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EDGARDO H. MORALES, substituted by RODOLFO DE LEON, Respondents.


The Court sets aside respondent court's questioned order of dismissal of the
pending election protest before it on the authority of its recent decision of April 15,
1974 in Cases L-36927-28, L-37715 and L-38831 1 ruling that courts of first
instance "should continue and exercise their jurisdiction to hear, try and decide the
election protests" filed before them.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law

Petitioner is the protestant in Election Case No. TM-470 of respondent court

contesting the November 8, 1971 election results in certain precincts for the
mayoralty of Tarnate, Cavite on the ground of fraud, irregularities and corrupt
practices. Original protestee was the proclaimed mayor-elect Edgardo Morales, who
was ambushed and killed on February 15, 1974 in a barrio of Tarnate 2 and hence
was succeeded by then vice-mayor Rodolfo de Leon who as the incumbent mayor is
now substituted in this action as party respondent. 3chanrobles virtual law library

Respondent court had in its questioned order of January 31, 1974 granted
protestee's motion for dismissal of the election protest on the ground "that this
court has lost its jurisdiction to decide this case for the reason that the same has
become moot and academic," citing the President's authority under General Order
No. 3 and Article XVII, section 9 of the 1973 Constitution to remove from office all
incumbent government officials and employees, whether elective or
appointive.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

Petitioner filed a timely appeal. Upon receipt of respondent's comment the Court
resolved to consider petitioner's petition for review on certiorari as a special civil
action and the case submitted for decision for prompt disposition
thereof.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

The Court in its unanimous joint decision en banc in the above-cited cases
of Paredes,Sunga and Valley has already declared such dismissal orders as "clear
error," ruling that "(I)t must be emphasized that the `right' of the private
respondents to continue in office indefinitely arose not only by virtue of Section 9 of
Art. XVII of the New Constitution but principally from their having been proclaimed
elected to their respective positions as a result of the November 8, 1971 elections.
Therefore, if in fact and in law, they were not duly elected to their respective
positions and consequently, have no right to hold the same, perform their
functions, enjoy their privileges and emoluments, then certainly, they should not be
allowed to enjoy the indefinite term of office given to them by said constitutional
provision," and that "(I)t is erroneous to conclude that under Section 9, Art. XVII of
the New Constitution, the term of office of the private respondents expired, and
that they are now holding their respective offices under a new term. We are of the
opinion that they hold their respective offices still under the term to which they
have been elected, although the same is now indefinite." chanrobles virtual law

The Court further stressed therein that "(T)he Constitutional Convention could not
have intended, as in fact it did not intend, to shield or protect those who had been
unduly elected. To hold that the right of the herein private respondents to the
respective offices which they are now holding, may no longer be subject to question
would be tantamount to giving a stamp of approval to what could have been an
election victory characterized by fraud, threats, intimidation, vote buying, or other
forms of irregularities prohibited by the Election Code to preserve inviolate the
sanctity of the ballot." chanrobles virtual law library

In upholding the continuing jurisdiction of courts of first instance to hear, try and
decide election protests, the Court pointed out that "(S)ection 7 of Art. XVII of the
New Constitution provides that `all existing laws not inconsistent with this
Constitution shall remain operative until amended, modified or repealed by the
National Assembly.' And there has been no amendment, modification or repeal of
section 220 of the Election Code of 1971 which gave the herein petitioners the right
to file an election contest against those proclaimed elected," and that it is expressly
provided under Article XVII, section 8 of the 1973 Constitution that "`All courts
existing at the time of the ratification of this Constitution shall continue and
exercise their jurisdiction until otherwise provided by law in accordance with this
Constitution, and all cases pending in said courts shall be heard, tried and
determined under the laws then in force.' . . . ."chanrobles virtual law library

ACCORDINGLY, respondent court's dismissal order of January 31, 1974 is hereby

set aside and respondent court is directed to immediately continue with the trial
and determination of the election protest before it on the merits. In line with
previous precedents involving election cases, this decision shall be immediately
executory upon promulgation hereof. SO ORDERED.

Makalintal, C.J., Castro, Makasiar, Esguerra and Muoz Palma, concur.



Petitioner Mario Crespo was accused for Estafa in the Circuit Criminal Court of Lucena City. When
the case was set for arraignment, the accused filed a motion for defer arraignment on the ground
that there was a pending petition for review filed with the Secretary of Justice. However, Justice
Mogul denied the motion, but the arraignment was deferred in a much later date to afford time
for the petitioner to elevate the mater to the appellate court.

The accused filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with prayer for a preliminary writ of
injunction to the CA. The CA ordered the trial court to refrain from proceeding with the
arraignment until further orders of the Court. Undersecretary of Justice, Hon. Catalino Macaraig
Jr., resolved the petition for review reversed the resolution of the office of the Provincial Fiscal
and directed the Fiscal to move for immediate dismissal of the information filed against the
accused. Judge Mogul denied the motion for dismissal of the case ad set the arraignment. The
accused then filed a petition for Certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with petition for the
issuance of preliminary writ of prohibition and/or temporary restraining order in the CA. The CA
dismissed the order and lifted the restraining order.

Issue: Whether the trial court may refuse to grant a motion to dismiss filed by the Fiscal under
orders fro, the Secretary of Justice and insists on arraignment and trial on the merits.

It is a cardinal principle that all criminal actions either commenced by complaint or by
information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal. 17 The institution of
a criminal action depends upon the sound discretion of the fiscal. The reason for placing the
criminal prosecution under the direction and control of the fiscal is to prevent malicious or
unfounded prosecution by private persons. 19 It cannot be controlled by the complainant.

However, the action of the fiscal or prosecutor is not without any limitation or control. The same
is subject to the approval of the provincial or city fiscal or the chief state prosecutor as the case
maybe and it maybe elevated for review to the Secretary of Justice who has the power to affirm,
modify or reverse the action or opinion of the fiscal. Consequently the Secretary of Justice may
direct that a motion to dismiss the case be filed in Court or otherwise, that an information be filed
in Court.

