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Fixing of Rates, Wages, and to fix lower rates whenever in the opinion of the Philippine
Prices | February 17, 1933 | Vickers, J. FACTS: On April 8, 1932, R. Railway Co. it would be to its advantage to do so because the
R. Hancock, vice-president and general manager of the Philippine legislature has not authorized such act.
Railway Co.(RESP), filed with the Public Service Commission a b. The rates of public services like the Philippine Railway Co.
petition to be allowed to “alter the freight rates of the Philippine have been approved or fixed by the Public Service Commission and
Railway Company on the Cebu and Panay Divisions whenever in our any change in such rates must be authorized or approved by the
judgment we find it necessary in order to meet the competition of Public Service Commission after they have been shown to be just and
road trucks and auto busses” in line with their previous request to be reasonable. Section 16 of the Public Service Commission prohibits
allowed to “alter our passenger rates at will”. any public service from exacting any unjustly discriminatory rate,
According to them(RESP), they need to be able to adjust and clearly, the commission cannot determine in advance whether or not
fix rates because freight, as well as passengers, is handled by road the new rates of the Philippine Railway Co, will be just and
trucks and auto busses without regard to any regulation or law; they reasonable, because it does not know what those rates will be since
run up and down the highways and into station grounds bargaining respondent company can change the rates at will.
for every piece of freight and every passenger. c. In the present case the Philippine Railway Co. in effect
The changes are based primarily on the railway rates. The asked for permission to change its freight rates at will. It may change
trucks simply go to a shipper and ask that what the railway charges, them every day or every hour, whenever it deems it necessary to do
and then offer to haul the freight at a few centavos less per bulto or so in order to meet competition or whenever in its opinion it would be
ton. to its advantage. Such a procedure would create a most
Because their rates are fixed they are left with no chance to unsatisfactory state of affairs and largely defeat the purposes of the
secure the freight and Railway Company is placed at a great public service law
disadvantage in not being able to bid for the business, and
consequently loses out whenever the road autos can charge a slightly KILUSANG MAYO UNO LABOR CENTER, petitioner,
lower rate. vs.
On June 28, 1932 the Panay Autobus Company filed its HON. JESUS B. GARCIA, JR., the LAND TRANSPORTATION
opposition to the applications of the Philippine Railway Co. on the FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD, and the PROVINCIAL
following grounds: o That the opponent company operates a bus BUS OPERATORS ASSOCIATION OF THE
service in the Island of Panay with the right and privilege to transport PHILIPPINES, respondents.
passengers and freight at schedule of rates fixed by this Honorable
Commission; o That the petition for flexible rates could not be
granted by this Honorable as it is against the fundamental principles FACTS:
of public utility regulation; o That the granting of a flexible rate will In 1990, DOTC Sec. Oscar Orbos issued Memo Circular to
work ruinous competition with other common carriers in the field"; LTFRB Chair Remedios Fernando to allow provincial bus to change
and passenger rates w/in a fare range of 15% above or below the LTFRB
On the same date asked for a rehearing on the ground that official rate for a 1yr. period. This is in line with the liberalization of
the decision was contrary to law and the fundamental principles of regulation in the transport sector which the government intends to
public utility regulation. implement and to make progress towards greater reliance on free
market forces.
ISSUE/S & RATIO: 1. WON Public Service Commission can
delegate to the Phil Railway Co. the power of altering its freight rates Fernando respectfully called attention of DOTC Sec. that the
– NO Public Service Act requires publication and notice to concerned
parties and public hearing. In Dec. 1990, Provincial Bus Operators
a. The Public Service Commission was not authorized by law Assoc. of the Phils. (PBOAP) filed an application for across the board
to delegate to the Philippine Railway Co. the power of altering its fare rate increase, which was granted by LTFRB. In 1992, then DOTC
freight rates whenever it should find it necessary to do so in order to Sec. Garcia issued a memo to LTFRB suggesting a swift action on
meet the competition of road trucks and autobuses, or to change its adoption of procedures to implement the Department Order & to lay
freight rates at will, or to regard its present rates as maximum rates,
down deregulation policies. Pursuant to LTFRB Guideline, PBOAP, Doctrine: The present market value of the property is the ultimate
w/o benefit of public hearing announced a 20% fare rate increase. practical basis for determining the value of the investment upon
Petitioner Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) opposed the move and which to fix a rate which will produce a fair return.
filed a petition before LTFRB w/c was denied. Hence the instant
petition for certiorari w/ urgent prayer for a TRO, w/c was readily FACTS:
granted by the Supreme Court. 1. Petitioners are members of the Philippine Shipowners’ Association
ISSUE: Whether the authority granted by LTFB to provincial buses to and engaged in the operation of vessels in the Philippines.
set a fare range above existing authorized fare range is 2. By reason of a decrease in the volume of business handled by its
unconstitutional and invalid. members, it duly filed with the Public Utility Comissioner a
declaration that on and after May 1, 1920, it would make a 10%
HELD: increase in shipping rates above those allowed under Order No.
