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ADMIN LAW GENERAL POWERS AND ATTRIBUTES OF LGUS: CLOSURE AND OPENING OF ROADS

Title: Sangalang v. Intermediate Appellate Court G.R. No. 71169, 74376, 76394, 78182, 82281, 60727
Date: August 25, 1989
Ponente: Sarmiento, J.
JOSE D. SANGALANG and LUTGARDA D. SANGALANG,
petitioners
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and AYALA
FELIX C. GASTON and DOLORES R. GASTON, JOSE V. CORPORATION,
BRIONES and ALICIA R. BRIONES, and BEL-AIR VILLAGE respondents
ASSOCIATION, INC.,
intervenors-petitioners
FACTS
 Bel-Air Village is located north of Buendia Avenue extension across a stretch of commercial block from Reposo Street
in the west up to Zodiac Street in the east. When Bel-Air Village was planned, this block between Reposo and Zodiac
Streets adjoining Buendia Avenue in front of the village was designated as a commercial block. Bel-Air Village was
owned and developed into a residential subdivision in the 1950s by Makati Development Corporation (MDC), which
in 1968 was merged with Ayala Corporation.
 Spouses Sangalang reside at 110 Jupiter St. between Makati Ave. and Reposo St.; Spouses Gaston reside at 64 Jupiter
St. between Makati Ave. and Zodiac St.; Spouses Briones reside at 66 Jupiter St.; while Bel-Air Village Association, Inc.
(BAVA) is the homeowners’ association in Bel-Air Village which takes care of the sanitation, security, traffic regulations
and general welfare of the village.
 The lots which were acquired by the Sangalangs, the Gastons, the Brioneses in 1960, 1957 and 1958, respectively, all
sold by MDC subject to certain conditions and easements contained in Deed Restrictions which formed a part of each
deed of sale (i.e. being automatic members of Bel-Air Association who must abide by the rules and regulations laid
down by the Association [as per sanitation, security and general welfare of the community]; that lots cannot be
subdivided and only used for residential purposes; that single family house be constructed in single lot; no commercial
or advertising signs placed or erected on the lot; no farm animals allowed, pets allowed; easement of 2 meters within
lot; lot not used for immoral or illegal trade or activity; grass always trimmed; Restrictions in force for 50 years starting
15 January 1957).
 MDC constructed a fence on the commercial block along Jupiter Street in 1966, although it was not part of the original
plan. The fence was partially destroyed in 1970 due to a typhoon. The fence was subsequently rebuilt by the Ayala.
Jupiter Street was widened in 1972, and the fence had to be destroyed. Upon request of BAVA, the wall was rebuilt
inside the boundary of the commercial block. Ayala finally decided to subdivide and sell the lots in the commercial
block between Buendia and Jupiter. BAVA requested confirmation of use of the commercial lots.
 On 30 June 1972, Ayala likewise informed BAVA that in a few months it shall subdivided and sell the commercial lots
bordering the north side of Buendia Avenue Extension from Reposo St. up to Zodiac St. Deed restrictions (building
having set back of 19 meters, and matters RE entrances and exits) are imposed in such commercial lots to harmonize
and blend with the development and welfare of Bel-Air Village. Ayala further applied for special membership in BAVA
of the commercial lot owners, the application submitted to BAVA’s board of governors for decision.
 On 25 September 1972, height limitations for buildings were increased from 12.5 meters to 15 meters and Jupiter
street is widened by 3.5 meters. The widening of the street reduced the association dues to be remitted to BAVA,
inasmuch that it now applies to 76,726 sq.m. rather than 81,590 sq.m. Due rates have increased from P0.5/sq.m in
1972 to P3/sq.m in 1980.
