officer
generally empowered to represent the people, has entered his appearance for respondents in this Perhaps at no time since the establishment of the Philippine Republic has the publication of laws taken
case. so vital significance that at this time when the people have bestowed upon the President a power
heretofore enjoyed solely by the legislature. While the people are kept abreast by the mass media of
Respondents further contend that publication in the Official Gazette is not a sine qua non requirement the debates and deliberations in the Batasan Pambansaand for the diligent ones, ready access to
for the effectivity of laws where the laws themselves provide for their own effectivity dates. It is thus the legislative recordsno such publicity accompanies the law-making process of the President. Thus,
without publication, the people have no means of knowing what presidential decrees have actually The courts below have proceeded on the theory that the Act of Congress, having been found to be
been promulgated, much less a definite way of informing themselves of the specific contents and texts unconstitutional, was not a law; that it was inoperative, conferring no rights and imposing no duties, and
of such decrees. As the Supreme Court of Spain ruled: "Bajo la denominacion generica de leyes, se hence affording no basis for the challenged decree. Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425, 442;
comprenden tambien los reglamentos, Reales decretos, Instrucciones, Circulares y Reales ordines Chicago, 1. & L. Ry. Co. v. Hackett, 228 U.S. 559, 566. It is quite clear, however, that such broad
dictadas de conformidad con las mismas por el Gobierno en uso de su potestad. 5 statements as to the effect of a determination of unconstitutionality must be taken with qualifications.
The actual existence of a statute, prior to such a determination, is an operative fact and may have
The very first clause of Section I of Commonwealth Act 638 reads: "There shall be published in the consequences which cannot justly be ignored. The past cannot always be erased by a new judicial
Official Gazette ... ." The word "shall" used therein imposes upon respondent officials an imperative declaration. The effect of the subsequent ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in various
duty. That duty must be enforced if the Constitutional right of the people to be informed on matters of aspects-with respect to particular conduct, private and official. Questions of rights claimed to have
public concern is to be given substance and reality. The law itself makes a list of what should be become vested, of status, of prior determinations deemed to have finality and acted upon accordingly,
published in the Official Gazette. Such listing, to our mind, leaves respondents with no discretion of public policy in the light of the nature both of the statute and of its previous application, demand
whatsoever as to what must be included or excluded from such publication. examination. These questions are among the most difficult of those which have engaged the attention
of courts, state and federal and it is manifest from numerous decisions that an all-inclusive statement of
The publication of all presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general applicability" is a principle of absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified.
mandated by law. Obviously, presidential decrees that provide for fines, forfeitures or penalties for their
violation or otherwise impose a burden or. the people, such as tax and revenue measures, fall within Consistently with the above principle, this Court in Rutter vs. Esteban 9 sustained the right of a party
this category. Other presidential issuances which apply only to particular persons or class of persons under the Moratorium Law, albeit said right had accrued in his favor before said law was declared
such as administrative and executive orders need not be published on the assumption that they have unconstitutional by this Court.
been circularized to all concerned. 6
Similarly, the implementation/enforcement of presidential decrees prior to their publication in the Official
It is needless to add that the publication of presidential issuances "of a public nature" or "of general Gazette is "an operative fact which may have consequences which cannot be justly ignored. The past
applicability" is a requirement of due process. It is a rule of law that before a person may be bound by cannot always be erased by a new judicial declaration ... that an all-inclusive statement of a principle of
law, he must first be officially and specifically informed of its contents. As Justice Claudio Teehankee absolute retroactive invalidity cannot be justified."
said in Peralta vs. COMELEC 7:
From the report submitted to the Court by the Clerk of Court, it appears that of the presidential decrees
In a time of proliferating decrees, orders and letters of instructions which all form part of the law of the sought by petitioners to be published in the Official Gazette, only Presidential Decrees Nos. 1019 to
land, the requirement of due process and the Rule of Law demand that the Official Gazette as the 1030, inclusive, 1278, and 1937 to 1939, inclusive, have not been so published. 10 Neither the subject
official government repository promulgate and publish the texts of all such decrees, orders and matters nor the texts of these PDs can be ascertained since no copies thereof are available. But
instructions so that the people may know where to obtain their official and specific contents. whatever their subject matter may be, it is undisputed that none of these unpublished PDs has ever
been implemented or enforced by the government. In Pesigan vs. Angeles, 11 the Court, through
The Court therefore declares that presidential issuances of general application, which have not been Justice Ramon Aquino, ruled that "publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of
published, shall have no force and effect. Some members of the Court, quite apprehensive about the [penal] regulations and make the said penalties binding on the persons affected thereby. " The cogency
possible unsettling effect this decision might have on acts done in reliance of the validity of those of this holding is apparently recognized by respondent officials considering the manifestation in their
presidential decrees which were published only during the pendency of this petition, have put the comment that "the government, as a matter of policy, refrains from prosecuting violations of criminal
question as to whether the Court's declaration of invalidity apply to P.D.s which had been enforced or laws until the same shall have been published in the Official Gazette or in some other publication, even
implemented prior to their publication. The answer is all too familiar. In similar situations in the past this though some criminal laws provide that they shall take effect immediately.
Court had taken the pragmatic and realistic course set forth in Chicot County Drainage District vs.
Baxter Bank 8 to wit:
WHEREFORE, the Court hereby orders respondents to publish in the Official Gazette all unpublished
presidential issuances which are of general application, and unless so published, they shall have no
binding force and effect.

SO ORDERED.
13. PEOPLE v. MACEREN The lower court held that electro fishing cannot be penalize because electric current is not an
obnoxious or poisonous substance as contemplated in section I I of the Fisheries Law and that it is not
G.R. No. L-32166 October 18, 1977 a substance at all but a form of energy conducted or transmitted by substances. The lower court further
held that, since the law does not clearly prohibit electro fishing, the executive and judicial departments
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellant, cannot consider it unlawful.
vs.
HON. MAXIMO A. MACEREN CFI, Sta. Cruz, Laguna, JOSE BUENAVENTURA, GODOFREDO As legal background, it should be stated that section 11 of the Fisheries Law prohibits "the use of any
REYES, BENJAMIN REYES, NAZARIO AQUINO and CARLO DEL ROSARIO, accused-appellees. obnoxious or poisonous substance" in fishing.

Office of the Solicitor General for appellant. Section 76 of the same law punishes any person who uses an obnoxious or poisonous substance in
fishing with a fine of not more than five hundred pesos nor more than five thousand, and by
Rustics F. de los Reyes, Jr. for appellees. imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than five years.