The grant of power by LTFRB of its delegated authority is 16 of the Board of Rate Regulation. The increase was allowed and
unconstitutional. The doctrine of Potestas delegate non became effective by an order of the Public Utility Commissioner.
delegari (what has been delegated cannot be delegated) is applicable 3. On account of low wages, there was a general strike of the
because a delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty to seamen and officers operating the vessels owned by the members
be performed by the delegate thru instrumentality of his own of the association and it became necessary to increase the wages
judgment. To delegate this power is a negation of the duty in violation paid to them, thereby increasing the operation expenses. Hence,
of the trust reposed in the delegate mandated to discharge such duty. the 10% increase previously approved was insufficient to meet the
Also, to give provincial buses the power to charge their fare rates will increase of the operating expenses.
result to a chaotic state of affairs ad this would leave the riding 4. On June 21, the association filed an amended declaration with
public at the mercy of transport operators who can increase their the Commissioner, praying for a further increase of 10% on
rates arbitrarily whenever it pleases or when they deem it necessary. freight rates over those established May 1, to the effect that from
July 20, it would make a 15% increase on the freight rates fixed
by Order No. 16.
5. The proposed 15% increase was suspended and a hearing was
Ynchausti Steamship Co. v. Public Utility Commissioner ( 1922) – ordered. The Commissioner approved increases for some
Johns, J. shipowners and denied to some on the basis of the operating
Plaintiff: Ynchausti Steamship Co. et al. accounts submitted by each owner.
6. Petitioner herein was among those whose request for increase was
Respondent: The Public Utility Commissioner and the Board of
o Evaluation of Commissioner on its account was based on
Concept: Fixing of Rates, Wages, Prices the original cost of the vessel instead of its present
value, and 5% per annum depreciation was allowed upon
Brief facts: Petitioners requested the Public Utility Commissioner to the original value as opposed to the cost of replacement.
increase the freight rates above those allowed by Order No. 16 of the 7. Petitioner appealed to the Board of Appeal under Sec. 30 of the
Board of Rate Regulation. The Commissioner denied its request based Public utility Act No. 2307. The Board affirmed the decision of the
on the value of the original cost of the vessel and their costs of Comissioner.
reproduction. Petitioners went to the SC to question the propriety of 8. Petitioners went to SC for review and argue that:
the basis of Commissioner’s decision, arguing that he should’ve used o There is no evidence to reasonably support the decision
the present value of the vessels which factor the depreciation costs o 5% depreciation is based on the original cost of the ship
and the present conditions in order to fix the rate. and not on the replacement
o Allowance of 10% per annum on the investment is based
on the original cost of the ship and not on its present
o That the average cost of repairs for the past 5 years the property at the time it is being used by the public, it becomes
shouldn’t be substituted for the actual cost of such repairs necessary to ascertain what value that is
9. Attorney-General agrees that it is error to base the o The value of the the property is to be determined as of the
reasonableness of the rates on the original cost. However, it time when the inquiry is made regarding the rates.
appears that Commissioner only had 2 data upon which to base a -A public utility should have a fair and reasonable return upon its
rate: original cost and estimated cost. He couldn’t accept property which is used by the public and under modern
estimated costs because it was based on abnormal war prices and authorities, the rate is based upon the physical valuation of the
no evidence of the reasonable value was presented. Hence, he property, because in effect the property is both used and
accepted the original cost. It should be presumed that he was of consumed by the public.
the opinion that the original cost represented the fair value of the -When a public utility enters public service, it is no longer a free
property. agent and it becomes subject to reasonable rules and regulations
by the public once property becomes public utility, it amounts
ISSUE: to an actual taking and appropriation.
o Private property cannot be taken for public use without
WON it was proper for the Commissioner to base the rates on the just compensation being assessed and tendered.
original cost of the property as opposed to its present value. (NO) o But, where the taking is not full, final, or complete, but
is in the nature only of a continuous daily taking and
RATIO: appropriation, it must follow that there will be a
The present market value of the property is the ultimate fluctuation in the market value of the property during
practical basis for determining the value of the investment upon the period of the service, which as to the vessel, would
which to fix a rate which will produce a fair return. change with the cost of labor and material necessary for
-As the net earnings rule, there are 4 theories of ascertaining what its construction.
o In fixing the rate, it wouldn’t be fair to the public to base
constitutes a reasonable rate. Discussion of the following theories
it upon a peak cost, and for the same reason, it
was based on “Pond on Public Utilities” and various American
wouldn’t be fair to the owner of the property to place it
upon a minimum cost.
1. Original Cost- the value of the original cost of the property
o A just rate must be founded upon conditions which are
should only be considered for the purpose of determining its
fair and reasonable both to the owner and the public.
present value.
-The vessel here is deemed taken and condemned by the public at
2. Cost of Reproduction-the test would lead to obviously incorrect
the time of the filing of the petition, and the rate should go up
results if the cost of reproduction is not diminished by the
and down as the physical valuation of the vessel goes up and
depreciation which has come from the age and use. (City of
down, and the purpose of the hearing is to place a physical
Knowxville vs Knoxville Water Co)
valuation upon the vessel and base a reasonable rate upon that
3. Outstanding Capitlization- capitalization of the earnings will not
lead to correct results because it implies a continuance of earnings,
-Hence, the original cost of the vessel is not the basis of the
and a continuance of earnings rests upon a franchise to operate.
valuation and is not important, except in so far as it may enable
(National Waterworks Co. v. Kansas City)
to Commissioner to determine the present value of the vessel.
