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SECOND DIVISION public policy is concerned, there can be no better policy than what has been conceived by

the municipal government.


[G.R. No. 40243. March 11, 1992.]
4. REMEDIAL LAW; COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE; HAS ORIGINAL JURISDICTION FOR CIVIL
CELESTINO TATEL, Petitioner, v. MUNICIPALITY OF VIRAC, SALVADOR A. SUIT FOR ABATEMENT OF NUISANCE. As to petitioners contention of want of jurisdiction
SURTIDA, in his capacity as Mayor of Virac, Catanduanes; GAVINO V. GUERRERO, by the lower court we find no merit in the same. The case is a simple civil suit for abatement
in his capacity as Vice-Mayor of Virac, Catanduanes; JOSE T. BUEBOS, in his of a nuisance, the original jurisdiction of which falls under the then Court of First Instance.
capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes; ANGELES TABLIZO, in his capacity as
Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes; ELPIDIO T. ZAFE, in his capacity as Councilor of
Virac, Catanduanes; MARIANO ALBERTO, in his capacity as Councilor of Virac, DECISION
Catanduanes; JULIA A. GARCIA, in her capacity as Councilor of Virac, Catanduanes;
and PEDRO A. GUERRERO, in his capacity as Councilor of Virac,
Catanduanes, Respondents. NOCON, J.:

This is a Petition for Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction with the Court of First Instance
SYLLABUS of Catanduanes. filed by appellant, Celestino Tatel, a businessman engaged in the import
and export of abaca and other products against the Municipal Council of Virac, Catanduanes
and its municipal officials enjoining them from enforcing Resolution No. 29 1 of the Council,
1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS; DEFINED. It is a settled principle declaring the warehouse of petitioner in barrio Sta. Elena of the said municipality a public
of law that municipal corporations are agencies of the State for the promotion and nuisance within the purview of Article 694 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and directing
maintenance of local self-government and as such are endowed with police powers in order the petitioner to remove and transfer said warehouse to a more suitable place within two (2)
to effectively accomplish and carry out the declared objects of their creation. Its authority months from receipt of the said resolution.cralawnad
emanates from the general welfare clause under the Administrative Code.
It appears from the records that on the basis of complaints received from the residents of
2. ID.; ID.; MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE; REQUISITES FOR VALIDITY. For an ordinance to be barrio Sta. Elena on March 18, 1966 against the disturbance caused by the operation of the
valid, it must not only be within the corporate powers of the municipality to enact but must abaca bailing machine inside the warehouse of petitioner which affected the peace and
also be passed according to the procedure prescribed by law, and must be in consonance tranquility of the neighborhood due to the smoke, obnoxious odor and dust emitted by the
with certain well established and basic principles of a substantive nature. These principles machine, a committee was appointed by the municipal council of Virac to investigate the
require that a municipal ordinance (1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute matter. The committee noted the crowded nature of the neighborhood with narrow roads
(2) must not be unfair or oppressive (3) must not be partial or discriminatory (4) must not and the surroundings residential houses, so much so that an accidental fire within the
prohibit but may regulate trade (5) must be general and consistent with public policy, and warehouse of petitioner occasioned by a continuance of the activity inside the warehouse
(6) must not be unreasonable. Ordinance No. 13, Series of 1952, meets these criteria. and the storing of inflammable materials created a danger to the lives and properties of the
people within the neighborhood.
3. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; BILL OF RIGHTS; EQUAL PROTECTION OF LAW; NOT VIOLATED
IN CASE AT BAR. As to the assignment of error, that warehouses similarly situated as Resultantly, Resolution No. 29 was passed by the Municipal Council of Virac on April 22,
that of petitioner were not prosecuted, suffice it to say that the mere fact that the municipal 1966 declaring the warehouse owned and operated by petitioner a public nuisance within
authorities of Virac have not proceeded against other warehouses in the municipality the purview of Article 694 of the New Civil Code. 2
allegedly violating Ordinance No. 13 is no reason to claim that the ordinance is
discriminatory. A distinction must be made between the law itself and the manner in which His motion for reconsideration having been denied by the Municipal Council of Virac,
said law is implemented by the agencies in charge with its administration and enforcement. petitioner instituted the present petition for prohibition with preliminary injunction.
There is no valid reason for the petitioner to complain, in the absence of proof that the other
bodegas mentioned by him are operating in violation of the ordinance and that complaints Respondent municipal officials contend that petitioners warehouse was constructed in
have been lodged against the bodegas concerned without the municipal authorities doing violation of Ordinance No. 13, series of 1952, prohibiting the construction of warehouses
anything about it. The objections interposed by the petitioner to the validity of the ordinance near a block of houses either in the poblacion or barrios without maintaining the necessary
have not been substantiated. Its purpose is well within the objectives of sound government. distance of 200 meters from said block of houses to avoid loss of lives and properties by
No undue restraint is placed upon the petitioner or for anybody to engage in trade but accidental fire.
merely a prohibition from storing inflammable products in the warehouses because of the
danger of fire to the lives and properties of the people residing in the vicinity. As far as On the other hand, petitioner contends that said ordinance is unconstitutional, contrary to
the due process and equal protection clause of the Constitution and null and void for not declared objects of their creation. 3 Its authority emanates from the general welfare clause
having been passed in accordance with law. under the Administrative Code, which reads:

The issue then boils down on whether petitioners warehouse is a nuisance within the "The municipal council shall enact such ordinance and make such regulations, not repugnant
meaning of Article 694 of the Civil Code and whether Ordinance No. 13, S. 1952 of the to law, as may be necessary to carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties
Municipality of Virac is unconstitutional and void. conferred upon it by law and such as shall seem necessary and proper to provide for the
health and safety, promote the prosperity, improve the morals, peace, good order, comfort
In a decision dated September 18, 1969, the court a quo ruled as follows: and convenience of the municipality and the inhabitants thereof, and for the protection of
property therein." 4
"1. The warehouse in question was legally constructed under a valid permit issued by the
municipality of Virac in accordance with existing regulations and may not be destroyed or For an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate powers of the
removed from its present location; municipality to enact but must also be passed according to the procedure prescribed by law,
and must be in consonance with certain well established and basic principles of a
2. Ordinance No. 13, series of 1952, is a legitimate and valid exercise of police power by the substantive nature. These principles require that a municipal ordinance (1) must not
Municipal Council of Virac is not (sic) unconstitutional and void as claimed by the petitioner; contravene the Constitution or any statue (2) must not be unfair or oppressive (3) must no
be partial or discriminatory (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade (5) must be
3. The storage by the petitioner of abaca and copra in the warehouse is not only in violation general and consistent with public policy, and (6) must not be unreasonable 5 Ordinance No.
of the provisions of the ordinance but poses a grave danger to the safety of the lives and 13, Series of 1952, meets these criteria.
properties of the residents of the neighborhood due to accidental fire and constitutes a
public nuisance under the provisions of Article 694 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and As to the petitioners second assignment of error, the trial court did not give the ordinance
may be abated; in question a meaning other than what it says. Ordinance No. 13 passed by the Municipal
Council of Virac on December 29, 1952, 6 reads:
4. Accordingly, the petitioner is hereby directed to remove from the said warehouse all
abaca and copra and other inflammable articles stored therein which are prohibited under "AN ORDINANCE STRICTLY PROHIBITING THE CONSTRUCTION OF WAREHOUSE IN ANY
the provisions of Ordinance No. 13, within a period of two (2) months from the time this FORM NEAR A BLOCK OF HOUSES EITHER IN POBLACION OR BARRIO WITH NECESSARY
decision becomes final and that henceforth, the petitioner is enjoined from storing such DISTANCE TO AVOID GREAT LOSSES OF PROPERTY AND LIVES BY FIRE ACCIDENT."
prohibited articles in the warehouse. With costs against petitioner."
Section 1 provides:
Seeking appellate review, petitioner raised as errors of the court a quo:chanrob1es virtual
1aw library "It is strictly prohibited to construct warehouses in any form to any person, persons, entity,
corporation or merchants, wherein to keep or store copra, hemp, gasoline, petroleum,
1. In holding that Ordinance No. 13, series of 1952, of the Municipality of Virac, alcohol, crude oil, oil of turpentine and the like products or materials if not within the
Catanduanes, is a legitimate and valid exercise of police power of the Municipal Council, and distance of 200 meters from a block of houses either in the poblacion or barrios to avoid
therefore, constitutional; great losses of properties inclusive lives by fire accident."cralaw virtua1aw library

2. In giving the ordinance a meaning other than and different from what it provided by Section 2 provides: 7
declaring that petitioner violated the same by using the warehouse for storage of abaca and
copra when what is prohibited and penalized by the ordinance is the construction of "Owners of warehouses in any form, are hereby given advice to remove their said
warehouses. warehouses this ordinance by the Municipal Council, provided however, that if those
warehouses now in existence should no longer be utilized as such warehouse for the above-
3. In refusing to take judicial notice of the fact that in the municipality, there are numerous described products in Section 1 of this ordinance after a lapse of time given for the removal
establishments similarly situated as appellants warehouses but which are not prosecuted. of the said warehouses now in existence, same warehouse shall be exempted from the spirit
of the provision of section 1 of this ordinance, provided further, that these warehouses now
We find no merit in the Petition. in existence, shall in the future be converted into non-inflammable products and materials
warehouses."cralaw virtua1aw library
Ordinance No. 13, series of 1952, was passed by the Municipal Council of Virac in the
exercise of its police power. It is a settled principal of law that municipal corporations are In spite of its fractured syntax, basically, what is regulated by the ordinance is the
agencies of the State for the promotion and maintenance of local self-government and as construction of warehouses wherein inflammable materials are stored where such
such are endowed with police powers in order to effectively accomplish and carry out the warehouses are located at a distance of 200 meters from a block of houses and not the
construction per se of a warehouse. The purpose is to avoid the loss of life and property in As to petitioners contention of want of jurisdiction by the lower court we find no merit, in
case of fire which is one of the primordial obligation of government. the same. The case is a simple civil suit for abatement of a nuisance, the original jurisdiction
of which falls under the then Court of First Instance.
This was also the observation of the trial court:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
WHEREFORE, for lack of merit, the petition is hereby DISMISSED. Costs against petitioner.
"A casual glance of the ordinance at once reveals a manifest disregard of the elemental rules
of syntax. Experience, however, will show that this is not uncommon in law making bodies SO ORDERED.
in small towns where local authorities and in particular the persons charged with the
drafting and preparation of municipal resolutions and ordinances lack sufficient education
and training and are not well grounded even on the basic and fundamental elements of the
English language commonly used throughout the country in such matters. Nevertheless, if
one scrutinizes the terms of the ordinance, it is clear that what is prohibited is the
construction of warehouses by any person, entity or corporation wherein copra, hemp,
gasoline and other inflammable products mentioned in Section 1 may be stored unless at a
distance of not less than 200 meters from a block of houses either in the poblacion or
barrios in order to avoid loss of property and life due to fire. Under Section 2, existing
warehouses for the storage of the prohibited articles were given one year after the approval
of the ordinance within which to remove them but were allowed to remain in operation if
they had ceased to store such prohibited articles.

The ambiguity therefore is more apparent than real and springs from simple error in
grammatical construction but otherwise, the meaning and intent is clear that what is
prohibited is the construction or maintenance of warehouses for the storage of inflammable
articles at a distance within 200 meters from a block of houses either in the poblacion or in
the barrios. And the purpose of the ordinance is to avoid loss of life and property in case of
accidental fire which is one of the primordial and basic obligation of any government." 8

Clearly, the lower court did NOT add meaning other than or different from what provided in
the ordinance in question. It merely stated the purpose of the ordinance and what it intends
to prohibit to accomplish its purpose.

As to the third, assignment of error, that warehouses similarly situated as that of petitioner
were not prosecuted, suffice it to say that the mere fact that the municipal authorities of
Virac have not proceeded against other warehouses in the municipality allegedly violating
Ordinance No. 13 is no reason to claim that the ordinance is discriminatory. A distinction
must be made between the law itself and the manner in which said law is implemented by
the agencies in charge with its administration and enforcement. There is no valid reason for
the petitioner to complain, in the absence of proof that the other bodegas mentioned by him
are operation in violation of the ordinance and that complaints have been lodged against the
bodegas concerned without the municipal authorities doing anything about it.

The objections interposed by the petitioner to the validity of the ordinance have not been
substantiated. Its purpose is well within the objectives of sound government. No undue
restraint is placed upon the petitioner or for anybody to engage in trade but merely a
prohibition from storing inflammable products in the warehouse because of the danger of
fire to the lives and properties of the people residing in the vicinity. As far as public policy is
concerned, there can be no better policy than what has been conceived by the municipal
government.
THIRD DIVISION to the minutes as the official repository of what actually transpires in every proceeding. It
has happened that the minutes may be corrected to reflect the true account of a proceeding,
[G.R. No. 121215. November 13, 1997.] thus, giving the Court more reason to accord them great weight for such subsequent
corrections, if any, are made precisely to preserve the accuracy of the records. In light of
MAYOR OSCAR DE LOS REYES, Petitioner, v. SANDIGANBAYAN, THIRD DIVISION, the conflicting claims of the parties in the case at bar, the Court, without resorting to the
and the PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondents. minutes, will encounter difficulty in resolving the dispute at hand.

4. ID.; ID.; WEIGHT AND SUFFICIENCY; LATE SUBMISSION OF JOINT AFFIDAVIT TO


SYLLABUS BOLSTER PETITIONERS POSITION, CANNOT AID CAUSE. With regard to the joint affidavit
of some members of the Sangguniang Bayan attesting to the actual passage and approval of
Resolution No. 57-8-92, the Court finds the same to have been belatedly submitted as a last
1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE; LOCAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE; VETO minute attempt to bolster petitioners position, and, therefore, could not in any way aid the
POWER; CONFERS AUTHORITY BEYOND MECHANICAL ACT OF SIGNING AN ORDINANCE OR latters cause.
RESOLUTION. Petitioner would like to impress upon this Court that the final step in the
approval of an ordinance or resolution, where the local chief executive affixes his signature,
is purely a ministerial act. This view is erroneous. Article 109(b) of the Local Government DECISION
Code outlines the veto power of the Local Chief Executive. Contrary to petitioners belief, the
grant of the veto power confers authority beyond the simple mechanical act of signing an
ordinance or resolution, as a requisite to its enforceability. Such power accords the local ROMERO, J.:
chief executive the discretion to sustain a resolution or ordinance in the first instance or to
veto it and return it with his objections to the Sanggunian, which may proceed to reconsider
the same. The Sanggunian concerned, however, may override the veto by a two-thirds (2/3) The significance of the minutes taken during the session of a local legislative assembly is the
vote of all its members thereby making the ordinance or resolution effective for all legal determinant issue in this present petition.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary
intents and purposes. It is clear, therefore, that the concurrence of a local chief executive in
the enactment of an ordinance or resolution requires, not only a flourish of the pen, but the Petitioner, along with the two others, was charged with the crime of falsification of a public
application of judgment after meticulous analysis and intelligence as well. document, specifically Resolution No. 57-S-92 dated July 27, 1992 of the Municipal Council
of Mariveles, Bataan. The complaint 1 alleged that the resolution, appropriating the amount
2. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; BILL OF RIGHTS; DOUBLE JEOPARDY; WILL NOT APPLY WHERE of P8,500.00 for the payment of the terminal leave of two municipal employees, was
THE FORMER CASE WAS SUBJECT OF A SEPARATE COMPLAINT AND HAS NO RELATION anomalous for not having been approved by the said Council, as the minutes of the
WITH THE ONE IN QUESTION. Petitioners other contention that the Ombudsman should proceedings therein made no reference to the supposed approval thereof. It contended that
have dismissed the present case in view of a previous dismissal of a similar complaint its seeming passage was carried out by petitioner in connivance with Sangguniang Bayan
involving the same factual context is likewise misplaced. As explained by Deputy Special (SB) Member Jesse Concepcion and SB Secretary Antonio Zurita.
Prosecutor Leonardo P. Tamayo in his comment, the other case relied upon by petitioner has
no relation whatsoever with the one in question. Notably, the former case was subject of a After preliminary investigation, the deputized prosecutor of Balanga, Bataan recommended
separate complaint and preliminary investigation, hence, the findings and records therein the filing of an information 2 for Falsification of Public Document against petitioner and
could not be "made part of the case under consideration."cralaw virtua1aw library Concepcion, excluding Zurita who died during the pendency hereof.

3. REMEDIAL LAW; EVIDENCE; COURT ACCORDS FULL RECOGNITION TO THE MINUTES AS On September 21, 1994, the information filed before the Sandiganbayan reads as follows:
THE OFFICIAL REPOSITORY OF WHAT ACTUALLY TRANSPIRES IN EVERY PROCEEDING;
CASE AT BAR. It must be stressed that the Ombudsman correctly relied on the minutes "That on or about July 27, 1992 or sometimes (sic) prior or subsequent thereto, in
taken during the session of the Sangguniang Bayan held last July 27, 1992, which petitioner Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, OSCAR
regards as inconclusive evidence of what actually transpired therein. In a long line of cases, DELOS REYES and JESSE CONCEPCION, both public officers, being Municipal Mayor of
the Court, in resolving conflicting assertions of the protagonists in a case, has placed Mariveles, Bataan and Member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Mariveles, Bataan, passed and
reliance on the minutes of the transcribed stenographic notes to ascertain the truth of the approved the said resolution appropriating the amount of P8,500.00 for payment of the
proceedings therein. In the case at bar, the minutes of the session reveal that petitioner terminal leave of two (2) employees of the municipality, when in truth and in fact as both
attended the session of the Sangguniang Bayan on on July 27, 1992. It is evident, accused knew well the same is false and incorrect as the said resolution was not approved
therefore, that petitioner approved the subject resolution knowing fully well that "the by the aforesaid Sangguniang Bayan for which both accused has the obligation to disclose
subject matter treated therein was neither taken up and discussed nor passed upon by the the truth.
Sangguniang Bayan during the legislative session." Thus, the Court accords full recognition
CONTRARY TO LAW. 3 making the ordinance or resolution effective for all legal intents and purposes. It is clear,
therefore, that the concurrence of a local chief executive in the enactment of an ordinance
On October 14, 1994, prior to his arraignment, petitioner filed a Motion for Reinvestigation or resolution requires, not only a flourish of the pen, but the application of judgment after
arguing, among other things, "that the Ombudsman previously dismissed a similar meticulous analysis and intelligence as well.
complaint against him involving the same factual setting." 4 Likewise adduced in the motion
is the joint affidavit of the other members of the Sangguniang Bayan of Mariveles attesting Petitioners other contention that the Ombudsman should have dismissed the present case
to the actual passage and approval of Resolution No. 57-S-92. in view of a previous dismissal of a similar complaint involving the same factual context is
likewise misplaced.
In a resolution dated December 29, 1994, respondent Sandiganbayan denied the Motion for
Reinvestigation, the pertinent portion of which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph As explained by Deputy Special Prosecutor Leonardo P. Tamayo in his comment, the other
case relied upon by petitioner has no relation whatsoever with the one in question. Notably,
"Acting on accused Mayor Oscar delos Reyes Motion for Reinvestigation and accused Jesse the former case was subject of a separate complaint and preliminary investigation, hence,
Concepcions Manifestation, the same are hereby DENIED, being without merit and the the findings and records therein could not be "made part of the case under consideration."
prosecution having vigorously opposed the Motion. The allegations of fact and the 7
arguments of counsel are best taken up in the trial on the merits. As found by the
prosecution, a prima facie case exists. It must be stressed that the Ombudsman correctly relied on the minutes taken during the
session of the Sangguniang Bayan held last July 27, 1992, which petitioner regards as
Consequently, let the arraignment of the above entitled case be set on March 03, 1995, at inconclusive evidence of what actually transpired therein. In a long line of cases, the Court,
8:30 A.M." 5 in resolving conflicting assertions of the protagonists in a case, has placed reliance on the
minutes or the transcribed stenographic notes to ascertain the truth of the proceedings
After the motion for reconsideration was denied on May 24, 1995, petitioner filed this instant therein.
petition forcertiorari. On September 18, 1995, the Court resolved to issue the temporary
restraining order prayed for by petitioner. The following cases illustrate the importance of the minutes:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

The order of respondent Sandiganbayan must be sustained. It was held that "contrary to petitioners claim, what the minutes only show is that on
August 12, 1994 the Sanggunian took a vote on the administrative case of respondent
In an effort to exonerate himself from the charge, petitioner argues that the deliberations Mayor and not that it then rendered a decision as required by Section 66(a) of the Local
undertaken and the consequent passage of Resolution No. 57-S-92 are legislative in nature. Government Code." 8
He adds that as local chief executive, he could not have taken advantage of his official
position in committing the crime of falsification as defined and punished under Article 171 6 With the same factual context as in the case at bar, petitioners herein were "accused of
of the Revised Penal Code. having falsified or caused the falsification of the excerpts of the minutes of the regular
session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Quirino province on August 15, 1988 and
Petitioner would like to impress upon this Court that the final step in the approval of an September 19, 1988. . . ." 9
ordinance or resolution, where the local chief executive affixes his signature, is purely a
ministerial act. This view is erroneous. Article 109(b) of the Local Government Code outlines "In his resolution, Secretary Drilon declared that there were no written notices of public
the veto power of the Local Chief Executive which provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph hearings on the proposed Manila Revenue Code that were sent to interested parties as
required by Article 276(b) of the Implementing Rules of the Local Government Code nor
"Article 109 (b). The local chief executive, except the punong barangay shall have the power were copies of the proposed ordinance published in three successive issues of a newspaper
to veto any particular item or items of an appropriations ordinance, an ordinance or of general circulation pursuant to Article 276(a). No minutes were submitted to show that
resolution adopting a local development plan and public investment program or an the obligatory public hearings had been held." 10
ordinance directing the payment of money or creating liability. . . ." (Emphasis
supplied)chanrobles.com : virtual law library "It appears from the minutes of the board meeting of February 28, 1958 that the names of
the members present as well those who were absent have been recorded, and that all those
Contrary to petitioners belief, the grant of the veto power confers authority beyond the present took active part in the debates and deliberations. At the end of the session, when
simple mechanical act of signing an ordinance or resolution, as a requisite to its the presiding officer asked the members if there were any objections to the approval of the
enforceability. Such power accords the local chief executive the discretion to sustain a proposed budget, only one councilor raised an objection. The minutes, therefore, could
resolution or ordinance in the first instance or to veto it and return it with his objections to readily show who of the members present in the deliberations voted pro and who voted
the Sanggunian, which may proceed to reconsider the same. The Sanggunian concerned, con." 11
however, may override the veto by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all its members thereby
"The certification of the election registrar relied upon by the petitioner is correct as far as it
goes. Only 80 votes appear to have voted according to the precinct book in the sense that
only 80 voters affixed their signatures thereon after voting. But this does not necessarily
mean that no other voters cast their ballots in the questioned precinct: there were 279 in
all, according to the minutes of voting, although only 80 of them signed the precinct book."
12

"As found by the trial court, the said minutes of the meeting of the Sangguniang Bayan do
not mention the execution of any deed to perfect the agreement. An engineer was appointed
to survey the old abandoned road, but this act does not in any manner convey title over the
abandoned road to the Pansacola spouses nor extinguishes their ownership over the land
traversed by the new provincial highway." 13

In the case at bar, the minutes of the session reveal that petitioner attended the session of
the Sangguniang Bayan on July 27, 1992. It is evident, therefore, that petitioner approved
the subject resolution knowing fully well that "the subject matter treated therein was neither
taken up and discussed nor passed upon by the Sangguniang Bayan during the legislative
session." 14

Thus, the Court accords full recognition to the minutes as the official repository of what
actually transpires in every proceeding. It has happened that the minutes may be corrected
to reflect the true account of a proceeding, thus giving the Court more reason to accord
them great weight for such subsequent corrections, if any, are made precisely to preserve
the accuracy of the records. In light of the conflicting claims of the parties in the case at
bar, the Court, without resorting to the minutes, will encounter difficulty in resolving the
dispute at hand.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

With regard to the joint affidavit of some members of the Sangguniang Bayan attesting to
the actual passage and approval of Resolution No. 57-S-92, the Court finds the same to
have been belatedly submitted as a last minute attempt to bolster petitioners position, and,
therefore, could not in any way aid the latters cause.

Indeed, the arguments raised by petitioners counsel are best taken up in the trial on the
merits.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant petition is DISMISSED. The assailed
resolutions of the Sandiganbayan dated December 29, 1994, and May 24, 1995, are hereby
AFFIRMED. The temporary restraining order issued by this Court on September 18, 1995, is
hereby LIFTED.

