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Constitutional Law Case Digest


Title Facts Issue/s Ruling Doctrine
Gerochi v. DOE RA 9136, otherwise known as the Electric W/N the universal charge is NO. The assailed universal charge is not If generation of revenue is the primary purpose
GR No. 159796 Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 a tax. a tax, but an exaction in the exercise of and regulation is merely incidental, the
17 July 2007 (EPIRA), which sought to impose a the State’s police power. That public imposition is a tax; but if regulation is the
Nachura, J. universal charge on all end-users of welfare is promoted may be gleaned primary purpose, the fact that revenue is
electricity for the purpose of funding from Sec. 2 of the EPIRA, which incidentally raised does not make the imposition
NAPOCOR’s projects, was enacted and enumerates the policies of the State a tax.
took effect in 2001. regarding electrification. Moreover, the
Special Trust Fund feature of the The taxing power may be used as an implement
Petitioners contest the constitutionality of universal charge reasonably serves and of police power.
the EPIRA, stating that the imposition of assures the attainment and perpetuity of
the universal charge on all end-users is the purposes for which the universal The theory behind the exercise of the power to
oppressive and confiscatory and amounts charge is imposed (e.g. to ensure the tax emanates from necessity; without taxes,
to taxation without representation for not viability of the country’s electric power government cannot fulfill its mandate of
giving the consumers a chance to be heard industry), further boosting the position promoting the general welfare and well-being of
and be represented. that the same is an exaction primarily in the people.
pursuit of the State’s police objectives.

Chavez v. Romulo Pursuant to PGMA’s speech stressing the W/N the revocation of the NO. The right to bear arms is a mere A license authorizing a person to enjoy a certain
GR No. 157036 need for a nationwide gun ban in all public PTCFORs pursuant to the statutory privilege, not a constitutional privilege is neither a property nor property right.
9 June 2004 places, PNP Chief Ebdane issued the Guidelines is a violation of right. Being a mere statutory creation,
Sandoval-Gutierrez, J. “Guidelines in the Implementation of the the people’s right to the right to bear arms cannot be
Ban on the Carrying of Firearms Outside property. considered an inalienable or absolute
of Residence.” It revoked all existing right. A license authorizing a person to
Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of enjoy a certain privilege is neither a
Residence (PTCFOR), subject to renewal. property nor property right.

Francisco Chavez, a licensed gun owner to YES. It is apparent from the assailed
whom a PTCFOR has been issued, Guidelines that the basis for its issuance
requested the DILG to reconsider the was the need for peace and order in the
implementation of the assailed Guidelines. W/N the issuance of the society. Undeniably, the motivating
His request was denied. Thus, he went to assailed Guidelines is a valid factor in the issuance of the Guidelines
court to challenge the constitutionality of exercise of police power. is the interest of the public in general.
the Guidelines.

Constitutional Law Case Digest

PRC v. de Guzman 79 successful examinees of the Physician W/N the Board has YES. The practice of medicine is a The power to regulate the exercise of a
GR No. 144681 Licensure Examination from Fatima discretion to hold in privilege, subject to qualifications and profession or pursuit of an occupation cannot be
21 June 2004 College obtained unusual and abeyance the administration disqualifications. It must appear that the exercised by the State or its agents in an
Tinga, J. exceptionally high scores in the two most of the Hippocratic oath and applicant has fully complied with all the arbitrary, despotic, or oppressive manner.
difficult subjects of the exam, which the issuance of the conditions and requirements imposed
aroused the suspicion of the Board of certificates to successful by the law and the licensing authority.
Medicine. They had the results surveyed board examinees. Should doubt taint or mar the
by a statistician and investigated by the compliance as being less than
NBI. satisfactory, then the privilege will not
issue. Until the moral and mental fitness
Subsequently, they adopted a Resolution of de Guzman, et al. could be
which withheld the registration as ascertained, the Board has discretion to
physicians of the Fatima examinees. After hold in abeyance the administration of
the results of the investigation of the NBI the Hippocratic oath and the issuance of
and the survey of Fr. Nebres, the Board the certificates to them. The writ of
issued another Resolution charging the said mandamus does not lie to compel
examinees with immorality, dishonest performance of an act which is not duly
conduct, fraud, and deceit. authorized.