4. Present Value- this is the ultimate practical basis for
-The original cost of the vessel Venus was P115k, while its
determining the value of the investment upon which to fix a rate
estimate cost of reproduction was P409,446.03. The original cost
while will produce a fair return. Valuation should be made
of Vizcaya was P120k while its estimate cost of reproduction was
contemporaneous with the fixing of the rate,
P533, 318. 73. The differences of these figures are strong evidence
o There must be a fair return upon the reasonable value of of the existence of abnormal conditions (only 18 months after
the property at the time it is being used for the public peace was declared after the World War). Hence, these values
(Willcox v. Consolidated Gas Co) cannot be used to determine the rate which would be fixed
Des Moines Water Co v. City of Des Moines: In order to because it would be unfair to both the public and the owner.
determine the rate of return upon which the reasonable value of
-Although it may be true that petitioner wasn’t able to submit 2. Accordingly, it secured a certificate of public convenience from
evidence to the Commissioner regarding the present value of the the Public Service Commission (PSC) to render light, heat, and/or
vessels under normal conditioners, such failure wouldn’t justify power services in the said province on May 31, 1950.
the act of the Commissioner of basing it on its original costs. This 3. On May 22, 1957, it entered into a contract for the purchase of
was a prejudicial and legal error. He should have required them electric power and energy from the National power Corporation for
to furnish further proof. its resale.
-Having said that, the rate to be imposed based on the value of 4. 5 years later, PSC advised Vigan Electric of a conference to be
the property rests in the discretion of the Commissioner and the held for the purpose of revising its authorized rates. Thereafter,
court isn’t in the position to interfere with such decision. Vigan Electric received a letter of PSC, informing it of an alleged
letter-petition of “Congressman Floro Crisolog and 107 alleged
DISPOSITIVE: Petition GRANTED. Order of the Commissioner residents of Vigan, Ilocos Sur” and asked it to comment on these
reverse and case is remanded with directions to the Commissioner to charges. The said letter charged the ff:
require and take proof of the present value of the vessel. With that o That the sale of 2000 electric meters in the black market
value, he must fix a reasonable return on the investment and also the by Vigan Electric to Avegon Co. is anomalous and illegal.
depreciation percentage. Said meters were imported from Japan by Vigan Electric
in behalf of its consumers. Vigan Electric has
commercialized these privileges which properly belong to
Vigan Electric Light Co.,Inc. v. Public Service Commission (1964) – the people.
Concepcion, J. o That the electric meters in Vigan had been installed in bad
Plaintiff: Vigan Electric Light Company, Inc. faith and they registered excessive rates much more than
Respondent: The Public Service Commission the actual consumption.
5. Vigan Electric denied all of these allegations.
Concept: Fixing of Rates, Wages, Prices
6. Afterwards, it received a communication from the General
Auditing Office of PSC, notifying it that a Cesar Damole had been
Brief Facts: The PSC issued an order which decreased the rates instructed to make an audit and examination of the books and
imposed by Vigan Electric upon the finding that it made a profit in other records of account of Vigan Electric under the provisions of
excess of 12% of its invested capital. Said order was issued without Commonwealth Act 325 and in accordance with the request of the
prior notice and hearing. It claims that it issued the order pursuant PSC.
to its delegated legislative authority therefore, such notice and 7. PSC issued a subpoena duces tecum requiring Vigan Electric to
hearing aren’t required. Vigan Electric questions its validity. produce, during a conference scheduled for April 10, 1962,
certain books of account and financial statements.
Doctrine: A modification of such rates cannot be made, over Vigan o Vigan Electric moved to quash the subpoena but wasn’t
Electric’s objection, without such notice and hearing, considering acted upon in the said conference.
that the factual basis of the action taken by PSC is assailed. Said o The next conference was postponed to May 21, 1962 but
order, having been issued without previous notice and hearing, is was subsequently cancelled. The Motion to Quash was
violative of the due process clause and is therefore null and void. granted.
8. On May 17, PSC issued an ordered which contained the following
o From the audit report of the General Auditing Office, it
1. On June 19, 1948, RA 316 was approved, granting Vigan Electric was found that based on the total invested capital of Vigan
Light Company a franchise to construct, maintain, and operate Electric, it was entitled to the return of about P118,
an electric light heat and/or power plant for the purpose of 132.55 and its net operating income of P53,692.34 which
generating and distributing light, heat, and/or power, for sale in is the basis for the rates, represents 45.45% of its invested
the municipalities of Ilocos Sur. capital.
o That in order to earn 12% per annum which is the -Vigan Electric is entitled to cross-examine the maker of said
allowable rate of return, it should have a computed report, and to introduce evidence to disprove the contents thereof
revenue by rates of P182, 012.78. and/or explain or complement the same, as well as to refute the
o Since it earned an actual revenue of P221, 529.17, it had conclusion drawn therefrom by PSC.
an excess of revenue of P39, 516.39 which is 17.84% if the -In making the finding of fact, PSC performed a function
actual revenue and 33.45% of the invested capital. partaking of a quasi-judicial character, the valid exercise of which
o In other words, the present rates of Vigan Electric may be demands previous notice and hearing as required by Sections 16
reduced by 18%. Since its net operating profit is in excess (c) and 20 (a) of Commonwealth Act 146.
of the allowable return of 12% on its invested capital, in o Sec 16 (c): Commission may in its discretion, approve
consonance with Sec. 3 of RA 3043, the reduction of 18% rates proposed by public services provisionally and
of its current rates was ordered. without necessity of hearing; but it shall call a hearing
o Minimum charge: P4.90/month for connection of 200 thereon within 30 days thereafter, upon publication and
watts or less plus P0.01 per watt per month for connection notice.
in excess of 200 watts. o Sec 20 (a): Commission shall approve only those that are
9. Vigan Electric instituted the present action for certiorari to just and reasonable… only upon reasonable notice to the
annul the order on the grounds that since its inception on public services and other parties concerned, giving them a
1962, it was never able to give and never made a single reasonable opportunity to be heard.
dividend to its stockholders because from 1949-1961, it -A modification of such rates cannot be made, over Vigan
suffered a loss of P113, 351.521; that PSC had never Electric’s objection, without such notice and hearing, considering
furnished it a copy of the letter-petition; that it objected to the that the factual basis of the action taken by PSC is assailed.
reduction of the rates without a hearing, alleging that its rates -Said order, having been issued without previous notice and
could be reduced only if proven by evidence validly adduced to hearing, is violative of the due process clause and is therefore null
be excessive; that the order had been issued without notice and void.
and hearing.