The Sandiganbayan is DIRECTED to set Criminal Case No. 21073 for arraignment and trial.
SECOND DIVISION The main issue presented in this case is whether a municipality may expropriate private
property by virtue of a municipal resolution which was disapproved by the Sangguniang
[G.R. No. 107916. February 20, 1997.] Panlalawigan. Petitioner seeks the reversal of the Court of Appeals decision and resolution,
promulgated on July 15, 1992 and October 22, 1992 respectively, 1 and a declaration that
PERCIVAL MODAY, ZOTICO MODAY (deceased) and LEONORA MODAY, Petitioners, Municipal Resolution No. 43-89 of the Bunawan Sangguniang Bayan is null and void.
v. COURT OF APPEALS, JUDGE EVANGELINE S. YUIPCO OF BRANCH 6, REGIONAL
TRIAL COURT, AGUSAN DEL SUR AND MUNICIPALITY OF BUNAWAN, Respondents. On July 23, 1989, the Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Bunawan in Agusan del Sur
passed Resolution No. 43-89, "Authorizing the Municipal Mayor to Initiate the Petition for
Expropriation of a One (1) Hectare Portion of Lot No. 6138-Pls-4 Along the National Highway
Owned by Percival Moday for the Site of Bunawan Farmers Center and Other Government
SYLLABUS Sports Facilities." 2

In due time, Resolution No. 43-89 was approved by then Municipal Mayor Anuncio C.
POLITICAL LAW; LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE (B.P. 337); POWER OF THE SANGGUNIANG Bustillo and transmitted to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for its approval On September 11,
PANLALAWIGAN TO REVIEW ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS 1989, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan disapproved said Resolution and returned it with the
PROMULGATED BY THE MUNICIPAL MAYOR; DECLARATION OF INVALIDITY MUST BE ON comment that "expropriation is unnecessary considering that there are still available lots in
THE SOLE GROUND THAT IT IS BEYOND THE POWER OF THE SANGGUNIAN BAYAN OR Bunawan for the establishment of the government center." 3
MAYOR TO ISSUE THE RESOLUTION, ORDINANCE OR ORDER UNDER REVIEW. The
Sangguniang Panlalawigans disapproval of Municipal Resolution No. 43-89 is an infirm The Municipality of Bunawan, herein public respondent, subsequently filed a Petition for
action which does not render said resolution null and void. The law, as expressed in Section Eminent Domain against petitioner Percival Moday before the Regional Trial Court at
153 of B.P. BLG. 337, grants the Sangguniang Panlalawigan the power to declare a Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur. 4 The complaint was later amended to include the registered
municipal resolution invalid on the sole ground that it is beyond the power of the owners, Percival Modays parents, Zotico and Leonora Moday, as party defendants.
Sangguniang Bayan or the Mayor to issue. Although pertaining to a similar provision of law
but different factual milieu then obtaining, the Courts pronouncements in Velazco v. Blas, On March 6, 1991, public respondent municipality filed a Motion to Take or Enter Upon the
where we cited significant early jurisprudence, are applicable to the case at bar. "The only Possession of Subject Matter of This Case stating that it had already deposited with the
ground upon which a provincial board may declare any municipal resolution, ordinance, or municipal treasurer the necessary amount in accordance with Section 2, Rule 67 of the
order invalid is when such resolution, ordinance, or order is beyond the powers conferred Revised Rules of Court and that it would be in the governments best interest for public
upon the council or president making the same. Absolutely no other ground is recognized respondent to be allowed to take possession of the property.
by the law. A strictly legal question is before the provincial board in its consideration of a
municipal resolution, ordinance, or order. The provincial (boards) disapproval of any Despite petitioners opposition and after a hearing on the merits, the Regional Trial Court
resolution, ordinance, or order must be premised specifically upon the fact that such granted respondent municipalitys motion to take possession of the land. The lower court
resolution, ordinance, or order is outside the scope of the legal powers conferred by law. If a held that the Sangguniang Panlalawigans failure to declare the resolution invalid leaves it
provincial board passes these limits, it usurps the legislative functions of the municipal effective. It added that the duty of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is merely to review the
council or president. Such has been the consistent course of executive authority." Thus, the ordinances and resolutions passed by the Sangguniang Bayan under Section 208 (1) of B.P.
Sangguniang Panlalawigan was without the authority to disapprove Municipal Resolution No. Blg. 337, old Local Government Code and that the exercise of eminent domain is not one of
43-89 for the Municipality of Bunawan clearly Anuncio has the power to exercise the right of the two acts enumerated in Section 19 thereof requiring the approval of the Sangguniang
eminent domain and its Sangguniang Bayan the capacity to promulgate said resolution, Panlalawigan. 5 The dispositive portion of the lower courts Order dated July 2, 1991 reads:
pursuant to the earlier-quoted Section 9 of B.P. Blg. 337. Perforce, it follows that Resolution
No. 43-89 is valid and binding and could be used as lawful authority to petition for the "WHEREFORE, it appearing that the amount of P632.39 had been deposited as per Official
condemnation of petitioners property. Receipt No. 5379647 on December 12, 1989 which this Court now determines as the
provisional value of the land, the Motion to Take or Enter Upon the Possession of the
Property filed by petitioner through counsel is hereby GRANTED. The Sheriff of this Court is
DECISION ordered to forthwith place the plaintiff in possession of the property involved.

Let the hearing be set on August 9, 1991 at 8:30 oclock in the morning for the purpose of
ROMERO, J.: ascertaining the just compensation or fair market value of the property sought to be taken,
with notice to all the parties concerned.

SO ORDERED." 6
The Court finds no merit in the petition and affirms the decision of the Court of Appeals.
Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied by the trial court on October 31, 1991.
Eminent domain, the power which the Municipality of Bunawan exercised in the instant case,
Petitioners elevated the case in a petition for certiorari alleging grave abuse of discretion on is a fundamental State power that is inseparable from sovereignty. 14 It is governments
the part of the trial court but the same was dismissed by respondent appellate court on July right to appropriate, in the nature of a compulsory sale to the State, private property for
15, 1992. 7 The Court of Appeals held that the public purpose for the expropriation is clear public use or purpose. 15 Inherently possessed by the national legislature the power of
from Resolution No. 43-89 and that since the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Agusan del Sur eminent domain may be validly delegated to local governments, other public entities and
did not declare Resolution No. 43-89 invalid, expropriation of petitioners property could public utilities. 16 For the taking of private property by the government to be valid, the
proceed. taking must be for public use and there must be just compensation. 17

Respondent appellate court also denied petitioners motion for reconsideration on October The Municipality of Bunawans power to exercise the right of eminent domain is not disputed
22, 1992. 8 as it is expressly provided for in Batas Pambansa Blg. 337, the Local Government Code 18 in
force at the time expropriation proceedings were initiated. Section 9 of said law states:
Meanwhile, the Municipality of Bunawan had erected three buildings on the subject
property: the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) Hall, the Municipal Motorpool, both "Section 9. Eminent Domain. A local government unit may, through its head and acting
wooden structures, and the Bunawan Municipal Gymnasium, which is made of concrete. pursuant to a resolution of its sanggunian, exercise the right of eminent domain and
institute condemnation proceedings for public use or purpose."cralaw virtua1aw library
In the instant petition for review filed on November 23, 1992, petitioner seeks the reversal
of the decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals and a declaration that Resolution No. What petitioners question is the lack of authority of the municipality to exercise this right
43-89 of the Municipality of Bunawan is null and void. since the Sangguniang Panlalawigan disapproved Resolution No. 43-89.

On December 8, 1993, the Court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining and Section 153 of B.P. Blg. 337 provides:
restraining public respondent Judge Evangeline Yuipco from enforcing her July 2, 1991 Order
and respondent municipality from using and occupying all the buildings constructed and "Sec. 153. Sangguniang Panlalawigan Review. (1) Within thirty days after receiving
from further constructing any building on the land subject of this petition. 9 copies of approved ordinances, resolutions and executive orders promulgated by the
municipal mayor, the sangguniang panlalawigan shall examine the documents or transmit
Acting on petitioners Omnibus Motion for Enforcement of Restraining Order and for them to the provincial attorney, or if there be none, to the .provincial fiscal, who shall
Contempt, the Court issued a Resolution on March 15, 1995, citing incumbent municipal examine them promptly and inform the sangguniang panlalawigan in writing of any defect or
mayor Anuncio C. Bustillo for contempt, ordering him to pay the fine and to demolish the impropriety which he may discover therein and make such comments or recommendations
"blocktiendas" which were built in violation of the restraining order. 10 as shall appear to him proper.

Former Mayor Anuncio C. Bustillo paid the fine and manifested that he lost in the May 8, (2) If the sangguniang panlalawigan shall find that any municipal ordinance, resolution or
1995 election. 11 The incumbent Mayor Leonardo Barrios, filed a Manifestation, Motion to executive order is beyond the power conferred upon the sangguniang bayan or the mayor, it
Resolve "Urgent Motion for Immediate Dissolution of the Temporary Restraining Order" and shall declare such ordinance, resolution or executive order invalid in whole or in part,
Memorandum on June 11, 1996 for the Municipality of Bunawan. 12 entering its actions upon the minutes and advising the proper municipal authorities thereof.
The effect of such an action shall be to annul the ordinance, resolution or executive order in
Petitioners contend that the Court of Appeals erred in upholding the legality of the question in whole or in part. The action of the sangguniang panlalawigan shall be final.
condemnation proceedings initiated by the municipality. According to petitioners, the
expropriation was politically motivated and Resolution No. 43-89 was correctly disapproved x x x." (Emphasis supplied.)
by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, there being other municipal properties available for the
purpose. Petitioners also pray that the former Mayor Anuncio C. Bustillo be ordered to pay The Sangguniang Panlalawigans disapproval of Municipal Resolution No. 43-89 is an infirm
damages for insisting on the enforcement of a void municipal resolution. action which does not render said resolution null and void. The law, as expressed in Section
153 of B.P. Blg. 337, grants the Sangguniang Panlalawigan the power to declare a municipal
The Court of Appeals declared that the Sangguniang Panlalawigans reason for disapproving resolution invalid on the sole ground that it is beyond the power of the Sangguniang Bayan
the resolution "could be baseless, because it failed to point out which and where are those or the Mayor to issue. Although pertaining to a similar provision of law but different factual
available lots." Respondent court also concluded that since the Sangguniang Panlalawigan milieu then obtaining, the Courts pronouncements in Velazco v. Blas, 19 where we cited
did not declare the municipal boards resolution as invalid, expropriation of petitioners significant early jurisprudence, are applicable to the case at bar.
property could proceed. 13
"The only ground upon which a provincial board may declare any municipal resolution,
ordinance, or order invalid is when such resolution, ordinance, or order is beyond the
powers conferred upon the council or president making the same. Absolutely no other
ground is recognized by the law. A strictly legal question is before the provincial board in its
consideration of a municipal resolution, ordinance, or order. The provincial (boards)
disapproval of any resolution, ordinance, or order must be premised specifically upon the
fact that such resolution, ordinance, or order is outside the scope of the legal powers
conferred by law. If a provincial board passes these limits, it usurps the legislative functions
of the municipal council or president. Such has been the consistent course of executive
authority." 20

Thus, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan was without the authority to disapprove Municipal
Resolution No. 43-89 for the Municipality of Bunawan clearly has the power to exercise the
right of eminent domain and its Sangguniang Bayan the capacity to promulgate said
resolution, pursuant to the earlier-quoted Section 9 of B.P. Blg. 337. Perforce; it follows that
Resolution No. 43-89 is valid and binding and could be used. as lawful authority to petition
for the condemnation of petitioners property.

As regards the accusation of political oppression, it is alleged that Percival Moday incurred
the ire of then Mayor Anuncio C. Bustillo when he refused to support the latters candidacy
for mayor in previous elections. Petitioners claim that then incumbent Mayor C. Bustillo used
the expropriation to retaliate by expropriating their land even if there were other properties
belonging to the municipality and available for the purpose. Specifically, they allege that the
municipality owns a vacant seven-hectare property adjacent to petitioners land, evidenced
by a sketch plan. 21

The limitations on the power of eminent domain are that the use must be public,
compensation must be made and due process of law must be observed. 22 The Supreme
Court, taking cognizance of such issues as the adequacy of compensation, necessity of the
taking and the public use character or the purpose of the taking, 23 has ruled that the
necessity of exercising eminent domain must be genuine and of a public character. 24
Government may not capriciously choose what private property should be taken.

After a careful study of the records of the case, however, we find no evidentiary support for
petitioners allegations. The uncertified photocopy of the sketch plan does not conclusively
prove that the municipality does own vacant land adjacent to petitioners property suited to
the purpose of the expropriation. In the questioned decision, respondent appellate court
similarly held that the pleadings and documents on record have not pointed out any of
respondent municipalitys "other available properties available for the same purpose." 25
The accusations of political reprisal are likewise unsupported by competent evidence.
Consequently, the Court holds that petitioners demand that the former municipal mayor be
personally liable for damages is without basis.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby DENIED. The questioned Decision and Resolution
of the Court of Appeals in the case of "Percival Moday, Et. Al. v. Municipality of Bunawan, Et.
Al." (CA G.R. SP No. 26712) are AFFIRMED. The Temporary Restraining Order issued by the
Court on December 8, 1993 is LIFTED.

SO ORDERED.
EN BANC ". . . The OP found petitioners guilty of misconduct on the ground that . . .

[G.R. No. 137718. January 28, 2000.] ". . . the P39,352,047.75 appropriated in Ordinance 0254 to fund the expropriation of Lot 26
of the Maysilo Estate was merely a portion of the P50 million included and appropriated in
REYNALDO O. MALONZO, in his capacity as City Mayor of Caloocan City, OSCAR the 1998 Annual Budget for expropriation purpose and . . . the judicial action for
MALAPITAN, in his capacity as Vice-Mayor of Caloocan City, CHITO ABEL, expropriation . . . is still pending with the court. This being so, the amount allocated for the
BENJAMIN MANLAPIG, EDGAR ERICE, DENNIS PADILLA, ZALDY DOLATRE, LUIS expropriation cannot be reverted to or be deemed as savings to serve as funds actually
TITO VARELA, SUSANA PUNZALAN, HENRY CAMAYO, in their capacities as Members available for the supplemental budget. . . .
of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Caloocan City,Petitioners, v. HON. RONALDO B.
ZAMORA, in his capacity as Executive Secretary, HON. RONALDO V. PUNO, in his "We cannot, however, agree . . .
capacity as Undersecretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government,
and EDUARDO TIBOR, Respondents. "The OPs premise, in our opinion, rests upon an erroneous appreciation of facts on record.
The OP seems to have been confused as to the figures and amounts actually involved. A
RESOLUTION meticulous analysis of the records would show that there really is no basis to support the
OPs contention that the amount of P39,352,047.75 was appropriated under Ordinance No.
0254, S. 1998, since in truth and in fact, what was appropriated in said ordinance was the
DE LEON, JR., J.: amount of P39,343,028.00. The allocation of P39,352,047.75 is to be found in the earlier
Ordinance no. 0246, S. 1997 which is a separate and distinct ordinance. . . ."cralaw
virtua1aw library
On March 15, 1999, the Office of the President (OP) through Executive Secretary Ronaldo
Zamora, rendered a Decision 1 the dispositive portion of which reads, "Section 322 of the Code upon which the OP anchored its opinion that petitioners breached a
viz.:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph statutory mandate provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"WHEREFORE, herein respondents Mayor Reynaldo Malonzo, Vice-Mayor Oscar G. Malapitan "SECTION 322. Reversion of Unexpended Balances of Appropriations, Continuing
and Councilors Chito Abel, Benjamin Manlapig, Edgar Erice, Dennis Padilla, Zaldy Dolatre, Appropriations. Unexpended balances of appropriations authorized in the annual
Susana Punzalan, Henry Camayo, and Luis Tito Varela, all of Caloocan city are hereby appropriations ordinance shall revert to the unappropriated surplus of the general funds at
adjudged guilty of misconduct and each is meted the penalty of SUSPENSION from office for the end of the fiscal year and shall not thereafter be available for expenditure except by
a period of three (3) months without pay to commence upon receipt of this Decision. This subsequent enactment. However, appropriations for capital outlays shall continue and
Decision is immediately executory. remain valid until fully spent, reverted or the project is completed. Reversions of continuing
appropriations shall not be allowed unless obligations therefor have been fully paid or
SO ORDERED."cralaw virtua1aw library settled."chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

On March 22, 1999, petitioners Mayor Reynaldo Malonzo, Vice-Mayor Oscar G. Malapitan "Based on the above provision, the OP reached the determination that Ordinance No. 0254,
and councilors Chito Abel, Benjamin Manlapig, Edgar Erice, Dennis Padilla, Zaldy Dolatre, S. 1998 could not have lawfully realigned the amount of P39,352,047.75 which was
Luis Tito Varela, Susana Punzalan, and Henry Camayo, all of the City of Caloocan, filed a previously appropriated for the expropriation of Lot 26 of the Maysilo Estate since such
petition assailing the OP decision.chanrobles.com : virtual law library appropriation was in the nature of a capital outlay until fully spent, reverted, or the project
for which it is earmarked is completed.
On July 27, 1999, We granted the petition and accordingly annulled and set aside the OP
decision for having been rendered with grave abuse of discretion and/or excess of "The question, however, is not whether the appropriation of P39,352,047.75 could fall under
jurisdiction. We held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph the definitions of continuing appropriation and capital outlays, considering that such amount
was not the subject of realignment made by Ordinance No. 0254, Series of 1998. Rather,
". . . [T]he instant petition has been properly brought before us in the light of the the issue is whether petitioners are liable for their actions in regard to said ordinance which
importance of the subject matter and the transcendental nature of the issues raised. actually realigned a position of the P50 million which was simply denominated in a general
Realignment of [items in the annual budget] is a common practice borne of necessity and manner as "Expropriation of Properties" and classified under "Current Operating
sanctioned by law. Just how such a common practice may be carried out within the bounds Expenditures" in the 1998 Annual Budget of Caloocan City. Clearly, these are two distinct
of law, considering the fact that public funds are at stake, is, we believe, an issue that is not amounts separate from each other. . . . [T]he P50 million was NOT appropriated for the
only one of first impression, but likewise of considerable significance as a guide to local purpose of purchasing Lot 26 of the Maysilo Estate but rather for expenses incidental to
governance . . . . expropriation such as relocation of squatters, appraisal fee, expenses for publication,
mobilization fees and expenses for preliminary studies. . . . The appropriation of
P39,352,047.75 under Ordinance No. 0246, S. 1997 is, we believe, still a subsisting I. The OP did not err in its appreciation of facts;
appropriation that has never been lumped together with other funds to arrive at the sum of
P50 million allocated in the 1998 budget. To be sure, denomination of the P50 million II. Ordinance No. 0254, Series of 1998 was passed without funds actually available;
amount as "Expropriation of Properties left much to be desired and would have been
confused with the appropriation for expropriation under Ordinance No. 0246, S. 1997, but III. Ordinance No. 0254, Series of 1998 was also enacted without sufficient compliance with
had respondents probed deeper into the actual intention for which said amount was Section 50, Chapter 3, Title II of the Local Government Code of 1991;
allocated then they would have reached an accurate characterization of the P50 million.
IV. Petitioners failure to observe the stricture in the enactment of the Supplemental Budget
Bearing in mind, therefore, the fact that it is the P50 million which is now being realigned, Ordinance constitutes misconduct; and
the next logical question to ask is whether such amount is capable of being lawfully
realigned. To this we answer in the affirmative. V. Assuming arguendo that the OP did err in its appreciation of the facts on record, still this
does not constitute grave abuse of discretion which can be reviewed by this Court through a
". . . [R]espondents . . . argued . . . that realignment shall not be allowed when what is special civil action forcertiorari.
involved are continuing appropriations or capital outlays. But this argument becomes clearly
inapplicable in view of our disquisition above. The realignment pertained to the P50 million On October 20, 1999, petitioners filed their Comment and/or Opposition to Motion for
which was classified as "Current Operating Expenditures." . . Reconsideration. 3

". . . [W]hat is being realigned is the P50 million appropriation which is classified, neither as These issues have already been discussed in Our Decision of July 27, 1999. As respondents
a capital outlay nor a continuing appropriation . . . persist in their stance, we must also thus restate our position to dispel any and all doubts on
the matter.chanrobles.com : virtuallawlibrary
As to the alleged violation of Sections 50 and 52 of the Code requiring the adoption of house
rules and the organization of the council, we believe that the same hardly merits even First. Respondents aver that in their Consolidated Answer which petitioners filed before the
cursory consideration. We cannot infer that no other business [like the enactment of the OP 4 , petitioners admitted that the sum of P39,352,047.75 under Ordinance No. 0246,
ordinance] may be transacted on the first regular session except to take up the matter of Series of 1997 was included in the P50,000,000.00 denominated in a general manner as
adopting or updating rules.chanrobles virtuallawlibrary "Expropriation of Properties" and classified under "Current Operating Expenditures" in the
1998 Budget of Caloocan City. Petitioners however allegedly only took a different position in
"The foregoing explanation leads us to the ineluctable conclusion that, indeed, respondents their pleadings on appeal and during the oral argument before the Court as they clarified
committed grave abuse of discretion. Not only [is] their reasoning flawed bit [it is] likewise that the sum of P39,352,047.75 under Ordinance No. 0246, Series of 1997 is separate and
lacking in factual and legal support. Misconduct, being a grave administrative offense for distinct from and not part of the sum of P50,000,000.00 categorized as "Current Operating
which petitioners stood charged, cannot be treated cavalierly. There must be clear and Expenditures" in the 1998 Budget of Caloocan City. Respondents insist that petitioners may
convincing proof on record that petitioners were motivated by wrongful intent, committed not change their theory for the first time on appeal since their admissions before the OP
unlawful behavior in relation to their offices, or transgressed some established and definite bind them, and to do so would be offensive to the basic rules of fair play and justice.
rules of action. But, as we have stressed above, petitioners were acting within legal
bounds."cralaw virtua1aw library We disagree.