 On 4 April 1975, Makati enacted Ordinance 81, providing for the zonification of Makati, which classified Bel-Air Village
as a Class A Residential Zone, with its boundary in the south extending to the center line of Jupiter Street (Chapter 3,
Article 1, Section 3.03, paragraph F). The Buendia Avenue extension area was classified as Administrative Office Zone
with its boundary in the North-North East Extending also up to the center line of Jupiter Street (Chapter 3, Article 1,
Section 3.05, paragraph C). The Residential Zone and the Administrative Office Zone have a common boundary along
the center line of Jupiter Street. The zoning was later followed under the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance for the
National Capital Region adopted by the Metro Manila Commission as Ordinance 81-01 on 14 March 1981, with
modification that Bel-Air Village is simply bounded in the South-Southeast by Jupiter Street, and the block-deep strip
along the northwest side of Buendia Avenue Extension from Reposo to EDSA as High Intensity Commercial Zone. Under
the zoning classification, Jupiter Street is a common boundary of Bel-Air Village and the commercial zone.
 On 17 January 1977, the Office of the Mayor of Makati directed BAVA, in the interest of public welfare and purpose
of easing traffic congestion, the opening of the Amapola (Estrella-Mercedes; Palma gate-Villena), Mercedes (EDSA-
Imelda/Amapola junction), Zodiac (Mercedes-Buendia), Jupiter (Zodiac-Reposo, connecting Metropolitan avenue to
Pasong Tamo and V. Cruz extension), Neptune (Makati ave.-Reposo), Orbit (F.Zobel/ Candelaria intersection –Jupiter
Paseo de Roxas; Mercedes-Buendia) streets of Bel-Air Village for public use. On 10 February, BAVA replied, expressing
concern of the residents about the opening of the streets to general public and requesting the indefinite
postponement of the plan to open Jupiter St. to public vehicles. BAVA, however, voluntarily opened the other streets.
 On 12 August 1977, the municipal officials of Makati allegedly opened, destroyed and removed the gates constructed
at the corner of Reposo St. and Jupiter St. as well as gates/fences constructed at Jupiter Street and Makati Avenue
forcibly; thereby opening Jupiter street to public traffic. Increased traffic was observed along Jupiter Street after its
opening to public use. Purchasers of the commercial lots started constructing their respective buildings and
demolished the fence or wall within the boundary of their lots. Many owners constructed their own fences and walls
and employed their own security guards.
 On 27 January 1978, Ayala donated the entire Jupiter Street from Metropolitan Avenue to Zodiac Street to BAVA. With
the opening of the entire Jupiter street to public traffic, the residential lots located in the northern side of Jupiter
Street ceased to be used for purely residential purposes, and became commercial in character.
 On 29 October 1979, spouses Sangalang filed an action for damages against Ayala predicated on both breach of
contract and on tort or quasi-delict. A supplemental complaint was later filed by the Sangalangs to augment the reliefs
prayed for in the original complaint because of alleged supervening events which occurred during the trial of the case.
Claiming to be similarly situated, spouses Gaston, Briones, and BAVA intervened in the case. The CFI Pasig rendered a
decision in favor of the Sangalangs awarding them P500,000 as actual and consequential damages, P2M as moral
damages, P500,000 as exemplary damages, P100,000 as attorney’s fees, and the cost of suit. The intervenors Gaston
and Briones were awarded P400,000 as consequential damages, P500,000 as moral damages, P500,000 as exemplary
damages, P50,000 as attorney’s fees, and the cost of suit; each. Intervenor BAVA was awarded the same except for
moral damages. The damages awarded bear legal interest from the filing of the complaint. Ayala was also ordered to
restore/reconstruct the perimeter wall at the original position in 1966 at its own expense within 6 months from finality
of judgment. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the decision for not being supported by facts and
law on the matter; and entered another, dismissing the case for lack of cause of action; without pronouncement as to
costs. Sangalang appealed.
 G.R. No. 74376: The Bel-Air Village Association (BAVA) filed and action to enforce the restrictions stipulated in the
deeds of sale executed by the Ayala Corporation. BAVA originally brought the complaint in the RTC Makati, principally
for specific performance, BAVA alleging that Rosario de Jesus Tenorio allowed Cecilia Gonzalvez to occupy and convert
the house at 60 Jupiter Street into a restaurant, without its knowledge and consent, and in violation of the deed
restrictions which provide that the lot and building thereon must be used only for residential purposes upon which
the prayed-for main relief was for Tenorio and Gonzalves to permanently refrain from using the premises as
commercial and to comply with the terms of the Deed Restrictions. The trial court dismissed the complaint on a
procedural ground, i.e., pendency of an identical action, Civil Case 32346 (BAVA v. Tenorio). The Court of Appeals
affirmed, and held, in addition, that Jupiter Street “is classified as High density commercial (C-3) zone as per
Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance 81-01 for NCR following its own ruling in AC-GR 66649 (BAVA v. Hy-Land Realty &
Development Corp.). BAVA appealed.