10. By way of defense, PSC alleged that the order was issued
under its delegated legislative authority, the exercise of which Dispositive: Petition GRANTED.
doesn’t require previous notice and hearing.
G.R. No. 84818 December 18, 1989 PHILIPPINE COMMUNICATIONS
WON the order of the PSC which reduced the rates of Vigan Electric COMMISSION, respondents.
by 18% and which was issued without conducting a hearing was
valid. (NO)
Facts: The petition before us seeks to annul and set aside an Order 1
RATIO: issued by respondent Commissioner Jose Luis Alcuaz of the National
PSC issued the said order under its delegated quasi-judicial Telecommunications Commission
authority hence, a previous notice and hearing are required for
it to be valid. Herein petitioner is engaged in providing for services involving
-Although the rule-making power and the power to fix rates (when telecommunications. Charging rates for certain specified lines that
such rules are meant to apply to all enterprises of a given were reduced by order of herein respondent Jose
throughout the Philippines) may partake of a legislative character, AlcuazCommissioner of the National Telecommunications
such isn’t the nature of the order complained of. Commission. The rates were ordered to be reduced by fifteen percent
-It applies only the Vigan Electric exclusively and is predicated (15%) due to Executive Order No. 546 which granted the NTC the
upon a finding of fact that it is making a profit of more than 12% power to fix rates. Said order was issued without prior notice and
of its invested capital, which it denies. hearing.
fees, charges, and rates as may be fixed in accordance with law.
Under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 5514, petitioner was exempt Herein respondents are the users, lessees and occupants of
from the jurisdiction of the then Public Service Commission, now petitioners properties, facilities, and services.
respondent NTC. However, pursuant to Executive Order No. 196 The schedule of aggregate dues collectible for the use of
issued on June 17, 1987, petitioner was placed under the petitioners properties, facilities, and services are divided into:
jurisdiction, control and regulation of respondent NTC (1) aeronautical fees; (2) rentals; (3) business concessions; (4) other
airport fees and charges; and (5) utilities

Issue: Whether or Not E.O. 546 is unconstitutional. petitioner issued Resolution No. 97-51[3] announcing an increase in
the rentals of its terminal buildings, VIP lounge, other airport
buildings and land, as well as check-in and concessions
Held: In Vigan Electric Light Co., Inc. vs. Public Service Commission counters. Business concessions, particularly concessionaire privilege
the Supreme Court said that although the rule-making power and fees, were also increased
even the power to fix rates- when such rules and/or rates are meant
to apply to all enterprises of a given kind throughout the Philippines- petitioner issued Resolution No. 97-51[3] announcing an increase in
may partake of a legislative character. Respondent Alcuaz no doubt the rentals of its terminal buildings, VIP lounge, other airport
contains all the attributes of a quasi-judicial adjudication. Foremost buildings and land, as well as check-in and concessions
is the fact that said order pertains exclusively to petitioner and to no counters. Business concessions, particularly concessionaire privilege
other fees, were also increased
The respondent admits that the questioned order was issued ISSUE: petitioner MIAA validly raise without prior notice and public
pursuant to its quasi-judicial functions. It, however, insists that hearing the fees, charges, and rates subject of its Resolutions Nos.
notice and hearing are not necessary since the assailed order is 98-30 and 99-11?
merely incidental to the entire proceedings and, therefore, temporary
in nature but the supreme court said that While respondents may fix HELD: under the original Charter of the MIAA, petitioner was given
a temporary rate pending final determination of the application of blanket authority to adjust its fees, charges, and rates. However, E.O.
petitioner, such rate-fixing order, temporary though it may be, is not No. 903 limited such authority to a mere recommendatory power.
exempt from the statutory procedural requirements of notice and Hence, petitioners Charter itself, as amended, directly vests the
hearing power to determine revision of fees, charges, and rates in the ministry
head and even requires approval of the Cabinet.
The Supreme Court Said that it is clear that with regard to rate-
fixing, respondent has no authority to make such order without first its Charter established MIAA as an attached agency of the Ministry
giving petitioner a hearing, whether the order be temporary or of Transportation and Communications (now Department of
permanent. In the Case at bar the NTC didn’t scheduled hearing nor Transportation and Communications). Hence, the ministry head who
it did give any notice to the petitioner has the power to determine the revision of fees, charges, and rates of
the MIAA is now the DOTC Secretary. Clearly, petitioner has no
authority to increase its fees, charges, or rates as the power to do so
is vested solely in the DOTC Secretary, although petitioners
MIAA v. AIRSPAIN CORP prerogative to recommend possible increases thereon is of course
FACTS: Petitioner Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA)
is a government-owned and controlled corporation created on March
4, 1982, by Executive Order No. 778. It owns, operates, and manages GONZALO SY, doing business under the name and style of
the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Petitioners properties, GONZALO SY TRADING, petitioner-appellant, vs. CENTRAL BANK
facilities, and services are available for public use subject to such
OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent-appellee (1976; J. Martin; GR stating that the authority granted to them was only for the
No. L-41480) Christmas Season of 1968, and does not extend to 1969.