The Fatima examinees, on the other hand,

filed the special civil action of mandamus
against the PRC so that they would be
allowed to take their physician’s oath.
City of Manila v. Laguio Malate Tourist Development Corporation W/N the ordinance is an YES. Although the object of the An ordinance which permanently restricts the
GR No. 118127 (MTDC) owned a Victoria Court motel in oppressive exercise of police ordinance was the promotion of the use of property that it cannot be used for any
12 April 2005 the Ermita-Malate area, which was being power. social and moral values of the reasonable purpose goes beyond regulation and
Tinga, J. threatened to be closed down by an community, the means employed for the must be recognized as a taking of the property
Ordinance passed by the City of Manila, accomplishment thereof were without just compensation.
which prohibited the operation of any unreasonable and unduly oppressive.
business which adversely affected the The due process clause is a limitation upon the
social and moral welfare of the community exercise of police power.
in the said area. The said ordinance
provided that these said establishments The police power granted to government units
were to be either closed down, relocated, must always be exercised with utmost
or transformed into other wholesome types observance of the rights of the people to due
of establishments. process and equal protection of the law.

Constitutional Law Case Digest

Individual rights may be adversely affected only

MTDC sought to have the ordinance to the extent that may fairly be required by the
declared unconstitutional. The Court legitimate demands of public interest or public
agreed with MTDC, and enjoined the City welfare.
of Manila from implementing the
ordinance. Obiter: There are no pure places where there
are impure men. –Justice Tinga
Nyahahaha. 
MMDA v. Viron PGMA issued EO 179, which provided for W/N the EO is a valid NO. As to the alleged confiscatory Police power rests primarily with the legislature,
Transportation the establishment of a Mass Transport exercise of police power. character of the EO, it need only be but it may be delegated.
GR No. 170656 System for Greater Manila. Pursuant to this stated that the respondents’ certificates
15 August 2007 EO, the Metro Manila Council of the of public convenience confer no Measures calculated to promote the safety and
MMDA cited the need to remove the bus property right, and are mere licenses or convenience of the people using the
terminals located along major privileges. As such, they must yield to thoroughfares by the regulation of vehicular
thoroughfares of Metro Manila. legislation safeguarding the people’s traffic present a proper subject for the exercise
interest. However, although the of police power.
Viron, and later Mencorp, both provincial authority of the President over the
bus operators who had bus terminals that implementation of the Project cannot be
were threatened to be removed, filed questioned, the designation of the
petitions alleging that the EO should be MMDA as the implementing agency for
declared unconstitutional and illegal for the Project may not be sustained.
transgressing the possessory rights of MMDA has no police power, let alone
owners and operators of public land legislative power. In light of the
transportation units over their respective administrative nature of its powers and
terminals. functions, the MMDA is devoid of
authority to implement the Project as
envisioned by the EO; hence, it could
not have been validly designated by the
President to undertake the Project. It
follows that the MMDA cannot validly
order the elimination of the
respondents’ terminals.
Exec. Secretary v. EO 156 was issued by PGMA in 2002, W/N EO 156 is a valid EO 156 is VALID insofar as it applies For an administrative issuance to be valid, it
Southwing Heavy prohibiting the importation into the country exercise of police power. to the Philippine territory outside the must comply with the following:
Industries of used motor vehicles, subject to a few presently fenced-in former Subic 1. Its promulgation must be authorized by
GR Nos. 164171-2, exceptions. Article 2, Section 3.1 because the legislature;

Constitutional Law Case Digest

168741 enumerates the vehicles 1. Its promulgation is actually 2. It must be promulgated in accordance
20 February 2006 excluded/exempted from the prohibition. authorized by the legislature with the prescribed procedure;
Ynares-Santiago, J. Three separate actions for declaratory (Tariff and Customs Code, 3. It must be within the scope of the
relief were filed before an Olongapo RTC, Omnibus Investment Code, authority given by the legislature; and
asserting that Article 2, Section 3.1 is Safeguard Measures Act); and 4. It must be reasonable.
unconstitutional and illegal. The RTC 2. It is presumed that the EO duly
granted all the petitions and declared the complied with the procedures
EO unconstitutional. and limitations imposed by law,
absent any strong evidence to
the contrary.
However, the proscription in the
importation of used motor vehicles
should be operative only outside the
Freeport and he inclusion of said zone
within the ambit of prohibition is an
invalid modification of RA 7227 (Bases
Conversion and Development Act of
1992). When the application of an
administrative issuance modifies
existing laws or exceeds the intended
scope, the issuance becomes void, not
only for being ultra vires but also for
being unreasonable.
Lucero v. City The brothers Lucero and one Tenorio were W/N the Luceros may claim NO. The 1983 lease contracts did not A public market is one dedicated to the service
Government of Pasig granted lease contracts to occupy stalls in a vested right to the market give petitioners irrefutable rights to the of the general public and operated under
GR No. 132834 the public market if Pasig in 1983. In 1993, stalls they were occupying. market stalls. They were mere grantees government control and supervision as a public
24 November 2006 Pasig renovated its market facilities and of a privilege to occupy and operate utility. Hence, the operation of a public market
Corona, J. passed Municipal Ordinance No. 56 which such booths. and its facilities is imbued with public interest.
mandated all stall occupants to fill up and
submit application forms which would YES. The operation of a market stall by
serve as their lease contracts if approved. W/N the Municipal virtue of a license is always subject to
Ordinance was a valid the police power of a city government.
The Luceros and Tenorio, however, refused exercise of police power. An application for this privilege may be
to apply for a new lease on their stalls. The granted or refused for reasons of public
Pasig government filed a case for policy and sound public administration.
ejectment against them.

