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Municipality of Candijay, Bohol v.

CA and Municipality of Alicia, Bohol


G.R. No. 116702, December 28, 1995

FACTS:
Candijay and Alicia were fighting over the jurisdiction of Pagahat. RTC Tagbilaran declared
"barrio/barangay Pagahat as within the territorial jurisdiction of the plaintiff municipality of Candijay, Bohol,
and further permanently enjoined defendant municipality of Alicia "to respect and never molest Candijay’s
control, possession and political supervision of barangay Pagahat.”
On appeal, the CA concluded that the RTC committed an error. CA rejected the boundary line being
claimed by petitioner based on certain exhibits since it would appear that Candijay will eat up a big chunk
of territories far exceeding her territorial jurisdiction under the law creating her. Pagahat included portions
of Barrios Putlongcam and La Hacienda. These barrios are undisputedly part of Alicia’s territory under
Executive Order No. 265 creating Alicia. Executive Order No. 265 (which created Alicia from out of certain
barrios of the Municipality of Mabini), and Act No. 968 of the Philippine Commission (which set forth the
respective component territories of the municipalities of Mabini and Candijay), show that Barrio Bulawan
from where Barrio Pagahat originated is not mentioned as one of the barrios constituted as part of Alicia.
Neither do they show that Barrio Pagahat forms part of Candijay. Thus, CA applied the Equiponderance of
Evidence Rule (Equipoise Rule), stating “when the scale shall stand upon an equipoise and there is nothing
in the evidence which shall incline it to one side or the other, the court will find for the defendant.”
Candijay filed an MR with the CA but was denied. Thus, Candijay fled the instant petition with the
Supreme Court alleging, among others, that Alicia lacked juridical personality, as a result of having been
created under a void executive order in reference to the pronouncement in Pelaez v. Auditor General.
Petitioner contended that Exec. Order No. 265 issued by President Quirino on September 16, 1949 creating
Alicia is null and void ab initio, in as much as Section 68 of the Revised Administrative Code, on which said
Executive Order was based, constituted an undue delegation of legislative powers.

ISSUE: Whether or not EO 265 is unconstitutional pursuant to Pelaez v. Auditor General

HELD: No, Alicia did not lack juridical personality despite being created under a void executive order.

As its legal basis, the SC recalled its ruling in Municipality of San Narciso, Quezon vs. Mendez, Sr.
Whereby it upheld Municipality of San Andres as a de jure municipal corporation. The court said that the
instant case of Alicia is strikingly similar with the case of San Andres.
Inasmuch as Alicia is similarly situated as the Municipality of San Andres, it should likewise benefit
from the effects of section 442 (d) of the local government code, and should henceforth be considered as
a regular, de jure municipality.
Section 442 (d) of the local government code provides that municipal districts "organized pursuant
to presidential issuances or executive orders and which have their respective sets of elective municipal
officials holding office at the time of the effectivity of (the) code shall henceforth be considered as regular
municipalities.
The power to create political subdivisions is a function of the legislature. Congress did just that
when it has incorporated section 442 (d) in the code. Curative laws, which in essence are retrospective,
and aimed at giving "validity to acts done that would have been invalid under existing laws, as if existing
laws have been complied with," are validly accepted in this jurisdiction, subject to the usual qualification
against impairment of vested rights.
Thus, as a de jure municipality, Alicia has juridical capacity.
Abbas vs. COMELEC
G.R. No. 89651, November 10, 1989

Facts: A plebiscite in thirteen (13) provinces and nine (9) cities in Mindanao and Palawan, was scheduled
for November 19, 1989, in implementation of RA 6734, entitled "An Act Providing for an Organic Act for the
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao" (Organic Act). These consolidated petitions pray that the Court:
(1) enjoin the COMELEC from conducting the plebiscite; and (2) declare RA 6734, or parts thereof,
unconstitutional. The arguments against R.A. 6734 raised by petitioners may generally be categorized into
either of the following: (a) that R.A. 6734, or parts thereof, violates the Constitution, and (b) that certain
provisions of R.A. No. 6734 conflict with the Tripoli Agreement.

Issue: Whether or not certain provisions of the Organic Act are unconstitutional.

Held: The Organic Act is constitutional.

There is a specific provision in the Transitory Provisions (Article XIX) of the Organic Act, which incorporates
substantially the same requirements embodied in the Constitution and fills in the details, thus:

SEC. 13. The creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao shall take effect when
approved by a majority of the votes cast by the constituent units provided in paragraph (2) of Sec.
1 of Article II of this Act in a plebiscite which shall be held not earlier than ninety (90) days or later
than one hundred twenty (120) days after the approval of this Act: Provided, That only the provinces
and cities voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the Autonomous Region in Muslim
Mindanao. The provinces and cities which in the plebiscite do not vote for inclusion in the
Autonomous Region shall remain the existing administrative determination, merge the existing
regions.