FACTS: Gonzalo Sy Trading (GST) is engaged in the business of Two days after or on Nov. 2, 1969, however, the Director of the
importation of fresh fruits. On Sept. 28, 1968, it wrote to the Deputy Foreign Exchange Dept. sent a letter to Prudential Bank allowing the
Governor of the Central Bank (CB) requesting authority to import latter to continue issuing release certificates in favor of GST since the
fresh fruits from Japan on “no-dollar” basis in the total amount of grant given to the latter had not yet been exhausted. This, however,
US$715,000.00. was subject to the same terms and conditions provided for by
the Central Bank.* (see Ratio)
The Executive Asst. to the Deputy Gov. denied the request, so GST
sent another letter to the Monetary Board of the CB requesting for an Then, on April 17, 1970, the Assistant to the Governor informed
authority to import on no Letter of Credit basis, or for the issuance of Prudential Bank that the authority granted to GST under MB
a Special Import Permit for the amount of US$715,000.00 to enable Resolution No. 2038 was intended only for the Christmas season of
GST to import fresh fruits during the Christmas Season. (NOTE: In 1968 and does not extend through 1969.
GST’s letter, it said that the purpose for the request was so that it
could serve its customers better during the Christmas Season for the On May 27, 1970, GST notified the Assistant that the Prudential
year 1968.) Bank refused to issue them any release certificate for their
importations due to his letter of April 17, 1970. On June 3, 1970,
The Monetary Board issued Resolution No. 2083 approving GST’s GST sent a follow-up letter to the Assistant reiterating "our request
request, thus: for a reconsideration on the matter and to allow us utilize the
The Board, by unanimous vote, authorized Gonzalo Sy Trading balance of our Permit in the amount of $35,857.49." In the same
to import on a no- dollar basis, without letters of credit, fresh letter, GST advised that "we have shipments coming on June 4th and
fruits from Japan valued at $35000.00, subject to the special June 6th respectively which is within the balance of our permit."
time deposit of 100% which shall be held by the bank
concerned for a period of 120 days as well as to the normal On June 10, 1970, the Deputy Governor wrote GST that its
customs duties and taxes. It is understood that there shall be request cannot be given due course, inviting attention to the
no commitment on the part of the Central Bank to provide basic letter of November 19, 1969, informing it that the Special
foreign exchange to cover the said importation. Import Permit was intended only for the Christmas season of
1968 and does not extend through 1969.
GST sent another latter to the then Chairman of the Monetary Board
requesting that they be allowed to put up 20% time deposit for 120 Finally in the year 1970, the Collector of Customs issued warrants of
days instead of 100%. Such request was denied. seizure and detention against several importations of GST for being
violative of Central Bank Circular 239 in relation to Section 2530 (f)
GST then made its importations where Prudential Bank acted as the of the Tariff and Customs Code.
agent for the Central Bank in the issuance of the corresponding
release certificates for the entry of goods. By the beginning of June, On Sept. 21, 1970, GST instituted before the CFI of Manila a petition
1970, the total amount used out of the $350,000.00 Special for mandamus with damages. Judge Alikpala dismissed the
Import Permit was already $314,142.51, leaving a balance of complaint for mandamus with damages and ordered the Collector of
$35,857.49. Customs to proceed with the seizure proceedings. From this adverse
judgment, GST appealed to the CA, but the latter certified the case to
As early as Oct. 30, 1969, GST requested for an amendment such the SC as involving only pure questions of law.
that they be allowed to import from other countries other than
communist ones. This request was denied by the Deputy Governor
ISSUE: WON GST’s Special Import Permit had already expired when  The equitable principle of estoppel forbids GST from taking an
it made the importations which were seized by the Central Bank inconsistent position now and claim that the permit extends
beyond the period it itself asked for. Where conduct or
RULING: YES, PETITION DENIED. Their permit was only for a limited representation has induced another to change its position in
period  Christmas Season of 1968 and it does not extend up to good faith or the same is such that reasonable man would rely
1969 and 1970. thereon, the consequences of such conduct or representation
cannot later on be disowned.

 A license or a permit is not a contract between the sovereignty

and the licensee, and it is not property in any constitutional  The doctrine of promissory estoppel was here invoked by GST
sense, hence the non-impairment of contracts doctrine cannot pointing to the letter issued by the Director of Foreign
apply. Exchange.* (see Facts) On the contrary, while the letter
advised the agent bank that it may continue issuing release
certificates to cover petitioner-appellant's "no-dollar"
 A license is in the nature of a special privilege, of a permission importations of fresh fruits, it at the same time subjects the
or authority to do what is within its terms. It is not absolute, issuance of release certificates "to the same terms and
and a license granted by the State is always revocable. The conditions imposed by the Monetary board" on the Special
absence of an expiry date does not make the license Import Permit, one of which is the resolutory term of 1968.
 The SC, held, however, that a promise cannot, by itself, be the
 The Special Import Permit covers only the Christmas Season basis of estoppel without any justifiable reliance or irreparable
of 1968. In the application of GST, it made manifest that the detriment to the promisee. The latter element is lacking in this
reason for its application was so that it could cope with the case. The letter referred to specifically mentioned that it was
demands of its buyers during the Christmas Season of 1968. subject to the existing terms imposed by the Monetary Board.