The filing of a complaint or information in Court initiates a criminal action. The Court thereby
acquires jurisdiction over the case, which is the authority to hear and determine the case. The
preliminary investigation conducted by the fiscal for the purpose of determining whether a prima
facie case exists warranting the prosecution of the accused is terminated upon the filing of the
information in the proper court.

Republic vs. Rosemoor

Republic of the Philippines vs. Rosemoor Mining and Development Corporation, et al.
G.R. No. 149927 March 30, 2004
Panganiban, J.:
Facts: Petitioner Rosemoor Mining and Development Corporation after having been granted permission
to prospect for marble deposits in the mountains of Biak-na-Bato, San Miguel, Bulacan, succeeded in
discovering marble deposits of high quality and in commercial quantities in Mount Mabio which forms
part of the Biak-na-Bato mountain range.
The petitioner then applied with the Bureau of Mines, now Mines and Geosciences Bureau, for the
issuance of the corresponding license to exploit said marble deposits.

License No. 33 was issued by the Bureau of Mines in favor of the herein petitioners. Shortly thereafter,
Respondent Ernesto Maceda cancelled the petitioners license stating that their license had illegally been
issued, because it violated Section 69 of PD 463; and that there was no more public interest served by the
continued existence or renewal of the license. The latter reason was confirmed by the language of
Proclamation No. 84. According to this law, public interest would be served by reverting the parcel of
land that was excluded by Proclamation No. 2204 to the former status of that land as part of the Biak-na-
Bato national park.

Issue: Whether or not Presidential Proclamation No. 84 is valid.

Held: Yes. We cannot sustain the argument that Proclamation No. 84 is a bill of attainder; that is, a
legislative act which inflicts punishment without judicial trial. Its declaration that QLP No. 33 is a patent
nullity is certainly not a declaration of guilt. Neither is the cancellation of the license a punishment within
the purview of the constitutional proscription against bills of attainder.
Too, there is no merit in the argument that the proclamation is an ex post facto law. It is settled that an ex
post facto law is limited in its scope only to matters criminal in nature. Proclamation 84, which merely
restored the area excluded from the Biak-na-Bato national park by canceling respondents license, is
clearly not penal in character.
Also at the time President Aquino issued Proclamation No. 84 on March 9, 1987, she was still validly
exercising legislative powers under the Provisional Constitution of 1986. Section 1 of Article II of
Proclamation No. 3, which promulgated the Provisional Constitution, granted her legislative power until a
legislature is elected and convened under a new Constitution. The grant of such power is also explicitly
recognized and provided for in Section 6 of Article XVII of the 1987 Constitution.

G.R. No. 34163 September 18, 1931

GREGORIO PEDRO, petitioner-appellant,

THE PROVINCIAL BOARD OF RIZAL, ET AL., respondents-appellees.

Arsenio Santos for appellant.

Provincial Fiscal Opinion and Guevara, Francisco and Recto for appellees.


This case is before us by virtue of the appeal taken by the petitioner Gregorio Pedro from the
judgment of the Court of First Instance of Rizal dismissing his action for the annulment of an
ordinance, with costs against him.

In support of his appeal, the appellant assigns the following alleged errors as committed by the
trial court in its judgment, to wit:

1. The lower court erred in holding that Ordinance No. 36, series of 1928, approved by
the acting councilors, is valid and legal.

2. The lower court erred in denying the petitioner an acquired right, notwithstanding
Ordinance No. 35 and the permit giving him by the president in accordance therewith.
3. The lower court erred in holding that the opening, maintenance, and operation of the
Galas cockpit is injurious to the consumptive patients of the Santol Sanatorium.

4. The lower court erred in abstaining from making any ruling regarding the legality of the
action taken by the provincial board, suspending the effects of Ordinance No. 35 of the
municipal council of Caloocan, and in finally disapproving it, according to the resolutions
enacted by it and numbered 1135, series of 1928, and 154, series of 1929.

5. The lower court erred in dismissing this case and in not declaring permanent the
injunction sought, and in not sentencing the plaintiffs [respondents] jointly and severally
to pay the damages claimed in the complaint.

The following relevant facts are necessary for the decision of the question raised by the instant

On May 8, 1926, there was organized in the municipality of Caloocan, Province of Rizal, an
association for the construction and exploitation of cockpits, called "La Sociedad Bighani."

On May 22, 1926, Eugenio Tansioco, the president of the association, applied to the municipal
president of Caloocan and obtain a permit to construct a building of strong materials at Galas, in
said municipality, to be used as cockpit, upon payment of the proper fees. (Exhibit 1.)

While the construction was under way, Pablo, then president of Caloocan, addressed a
communication to Eugenio Tansioco on June 15, 1926, warning him that the site of the building
was not the one designated by the chief of police, and that it was within the radius of 1,500
meters from the hospital of the Philippine Antituberculosis Society in Santol, in direct
contravention of Ordinance No. 15, series of 1926, enacted on May, 1926.

The permit having been annulled, and the payments theretofore made forfeited, the "Sociedad
Bighani" filed civil case No. 30537 in the Court of First Instance of Manila on September 21,
1926, against said Pablo Pablo, as municipal president of Caloocan, et al., for a preliminary
injunction requiring them to refrain from impeding or obstructing the operation and exploitation
of the Bighani cockpit, which at that time was completed and ready to be thrown open to the

On August 26, 1927, the Court of first Instance of Manila rendered judgment absolving the
defendants from the complaint, which was affirmed by this court on October 15, 1928.
(Company "Bighani" vs. 53 Phil., 886.)

On September 18, 1927, the municipal council of Caloocan enacted Ordinance No. 34,
providing in the first section, among other things, that outside the barrios of Loma, Talipapa, and
Novaliches, where only one cockpit might be established, cockpits might be established at a
distance of not less than 1,500 meters from another licensed cockpit, public schoolhouse, or
any hospital or charitable institution existing within the municipal radius.