The dispositive portion of Our Decision of March 22, 1999, reads, There is nothing in the records to indicate that the sum of P39,352,047.75 appropriated
thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph under Ordinance No. 0246, Series of 1997 is actually part of the P50,000,000.00 allotted for
"Expropriation of Properties," under the "Current Operating Expenditures" of the 1998
"WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED. The assailed decision of the office of Annual Budget of Caloocan City.
the president in O.P. Case No. 98-H-8520 dated March 15, 1999 is ANNULLED and SET
ASIDE for having been rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack and/or Ordinance No. 0246, Series of 1997 5 appropriated P39,352,047.75 for the expropriation of
excess of jurisdiction. Consequently,Respondents, their subordinates, agents, Lot 26 of the Maysilo Estate. It is, however, not this but the sum of P39,343,028.00
representatives, and successors-in-interest are permanently enjoined from enforcing or appropriated under Ordinance No. 0254, Series of 1998 6 which was sourced from the
causing the execution in any manner of the aforesaid decision against petitioners."cralaw P50,000,000,00 allotted for "Current Operating Expenditures." It should be noted that the
virtua1aw library P50,000,000.00 under "Current Operating Expenditures" of the 1998 Annual Budget was
denominated as for "Expropriation of Properties" but the particular properties subject of
On August 12, 1999, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a Motion for Reconsideration 2 expropriation were not specified. In fact, Petitioners, in the same consolidated answer cited
contending that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library by respondents, have unequivocally stated that "as will be noted from the budget, the
expropriation of properties does not refer to any particular property." 7 Thus, it can be said
that petitioners, as early as when the case was pending before the OP, were already arguing internal rules of procedure before the Sanggunian could act on any other matter like the
about the character of the P50,000,000.00 as proper subject of realignment.chanrobles.com enactment of an ordinance. It simply requires that the matter of adopting or updating the
: virtual law library internal rules of procedure be taken up during the first day of session. It would be
inequitable to read something more into the requirement of the law and use it as a basis for
The source of confusion lies in the denomination of P50,000,000.00 as money for finding petitioners guilty of misconduct, especially when the charge is serious enough to
"Expropriation of Properties" under "Current Operating Expenditures." As such, it was to be warrant a penalty of suspension from office for three (3) months without pay.
spent for the expropriation of various properties, including incidental expenses for
expropriation. What was exclusively appropriated for the expropriation of the Maysilo Lot Fourth. Respondents maintain that assuming that the Sanggunian can legally take up
was the P39,352,047.75 under Ordinance No. 0246, Series of 1997. It is significant to note matters pertaining t o the supplemental budget even before the adoption or updating of its
that this is a 1997 ordinance while the P39,343,028.00 which was originally intended for existing rules of procedure, the circumstances that preceded the enactment of the
incidental expenses for expropriation of the Maysilo Lot was under a 1998 ordinance. supplemental budget were irregular since there was undue haste in conducting the three
readings of Ordinance No. 0254, Series of 1998, in one session day.
That what was being realigned was the P50,000,000.00 under "Current Operating
Expenditures" to fund the P39,343,028.00 expense under Ordinance No. 0254, Series of There is nothing in the law, however, which prohibits that the three readings of a proposed
1998, and not the P39,352,047.75 under Ordinance No. 0247, Series of 1997, was further ordinance be held in just one session day. Respondents themselves are aware of this. And it
clarified by petitioners during their oral argument before this Court on April 20, 1999. 8 certainly is not the function of this Court to speculate that the councilors were not given
ample time for reflection and circumspection before the passage of the proposed ordinance
Second. Respondents insist that Ordinance No. 0254, Series of 1998 was passed without by conducting the three readings in just one day considering that it was a certain Eduardo
funds actually available. In support of their contention, they cite the dissenting opinion of Tibor, by himself as taxpayer, and not the councilors themselves, who raised such
Justice Kapunan that "there was no "unavoidable discontinuance" or an "abandonment of complaint. It might not be amiss to point out that the salaries of the city employees were to
the work or activity" as contemplated under Section 321 of the Local Government Code be funded by the said ordinance which embodied the supplemental budget for 1998, hence,
since the records do not indicate that the expropriation case before the Regional Trial Court the urgency for its passage. Even the five (5) councilors 11 who abstained from voting for
was actually withdrawn, suspended, discontinued or abandoned by the City of the passage of Ordinance 0254, Series of 1998 took advantage of its benefits by submitting
Caloocan.chanrobles.com : virtual law library to the office of petitioner Malonzo the names of the employees assigned to their respective
offices for salary and accounting purposes. 12
This argument however is wrongfully premised as it presupposes the identity, which does
not however exist, between the P39,352,047.75 appropriated under Ordinance No. 0246, Finally. Respondents assert that assuming that the OP erred in its appreciation of the facts
Series of 1997, and the P39,343,028.00 appropriated under Ordinance No. 0254, Series of on record, no grave abuse of discretion correctible by a special civil action for certiorari may
1998. The former which was a 1997 appropriation was never touched for the expropriation be attributed thereto.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary
of the Maysilo Lot and did not materialize, while the latter was sourced from the 1998
Annual Budget under "Current Operating Expenditures" by realigning the allocation of But there was grave abuse of discretion on the part of the OP. Its findings are totally devoid
P50,000,000.00 therefrom to fund the items in Ordinance No. 0254, Series of 1998. Since of support in the record. Hence, the Decision of respondent Executive Secretary suspending
the P50,000,000.00 appropriation is classified neither as capital outlay nor as a continuing the petitioners, on the basis of the said findings, constitutes grave abuse of discretion
appropriation 9 but as "Current Operating Expenditures," it could be a valid subject of amounting to an act done in excess of jurisdiction.
realignment.
WHEREFORE, the respondents motion for reconsideration is DENIED with FINALITY.
Third. Respondents maintain that Ordinance No. 0254, Series of 1998 was enacted without
sufficient compliance with the requirement of Section 50 of the Local Government Code SO ORDERED.
requiring that house rules be adopted or updated.

The records satisfactorily show, however, that the Sanggunian took up the matter of
adopting a set of house rules in its general meeting entitled, "Katitikan ng Karaniwang
Pulong ng Sangguniang Panlungsod na ginanap noong ika-2 ng Hulyo 1998 sa Bagong
Gusali ng Pamahalaang Lungsod ng Caloocan." 10 During said meeting, the Sanggunian
created an Ad Hoc Committee composed of seven (7) members to study the existing house
rules. Thereafter, it enacted Ordinance No. 0254,-Series of 1998.

As we have held in our Decision dated July 27, 1999, such succession of events is legally
permissible. The law does not require the completion of the updating or adoption of the
SECOND DIVISION complaint, respondent Calvento asked the Regional Trial Court of San Pedro Laguna, Branch
93, for the following reliefs: (1) a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order,
[G.R. No. 129093. August 30, 2001.] ordering the defendants to refrain from implementing or enforcing Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T.
1995; (2) an order requiring Hon. Municipal Mayor Calixto R Cataquiz to issue a business
HON. JOSE D. LINA, JR., SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF LAGUNA, and HON. permit for the operation of a lotto outlet; and (3) an order annulling or declaring as invalid
CALIXTO CATAQUIZ, Petitioners, v. HON. FRANCISCO DIZON PAO and TONY Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T. 1995.
CALVENTO, Respondents.
On February 10, 1997, the respondent judge, Francisco Dizon Pao, promulgated his
DECISION decision enjoining the petitioners from implementing or enforcing resolution or Kapasiyahan
Blg. 508, T. 1995. The dispositive portion of said decision reads:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw
1ibrary
QUISUMBING, J.:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, Defendants, their agents and representatives are hereby
enjoined from implementing or enforcing resolution or kapasiyahan blg. 508, T. 1995 of the
For our resolution is a petition for review on certiorari seeking the reversal of the decision 1 Sangguniang Panlalawigan ng Laguna prohibiting the operation of the lotto in the province
dated February 10, 1997 of the Regional Trial Court of San Pedro, Laguna, Branch 93, of Laguna.
enjoining petitioners from implementing or enforcing Kapasiyahan Bilang 508, Taon 1995, of
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna and its subsequent Order 2 dated April 21, 1997 SO ORDERED. 4
denying petitioners motion for reconsideration.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration which was subsequently denied in an Order
On December 29, 1995, respondent Tony Calvento was appointed agent by the Philippine dated April 21, 1997, which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to install Terminal OM 20 for the operation of lotto. He
asked Mayor Calixto Cataquiz, Mayor of San Pedro, Laguna, for a mayors permit to open Acting on the Motion for Reconsideration filed by defendants Jose D. Lina, Jr. and the
the lotto outlet. This was denied by Mayor Cataquiz in a letter dated February 19, 1996. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna, thru counsel, with the opposition filed by plaintiffs
ground for said denial was an ordinance passed by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna counsel and the comment thereto filed by counsel for the defendants which were duly noted,
entitled Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T. 1995 which was issued on September 18, 1995. The the Court hereby denies the motion for lack of merit.
ordinance reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
SO ORDERED. 5
ISANG KAPASIYAHAN TINUTUTULAN ANG MGA "ILLEGAL GAMBLING" LALO NA ANG LOTTO
SA LALAWIGAN NG LAGUNA On May 23, 1997, petitioners filed this petition alleging that the following errors were
committed by the respondent trial court:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
SAPAGKAT, ang sugal dito sa lalawigan ng Laguna ay talamak na; I

SAPAGKAT, ang sugal ay nagdudulot ng masasamang impluwensiya lalot higit sa mga


kabataan; THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ENJOINING THE PETITIONERS FROM IMPLEMENTING
KAPASIYAHAN BLG. 508, T. 1995 OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF LAGUNA
KUNG KAYAT DAHIL DITO, at sa mungkahi nina Kgg. Kgd. Juan M. Unico at Kgg. Kgd. Gat- PROHIBITING THE OPERATION OF THE LOTTO IN THE PROVINCE OF LAGUNA.
Ala A. Alatiit, pinangalawahan ni Kgg. Kgd. Meliton C. Larano at buong pagkakaisang II
sinangayunan ng lahat ng dumalo sa pulong;

IPINASIYA, na tutulan gaya ng dito ay mahigpit na TINUTUTULAN ang ano mang uri ng THE TRIAL COURT FAILED TO APPRECIATE THE ARGUMENT POSITED BY THE PETITIONERS
sugal dito sa lalawigan ng Laguna lalot higit ang Lotto; THAT BEFORE ANY GOVERNMENT PROJECT OR PROGRAM MAY BE IMPLEMENTED BY THE
NATIONAL AGENCIES OR OFFICES, PRIOR CONSULTATION AND APPROVAL BY THE LOCAL
IPINASIYA PA RIN na hilingin tulad ng dito ay hinihiling sa Panlalawigang pinuno ng GOVERNMENT UNITS CONCERNED AND OTHER CONCERNED SECTORS IS REQUIRED.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Col. [illegible] na mahigpit na pag-ibayuhin ang pagsugpo sa
lahat ng uri ng illegal na sugal sa buong lalawigan ng Laguna lalo na ang "Jueteng." 3 Petitioners contend that the assailed resolution is a valid policy declaration of the Provincial
Government of Laguna of its vehement objection to the operation of lotto and all forms of
As a result of this resolution of denial, respondent Calvento filed a complaint for declaratory gambling. It is likewise a valid exercise of the provincial governments police power under
relief with prayer for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. In the said the General Welfare Clause of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government
Code of 1991. 6 They also maintain that respondents lotto operation is illegal because no resolution is valid. This is part of the local governments autonomy to air its views which
prior consultations and approval by the local government were sought before it was may be contrary to that of the national governments. However, this freedom to exercise
implemented contrary to the express provisions of Sections 2 (c) and 27 of R.A. 7160. contrary views does not mean that local governments may actually enact ordinances that go
7cralaw : red against laws duly enacted by Congress. Given this premise, the assailed resolution in this
case could not and should not be interpreted as a measure or ordinance prohibiting the
For his part, respondent Calvento argues that the questioned resolution is, in effect, a operation of lotto.
curtailment of the power of the state since in this case the national legislature itself had
already declared lotto as legal and permitted its operations around the country. 8 As for the The game of lotto is a game of chance duly authorized by the national government through
allegation that no prior consultations and approval were sought from the sangguniang an Act of Congress. Republic Act 1169, as amended by Batas Pambansa Blg. 42, is the law
panlalawigan of Laguna, respondent Calvento contends this is not mandatory since such a which grants a franchise to the PCSO and allows it to operate the lotteries. The pertinent
requirement is merely stated as a declaration of policy and not a self-executing provision of provision reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
the Local Government Code of 1991. 9 He also states that his operation of the lotto system
is legal because of the authority given to him by the PCSO, which in turn had been granted SECTION 1. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. The Philippine Charity
a franchise to operate the lotto by Congress. 10 Sweepstakes Office, hereinafter designated the Office, shall be the principal government
agency for raising and providing for funds for health programs, medical assistance and
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), for the State, contends that the Provincial services and charities of national character, and as such shall have the general powers
Government of Laguna has no power to prohibit a form of gambling which has been conferred in section thirteen of Act Numbered One thousand four hundred fifty-nine, as
authorized by the national government. 11 He argues that this is based on the principle that amended, and shall have the authority:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
ordinances should not contravene statutes as municipal governments are merely agents of
the national government. The local councils exercise only delegated legislative powers which A. To hold and conduct charity sweepstakes races, lotteries, and other similar activities, in
have been conferred on them by Congress. This being the case, these councils, as such frequency and manner, as shall be determined, and subject to such rules and
delegates, cannot be superior to the principal or exercise powers higher than those of the regulations as shall be promulgated by the Board of Directors.
latter. The OSG also adds that the question of whether gambling should be permitted is for
Congress to determine, taking into account national and local interests. Since Congress has This statute remains valid today. While lotto is clearly a game of chance, the national
allowed the PCSO to operate lotteries which PCSO seeks to conduct in Laguna, pursuant to government deems it wise and proper to permit it. Hence, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of
its legislative grant of authority, the provinces Sangguniang Panlalawigan cannot nullify the Laguna, a local government unit, cannot issue a resolution or an ordinance that would seek
exercise of said authority by preventing something already allowed by Congress. to prohibit permits. Stated otherwise, what the national legislature expressly allows by law,
such as lotto, a provincial board may not disallow by ordinance or resolution.
The issues to be resolved now are the following: (1) whether Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T. 1995
of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Laguna and the denial of a mayors permit based In our system of government, the power of local government units to legislate and enact
thereon are valid; and (2) whether prior consultations and approval by the concerned ordinances and resolutions is merely a delegated power coming from Congress. As held in
Sanggunian are needed before a lotto system can be operated in a given local government Tatel v. Virac, 13 ordinances should not contravene an existing statute enacted by
unit. Congress. The reasons for this is obvious, as elucidated in Magtajas v. Pryce Properties
Corp. 14chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
The entire controversy stemmed from the refusal of Mayor Cataquiz to issue a mayors
permit for the operation of a lotto outlet in favor of private Respondent. According to the Municipal governments are only agents of the national government. Local councils exercise
mayor, he based his decision on an existing ordinance prohibiting the operation of lotto in only delegated legislative powers conferred upon them by Congress as the national
the province of Laguna. The ordinance, however, merely states the "objection" of the council lawmaking body. The delegate cannot be superior to the principal or exercise powers higher
to the said game. It is but a mere policy statement on the part of the local council, which is than those of the latter. It is a heresy to suggest that the local government units can undo
not self-executing. Nor could it serve as a valid ground to prohibit the operation of the lotto the acts of Congress, from which they have derived their power in the first place, and
system in the province of Laguna. Even petitioners admit as much when they stated in their negate by mere ordinance the mandate of the statute.
petition that:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
Municipal corporations owe their origin to, and derive their powers and rights wholly from
5.7. The terms of the Resolution and the validity thereof are express and clear. The the legislature. It breathes into them the breath of life, without which they cannot exist. As
Resolution is a policy declaration of the Provincial Government of Laguna of its vehement it creates, so it may destroy. As it may destroy, it may abridge and control. Unless there is
opposition and/or objection to the operation of and/or all forms of gambling including the some constitutional limitation on the right, the legislature might, by a single act, and if we
Lotto operation in the Province of Laguna. 12 can suppose it capable of so great a folly and so great a wrong, sweep from existence all of
the municipal corporations in the state, and the corporation could not prevent it. We know of
As a policy statement expressing the local governments objection to the lotto, such no limitation on the right so far as the corporation themselves are concerned. They are, so
to phrase it, the mere tenants at will of the legislature (citing Clinton v. Ceder Rapids, etc. and/or projects which are to be implemented in a particular local community. Lotto is
Railroad Co., 24 Iowa 455). neither a program nor a project of the national government, but of a charitable institution,
the PCSO. Though sanctioned by the national government, it is far fetched to say that lotto
Nothing in the present constitutional provision enhancing local autonomy dictates a different falls within the contemplation of Sections 2 (c) and 27 of the Local Government Code.
conclusion.
Section 27 of the Code should be read in conjunction with Section 26 thereof. 17 Section 26
The basic relationship between the national legislature and the local government units has reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
not been enfeebled by the new provisions in the Constitution strengthening the policy of
local autonomy. Without meaning to detract from that policy, we here confirm that Congress SECTION 26. Duty of National Government Agencies in the Maintenance of Ecological
retains control of the local government units although in significantly reduced degree now Balance. It shall be the duty of every national agency or government-owned or controlled
than under our previous Constitutions. The power to create still includes the power to corporation authorizing or involved in the planning and implementation of any project or
destroy. The power to grant still includes the power to withhold or recall. True, there are program that may cause pollution, climatic change, depletion of non-renewable resources,
certain notable innovations in the Constitution, like the direct conferment on the local loss of crop land, range-land, or forest cover, and extinction of animal or plant species, to
government units of the power to tax (citing Art. X, Sec. 5, Constitution), which cannot now consult with the local government units, nongovernmental organizations, and other sectors
be withdrawn by mere statute. By and large, however, the national legislature is still the concerned and explain the goals and objectives of the project or program, its impact upon
principal of the local government units, which cannot defy its will or modify or violate it. 15 the people and the community in terms of environmental or ecological balance, and the
measures that will be undertaken to prevent or minimize the adverse effects
Ours is still a unitary form of government, not a federal state. Being so, any form of thereof.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary
autonomy granted to local governments will necessarily be limited and confined within the
extent allowed by the central authority. Besides, the principle of local autonomy under the Thus, the projects and programs mentioned in Section 27 should be interpreted to mean
1987 Constitution simply means "decentralization." It does not make local governments projects and programs whose effects are among those enumerated in Section 26 and 27, to
sovereign within the state or an "imperium in imperio." 16chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary wit, those that: (1) may cause pollution; (2) may bring about climatic change; (3) may
cause the depletion of non-renewable resources; (4) may result in loss of crop land, range-
To conclude our resolution of the first issue, respondent mayor of San Pedro, cannot avail of land, or forest cover; (5) may eradicate certain animal or plant species from the face of the
Kapasiyahan Bilang 508, Taon 1995, of the Provincial Board of Laguna as justification to planet; and (6) other projects or programs that may call for the eviction of a particular
prohibit lotto in his municipality. For said resolution is nothing but an expression of the local group of people residing in the locality where these will be implemented. Obviously, none of
legislative unit concerned. The Boards enactment, like spring water, could not rise above its these effects will be produced by the introduction of lotto in the province of Laguna.
source of power, the national legislature.
Moreover, the argument regarding lack of consultation raised by petitioners is clearly an
As for the second issue, we hold that petitioners erred in declaring that Sections 2 (c) and afterthought on their part. There is no indication in the letter of Mayor Cataquiz that this
27 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991, apply was one of the reasons for his refusal to issue a permit. That refusal was predicated solely
mandatorily in the setting up of lotto outlets around the country. These provisions but erroneously on the provisions of Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, Taon 1995, of the Sangguniang
state:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library Panlalawigan of Laguna.

SECTION 2. Declaration of Policy. . . . In sum, we find no reversible error in the RTC decision enjoining Mayor Cataquiz from
enforcing or implementing the Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T. 1995, of the Sangguniang
(c) It is likewise the policy of the State to require all national agencies and offices to conduct Panlalawigan of Laguna. That resolution expresses merely a policy statement of the Laguna
periodic consultations with appropriate local government units, non-governmental and provincial board. It possesses no binding legal force nor requires any act of implementation.
peoples organizations, and other concerned sectors of the community before any project or It provides no sufficient legal basis for respondent mayors refusal to issue the permit
program is implemented in their respective jurisdictions. sought by private respondent in connection with a legitimate business activity authorized by
a law passed by Congress.
SECTION 27. Prior Consultations Required. No project or program shall be implemented
by government authorities unless the consultations mentioned in Section 2 (c) and 26 WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. The Order of the Regional Trial Court
hereof are complied with, and prior approval of the sanggunian concerned is obtained; of San Pedro, Laguna enjoining the petitioners from implementing or enforcing Resolution or
Provided, that occupants in areas where such projects are to be implemented shall not be Kapasiyahan Blg. 508, T. 1995, of the Provincial Board of Laguna is hereby AFFIRMED. No
evicted unless, appropriate relocation sites have been provided, in accordance with the costs.
provisions of the Constitution.
SO ORDERED.
From a careful reading of said provisions, we find that these apply only to national programs
EN BANC SEC. 3. Pursuant to the above policy, short-time admission and rate [sic], wash-up rate or
other similarly concocted terms, are hereby prohibited in hotels, motels, inns, lodging
[G.R. NO. 122846 : January 20, 2009] houses, pension houses and similar establishments in the City of Manila.

WHITE LIGHT CORPORATION, TITANIUM CORPORATION and STA. MESA TOURIST SEC. 4. Definition of Term[s]. Short-time admission shall mean admittance and charging of
& DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioners, v. CITY OF MANILA, represented by DE room rate for less than twelve (12) hours at any given time or the renting out of rooms
CASTRO, MAYOR ALFREDO S. LIM, Respondent. more than twice a day or any other term that may be concocted by owners or managers of
said establishments but would mean the same or would bear the same meaning.

DECISION SEC. 5. Penalty Clause. Any person or corporation who shall violate any provision of this
ordinance shall upon conviction thereof be punished by a fine of Five Thousand (P5,000.00)
TINGA, J.: Pesos or imprisonment for a period of not exceeding one (1) year or both such fine and
imprisonment at the discretion of the court; Provided, That in case of [a] juridical person,
With another city ordinance of Manila also principally involving the tourist district as subject, the president, the manager, or the persons in charge of the operation thereof shall be liable:
the Court is confronted anew with the incessant clash between government power and Provided, further, That in case of subsequent conviction for the same offense, the business
individual liberty in tandem with the archetypal tension between law and morality. license of the guilty party shall automatically be cancelled.

In City of Manila v. Laguio, Jr.,1 the Court affirmed the nullification of a city ordinance SEC. 6. Repealing Clause. Any or all provisions of City ordinances not consistent with or
barring the operation of motels and inns, among other establishments, within the Ermita- contrary to this measure or any portion hereof are hereby deemed repealed.
Malate area. The petition at bar assails a similarly-motivated city ordinance that prohibits
those same establishments from offering short-time admission, as well as pro-rated or SEC. 7. Effectivity. This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon approval.
"wash up" rates for such abbreviated stays. Our earlier decision tested the city ordinance Enacted by the city Council of Manila at its regular session today, November 10, 1992.
against our sacred constitutional rights to liberty, due process and equal protection of law.
Approved by His Honor, the Mayor on December 3, 1992.
The same parameters apply to the present petition.
On December 15, 1992, the Malate Tourist and Development Corporation (MTDC) filed a
This Petition2 under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules on Civil Procedure, which seeks the complaint for declaratory relief with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or
reversal of the Decision3 in C.A.-G.R. S.P. No. 33316 of the Court of Appeals, challenges the temporary restraining order ( TRO)5 with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Branch 9
validity of Manila City Ordinance No. 7774 entitled, "An Ordinance Prohibiting Short-Time impleading as defendant, herein respondent City of Manila (the City) represented by Mayor
Admission, Short-Time Admission Rates, and Wash-Up Rate Schemes in Hotels, Motels, Lim.6 MTDC prayed that the Ordinance, insofar as it includes motels and inns as among its
Inns, Lodging Houses, Pension Houses, and Similar Establishments in the City of Manila" prohibited establishments, be declared invalid and unconstitutional. MTDC claimed that as
(the Ordinance). owner and operator of the Victoria Court in Malate, Manila it was authorized by Presidential
Decree (P.D.) No. 259 to admit customers on a short time basis as well as to charge
I. customers wash up rates for stays of only three hours.

The facts are as follows: On December 21, 1992, petitioners White Light Corporation (WLC), Titanium Corporation
(TC) and Sta. Mesa Tourist and Development Corporation (STDC) filed a motion to intervene
On December 3, 1992, City Mayor Alfredo S. Lim (Mayor Lim) signed into law the and to admit attached complaint-in-intervention7 on the ground that the Ordinance directly
Ordinance.4 The Ordinance is reproduced in full, hereunder: affects their business interests as operators of drive-in-hotels and motels in Manila.8 The
three companies are components of the Anito Group of Companies which owns and operates
SECTION 1. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby the declared policy of the City Government to several hotels and motels in Metro Manila.9
protect the best interest, health and welfare, and the morality of its constituents in general
and the youth in particular. On December 23, 1992, the RTC granted the motion to intervene.10 The RTC also notified
the Solicitor General of the proceedings pursuant to then Rule 64, Section 4 of the Rules of
SEC. 2. Title. This ordinance shall be known as "An Ordinance" prohibiting short time Court. On the same date, MTDC moved to withdraw as plaintiff.11
admission in hotels, motels, lodging houses, pension houses and similar establishments in
the City of Manila. On December 28, 1992, the RTC granted MTDC's motion to withdraw.12 The RTC issued a
TRO on January 14, 1993, directing the City to cease and desist from enforcing the
Ordinance.13 The City filed an Answer dated January 22, 1993 alleging that the Ordinance is hundred pesos fine or six months imprisonment, or both such fine and imprisonment for a
a legitimate exercise of police power.14 single offense.23

On February 8, 1993, the RTC issued a writ of preliminary injunction ordering the city to Petitioners argued that the Ordinance is unconstitutional and void since it violates the right
desist from the enforcement of the Ordinance.15 A month later, on March 8, 1993, the to privacy and the freedom of movement; it is an invalid exercise of police power; and it is
Solicitor General filed his Comment arguing that the Ordinance is constitutional. an unreasonable and oppressive interference in their business.