In effect, it was GST itself which furnished the period for the Moreover, the Director could not have modified the Special
permit, and should only subsist within such period. The Permit since it was not given the authority to do so, as in fact
omission of an expiry date in the Special Import Permit affords it was the Monetary Board who issued it and only the latter
no legal basis for GST to conclude that the said permit is has the power to modify it.
impressed with continuous validity, i.e., not merely limited to
the Christmas season of 1968.
 Even assuming arguendo, however, that the aforementioned
letter really tended to impress that further importations could
 GST mistakenly asserts that the continuous validity of its be made, still the doctrine of estoppel cannot apply, as it does
Special Import Permit has already been passed upon by this not operate against the Government. The Government is never
Court in Commissioner of Customs v. Alikpala. What was estopped by the errors of its agents (in this case, the Monetary
raised in that case is the question of whether the Collector of Board).
Customs for the Port of Manila has observed the rediments of
administrative due process in ordering the seizure and sale at
public auction of GST's imported goods in particular that  The authority of the CB to regulate "no-dollar" imports, owing
arrived in June, 1970, as well as the question of the legality of to the influence and effect that the same may exert upon the
the Collector's order requiring only cash bond, surety bond stability of our peso and its international value, emanates
not accepted, for the release of the goods. The Court made no from its broad powers to maintain our monetary stability and
ruling on the continuity of GST's Special Import Permit after to preserve the international value of our currency as well as
the Christmas season of 1968. its corollary power to issue such rules and regulations for the
effective discharge of its responsibilities and exercise of
The petitioner draws its subpoena power in EO No. 4 and the
enabling law fixes no distinction when and in what function the
subpoena power should be exercised. The Court finds no reason to
Evangelista v. Jarencio depart from the established rule, ubi lex non distinguit nec nos
November 27, 1975 distinguere debemos.
Martin, J.: Nor could the court find merit in the argument that the subpoena
power granted by Section 580 of the Revised Administrative Code is
Doctrine: Administrative may enforce subpoenas issued in the restricted under the Rules of Court to abridge its application. The
course of investigations, whether or not adjudication is involved, and Rules of Court require that the subpoena may be issued only when a
whether or not probable cause is shown and even before the issuance specific case is pending before a court for hearing or trial and that
of a complaint. It is not necessary, as in the case of a warrant, that a the hearing or trial must be in connection with the exercise of the
specific charge or complaint of violation of law be pending or that the court’s judicial or adjudicatory functions before a non-judicial
order be made pursuant to one. It is enough that the investigation be subpoena can be issued. However, a distinction must be made that
for a lawfully authorized purpose. an administrative subpoena differs in essence from a judicial
Facts: subpoena. To an extent, the restrictions and qualifications referred to
The President of the Philippines under Executive Order No. 4 of in Section 580 of the RAC could mean that the restraints against
January 7, 1966 created the Presidential Agency on Reforms and infringement of constitutional rights or when the subpoena is
Government Operations (PARGO). He charged the agency with the unreasonable or oppressive and when the relevancy of the books,
responsibility to investigate all activities involving or affecting documents or things does not appear.
immoral practices, graft and corruption, smuggling, lawlessness, Administrative may enforce subpoenas issued in the course of
subversion, and all other activities which are prejudicial to the investigations, whether or not adjudication is involved, and whether
government. or not probable cause is shown and even before the issuance of a
The President vested in the Agency all the powers of an investigating complaint. It is not necessary, as in the case of a warrant, that a
committee including the power to summon witnesses by subpoena or specific charge or complaint of violation of law be pending or that the
subpoena duces tecum, administer oaths, take testimony or evidence order be made pursuant to one. It is enough that the investigation be
relevant to the investigation. for a lawfully authorized purpose. The purpose of the subpoena is to
On June 7, 1968, pursuant to the powers vested in the Agency, discover evidence, not to prove a pending charge, but upon which to
petitioner Quirico Evangelista as Undersecretary of the agency, make one if the discovered evidence so justifies. The administrative
issued to respondent Fernando Manalastas, then Acting City Public agency has the power of inquisition which is not dependent upon a
Service Officer of Manila, a subpoena ad testificandum commanding case or controversy in order to get evidence but can investigate
him to be and appear as witness at the office of the PARGO. Instead merely on suspicion that the law is being violated or even just
of obeying the subpoena, Manalastas filed a Petition for prohibition because it wants assurance that it is not.
and/or injunction with preliminary injunction and/or restraining The subpoena meets the requirements for enforcement if the inquiry
order which was granted by the CFI of Manila, hence, this petition. is:
Issue / Held: 1. Within the authority of the agency;
WON the Agency enjoys the authority to issue subpoenas in its 2. The demand is not too indefinite; and
conduct of fact-finding investigations. YES. Manalastas lost. 3. The information is reasonably relevant.
