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United States vs Luis Toribio

Police Power

Sometime in the 1900s, Toribio applied for a license to have his carabao be slaughtered. His
request was denied because his carabao is found not to be unfit for work. He nevertheless
slaughtered his carabao without the necessary license. He was eventually sued and was sentenced
by the trial court. His counsel in one way or the other argued that the law mandating that one
should acquire a permit to slaughter his carabao is not a valid exercise of police power.

ISSUE: Whether or not the said law is valid.

HELD: The SC ruled against Toribio. The SC explained that it “is not a taking of the property
for public use, within the meaning of the constitution, but is a just and legitimate exercise of the
power of the legislature to regulate and restrain such particular use of the property as would be
inconsistent with or injurious to the rights of the publics. All property is acquired and held under
the tacit condition that it shall not be so used as to injure the equal rights of others or greatly
impair the public rights and interests of the community.”
Verba Legis

Digests. Blurbs. Tips. Random Law school things.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


[Digest] Lopez vs. CA (1970)
Lopez publisher and owner of Manila Chronicle and Gatbonton (Editor) v. Court of
Appeals and Cruz (1970)
Ponente: Fernando, J.
Facts:
 January 1956 – Front-page story on the Manila Chronicle  Fidel Cruz, sanitary inspector
assigned to the Babuyan Islands, sent distress signals to US Airforce planes which
forwarded such message to Manila
o An American Army plane dropped emergency sustenance kits on the beach of the island
which contained, among other things, a two way radio set. Using the radio set Cruz
reported to the authorities in Manila that the locals were living in terror due to a series of
killings committed on the island since Christmas of 1955.
o Philippine defense forces (scout rangers) were immediately deployed to the babuyan claro.
They were led by Major Wilfredo Encarnacion who discovered that Cruz only fabricated the
story about the killings to get attention. Cruz merely wanted transportation home to
Manila.
o Major Encarnacion branded the fiasco as a “hoax”  the same word to be used by the
newspapers who covered the same
 January 13, 1956 - This Week Magazine of the Manila Chronicle, edited by Gatbonton
devoted a pictorial article to it. It claimed that despite the story of Cruz being a hoax it
brought to light the misery of the people living in that place, with almost everybody sick,
only 2 individuals able to read and write and food and clothing being scarce
 January 29, 1956 - This Week Magazine in the "January News Quiz" made reference to
Cruz as “a health inspector who suddenly felt "lonely" in his isolated post, cooked up a
story about a murderer running loose on the island of Calayan so that he could be ferried
back to civilization.”  Called it “Hoax of the year”
 In both issues photos of a Fidel Cruz were published but both photos were of a different
person of the same name  Fidel G. Cruz former mayor, business man, contractor from
Santa Maria, Bulacan
o January 27, 1957  published statements correcting their misprint and explained that
confusion and error happened due to the rush to meet the Jan 13th issue’s deadline
 Cruz sued herein petitioners for libel in CFI Manila. Cruz won and was awarded P11,000 in
damages (5k actual, 5k moral, 1k attorney’s fees)
 CA affirmed CFI decision hence this case

Issue:
 WON petitioners should be held liable for their error in printing the wrong Fidel
Cruz’s photo in relation to the “hoax of the year”?
o WON such error is sufficient ground for an action for libel to prosper?

Held:
Yes they are liable but damages awarded to Cruz is reduced to P1,000.00

Ratio:
1. Mistake is no excuse to absolve publishers because libel is harmful on its face by the fact
that it exposes the injured party to more than trivial ridicule, whether it is fact or opinion is
irrelevant.
 Citing Lu Chu Sing v. Lu Tiong Gui  libel is "malicious defamation, expressed either in
writing, printing, or by signs or pictures, or the like, ..., tending to blacken the memory of
one who is dead or to impeach the honesty, virtue, or reputation, or publish the alleged or
natural defects of one who is alive, and thereby "pose him to public hatred, contempt, or
ridicule,"
 Citing standard treatise of Newell on Slander and Libel  "Publication of a person's
photograph in connection with an article libelous of a third person, is a libel on the person
whose picture is published, where the acts set out in the article are imputed to such
person."
o In this case  3rd person was Cruz  his picture being published beside the article imputes
him as the purveyor of the hoax of the year

2. Libel cannot be used to curtail press freedom however it also can not claim any
talismanic immunity form constitutional limitations
 State interest in press freedom  citing Justice Malcolm: Full discussion of public affairs is
necessary for the maintenance of good governance… “Public officials must not be too thin-
skinned with reference to comments on official acts”…”of course criticism does not
authorize defamation. Nevertheless, as an individual is less than the state, so must expected
criticism be born for the common good.”
 So long as it was done in good faith, the press should have the legal right to have and
express their opinions on legal questions. To deny them that right would be to infringe
upon freedom of the press.
 “Last word on the subject”  Citing Quisumbing v. Lopez: Press should be given leeway and
tolerance as to enable them to courageously and effectively perform their important role in
our democracy
 Freedom of the press ranks high in the hierarchy of legal values
 TEST of LIABLITY  must prove there was actual malice in publishing the story/photo!
(Note: but this was not done in this case)

4. Citing Concepcion, CJ.  Correction of error in publishing does not wipe out the
responsibility arising from the publication of the original article
 Correction = Mitigating circumstance not a justifying circumstance!