 G.R. No. 76394: Spouses Eduardo Romualdez and Buena Tioseco are the owners of a house and lot located at 108
Jupiter St (TCT 332394, Registry of Deeds Rizal).At the time they acquired the subject house and lot, several restrictions
were already annotated on the reverse side of their title. The restriction(s) remain in force for 50 years from 15 January
1957, unless sooner cancelled in its entirety by 2/3 vote of the members in good standing of the Bel-Air Village
Association (BAVA). However, the Association may from time to time, add new ones, amend or abolish particular
restrictions or parts thereof by majority rule. During the early part of 1979, BAVA noted that certain renovations and
constructions were being made by the spouses on the premises. The latter failed to inform BAVA of the activity, even
upon request, that prompted BAVA to send its chief security officer to visit the premises on 23 March 1979 and found
out that the spouses were putting up a bake and coffee shop. The spouses were reminded that they were violating
the deed restriction, but the latter proceeded with the construction of the bake shop. On 30 April 1979, BAVA wrote
the spouses to desist from using the premises for commercial purposes, with threat of suit. Despite the warning, the
spouses proceeded with the construction of their bake shop. The trial court adjudged in favor of BAVA. On appeal, the
Court of Appeals reversed the decision on the strength of its holding in AC-GR 66649. BAVA elevated the matter to
the Supreme Court by a petition for review on certiorari. The Court initially denied the petition for lack of merit, for
which BAVA sought a reconsideration. Pending resolution, the case was referred to the Second Division and thereafter,
to the Court En Banc en consulta. Per Resolution, dated 29 April 1988, the case was consolidated with GR 74376 and
82281.
 G.R. No. 78182: Dolores Filley leased her building and lot situated at 205 Reposo Street to the advertising firm J.
Romero and Associates, in alleged violation of deed restrictions which stipulated that Filley’s lot could only be used
for residential purposes. The Bel-Air Village Association (BAVA) sought judgment from the lower court ordering the
Filley and J.Romero to permanently refrain from using the premises in question as commercial and to comply with the
terms of the deed restrictions. The trial court granted the relief sought for by BAVA with the a additional imposition
of exemplary damages of P50,000.00 and attorney’s fees of P10,000.00. The trial court gave emphasis to the restrictive
clauses contained in Filley’s deed of sale from BAVA, which made the conversion of the building into a commercial
one a violation. Appeal was made claiming that the restrictions in the deed of sale are outmoded. BAVA on the other
hand relied on a rigid interpretation of the contractual stipulations agreed upon with Filley, in effect arguing that the
restrictions are valid ad infinitum. The Court of Appeals overturned the lower court, observing that J. Romero &
Associates had been given authority to open a commercial office by the Human Settlements Regulatory Commission.
 G.R. No. 82281: Violeta Moncal, owner of a parcel of land with a residential house constructed thereon situated at
104 Jupiter Street, leased her property to Majal Development Corporation, without the consent of the Bel-Air Village
Association (BAVA). She purchased the lot from Makati Development Corporation. The lot in question is restricted to
be used for residential purposes only as part of the deed restrictions annotated on its title. It is on the same side of
the street where there are restaurants, clinics, placement or employment agencies and other commercial or business
establishments. These establishments, however, were sued by BAVA in the proper court. The trial court dismissed the
BAVA’s complaint, a dismissal affirmed on appeal. The appellate court declared that the opening of Jupiter Street to
human and vehicular traffic, and the commercialization of the Municipality of Makati in general, were circumstances
that had made compliance by Moncal with the aforesaid “deed restrictions” “extremely difficult and unreasonable, a
development that had excused compliance altogether under Article 1267 of the Civil Code. BAVA appealed.