Ratio: For the case at bar, the anomalous transaction in question fall within
the authority of the Agency, and that the information sought to be
An administrative agency may be authorized to make investigations,
elicited from Manalastas is reasonably relevant to the investigations.
not only in proceedings of a legislative or judicial nature, but also in
proceedings whose sole purpose is to obtain information upon which The court is not unmindful that the privilege against self-
future action of a legislative or judicial nature may be taken and may incrimination extends in administrative investigations. However, the
require the attendance of witnesses in proceedings of a purely court finds that in the present case, Manalastas is not facing any
investigatory nature. administrative charge. He is merely cited as a witness in connection
with the fact-finding investigation of anomalies and irregularities in of ballot boxes; and which article likewise tended to degrade, bring
the City Government of Manila with the object of submitting the into disrepute, and undermine the exclusive constitutional function of
assembled facts to the President or to file the corresponding charges. this Commission and its Chairman
Since, the only purpose of the investigation is to discover facts, any Petitioner, filed a motion to quash on the following ground that the
unnecessary extension of the privilege would thus be unwise. Commission has no jurisdiction to punish as contempt the publication
The respondents would also challenge the constitutionality of EO No. of the alleged contemptuous article, as neither in the Constitution nor
4 collaterally. However, the constitutionality of executive orders in statutes is the Commission granted a power to so punish the same.
cannot be collaterally impeached. Much more when the issue was not
duly pleaded in the court below as to be acceptable for adjudication ISSUE:
Whether or not the COMELEC has the power and jurisdiction
WHEREFORE, Order of respondent Judge is SET ASIDE. to conduct contempt proceedings against Guevara in connection with
Fernando, J., Concurring: the publication of an article.
United States c. Morton Salt Co., penned by Justice Jackson, “It is
sufficient if the inquiry is within the authority of the agency, the RULING:
demand is not too indefinite and the information sought is
reasonably relevant.” Although the negotiation conducted by the Commission has
resulted in controversy between several dealers, that however merely
Moreover, Justice Fernando states that “if he [Manalastas] could refers to a ministerial duty which the Commission has performed in its
demonstrate a failure to abide by the constitutional mandate on administrative capacity. It only discharged a ministerial duty; it did not
search and seizure, he is not without a remedy.” exercise any judicial function. Such being the case, it could not
Teehankee, J., Dissenting: exercise the power to punish for contempt as postulated in the law, for
While the subpoena commands Manalastas to appear as witness it is such power is inherently judicial in nature. As this Court has aptly
a fact shown by the very petition at bar that the respondent is in fact said: "The power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts; its
and for all intents and purposes subpoenaed as a respondent or one existence is essential to the preservation of order in judicial
directly implicated with alleged bribery and graft in the said sworn proceedings, and to the enforcement of judgments, orders and
statements. mandates of courts, and, consequently, in the administration of
Therefore, respondent correctly invoked, Cabal vs. Kapunan, wherein justice". We are therefore persuaded to conclude that the Commission
the court through C.J. Concepcion held that therein petitioner on Elections has no power nor authority to submit petitioner to
rightfully refused to take the witness stand against the Presidential contempt proceedings if its purpose is to discipline him because of the
Committee investigating since such proceedings were in substance publication of the article mentioned in the charge under consideration.
and effect a criminal one, and that his position is virtually that of an
accused and he therefore had the right to remain silent and invoke Qua Chee Gan vs Deportation Board
the privilege against self-incrimination. Pascual, Jr. v. Board of G.R. No. 10280, September 30, 1963
Examiners, is also in point where the accused has the right to refuse
not only to answer incriminatory questions, but also to take the
witness stand. FACTS:
The Court of First Instance denied the petition for writs of habeas
corpus, mandamus and certiorari by the petitioners.
JOSE L. GUEVARA vs. COMELEC On May 12, 1952, Special Prosecutor Emilio L. Galang charged
G.R. No. L-12596 July 31, 1958 petitioner before the Deportation Board. The crimes:
FACTS: •Purchasing $130,000 with license from Central Bank and remitted it
Guevara was ordered by the COMELEC to show cause why he to Hong Kong
should not be punished for contempt for having published in the •Attempted bribery of Phil and US officials.
newspaper an article which tended to interfere with and influence the In effect, Deportation Board issued a warrant of arrest for petitioner
COMELEC awarding the contracts for the manufacture and supply
(E.O. No 398, series of 1951). Upon fixing of bonds, petitioner was
temporarily set free. The lower Court granted his request and the hearing was set anew for January
25, 1966 at 8:30 A.M. On January 21, 1966, respondent official filed his return to
ISSUE/S: the writ of habeas corpus. In respondent’s written return, it is stated
Whether or not the Deportation Board also has authority to file :1. That petitioner is not a Filipino citizen but a Chinese subject
warrants of arrest. whose real name is Ong Hiong King.
2. That petitioner illegally entered this country from Hongkong and
HELD: was detained by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by the
Commissioner of Immigration.
Yes but only after investigation has resulted to the actual order of
deportation. Arrest would have been necessary for deportation to take 3. That deportation proceeding against petitioner was pending hearing before the
effect. However, in the case at bar, investigations were still ongoing Board of Special Inquiry.
and no order for deportation was yet made. Decision: E.O. No 398, 4. That petitioner had confessed that he was an illegal
series of 1951: declared illegal entrant to this country.
Deportation may be effected in 2 ways: 5. That based on his own application for registration with the
1. by order of President, after due investigation, pursuant to Section Philippine Consulate General in Hongkong for documentation as a
69 of the RAC Filipino, it is evident that petitioner is a Chinese because, even if he was
2. by Commissioner of Immigration, upon recommendation by the born of a Filipino mother and a Chinese father, his election of Filipino citizenship
Board of Commissioners under Section 37 of Commonwealth Act No. was made much too late and thus he was in estoppel to claim or elect Filipino
613 citizenship.
Crime was an act profiteering, hoarding or blackmarketing of US 6. That the lower Court is without jurisdiction because the subject matter of the
dollars. action
Santos — the deportation of petitioner — is vested by law upon the Board
of Commissioners
after due hearing and determination of the existence of grounds for deportation.