During the pre-trial conference, the WLC, TC and STDC agreed to submit the case for The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of the RTC and affirmed the constitutionality of
decision without trial as the case involved a purely legal question.16 On October 20, 1993, the Ordinance.24 First, it held that the Ordinance did not violate the right to privacy or the
the RTC rendered a decision declaring the Ordinance null and void. The dispositive portion of freedom of movement, as it only penalizes the owners or operators of establishments that
the decision reads: admit individuals for short time stays. Second, the virtually limitless reach of police power is
only constrained by having a lawful object obtained through a lawful method. The lawful
WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, [O]rdinance No. 7774 of the City of Manila is objective of the Ordinance is satisfied since it aims to curb immoral activities. There is a
hereby declared null and void. lawful method since the establishments are still allowed to operate. Third, the adverse effect
on the establishments is justified by the well-being of its constituents in general. Finally, as
Accordingly, the preliminary injunction heretofor issued is hereby made permanent. held in Ermita-Malate Motel Operators Association v. City Mayor of Manila, liberty is
regulated by law.
SO ORDERED.17
TC, WLC and STDC come to this Court via Petition for Review on Certiorari .25 In their
The RTC noted that the ordinance "strikes at the personal liberty of the individual petition and Memorandum, petitioners in essence repeat the assertions they made before
guaranteed and jealously guarded by the Constitution."18 Reference was made to the the Court of Appeals. They contend that the assailed Ordinance is an invalid exercise of
provisions of the Constitution encouraging private enterprises and the incentive to needed police power.
investment, as well as the right to operate economic enterprises. Finally, from the
observation that the illicit relationships the Ordinance sought to dissuade could nonetheless II.
be consummated by simply paying for a 12-hour stay, the RTC likened the law to the
ordinance annulled in Ynot v. Intermediate Appellate Court,19 where the legitimate purpose We must address the threshold issue of petitioners' standing. Petitioners allege that as
of preventing indiscriminate slaughter of carabaos was sought to be effected through an owners of establishments offering "wash-up" rates, their business is being unlawfully
inter-province ban on the transport of carabaos and carabeef. interfered with by the Ordinance. However, petitioners also allege that the equal protection
The City later filed a Petition for Review on Certiorariwith the Supreme Court.20 The petition rights of their clients are also being interfered with. Thus, the crux of the matter is whether
was docketed as G.R. No. 112471. However in a resolution dated January 26, 1994, the or not these establishments have the requisite standing to plead for protection of their
Court treated the petition as a Petition for Certiorariand referred the petition to the Court of patrons' equal protection rights.
Appeals.21
Standing or locus standi is the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient
Before the Court of Appeals, the City asserted that the Ordinance is a valid exercise of police connection to and harm from the law or action challenged to support that party's
power pursuant to Section 458 (4)(iv) of the Local Government Code which confers on participation in the case. More importantly, the doctrine of standing is built on the principle
cities, among other local government units, the power: of separation of powers,26 sparing as it does unnecessary interference or invalidation by the
judicial branch of the actions rendered by its co-equal branches of government.
[To] regulate the establishment, operation and maintenance of cafes, restaurants,
beerhouses, hotels, motels, inns, pension houses, lodging houses and other similar The requirement of standing is a core component of the judicial system derived directly from
establishments, including tourist guides and transports.22 the Constitution.27 The constitutional component of standing doctrine incorporates concepts
which concededly are not susceptible of precise definition.28 In this jurisdiction, the extancy
The Ordinance, it is argued, is also a valid exercise of the power of the City under Article III, of "a direct and personal interest" presents the most obvious cause, as well as the standard
Section 18(kk) of the Revised Manila Charter, thus: test for a petitioner's standing.29 In a similar vein, the United States Supreme Court
reviewed and elaborated on the meaning of the three constitutional standing requirements
"to enact all ordinances it may deem necessary and proper for the sanitation and safety, the of injury, causation, and redressability in Allen v. Wright.30
furtherance of the prosperity and the promotion of the morality, peace, good order, comfort,
convenience and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, and such others as be Nonetheless, the general rules on standing admit of several exceptions such as the
necessary to carry into effect and discharge the powers and duties conferred by this overbreadth doctrine, taxpayer suits, third party standing and, especially in the Philippines,
Chapter; and to fix penalties for the violation of ordinances which shall not exceed two the doctrine of transcendental importance.31
To students of jurisprudence, the facts of this case will recall to mind not only the
recent City of Manilaruling, but our 1967 decision in Ermita-Malate Hotel and Motel
For this particular set of facts, the concept of third party standing as an exception and the Operations Association, Inc., v. Hon. City Mayor of Manila.40 Ermita-Malate concerned the
overbreadth doctrine are appropriate. In Powers v. Ohio,32 the United States Supreme Court City ordinance requiring patrons to fill up a prescribed form stating personal information
wrote that: "We have recognized the right of litigants to bring actions on behalf of third such as name, gender, nationality, age, address and occupation before they could be
parties, provided three important criteria are satisfied: the litigant must have suffered an admitted to a motel, hotel or lodging house. This earlier ordinance was precisely enacted to
'injury-in-fact,' thus giving him or her a "sufficiently concrete interest" in the outcome of the minimize certain practices deemed harmful to public morals. A purpose similar to the
issue in dispute; the litigant must have a close relation to the third party; and there must annulled ordinance in City of Manila which sought a blanket ban on motels, inns and similar
exist some hindrance to the third party's ability to protect his or her own interests." Herein, establishments in the Ermita-Malate area. However, the constitutionality of the ordinance
it is clear that the business interests of the petitioners are likewise injured by the Ordinance. in Ermita-Malate was sustained by the Court.
They rely on the patronage of their customers for their continued viability which appears to
be threatened by the enforcement of the Ordinance. The relative silence in constitutional The common thread that runs through those decisions and the case at bar goes beyond the
litigation of such special interest groups in our nation such as the American Civil Liberties singularity of the localities covered under the respective ordinances. All three ordinances
Union in the United States may also be construed as a hindrance for customers to bring were enacted with a view of regulating public morals including particular illicit activity in
suit.34 transient lodging establishments. This could be described as the middle case, wherein there
is no wholesale ban on motels and hotels but the services offered by these establishments
American jurisprudence is replete with examples where parties-in-interest were allowed have been severely restricted. At its core, this is another case about the extent to which the
standing to advocate or invoke the fundamental due process or equal protection claims of State can intrude into and regulate the lives of its citizens.
other persons or classes of persons injured by state action. In Griswold v. Connecticut,35 the
United States Supreme Court held that physicians had standing to challenge a reproductive The test of a valid ordinance is well established. A long line of decisions including City of
health statute that would penalize them as accessories as well as to plead the constitutional Manila has held that for an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be within the corporate
protections available to their patients. The Court held that: powers of the local government unit to enact and pass according to the procedure
prescribed by law, it must also conform to the following substantive requirements: (1) must
"The rights of husband and wife, pressed here, are likely to be diluted or adversely affected not contravene the Constitution or any statute; (2) must not be unfair or oppressive; (3)
unless those rights are considered in a suit involving those who have this kind of confidential must not be partial or discriminatory; (4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade; (5)
relation to them."36 must be general and consistent with public policy; and (6) must not be unreasonable.41

An even more analogous example may be found in Craig v. Boren,37 wherein the United The Ordinance prohibits two specific and distinct business practices, namely wash rate
States Supreme Court held that a licensed beverage vendor has standing to raise the equal admissions and renting out a room more than twice a day. The ban is evidently sought to be
protection claim of a male customer challenging a statutory scheme prohibiting the sale of rooted in the police power as conferred on local government units by the Local Government
beer to males under the age of 21 and to females under the age of 18. The United States Code through such implements as the general welfare clause.
High Court explained that the vendors had standing "by acting as advocates of the rights of
third parties who seek access to their market or function."38 A.

Assuming arguendo that petitioners do not have a relationship with their patrons for the Police power, while incapable of an exact definition, has been purposely veiled in general
former to assert the rights of the latter, the overbreadth doctrine comes into play. In terms to underscore its comprehensiveness to meet all exigencies and provide enough room
overbreadth analysis, challengers to government action are in effect permitted to raise the for an efficient and flexible response as the conditions warrant.42 Police power is based upon
rights of third parties. Generally applied to statutes infringing on the freedom of speech, the the concept of necessity of the State and its corresponding right to protect itself and its
overbreadth doctrine applies when a statute needlessly restrains even constitutionally people.43 Police power has been used as justification for numerous and varied actions by the
guaranteed rights.39 In this case, the petitioners claim that the Ordinance makes a sweeping State. These range from the regulation of dance halls,44 movie theaters,45 gas stations46 and
intrusion into the right to liberty of their clients. We can see that based on the allegations in cockpits.47 The awesome scope of police power is best demonstrated by the fact that in its
the petition, the Ordinance suffers from overbreadth. hundred or so years of presence in our nation's legal system, its use has rarely been denied.

We thus recognize that the petitioners have a right to assert the constitutional rights of their The apparent goal of the Ordinance is to minimize if not eliminate the use of the covered
clients to patronize their establishments for a "wash-rate" time frame. establishments for illicit sex, prostitution, drug use and alike. These goals, by themselves,
are unimpeachable and certainly fall within the ambit of the police power of the State. Yet
III. the desirability of these ends do not sanctify any and all means for their achievement. Those
means must align with the Constitution, and our emerging sophisticated analysis of its
guarantees to the people. The Bill of Rights stands as a rebuke to the seductive theory of
Macchiavelli, and, sometimes even, the political majorities animated by his cynicism. The general test of the validity of an ordinance on substantive due process grounds is best
tested when assessed with the evolved footnote 4 test laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court
Even as we design the precedents that establish the framework for analysis of due process in U.S. v. Carolene Products.51 Footnote 4 of the Carolene Products case acknowledged that
or equal protection questions, the courts are naturally inhibited by a due deference to the the judiciary would defer to the legislature unless there is a discrimination against a
co-equal branches of government as they exercise their political functions. But when we are "discrete and insular" minority or infringement of a "fundamental right."52 Consequently, two
compelled to nullify executive or legislative actions, yet another form of caution emerges. If standards of judicial review were established: strict scrutiny for laws dealing with freedom of
the Court were animated by the same passing fancies or turbulent emotions that motivate the mind or restricting the political process, and the rational basis standard of review for
many political decisions, judicial integrity is compromised by any perception that the economic legislation.
judiciary is merely the third political branch of government. We derive our respect and good
standing in the annals of history by acting as judicious and neutral arbiters of the rule of A third standard, denominated as heightened or immediate scrutiny, was later adopted by
law, and there is no surer way to that end than through the development of rigorous and the U.S. Supreme Court for evaluating classifications based on gender53 and
sophisticated legal standards through which the courts analyze the most fundamental and legitimacy.54 Immediate scrutiny was adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Craig,55 after
far-reaching constitutional questions of the day. the Court declined to do so in Reed v. Reed.56While the test may have first been articulated
in equal protection analysis, it has in the United States since been applied in all substantive
B. due process cases as well.

The primary constitutional question that confronts us is one of due process, as guaranteed We ourselves have often applied the rational basis test mainly in analysis of equal protection
under Section 1, Article III of the Constitution. Due process evades a precise challenges.57 Using the rational basis examination, laws or ordinances are upheld if they
definition.48 The purpose of the guaranty is to prevent arbitrary governmental encroachment rationally further a legitimate governmental interest.58 Under intermediate review,
against the life, liberty and property of individuals. The due process guaranty serves as a governmental interest is extensively examined and the availability of less restrictive
protection against arbitrary regulation or seizure. Even corporations and partnerships are measures is considered.59 Applying strict scrutiny, the focus is on the presence of
protected by the guaranty insofar as their property is concerned. compelling, rather than substantial, governmental interest and on the absence of less
restrictive means for achieving that interest.
The due process guaranty has traditionally been interpreted as imposing two related but
distinct restrictions on government, "procedural due process" and "substantive due process." In terms of judicial review of statutes or ordinances, strict scrutiny refers to the standard for
Procedural due process refers to the procedures that the government must follow before it determining the quality and the amount of governmental interest brought to justify the
deprives a person of life, liberty, or property.49 Procedural due process concerns itself with regulation of fundamental freedoms.60 Strict scrutiny is used today to test the validity of
government action adhering to the established process when it makes an intrusion into the laws dealing with the regulation of speech, gender, or race as well as other fundamental
private sphere. Examples range from the form of notice given to the level of formality of a rights as expansion from its earlier applications to equal protection.61 The United States
hearing. Supreme Court has expanded the scope of strict scrutiny to protect fundamental rights such
as suffrage,62 judicial access63 and interstate travel.64
If due process were confined solely to its procedural aspects, there would arise absurd
situation of arbitrary government action, provided the proper formalities are followed. If we were to take the myopic view that an Ordinance should be analyzed strictly as to its
Substantive due process completes the protection envisioned by the due process clause. It effect only on the petitioners at bar, then it would seem that the only restraint imposed by
inquires whether the government has sufficient justification for depriving a person of life, the law which we are capacitated to act upon is the injury to property sustained by the
liberty, or property.50 petitioners, an injury that would warrant the application of the most deferential standard -
the rational basis test. Yet as earlier stated, we recognize the capacity of the petitioners to
The question of substantive due process, moreso than most other fields of law, has reflected invoke as well the constitutional rights of their patrons - those persons who would be
dynamism in progressive legal thought tied with the expanded acceptance of fundamental deprived of availing short time access or wash-up rates to the lodging establishments in
freedoms. Police power, traditionally awesome as it may be, is now confronted with a more question.
rigorous level of analysis before it can be upheld. The vitality though of constitutional due
process has not been predicated on the frequency with which it has been utilized to achieve Viewed cynically, one might say that the infringed rights of these customers were are trivial
a liberal result for, after all, the libertarian ends should sometimes yield to the prerogatives since they seem shorn of political consequence. Concededly, these are not the sort of
of the State. Instead, the due process clause has acquired potency because of the cherished rights that, when proscribed, would impel the people to tear up their cedulas. Still,
sophisticated methodology that has emerged to determine the proper metes and bounds for the Bill of Rights does not shelter gravitas alone. Indeed, it is those "trivial" yet fundamental
its application. freedoms - which the people reflexively exercise any day without the impairing awareness of
their constitutional consequence - that accurately reflect the degree of liberty enjoyed by
C. the people. Liberty, as integrally incorporated as a fundamental right in the Constitution, is
not a Ten Commandments-style enumeration of what may or what may not be done; but personal to himself. If he surrenders his will to others, he surrenders himself. If his will is
rather an atmosphere of freedom where the people do not feel labored under a Big Brother set by the will of others, he ceases to be a master of himself. I cannot believe that a man no
presence as they interact with each other, their society and nature, in a manner innately longer a master of himself is in any real sense free.
understood by them as inherent, without doing harm or injury to others.
Indeed, the right to privacy as a constitutional right was recognized in Morfe, the invasion of
D. which should be justified by a compelling state interest. Morfe accorded recognition to the
right to privacy independently of its identification with liberty; in itself it is fully deserving of
The rights at stake herein fall within the same fundamental rights to liberty which we upheld constitutional protection. Governmental powers should stop short of certain intrusions into
in City of Manila v. Hon. Laguio, Jr. We expounded on that most primordial of rights, thus: the personal life of the citizen.70

Liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution was defined by Justice Malcolm to include "the We cannot discount other legitimate activities which the Ordinance would proscribe or
right to exist and the right to be free from arbitrary restraint or servitude. The term cannot impair. There are very legitimate uses for a wash rate or renting the room out for more than
be dwarfed into mere freedom from physical restraint of the person of the citizen, but is twice a day. Entire families are known to choose pass the time in a motel or hotel whilst the
deemed to embrace the right of man to enjoy the facilities with which he has been endowed power is momentarily out in their homes. In transit passengers who wish to wash up and
by his Creator, subject only to such restraint as are necessary for the common welfare."[65] rest between trips have a legitimate purpose for abbreviated stays in motels or hotels.
In accordance with this case, the rights of the citizen to be free to use his faculties in all Indeed any person or groups of persons in need of comfortable private spaces for a span of
lawful ways; to live and work where he will; to earn his livelihood by any lawful calling; and a few hours with purposes other than having sex or using illegal drugs can legitimately look
to pursue any avocation are all deemed embraced in the concept of liberty.[66] to staying in a motel or hotel as a convenient alternative.

The U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Roth v. Board of Regents, sought to clarify the E.
meaning of "liberty." It said:
That the Ordinance prevents the lawful uses of a wash rate depriving patrons of a product
While the Court has not attempted to define with exactness the liberty . . . guaranteed [by and the petitioners of lucrative business ties in with another constitutional requisite for the
the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments], the term denotes not merely freedom from bodily legitimacy of the Ordinance as a police power measure. It must appear that the interests of
restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require an
occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up interference with private rights and the means must be reasonably necessary for the
children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive of private rights.71 It must also
enjoy those privileges long recognized . . . as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness be evident that no other alternative for the accomplishment of the purpose less intrusive of
by free men. In a Constitution for a free people, there can be no doubt that the meaning of private rights can work. More importantly, a reasonable relation must exist between the
"liberty" must be broad indeed.67 [Citations omitted] purposes of the measure and the means employed for its accomplishment, for even under
the guise of protecting the public interest, personal rights and those pertaining to private
It cannot be denied that the primary animus behind the ordinance is the curtailment of property will not be permitted to be arbitrarily invaded.72
sexual behavior. The City asserts before this Court that the subject establishments "have
gained notoriety as venue of 'prostitution, adultery and fornications' in Manila since they Lacking a concurrence of these requisites, the police measure shall be struck down as an
'provide the necessary atmosphere for clandestine entry, presence and exit and thus arbitrary intrusion into private rights. As held in Morfe v. Mutuc, the exercise of police power
became the 'ideal haven for prostitutes and thrill-seekers.' "68 Whether or not this depiction is subject to judicial review when life, liberty or property is affected.73 However, this is not in
of a mise-en-scene of vice is accurate, it cannot be denied that legitimate sexual behavior any way meant to take it away from the vastness of State police power whose exercise
among willing married or consenting single adults which is constitutionally protected 69 will enjoys the presumption of validity.74
be curtailed as well, as it was in the City of Manila case. Our holding therein retains
significance for our purposes: Similar to the Comelec resolution requiring newspapers to donate advertising space to
candidates, this Ordinance is a blunt and heavy instrument.75 The Ordinance makes no
The concept of liberty compels respect for the individual whose claim to privacy and distinction between places frequented by patrons engaged in illicit activities and patrons
interference demands respect. As the case of Morfe v. Mutuc, borrowing the words of Laski, engaged in legitimate actions. Thus it prevents legitimate use of places where illicit activities
so very aptly stated: are rare or even unheard of. A plain reading of section 3 of the Ordinance shows it makes no
classification of places of lodging, thus deems them all susceptible to illicit patronage and
Man is one among many, obstinately refusing reduction to unity. His separateness, his subject them without exception to the unjustified prohibition.
isolation, are indefeasible; indeed, they are so fundamental that they are the basis on which
his civic obligations are built. He cannot abandon the consequences of his isolation, which The Court has professed its deep sentiment and tenderness of the Ermita-Malate area, its
are, broadly speaking, that his experience is private, and the will built out of that experience longtime home,76 and it is skeptical of those who wish to depict our capital city - the Pearl of
the Orient - as a modern-day Sodom or Gomorrah for the Third World set. Those still Yet the continuing progression of the human story has seen not only the acceptance of the
steeped in Nick Joaquin-dreams of the grandeur of Old Manila will have to accept that Manila right-wrong distinction, but also the advent of fundamental liberties as the key to the
like all evolving big cities, will have its problems. Urban decay is a fact of mega cities such enjoyment of life to the fullest. Our democracy is distinguished from non-free societies not
as Manila, and vice is a common problem confronted by the modern metropolis wherever in with any more extensive elaboration on our part of what is moral and immoral, but from our
the world. The solution to such perceived decay is not to prevent legitimate businesses from recognition that the individual liberty to make the choices in our lives is innate, and
offering a legitimate product. Rather, cities revive themselves by offering incentives for new protected by the State. Independent and fair-minded judges themselves are under a moral
businesses to sprout up thus attracting the dynamism of individuals that would bring a new duty to uphold the Constitution as the embodiment of the rule of law, by reason of their
grandeur to Manila. expression of consent to do so when they take the oath of office, and because they are
entrusted by the people to uphold the law.81
The behavior which the Ordinance seeks to curtail is in fact already prohibited and could in
fact be diminished simply by applying existing laws. Less intrusive measures such as curbing Even as the implementation of moral norms remains an indispensable complement to
the proliferation of prostitutes and drug dealers through active police work would be more governance, that prerogative is hardly absolute, especially in the face of the norms of due
effective in easing the situation. So would the strict enforcement of existing laws and process of liberty. And while the tension may often be left to the courts to relieve, it is
regulations penalizing prostitution and drug use. These measures would have minimal possible for the government to avoid the constitutional conflict by employing more judicious,
intrusion on the businesses of the petitioners and other legitimate merchants. Further, it is less drastic means to promote morality.
apparent that the Ordinance can easily be circumvented by merely paying the whole day
rate without any hindrance to those engaged in illicit activities. Moreover, drug dealers and WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals
prostitutes can in fact collect "wash rates" from their clientele by charging their customers a is REVERSED, and the Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 9,
portion of the rent for motel rooms and even apartments. is REINSTATED. Ordinance No. 7774 is hereby declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL. No
pronouncement as to costs.
IV.
SO ORDERED.
We reiterate that individual rights may be adversely affected only to the extent that may
fairly be required by the legitimate demands of public interest or public welfare. The State is
a leviathan that must be restrained from needlessly intruding into the lives of its citizens.
However well' -intentioned the Ordinance may be, it is in effect an arbitrary and whimsical
intrusion into the rights of the establishments as well as their patrons. The Ordinance
needlessly restrains the operation of the businesses of the petitioners as well as restricting
the rights of their patrons without sufficient justification. The Ordinance rashly equates wash
rates and renting out a room more than twice a day with immorality without accommodating
innocuous intentions.

The promotion of public welfare and a sense of morality among citizens deserves the full
endorsement of the judiciary provided that such measures do not trample rights this Court
is sworn to protect.77 The notion that the promotion of public morality is a function of the
State is as old as Aristotle.78 The advancement of moral relativism as a school of philosophy
does not de-legitimize the role of morality in law, even if it may foster wider debate on
which particular behavior to penalize. It is conceivable that a society with relatively little
shared morality among its citizens could be functional so long as the pursuit of sharply
variant moral perspectives yields an adequate accommodation of different interests.79

To be candid about it, the oft-quoted American maxim that "you cannot legislate morality" is
ultimately illegitimate as a matter of law, since as explained by Calabresi, that phrase is
more accurately interpreted as meaning that efforts to legislate morality will fail if they are
widely at variance with public attitudes about right and wrong.80 Our penal laws, for one,
are founded on age-old moral traditions, and as long as there are widely accepted
distinctions between right and wrong, they will remain so oriented.
EN BANC appointment was made within the period of the election ban prior to the May 14, 2004
national and local elections, and finally, that the resignation of Rojo as member of the
[G.R. No. 181367 : April 24, 2012] Sangguniang Panlungsod is ineffective having not complied with the provision on quorum
under Section 82(d) of R.A. No. 7160.
LA CARLOTA CITY, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, REPRESENTED BY ITS MAYOR, HON.
JEFFREY P. FERRER, AND THE SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD OF LA CARLOTA CITY, In a Decision dated September 20, 2004, the CSC Regional Office No. 6 reversed and set
NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, REPRESENTED BY ITS VICE-MAYOR, HON. DEMIE JOHN C. aside the CSCFOs earlier ruling. On the argument of the intervenors that the former Vice-
HONRADO, PETITIONERS, VS. ATTY. REX G. ROJO, RESPONDENT. Mayor lacked legal personality to elevate the case on appeal, the regional office cited settled
jurisprudence that the disapproval of an appointment affects the discretionary authority of
DECISION the appointing authority. Hence, he alone may request for reconsideration of or appeal the
disapproval of an appointment. The regional office likewise ruled that Rojos appointment on
CARPIO, J.: March 18, 2004 was made outside the period of the election ban from March 26 to May 9,
2004, and that his resignation from the Sangguniang Panlungsod was valid having been
This petition for review assails the 14 September 2007 Decision[1] and the 18 January 2008 tendered with the majority of the council members in attendance (seven (7) out of the
Resolution[2] of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CEB-SP No. 01377. The Court of Appeals thirteen councilors were present). Considering that the appointment of Rojo sufficiently
affirmed Resolution Nos. 0506543 and 051646[4] of the Civil Service Commission, which complied with the publication requirement, deliberation by the Personnel Selection Board,
affirmed the Decision dated 20 September 2004 of the Civil Service Commission Regional certification that it was issued in accordance with the limitations provided for under Section
Office (CSCRO) No. VI, Iloilo City, approving the appointment of respondent Atty. Rex G. 325 of R.A. 7160 and that appropriations or funds are available for said position, the
Rojo (respondent) as Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretary under a permanent status.cralaw regional office approved the same. x x x

The Facts Mayor Ferrer and Vice-Mayor Honrado appealed the foregoing Decision of the CSC Regional
Office No. 6 to the Civil Service Commission (or Commission). On May 17, 2005, the
The facts as found by the Court of Appeals are as follows: Commission dismissed said appeal on the ground that the appellants were not the
On March 18, 2004, [the] then Vice-Mayor Rex R. Jalandoon of La Carlota City, Negros appointing authority and were therefore improper parties to the appeal. Despite its ruling of
Occidental appointed Atty. Rex G. Rojo (or Rojo) who had just tendered his resignation as dismissal, the Commission went on to reiterate CSC Regional Offices discussion on the
member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod the day preceding such appointment, as appointing authoritys compliance with the certification and deliberation requirements, as
Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretary. The status of the appointment was permanent. The well as the validity of appointees tender of resignation. x x x
next day, March 19, 2004, the Vice-Mayor submitted Rojos appointment papers to the Civil
Service Commission Negros Occidental Field Office (CSCFO-Negros Occidental) for It likewise denied the motion for reconsideration thereafter filed by the petitioners in a
attestation. In a Letter dated March 24, 2004, the said CSCFO wrote Jalandoon to inform Resolution dated November 8, 2005.[5]
him of the infirmities the office found on the appointment documents, i.e. the Chairman of
the Personnel Selection Board and the Human Resource Management Officer did not sign the Petitioners filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. On 14 September 2007, the
certifications, the latter relative to the completeness of the documents as well as to the Court of Appeals denied the petition, and affirmed Resolution Nos. 050654 and 051646 of
publication requirement. In view of the failure of the appointing authority to comply with the the Civil Service Commission, dated 17 May 2005 and 8 November 2005, respectively.
directive, the said CSCFO considered the appointment of Rojo permanently recalled or Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which the Court of Appeals denied in its
withdrawn, in a subsequent Letter to Jalandoon dated April 14, 2004. Resolution dated 18 January 2008.