It is noteworthy that the Fisheries Law does not expressly punish .electro fishing." Notwithstanding the
silence of the law, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, upon the recommendation of the
AQUINO, J.:t.hqw Commissioner of Fisheries, promulgated Fisheries Administrative Order No. 84 (62 O.G. 1224),
prohibiting electro fishing in all Philippine waters. The order is quoted below: +.wph!1
This is a case involving the validity of a 1967 regulation, penalizing electro fishing in fresh water
fisheries, promulgated by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Commissioner of SUBJECT: PROHIBITING ELECTRO FISHING IN ALL WATERS +.wph!1
Fisheries under the old Fisheries Law and the law creating the Fisheries Commission.
OF THE PHILIPPINES.
On March 7, 1969 Jose Buenaventura, Godofredo Reyes, Benjamin Reyes, Nazario Aquino and Carlito
del Rosario were charged by a Constabulary investigator in the municipal court of Sta. Cruz, Laguna Pursuant to Section 4 of Act No. 4003, as amended, and Section 4 of R.A. No. 3512, the following rules
with having violated Fisheries Administrative Order No. 84-1. and regulations regarding the prohibition of electro fishing in all waters of the Philippines are
promulgated for the information and guidance of all concerned.+.wph!1
It was alleged in the complaint that the five accused in the morning of March 1, 1969 resorted to electro
fishing in the waters of Barrio San Pablo Norte, Sta. Cruz by "using their own motor banca, equipped SECTION 1. Definition. Words and terms used in this Order 11 construed as follows:
with motor; with a generator colored green with attached dynamo colored gray or somewhat white; and
electrocuting device locally known as sensored with a somewhat webbed copper wire on the tip or (a) Philippine waters or territorial waters of the Philippines' includes all waters of the Philippine
other end of a bamboo pole with electric wire attachment which was attached to the dynamo direct and Archipelago, as defined in the t between the United States and Spain, dated respectively the tenth of
with the use of these devices or equipments catches fish thru electric current, which destroy any December, eighteen hundred ninety eight and the seventh of November, nineteen hundred. For the
aquatic animals within its cuffed reach, to the detriment and prejudice of the populace" (Criminal Case purpose of this order, rivers, lakes and other bodies of fresh waters are included.
No. 5429).
(b) Electro Fishing. Electro fishing is the catching of fish with the use of electric current. The
Upon motion of the accused, the municipal court quashed the complaint. The prosecution appealed. equipment used are of many electrical devices which may be battery or generator-operated and from
The Court of First Instance of Laguna affirmed the order of dismissal (Civil Case No. SC-36). The case and available source of electric current.
is now before this Court on appeal by the prosecution under Republic Act No. 5440.
(c) 'Persons' includes firm, corporation, association, agent or employee.
(d) 'Fish' includes other aquatic products. Had Administrative Order No. 84 adopted the fighter penalty prescribed in on 83, then the crime of
electro fishing would be within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the inferior court (Sec. 44 [f],
SEC. 2. Prohibition. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in electro fishing or to catch fish Judiciary Law; People vs. Ragasi, L-28663, September 22,
by the use of electric current in any portion of the Philippine waters except for research, educational
and scientific purposes which must be covered by a permit issued by the Secretary of Agriculture and We have discussed this pre point, not raised in the briefs, because it is obvious that the crime of electro
Natural Resources which shall be carried at all times. fishing which is punishable with a sum up to P500, falls within the concurrent original jurisdiction of the
inferior courts and the Court of First instance (People vs. Nazareno, L-40037, April 30, 1976, 70 SCRA
SEC. 3. Penalty. Any violation of the provisions of this Administrative Order shall subject the 531 and the cases cited therein).
offender to a fine of not exceeding five hundred pesos (P500.00) or imprisonment of not extending six
(6) months or both at the discretion of the Court. And since the instant case was filed in the municipal court of Sta. Cruz, Laguna, a provincial capital,
the order of d rendered by that municipal court was directly appealable to the Court, not to the Court of
SEC. 4. Repealing Provisions. All administrative orders or parts thereof inconsistent with the First Instance of Laguna (Sec. 45 and last par. of section 87 of the Judiciary Law; Esperat vs. Avila, L-
provisions of this Administrative Order are hereby revoked. 25992, June 30, 1967, 20 SCRA 596).

SEC. 5. Effectivity. This Administrative Order shall take effect six (60) days after its publication in It results that the Court of First Instance of Laguna had no appellate jurisdiction over the case. Its order
the Office Gazette. affirming the municipal court's order of dismissal is void for lack of motion. This appeal shall be treated
as a direct appeal from the municipal court to this Court. (See People vs. Del Rosario, 97 Phil. 67).
On June 28, 1967 the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, upon the recommendation of
the Fisheries Commission, issued Fisheries Administrative Order No. 84-1, amending section 2 of In this appeal, the prosecution argues that Administrative Orders Nos. 84 and 84-1 were not issued
Administrative Order No. 84, by restricting the ban against electro fishing to fresh water fisheries (63 under section 11 of the Fisheries Law which, as indicated above, punishes fishing by means of an
O.G. 9963). obnoxious or poisonous substance. This contention is not well-taken because, as already stated, the
Penal provision of Administrative Order No. 84 implies that electro fishing is penalized as a form of
Thus, the phrase "in any portion of the Philippine waters" found in section 2, was changed by the fishing by means of an obnoxious or poisonous substance under section 11.
amendatory order to read as follows: "in fresh water fisheries in the Philippines, such as rivers, lakes,
swamps, dams, irrigation canals and other bodies of fresh water." The prosecution cites as the legal sanctions for the prohibition against electro fishing in fresh water
fisheries (1) the rule-making power of the Department Secretary under section 4 of the Fisheries Law;
The Court of First Instance and the prosecution (p. 11 of brief) assumed that electro fishing is (2) the function of the Commissioner of Fisheries to enforce the provisions of the Fisheries Law and the
punishable under section 83 of the Fisheries Law (not under section 76 thereof), which provides that regulations Promulgated thereunder and to execute the rules and regulations consistent with the
any other violation of that law "or of any rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall subject the purpose for the creation of the Fisheries Commission and for the development of fisheries (Sec. 4[c]
offender to a fine of not more than two hundred pesos (P200), or in t for not more than six months, or and [h] Republic Act No. 3512; (3) the declared national policy to encourage, Promote and conserve
both, in the discretion of the court." our fishing resources (Sec. 1, Republic Act No. 3512), and (4) section 83 of the Fisheries Law which
provides that "any other violation of" the Fisheries Law or of any rules and regulations promulgated
That assumption is incorrect because 3 of the aforequoted Administrative Order No. 84 imposes a fm of thereunder "shall subject the offender to a fine of not more than two hundred pesos, or imprisonment
not exceeding P500 on a person engaged in electro fishing, which amount the 83. It seems that the for not more than six months, or both, in the discretion of the court."
Department of Fisheries prescribed their own penalty for swift fishing which penalty is less than the
severe penalty imposed in section 76 and which is not Identified to the at penalty imposed in section As already pointed out above, the prosecution's reference to section 83 is out of place because the
83. penalty for electro fishing under Administrative order No. 84 is not the same as the penalty fixed in
section 83.
We are of the opinion that the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Commissioner of
Fisheries exceeded their authority in issuing Fisheries Administrative Orders Nos. 84 and 84-1 and that SEC. 33. Illegal fishing, dealing in illegally caught fish or fishery/aquatic products. It shall he
those orders are not warranted under the Fisheries Commission, Republic Act No. 3512. unlawful for any person to catch, take or gather or cause to be caught, taken or gathered fish or
fishery/aquatic products in Philippine waters with the use of explosives, obnoxious or poisonous
The reason is that the Fisheries Law does not expressly prohibit electro fishing. As electro fishing is not substance, or by the use of electricity as defined in paragraphs (1), (m) and (d), respectively, of Section
banned under that law, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Commissioner of 3 hereof: ...
Fisheries are powerless to penalize it. In other words, Administrative Orders Nos. 84 and 84-1, in
penalizing electro fishing, are devoid of any legal basis. The decree Act No. 4003, as amended, Republic Acts Nos. 428, 3048, 3512 and 3586, Presidential
Decrees Nos. 43, 534 and 553, and all , Acts, Executive Orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof
Had the lawmaking body intended to punish electro fishing, a penal provision to that effect could have inconsistent with it (Sec. 49, P. D. No. 704).
been easily embodied in the old Fisheries Law.
The inclusion in that decree of provisions defining and penalizing electro fishing is a clear recognition of
That law punishes (1) the use of obnoxious or poisonous substance, or explosive in fishing; (2) the deficiency or silence on that point of the old Fisheries Law. It is an admission that a mere executive
unlawful fishing in deepsea fisheries; (3) unlawful taking of marine molusca, (4) illegal taking of regulation is not legally adequate to penalize electro fishing.
sponges; (5) failure of licensed fishermen to report the kind and quantity of fish caught, and (6) other
violations. Note that the definition of electro fishing, which is found in section 1 (c) of Fisheries Administrative
Order No. 84 and which is not provided for the old Fisheries Law, is now found in section 3(d) of the
Nowhere in that law is electro fishing specifically punished. Administrative Order No. 84, in punishing decree. Note further that the decree penalty electro fishing by "imprisonment from two (2) to four (4)
electro fishing, does not contemplate that such an offense fails within the category of "other violations" years", a punishment which is more severe than the penalty of a time of not excluding P500 or
because, as already shown, the penalty for electro fishing is the penalty next lower to the penalty for imprisonment of not more than six months or both fixed in section 3 of Fisheries Administrative Order
fishing with the use of obnoxious or poisonous substances, fixed in section 76, and is not the same as No. 84.
the penalty for "other violations" of the law and regulations fixed in section 83 of the Fisheries Law.
An examination of the rule-making power of executive officials and administrative agencies and, in
The lawmaking body cannot delegate to an executive official the power to declare what acts should particular, of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources (now Secretary of Natural Resources)
constitute an offense. It can authorize the issuance of regulations and the imposition of the penalty under the Fisheries Law sustains the view that he ex his authority in penalizing electro fishing by
provided for in the law itself. (People vs. Exconde 101 Phil. 11 25, citing 11 Am. Jur. 965 on p. 11 32). means of an administrative order.