Constitutional Law Case Digest

The MTC ruled in favor of the Luceros,

but was reversed by the RTC and the CA.
Apo Fruits Corp. v. CA AFC and HPI owned agricultural lands W/N LBP may determine the NO. The valuation of property in The determination of just compensation is
GR No. 164195 which they voluntarily offered to sell to the amount of just eminent domain is essentially a judicial essentially a judicial function.
6 February 2007 government. However, they did not agree compensation. function which is vested with the RTC
Chico-Nazario, J. to the LBP’s valuation of the land, stating acting as a Special Agrarian Court. The determination of just compensation cannot
that the valuations were unreasonably low be made to the prejudice of the sellers or of the
and inadequate as just compensation for NO. In the determination of just government.
the properties. compensation, all the facts as to the
If so, W/N it correctly condition of the property and its Requirements for a proper exercise of eminent
DAR then requested LBP to deposit the determined the value of the surroundings, its improvements and domain:
amounts equivalent to the LBP valuations lands in question. capabilities, may be shown and 1. Public use
in the names of both AFC and HPI. The considered in estimating its value. 2. Just compensation
latter both withdrew several millions from
the said accounts. Thereafter, new TCTs
over the lands were issued in the name of
the Republic of the Philippines, and
CLOAs were subsequently issued to

AFC and HPI both filed complaints for

determination of just compensation.
Agan v. PIATCO PIATCO won the bid for the construction W/N the temporary takeover NO. The section which provides that The police power of the State cannot be negated
GR Nos. 155001, and development of the NAIA IPT III clause is constitutional. PIATCO shall be entitled to reasonable by any party nor should its exercise be a source
155547, and 155661 under a build-operate-transfer compensation for the duration of the of obligation for the State.
21 January 2004 arrangement. A Concession Agreement was temporary takeover by the government
Puno, J. then entered into. Subsequently, the ARCA clearly obligates the government in the Police power cannot be diminished, let alone
and Supplement contracts were entered exercise of its police power to defeated by any contract for its paramount
into as well, modifying the original terms compensate PIATCO and this obligation consideration is public welfare and interest.
of the Concession Agreement. is offensive to the Constitution.

Various petitions were filed to annul the NO. The PIATCO contracts run afoul of
CA, ARCA, and the Supplements; and to the Constitution. This is because the
prohibit the DOTC, and MIAA from W/N the PIATCO Contracts ARCA provides for a direct government
implementing them. themselves are guaranty in the form of taking over of

Constitutional Law Case Digest

constitutional. the loans of PIATCO should they

become due and unpaid.
Southern Cross Cement v. Philcemcor filed a petition seeking the W/N the DTI Secretary is YES. The DTI Secretary cannot impose It is Congress, not the President, which
Cement Manufacturers imposition of safeguard measures on gray barred from imposing a a general safeguard measure without a possesses inherent powers to impose tariffs and
Assoc. Portland cement with the DTI. The DTI general safeguard measure positive final determination rendered by imposts. Without legislative authorization
GR No. 158540 Secretary then issued a provisional absent a positive final the Tariff Commission because it is a through statute, the President has no power,
3 August 2005 safeguard measure and referred the petition determination rendered by constitutional limitation imposed on the authority or right to impose such safeguard
Tinga, J. to the Tariff Commission. the Tariff Commission. delegation of legislative power to measures because taxation is inherently
impose tariffs and imposts to the legislative, not executive.
After the Tariff Commission’s President. The authorization to the
investigation, it reported that there was no President can be exercised only within Section 28(2) Article VI of the Constitution
need for definitive safeguard measures. the specified limits set in the law and is shields the delegation of the taxing power to the
The DTI Secretary then denied further subject to limitations and President by the Legislature from constitutional
Philcemcor’s petition but expressed his restrictions which Congress may infirmity, and should be recognized as an
opinion that he disagreed with the Tariff impose. exceptional grant of legislative power to the
Commission’s findings. President, rather than the affirmation of an
inherent executive power.
Philcemcor challenged this Decision in the
CA. The CA ruled that the DTI Secretary
was not bound by the Tariff Commission’s
report since it was merely
recommendatory. Based on this decision,
the DTI Secretary then imposed a
definitive safeguard measure on the
importation of gray Portland cement for 3