Jalandoon deemed the recall a disapproval of the appointment, hence, he brought the Hence, this petition for review.
matter to the CSC Regional Office No. 6 in Iloilo City, by way of an appeal. He averred that
the Human Resource Management Officer of La Carlota City refused to affix his signature on The Ruling of the Court of Appeals
Rojos appointment documents but nonetheless transmitted them to the CSCFO. Such
transmittal, according to Jalandoon, should be construed that the appointment was Citing Section 9(h), Article V of Presidential Decree No. 807 [6] or the Civil Service Decree,
complete and regular and that it complied with the pertinent requirements of a valid the Court of Appeals held that in the attestation of an appointment made by a head of
appointment. Before the said CSC Regional Office No. 6 [could resolve the appeal], the City agency, the duty of the Civil Service Commission does not go beyond ascertaining whether
of La Carlota represented by the newly elected mayor, Hon. Jeffrey P. Ferrer and the the appointee possesses the appropriate civil service eligibility and the minimum statutory
Sangguniang Panlungsod represented by the newly elected Vice-Mayor, Hon. Demie John C. qualifications.[7] In this case, the Court of Appeals found that respondent met the minimum
Honrado, collectively, the petitioners herein, intervened. They argued that Jalandoon is not qualifications for the position of Secretary of the Sanggunian, as enumerated under Section
the real party in interest in the appeal but Rojo who, by his inaction, should be considered to 469(b), Article I, Title V of the Local Government Code.[8] In fact, the Court of Appeals held
have waived his right to appeal from the disapproval of his appointment; that the that respondent is more than qualified for the position considering that respondent is a
lawyer and an active member of the bar. Furthermore, the requirements for the Section 82. Resignation of Elective Local Officials. (a) Resignations by elective local
appointment of respondent have been substantially complied with: (a) publication; (b) officials shall be deemed effective only upon acceptance by the following
Personnel Selection Board deliberation; and (c) certification from the appropriate offices that authorities:
appropriations or funds are available for the position. Thus, the Court of Appeals ruled that
there was no sufficient reason for the Commission to disapprove respondents appointment. (1) The President, in the case of governors, vice-governors, and mayors and vice-mayors of
highly urbanized cities and independent component cities;
On the issue of the lack of signature of the Human Resource Management Officer of La (2) The governor, in the case of municipal mayors, municipal vice-mayors, city mayors and
Carlota City on respondents appointment papers, the Court of Appeals held that such city vice-mayors of component cities;
refusal of the officer to affix his signature should not affect the validity of the appointment. (3) The sanggunian concerned, in case of sanggunian members; and
Otherwise, it would be tantamount to putting the appointing power under the mercy of a (4) The city or municipal mayor, in the case of barangay officials.
department head who may without reason refuse to perform a ministerial function, as what
happened in the instant case.[9] (b) Copies of the resignation letters of elective local officials, together with the action taken
by the aforesaid authorities, shall be furnished the Department of Interior and Local
The Court of Appeals also found that the appointment of respondent on 18 March 2004 did Government.
not violate the election ban period which was from 26 March to 9 May 2004. Furthermore, (c) The resignation shall be deemed accepted if not acted upon by the authority concerned
there was no substantial evidence to show that the appointment was a midnight within fifteen (15) working days from receipt thereof.
appointment. (d) Irrevocable resignations by sanggunian members shall be deemed accepted
upon presentation before an open session of the sanggunian concerned and duly
Thus, the Court of Appeals concluded that since respondent possessed the minimum entered in its records: Provided, however, That this subsection does not apply to
qualifications for the position ofSangguniang Panlungsod Secretary, and the appointing sanggunian members who are subject to recall elections or to cases where existing laws
authority has adequately complied with the other requirements for a valid appointment, prescribe the manner of acting upon such resignations.
then the Civil Service Commissions approval of the appointment was only proper.
Section 49. Presiding Officer. (a) The vice-governor shall be the presiding officer of the
The Issues sangguniang panlalawigan; the city vice-mayor, of the sangguniang panlungsod; the
municipal vice-mayor, of the sangguniang bayan; and the punong barangay, of the
Petitioners raise the following issues: sangguniang barangay. The presiding officer shall vote only to break a tie.
1. WHETHER THE APPOINTMENT OF RESPONDENT AS SANGGUNIANG
PANLUNGSOD SECRETARY VIOLATED THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROSCRIPTION (b) In the event of the inability of the regular presiding officer to preside at a sanggunian
AGAINST ELIGIBILITY OF AN ELECTIVE OFFICIAL FOR APPOINTMENT DURING HIS session, the members present and consisting a quorum shall elect from among themselves a
TENURE; and temporary presiding officer. He shall certify within ten (10) days from the passage of
2. WHETHER RESPONDENTS APPOINTMENT AS SANGGUNIANG ordinances enacted and resolutions adopted by the sanggunian in the session over which he
PANLUNGSOD SECRETARY WAS ISSUED CONTRARY TO EXISTING CIVIL SERVICE temporarily presided.
RULES AND REGULATIONS.[10]
Section 52. Sessions. (a) On the first day of the session immediately following the election
The Ruling of the Court of its members, the sanggunian shall, by resolution, fix the day, time, and place of its
regular sessions. The minimum number of regular sessions shall be once a week for the
Petitioners allege that respondents appointment as Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretary is sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, and sangguniang bayan, and twice a
void. Petitioners maintain that respondents irrevocable resignation as a Sangguniang month for the sangguniang barangay.
Panlungsod member was not deemed accepted when it was presented on 17 March 2004
during the scheduled regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of La Carlota City, (b) When public interest so demands, special session may be called by the local chief
Negros Occidental for lack of quorum. Consequently, respondent was still an incumbent executive or by a majority of the members of the sanggunian.
regular Sangguniang Panlungsod member when then Vice Mayor Jalandoon appointed him (c) All sanggunian sessions shall be open to the public unless a closed-door session is
as Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretary on 18 March 2004, which contravenes Section 7, ordered by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members present, there being a quorum,
Article IX-B of the Constitution.11 in the public interest or for reasons of security, decency, or morality. No two (2) sessions,
regular or special, may be held in a single day.
The resolution of this case requires the application and interpretation of certain provisions of (d) In the case of special sessions of the sanggunian, a written notice to the members shall
Republic Act No. 7160 (RA 7160), otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991. be served personally at the members usual place of residence at least twenty-four (24)
The pertinent provisions read: hours before the special session is held. Unless otherwise concurred in by two-thirds (2/3)
vote of the sanggunian members present, there being a quorum, no other matters may be
considered at a special session except those stated in the notice. resignation of respondent was validly accepted.
(e) Each sanggunian shall keep a journal and record of its proceedings which may be
published upon resolution of the sanggunian concerned. The 1987 Constitution mandates Congress to enact a local government code which provides,
among others, the powers, functions and duties of local officials and all other matters
Section 53. Quorum. (a) A majority of all the members of the sanggunian who have relating to the organization and operation of the local government units. Section 3, Article X
been elected and qualified shall constitute a quorum to transact official business. of the 1987 Constitution states:
Should a question of quorum be raised during a session, the presiding officer shall Section 3. The Congress shall enact a local government code which shall provide for a more
immediately proceed to call the roll of the members and thereafter announce the results. responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of
decentralization with effective mechanism of recall, initiative, and referendum, allocate
(b) Where there is no quorum, the presiding officer may declare a recess until such time as among the different local government units their powers, responsibilities, and resources,
a quorum is constituted, or a majority of the members present may adjourn from day to day and provide for the qualifications, election, appointment and removal, term,
and may compel the immediate attendance of any member absent without justifiable cause salaries, powers and functions and duties of local officials, and all other matters
by designating a member of the sanggunian, to be assisted by a member or members of the relating to the organization and operation of the local units. (Emphasis supplied)
police force assigned in the territorial jurisdiction of the local government unit concerned, to
arrest the absent member and present him at the session. Thus, the Local Government Code shall x x x provide for the x x x powers and functions
(c) If there is still no quorum despite the enforcement of the immediately preceding and duties of local officials, and all other matters relating to the organization and operation
subsection, no business shall be transacted. The presiding officer, upon proper motion duly of the local units. In short, whether a vice-mayor has the power, function or duty of
approved by the members present, shall then declare the session adjourned for lack of a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod is determined by the Local Government
quorum. Code.

Section 457. Composition. (a) The sangguniang panlungsod, the legislative body of On 10 October 1991, the Congress approved RA 7160 or the Local Government Code. Under
the city, shall be composed of the city vice-mayor as presiding officer, the regular RA 7160, the city vice-mayor, as presiding officer, is a member of the Sangguniang
sanggunian members, the president of the city chapter of the liga ng mga Panlungsod, thus:
barangay, the president of the panlungsod na pederasyon ng mga sangguniang Section 49. Presiding Officer. (a) The vice-governor shall be the presiding officer of the
kabataan, and the sectoral representatives, as members. sangguniang panlalawigan; the city vice-mayor, of the sangguniang panlungsod; the
municipal vice-mayor, of the sangguniang bayan; and the punong barangay, of the
(b) In addition thereto, there shall be three (3) sectoral representatives: one (1) from the sangguniang barangay. The presiding officer shall vote only to break a tie.
women; and as shall be determined by the sanggunian concerned within ninety (90) days
prior to the holding of the local elections, one (1) from the agricultural or industrial workers; (b) In the event of the inability of the regular presiding officer to preside at a sanggunian
and one (1) from the other sectors, including the urban poor, indigenous cultural session, the members present and consisting a quorum shall elect from among themselves a
communities, or disabled persons. temporary presiding officer. He shall certify within ten (10) days from the passage of
(c) The regular members of the sangguniang panlungsod and the sectoral representatives ordinances enacted and resolutions adopted by the sanggunian in the session over which he
shall be elected in the manner as may be provided for by law. (Boldfacing supplied) temporarily presided.

Petitioners insist that the vice-mayor, as presiding officer of the Sangguniang Section 457. Composition. (a) The sangguniang panlungsod, the legislative body of
Panlungsod, should not be counted in determining whether a quorum exists. Excluding the the city, shall be composed of the city vice-mayor as presiding officer, the regular
vice-mayor, there were only six (6) out of the twelve (12) members of the Sangguniang sanggunian members, the president of the city chapter of the liga ng mga
Panlungsod who were present on 17 March 2004. Since the required majority of seven (7) barangay, the president of the panlungsod na pederasyon ng mga sangguniang
was not reached to constitute a quorum, then no business could have validly been kabataan, and the sectoral representatives, as members.
transacted on that day including the acceptance of respondents irrevocable resignation.
(b) In addition thereto, there shall be three (3) sectoral representatives: one (1) from the
On the other hand, respondent maintains that in this case, the Sangguniang women; and as shall be determined by the sanggunian concerned within ninety (90) days
Panlungsod consists of the presiding officer, ten (10) regular members, and two (2) ex- prior to the holding of the local elections, one (1) from the agricultural or industrial workers;
officio members, or a total of thirteen (13) members. Citing the Department of Interior and and one (1) from the other sectors, including the urban poor, indigenous cultural
Local Government (DILG) Opinion No. 28, s. 2000,12 dated 17 April 2000, respondent communities, or disabled persons.
asserts that the vice-mayor, as presiding officer, should be included in determining the
existence of a quorum. Thus, since there were six (6) members plus the presiding officer, or (c) The regular members of the sangguniang panlungsod and the sectoral representatives
a total of seven (7) who were present on the 17 March 2004 regular session of shall be elected in the manner as may be provided for by law. (Boldfacing and underscoring
theSangguniang Panlungsod, clearly there was a quorum such that the irrevocable supplied)
respectively, are members of their respective sanggunian.
RA 7160 clearly states that the Sangguniang Panlungsod shall be composed of the city
vice-mayor as presiding officer, the regular sanggunian members, the president of the In the 2004 case of Zamora v. Governor Caballero,[14] the Court interpreted Section 53 of
city chapter of the liga ng mga barangay, the president of the panlungsod na pederasyon ng RA 7160 to mean that the entire membership must be taken into account in computing the
mga sangguniang kabataan, and the sectoral representatives, as members. Blacks Law quorum of the sangguniang panlalawigan. The Court held:
Dictionary defines composed of as formed of or consisting of. As the presiding Quorum is defined as that number of members of a body which, when legally assembled in
officer, the vice-mayor can vote only to break a tie. In effect, the presiding officer votes their proper places, will enable the body to transact its proper business or that number
when it matters the most, that is, to break a deadlock in the votes. Clearly, the vice-mayor, which makes a lawful body and gives it power to pass upon a law or ordinance or do any
as presiding officer, is a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod considering that he is valid act. Majority, when required to constitute a quorum, means the number greater than
mandated under Section 49 of RA 7160 to vote to break a tie. To construe otherwise would half or more than half of any total. In fine, the entire membershipmust be taken into
create an anomalous and absurd situation where the presiding officer who votes to break a account in computing the quorum of the sangguniang panlalawigan, for while the
tie during a Sanggunian session is not considered a member of theSanggunian. constitution merely states that majority of each House shall constitute a quorum, Section
53 of the LGC is more exacting as it requires that the majority of all members of
The Senate deliberations on Senate Bill No. 155 (Local Government Code) show the intent of the sanggunian . . . elected and qualified shall constitute a quorum.
the Legislature to treat the vice-mayor not only as the presiding officer of the Sangguniang
Panlungsod but also as a member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod. The pertinent portions of The trial court should thus have based its determination of the existence of a quorum on the
the deliberations read: total number of members of the Sanggunian without regard to the filing of a leave of
Senator Pimentel. Before Senator Rasul and Senator Lina take the floor, Mr. President, may absence by Board Member Sotto. The fear that a majority may, for reasons of political
I reiterate this observation, that changes in the presiding officership of the local affiliation, file leaves of absence in order to cripple the functioning of the sanggunian is
sanggunians are embodied for the municipality where the vice-mayor will now be the already addressed by the grant of coercive power to a mere majority
presiding officer of the sanggunian and the province where the vice-governor will now be ofsanggunian members present when there is no quorum.
the presiding officer. We did not make any change in the city because the city vice-mayor is
already the presiding officer. A sanggunian is a collegial body. Legislation, which is the principal function and duty of
the sanggunian, requires the participation of all its members so that they may not only
The President. All right. represent the interests of their respective constituents but also help in the making of
decisions by voting upon every question put upon the body. The acts of only a part of the
Senator Rasul, Senator Lina, and Senator Gonzales. Sanggunian done outside the parameters of the legal provisions aforementioned are legally
infirm, highly questionable and are, more importantly, null and void. And all such acts
Senator Gonzales. May I just add something to that statement of Senator Pimentel? cannot be given binding force and effect for they are considered unofficial acts done during
an unauthorized session.[15]
The President. All right.
In stating that there were fourteen (14) members of the Sanggunian,[16] the Court
Senator Gonzales. Reading this bill, there is also a fundamental change in the sense in Zamora clearly included the Vice-Governor, as presiding officer, as part of the entire
that the provincial governor, the city mayor, the municipal mayor, as well as, the membership of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan which must be taken into account in
punong barangay are no longer members of their respective sanggunian; they are computing the quorum.
no longer members. Unlike before, when they were members of their respective
sanggunian, now they are not only the presiding officers also, they are not DILG Opinions, which directly ruled on the issue of whether the presiding officer should be
members of their respective sanggunian. included to determine the quorum of the sanggunian, have consistently conformed to the
Courts ruling in Zamora.
Senator Pimentel. May I thank Senator Gonzales for that observation. (Boldfacing supplied)
In DILG Opinion No. 46, s. 2007, the Undersecretary for Local Government clearly stated
During the deliberations, Senator Pimentel, the principal author of the the Local Government that the vice-mayor is included in the determination of a quorum in the sanggunian. The
Code of 1991, clearly agrees with Senator Gonzales that the provincial governor, the city DILG Opinion reads:
mayor, and the municipal mayor who were previously the presiding officers of their DILG Opinion No. 46, s. 2007
respective sanggunian are no longer the presiding officers under the proposed Local 02 July 2007
Government Code, and thus, they ceased to be members of their
respective sanggunian.[13] In the same manner that under the Local Government Code of MESSRS. JAMES L. ENGLE,
1991, the vice-governor, the city vice-mayor, and the municipal vice-mayor, as presiding FEDERICO O. DIMPAS, JR.,
officers of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Sangguniang Panlungsod, Sangguniang Bayan, MARIFE G. RONDINA,
PORFERIO D. DELA CRUZ, and Majority has been defined in Santiago vs. Guingona, et al. (G.R. No. 134577, 18
WINSTON B. MENZON November 1998) as that which is greater than half of the membership of the body.
Sangguniang Bayan Membership Following the said ruling, since the total membership of the sanggunian being 11, 11 divided
Babatngon, Leyte by 2 will give us a quotient of 5.5. Let it be noted however that a fraction cannot be
considered as one whole vote, since it is physically and legally impossible to divide a person
Dear Gentlemen and Lady: or even his vote into a fractional part. Accordingly, we have to go up to the next whole
number which is 6. In this regard, 6 is more than 5.5 and therefore, more than one-half of
This has reference to your earlier letter asking our opinion on several issues, which we the total membership of the sangguniang bayan in conformity with the jurisprudential
quoted herein in toto: definition of the term majority. Thus, the presence of 6 members shall already constitute a
(1) What is the number that would determine the quorum of our sanggunian that quorum in the sangguniang bayan for it to conduct official sessions.
has a total membership of eleven (11) including the vice-mayor?
xxxx
(2) Are the resolutions adopted by a sanggunian without quorum valid? Very truly yours,

In reply to your first query, may we invite your attention to Section 446 (a) of the Local (signed)
Government Code of 1991 (RA 7160) which provides and we quote: AUSTERE A. PANADERO
SECTION 446. Composition. (a) The Sangguniang bayan, the legislative body of the OIC, OUSLG[17]
municipality, shall be composed of the municipal vice-mayor as the presiding officer, the
regular sangguniang members, the president of the municipal chapter of the liga ng mga In another DILG Opinion dated 9 February 2010, the Undersecretary for Local Government
barangay, the president of the pambayang pederasyon ng mga sangguniang kabataan, and opined that the Vice-Governor, as a Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, is a
the sectoral representatives, as members. composite member thereof and is included in the determination of the quorum. DILG
Opinion No. 13, s. 2010 reads:
Based on the aforequoted provision, the Sangguniang Bayan is composed of eight (8) DILG Opinion No. 13, s. 2010
regular members, the Liga ng mga Barangay President, the SK Federation 09 February 2010
President, the Vice-Mayor as Presiding Officer and the sectoral representatives.
GOVERNOR JESUS N. SACDALAN
Under the old Local Government Code (Batas Pambansa Blg. 337), the Presiding VICE-GOVERNOR EMMANUEL F. PIOL
Officer then of the sanggunian was the Mayor. Thus, there was a dilemma as to Provincial Capitol Building
whether or not the Vice-Mayor, as Presiding Officer, is to be included in the Province of Cotabato
determination of quorum in the Sangguniang Bayan. This issue was, however,
resolved with the advent of the new Local Government Code of 1991 (RA 7160) Gentlemen:
providing the aforequoted provision. Hence, the vice-mayor is included in the
determination of a quorum in the sanggunian. This has reference to your earlier separate letters, which we herein consolidated,
considering that they both pertain to one subject matter.
Based on the aforequoted provision, sectoral representatives are also included in the
determination of quorum in the sangguniang bayan. Let it be noted however that sectoral Per your letters, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan held its regular session on 12 January 2010
representatives in the local sanggunian are, pursuant to Section 41 (c) of RA 7160 and where the August Body embarked upon the approval of the Annual Budget. According to
Section 10 (b) of RA 9264, to be elected in a manner as may be provided for by law. you, all fourteen (14) members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan attended said session,
Meantime however, Congress has yet to enact a law providing for the manner of electing namely: ten (10) regular Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members, three (3) ex-officio
sectoral representatives at the local sanggunians. Such being the case, sectoral Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members and the Vice-Governor as the Presiding Officer. You
representatives are not, in the meantime, included in the determination of quorum in the further represented that when said approval of the Annual Budget was submitted for
local sanggunians. votation of said August Body, the result was: seven (7) members voted for the approval of
the Annual Budget and six (6) voted against.
In view of the foregoing, the Sangguniang Bayan is composed of the 8 regular
members, the Liga ng mga Barangay President and the SK Federation President as Specifically, you want us to shed light on the following issues:
ex-officio members, and the Vice-Mayor as Presiding Officer. The total membership 1) Whether or not the august body has reached the required majority of all the members of
in that sanggunian, therefore, is eleven (11). Relative thereto, Section 53 of the Local the Sangguniang Panlalawigan as provided for in Sections 53 and 54 of the Local
Government Code of 1991 provides that a majority of all the members of the sanggunian Government Code and in relation to Article 107 (g) of its Implementing Rules and
who have been elected and qualified shall constitute a quorum to transact official business. Regulations?
Very truly yours,
2) Whether or not the vice governor as the presiding officer is included in the
count in determining the majority of all the members of the sangguniang (signed)
panlalawigan to validly pass an appropriation ordinance. AUSTERE A. PANADERO
Undersecretary[18]
3) Whether or not the board member who signed the Committee Report endorsing the 2010
Proposed Annual Performance Budget may withdraw without just and valid cause his In the same manner, a quorum of the Sangguniang Panlungsod should be computed based
signature thereon and vote against the approval thereof? on the total composition of theSangguniang Panlungsod. In this case, the Sangguniang
Panlungsod of La Carlota City, Negros Occidental is composed of the presiding officer, ten
4) In the event that the Province operates under a re-enacted budget, what are those (10) regular members, and two (2) ex-officio members, or a total of thirteen (13) members.
expenditures included in the term essential operating expenses that may be incurred by A majority of the 13 members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, or at least seven (7)
the Province? members, is needed to constitute a quorum to transact official business. Since seven (7)
members (including the presiding officer) were present on the 17 March 2004 regular
xxxx session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, clearly there was a quorum such that the
irrevocable resignation of respondent was validly accepted.
For the sanggunian to officially transact business, there should be a quorum. A quorum is
defined by Section 53 of the Local Government Code of 1991 as referring to the presence of The Perez[19] case cited in the Dissenting Opinion was decided in 1969 prior to the 1987
the majority of all the members of the sanggunian who have been duly elected and Constitution, and prior to the enactment of RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991.
qualified. Relative thereto, generally, ordinary measures require for its enactment only the In fact, the Perez case was decided even prior to the old Local Government Code which was
approval of a simple majority of the sanggunian members present, there being a quorum. enacted in 1983. In ruling that the vice-mayor is not a constituent member of the municipal
These pertain to the normal transactions of the sanggunian which are approved by the board, the Court in the Perez case relied mainly on the provisions of Republic Act No. 305
sanggunian through a vote of simple majority of those present. On the other hand, there are (RA 305) creating the City of Naga and the amendatory provisions of Republic Act No.
certain measures where the Local Government Code requires for its approval the vote of 2259[20] (RA 2259) making the vice-mayor the presiding officer of the municipal board.
majority of all the members who were duly elected and qualified. This is what we call Under RA 2259, the vice-mayor was the presiding officer of the City Council or Municipal
approval by the qualified majority of the sanggunian. In this case, the approval is to be Board in chartered cities. However, RA 305 and 2259 were silent on whether as
voted not just by the majority of those present in a session there being a quorum but by the presiding officer the vice-mayor could vote. Thus, the applicable laws in Perez are no
majority of all the members of the sanggunian duly elected and qualified regardless of longer the applicable laws in the present case.
whether all of them were present or not in a particular session, there being a quorum.
On the other hand, the 2004 case of Zamora v. Governor Caballero,[21] in which the Court
xxxx interpreted Section 53[22] of RA 7160 to mean that the entire membership must be taken
In determining a quorum, Section 53 of the Local Government Code of 1991 provides that a into account in computing the quorum of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, was decided under
majority of all the members of the sanggunian who have been elected and qualified shall the 1987 Constitution and after the enactment of the Local Government Code of 1991. In
constitute a quorum. Along this line, it bears to emphasize that per Section 467 (a) of the stating that there were fourteen (14) members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of
Local Government Code of 1991, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is a composite body where Compostela Valley,[23] the Court inZamora clearly included the Vice- Governor, as presiding
the Vice-Governor as Presiding Officer is a composite member thereof. As a composite officer, as part of the entire membership of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan which must be
member in the sangguniang panlalawigan, he is therefore included in the determination of a taken into account in computing the quorum.
quorum.
On the issue that respondents appointment was issued during the effectivity of the election
Majority has been defined by the Supreme Court in Santiago vs. Guingona, et al. (G.R. No. ban, the Court agrees with the finding of the Court of Appeals and the Civil Service
134577, 18 November 1998) as that which is greater than half of the membership of the Commission that since the respondents appointment was validly issued on 18 March 2004,
body or that number which is 50% + 1 of the entire membership. We note, however, that then the appointment did not violate the election ban period which was from 26 March to 9
using either formula will give us the same result. To illustrate, using the 50% +1 formula, May 2004. Indeed, the Civil Service Commission found that despite the lack of signature and
the 50% of a sanggunian composed of 14 members is 7. Hence 7 + 1 will give us a sum of certification of the Human Resource Management Officer of La Carlota City on respondents
8. On the other hand, if we use the second formula which is that number greater than half, appointment papers, respondents appointment is deemed effective as of 18 March 2004
then 8, in relation to 7, is definitely greater than the latter. The simple majority of the considering that there was substantial compliance with the appointment requirements, thus:
sangguniang panlalawigan with fourteen (14) members where all of them were present in Records show that Atty. Rojos appointment was transmitted to the CSC Negros Occidental
that particular session is therefore 8. Field Office on March 19, 2004 by the office of Gelongo without his certification and
signature at the back of the appointment. Nonetheless, records show that the position to
xxxx which Atty. Rojo was appointed was published on January 6, 2004. The qualifications of
Atty. Rojo were deliberated upon by the Personnel Selection Board on March 5, 2004,
attended by Vice Mayor Jalandoon as Chairman and Jose Leofric F. De Paola, SP member
and Sonia P. Delgado, Records Officer, as members. Records likewise show that a
certification was issued by Vice Mayor Jalandoon, as appointing authority, that the
appointment was issued in accordance with the limitations provided for under Section 325 of
RA 7160 and the said appointment was reviewed and found in order pursuant to Section 5,
Rule V of the Omnibus Rules Implementing Executive Order No. 292. Further, certifications
were issued by the City Budget Officer, Acting City Accountant, City Treasurer and City Vice
Mayor that appropriations or funds are available for said position. Apparently, all the
requirements prescribed in Section 1, Rule VIII in CSC Memorandum Circular No. 15, series
of 1999, were complied with.[24]