Originally, Administrative Order No. 84 punished electro fishing in all waters. Later, the ban against Administrative agent are clothed with rule-making powers because the lawmaking body finds it
electro fishing was confined to fresh water fisheries. The amendment created the impression that impracticable, if not impossible, to anticipate and provide for the multifarious and complex situations
electro fishing is not condemnable per se. It could be tolerated in marine waters. That circumstances that may be encountered in enforcing the law. All that is required is that the regulation should be
strengthens the view that the old law does not eschew all forms of electro fishing. germane to the defects and purposes of the law and that it should conform to the standards that the
law prescribes (People vs. Exconde 101 Phil. 1125; Director of Forestry vs. Mu;oz, L-24796, June 28,
However, at present, there is no more doubt that electro fishing is punishable under the Fisheries Law 1968, 23 SCRA 1183, 1198; Geukeko vs. Araneta, 102 Phil. 706, 712).
and that it cannot be penalized merely by executive revolution because Presidential Decree No. 704,
which is a revision and consolidation of all laws and decrees affecting fishing and fisheries and which The lawmaking body cannot possibly provide for all the details in the enforcement of a particular statute
was promulgated on May 16, 1975 (71 O.G. 4269), expressly punishes electro fishing in fresh water (U.S. vs. Tupasi Molina, 29 Phil. 119, 125, citing U.S. vs. Grimaud 220 U.S. 506; Interprovincial
and salt water areas. Autobus Co., Inc. vs. Coll. of Internal Revenue, 98 Phil. 290, 295-6).

That decree provides: +.wph!1


The grant of the rule-making power to administrative agencies is a relaxation of the principle of Department; but none of said rules or orders shall prescribe penalties for the violation thereof, except
separation of powers and is an exception to the nondeleption of legislative, powers. Administrative as expressly authorized by law."
regulations or "subordinate legislation calculated to promote the public interest are necessary because
of "the growing complexity of modem life, the multiplication of the subjects of governmental regulations, Administrative regulations issued by a Department Head in conformity with law have the force of law
and the increased difficulty of administering the law" Calalang vs. Williams, 70 Phil. 726; People vs. (Valerie vs. Secretary of culture and Natural Resources, 117 Phil. 729, 733; Antique Sawmills, Inc. vs.
Rosenthal and Osme;a, 68 Phil. 328). Zayco, L- 20051, May 30, 1966, 17 SCRA 316). As he exercises the rule-making power by delegation
of the lawmaking body, it is a requisite that he should not transcend the bound demarcated by the
Administrative regulations adopted under legislative authority by a particular department must be in statute for the exercise of that power; otherwise, he would be improperly exercising legislative power in
harmony with the provisions of the law, and should be for the sole purpose of carrying into effect its his own right and not as a surrogate of the lawmaking body.
general provisions. By such regulations, of course, the law itself cannot be extended. (U.S. vs. Tupasi
Molina, supra). An administrative agency cannot amend an act of Congress (Santos vs. Estenzo, 109 Article 7 of the Civil Code embodies the basic principle that administrative or executive acts, orders and
Phil. 419, 422; Teoxon vs. Members of the d of Administrators, L-25619, June 30, 1970, 33 SCRA 585; regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution."
Manuel vs. General Auditing Office, L-28952, December 29, 1971, 42 SCRA 660; Deluao vs. Casteel,
L-21906, August 29, 1969, 29 SCRA 350). As noted by Justice Fernando, "except for constitutional officials who can trace their competence to act
to the fundamental law itself, a public office must be in the statute relied upon a grant of power before
The rule-making power must be confined to details for regulating the mode or proceeding to carry into he can exercise it." "department zeal may not be permitted to outrun the authority conferred by statute."
effect the law as it his been enacted. The power cannot be extended to amending or expanding the (Radio Communications of the Philippines, Inc. vs. Santiago, L-29236, August 21, 1974, 58 SCRA 493,
statutory requirements or to embrace matters not covered by the statute. Rules that subvert the statute 496-8).
cannot be sanctioned. (University of Santo Tomas vs. Board of Tax A 93 Phil. 376, 382, citing 12 C.J.
845-46. As to invalid regulations, see of Internal Revenue vs. Villaflor 69 Phil. 319, Wise & Co. vs. "Rules and regulations when promulgated in pursuance of the procedure or authority conferred upon
Meer, 78 Phil. 655, 676; Del March vs. Phil. Veterans Administrative, L-27299, June 27, 1973, 51 SCRA the administrative agency by law, partake of the nature of a statute, and compliance therewith may be
340, 349). enforced by a penal sanction provided in the law. This is so because statutes are usually couched in
general terms, after expressing the policy, purposes, objectives, remedies and sanctions intended by
There is no question that the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources has rule-making powers. the legislature. The details and the manner of carrying out the law are oftentimes left to the
Section 4 of the Fisheries law provides that the Secretary "shall from time to time issue instructions, administrative agency entrusted with its enforcement. In this sense, it has been said that rules and
orders, and regulations consistent" with that law, "as may be and proper to carry into effect the regulations are the product of a delegated power to create new or additional legal provisions that have
provisions thereof." That power is now vested in the Secretary of Natural Resources by on 7 of the the effect of law." The rule or regulation should be within the scope of the statutory authority granted by
Revised Fisheries law, Presidential December No. 704. the legislature to the administrative agency. (Davis, Administrative Law, p. 194, 197, cited in Victories
Milling Co., Inc. vs. Social Security Commission, 114 Phil. 555, 558).
Section 4(h) of Republic Act No. 3512 empower the Co of Fisheries "to prepare and execute upon the
approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, forms instructions, rules and In case of discrepancy between the basic law and a rule or regulation issued to implement said law, the
regulations consistent with the purpose" of that enactment "and for the development of fisheries." basic law prevails because said rule or regulation cannot go beyond the terms and provisions of the
basic law (People vs. Lim, 108 Phil. 1091).
Section 79(B) of the Revised Administrative Code provides that "the Department Head shall have the
power to promulgate, whenever he may see fit do so, all rules, regulates, orders, memorandums, and This Court in its decision in the Lim case, supra, promulgated on July 26, 1960, called the attention of
other instructions, not contrary to law, to regulate the proper working and harmonious and efficient technical men in the executive departments, who draft rules and regulations, to the importance and
administration of each and all of the offices and dependencies of his Department, and for the strict necessity of closely following the legal provisions which they intend to implement so as to avoid any
enforcement and proper execution of the laws relative to matters under the jurisdiction of said possible misunderstanding or confusion.
The rule is that the violation of a regulation prescribed by an executive officer of the government in which has not been and cannot be delegated to him, it being expressly reserved" to the lawmaking
conformity with and based upon a statute authorizing such regulation constitutes an offense and body. "Such an act constitutes not only an excess of the regulatory power conferred upon the Secretary
renders the offender liable to punishment in accordance with the provisions of the law (U.S. vs. Tupasi but also an exercise of a legislative power which he does not have, and therefore" the said provision "is
Molina, 29 Phil. 119, 124). null and void and without effect". Hence, the charge against Santos was dismiss.