As a result of the general election held on June 5, 1928, in the municipality of Caloocan, Rizal,
the municipal council, formerly comprising Pablo Pablo, as president, Blas Bernardino, as vice-
president, and Severino Paganiban, Diego Justo, Esteban Sanchez, Patricio Galuran,
Raymundo Andres, Emiliano Samson, Vicente Sevilla, Lucas Pascual, Placido C. del Mundo,
Delfin Rodriguez, Jorge Nadurata, Anacleto Victoria, Emilio Acab, and Mateo Austria, as
councilors, was substituted by another comprising the newly elected Dominador Aquino, as
president, Diego Justo, as vice-president, and Blas Bernardino, Flaviano de Jesus, Pedro
Galang, Celestino C. Celosa, Nicolas Carpio, Lucas Pascual, Basilio Biglang-awa, and Lucas
Bustamante, as councilors, who were inducted into office on October 16th of that year.

On December 21, 1928, the plaintiff herein, Gregorio Pedro, acquired by absolute sale all the
rights and interests of the "Sociedad Bighani" in the cockpit bearing its name. (Exhibit M.)

On the same date, December 21, 1928, said plaintiff, Gregorio Pedro, addressed a
communication to the municipal council of Caloocan soliciting a permit to open, operate,
maintain, and exploit said cockpit for a period of four years, binding himself to observe to the
letter all municipal ordinances on cockpits. (Exhibit A.)

On December 26, 1928, the municipal council of Caloocan passed resolution No. 202 approving
Ordinance No. 35, series of 1928, amending section 1 of Ordinance No. 34, series of 1927,
providing, among other things that only one cockpit could be established in each of the barrios
of Galas, Loma, Talipapa, and Novaliches, and any other place outside said barrios, provided,
in the latter case, said cockpits are at a distance of not less than 1,000 meters from another
licensed cockpit, and 500 meters from any hospital or charitable institution within the
municipality of Caloocan. (Exhibit C.)

On the same date, December 26, 1928, the municipal councilors of Caloocan, Blas Bernardino,
Flaviano de Jesus, and Pedro Galang, signed and forwarded to the provincial governor of Rizal
an accusation against Dominador Aquino, the municipal president, and the other councilors who
approved Ordinance No. 35, series of 1928, alleging that they had been bribed to vote in favor
of that ordinance. (Exhibit 4.)

The provincial governor endorsed the accusation to the provincial board of Rizal, which through
resolution No. 1110 dated December 27, 1928, ordered the temporary suspension of the
members denounced pending the administrative investigation of the accusation. By virtue of
said resolution No. 1110 of the provincial board of Rizal, and using one of the powers conferred
upon him by law, the provincial governor of Rizal, Eligio Naval, suspended the municipal
president and the denounced members from their respective offices on December 28, 1928.
(Exhibits 5 to 5-E.)

On the same date, December 28, 1928, between 9 and 10 o'clock in the morning, the appellant
Gregorio Pedro paid into the municipal treasury the sum of P2,050 as a license fee on his
cockpit for the first quarter of the year 1929, and the proper receipt (Exhibit L), and the permit
(Exhibit D), were issued to him authorizing him to operate, maintain, exploit, and open to the
public a day cockpit in the barrio of Galas, Caloocan, Rizal, for a period of four years.

On December 29, 1928, the municipal council ad interim in Caloocan, passed resolution No. 9,
series of 1928, approving Ordinance No. 36, series of 1928, suspending the effects of resolution
No. 202 of the suspended council, approving Ordinance No. 35, series of 1928, while a special
committee created by the same ordinance investigated the expediency of permitting the
exploitation and opening of the Galas cockpit at the site applied for by the proprietor, Gregorio
Pedro. (Exhibit 6.)

On the same date, December 29, 1928, the provincial board of Rizal passed resolution No.
1135 suspending the effects of resolution No. 202 of the municipal council of Caloocan
approving Ordinance No. 35, series of 1928, pending final decision on the validity of said
ordinance by said board. (Exhibit H.)

On January 16, 1929, the Director of the Santol Tuberculosis Sanatorium addressed a
communication to the temporary president of the municipal council of Caloocan, Flaviano de
Jesus, stating that a cockpit established in the barrio of Galas, owing to the noise and clamor of
the crowd, would retard the recovery of the patients in said sanatorium, and would tend to
increase the danger of spreading the disease among those visiting the cockpit. (Exhibit 11.)

On February 1, 1929, the Chief of the Executive Bureau confirmed the resolution of the
provincial board of Rizal holding the respondents in the administrative investigation mentioned
above guilty of maladministration, and imposing upon each of them a punishment of thirty days'
suspension. (Exhibit 7.)

On the same date, February 1, 1929, following the decision of the Executive Bureau mentioned
above, the provincial board of Rizal, through resolution No. 154, disapproved said resolution No.
202 of the municipal council of Caloocan, approving Ordinance No. 35, series of 1928. (Exhibit

On February 2, 1929, the president of the third sanitary division of Rizal, acting upon the
appellant's application filed on January 30, 1929, issued a certificate to the effect that after a
proper inspection of the Galas cockpit, he had found it to be in good sanitary condition.

On February 7, 1929, Gregorio Pedro furnished a bond of P10,000 in favor of the municipality of
Caloocan to secure the payment of the fees accruing during the years from 1929 to 1932, which
is the period included in the license issued to him for the opening and operation of his cockpit in
Galas, and this bond was accepted and approved by the respondent municipal president,
Dominador Aquino, and certified by the provincial treasurer, Jose Villegas. (Exhibit E.)

On February 13, 1929, councilor Lucas Bustamante submitted a resolution at a special session
of the municipal council of Caloocan, whereby said council appealed to the Executive Bureau
from the aforementioned resolution No. 154 of the provincial board of Rizal, but the resolution
did not pass owing to the lack of two-thirds of the members necessary, with five members voting
in favor and three against it.

On February 14, 1929, the appellant Gregorio Pedro sent the municipal president of Caloocan a
communication, informing him that having fulfilled all the requirements of the law and the
ordinances then in force, he would open his cockpit in Galas to the public in the morning of
February 17, 1929. (Exhibit J.)

On February 15, 1929, the respondent municipal president of Caloocan addressed a

communication to the appellant Gregorio Pedro informing him that under no circumstance could
said president permit the appellant to open his cockpit in Galas, Caloocan, to the public, for
Ordinance No. 35, series of 1928, under which a permit had been given him to open and exploit
his aforesaid cockpit had been disapproved by the provincial board of Rizal in its resolution No.
154, series of 1928, as a result of which the aforementioned ordinance became null and void.