Clearly, the appointment of respondent on 18 March 2004 was validly issued considering
that: (1) he was considered resigned as Sangguniang Panlungsod member effective 17
March 2004; (2) he was fully qualified for the position ofSanggunian Secretary; and (3)
there was substantial compliance with the appointment requirements.

WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the 14 September 2007 Decision and the
18 January 2008 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CEB-SP No. 01377.

SO ORDERED.
EN BANC Would there still be a need for the Sangguniang Panglungsod to ratify a newly entered
contract of consultancy services between the SP and the candidate for said consultancy
[G.R. No. 182069 : July 03, 2012] position?
ARNOLD D. VICENCIO, PETITIONER, VS. HON. REYNALDO A. VILLAR AND HON.
JUANITO G. ESPINO, JR., IN THEIR CAPACITY AS ACTING CHAIRMAN AND Kindly render your humble opinion on the matter.[6]
COMMISSIONER, RESPECTIVELY, OF THE HON. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, AND
ELIZABETH S. ZOSA, RESPONDENTS. Atty. Diaz then responded to the said inquiry through a letter dated 26 July 2004, which
categorically stated that ratification was no longer necessary, provided that the services to
be contracted were those stipulated in the ordinance. The letter states thus:chanrobles
DECISION virtualaw library
In response to your query contained in your letter dated July 19, 2004, regarding the hiring
SERENO, J.: of consultants for the Sanggunian Secretariat by virtue of Ordinance No. 15-2003, giving
authority to the City Vice Mayor to enter into consultancy services and whether there is still
This is a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 64, in realtion to Rule 65 of the Rules or Court, a need for ratification of said consultancy contract by the Sanggunian, the answer is, such a
seeking to annul Decision No. 2008-022 dated 15 February 2008 of the Commission on ratification is no longer necessary provided that the contract of consultancy services to be
Audit (COA).[1]chanrobles virtual law library executed is precisely the services stipulated in said ordinance. In essence, the Ordinance no.
15-2003 already stated what consultancy services should be secured and hence, if the
On 30 October 2003, the City Council or the Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Malabon (SPM), contract for consultancy services to be executed is precisely those as provided in said
presided over by Hon. Benjamin Galauran, then acting Vice-Mayor, adopted and approved ordinance, ratification is a mere suplasage.[7]
City Ordinance No. 15-2003, entitled An Ordinance Granting Authority to the City Vice-
Mayor, Hon. Jay Jay Yambao, to Negotiate and Enter into Contract for Consultancy Services On 21 January 2005, the SPM adopted City Ordinance No. 01-2005 entitled An Ordinance
for Consultants in the SanggunianSecretariat Tasked to Function in their Respective Areas of Appropriating Funds to Cover the Various Expenditures and Activities of the Local
Concern x x x.[2]chanrobles virtual law library Government of Malabon City for the Period from January 01, 2005 to December 31, 2005.
The total amount of funds appropriated was P511,070,019 for the spending of the entire city
On 9 December 2003 and 1 March 2004, the City of Malabon, represented by Hon. government. Out of this amount, P792,000 was earmarked for consultancy services under
Galauran, entered into separate Contracts for Consultancy Services with Ms. Jannette O. the Legislative Secretariat.cralaw
Vijiga,[3] Mr. Meynardo E. Virtucio[4] and Mr. Hernando D. Dabalus (2003 Consultancy
Contracts).[5]chanrobles virtual law library On 1 February 2005, petitioner, representing the City Government of Malabon City, entered
into Contracts for Consultancy Services with Ms. Jennifer S. Catindig [8] and Atty. Rodolfo C.
Subsequently, during the May 2004 elections, petitioner was elected City Vice-Mayor of delos Santos (2005 Consultancy Contracts).[9] On 11 February 2005, another Contract for
Malabon. By virtue of this office, he also became the Presiding Officer of the SPM and, at the Consultancy Services was entered into between Mr. Marvin T. Amiana10 and the city
same time, the head of the Sanggunian Secretariat.cralaw government.cralaw

To complement the manpower requirements of the existing Sanggunian Secretariat, After the signing of their respective contracts, the three consultants rendered consultancy
petitioner deemed it necessary to hire the services of consultants with the end view of services to the SPM. Thereafter, they were correspondingly paid for their services pursuant
augmenting and upgrading its performance capability for the effective operation of the to the contracts therefor.cralaw
legislative machinery of the city.cralaw
On 19 December 2005, Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) No. 2005-12-01911 was
Petitioner thus wrote a letter dated 19 July 2004 to Atty. Danilo T. Diaz , the City Legal issued by Ms. Atenie F. Padilla, Supervising Auditor of the City Auditors Office, Malabon
Officer of Malabon, inquiring as to whether it was still necessary for the SPM to ratify a City, disallowing the amount of three hundred eighty-four thousand nine hundred eighty
newly entered contract of consultancy services between it and the candidate for the pesos (P384,980) for being an improper disbursement. The AOM disclosed the following
consultancy position. The letter states in part:chanrobles virtualaw library pertinent findings:chanrobles virtualaw library
This is an inquiry regarding the hiring of consultants by virtue of an ordinance giving City Ordinance No. 15-2003 dated October 30, 2003 was used as basis of authority
authority to the City Vice Mayor to enter into consultancy services (Ordinance no. 15- in hiring consultants. Analysis of the said City Ordinance revealed that it specifically
2003).cralaw authorized the former Vice-Mayor, Hon. Mark Allan Jay G. Yambao to enter into a
contract for consultancy services in the Sangguniang Secretariat covering the period
As you very well know, the services of the consultants hired by the former administration, June to December 2003 only. Said ordinance does not give authority to the
particularly by the Sangguniang Panglungsod, ended last June 30, 2004. Hence, we are incumbent City Vice-Mayor Arnold D. Vicencio to hire consultants for CY 2005.cralaw
confronted by this inquiry:chanrobles virtualaw library
Progress accomplishment report for the month, to determine the services rendered amount of P384,980.00 representing fees to consultants Mr. Marvin T. Amiana, Atty. Rodolfo
were not attached to the disbursement vouchers.cralaw Delos Santos and Ms. Jennifer Catindig, is hereby affirmed. However, the instant appeal of
No information as to what method had been made by BAC in the hiring of individual Mr. Estaquio Angeles is hereby granted. Mr. Angeles is therefore excluded from the persons
consultants whether through the selection from several registered professionals who liable listed under Notice of Disallowance No. 06-009-101 (05).[17]
offered consulting services or through direct hiring without the intervention of the
BAC.cralaw Thereafter, herein petitioner filed a letter dated 7 July 2007,[18] addressed to Hon. Guillermo
Copies of the approved contracts together with supporting documents were not N. Carague, COA Chairperson. The letter prayed for the reversal and setting aside of the
submitted to the City Auditors Office within five (5) days from execution of the earlier Decision of the ASB.cralaw
contract for review and evaluation contrary to COA Circular No. 76-34 dated July 15,
1976, thus the City Auditors Office was precluded to conduct timely On 15 February 2008, public respondent issued the assailed Order. It appears that the letter
review/evaluation to inform management of whatever deficiencies noted so that of petitioner was treated as an appeal to the Commission Proper of the COA and was
immediate remedial measures could be properly taken.[12] subsequently denied. The dispositive portion states:chanrobles virtualaw library
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant motion for reconsideration, which was
On 12 May 2006, respondent Elizabeth S. Zosa issued Notice of Disallowance (ND) No. 06- treated as an appeal, is denied.[19]
009-101 (05)13 containing the result of the evaluation conducted on the AOM issued by Ms.
Padilla. The persons held liable for the disallowed amount relative to the hiring of the three On 28 March 2008, the instant Petition was filed, raising the following issue:chanrobles
consultants were the following: (1) petitioner, in his capacity as City Vice- Mayor, for virtualaw library
certifying that the expenses/cash advances were necessary, lawful and incurred under his WHETHER OR NOT PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMISSION ON AUDIT COMMITTED SERIOUS
direct supervision and for approving the transaction; (2) Mr. Eustaquio M. Angeles, in his ERRORS AND GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF OR EXCESS OF
capacity as Officer-in- Charge, City Accountant, for certifying to the completeness and JURISDICTION WHEN IT AFFIRMED ASB DECISION NO. 2007-030, RELATIVE TO THE
propriety of the supporting documents of the expenditures; and (3) Ms. Catindig, Atty. Delos DISALLOWANCE OF DISBURSEMENTS CONCERNING THE SERVICES RENDERED BY HIRED
Santos, and Mr. Amiana, as payees. The above-named persons were further directed to CONSULTANTS FOR THE SANGGUNIANG PANLUNGSOD NG MALABON.
settle the said disallowance immediately. Pursuant to Sections 48, 50 and 51 of Presidential
Decree No. (P.D.) 1445, the parties found liable had a period of six months within which to On 8 April 2008, this Court directed respondents to comment on the Petition. On 28 July
file an appeal. The disallowance was anchored on the following findings:chanrobles virtualaw 2008, they filed their Comment, in which they averred that Ordinance No. 15-2003
library specifically authorized the expenditure of funds for the compensation of consultants only
- There was no authority for the incumbent City Vice-Mayor Arnold D. Vicencio to hire from June to December 2003. Thus, the contracts for consultancy entered into in 2005 were
consultants for CY 2005. City Ordinance No. 15-2003 dated October 30, 2003 which was contrary to the ordinance cited and were therefore void for being unauthorized and bereft of
used as basis of authority to hire consultants specifically authorized the former Vice-Mayor, any legal basis. There is also no room for interpretation of the ordinance, as the same is
Hon. Mark Allan Jay G. Yambao to enter into a contract for consultancy services in the clear, and, additionally, actually contains no preamble. Further, respondents argue that to
Sangguniang Secretariat covering the period June to December 2003 only. allow the disbursement of public funds to pay for the services of the consultants, despite the
absence of authority for the same, would allow a circumvention of the applicable COA rules
- There were no Progress Accomplishment Reports for the month, to determine the services and circulars.cralaw
rendered.
Petitioner thereafter filed his Reply to the Comment, in compliance with this Courts 12
- No information as to what method had been made by BAC in the hiring of individual August 2008 Resolution. In his Reply, he contended that he had the authority to enter into
consultants whether through the selection from several registered professionals who offered the consultancy contracts pursuant to Ordinance No. 15-2003. As the ordinance was
consulting services or through direct hiring without the intervention of the BAC.[14] ambiguous, there was a need to interpret its provisions by looking into the intent of the law.
He also manifested that the Ombusdman had dismissed the administrative and criminal
On 22 June 2006, the SPM wrote a letter[15] informing Ms. Padilla that the three consultants Complaints for violation of Republic Act No. (R.A.) 6713 and for Usurpation of Authority,
hired by petitioner rendered services covering the period January to December 2005. In its previously filed against him over the same transactions. The Ombudsman held that, while
view, the hiring of these consultants and the services they rendered were in good Ordinance No. 15-2003 specifically mentions then Vice-Mayor Yambao, the intent in passing
faith.cralaw the law may not be ignored. It was the intention of the city council to authorize the Office of
the Vice-Mayor to enter into consultancy contracts, and not Vice-Mayor Yambao only.
Aggrieved by the disallowance, petitioner appealed it to the Adjudication and Settlement Petitioner also argued that the ends of substantial justice and equity would be better served
Board (ASB) of the COA. On 12 June 2007, the ASB issued Decision No. 2007-030,[16] the by allowing the disbursement for consultancy services that have already been
dispositive portion of which reads as follows:chanrobles virtualaw library rendered.cralaw
Premises considered, the instant appeal of Hon. Arnold Vicencio is hereby denied.
Accordingly, Notice of Disallowance No. 06-009-101 (05) dated 12 May 2006 involving the We deny the Petition.cralaw
(b) The city vice-mayor shall receive a monthly compensation corresponding to Salary Grade
At the outset, we note that the Petition has a procedural flaw that should merit its outright twenty-eight (28) for a highly urbanized city and Salary Grade twenty-six (26) for a
dismissal. Through the Verification and Certification attached to the instant Petition, component city, as prescribed under R.A. No. 6758 and the implementing guidelines issued
petitioner states that the contents of the Petition are true and correct of [his] own personal pursuant thereto.
knowledge and belief and based on authentic records and/or documents.[20] Section 4, Rule
7 of the Rules of Court provides that a pleading required to be verified which contains a Under this provision, therefore, there is no inherent authority on the part of the city vice-
verification based on information and belief or knowledge, information and belief, shall mayor to enter into contracts on behalf of the local government unit, unlike that provided
be treated as an unsigned pleading. A pleading, therefore, in which the verification is based for the city mayor.[22] Thus, the authority of the vice-mayor to enter into contracts on behalf
merely on the partys knowledge and belief as in the instant Petition produces no legal of the city was strictly circumscribed by the ordinance granting it. Ordinance No. 15-2003
effect, subject to the discretion of the court to allow the deficiency to be specifically authorized Vice-Mayor Yambao to enter into contracts for consultancy services.
remedied.[21]chanrobles virtual law library As this is not a power or duty given under the law to the Office of the Vice-Mayor, Ordinance
No. 15-2003 cannot be construed as a continuing authority for any person who enters the
In any case, we find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COA in issuing the Office of the Vice-Mayor to enter into subsequent, albeit similar, contracts.cralaw
assailed Decision.cralaw
Ordinance No. 15-2003 provides in full:chanrobles virtualaw library
Petitioner contends that the ordinance authorizes the Office of the Vice-Mayor, and not Vice- City Ordinance No. 15-2003
Mayor Yambao in particular, to enter into consultancy contracts. Notably, it was even Hon.
Vice-Mayor Benjamin C. Galauran, who was acting Vice-Mayor at the time, who entered into An Ordinance Granting Authority to the City Vice Mayor, Hon. Jay Jay G. Yambao, to
the 2003 Consultancy Contracts. Petitioner also argues that there is no indication from the Negotiate, and Enter into a Contract for Consultancy Services in the Sanggunian Secretariat
preamble of the ordinance, which can be read from the minutes of the SPM meeting, that Tasked to Function in their Respective Areas of Concern, as Aforementioned, To
the ordinance was specifically designed to empower only Vice-Mayor Yambao, or to limit Wit:chanrobles virtualaw library
such power to hire for the period June to December 2003 only.cralaw
(1) A Legal Consultant
We disagree.cralaw (2) A Consultant on Education Affairs and
(3) A Management Consultant
Under Section 456 of R.A. 7160, or the Local Government Code, the following are the
powers and duties of a city vice-mayor:chanrobles virtualaw library That said consultants shall be paid/compensated at the rate of Twenty Two Thousand Pesos
ARTICLE II (P22,000.00) each, per month, effective upon approval of this ordinance subject to the
The City Vice-Mayor usual accounting and auditing procedures, rules and/or regulations;

SECTION 456. Powers, Duties and Compensation. (a) The city vice-mayor shall: That the source of funds for appropriations thereof shall be made available for expenditures
to be earmarked for payment/compensation for said consultants, covering the period from
(1) Be the presiding officer of the sangguniang panlungsod and sign all warrants drawn on June to December of 2003, thereby authorizing further the City Vice Mayor to effect the
the city treasury for all expenditures appropriated for the operation of the sangguniang necessary funding thereof, pursuant to the pertinent provision, aforecited, in Chapter 4,
panlungsod; Section 336 of R.A. 7160;

(2) Subject to civil service law, rules and regulations, appoint all officials and employees of That copies of this ordinance be furnished all concerned for their information and
the sangguniang panlungsod, except those whose manner of appointment is specifically guidance.cralaw
provided in this Code;
Adopted: October 30, 2003.[23]
(3) Assume the office of the city mayor for the unexpired term of the latter in the event of
permanent vacancy as provided for in Section 44, Book I of this Code; Ordinance No. 15-2003 is clear and precise and leaves no room for interpretation. It only
authorized the then City Vice-Mayor to enter into consultancy contracts in the specific areas
(4) Exercise the powers and perform the duties and functions of the city mayor in cases of of concern. Further, the appropriations for this particular item were limited to the savings
temporary vacancy as provided for in Section 46, Book I of this Code; and for the period June to December 2003. This was an additional limitation to the power
granted to Vice-Mayor Yambao to contract on behalf of the city. The fact that any later
(5) Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions as may be consultancy contract would necessarily require further appropriations from the city council
prescribed by law or ordinance.cralaw strengthens the contention that the power granted under Ordinance No. 15-2003 was
limited in scope. Hence, petitioner was without authority to enter into the 2005 Consultancy
Contracts.cralaw

Where the words of a statute are clear, plain, and free from ambiguity, it must be given its
literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation.[24] Thus, the ordinance should
be applied according to its express terms, and interpretation would be resorted to only
where a literal interpretation would be either impossible or absurd or would lead to an
injustice.[25] In the instant case, there is no reason to depat1 from this rule, since the
subject ordinance is not at all impossible, absurd, or unjust.cralaw

Section 103 of P.D. 1445 declares that expenditures of government funds or uses of
government property in violation of law or regulations shall be a personal liability of the
of1icial or employee found to be directly responsible therefor. The public official's personal
liability arises only if the expenditure of government funds was made in violation of law. In
this case, petitioner's act of entering into a contract on behalf of the local government unit
without the requisite authority therefor was in violation of the Local Government Code.
While petitioner may have relied on the opinion of the City Legal Officer, such reliance only
serves to buttress his good faith. It does not, however, exculpate him from his personal
liability under P.D. 1445.cralaw

In sum, the COA's assailed Decision was made in faithful compliance with its mandate and in
judicious exercise of its general audit power as conferred on it by the Constitution[26] The
COA was merely fulfilling its mandate in observing the policy that government funds and
property should be fully protected and conserved; and that irregular, unnecessary,
excessive or extravagant expenditures or uses of such funds and property should be
prevented.[27] Thus, no grave abuse of discretion may be imputed to the COA.cralaw

WHEREFORE, the Commission on Audit Decision dated 4 January 2008 is


hereby AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.
EN BANC observed.