In other words, a violation or infringement of a rule or regulation validly issued can constitute a crime A penal statute is strictly construed. While an administrative agency has the right to make ranks and
punishable as provided in the authorizing statute and by virtue of the latter (People vs. Exconde 101 regulations to carry into effect a law already enacted, that power should not be confused with the power
Phil. 1125, 1132). to enact a criminal statute. An administrative agency can have only the administrative or policing
powers expressly or by necessary implication conferred upon it. (Glustrom vs. State, 206 Ga. 734, 58
It has been held that "to declare what shall constitute a crime and how it shall be punished is a power Second 2d 534; See 2 Am. Jr. 2nd 129-130).
vested exclusively in the legislature, and it may not be delegated to any other body or agency" (1 Am.
Jur. 2nd, sec. 127, p. 938; Texas Co. vs. Montgomery, 73 F. Supp. 527). Where the legislature has delegated to executive or administrative officers and boards authority to
promulgate rules to carry out an express legislative purpose, the rules of administrative officers and
In the instant case the regulation penalizing electro fishing is not strictly in accordance with the boards, which have the effect of extending, or which conflict with the authority granting statute, do not
Fisheries Law, under which the regulation was issued, because the law itself does not expressly punish represent a valid precise of the rule-making power but constitute an attempt by an administrative body
electro fishing. to legislate (State vs. Miles, Wash. 2nd 322, 105 Pac. 2nd 51).

The instant case is similar to People vs. Santos, 63 Phil. 300. The Santos case involves section 28 of In a prosecution for a violation of an administrative order, it must clearly appear that the order is one
Fish and Game Administrative Order No. 2 issued by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural which falls within the scope of the authority conferred upon the administrative body, and the order will
Resources pursuant to the aforementioned section 4 of the Fisheries Law. be scrutinized with special care. (State vs. Miles supra).

Section 28 contains the proviso that a fishing boat not licensed under the Fisheries Law and under the The Miles case involved a statute which authorized the State Game Commission "to adopt, promulgate,
said administrative order may fish within three kilometers of the shoreline of islands and reservations amend and/or repeal, and enforce reasonable rules and regulations governing and/or prohibiting the
over which jurisdiction is exercised by naval and military reservations authorities of the United States taking of the various classes of game.
only upon receiving written permission therefor, which permission may be granted by the Secretary
upon recommendation of the military or naval authorities concerned. A violation of the proviso may be Under that statute, the Game Commission promulgated a rule that "it shall be unlawful to offer, pay or
proceeded against under section 45 of the Federal Penal Code. receive any reward, prize or compensation for the hunting, pursuing, taking, killing or displaying of any
game animal, game bird or game fish or any part thereof."
Augusto A. Santos was prosecuted under that provision in the Court of First Instance of Cavite for
having caused his two fishing boats to fish, loiter and anchor without permission from the Secretary Beryl S. Miles, the owner of a sporting goods store, regularly offered a ten-down cash prize to the
within three kilometers from the shoreline of Corrigidor Island. person displaying the largest deer in his store during the open for hunting such game animals. For that
act, he was charged with a violation of the rule Promulgated by the State Game Commission.
This Court held that the Fisheries Law does not prohibit boats not subject to license from fishing within
three kilometers of the shoreline of islands and reservations over which jurisdiction is exercised by It was held that there was no statute penalizing the display of game. What the statute penalized was
naval and military authorities of the United States, without permission from the Secretary of Agriculture the taking of game. If the lawmaking body desired to prohibit the display of game, it could have readily
and Natural Resources upon recommendation of the military and naval authorities concerned. said so. It was not lawful for the administrative board to extend or modify the statute. Hence, the
indictment against Miles was quashed. The Miles case is similar to this case.
As the said law does not penalize the act mentioned in section 28 of the administrative order, the
promulgation of that provision by the Secretary "is equivalent to legislating on the matter, a power
WHEREFORE, the lower court's decision of June 9, 1970 is set aside for lack of appellate jurisdiction
and the order of dismissal rendered by the municipal court of Sta. Cruz, Laguna in Criminal Case No.
5429 is affirmed. Costs de oficio.

SO ORDERED.
14. US v. PANLILIO declared under quarantine, and were ordered kept in a corral designated by an agent of the Bureau of
Agriculture and were to remain there until released by further order of the Director of Agriculture.
G.R. No. L-9876December 8, 1914
It further appears from the testimony of the witnesses for the prosecution that the defendant fully
THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, understood that, according to the orders of the Bureau of Agriculture, he was not to remove the
vs. animals, or to permit anyone else to remove them, from the quarantine in which they had been placed.
ADRIANO PANLILIO, defendant-appellant. In spite, however, of all this, the carabaos were taken from the corral by the commands of the accused
and driven from place to place on his hacienda, and were used as work animals thereon in the same
Pedro Abad Santos for appellant. manner as if they had not been quarantined.
Office of the Solicitor General Corpus for appellee.
The contention of the accused is that the facts alleged in the information and proved on the trial do not
constitute a violation of Act No. 1760 or any portion thereof.