The first question to decide in this appeal is that raised in the first assignment of error, to wit,
whether Ordinance No. 36, series of 1928, approved by the temporary councilors, is valid.
The appellant argues for the nullity of Ordinance No. 36, series of 1928, approved on December
29, 1928, by the temporary councilors appointed by the provincial governor of Rizal, Eligio
Naval, on the ground that (1) it impairs the acquired rights of said appellant; (2) it was enacted
on account of prejudice, because it was intended for a special and not a general purpose,
namely to prevent, at any cost, the opening, maintenance, and exploitation of the cockpit of the
said petitioner-appellant; and (3) it provides for special committee composed of persons who
are not members of the council, vested them with powers which of their very nature, cannot be
delegated by said council to that committee.

The petitioner-appellant contends that, having obtained the proper permit to maintain, exploit,
and open to the public the cockpit in question, having paid the license fee and fulfilled all the
requirements provided by Ordinance No. 35, series of 1928, he has acquired a right which
cannot be taken away from him by Ordinance No. 36, series of 1928, which was subsequently
approved. This court has already held that an ordinance regulating the functioning of cockpits
does not create irrevocable rights and may be abrogated by another ordinance. (Vinco vs.
Municipality of Hinigaran, 41 Phil., 790; Joaquin vs. Herrera, 37 Phil., 705; 12 Corpus Juris, 958,
sec. 494; 37 Corpus Juris, 168.)

The petitioner-appellant also contends that said Ordinance No. 36 was passed due to prejudice
"because it was intended for a special and not a general purpose, namely to prevent, at any
cost, the opening, maintenance, and exploitation of the cockpit of the said petitioner." The
aforesaid Ordinance No. 36 was not approved for the purpose of injuring the petitioner, but to
correct an irregularity consisting in the passage of Ordinance No. 35, which had been enacted
to favor the said petitioner-appellant. The "Sociedad Bighani," from which the herein petitioner-
appellant acquired the ownership of the cockpit here in question, was denied a license to
operate it, because it had been constructed in violation of Ordinance No. 15, series of 1926,
later amended by Ordinance No. 34, series of 1927. The "Sociedad Bighani" instituted
proceedings against the president and municipal council of Caloocan, Rizal, in civil case No.
30537 of the Court of First Instance of Manila, to prevent said defendants from impeding the
operation and exploitation of the Bighani cockpit, and the court decided in favor of said
defendants, absolving them from the complaint on the ground among other reasons, that the
Bighani cockpit had been constructed within the prohibited distance from the Antitubercular
Sanatorium of Santol, and that decision was affirmed by this court on appeal. (Company
"Bighani" vs. Pablo, supra.) The cockpit in question now is the former Bighani cockpit mentioned
above; it occupies the same site; and the same hygienic reasons which prompted the
enactment of Ordinance No. 15, amended by Ordinance No. 34, cited above, exist now;
therefore, when this was amended by Ordinance No. 35, reducing the distance between a
cockpit and any hospital, so that the Bighani cockpit would be beyond said distance, the
municipal council which amended it acted with partiality towards a certain person, namely, the
petitioner-appellant, to the prejudice of the patients in the aforesaid sanatorium. According to
Elliot in his work "Municipal Corporations," cited by said petitioner-appellant himself, said
Ordinance No. 35 is void because it is partial. (Elliot, Municipal Corporations, sec. 147; Dillon,
Municipal Corporations, p. 915).

Ordinance No. 36, which seeks to correct said irregularity, suspended the effects of said
Ordinance No. 35, impliedly reestablishing Ordinance No. 34, is therefore valid.

The other reason given by the petitioner-appellant to show that Ordinance No. 36, is void is that
the municipal council in approving it delegated its legislative powers to a special sanitary
Section 2 of Ordinance No. 36, series of 1928, provides as follows:

SEC. 2. A committee is hereby provided for, to be composed of the president of the third
sanitary division of Caloocan, Rizal, a practising physician residing in this municipality,
and a member of the municipal council, whose duty it shall be to make the necessary
investigation to determine whether or not the exploitation of the cockpit in the barrio of
Galas for which Gregorio Pedro has applied for a permit, would be injurious to any public
or private interest. This special committee shall make such investigation and submit a
report in due form to this municipal council within the shortest time possible for its
definite action.

The municipal council of Caloocan pro tempore therefore does not delegate by that ordinance to
the special committee thereby created any legislative function, but only entrusts to it the study of
the effect of the operation and exploitation of the cockpit under consideration upon public and
private interests, in order to determine whether or not the license should issue. Informational
work of this nature, owing to its technical character, may be entrusted to technical committees.
(12 Corpus Juris, 846.)

Having arrived at the conclusion that Ordinance No. 36 is valid and that the petitioner-appellant
has acquired no irrevocable right by virtue of the license granted him under Ordinance No. 35,
approved to favor him, which is therefore void, we need not discuss the other assignments of
error by the petitioner-appellant.

Wherefore, we are of opinion and so hold: (1) That a license authorizing the operation and
exploitation of a cockpit is not property of which the holder may not be deprived without due
process of law, but a mere privilege which may be revoked when the public interests so require;
(2) that the work entrusted by a municipal council to a special sanitary committee to make a
study of the sanitary effects upon the neighborhood of the establishment of a cockpit, is not
legislative in character, but only informational, and may be delegated; and (3) that an ordinance,
approved by a municipal council duly constituted, which suspends the effects of another which
had been enacted to favor the grantee of a cockpit license, is valid and legal.

By virtue whereof, finding no error in the judgment appealed from, it is hereby affirmed, with
costs against the appellant. So ordered.

G.R. No. L-22545 November 28, 1969

OTHERS, petitioners,
INC., respondents.

Samuel Bautista, Arturo J. Clemente, Emigdio Arcilla, Delfin Villanueva and Baldomero S. Luque for
Generoso O. Almario and Paulino S. Gueco for respondents Enrique Medina and The Public Service
Graciano C. Regala and Associates for respondents Saulog Transit, Inc. and Batangas
Transportation Co., Inc.
Gregorio A. Ejercito and Felix C. Chavez for respondents Antonio J. Villegas, et al.