Thus, under the Constitution and R.A. No 6734, the creation of the autonomous region shall take effect only
when approved by a majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite, and only those
provinces and cities where a majority vote in favor of the Organic Act shall be included in the autonomous
region. The provinces and cities wherein such a majority is not attained shall not be included in the
autonomous region. It may be that even if an autonomous region is created, not all of the thirteen (13)
provinces and nine (9) cities mentioned in Article II, section 1 (2) of R.A. No. 6734 shall be included therein.
The single plebiscite contemplated by the Constitution and R.A. No. 6734 will therefore be determinative of
(1) whether there shall be an autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao and (2) which provinces and cities,
among those enumerated in R.A. No. 6734, shall compromise it.
The majority referred to in the provision and as the Consititution provides is that the creation of the
autonomous region is made to depend, not on the total majority vote in the plebiscite, but on the will of the
majority in each of the constituent units and the proviso underscores this.

The 1987 Constitution provides: The creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when
approved by majority of the votes cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose,
provided that only provinces, cities and geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall
be included in the autonomous region. [Art. X, sec, 18, para, 2].

According to petitioners, said provision grants the President the power to merge regions, a power
which is not conferred by the Constitution upon the President. While the power to merge administrative
regions is not expressly provided for in the Constitution, it is a power which has traditionally been lodged
with the President to facilitate the exercise of the power of general supervision over local governments.
There is no conflict between the power of the President to merge administrative regions with the
constitutional provision requiring a plebiscite in the merger of local government units because the
requirement of a plebiscite in a merger expressly applies only to provinces, cities, municipalities or
barangays, not to administrative regions.
Drilon v. Lim
G.R. No. 112497, August 4, 1994

Facts:
The principal issue in this case is the constitutionality of Section 187 of the Local Government
Code. The Secretary of Justice (on appeal to him of four oil companies and a taxpayer) declared Ordinance
No. 7794 (Manila Revenue Code) null and void for non-compliance with the procedure in the enactment of
tax ordinances and for containing certain provisions contrary to law and public policy.

The RTC revoked the Secretary’s resolution and sustained the ordinance. It declared Sec 187 of
the LGC as unconstitutional because it vests on the Secretary the power of control over LGUs in violation
of the policy of local autonomy mandated in the Constitution. The Secretary argues that the annulled
Section 187 is constitutional and that the procedural requirements for the enactment of tax ordinances as
specified in the Local Government Code had indeed not been observed.

Issue:
WON Section 187 of the LGC is unconstitutional

Held:
Yes. Section 187 authorizes the Secretary of Justice to review only the constitutionality or legality
of the tax ordinance and, if warranted, to revoke it on either or both of these grounds. When he alters or
modifies or sets aside a tax ordinance, he is not also permitted to substitute his own judgment for the
judgment of the local government that enacted the measure. Secretary Drilon did set aside the Manila
Revenue Code, but he did not replace it with his own version of what the Code should be.. What he found
only was that it was illegal. All he did in reviewing the said measure was determine if the petitioners were
performing their functions in accordance with law, that is, with the prescribed procedure for the enactment
of tax ordinances and the grant of powers to the city government under the Local Government Code. As
we see it, that was an act not of control but of mere supervision.

An officer in control lays down the rules in the doing of an act. If they are not followed, he may, in
his discretion, order the act undone or re-done by his subordinate or he may even decide to do it himself.
Supervision does not cover such authority. The supervisor or superintendent merely sees to it that the rules
are followed, but he himself does not lay down such rules, nor does he have the discretion to modify or
replace them.

Significantly, a rule similar to Section 187 appeared in the Local Autonomy Act. That section
allowed the Secretary of Finance to suspend the effectivity of a tax ordinance if, 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 merely an examination of whether or not the requirements
or limitations of the law had been observed; hence, it would smack of control rather than mere supervision.
That power was never questioned before this Court but, at any rate, the Secretary of Justice is not given
the same latitude under Section 187. All he is permitted to do is ascertain the constitutionality or legality of
the tax measure, without the right to declare that, in his opinion, it is unjust, excessive, oppressive or
confiscatory. He has no discretion on this matter. In fact, Secretary Drilon set aside the Manila Revenue
Code only on two grounds - the inclusion therein of certain ultra vires provisions and non-compliance with
the prescribed procedure in its enactment. These grounds affected the legality, not the wisdom or
reasonableness, of the tax measure.

The issue of non-compliance with the prescribed procedure in the enactment of the Manila
Revenue Code is another matter.

Judge Palattao however found that all the procedural requirements had been observed in the
enactment of the Manila Revenue Code and that the City of Manila had not been able to prove such
compliance before the Secretary only because he had given it only five days within which to gather and
present to him all the evidence (consisting of 25 exhibits) later submitted to the trial court. We agree with
the trial court that the procedural requirements have indeed been observed.
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.