MORELAND, J.: We are forced to agree with this contention.1awphil.net

This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of the Province of Pampanga The original information against the accused charged a violation of section 6 of Act No. 1760 committed
convicting the accused of a violation of the law relating to the quarantining of animals suffering from by the accused in that he ordered and permitted his carabaos, which, at the time, were in quarantine, to
dangerous communicable or contagious diseases and sentencing him to pay a fine of P40, with be taken from quarantine and moved from one place to another on his hacienda. An amended
subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs of the trial. information was filed. It failed, however, to specify that section of Act No. 1760 alleged to have been
violated, evidently leaving that to be ascertained by the court on the trial.
The information charges: "That on or about the 22nd day of February, 1913, all of the carabaos
belonging to the above-named accused having been exposed to the dangerous and contagious The only sections of Act No. 1760, which prohibit acts and pronounce them unlawful are 3, 4 and 5.
disease known as rinderpest, were, in accordance with an order of duly-authorized agent of the This case does not fall within any of them. Section 3 provides, in effect, that it shall be unlawful for any
Director of Agriculture, duly quarantined in a corral in the barrio of Masamat, municipality of Mexico, person, firm, or corporation knowingly to ship or otherwise bring into the Philippine Islands any animal
Province of Pampanga, P. I.; that, on said place, the said accused, Adriano Panlilio, illegally and suffering from, infected with, or dead of any dangerous communicable disease, or any of the effects
voluntarily and without being authorized so to do, and while the quarantine against said carabaos was pertaining to such animal which are liable to introduce such disease into the Philippine Islands. Section
still in force, permitted and ordered said carabaos to be taken from the corral in which they were then 4 declares, substantially, that it shall be unlawful for any reason, firm, or corporation knowingly to ship,
quarantined and conducted from one place to another; that by virtue of said orders of the accused, his drive or otherwise take or transport from one island, province, municipality, township, or settlement to
servants and agents took the said carabaos from the said corral and drove them from one place to another any domestic animal suffering from any dangerous communicable diseased or to expose such
another for the purpose of working them." animal either alive or dead on any public road or highway where it may come in contact with other
domestic animals. Section 5 provides that whenever the Secretary of the Interior shall declare that a
The defendant demurred to this information on the ground that the acts complained of did not constitute dangerous communicable animal disease prevails in any island, province, municipality, township, or
a crime. The demurrer was overruled and the defendant duly excepted and pleaded not guilty. settlement and that there is danger of spreading such disease by shipping, driving or otherwise
transporting or taking out of such island, province, municipality, township, or settlement any class of
From the evidence introduced by the prosecution on the trial of the cause it appears that the defendant domestic animal, it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to ship, drive or otherwise
was notified in writing on February 22, 1913, by a duly authorized agent of the Director of agriculture, remove the kind of animals so specified from such locality except when accompanied by a certificate
that all of his carabaos in the barrio of Masamat, municipality of Mexico, Pampanga Province, had been issued by authority of the Director of Agriculture stating the number and the kind of animals to be
exposed to the disease commonly known as rinderpest, and that said carabaos were accordingly shipped, driven, taken or transported, their destination, manner in which they are authorized to be
shipped, driven, taken, or transported, and their brands and distinguishing marks.
Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand pesos, or by
A simple reading of these sections demonstrates clearly that the case at bar does not fall within any of imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of
them. There is no question here of importation and there is no charge or proof that the animals in the court, for each offense." A violation of the orders of the Bureau of Agriculture, as authorized by
question were suffering from a dangerous communicable disease or that the Secretary of the Interior paragraph (c), is not a violation of the provision of the Act. The orders of the Bureau of Agriculture,
had made the declaration provided for in section 5 or that the accused had driven or taken said animals while they may possibly be said to have the force of law, are statutes and particularly not penal
from one island, province, municipality, township or settlement to another. It was alleged had been statutes, and a violation of such orders is not a penal offense unless the statute itself somewhere
exposed to a dangerous communicable disease and that they had been placed in a corral in quarantine makes a violation thereof unlawful and penalizes it. Nowhere in Act No. 1760 is a violation of the orders
on the premises of the accused and that he, in violation of the quarantine, had taken them from the of the Bureau of Agriculture made a penal offense, nor is such violation punished in any way therein.
corral and worked them upon the lands adjoining. They had not been in highway nor moved from one
municipality or settlement to another. They were left upon defendant's hacienda, where they were Finally, it is contended by the Government that if the offense stated in the information and proved upon
quarantined, and there worked by the servants of the accused. the trial does not constitute a violation of any of the provisions of Act No. 1760, it does constitute a
violation of article 581, paragraph 2, of the Penal Code. It provides:
The Solicitor-General in his brief in this court admits that the sections referred to are not applicable to
the case at bar and also admits that section 7 of said Act is not applicable. This section provides: A fine of not less than fifteen and not more than seventy pesetas and censure shall be imposed
"Whenever the Director of Agriculture shall order any animal placed in quarantine in accordance with upon: . . .
the provisions of this Act, the owner of such animal, or his agent, shall deliver it at the place designated
for the quarantine and shall provide it with proper food, water, and attendance. Should the owner or his 2. Any person who shall violate the regulations, ordinances, or proclamations issued with
agent fail to comply with this requirement the Director of Agriculture may furnish supplies and reference to any epedemic disease among animals, the extermination of locusts, or any other similar
attendance needed, and the reasonable cost of such supplies and attendance shall be collectible from plague.1awphil.net
the owner or his agent."
It alleged in the information and was proved on the trial that the Bureau of agriculture had ordered a
We are in accord with the opinion expressed by the Solicitor-General with respect to this section, as we quarantine of the carabaos at the time and place mentioned; that the quarantine had been executed
are with his opinion as to sections 3, 4, and 5. the law nowhere makes it a penal offense to refuse to and completed and the animals actually segregated and confined; that the accused, in violation of such
comply with the provisions of section 7, nor is the section itself so phrased as to warrant the conclusion quarantine and of the orders of the Bureau of Agriculture, duly promulgated, broke the quarantine,
that it was intended to be a penal section. The section provides the means by which the refusal of the removed the animals and used them in the ordinary work of his plantation. We consider these acts a
owner to comply therewith shall be overcome and the punishment, if we may call it punishment, which plain violation of the article of the Penal Code as above quoted. The fact that the information in its
he shall receive by reason of that refusal. It has none of the aspects of a penal provision or the form or preamble charged a violation of act No. 1760 does not prevent us from finding the accused guilty of a
substance of such provision. It does not prohibit any act. It does not compel an act nor does it really violation of an article of the Penal Code. The complaint opens as follows: "The undersigned accuses
punish or impose a criminal penalty. The other sections of the law under which punishments may be Adriano Panlilio of a violation of Act No. 1760, committed as follows:" Then follows the body of the
inflicted are so phrased as to make the prohibited act unlawful, and section 8 provides the punishment information already quoted in this opinion. We would not permit an accused to be convicted under one
for any act declared unlawful by the law. Act when he is charged with the violation of another, if the change from one statute to another involved
a change of the theory of the trial or required of the defendant a different defense or surprised him in
The Solicitor-General suggests, but does not argue, that section 6 is applicable to the case at bar. any other way. The allegations required under Act No. 1760 include those required under article 581.
Section 6 simply authorizes the Director of Agriculture to do certain things, among them, paragraph (c) The accused could have defended himself in no different manner if he had been expressly charged
"to require that animals which are suffering from dangerous communicable diseases or have been with a violation of article 581.
exposed thereto be placed in quarantine at such place and for such time as may be deemed by him
necessary to prevent the spread of the disease." Nowhere in the law, however, is the violation of the In the case of United States vs. Paua (6 Phil. Rep., 740), the information stating the facts upon which
orders of the Bureau of Agriculture prohibited or made unlawful, nor is there provided any punishment the charge was founded terminated with his expression: "In violation of section 315 of Act No. 355 of
for a violation of such orders. Section 8 provides that "any person violating any of the provisions of this the Philippine Commission, in effect on the 6th of February, 1902."
In the resolution of this case the Supreme Court found that the facts set forth in the information and
proved on the trial did not constitute a violation of section 315 of Act No. 355 as alleged in the
information, but did constitute a violation of article 387 in connection with article 383 of the Penal Code,
and accordingly convicted the accused under those articles and sentenced him to the corresponding
penalty.