Challenged as unconstitutional, illegal and unjust in these original proceedings for certiorari and
mandamus are two substantially identical bus ban measures: (1) Ordinance No. 4986 of the City of
Manila approved on July 13, 1964, entitled "An Ordinance Rerouting Traffic on Roads and Streets in
the City of Manila, and for Other Purposes," and (2) Administrative Order No. 1, series of 1964,
dated February 7, 1964, and Administrative Order No. 3, series of 1964, dated April 21, 1964, both
issued by Commissioner Enrique Medina (hereinafter referred to as the Commissioner) of the Public
Service Commission.

Original petitioners are passengers from the provinces of Cavite and Batangas who ride on buses
plying along the routes between the said provinces and Manila. Other petitioners are public service
operators operating PUB and PUJ public service vehicles from the provinces with terminals in
Manila, while the rest are those allegedly operating PUB, PUJ or AC motor vehicles operating within
Manila and suburbs.

Ordinance 4986, amongst others, provides that:


1. Provincial passenger buses and jeepneys (PUB and PUJ) shall be allowed to enter
Manila, but only through the following entry points and routes, from 6:30 A.M. to 8:30 P.M.
every day except Sundays and holidays:

xxx xxx xxx

(m) Those coming from the south through F. B. Harrison shall proceed to Mabini; turn
right to Harrison Boulevard; turn right to Taft Avenue and proceed towards Pasay

(n) Those coming from the south through Taft Avenue shall turn left at Vito Cruz; turn
right to Dakota; turn right to Harrison Boulevard; turn right to Taft Avenue; thence
proceed towards Pasay City;

Loading and unloading shall be allowed only at Harrison Boulevard, between A.

Mabini and Taft Avenue;

xxx xxx xxx


1. In order that provincial commuters shall not be unduly inconvenienced as a result of the
implementation of these essential traffic control regulations, operators of provincial
passenger buses shall be allowed to provide buses to shuttle their passengers from their
respective entry control points, under the following conditions:
(a) Each provincial bus company or firm shall be allowed such number of shuttle
buses proportionate to the number of units authorized it, the ratio to be determined
by the Chief, Traffic Control Bureau, based on his observations as to the actual
needs of commuters and traffic volume; in no case shall the allocation be more than
one shuttle bus for every 10 authorized units, or fraction thereof.

(b) No shuttle bus shall enter Manila unless the same shall have been provided with
identification stickers as required under Rule IV hereof, which shall be furnished and
allocated by the Chief, Traffic Control Bureau to each provincial bus company or firm.

(c) All such shuttle buses are not permitted to load or unload or to pick and/or drop
passengers along the way but must do so only in the following places:

xxx xxx xxx

(3) South

(a) Harrison Boulevard, between Dakota and Taft Avenue.

Administrative Order No. 1, series of 1964, issued by the Commissioner, in part, provides:

2. All public utilities including jeepneys heretofore authorized to operate from the City of
Manila to any point in Luzon, beyond the perimeter of Greater Manila, shall carry the words
"For Provincial Operation" in bold and clear types on both sides or on one side and at the
back of the vehicle and must not be less than 12 inches in dimension. All such vehicles
marked "For Provincial Operation" are authorized to operate outside the perimeter of Greater
Manila in accordance with their respective certificates of public convenience, and are not
authorized to enter or to operate beyond the boundary line fixed in our order of March 12,
1963 and July 22, 1963, with the exception of those vehicles authorized to carry their
provincial passengers thru the boundary line up to their Manila terminal which shall be
identified by a sticker signed and furnished by the PSC and by the Mayors of the affected
Cities and municipalities, and which shall be carried on a prominent place of the vehicle
about the upper middle part of the windshield.

xxx xxx xxx

All such public utility vehicles authorized by this Order to enter the City of Manila and to carry
their passengers thru the boundary line, are not permitted to load or unload or to pick and/or
drop passengers along the way, but must do so only in the following places:

xxx xxx xxx

c. Vehicles coming from the SOUTH may load or unload at the San Andres-Taft Rotonda; at
Plaza Lawton or at the Corner of Harrison and Mabini Streets near the Manila Zoo.

On April 21, 1964, the Commissioner issued Administrative Order No. 3 which resolved motions for
reconsideration (of the first administrative order Administrative Order No. 1, series of 1964) filed
by several affected operators. This order (No. 3), amongst others, states that only 10% of the
provincial buses and jeepneys shall be allowed to enter Manila; however, provincial buses and
jeepneys "operating within a radius of 50 kms. from Manila City Hall and whose business is more on
the Manila end than on the provincial end are given fifteen per cent to prevent a dislocation of their
business; provided that operators having less than five units are not permitted to cross the boundary
and shall operate exclusively on the provincial end." This order also allocated the number of units
each provincial bus operator is allowed to operate within the City of Manila.

1. On the main, nothing new there is in the present petition. For, the validity of Ordinance 4986 and
the Commissioner's Administrative Order No. 1, series of 1964, here challenged, has separately
passed judicial tests in two cases brought before this Court.

In Lagman vs. City of Manila (June 30, 1966), 17 SCRA 579, petitioner Lagman was an operator of
PU auto trucks with fixed routes and regular terminals for the transportation of passengers and
freight on the Bocaue (Bulacan) Paraaque (Rizal) line via Rizal Avenue, Plaza Goiti, Sta. Cruz
Bridge, Plaza Lawton, P. Burgos, Taft Avenue, and Taft Avenue Extension, Manila. He sought to
prohibit the City of Manila, its officers and agents, from enforcing Ordinance 4986. His ground was
that said ordinance was unconstitutional, illegal, ultra vires and null and void. He alleged, amongst
others, that (1) "the power conferred upon respondent City of Manila, under said Section 18 (hh) of
Republic Act No. 409, as amended, does not include the right to enact an ordinance such as the one
in question, which has the effect of amending or modifying a certificate of public convenience
granted by the Public Service Commission, because any amendment or modification of said
certificate is solely vested by law in the latter governmental agency, and only after notice and
hearing (Sec. 16 [m], Public Service Act); but since this procedure was not adopted or followed by
respondents in enacting the disputed ordinance, the same is likewise illegal and null and void"; (2)
"the enforcement of said ordinance is arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable because the city
streets from which he had been prevented to operate his buses are the cream of his business"; and
(3) "even assuming that Ordinance No. 4986 is valid, it is only the Public Service Commission which
can require compliance with its provisions (Sec. 17[j], Public Service Act), but since its
implementation is without the sanction or approval of the Commission, its enforcement is also
unauthorized and illegal." This Court, in a decision impressive because of its unanimity, upheld the
ordinance. Speaking through Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes, we ruled:

First, as correctly maintained by respondents, Republic Act No. 409, as amended, otherwise
known as the Revised Charter of the City of Manila, is a special law and of later enactment
than Commonwealth Act No. 548 and the Public Service Law (Commonwealth Act No. 146,
as amended), so that even if conflict exists between the provisions of the former act and the
latter acts, Republic Act No. 409 should prevail over both Commonwealth Acts Nos. 548 and
146. In Cassion vs. Banco Nacional Filipino, 89 Phil. 560, 561, this Court said:

". . . for with or without an express enactment it is a familiar rule of statutory

construction that to the extent of any necessary repugnancy between a general and
a special law or provision, the latter will control the former without regard to the
respective dates of passage."

It is to be noted that Commonwealth Act No. 548 does not confer an exclusive power or
authority upon the Director of Public Works, subject to the approval of the Secretary of Public
Works and Communications, to promulgate rules and regulations relating to the use of and
traffic on national roads or streets. This being the case, section 18 (hh) of the Manila Charter
is deemed enacted as an exception to the provisions of Commonwealth Act No. 548.

xxx xxx xxx

Second, the same situation holds true with respect to the provision of the Public Service Act.
Although the Public Service Commission is empowered, under its Section 16(m), to amend,
modify or revoke certificates of public convenience after notice and hearing, yet there is no
provision, specific or otherwise, which can be found in this statute (Commonwealth Act No.
146) vesting power in the Public Service Commission to superintend, regulate, or control the
streets of respondent City or suspend its power to license or prohibit the occupancy thereof.
On the other hand, this right or authority, as hereinabove concluded is conferred upon
respondent City of Manila. The power vested in the Public Service Commission under
Section 16(m) is, therefore, subordinate to the authority granted to respondent City, under
said section 18 (hh). . . .

xxx xxx xxx

That the powers conferred by law upon the Public Service Commission were not designed to
deny or supersede the regulatory power of local governments over motor traffic, in the
streets subject to their control is made evident by section 17 (j) of the Public Service Act
(Commonwealth Act No. 146) that provides as follows:

"SEC. 17. Proceedings of Commission without previous hearing. The Commission

shall have power, without previous hearing, subject to established limitations and
exceptions, and saving provisions to the contrary:

xxx xxx xxx.

(j) To require any public service to comply with the laws of the Philippines,
and with any provincial resolution or municipal ordinance relating thereto, and
to conform to the duties imposed upon it thereby, or by the provisions of its
own charter, whether obtained under any general or special law of the
Philippines." (Emphasis supplied)

The petitioner's contention that, under this section, the respective ordinances of the City can
only be enforced by the Commission alone is obviously unsound. Subsection (j) refers not
only to ordinances but also to "the laws of the Philippines," and it is plainly absurd to assume
that even laws relating to public services are to remain a dead letter without the placet of the
Commission; and the section makes no distinction whatever between enforcement of laws
and that of municipal ordinances.

The very fact, furthermore, that the Commission is empowered, but not required, to demand
compliance with apposite laws and ordinances proves that the Commission's powers are
merely supplementary to those of state organs, such as the police, upon which the
enforcement of laws primarily rests.

Third, the implementation of the ordinance in question cannot be validly assailed as arbitrary,
oppressive and unreasonable. Aside from the fact that there is no evidence to substantiate
this charge it is not disputed that petitioner has not been totally banned or prohibited from
operating all his buses, he having been allowed to operate two (2) "shuttle" buses within the
city limits.1

The second case for certiorari and prohibition, filed by same petitioner in the first case just
mentioned, is entitled "Lagman vs. Medina" (December 24, 1968), 26 SCRA 442. Put at issue there
is the validity of the Commissioner's Administrative Order No. 1, series of 1964, also disputed herein.
It was there alleged, inter alia, that "the provisions of the bus ban had not been incorporated into his
certificate of public convenience"; "to be applicable to a grantee of such certificate subsequently to
the issuance of the order establishing the ban, there should be a decision, not merely by the
Commissioner, but, also, by the PSC, rendered after due notice and hearing, based upon material
changes in the facts and circumstances under which the certificate had been granted"; and "the ban
is unfair, unreasonable and oppressive." We dismissed this petition and upheld the validity of the
questioned order of the Commissioner. On the aforequoted issues, Chief Justice Roberto
Concepcion, speaking for an equally unanimous Court, said

Petitioner's claim is devoid of merit, inasmuch as:

1. The terms and conditions of the bus ban established by the Commissioner are
substantially identical to those contained in Ordinance No. 4986 of the City of Manila
'rerouting traffic on roads and streets' therein, approved on July 30, 1964. In G.R. No. L-
23305, entitled "Lagman vs. City of Manila, petitioner herein assailed the validity of said
ordinance," upon the ground, among others, that it tended to amend or modify certificates of
public conveniences issued by the PSC; that the power therein exercised by the City of
Manila belongs to the PSC; and that the ordinance is arbitrary, oppressive and
unreasonable. In a decision promulgated on June 30, 1966, this Court rejected this pretense
and dismissed Lagman's petition in said case.