[G.R. No. 112497. August 4, 1994.] Parenthetically, this petition was originally dismissed by the Court for non-compliance with
Circular 1-88, the Solicitor General having failed to submit a certified true copy of the
HON. FRANKLIN M. DRILON, in his capacity as SECRETARY OF JUSTICE, Petitioner, challenged decision. 3 However, on motion for reconsideration with the required certified
v. MAYOR ALFREDO S. LIM, VICE-MAYOR JOSE L. ATIENZA, CITY TREASURER true copy of the decision attached, the petition was reinstated in view of the importance of
ANTHONY ACEVEDO, SANGGUNIANG PANGLUNSOD AND THE CITY OF the issues raised therein.
MANILA, Respondents.
We stress at the outset that the lower court had jurisdiction to consider the constitutionality
of Section 187, this authority being embraced in the general definition of the judicial power
DECISION to determine what are the valid and binding laws by the criterion of their conformity to the
fundamental law. Specifically, BP 129 vests in the regional trial courts jurisdiction over all
civil cases in which the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation, 4 even
CRUZ, J.: as the accused in a criminal action has the right to question in his defense the co
institutionality of a law he is charged with violating and of the proceedings taken against
him, particularly as they contravene the Bill of Rights. Moreover, Article X, Section 5(2), of
The principal issue in this case is the constitutionality of Section 187 of the Local the Constitution vests in the Supreme Court appellate jurisdiction over final judgments and
Government Code reading as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library orders of lower courts in all cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty,
international or executive agreement, law, presidential decree, proclamation, order,
Procedure For Approval And Effectivity Of Tax Ordinances And Revenue Measures; instruction, ordinance, or regulation is in question.chanrobles.com:cralaw:red
Mandatory Public Hearings. The procedure for approval of local tax ordinances and
revenue measures shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Code: Provided, That In the exercise of this jurisdiction, lower courts are advised to act with the utmost
public hearings shall be conducted for the purpose prior to the enactment thereof; Provided, circumspection, bearing in mind the consequences of a declaration of unconstitutionality
further, That any question on the constitutionality or legality of tax ordinances or revenue upon the stability of laws, no less than on the doctrine of separation of powers. As the
measures may be raised on appeal within thirty (30) days from the effectivity thereof to the questioned act is usually the handiwork of the legislative or the executive departments, or
Secretary of Justice who shall render a decision within sixty (60) days from the date of both, it will be prudent for such courts, if only out of a becoming modesty, to defer to the
receipt of the appeal: Provided, however, That such appeal shall not have the effect of higher judgment of this Court in the consideration of its validity, which is better determined
suspending the effectivity of the ordinance and the accrual and payment of the tax, fee, or after a thorough deliberation by a collegiate body and with the concurrence of the majority
charge levied therein: Provided, finally, That within thirty (30) days after receipt of the of those who participated in its discussion. 5
decision or the lapse of the sixty-day period without the Secretary of Justice acting upon the
appeal, the aggrieved party may file appropriate proceedings with a court of competent It is also emphasized that every court, including this Court, is charged with the duty of a
jurisdiction.chanrobles lawlibrary : rednad purposeful hesitation before declaring a law unconstitutional, on the theory that the
measure was first carefully studied by the executive and the legislative departments and
Pursuant thereto, the Secretary of Justice had, on appeal to him of four oil companies and a determined by them to be in accordance with the fundamental law before it was finally
taxpayer, declared Ordinance No. 7794, otherwise known as the Manila Revenue Code, null approved. To doubt is to sustain. The presumption of constitutionality can be overcome only
and void for non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in the enactment of tax by the clearest showing that there was indeed an infraction of the Constitution, and only
ordinances and for containing certain provisions contrary to law and public policy. 1 when such a conclusion is reached by the requipped majority may the Court pronounce, in
the discharge of the duty it cannot escape, that the challenged act must be struck
In a petition for certiorari filed by the City of Manila, the Regional Trial Court of Manila down.chanrobles.com : virtual law library
revoked the Secretarys resolution and sustained the ordinance, holding inter alia that the
procedural requirements had been observed. More importantly, it declared Section 187 of In the case before us, Judge Rodolfo C. Palattao declared Section 187 of the Local
the Local Government Code as unconstitutional because of its vesture in the Secretary of Government Code unconstitutional insofar as it empowered the Secretary of Justice to
Justice of the power of control over local governments in violation of the policy of local review tax ordinances and, inferentially, to annul them. He cited the familiar distinction
autonomy mandated in the Constitution and of the specific provision therein conferring on between control and supervision, the first being "the power of an officer to alter or modify or
the President of the Philippines only the power of supervision over local governments. 2 set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to
substitute the judgment of the former for the latter," while the second is "the power of a
The present petition would have us reverse that decision. The Secretary argues that the superior officer to see to it that lower officers perform their functions is accordance with
annulled Section 187 is constitutional and that the procedural requirements for the law." 6 His conclusion was that the challenged section gave to the Secretary the power of
enactment of tax ordinances as specified in the Local Government Code has indeed not been control and not of supervision only as vested by the Constitution in the President of the
Philippines. This was, in his view, a violation not only of Article X, specifically Section 4 revoked. Thereafter, the local legislative body may not reimposed the same tax or fee until
thereof, 7 and of Section 5 on the taxing powers of local governments, 8 and the policy of such time as the grounds for the suspension thereof shall have ceased to exist.
local autonomy in general.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary:red
That section allowed the Secretary of Finance to suspend the effectivity of a tax ordinance if,
We do not share that view. The lower court was rather hasty in invalidating the provision. in his opinion, the tax or fee levied was unjust, excessive, oppressive or confiscatory.
Determination of these flaws would involve the exercise of judgment or discretion and not
Section 187 authorizes the Secretary of Justice to review only the constitutionality or legality merely an examination of whether or not the requirements or limitations of the law had
of the tax ordinance and, if warranted, to revoke it on either or both of these grounds. When been observed; hence, it would smack of control rather than mere supervision. That power
he alters or modifies or sets aside a tax ordinance, he is not also permitted to substitute his was never questioned before this Court but, at any rate, the Secretary of Justice is not given
own judgment for the judgment of the local government that enacted the measure. the same latitude under Section 187. All he is permitted to do is ascertain the
Secretary Drilon did set aside the Manila Revenue Code, but he did not replace it with his constitutionality or legality of the tax measure, without the right to declare that, in his
own version of what the Code should be. He did not pronounce the ordinance unwise or opinion, it is unjust, excessive, oppressive or confiscatory. He has no discretion on this
unreasonable as a basis for its annulment. He did not say that in his judgment it was a bad matter. In fact, Secretary Drilon set aside the Manila Revenue Code only on two grounds, to
law. What he found only was that it was illegal. All he did in reviewing the said measure was wit, the inclusion therein of certain ultra vires provisions and non-compliance with the
determine if the petitioners were performing their functions is accordance with law, that is, prescribed procedure in its enactment. These grounds affected the legality, not the wisdom
with the prescribed procedure for the enactment of tax ordinances and the grant of powers or reasonableness of the tax measure.chanrobles law library : red
to the city government under the Local Government Code. As we see it, that was an act not
of control but of mere supervision.chanrobles lawlibrary : rednad The issue of non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in the enactment of the Manila
Revenue Code is another matter.
An officer in control lays down the rules in the doing of an act. It they are not followed, he
may, in his discretion, order the act undone or re-done by his subordinate or he may even In his resolution, Secretary Drilon declared that there were no written notices of public
decide to do it himself. Supervision does not cover such authority. The supervisor or hearings on the proposed Manila Revenue Code that were sent to interested parties as
superintendent merely sees to it that the rules are followed, but he himself does not lay required by Art. 276(b) of the Implementing Rules of the Local Government Code nor were
down such rules, nor does he have the discretion to modify or replace them. If the rules are copies of the proposed ordinance published in three successive issues of a newspaper of
not observed, he may order the work done or re-done but only to conform to the prescribed general circulation pursuant to Art. 276(a). No minutes were submitted to show that the
rules. He may not prescribe his own manner for the doing of the act. He has no judgment on obligatory public hearings had been held. Neither were copies of the measure as approved
this matter except to see to it that the rules are followed. In the opinion of the Court, posted in prominent places in the city in accordance with Sec. 511(a) of the Local
Secretary Drilon did precisely this, and no more nor less than this, and so performed an act Government Code. Finally, the Manila Revenue Code was not translated into Pilipino or
not of control but of mere supervision. Tagalog and disseminated among the people for their information and guidance,
conformably to Sec. 59(b) of the Code.chanrobles.com.ph : virtual law library
The case of Taule v. Santos 9 cited in the decision has no application here because the
jurisdiction claimed by the Secretary of Local Governments over election contests in the Judge Palattao found otherwise. He declared that all the procedural requirements had been
Katipunan ng Mga Barangay was held to belong to the Commission on Elections by observed in the enactment of the Manila Revenue Code and that the City of Manila had not
constitutional provision. The conflict was over jurisdiction, not supervision or been able to prove such compliance before the Secretary only because he had given it only
control.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary five days within which to gather and present to him all the evidence (consisting of 25
exhibits) later submitted to the trial court.
Significantly, a rule similar to Section 187 appeared in the Local Autonomy Act, which
provided in its Section 2 as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library To get to the bottom of his question, the Court acceded to the motion of the respondents
and called for the elevation to it of the said exhibits. We have carefully examined every one
A tax ordinance shall go into effect on the fifteenth day after its passage, unless the of these exhibits and agree with the trial court that the procedural requirements have
ordinance shall provide otherwise: Provided, however, That the Secretary of Finance shall indeed been observed. Notices of the public hearings were sent to interested parties as
have authority to suspend the effectivity of any ordinance within one hundred and twenty evidenced by Exhibits G-1 to 17. The minutes of the hearings are found in Exhibits M, M-1,
days after receipt by him of a copy thereof, if, in his opinion, the tax or fee therein levied or M-2, and M-3. Exhibits B and C show that the proposed ordinances were published in the
imposed is unjust, excessive, oppressive, or confiscatory, or when it is contrary to declared Balita and the Manila Standard on April 21 and 25, 1993, respectively, and the approved
national economy policy, and when the said Secretary exercises this authority the effectivity ordinance was published in the July 3, 4, 5 1993 issues of the Manila Standard and in the
of such ordinance shall suspended, either in part or as a whole, for a period of thirty days July 6, 1993 issue of Balita, as shown by Exhibits Q, Q-1, Q-2, and Q-3.chanrobles.com.ph :
within which period the local legislative body may either modify the tax ordinance to meet virtual law library
the objections thereto, or file an appeal with a court of competent jurisdiction; otherwise,
the tax ordinance or the part or parts thereof declared suspended, shall be considered as The only exceptions are the posting of the ordinance as approved but this omission does not
affect its validity, considering that its publication in three successive issues of a newspaper
of general circulation will satisfy due process. It has also not been shown that the text of the
ordinance has been translated and disseminated, but this requirement applies to the
approval of local development plans and public investment programs of the local
government unit and not to tax ordinances.

We make no ruling on the substantive provisions of the Manila Revenue Code as their
validity has not been raised in issue in the present petition.

WHEREFORE, the judgment is hereby rendered REVERSING the challenged decision of the
Regional Trial Court insofar as it declared Section 187 of the Local Government Code
unconstitutional but AFFIRMING its finding that the procedural requirements in the
enactment of the Manila Revenue Code have been observed. No pronouncement as to
costs.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

SO ORDERED.
EN BANC However, the TRO was allegedly not properly served on herein petitioner David, and so the
election for the officers of the Liga-Caloocan was held as scheduled.6 Petitioner David was
[G.R. NO. 130775 : September 27, 2004] proclaimed President of the Liga - Caloocan, and thereafter took his oath and assumed the
position of ex-officio member of theSangguniang Panlungsod of Caloocan.
THE NATIONAL LIGA NG MGA BARANGAY, represented by ALEX L. DAVID in his
capacity as National President and for his own Person, President ALEX L. On 17 July 1997, respondent Rayos filed a second petition, this time for quo
DAVID, Petitioners, v. HON. VICTORIA ISABEL A. PAREDES, Presiding Judge, warranto, mandamus and prohibition, with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or
Regional Trial Court, Branch 124, Caloocan City, and THE DEPARTMENT OF temporary restraining order and damages, against David, Nancy Quimpo, Presiding Officer
INTERIOR and LOCAL GOVERNMENT, represented the HON. SECRETARY ROBERT Z. of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Caloocan City, and Secretary Barbers.7 Rayos alleged that
BARBERS and MANUEL A. RAYOS, Respondent. he was elected President of the Liga Caloocan Chapter in the elections held on 14 June 1997
[G.R. NO. 131939 : September 27, 2004] by the members of the Caloocan Chapter pursuant to their Resolution/Petition No. 001-
LEANDRO YANGOT, BONIFACIO LACWASAN and BONY TACIO, Petitioners, v. DILG 97.8 On 18 July 1997, the presiding judge granted the TRO, enjoining therein respondents
Secretary ROBERT Z. BARBERS and DILG Undersecretary MANUEL David, Quimpo and Secretary Barbers from proceeding with the synchronized elections for
SANCHEZ, Respondents. the Provincial and Metropolitan Chapters of the Liga scheduled on 19 July 1997, but only for
the purpose of maintaining the status quo and effective for a period not exceeding seventy-
two (72) hours.9
DECISION
Eventually, on 18 July 1997, at petitioner David's instance, Special Civil Action (SCA) No. C-
TINGA, J.: 512 pending before Branch 126 was consolidated with SCA No. C-508 pending before
Branch 124.10
At bottom, the present petition inquires into the essential nature of the Liga ng mga
Barangay and questions the extent of the power of Secretary of the Department of Interior Before the consolidation of the cases, on 25 July 1997, the DILG through respondent
and Local Government (DILG), as alter ego of the President. More immediately, the petition Secretary Barbers, filed in SCA No. C-512 an Urgent Motion,11 invoking the President's
disputes the validity of the appointment of the DILG as the interim caretaker of the Liga ng power of general supervision over all local government units and seeking the following
mga Barangay. reliefs:

On 11 June 1997, private respondent Manuel A. Rayos [as petitioner therein], Punong WHEREFORE, in the interest of the much-needed delivery of basic services to the people,
Barangay of Barangay 52, District II, Zone 5, District II, Caloocan City, filed a petition for the maintenance of public order and to further protect the interests of the forty-one
prohibition andmandamus, with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary thousand barangays all over the country, herein respondent respectfully prays:
restraining order and damages before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Caloocan,1 alleging
that respondent therein Alex L. David [now petitioner], Punong Barangay of Barangay 77, a) That the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), pursuant to its
Zone 7, Caloocan City and then president of the Liga Chapter of Caloocan City and of delegated power of general supervision, be appointed as the Interim Caretaker to manage
the Liga ng mga Barangay National Chapter, committed certain irregularities in the notice, and administer the affairs of the Liga, until such time that the new set of National Liga
venue and conduct of the proposed synchronized Liga ng mga Barangayelections in 1997. Officers shall have been duly elected and assumed office; ...12
According to the petition, the irregularities consisted of the following: (1) the publication of
the notice in the Manila Bulletin but without notifying in writing the individual punong The prayer for injunctive reliefs was anchored on the following grounds: (1) the DILG
barangays of Caloocan City;2 (2) the Notice of Meeting dated 08 June 1997 for the Liga Secretary exercises the power of general supervision over all government units by virtue of
Chapter of Caloocan City did not specify whether the meeting scheduled on 14 June 1997 Administrative Order No. 267 dated 18 February 1992; (2) the Liga ng mga Barangay is a
was to be held at 8:00 a.m. or 8:00 p.m., and worse, the meeting was to be held in government organization; (3) undue interference by some local elective officials during the
Lingayen, Pangasinan;3 and (3) the deadline for the filing of the Certificates of Candidacy Municipal and City Chapter elections of theLiga ng mga Barangay; (4) improper issuance of
having been set at 5:00 p.m. of the third "day prior to the above election day", or on 11 confirmations of the elected Liga Chapter officers by petitioner David and the
June 1997,4 Rayos failed to meet said deadline since he was not able to obtain a certified National Liga Board; (5) the need for the DILG to provide remedies measured in view of the
true copy of the COMELEC Certificate of Canvas and Proclamation of Winning Candidate, confusion and chaos sweeping the Liga ng mga Barangay and the incapacity of the
which were needed to be a delegate, to vote and be voted for in the Liga election. On 13 National Liga Board to address the problems properly.
June 1997, the Executive Judge issued a temporary restraining order (TRO), effective for
seventy-two (72) hours, enjoining the holding of the general membership and election On 31 July 1997, petitioner David opposed the DILG's Urgent Motion, claiming that the
meeting of LigaChapter of Caloocan City on 14 June 1975.5 DILG, being a respondent in the case, is not allowed to seek any sanction against a co-
respondent like David, such as by filing a cross-claim, without first seeking leave of
court.13 He also alleged that the DILG's request to be appointed interim caretaker
constitutes undue interference in the internal affairs of the Liga, since the Liga is not subject
to DILG control and supervision.14 WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Urgent Motion of the DILG for appointment as
interim caretaker, until such time that the regularly elected National Liga Board of Directors
Three (3) days after filing its Urgent Motion, on 28 July 1997, and before it was acted upon shall have qualified and assumed office, to manage and administer the affairs of the
by the lower court, the DILG through then Undersecretary Manuel Sanchez, issued National Liga Board, is hereby GRANTED.21
Memorandum Circular No. 97-176.15 It cited the reported violations of the Liga ng mga
Barangay Constitution and By-Laws by David and "widespread chaos and confusion" among On 11 August 1997, petitioner David filed an urgent motion for the reconsideration of the
local government officials as to who were the qualified ex-officio Liga members in their assailed order and to declare respondent Secretary Barbers in contempt of Court.22 David
respective sangunians.16 Pending the appointment of the DILG "as theInterim Caretaker of claimed that the 04 August 1997 order divested the duly elected members of the Board of
the Liga ng mga Barangay by the court and until the officers and board members of the Directors of the Liga National Directorate of their positions without due process of law. He
national Liga Chapter have been elected and have assumed office," the Memorandum also wanted Secretary Barbers declared in contempt for having issued, through his
Circular directed all provincial governors, vice governors, city mayors, city vice mayors, Undersecretary, Memorandum Circular No. 97-176, even before respondent judge issued the
members of thesangguniang panlalawigan and panlungsod, DILG regional directors and questioned order, in mockery of the justice system. He implied that Secretary Barbers knew
other concerned officers, as follows: about respondent judge's questioned order even before it was promulgated.23

1. All concerned are directed not to recognize and/or honor any Liga Presidents of the On 11 August 1997, the DILG issued Memorandum Circular No. 97-193,24 providing
Provincial and Metropolitan Chapters as ex-officio members of the sanggunian concerned supplemental guidelines for the 1997 synchronized elections of the provincial and
until further notice from the Courts or this Department; metropolitan chapters and for the election of the national chapter of the Liga ng mga
Barangay. The Memorandum Circular set the synchronized elections for the provincial and
2. All concerned are directed to disregard any pronouncement and/or directive issued by Mr. metropolitan chapters on 23 August 1997 and for the national chapter on 06 September
Alex David on any issue or matter relating to the affairs of the Liga ng mga Barangay until 1997.
further notice from the Courts or this Department.17
On 12 August 1997, the DILG issued a Certificate of Appointment25 in favor of respondent
On 04 August 1997, public respondent Judge Victoria Isabel A. Paredes issued the assailed Rayos as president of the Liga ng mga Barangay of Caloocan City. The appointment
order,18 the pertinent portions of which read, thus: purportedly served as Rayos's "legal basis for ex-officio membership in the Sangguniang
Panlungsod of Caloocan City" and "to qualify and participate in the forthcoming National
The authority of the DILG to exercise general supervisory jurisdiction over local government Chapter Election of the Liga ng mga Barangay."26
units, including the different leagues created under the Local Government Code of 1991 (RA
7160) finds basis in Administrative Order No. 267 dated February 18, 1992. Specifically, On 23 August 1997, the DILG conducted the synchronized elections of Provincial and
Section 1 (a) of the said Administrative Order provides a broad premise for the supervisory Metropolitan LigaChapters. Thereafter, on 06 September 1997, the National Liga Chapter
power of the DILG. Administratively, the DILG's supervision has been tacitly recognized by held its election of officers and board of directors, wherein James Marty L. Lim was elected
the local barangays, municipalities, cities and provinces as shown by the evidences as President of the National Liga.27
presented by respondent David himself (See Annexes "A" to "C"). The fact that the DILG has
sought to refer the matters therein to the National Liga Board/Directorate does not ipso On 01 October 1997, public respondent judge denied David's motion for
facto mean that it has lost jurisdiction to act directly therein. Jurisdiction is conferred by law reconsideration,28 ruling that there was no factual or legal basis to reconsider the
and cannot be claimed or lost through agreements or inaction by individuals. What appointment of the DILG as interim caretaker of the National Liga Board and to cite
respondent David may term as "interference" should caretakership be allowed, this Court Secretary Barbers in contempt of court.29
would rather view as a necessary and desirable corollary to the exercise of supervision.19
On 10 October 1997, petitioners filed the instant Petition for Certiorari30 under Rule 65 of
Political motivations must not preclude, hamper, or obstruct the delivery of basic services the Rules of Court, seeking to annul public respondent judge's orders of 04 August 1997 and
and the perquisites of public service. In this case, the fact of confusion arising from 01 October 1997. They dispute the latter's opinion on the power of supervision of the
conflicting appointments, non-action, and uninformed or wavering decisions of the President under the Constitution, through the DILG over local governments, which is the
incumbent National Liga Board/Directorate, having been satisfactorily established, cannot same as that of the DILG's as shown by its application of the power on the Liga ng mga
simply be brushed aside as being politically motivated or arising therefrom. It is incumbent, Barangay. Specifically, they claim that the public respondent judge's designation of the DILG
therefore, that the DILG exercise a more active role in the supervision of the affairs and as interim caretaker and the acts which the DILG sought to implement pursuant to its
operations of the National Liga Board/ Directorate at least until such time that the regular designation as such are beyond the scope of the Chief Executive's power of supervision.
National Liga Board/Directorate may have been elected, qualified and assumed office.20
To support the petition, petitioners argue that under Administrative Order No. 267, Series of
xxx 1992, the power of general supervision of the President over local government units does
not apply to the Liga and its various chapters precisely because the Liga is not a local On the other hand, it is quite significant that the Solicitor General has shared petitioners'
government unit, contrary to the stance of the respondents.31 position. He states that the DILG's act of managing and administering the affairs of the
National Liga Board are not merely acts of supervision but plain manifestations of control
Section 507 of the Local Government Code (Republic Act No. 7160) 32 provides that and direct takeover of the functions of the National Liga Board,46 going beyond the limits of
the Liga shall be governed by its own Constitution and By-laws. Petitioners posit that the the power of general supervision of the President over local governments.47 Moreover, while
duly elected officers and directors of the National Liga elected in 1994 had a vested right to the Liga may be deemed a government organization, it is not strictly a local government
their positions and could only be removed therefrom for cause by affirmative vote of two- unit over which the DILG has supervisory power.48
thirds (2/3) of the entire membership pursuant to the Liga Constitution and By-Laws, and
not by mere issuances of the DILG, even if bolstered by the dubious authorization of Meanwhile, on 24 September 1998, James Marty L. Lim, the newly elected President of the
respondent judge.33 Thus, petitioners claim that the questioned order divested the then NationalLiga, filed a Motion for Leave to File Comment in Intervention,49 with his Comment
incumbent officers and directors of the Liga of their right to their respective offices without in Interventionattached,50 invoking the validity of the DILG's actions relative to the conduct
due process of law. of the Liga elections.51 In addition, he sought the dismissal of the instant petition on the
following grounds: (1) the issue of validity or invalidity of the questioned order has been
Assuming the Liga could be subsumed under the term "local governments," over which the rendered moot and academic by the election ofLiga officers; (2) the turn-over of the
President, through the DILG Secretary, has the power of supervision,34 petitioners point out administration and management of Liga affairs to the Liga officers; and (3) the recognition
that still there is no legal or constitutional basis for the appointment of the DILG as interim and acceptance by the members of the Liga nationwide.52
caretaker.35 They stress that the actions contemplated by the DILG as interim caretaker go
beyond supervision, as what it had sought and obtained was authority to alter, modify, In the interim, another petition, this time for Prohibition with Prayer for a Temporary
nullify or set aside the actions of the Liga Board of Directors and even to substitute its Restraining Order,53 was filed by several presidents of Liga Chapters, praying that this Court
judgment over that of the latter - which are all clearly one of control.36Petitioners question declare the DILG Secretary and Undersecretary are not vested with any constitutional or
the appointment of Rayos as Liga-Caloocan President since at that time petitioner David was legal power to exercise control or even supervision over the National Liga ng mga Barangay,
occupying that position which was still the subject of the quo warranto proceedings Rayos nor to take over the functions of its officers or suspend its constitution; and declare void any
himself had instituted.37 Petitioners likewise claim that DILG Memorandum Circular No. 97- and all acts committed by respondents therein in connection with their caretakership of
193, providing supplemental guidelines for the synchronized elections of the Liga, replaced the Liga.54 The petition was consolidated with G.R. No. 130775, but it was eventually
the implementing rules adopted by the Liga pursuant to its Constitution and By-laws.38 In dismissed because the petitioners failed to submit an affidavit of service and proof of service
fact, even before its appointment as interim caretaker, DILG specifically enjoined all heads of the petition.55
of government units from recognizing petitioner David and/or honoring any of his
pronouncements relating to the Liga.39 Meanwhile, on 01 December 1998, petitioner David died and was substituted by his legal
representatives.56
Petitioners rely on decision in Taule v. Santos,40 which, they claim, already passed upon the
"extent of authority of the then Secretary of Local Government over the katipunan ng mga Petitioners have raised a number of issues.57 Integrated and simplified, these issues boil
barangay or the barangay councils," as it specifically ruled that the "Secretary [of Local down to the question of whether or not respondent Judge acted with grave abuse of
Government] has no authority to pass upon the validity or regularity of the election of discretion in appointing the DILG as interim caretaker to administer and manage the affairs
officers of the katipunan."41 of the National Liga Board, per its order dated 04 August 1997.58 In turn, the resolution of
the question of grave abuse of discretion entails a couple of definitive issues, namely: (1)
For his part, respondent Rayos avers that since the Secretary of the DILG supervises the whether the Liga ng mga Barangay is a government organization that is subject to the DILG
acts of local officials by ensuring that they act within the scope of their prescribed powers Secretary's power of supervision over local governments as the alter ego of the President,
and functions and since members of the various leagues, such as the Liga in this case, are and (2) whether the respondent Judge's designation of the DILG as interim caretaker of
themselves officials of local government units, it follows that the Liga members are subject the Liga has invested the DILG with control over the Liga and whether DILG Memorandum
to the power of supervision of the DILG.42 He adds that as the DILG's management and Circular No. 97-176, issued before it was designated as such interim caretaker, and DILG
administration of the Liga affairs was limited only to the conduct of the elections, its actions Memorandum Circular No. 97-193 and other acts which the DILG made in its capacity as
were consistent with its rule-making power and power of supervision under existing interim caretaker of the Liga, involve supervision or control of the Liga.
laws.43 He asserts that in assailing the appointment of the DILG as interim
caretaker, petitioners failed to cite any provision of positive law in support of their stance. However, the Court should first address the question of mootness which intervenor Lim
Thus, he adds, "if a law is silent, obscure or insufficient, a judge may apply a rule he sees fit raised because, according to him, during the pendency of the present petition a general
to resolve the issue, as long as the rule chosen is in harmony with general interest, order, election was held; the new set of officers and directors had assumed their positions; and
morals and public policy,"44 in consonance with Article 9 of the Civil Code.45 that supervening events the DILG had turned-over the management and administration of
the Liga to new Liga officers and directors.59 Respondent Rayos has joined him in this
regard.60 Forthwith, the Court declares that these supervening events have not rendered the proper and legal means.69 The Liga ng mga Barangay shall have chapters at the municipal,
instant petition moot, nor removed it from the jurisdiction of this Court. city and provincial and metropolitan political subdivision levels.70 The municipal and city
chapters of the Liga are composed of the barangay representatives from the municipality or
This case transcends the elections ordered and conducted by the DILG as interim caretaker city concerned. The presidents of the municipal and city chapters of the Liga form the
of the Ligaand the Liga officers and directors who were elected to replace petitioner David provincial or metropolitan political subdivision chapters of the Liga. The presidents of the
and the former officers. At the core of the petition is the validity of the DILG's chapters of theLiga in highly urbanized cities, provinces and the Metro Manila area and other
"caretakership" of the Liga and the official acts of the DILG as such caretaker which metropolitan political subdivisions constitute the National Liga ng mga Barangay.71
exceeded the bounds of supervision and were exercise of control. At stake in this case is the
realization of the constitutionally ensconced principle of local government autonomy; 61 the As conceptualized in the Local Government Code, the barangay is positioned to influence
statutory objective to enhance the capabilities of barangays and municipalities "by providing and direct the development of the entire country. This was heralded by the adoption of the
them opportunities to participate actively in the implementation of national programs and bottom-to-top approach process of development which requires the development plans of
projects;"62 and the promotion of the avowed aim to ensure the independence and non- the barangay to be considered in the development plans of the municipality, city or
partisanship of the Liga ng mga Barangay. The mantle of local autonomy would be province,72 whose plans in turn are to be taken into account by the central government73 in
eviscerated and remain an empty buzzword if unconstitutional, illegal and unwarranted its plans for the development of the entire country.74 The Liga is the vehicle assigned to
intrusions in the affairs of the local governments are tolerated and left unchecked. make this new development approach materialize and produce results.
Indeed, it is the declared policy of the State that its territorial and political subdivisions
should enjoy genuine meaningful local autonomy to enable them to attain their fullest The presidents of the Liga at the municipal, city and provincial levels, automatically
development as self-reliant communities and make them more effective partners in the become ex-officiomembers of the Sangguniang Bayan, Sangguniang
attainment of national goals.63 In the case of De Leon v. Esguerra,64 the Court ruled that Panlungsod and Sangguniang Panlalawigan,respectively. They shall serve as such only
even barangays are meant to possess genuine and meaningful local autonomy so that they during their term of office as presidents of the Liga chapters, which in no case shall be
may develop fully as self-reliant communities.65 beyond the term of office of the sanggunian concerned.75