In that case the court said: "The foregoing facts, duly established as they were by the testimony of
credible witnesses who heard and saw everything that occurred, show beyond peradventure of doubt
that the crime of attempted bribery, as defined in article 387, in connection with article 383 of the Penal
Code, has been committed, it being immaterial whether it is alleged in the complaint that section 315 of
Act No. 355 of the Philippine Commission was violated by the defendant, as the same recites facts and
circumstances sufficient to constitute the crime of bribery as defined and punished in the aforesaid
articles of the Penal Code." (U. S. vs. Lim San, 17 Phil. Rep., 273; U.S. vs. Jeffrey, 15 Phil. Rep., 391;
U. S. vs. Guzman, 25 Phil. Rep., 22.)

The accused is accordingly convicted of a violation of article 581, paragraph 2, of the Penal Code, and
is sentenced to pay a fine of seventy pesetas (P14) and censure, with subsidiary imprisonment in case
of insolvency, and the costs of this appeal. So ordered.
15. PEOPLE v. SANTOS The undersigned Provincial Fiscal accuses Augusta A. Santos of violation of section 28 of Fish and
Game Administrative Order No. 2 and penalized by section 29 thereof committed as follows:
G.R. No. L-44291 August 15, 1936
That on or about April 29, 1935, within 1,500 yards north of Cavalry Point, Corregidor Island, Province
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, plaintiff-appellant, of Cavite, P.I., the said accused Augusta A. Santos, the registered owner of two fishing motor boats
vs. Malabon II and Malabon III, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and criminally have his said boats,
AUGUSTO A. SANTOS, defendant-appellee. manned and operated by his fishermen, fish, loiter and anchor without permission from the Secretary of
Agriculture and Commerce within three (3) kilometers from the shore line of the Island of Corregidor
Office of the Solicitor-General Hilado for appellant. over which the naval and military authorities of the United States exercise jurisdiction.
Arsenio Santos for appellee.
Contrary to law.
VILLA-REAL, J.:
Cavite, Cavite, June 18, 1935.
This case is before us by virtue of an appeal taken by the prosecuting attorney from the order of the
Court of First Instance of Cavite which reads as follows: Section 28 of Administrative Order No. 2 relative to fish and game, issued by the Secretary of
Agriculture and Commerce, provides as follows:
ORDER
28. Prohibited fishing areas. No boats licensed in accordance with the provisions of Act No. 4003
When this case was called for trial for the arraignment, counsel for the accused appeared stating that in and this order to catch, collect, gather, take, or remove fish and other sea products from Philippine
view of the ruling laid down by this court in criminal case No. 6785 of this court, holding that the penalty waters shall be allowed to fish, loiter, or anchor within 3 kilometers of the shore line of islands and
applicable is under section 83 of Act No. 4003 which falls within the original jurisdiction of the justice of reservations over which jurisdiction is exercised by naval or military authorities of the United States,
the peace court he requests that the case be remanded to the justice of the peace court of Cavite particularly Corregidor, Pulo Caballo, La Monja, El Fraile, and Carabao, and all other islands and
which conducted the preliminary investigation, so that the latter may try it, being within its original detached rocks lying between Mariveles Reservation on the north side of the entrance to Manila Bay
jurisdiction. and Calumpan Point Reservation on the south side of said entrance: Provided, That boats not subject
to license under Act No. 4003 and this order may fish within the areas mentioned above only upon
We agree that it falls within the jurisdiction of the corresponding justice of the peace court, but it being receiving written permission therefor, which permission may be granted by the Secretary of Agriculture
alleged in the information that the infraction was committed within the waters of the Island of and Commerce upon recommendation of the military or naval authorities concerned.
Corregidor, the competent justice of the peace court is that of Corregidor, not Cavite.
A violation of this paragraph may be proceeded against under section 45 of the Federal Penal Code.
Wherefore, we decree the dismissal of this case, cancelling the bond filed by the accused, with costs
de oficio, without prejudice to the filing by the prosecuting attorney of a new information in the justice of The above quoted provisions of Administrative, Order No. 2 were issued by the then Secretary of
the peace court of Corregidor, if he so deems convenient. It is so ordered. Agriculture and Natural Resources, now Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, by virtue of the
authority vested in him by section 4 of Act No. 4003 which reads as follows:
In support of his appeal the appellant assigns as the sole alleged error committed by the court a quo its
having dismissed the case on the ground that it does not fall within its original jurisdiction. SEC. 4. Instructions, orders, rules and regulations. The Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources shall from time to time issue such instructions, orders, rules and regulations consistent with
On June 18, 1930, the provincial fiscal of Cavite filed against the accused -appellee Augusta A. Santos this Act, as may be necessary and proper to carry into effect the provisions thereof and for the conduct
an information which reads as follows: of proceedings arising under such provisions.
The herein accused and appellee Augusto A. Santos is charged with having ordered his fishermen to
manage and operate the motor launches Malabon II and Malabon Ill registered in his name and to fish, Wherefore, inasmuch as the facts with the commission of which Augusto A. Santos is charged do not
loiter and anchor within three kilometers of the shore line of the Island of Corregidor over which constitute a crime or a violation of some criminal law within the jurisdiction of the civil courts, the
jurisdiction is exercised by naval and military authorities of the United States, without permission from information filed against him is dismissed, with the costs de oficio. So ordered.
the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce.

These acts constitute a violation of the conditional clause of section 28 above quoted, which reads as
follows:

Provided, That boats not subject to license under Act No. 4003 and this order may fish within the areas
mentioned above (within 3 kilometers of the shore line of islands and reservations over which
jurisdiction is exercised by naval and military authorities of the United States, particularly Corregidor)
only upon receiving written permission therefor, which permission may be granted by the Secretary of
Agriculture and Commerce upon recommendation of the military and naval authorities of concerned.
(Emphasis supplied.)

Act No. 4003 contains no similar provision prohibiting boats not subject to license from fishing within
three kilometers of the shore line of islands and reservations over which jurisdiction is exercised by
naval and military authorities of the United States, without permission from the Secretary of Agriculture
and Commerce upon recommendation of the military and naval authorities concerned. Inasmuch as the
only authority granted to the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, by section 4 of Act No. 4003, is to
issue from time to time such instructions, orders, rules, and regulations consistent with said Act, as may
be necessary and proper to carry into effect the provisions thereof and for the conduct of proceedings
arising under such provisions; and inasmuch as said Act No. 4003, as stated, contains no provisions
similar to those contained in the above quoted conditional clause of section 28 of Administrative Order
No. 2, the conditional clause in question supplies a defect of the law, extending it. This is equivalent to
legislating on the matter, a power which has not been and cannot be delegated to him, it being
exclusively reserved to the then Philippine Legislature by the Jones Law, and now to the National
Assembly by the Constitution of the Philippines. Such act constitutes not only an excess of the
regulatory power conferred upon the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, but also an exercise of a
legislative power which he does not have, and therefore said conditional clause is null and void and
without effect (12 Corpus Juris, 845; Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro, 39 Phil., 660; U.S. vs. Ang
Tang Ho, 43 Phil., 1; U.S. vs. Barrias, 11 Phil., 327).