2. Petitioner's certificate of public convenience, like all other similar certificates, was
issued subject to the condition that operators shall observe and comply [with] . . . all the rules
and regulations of the Commission relative to PUB service," and the contested orders
issued pursuant to Sections 13 (a), 16 (g) and 17 (a) of Commonwealth Act 146, as
amended partake of the nature of such rules and regulations.

xxx xxx xxx

4. The purpose of the ban to minimize the "traffic problem in the City of Manila" and the
"traffic congestion, delays and even accidents" resulting from the free entry into the streets of
said City and the operation "around said streets, loading and unloading or picking up
passengers and cargoes" of PU buses in great "number and size" and the letter and spirit
of the contested orders are inconsistent with the exclusion of Lagman or of those granted
certificates of public convenience subsequently to the issuance of said orders from the
operation thereof.

xxx xxx xxx

9. The theory to the effect that, to be valid, the aforementioned orders must be issued by the
PSC, not merely by its Commissioner, and only after due notice and hearing, is predicated
upon the premise that the bus ban operates as an amendment of petitioner's certificate of
public convenience, which is false, and was not sustained by this Court in its decision in G.R.
No. L-23305, which is binding upon Lagman, he being the petitioner in said case.2

The issues raised by Lagman in the two cases just mentioned were likewise relied upon by the
petitioners in the case now before us. But for the fact that the present petitioners raised other issues,
we could have perhaps written finis to the present case. The obvious reason is that we find no cause
or reason why we should break away from our ruling in said cases. Petitioners herein, however,
draw our attention to points which are not specifically ruled upon in the Lagman cases heretofore

2. Petitioners' other gripe against Ordinance 4986 is that it destroys vested rights of petitioning public
services to operate inside Manila and to proceed to their respective terminals located in the City.
They would want likewise to nullify said ordinance upon the averment that it impairs the vested rights
of petitioning bus passengers to be transported directly to downtown Manila.
It has been said that a vested right is one which is "fixed, unalterable, or irrevocable."3 Another
definition would give vested right the connotation that it is "absolute, complete, and unconditional, to
the exercise of which no obstacle exists . . . ."4 Petitioners' citation from 16 C.J.S., pp. 642-
643,5 correctly expresses the view that when the "right to enjoyment, present or prospective, has
become the property of some particular person or persons as a present interest," that right is a
vested right. Along the same lines is our jurisprudential concept. Thus, inBenguet Consolidated
Mining Co. vs. Pineda,6 we put forth the thought that a vested right is "some right or interest in the
property which has become fixed and established, and is no longer open to doubt or controversy"; it
is an "immediate fixed right of present and future enjoyment"; it is to be contra-distinguished from a
right that is "expectant or contingent." The Benguet case also quoted from 16 C.J.S., Sec. 215, pp.
642-643, as follows: "Rights are vested when the right to enjoyment, present or prospective, has
become the property of some particular person or persons as a present interest. The right must be
absolute, complete, and unconditional, independent of a contingency, and a mere expectancy of
future benefit, or a contingent interest in property founded on anticipated continuance of existing
laws, does not constitute a vested right. So, inchoate rights which have not been acted on are not

Of course, whether a right is vested or not, much depends upon the environmental facts.8

Contending that they possess valid and subsisting certificates of public convenience, the petitioning
public services aver that they acquired a vested right to operate their public utility vehicles to and
from Manila as appearing in their said respective certificates of public convenience.

Petitioner's argument pales on the face of the fact that the very nature of a certificate of public
convenience is at cross purposes with the concept of vested rights. To this day, the accepted view,
at least insofar as the State is concerned, is that "a certificate of public convenience constitutes
neither a franchise nor a contract, confers no property right, and is a mere license or privilege."9 The
holder of such certificate does not acquire a property right in the route covered thereby. Nor does it
confer upon the holder any proprietary right or interest of franchise in the public
highways.10 Revocation of this certificate deprives him of no vested right.11 Little reflection is
necessary to show that the certificate of public convenience is granted with so many strings
attached. New and additional burdens, alteration of the certificate, and even revocation or annulment
thereof is reserved to the State.

We need but add that the Public Service Commission, a government agency vested by law with
"jurisdiction, supervision, and control over all public services and their franchises, equipment, and
other properties"12 is empowered, upon proper notice and hearing, amongst others: (1) "[t]o amend,
modify or revoke at any time a certificate issued under the provisions of this Act [Commonwealth Act
146, as amended], whenever the facts and circumstances on the strength of which said certificate
was issued have been misrepresented or materially changed";13 and (2) "[t]o suspend or revoke any
certificate issued under the provisions of this Act whenever the holder thereof has violated or wilfully
and contumaciously refused to comply with any order, rule or regulation of the Commission or any
provision of this Act: Provided, That the Commission, for good cause, may prior to the hearing
suspend for a period not to exceed thirty days any certificate or the exercise of any right or authority
issued or granted under this Act by order of the Commission, whenever such step shall in the
judgment of the Commission be necessary to avoid serious and irreparable damage or
inconvenience to the public or to private interests."14 Jurisprudence echoes the rule that the
Commission is authorized to make reasonable rules and regulations for the operation of public
services and to enforce them.15 In reality, all certificates of public convenience issued are subject to
the condition that all public services "shall observe and comply [with] ... all the rules and regulations
of the Commission relative to" the service.16 To further emphasize the control imposed on public
services, before any public service can "adopt, maintain, or apply practices or measures, rules, or
regulations to which the public shall be subject in its relation with the public service," the
Commission's approval must first be had.17

And more. Public services must also reckon with provincial resolutions and municipal ordinances
relating to the operation of public utilities within the province or municipality concerned. The
Commission can require compliance with these provincial resolutions or municipal ordinances.18

Illustrative of the lack of "absolute, complete, and unconditional" right on the part of public services to
operate because of the delimitations and restrictions which circumscribe the privilege afforded a
certificate of public convenience is the following from the early (March 31, 1915) decision of this
Court in Fisher vs. Yangco Steamship Company, 31 Phil. 1, 18-19:

Common carriers exercise a sort of public office, and have duties to perform in which the
public is interested. Their business is, therefore, affected with a public interest, and is subject
of public regulation. (New Jersey Steam Nav. Co. vs. Merchants Banks, 6 How. 344, 382;
Munn vs. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113, 130.) Indeed, this right of regulation is so far beyond question
that it is well settled that the power of the state to exercise legislative control over railroad
companies and other carriers 'in all respects necessary to protect the public against danger,
injustice and oppression' may be exercised through boards of commissioners. (New York,
etc. R. Co. vs. Bristol, 151 U.S. 556, 571; Connecticut, etc. R. Co. vs. Woodruff, 153 U.S.

xxx xxx xxx

. . . . The right to enter the public employment as a common carrier and to offer one's
services to the public for hire does not carry with it the right to conduct that business as one
pleases, without regard to the interests of the public and free from such reasonable and just
regulations as may be prescribed for the protection of the public from the reckless or
careless indifference of the carrier as to the public welfare and for the prevention of unjust
and unreasonable discrimination of any kind whatsoever in the performance of the carrier's
duties as a servant of the public.