Furthermore, well-entrenched is the rule that courts will decide a question otherwise moot The Liga ng mga Barangay has one principal aim, namely: to promote the development
and academic if it is "capable of repetition, yet evading review."66 For the question of of barangaysand secure the general welfare of their inhabitants.76 In line with this,
whether the DILG may validly be appointed as interim caretaker, or assume a similar the Liga is granted the following functions and duties:
position and perform acts pursuant thereto, is likely to resurrect again, and yet the question
may not be decided before the actual assumption, or the termination of said assumption a) Give priority to programs designed for the total development of the barangays and in
even. consonance with the policies, programs and projects of the national government;
b) Assist in the education of barangay residents for people's participation in local
So too, dismissing the petition on the ground of mootness could lead to the wrong government administration in order to promote untied and concerted action to achieve
impression that the challenged order and issuances are valid. Verily, that does not appear to country-wide development goals;
be the correct conclusion to make since by applying opposite precedents to the issues the c) Supplement the efforts of government in creating gainful employment within the
outcome points to invalidating the assailed order and memorandum circulars. barangay;
d) Adopt measures to promote the welfare of barangay officials;
The resolution of the issues of whether the Liga ng mga Barangay is subject to DILG e) Serve as forum of the barangays in order to forge linkages with government and non-
supervision, and whether the questioned "caretakership" order of the respondent judge and governmental organizations and thereby promote the social, economic and political well-
the challenged issuances and acts of the DILG constitute control in derogation of the being of the barangays; andcralawlibrary
Constitution, necessitates a brief overview of thebarangay, as the lowest LGU, and the Liga, f) Exercise such other powers and perform such other duties and functions which will bring
as a vehicle of governance and coordination. about stronger ties between barangays and promote the welfare of the barangay
inhabitants.77
As the basic political unit, the barangay serves as the primary planning and implementing
unit of government policies, plans, programs, projects and activities in the community, and The Ligas are primarily governed by the provisions of the Local Government Code. However,
as a forum wherein the collective views of the people may be expressed, crystallized and they are empowered to make their own constitution and by-laws to govern their operations.
considered, and where disputes may be amicably settled.67 Sec. 507 of the Code provides:

On the other hand, the Liga ng mga Barangay68 is the organization of all barangays, the Sec. 507. Constitution and By-Laws of the Liga and the Leagues. - All other matters not
primary purpose of which is the determination of the representation of the Liga in herein otherwise provided for affecting the internal organization of the leagues of local
the sanggunians, and the ventilation, articulation, and crystallization of issues government units shall be governed by their respective constitution and by-laws which are
affecting barangay government administration and securing solutions thereto, through
hereby made suppletory to the provision of this Chapter: Provided, That said Constitution
and By-laws shall always conform to the provision of the Constitution and existing laws. In Section 4, Article X of the Constitution applicable to the Liga ng mga Barangay?
Otherwise put, is theLiga legally susceptible to DILG suspension?
Pursuant to the Local Government Code, the Liga ng mga Barangay adopted its own
Constitution and By-Laws. It provides that the corporate powers of the Liga, expressed or This question was resolved in Bito-Onon v. Fernandez,90 where the Court ruled that the
implied, shall be vested in the board of directors of each level of the Liga which shall: President's power of the general supervision, as exercised therein by the DILG Secretary as
his alter ego, extends to the Liga ng mga Barangay.
a) Have jurisdiction over all officers, directors and committees of the said Liga; including the
power of appointment, assignment and delegation; Does the President's power of general supervision extend to the liga ng mga barangay,
b) Have general management of the business, property, and funds of said Liga; which is not a local government unit?
c) Prepare and approve a budget showing anticipated receipts and expenditures for the
year, including the plans or schemes for funding purposes; andcralawlibrary We rule in the affirmative. In Opinion No. 41, Series of 1995, the Department of Justice
d) Have the power to suspend or remove from office any officer or member of the said ruled that the liga ng mga barangay is a government organization, being an association,
board on grounds cited and in the manner provided in hereinunder provisions.78 federation, league or union created by law or by authority of law, whose members are either
appointed or elected government officials. The Local Government Code defines the liga ng
The National Liga Board of Directors promulgated the rules for the conduct of its Liga's mga barangay as an organization of all barangays for the primary purpose of determining
general elections.79 And, as early as 28 April 1997, the Liga National Chapter had already the representation of the liga in the sanggunians, and for ventilating, articulating and
scheduled its general elections on 14 June 1997.80 crystallizing issues affecting barangay government administration and securing, through
The controlling provision on the issues at hand is Section 4, Article X of the Constitution, proper and legal means, solutions thereto.91
which reads in part:
The rationale for making the Liga subject to DILG supervision is quite evident, whether from
Sec. The President of the Philippines shall exercise general supervision over local the perspectives of logic or of practicality. The Liga is an aggroupment of barangays which
governments. are in turn represented therein by their respective punong barangays. The representatives
of the Liga sit in an ex officio capacity at the municipal, city and provincial sanggunians. As
The 1935, 1973 and 1987 Constitutions uniformly differentiate the President's power of such, they enjoy all the powers and discharge all the functions of regular municipal
supervision over local governments and his power of control of the executive departments councilors, city councilors or provincial board members, as the case may be. Thus, the Liga
bureaus and offices.81 Similar to the counterpart provisions in the earlier Constitutions, the is the vehicle through which the barangay participates in the enactment of ordinances and
provision in the 1987 Constitution provision has been interpreted to exclude the power of formulation of policies at all the legislative local levels higher than the sangguniang
control.82 barangay, at the same time serving as the mechanism for the bottom-to-top approach of
development.
In the early case of Mondano v. Silvosa, et al.,83 this Court defined supervision as
"overseeing, or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform In the case at bar, even before the respondent Judge designated the DILG as interim
their duties, and to take such action as prescribed by law to compel his subordinates to caretaker of the Liga, on 28 July 1997, it issued Memorandum Circular No. 97-176, directing
perform their duties. Control, on the other hand, means the power of an officer to alter or local government officials not to recognize David as the National Liga President and his
modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his pronouncements relating to the affairs of the Liga. Not only was the action premature, it
duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter.84 In Taule v. even smacked of superciliousness and injudiciousness. The DILG is the topmost government
Santos,85 the Court held that the Constitution permits the President to wield no more agency which maintains coordination with, and exercises supervision over local government
authority than that of checking whether a local government or its officers perform their units and its multi-level leagues. As such, it should be forthright, circumspect and
duties as provided by statutory enactments.86 Supervisory power, when contrasted with supportive in its dealings with the Ligas especially the Liga ng mga Barangay. The
control, is the power of mere oversight over an inferior body; it does not include any indispensable role played by the latter in the development of the barangays and the
restraining authority over such body.87 promotion of the welfare of the inhabitants thereof deserve no less than the full support and
respect of the other agencies of government. As the Court held in the case of San Juan v.
The case of Drilon v. Lim88 clearly defined the extent of supervisory power, thus: Civil Service Commission,92 our national officials should not only comply with the
constitutional provisions on local autonomy but should also appreciate the spirit of liberty
'The supervisor or superintendent merely sees to it that the rules are followed, but he upon which these provisions are based.93
himself does not lay down such rules, nor does he have the discretion to modify or replace
them. If the rules are not observed, he may order the work done or re-done but only to When the respondent judge eventually appointed the DILG as interim caretaker to manage
conform to the prescribed rules. He may not prescribe his own manner for the doing of the and administer the affairs of the Liga, she effectively removed the management from the
act. He has no judgment on this matter except to see that the rules are followed' 89 National Liga Board and vested control of the Liga on the DILG. Even a cursory glance at the
DILG's prayer for appointment as interim caretaker of the Liga "to manage and In the Bito-Onon94 case, this Court held that DILG Memorandum Circular No. 97-193, insofar
administer the affairs of the Liga, until such time that the new set of as it authorized the filing of a Petition for Review of the decision of the Board of Election
National Liga officers shall have been duly elected and assumed office" reveals that what the Supervisors (BES) with the regular courts in a post-proclamation electoral protest, involved
DILG wanted was to take control over the Liga. Even if said "caretakership" was the exercise of control as it in effect amended the guidelines already promulgated by
contemplated to last for a limited time, or only until a new set of officers assume office, the the Liga. The decision reads in part:
fact remains that it was a conferment of control in derogation of the Constitution.
With his Department already appointed as interim caretaker of the Liga, Secretary Barbers xxx. Officers in control, lay down the rules in the doing of an act. If they are not followed, it
nullified the results of the Liga elections and promulgated DILG Memorandum Circular No. is discretionary on his part to order the act undone or redone by his subordinate or he may
97-193 dated 11 August 1997, where he laid down the supplemental guidelines for the 1997 even decide to do it himself. Supervision does not cover such authority. Supervising officers
synchronized elections of the provincial and metropolitan chapters and for the election of the merely see to it that the rules are followed, but he himself does not lay down such rules, nor
national chapter of the Liga ng mga Barangay; scheduled dates for the new provincial, does he have the discretion to modify or replace them. If the rules are not observed, he
metropolitan and national chapter elections; and appointed respondent Rayos as president may order the work done or re-done to conform for to the prescribed rules. He cannot
of Liga-Caloocan Chapter. prescribe his own manner the doing of the act.

These acts of the DILG went beyond the sphere of general supervision and constituted direct xxx
interference with the political affairs, not only of the Liga, but more importantly, of the
barangay as an institution. The election of Liga officers is part of the Liga' s internal xxx. The amendment of the GUIDELINES is more than an exercise of the power of
organization, for which the latter has already provided guidelines. In succession, the DILG supervision but is an exercise of the power of control, which the President does not have
assumed stewardship and jurisdiction over theLiga affairs, issued supplemental guidelines over the LIGA. Although the DILG is given the power to prescribe rules, regulations and
for the election, and nullified the effects of the Liga-conducted elections. Clearly, what the other issuances, the Administrative Code limits its authority to merely "monitoring
DILG wielded was the power of control which even the President does not have. compliance by local government units of such issuances. To monitor means to "watch,
observe or check" and is compatible with the power of supervision of the DILG Secretary
Furthermore, the DILG assumed control when it appointed respondent Rayos as president of over local governments, which is limited to checking whether the local government unit
the Liga-Caloocan Chapter prior to the newly scheduled general Liga elections, although concerned or the officers thereof perform their duties as per statutory enactments. Besides,
petitioner David's term had not yet expired. The DILG substituted its choice, who was any doubt as to the power of the DILG Secretary to interfere with local affairs should be
Rayos, over the choice of majority of thepunong barangay of Caloocan, who was the resolved in favor of the greater autonomy of the local government.95
incumbent President, petitioner David. The latter was elected and had in fact been sitting as
an ex-officio member of the sangguniang panlungsod in accordance with In Taule,96 the Court ruled that the Secretary of Local Government had no authority to pass
the Liga Constitution and By-Laws. Yet, the DILG extended the appointment to respondent upon the validity or regularity of the election of officers of katipunan ng mga barangay or
Rayos although it was aware that the position was the subject of a quo warranto proceeding barangay councils. In that case, a protest was lodged before the Secretary of Local
instituted by Rayos himself, thereby preempting the outcome of that case. It was bad Government regarding several irregularities in, and seeking the nullification of, the election
enough that the DILG assumed the power of control, it was worse when it made use of the of officers of the Federation of Associations of Barangay Councils (FABC) of Catanduanes.
power with evident bias and partiality. Then Local Government Secretary Luis Santos issued a resolution nullifying the election of
officers and ordered a new one to be conducted. The Court ruled:
As the entity exercising supervision over the Liga ng mga Barangay, the DILG's authority
over the Ligais limited to seeing to it that the rules are followed, but it cannot lay down such Construing the constitutional limitation on the power of general supervision of the President
rules itself, nor does it have the discretion to modify or replace them. In this particular case, over local governments, We hold that respondent Secretary has no authority to pass upon
the most that the DILG could do was review the acts of the incumbent officers of the Liga in the validity or regularity of the officers of the katipunan. To allow respondent Secretary to
the conduct of the elections to determine if they committed any violation of the Liga's do so will give him more power than the law or the Constitution grants. It will in effect give
Constitution and By-laws and its implementing rules. If the National Liga Board and its him control over local government officials for it will permit him to interfere in a purely
officers had violated Liga rules, the DILG should have ordered the Liga to conduct another democratic and non-partisan activity aimed at strengthening the barangay as the basic
election in accordance with the Liga's own rules, but not in obeisance to DILG-dictated component of local governments so that the ultimate goal of fullest autonomy may be
guidelines. Neither had the DILG the authority to remove the incumbent officers of achieved. In fact, his order that the new elections to be conducted be presided by the
the Liga and replace them, even temporarily, with unelected Liga officers. Regional Director is a clear and direct interference by the Department with the political
affairs of the barangays which is not permitted by the limitation of presidential power to
Like the local government units, the Liga ng mga Barangay is not subject to control by the general supervision over local governments.97
Chief Executive or his alter ego.
All given, the Court is convinced that the assailed order was issued with grave abuse of
discretion while the acts of the respondent Secretary, including DILG Memorandum Circulars
No. 97-176 and No. 97-193, are unconstitutional and ultra vires, as they all entailed the
conferment or exercise of control - a power which is denied by the Constitution even to the
President.

WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The Order of the Regional Trial Court dated 04
August 1997 isSET ASIDE for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting
to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

DILG Memorandum Circulars No. 97-176 and No. 97-193, are declared VOID for being
unconstitutional and ultra vires.

No pronouncements as to costs.

SO ORDERED.
FIRST DIVISION receipt and whose decision on the choice of the chief of police shall be final and executory.
Thus, petitioners prayed for dismissal of the complaint for lack of legal basis and failure to
[G.R. No. 126661. December 3, 1999.] exhaust administrative remedies. 3

JOSE S. ANDAYA and EDGARDO L. INCIONG, Petitioners, v. REGIONAL TRIAL On April 18, 1996, the trial court issued a writ of preliminary injunction against petitioner
COURT, Cebu City, Branch 20, and THE CITY OF CEBU, Respondents. Jose S. Andaya enjoining him from replacing C/Insp. Andres Sarmiento as OIC Director or
Chief of Police of the Cebu City Police Command by designating another as OIC Chief of
DECISION Police or appointing a regular replacement for said officer, and, from submitting to the
mayor a list of five (5) eligibles which did not include the name of Major Andres Sarmiento.
4
PARDO, J.:
On July 12, 1996, the trial court rendered decision in favor of respondent City of Cebu, the
dispositive portion of which reads as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
The case is an appeal via certiorari from a decision 1 of the Regional Trial Court, Cebu City,
Branch 20, commanding petitioner Jose S. Andaya as Regional Director, Regional Police "WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing premises, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of
Command No. 7, to include P/Chief Inspector Andres Sarmiento in the list of five (5) plaintiff as against defendants, declaring that P/CInsp. Andres Sarmiento is qualified under
recommendees to be submitted to the mayor from which list the mayor shall select the City RA 6975 to be appointed as Chief Director or Chief of Police of the Cebu City Police
Director, Cebu City Police Command (chief of police).chanrobles lawlibrary : rednad Command and whose name must be included in the list of five (5) eligibles recommended as
regular replacement to the position of the Chief of Police of said Cebu City Police Command.
On January 3, 1996, the position of City Director, Cebu City Police Command (chief of
police) became vacant after P/Supt. Antonio Enteria was relieved of command. "The writ of preliminary prohibitory injunction issued in this case against defendants and
their agents, or, representatives or any other persons acting for and in their behalf enjoining
Sometime in January 1996, petitioner Andaya submitted to the City Mayor, Cebu City a list and preventing them from replacing P/CInsp. Andres Sarmiento as OIC Chief of Police of
of five (5) eligibles for the mayor to choose one to be appointed as the chief of police of Cebu City Police Command by designating anyone from the eligibles recommended in the
Cebu City. The mayor did not choose anyone from the list of five (5) recommendees two (2) lists thereof submitted to Mayor Garcia or from any other list of said eligible
because the name of P/Chief Inspector Andres Sarmiento was not included therein. recommendees for said position is hereby made permanent.

However, petitioner Andaya refused to agree to Mayor Alvin B. Garcias request to include "Let a permanent writ of preliminary mandatory injunction be issued against defendant Jose
the name of Major Andres Sarmiento in the list of police officers for appointment by the S. Andaya or his successor ordering the latter to include Major Andres Sarmiento in the list
mayor to the position of City Director (chief of police), Cebu City Police Command. Petitioner of five (5) eligible persons recommended for the replacement to the position of Chief of
Andayas refusal was based on his contention that Major Andres Sarmiento was not qualified Police of Cebu City Police Command.
for the position of City Director (chief of police), Cebu City Police Command, under
NAPOLCOM Memorandum Circular No. 95-04 dated January 12, 1995, particularly Item No. "SO ORDERED.
8, paragraph D thereof, which provides that the minimum qualification standards for
Directors of Provincial/City Police Commands, include completion of the Officers Senior "Cebu City, July 12, 1996.
Executive Course (OSEC) and the rank of Police Superintendent.
"(s/t) FERDINAND J. MARCOS
Due to the impasse, on March 22, 1996, the City of Cebu filed with the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 20, Cebu City, a complaint for declaratory relief with preliminary prohibitory and "Judge" 5
mandatory injunction and temporary restraining order against P/Chief Supt. Jose S. Andaya
and Edgardo L. Inciong, Regional Director, National Police Commission. 2 In due time, petitioners filed with the trial court their joint motion for reconsideration 6 on
the ground that the decision is contrary to Section 51 of Republic Act 6975 which only
On April 10, 1996, petitioners filed with the trial court their respective answer to the empowers the mayor to choose one (1) from the five (5) eligibles recommended by the
complaint. Petitioners stated that the power to designate the chief of police of Cebu City Regional Police Director to be named chief of police. The mayor cannot superimpose his will
(City Director, Cebu City Police Command) is vested with the Regional Director, Regional on the recommending authority by insisting that his protg be included in the list of five
Police Command No. 7. However, the mayor is authorized to choose the chief of police from eligibles from which the chief of police is to be chosen.chanrobles law library
a list of five (5) eligibles submitted by the Regional Director. In case of conflict between the
Regional Director and the mayor, the issue shall be elevated to the Regional Director, On September 11, 1996, the trial court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration ruling
National Police Commission, who shall resolve the issue within five (5) working days from that no new matters had been raised therein. 7
performing his statutory function. The writ of preliminary injunction issued on April 18,
Hence, this petition 8 for review on certiorari on pure question of law. 9 1996, is contrary to law and thus void. Similarly, the lower courts decision sustaining the
City Mayors position suffers from the same legal infirmity.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
On June 11, 1997, we gave due course to the petition. 10
WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition and SETS ASIDE the decision of the Regional
At issue is whether or not the Mayor of Cebu City may require the Regional Director, Trial Court, Branch 20, Cebu City, dated July 12, 1996, in Civil Case No. CEB-18545. In lieu
Regional Police Command No. 7, to include the mayors protg in the list of five (5) thereof, the Court renders judgment upholding the sole discretion of the Regional Director,
eligibles to be recommended by the Regional Police Director to the mayor from which the Regional Police Command No. 7, to submit to the mayor of Cebu City a list of five (5)
mayor shall choose the City Director, City Police Command (chief of police) City of Cebu. eligibles from which the mayor shall choose the chief of police. In case of the mayors
refusal to make his choice within a given period due to disagreement as to the eligible
We resolve the issue against the position of the city mayor. nominees, the issue shall be submitted to the Regional Director, National Police Commission,
whose decision shall be final.
Republic Act No. 6975, Section 51, gives authority to the mayor of Cebu City 11 to choose
the chief of police from a list of five (5) eligibles recommended by the Regional Director, No costs.
Regional Police Command No. 7.
SO ORDERED.
The National Police Commission has issued Memorandum Circular No. 95-04, dated January
12, 1995, for the implementation of Republic Act No. 6975. It provides that among the
qualifications for chief of police of highly urbanized cities are (1) completion of the Officers
Senior Executive Course (OSEC) and (2) holding the rank of Police Superintendent.

The mayor of Cebu City submits that Memorandum Circular No. 95-04 of the National Police
Commission prescribing such additional qualifications is not valid as it contravenes the law.

We do not agree. Under Republic Act No. 6975, Section 51, the mayor of Cebu City shall be
deputized as representative of the Commission (National Police Commission) in his territorial
jurisdiction and as such the mayor shall have authority to choose the chief of police from a
list of five (5) eligibles recommended by the Police Regional Director. The City Police Station
of Cebu City is under the direct command and control of the PNP Regional Director, Regional
Police Command No. 7, and is equivalent to a provincial office. 12 Then, the Regional
Director, Regional Police Command No. 7 appoints the officer selected by the mayor as the
City Director, City Police Command (chief of police) Cebu City. It is the prerogative of the
Regional Police Director to name the five (5) eligibles from a pool of eligible officers
screened by the Senior Officers Promotion and Selection Board, Headquarters, Philippine
National Police, Camp Crame, Quezon City, without interference from local executives. In
case of disagreement between the Regional Police Director and the Mayor, the question shall
be elevated to the Regional Director, National Police Commission, who shall resolve the
issue within five (5) working days from receipt and whose decision on the choice of the Chief
of Police shall be final and executory. 13 As deputy of the Commission, the authority of the
mayor is very limited. In reality, he has no power of appointment; he has only the limited
power of selecting one from among the list of five eligibles to be named the chief of police.
Actually, the power to appoint the chief of police of Cebu City is vested in the Regional
Director, Regional Police Command No. 7. Much less may the mayor require the Regional
Director, Regional Police Command, to include the name of any officer, no matter how
qualified, in the list of five to be submitted to the mayor. The purpose is to enhance police
professionalism and to isolate the police service from political domination.

Consequently, we find that the trial court erred in granting preliminary injunction that
effectively restrained the Regional Director, Regional Police Command, Region 7, from