For the foregoing considerations, we are of the opinion and so hold that the conditional clause of
section 28 of Administrative Order No. 2. issued by the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, is null
and void and without effect, as constituting an excess of the regulatory power conferred upon him by
section 4 of Act No. 4003 and an exercise of a legislative power which has not been and cannot be
delegated to him.
16. SEC v. LPG REFILLERS A. LPG Refiller/Marketer

G.R. No. 159149 June 26, 2006 1st Offense - Fine of P5,000

The HONORABLE SECRETARY VINCENT S. PEREZ, in his capacity as the Secretary of the 2nd Offense - Fine of P10,000
Department of Energy, Petitioner,
vs. 3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
LPG REFILLERS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC., Respondent.
B. Dealer
DECISION
1st Offense - Fine of P3,000
QUISUMBING, J.:
2nd Offense - Fine of P7,000
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45, assailing the Decision1 and Order2 of the
Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 161, in SCA Case No. 2318, which nullified Circular No. 3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
2000-06-010 of the Department of Energy (DOE).
C. LPG Retail Outlet
The facts are undisputed.
1st Offense - Reprimand
Batas Pambansa Blg. 33, as amended, penalizes illegal trading, hoarding, overpricing, adulteration,
underdelivery, and underfilling of petroleum products, as well as possession for trade of adulterated 2nd Offense - Fine of P500.00
petroleum products and of underfilled liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders.3 The said law sets the
monetary penalty for violators to a minimum of P20,000 and a maximum of P50,000.4 3rd Offense - Fine of P1,000.00

On June 9, 2000, Circular No. 2000-06-010 was issued by the DOE to implement B.P. Blg. 33, thus: SECTION 6. NO TARE WEIGHT OR INCORRECT TARE WEIGHT MARKINGS. (REQUIREMENT ON
ENGRAVED TARE WEIGHT SHALL TAKE EFFECT TWO (2) YEARS AFTER EFFECTIVITY OF THIS
SECTION 4. NO PRICE DISPLAY BOARD CIRCULAR)

LPG Marketer/LPG Dealer/LPG Retail Outlet A. LPG Refiller/Marketer

1st Offense - Reprimand/warning letter 1st Offense - Fine of P3,000 for each cylinder

2nd Offense - Recommend suspension of business operation to the proper local government unit 2nd Offense - Fine of P5,000 for each cylinder

3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit and initiate criminal 3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
proceedings
B. Dealer
SECTION 5. NO WEIGHING SCALE
1st Offense - Fine of P2,000 for each cylinder
SECTION 8. NO TRADE NAME, UNBRANDED LPG CYLINDERS, NO SERIAL NUMBER, NO
2nd Offense - Fine of P4,000 for each cylinder DISTINGUISHING COLOR, NO EMBOSSED IDENTIFYING MARKINGS ON CYLINDER OR
DISTINCTIVE COLLAR OR DESIGN (REQUIREMENT ON SERIAL NUMBER AND DISTINCTIVE
3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit COLLAR OR DESIGN SHALL TAKE EFFECT TWO (2) YEARS AFTER EFFECTIVITY OF THIS
CIRCULAR)
C. LPG Retail Outlet
A. LPG Refiller/Marketer
1st Offense - Fine of P1,000 for each cylinder
1st Offense - Fine of P4,000 for each cylinder
2nd Offense - Fine of P2,000 for each cylinder
2nd Offense - Fine of P5,000 for each cylinder
3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
SECTION 7. NO APPROPRIATE OR AUTHORIZED LPG SEAL
B. Dealer
A. LPG Refiller/Marketer
1st Offense - Fine of P3,000 for each cylinder
1st Offense - Fine of P3,000 for each cylinder
2nd Offense - Fine of P4,000 for each cylinder
2nd Offense - Fine of P5,000 for each cylinder
3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
C. LPG Retail Outlet
B. Dealer
1st Offense - Fine of P1,000 for each cylinder
1st Offense - Fine of P2,000 for each cylinder
2nd Offense - Fine of P2,000 for each cylinder
2nd Offense - Fine of P4,000 for each cylinder
3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
SECTION 9. UNDERFILLED LPG CYLINDERS
C. LPG Retail Outlet
A. LPG REFILLER/MARKETER
1st Offense - Fine of P1,000 for each cylinder
1st Offense - Fine of P4,000 for each cylinder
2nd Offense - Fine of P2,000 for each cylinder
2nd Offense - Fine of P6,000 for each cylinder
3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
B. DEALER C. LPG Retail Outlet

1st Offense - Fine of P3,000 for each cylinder 1st Offense - Fine of P1,500 for each cylinder

2nd Offense - Fine of P4,000 for each cylinder 2nd Offense - Fine of P3,000 for each cylinder

3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit 3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit

C. LPG RETAIL OUTLET SECTION 11. UNAUTHORIZED DECANTING OR REFILLING OF LPG CYLINDERS

1st Offense - Fine of P1,000 for each cylinder 1st Offense - Fine of P5,000 for each cylinder

2nd Offense - Fine of P2,000 for each cylinder 2nd Offense - Fine of P10,000 for each cylinder

3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit 3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit

SECTION 10. TAMPERING, ALTERING, OR MODIFYING OF LPG CYLINDER THRU ANY MEANS SECTION 12. HOARDING OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS INCLUDING LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM
SUCH AS BUT NOT LIMITED TO CHANGING THE VALVE, REPAINTING, AND RELABELLING BY GAS
ANY PERSON OR ENTITY OTHER THAN THE LEGITIMATE AND REGISTERED OWNER OF THE
SAME. FOR THIS PURPOSE, LPG REFILLER, MARKETER, DEALER, OR RETAIL OUTLET, AS THE 1st Offense - Fine of P10,000 per cylinder
CASE MAY BE, WHO HAS POSSESSION OF SUCH ILLEGALLY TAMPERED, ALTERED, OR
OTHERWISE MODIFIED LPG CYLINDER SHALL BE HELD LIABLE FOR THIS OFFENSE 2nd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit plus the filing of
appropriate criminal action
A. LPG Refiller/Marketer
SECTION 13. REFUSAL TO ALLOW OR COOPERATE WITH DULY AUTHORIZED INSPECTORS OF
1st Offense - Fine of P5,000 for each cylinder THE ENERGY INDUSTRY ADMINISTRATION BUREAU (EIAB) OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
IN THE CONDUCT OF THEIR INSPECTION/INVESTIGATION, WHETHER REGULAR AND
2nd Offense - Fine of P10,000 for each cylinder ROUTINARY OR COMPLAINT-INITIATED

3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit 1st Offense - Fine of P10,000

B. Dealer 2nd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit

1st Offense - Fine of P3,000 for each cylinder SECTION 14. REFUSAL OR FAILURE TO PAY FINE The Department of Energy shall recommend to
the proper local government unit the closure of business of a respondent who refuses or fails to pay
2nd Offense - Fine of P5,000 for each cylinder any administrative fine without prejudice to the filing of an appropriate criminal action if warranted.5