Business of certain kinds, including the business of a common carrier, holds such a peculiar
relation to the public interest that there is superinduced upon it the right of public regulation.
(Budd vs. New York, 143 U.S. 517, 533.) When private property is "affected with a public
interest it ceases to be juris privati only." Property becomes clothed with a public interest
when used in a manner to make it of public consequence and affect the community at large.
"When, therefore, one devotes his property to a use in which the public has an interest, he,
in effect, grants to the public an interest in that use, and must submit to be controlled by the
public for the common good, to the extent of the interest he has thus created. He may
withdraw his grant by discontinuing the use, but so long as he maintains the use he must
submit to control." (Munn vs. Illinois, 94 U.S. 113; Georgia R. & Bkg. Co. vs. Smith, 128 U.S.
174; Budd vs. New York, 143 U.S. 517; Louisville, etc. Ry. Co. vs. Kentucky, 161 U.S. 677,

The foregoing, without more, rejects the vested rights theory espoused by petitioning bus operators.

Very little need be added to show that neither do bus passengers have a vested right to be
transported directly into the City of Manila. It would suffice if a statement be here made that the
alleged right of bus passengers, to a great extent, is dependent upon the manner public services are
allowed to operate within a given area. Because, regulations imposed upon public services directly
affect the bus passengers. It is quite obvious that if buses were allowed to load or unload solely at
specific or designated places, a passenger cannot legally demand or insist that the operator load or
unload him at a place other than those specified or designated.

It is no argument to support the vested rights theory that petitioning passengers have enjoyed the
privilege of having been continuously transported even before the outbreak of the war directly
without transfer from the provinces to places inside Manila up to the respective bus terminals in said
City. Times have changed. Vehicles have increased in number. Traffic congestion has moved from
bad to worse, from tolerable to critical. The number of people who use the thoroughfares has

3. It is because of all of these that it has become necessary for the police power of the State to step
in, not for the benefit of the few, but for the benefit of the many. Reasonable restrictions have to be
provided for the use of the thoroughfares.19 The operation of public services may be subjected to
restraints and burdens, in order to secure the general comfort.20 No franchise or right can be availed
of to defeat the proper exercise of police power21 the authority "to enact rules and regulations for
the promotion of the general welfare." 22 So it is, that by the exercise of the police power, which is a
continuing one, a business lawful today may in the future, because of the changed situation, the
growth of population or other causes, become a menace to the public health and welfare, and be
required to yield to the public good."23 Public welfare, we have said, lies at the bottom of any
regulatory measure designed "to relieve congestion of traffic, which is, to say the least, a menace to
public safety."24 As a corollary, measures calculated to promote the safety and convenience of the
people using the thoroughfares by the regulation of vehicular traffic, present a proper subject for the
exercise of police power.25

Both Ordinance 4986 and the Commissioner's administrative orders fit into the concept of promotion
of the general welfare. Expressive of the purpose of Ordinance 4986 is Section 1 thereof, thus
"As a positive measure to relieve the critical traffic congestion in the City of Manila, which has grown
to alarming and emergency proportions, and in the best interest of public welfare and convenience,
the following traffic rules and regulations are hereby promulgated." Along the same lines, the bus
ban instituted by the Commissioner has for its object "to minimize the 'traffic problem in the City of
Manila' and the 'traffic congestion, delays and even accidents' resulting from the free entry into the
streets of said City and the operation 'around said streets, loading and unloading or picking up
passengers and cargoes' of PU buses in great 'number and size.'"26

Police power in both was properly exercised.

4. We find no difficulty in saying that, contrary to the assertion made by petitioners, Ordinance 4986
is not a class legislation.

It is true that inter-urban buses are allowed to enter the City of Manila, while provincial buses are not
given the same privilege, although they are allowed shuttle service into the City of Manila. There is
no point, however, in placing provincial buses on the same level as the inter-urban buses plying to
and from Manila and its suburban towns and cities (Makati, Pasay, Mandaluyong, Caloocan, San
Juan, Quezon City and Navotas). Inter-urban buses are used for transporting passengers only.
Provincial buses are used for passengers and freight. Provincial buses, because of the freight or
baggage which the passengers usually bring along with them, take longer time to load or unload
than inter-urban buses. Provincial buses generally travel along national highways and provincial
roads, cover long distances, have fixed trip schedules. Provincial buses are greater in size and
weight than inter-urban buses. The routes of inter-urban buses are short, covering contiguous
municipalities and cities only. Inter-urban buses mainly use city and municipal streets.
These distinctions generally hold true between provincial passenger jeepneys and inter-urban
passenger jeepneys.

No unjustified discrimination there is under the law.

The obvious inequality in treatment is but the result flowing from the classification made by the
ordinance and does not trench upon the equal protection clause.27 The least that can be said is that
persons engaged in the same business "are subjected to different restrictions or are held entitled to
different privileges under the same conditions."28

Neither is there merit to the charge that private vehicles are being unjustifiably favored over public
vehicles. Private vehicles are not geared for profit, usually have but one destination. Public vehicles
are operated primarily for profit and for this reason are continually operated to make the most of
time. Public and private vehicles belong to different classes. Differences in class beget differences in
privileges. And petitioners have no cause to complain.

The principles just enunciated have long been recognized. In Ichong vs. Hernandez,29 our ruling is
that the equal protection of the law clause "does not demand absolute equality amongst residents; it
merely requires that all persons shall be treated alike, under like circumstances and conditions both
as to privileges conferred and liabilities enforced"; and, that the equal protection clause "is not
infringed by legislation which applies only to those persons falling within a specified class, if it
applies alike to all persons within such class, and reasonable grounds exist for making a distinction
between those who fall within such class and those who do not."30

FOR THE REASONS GIVEN, the petition herein is denied.

Costs against petitioners. So ordered.