Dissent: Dizon, J.
 Manila Chronicle should be absolved because:
o No evidence of actual malice
o The article does not ascribe anything immoral or any moral turpitude to Cruz
o The negligence performed by Manila Chronicle is this case should be considered “excusable
negligence”
Taxation Case Digest: PLDT vs City of Davao, et.al.
PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC. (PLDT)
vs.
CITY OF DAVAO and ADELAIDA B. BARCELONA, in her capacity as City Treasurer of Davao

GR. No. 143867

March 25, 2003


____________________________
TAX EXEMPTIONS vs. TAX EXCLUSION; “IN LIEU OF ALL TAXES” PROVISION
____________________________

Facts:

PLDT paid a franchise tax equal to three percent (3%) of its gross receipts. The franchise tax was
paid “in lieu of all taxes on this franchise or earnings thereof” pursuant to RA 7082. The
exemption from “all taxes on this franchise or earnings thereof” was subsequently withdrawn by
RA 7160 (LGC), which at the same time gave local government units the power to tax businesses
enjoying a franchise on the basis of income received or earned by them within their territorial
jurisdiction. The LGC took effect on January 1, 1992.
The City of Davao enacted Ordinance No. 519, Series of 1992, which in pertinent part provides:
Notwithstanding any exemption granted by law or other special laws, there is hereby imposed a
tax on businesses enjoying a franchise, a rate of seventy-five percent (75%) of one percent (1%)
of the gross annual receipts for the preceding calendar year based on the income receipts
realized within the territorial jurisdiction of Davao City.
Subsequently, Congress granted in favor of Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation (Globe)
and Smart Information Technologies, Inc. (Smart) franchises which contained “in leiu of all taxes”
provisos.
In 1995, it enacted RA 7925, or the Public Telecommunication Policy of the Philippines, Sec. 23
of which provides that any advantage, favor, privilege, exemption, or immunity granted under
existing franchises, or may hereafter be granted, shall ipso facto become part of previously
granted telecommunications franchises and shall be accorded immediately and unconditionally
to the grantees of such franchises. The law took effect on March 16, 1995.
In January 1999, when PLDT applied for a mayor’s permit to operate its Davao Metro exchange,
it was required to pay the local franchise tax which then had amounted to P3,681,985.72. PLDT
challenged the power of the city government to collect the local franchise tax and demanded a
refund of what had been paid as a local franchise tax for the year 1997 and for the first to the
third quarters of 1998.

Issue:

Whether or not by virtue of RA 7925, Sec. 23, PLDT is again entitled to the exemption from
payment of the local franchise tax in view of the grant of tax exemption to Globe and Smart.
Held:

Petitioner contends that because their existing franchises contain “in lieu of all taxes” clauses,
the same grant of tax exemption must be deemed to have become ipso facto part of its
previously granted telecommunications franchise. But the rule is that tax exemptions should be
granted only by a clear and unequivocal provision of law “expressed in a language too plain to
be mistaken” and assuming for the nonce that the charters of Globe and of Smart grant tax
exemptions, then this runabout way of granting tax exemption to PLDT is not a direct, “clear
and unequivocal” way of communicating the legislative intent.
Nor does the term “exemption” in Sec. 23 of RA 7925 mean tax exemption. The term refers to
exemption from regulations and requirements imposed by the National Telecommunications
Commission (NTC). For instance, RA 7925, Sec. 17 provides: The Commission shall exempt any
specific telecommunications service from its rate or tariff regulations if the service has
sufficient competition to ensure fair and reasonable rates of tariffs. Another exemption granted
by the law in line with its policy of deregulation is the exemption from the requirement of
securing permits from the NTC every time a telecommunications company imports equipment.
Tax exemptions should be granted only by clear and unequivocal provision of law on the basis
of language too plain to be mistaken.
Juliano Alba vs Jose Evangelista

100 Phil. 683 – Political Law – Control Power – Removal of Appointed LGU officials

Republic Act No. 603 created the City of Roxas. Section 8 thereof provides that the vice mayor
shall be appointed by the president. Pursuant to the law, Vivencio Alajar was appointed as the
mayor. Later on, the president sent communication to Alajar telling him that he will be replaced
by a new appointee, Juliano Alba. Alba was then declared as the acting mayor. Alajar refused to
leave his post and he filed a quo warranto case before Judge Jose Evangelista who ruled in favor
of him.

Alba appealed before the Supreme Court. Alba argued that section 2545 of the Revised
Administrative Code provides:

Appointment of City Officials. – The President of the Philippines shall appoint, with the consent
of the Commission on Appointments of the Congress of the Philippines, the mayor, the vice-
mayor . . . and he may REMOVE at pleasure any of the said officers . . .

Alajar however insisted that the above provision is incompatible with the constitutional
inhibition that “no officer or employee in the Civil Service shall be removed or suspended except
for cause as provided by law”, because the two provisions are mutually repugnant and absolutely
irreconcilable.