3rd Offense - Recommend business closure to the proper local government unit
Respondent LPG Refillers Association of the Philippines, Inc. asked the DOE to set aside the Circular WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT SECTION 16 OF
for being contrary to law. The DOE, however, denied the request for lack of merit. PETITIONERS CIRCULAR WHICH AUTHORIZES THE IMPOSITION OF PECUNIARY PENALTIES
WITH THE TOTAL FINE NOT EXCEEDING P20,000.00 FOR RETAIL OUTLETS VIOLATES THE
Respondent then filed a petition for prohibition and annulment with prayer for temporary restraining PENALTY CEILING OF P10,000.00 SET UNDER BP BLG. 33, AS AMENDED.
order and/or writ of preliminary injunction before the trial court.
IV
After trial on the merits, the trial court nullified the Circular on the ground that it introduced new
offenses not included in the law.6 The court intimated that the Circular, in providing penalties on a per WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT SINCE SECTION
cylinder basis for each violation, might exceed the maximum penalty under the law. The decretal part of 5(g) OF R.A. 7638 FINDS NO REFERENCE IN DOE CIRCULAR NO. 2000-06-010, THE SAME
its Decision reads: SHOULD BE DISREGARDED.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, this Court renders judgment declaring DOE Circular No. 2000-06-010 V
null and void and prohibits the respondent from implementing the same.
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT "ON THE NEW
SO ORDERED.7 OFFENSES INTRODUCED IN THE CIRCULAR SUCH AS SECTIONS 4, 5, 10, 13 AND 14 AND THE
IMPOSITION OF THE GRADUATED PENALTIES ON A PER CYLINDER BASIS, THIS COURT
The trial court denied for lack of merit petitioners motion for reconsideration. Hence this petition, FINDS [NO] REASON TO DISTURB ITS FINDINGS THAT RESPONDENT-MOVANT EXCEEDED ITS
raising the following issues: AUTHORITY. X X X IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED THAT BP BLG. 33 AS AMENDED AND P.D. 1865
ARE CRIMINAL STATUTES AND MUST BE CONSTRUED WITH SUCH STRICTNESS AS TO
I CAREFULLY SAFEGUARD THE RIGHTS OF THE DEFENDANT."

WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT "A CLOSE VI
SCRUTINY OF BP 33, PD 1865 AND R.A. NO. 8479 SHOWS THAT OFFENSES LIKE NO PRICE
DISPLAY [BOARD], NO WEIGHING SCALE, ETC. SET FORTH IN THE CIRCULAR ARE NOT WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT A QUO ERRED IN HOLDING THAT "THE ASSAILED CIRCULAR
PROVIDED FOR IN ANY OF THE THREE (3) LAWS". SETS NO MAXIMUM LIMIT AS TO THE FINE THAT MAY BE IMPOSED ON AN ERRING PERSON
OR ENTITY TO WHICH FACT MOVANT CONCEDES. FOR ONE (1) CYLINDER ALONE, NOT ONLY
II DOES THE CIRCULAR MAKE THE FINE EXCESSIVE TO THE EXTENT OF BEING
CONFISCATORY, BUT IT EVEN IMPOSES A PENALTY WHICH MAY EVEN GO BEYOND THAT
WHETHER OR NOT THE COURT A QUO GRAVELY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT "A SCRUTINY OF MAXIMUM IMPOSABLE FINE OF P50,000.00 SET BY P.D. 1865 IN ITS SEC. 4 AFTER A CRIMINAL
THE NEW SET OF PENALTIES PROVIDED BY THE CIRCULAR SHOWS THAT THE PENALTIES PROCEEDING."8
THIS TIME ARE BASED ON PER CYLINDER BASIS"; THAT "BEING SUCH, NO CEILING WAS
PROVIDED FOR AS TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE FINES"; THAT "AS ILLUSTRATED BY THE To our mind, the issue raised by petitioner may be reduced to the sole issue of whether the Regional
PETITIONER, FOR JUST ONE LPG CYLINDER FOUND VIOLATING AT LEAST SEC[TIONS] 6, 7, 8, Trial Court of Pasig erred in declaring the provisions of the Circular null and void, and prohibiting the
9, 10 AND 11 OF THE [CIRCULAR], A FINE OF P24,000.00 IS IMPOSED;" AND THAT "THIS WILL Circulars implementation.
CLEARLY BE BEYOND THE P10,000.00 PROVIDED BY THE LAWS."
Petitioner argues that the penalties for the acts and omissions enumerated in the Circular are
III sanctioned by Sections 19 and 3-A10 of B.P. Blg. 33 and Section 2311 of Republic Act No. 8479.12
Petitioner adds that Sections 5(g)13 and 2114 of Republic Act No. 763815 also authorize the DOE to
impose the penalties provided in the Circular.
marketers, and dealers, the Circular is silent as to any maximum monetary penalty. This mere silence,
Respondent counters that the enabling laws, B.P. Blg. 33 and R.A. No. 8479, do not expressly penalize nonetheless, does not amount to violation of the aforesaid statutory maximum limit. Further, the mere
the acts and omissions enumerated in the Circular. Neither is the Circular supported by R.A. No. 7638, fact that the Circular provides penalties on a per cylinder basis does not in itself run counter to the law
respondent claims, since the said law does not pertain to LPG traders. Respondent maintains that the since all that B.P. Blg. 33 prescribes are the minimum and the maximum limits of penalties.
Circular is not in conformity with the law it seeks to implement.
Clearly, it is B.P. Blg. 33, as amended, which defines what constitute punishable acts involving
We resolve to grant the petition. petroleum products and which set the minimum and maximum limits for the corresponding penalties.
The Circular merely implements the said law, albeit it is silent on the maximum pecuniary penalty for
For an administrative regulation, such as the Circular in this case, to have the force of penal law, (1) the refillers, marketers, and dealers. Nothing in the Circular contravenes the law.
violation of the administrative regulation must be made a crime by the delegating statute itself; and (2)
the penalty for such violation must be provided by the statute itself.16 Noteworthy, the enabling laws on which the Circular is based were specifically intended to provide the
DOE with increased administrative and penal measures with which to effectively curtail rampant
The Circular satisfies the first requirement. B.P. Blg. 33, as amended, criminalizes illegal trading, adulteration and shortselling, as well as other acts involving petroleum products, which are inimical to
adulteration, underfilling, hoarding, and overpricing of petroleum products. Under this general public interest. To nullify the Circular in this case would be to render inutile government efforts to
description of what constitutes criminal acts involving petroleum products, the Circular merely lists the protect the general consuming public against the nefarious practices of some unscrupulous LPG
various modes by which the said criminal acts may be perpetrated, namely: no price display board, no traders.
weighing scale, no tare weight or incorrect tare weight markings, no authorized LPG seal, no trade
name, unbranded LPG cylinders, no serial number, no distinguishing color, no embossed identifying WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The assailed Circular No. 2000-06-010 of DOE is declared
markings on cylinder, underfilling LPG cylinders, tampering LPG cylinders, and unauthorized decanting valid. The Decision and Order of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 161, in SCA Case No.
of LPG cylinders. These specific acts and omissions are obviously within the contemplation of the law, 2318, nullifying said Circular and prohibiting its implementation are hereby REVERSED and SET
which seeks to curb the pernicious practices of some petroleum merchants. ASIDE.

As for the second requirement, we find that the Circular is in accord with the law. Under B.P. Blg. 33, as No pronouncement as to costs.
amended, the monetary penalty for any person who commits any of the acts aforestated is limited to a
minimum of P20,000 and a maximum of P50,000. Under the Circular, the maximum pecuniary penalty SO ORDERED.
for retail outlets is P20,000,17 an amount within the range allowed by law. However, for the refillers,