ISSUE/S
Whether or not the opening of Orbit Street to traffic by the mayor was warranted by the demands of the common good and
a valid exercise of police power. YES
RATIO
 As asserted in Sangalang, the opening of Jupiter Street was warranted by the demands of the common good, in terms
of traffic decongestion and public convenience. SC also uphold the opening of Orbit Street for the same rationale. The
act of the mayor now challenged is that of police power which is the state’s authority “to enact legislation that may
interfere with the personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare.” It consists of the (1)
imposition of restraint upon liberty and property (2) in order to foster the common good.
 The opening of Orbit Street is under police power which is unlike eminent domain, it is exercised without just
compensation. Art. 436 of the Civil Code states that when any property is condemned or seized by competent
authority in the interest of health, safety or security, the owner thereof shall not be entitled to compensation, unless
he can show that such condemnation or seizure is unjustifiable. The aggrieved party has not shown that there is
unjustifiable reasons for the exercise of the police power. The fact that it has led to the loss of privacy of BAVA
residents is no argument against the municipality’s effort to ease vehicular traffic in Makati.
 The gate in question being a nuisance, which could be legally abated by summary means. The fact that it was
accomplished summarily does not lend to it a show of arrogance because summary method is allowed by law. The
mayor was able to notify the BAVA that Orbit and Jupiter streets would be opened up.
 Ordinance No. 17 as amended by Resolution No 139 which requires a Mayor’s permit before any construction of any
kind shall be built, erected or constructed in any place in the municipality is a valid justification for the questioned act
of the mayor. The fact that some time had elapsed before the Mayor acted, cannot render the ordinance
unenforceable or void.
 Ayala Corporation is not liable for damages as a result of the destruction of the perimeter wall. Jupiter Street lies as
the boundary between Bel-Air Village and Ayala Corporation's commercial section, it had been considered as a
boundary not as a part of either the residential or commercial zones of Ayala Corporation's real estate development
projects, hence it cannot be said to have been "for the exclusive benefit" of Bel-Air Village residents.
 Jupiter Street lies as a mere boundary, a fact acknowledged by the authorities of Makati and the National Government
and, as a scrutiny of the records themselves reveals, by the petitioners themselves, as the articles of incorporation of
Bel-Air Village Association itself would confirm. As a consequence, Jupiter Street was intended for the use by both -
the commercial and residential blocks. It was not originally constructed, therefore, for the exclusive use of either block,
least of all the residents of Bel-Air Village, but, we repeat, in favor of both, as distinguished from the general public.
When the wall was erected in 1966 and rebuilt twice, in 1970 and 1972, it was not for the purpose of physically
separating the two blocks. According to Ayala Corporation, it was put up to enable the Bel-Air Village Association
"better control of the security in the area, and as the Ayala Corporation's "show of goodwill". That maintaining the
wall was a matter of a contractual obligation on the part of Ayala, to be pure conjecture. In fine, we cannot hold the
Ayala Corporation liable for damages for a commitment it did not make, much less for alleged resort to machinations
in evading it.
 Jupiter Street lies as a mere boundary, a fact acknowledged by the authorities of Makati and the National Government
and, as a scrutiny of the records themselves reveals, by the petitioners themselves, as the articles of incorporation of
Bel-Air Village Association itself would confirm. As a consequence, Jupiter Street was intended for the use by both -
the commercial and residential blocks. It was not originally constructed, therefore, for the exclusive use of either block,
least of all the residents of Bel-Air Village, but, we repeat, in favor of both, as distinguished from the general public.
When the wall was erected in 1966 and rebuilt twice, in 1970 and 1972, it was not for the purpose of physically
separating the two blocks. According to Ayala Corporation, it was put up to enable the Bel-Air Village Association
"better control of the security in the area, and as the Ayala Corporation's "show of goodwill". That maintaining the
wall was a matter of a contractual obligation on the part of Ayala, to be pure conjecture. In fine, we cannot hold the
Ayala Corporation liable for damages for a commitment it did not make, much less for alleged resort to machinations
in evading it.
RULING
WHEREFORE, the petition in G.R. No. 60727 is GRANTED; the motions for reconsiderations in G.R. Nos. 71169, 74376,
76394, 78182, and 82281 are DENIED with FINALITY.
(SANTOS, 2B 2017-2018)