ISSUE: Whether or not Alajar, an appointed vice mayor, can be removed by the president upon
displeasure.

HELD: Yes. The question is whether an officer appointed for a definite time or during good
behavior, had any vested interest or contract right in his office, of which Congress could not
deprive him.

The act of Congress in creating a public office, defining its powers, functions and fixing the
“term” or the period during which the officer may claim to hold the office as of right and the
“tenure” or the term during which the incumbent actually holds the office, is a valid and
constitutional exercise of legislative power. In the exercise of that power, Congress enacted RA
603 creating the City of Roxas and providing, among others for the position of Vice-Mayor and
its tenure or period during which the incumbent Vice-Mayor holds office at the pleasure of the
President, so, the logical inference is that Congress can legally and constitutionally make the
tenure of certain officials dependent upon the pleasure of the President. Therefore, Alajar was
appointed by the pleasure of the president and can also be removed when that pleasure ceases.
SALVACION VS. CENTRAL BANK

March 28, 2013 ~ vbdiaz

KAREN E. SALVACION, minor, thru Federico N. Salvacion, Jr., father and Natural
Guardian, and Spouses FEDERICO N. SALVACION, JR., and EVELINA E.
SALVACION vs. CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, CHINA BANKING
CORPORATION and GREG BARTELLI y NORTHCOTT
G.R. No. 94723 August 21, 1997

FACTS: Greg Bartelli, an American tourist, was arrested for committing four counts of rape and
serious illegal detention against Karen Salvacion. Police recovered from him several dollar
checks and a dollar account in the China Banking Corp. He was, however, able to escape from
prison. In a civil case filed against him, the trial court awarded Salvacion moral, exemplary and
attorney’s fees amounting to almost P1,000,000.00.

Salvacion tried to execute the judgment on the dollar deposit of Bartelli with the China Banking
Corp. but the latter refused arguing that Section 11 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 exempts
foreign currency deposits from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any
court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body whatsoever. Salvacion
therefore filed this action for declaratory relief in the Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Should Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and Section 8 of Republic Act No.
6426, as amended by PD 1246, otherwise known as the Foreign Currency Deposit Act be made
applicable to a foreign transient?

HELD: NO.

The provisions of Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and PD No. 1246, insofar as it
amends Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6426, are hereby held to be INAPPLICABLE to this case
because of its peculiar circumstances. Respondents are hereby required to comply with the writ
of execution issued in the civil case and to release to petitioners the dollar deposit of Bartelli in
such amount as would satisfy the judgment.

Supreme Court ruled that the questioned law makes futile the favorable judgment and award of
damages that Salvacion and her parents fully deserve. It then proceeded to show that the
economic basis for the enactment of RA No. 6426 is not anymore present; and even if it still
exists, the questioned law still denies those entitled to due process of law for being unreasonable
and oppressive. The intention of the law may be good when enacted. The law failed to anticipate
the iniquitous effects producing outright injustice and inequality such as the case before us.

The SC adopted the comment of the Solicitor General who argued that the Offshore Banking
System and the Foreign Currency Deposit System were designed to draw deposits from foreign
lenders and investors and, subsequently, to give the latter protection. However, the foreign
currency deposit made by a transient or a tourist is not the kind of deposit encouraged by PD
Nos. 1034 and 1035 and given incentives and protection by said laws because such depositor
stays only for a few days in the country and, therefore, will maintain his deposit in the bank only
for a short time. Considering that Bartelli is just a tourist or a transient, he is not entitled to the
protection of Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and PD No. 1246 against attachment,
garnishment or other court processes.
Further, the SC said: “In fine, the application of the law depends on the extent of its justice.
Eventually, if we rule that the questioned Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 which
exempts from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any court, legislative
body, government agency or any administrative body whatsoever, is applicable to a foreign
transient, injustice would result especially to a citizen aggrieved by a foreign guest like accused
Greg Bartelli. This would negate Article 10 of the New Civil Code which provides that “in case
of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body
intended right and justice to prevail.”
___________

NOTES:
– On February 4, 1989, Greg Bartelli y Northcott, an American tourist, coaxed and lured
petitioner Karen Salvacion, then 12 years old to go with him to his apartment. Therein, Greg
Bartelli detained Karen Salvacion for four days, or up to February 7, 1989 and was able to rape
the child once on February 4, and three times each day on February 5, 6, and 7, 1989. On
February 7, 1989, after policemen and people living nearby, rescued Karen, Greg Bartelli was
arrested and detained at the Makati Municipal Jail. The policemen recovered from Bartelli the
following items: 1.) Dollar Check No. 368, Control No. 021000678-1166111303, US 3,903.20;
2.) COCOBANK Bank Book No. 104-108758-8 (Peso Acct.); 3.) Dollar Account — China
Banking Corp., US$/A#54105028-2; 4.) ID-122-30-8877; 5.) Philippine Money (P234.00) cash;
6.) Door Keys 6 pieces; 7.) Stuffed Doll (Teddy Bear) used in seducing the complainant.