Southern Cross challenges both the CA and

DTI Secretary decisions.
ATO v. Gopuco Gopuco owned a parcel of land which was When private land is IT DEPENDS. If the land is Eminent domain is generally described as “the
GR No. 158563 subjected to expropriation proceedings for expropriated for a particular expropriated for a particular purpose, highest and most exact idea of property
30 June 2005 the purpose of the expansion of the Lahug public use, and that with the condition that when that remaining in the government” that may be
Chico-Nazario, J. Airport in Cebu. particular public use is purpose is ended or abandoned the acquired for some public purpose through a
Subsequently, the Mactan International abandoned, does the land so property shall return to its former method in the nature of a forced purchase by the
Airport commenced operations, and Lahug expropriated return to its owner, then when the purpose is State. It is a right to reassert dominion over
Airport was shut down. Gopuco sought the former owner? terminated or abandoned the former property within the State for public use or to

Constitutional Law Case Digest

reconveyance of his lot and offered to pay owner reacquires the property so meet a public exigency and is said to be an
for the value of his former land. He expropriated. On the other hand, when essential part of governance even in its most
maintained that the original purpose for land has been acquired for public use in primitive form and thus inseparable from
which the property was expropriated had fee simple, unconditionally, either by sovereignty.
ceased, and title to the property should the exercise of eminent domain or by
therefore revert to him. purchase, the former owner retains no Notwithstanding the grant to individuals, the
rights in the land, and the public use eminent domain, the highest and most exact idea
may be abandoned or the land may be of property, remains in the government, or in the
devoted to a different use, without any aggregate body of people in their sovereign
impairment of the estate or title capacity; and they have the right to resume the
acquired, or any reversion to the former possession of the property whenever the public
owner. In this case, the terms of interest so requires it.
judgment regarding the expropriation of
the property granted title in fee simple
to the Republic of the Philippines.
Therefore, no rights either express or
implied, have been retained by Gopuco.

NO. In expropriation proceedings, the

condemnor merely serves notice that it
is taking title and possession of the
property, and the defendant asserts title
or interest in the property, not to prove a
right to possession, but to prove a right
W/N in cases of to compensation for the taking. Thus,
expropriation, an “implied no such contract exists.
contract” that the properties
will be used only for the
public purpose for which
they were acquired.
Palileo v. NIA The Palileos collectively own three parcels W/N the Palileos could NO. NIA has occupied, utilized, and for The unpaid landowner cannot recover
GR No. 148574 of land, on certain portions of which NIA claim compensation for the all intents and purposes, exercised possession of property taken for public use even
11 October 2005 had built a canal in 1956, and an access affected portions of their dominion over the property. Further, it while no requisite expropriation proceedings
Chico-Nazario, J. road in 1983. The canal appears to have property or recover the said is undisputed that the access road was were first instituted.
been expropriated by virtue of a court property from NIA. taken for public use. Hence, such taking
order as early as 1958. However, it does even in the absence of an order of The right of eminent domain is usually

Constitutional Law Case Digest

not appear whether payment of just expropriation or memorandum of understood to be an ultimate right of the
compensation had been made. agreement, shall not entitle the owner to sovereign power to appropriate any property
In 1994, NIA assessed the Palileos an the recovery of possession but only to within its territorial sovereignty for a public
irrigation service fee. Shortly thereafter, just compensation, following existing purpose.
the Palileos demanded reasonable rentals case law. However, with respect to the
from NIA for occupying their property. claim of just compensation, PD 552 has
When NIA refused to pay, the Palileos barred their claims. With respect to the
sued for recovery of possession, arguing irrigation canal, the action accrued 18
that there was no payment of just years prior to the PD’s approval. The
compensation, nor was there expropriation PD provides that actions for recovery of
proceedings filed with respect to the compensation and damages against NIA
acquisition of the property used as an which have accrued for 10 or more
access road. years prior to the decree’s approval are
deemed to have prescribed and are
barred forever. As for the access road,
the action was commenced only after 12
years. The PD also provides that claims
should be taken within 5 years from the
time the property was taken. Thus, the
actions of the Palileos have already
prescribed. They cannot recover just
compensation anymore.