7. And that petitioner failed to exhaust available administrative
Santos vs. Commissioner remedies.
74 SCRA 96 (1976)

The lower court, however, without passing on the question of citizenship, ordered
FACTS: the release of petitioner upon posting a bond of P5,000 to insure his appearance
This case involves the application for habeas corpus filed by petitioner who was at the deportation hearing when ordered to do so. This order was appealed to the
detained under a warrant of arrest issued by respondent on the ground of his Supreme Court.
being a Chinese citizen who entered the country illegally. Petitioner denied such ISSUE:
assertion that he was an alien in his petition. Respondent official could order the Whether or not the respondent could order the arrest of an alien only after there is
arrest of an alien only after "there is already an order of deportation." Such was already an order of deportation?
not the case here as admitted in the brief of respondent.

On January 18, 1966, the lower Court issued a writ of habeas corpus
commanding the Commissioner of Immigration to produce before it. on January The SC ruled that the appeal cannot prosper. At the time of the challenged order
19, 1966 at 8:30 A.M. the person of Lucio Santos; to explain under what (the release the petitioner), the deportation proceeding was still pending.
circumstances he was arrested and is being detained; and to show cause why he Moreover, the release was provisional. The order of the lower court dated
should not be set at liberty. On the scheduled day, respondent Commissioner February 5, 1966 is affirmed with no costs.
asked the lower Court for three days within which to submit his written return.
1. The question that had to be decided in Qua Chee Gan was whether the HELD:
power of the President to conduct an investigation leading to deportation carries Yes. The arrest of petitioners was based on the probable cause
with it the authority to order an arrest. It was answered in the negative. Thus: determined after close surveillance of 3 months. The existence of
"Under the express terms of our Constitution, it is therefore, even doubtful probable cause justified the arrest and seizure of articles linked to
whether the arrest of an individual may be ordered by any authority other than the offense. The articles were seized as an incident to a lawful arrest;
the judge if the purpose is merely to determine the existence of a probable therefore the articles are admissible evidences.
cause, leading to an administrative investigation. The Constitution does not The deportation charges instituted by the Commissioner of
distinguish between warrants in a criminal case and administrative warrants in Immigration are in accordance with the Philippine Immigration Act of
administrative proceedings. And, if one suspected of having committed a crime 1940, provides that aliens shall be arrested and deported
is entitled to a determination of the probable cause against him, by a judge, upon warrant after a determination of the existence of a ground for
why should one suspected of a violation of an administrative nature deserve less deportation against them.
guarantee? Of course it is different if the order of arrest is issued to CARRY The state has the inherent power to exclude aliens from its territory
OUT a FINAL FINDING of a VIOLATION, either by an executive or legislative upon such grounds as it may deem proper for its self-preservation or
officer or agency duly authorized for the purpose, as then the warrant is NOT that public interest. The power to deport aliens is an act of State, an act
mentioned in the Constitution done by or under the authority of the sovereign power. It is a police
which is issuable only on probable cause. measure against undesirable aliens whose continued presence in the
country is found to be injurious to the public good and the domestic
tranquility of the people. Particularly so in this case where the State
HARVEY VS DEFENSOR- SANTIAGO (1988) has expressly committed itself to defend the right of children to
[162 SCRA 840; G.R. NO. 82544; 28 June 1988] Constitutional assistance and special protection from all forms of neglect, abuse,
Law| Bill of Rights| Deportation| cruelty, exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to their
American nationals Andrew Harvey, 52 and John Sherman 72, Dutch Lucien Tran Van Nghia vs. Liwag
Citizen Adrian Van Den Elshout, 58, and 19 other foreigners residing 175 SCRA 318 (1989)
at Pagsanjan, Laguna were apprehended at their residences. The
―Operation Report of the Commissioner of Immigration and FACTS:
Deportation (CID) read that Harvey, Sherman and Van Den Elshout, A complaint was filed with the Commission of Immigration and
et. al. were suspected pedophiles. Deportation against petitioner alleging that the French national is an
Andrew Harvey was found together with two young boys. Richard undesirable alien for “committing acts inimical to public safety and
Sherman was found with two naked boys inside his room. While Van progress.” Respondent CID commissioner issued a warrant of arrest
Den Elshout in the ―after Mission Report read that two children of against petitioner after the latter twice refused to go to the CID
ages 14 and 16 has been under his care and living with him. headquarters for verification of his status.
Seized during their apprehension were rolls of photo negatives and ISSUE(S):
photos of suspected child prostitutes shown in scandalous poses as Whether or not the warrant of arrest issued and petitioner’s
well as boys and girls engaged in sex. Posters and other literature subsequent arrest were valid and legal.
advertising the child prostitutes were also found.
The petitioners were apprehended after close surveillance for 3 month RULING:
of the CID. NO. Petitioner was “invited” by a combined team of CID agents and
police officers at his apartment unit on the strength of a mission
Deportation proceedings were then instituted against and warrants of order issued by the Commissioner on Immigration based on a
arrest were issued for violation of the Immigration Act. sworn complaint of a single individual. The essential requisite of
ISSUE: probable cause was conspicuously absent.
Whether deportation proceedings and warrants of arrest issued are Petition is DISMISSED.
Moreover, the search and seizure order in question, assuming, ex
Salazar vs Achacoso gratia argumenti, that it was validly issued, is clearly in the nature of
183 SCRA 145 (1990) a general warrant. We have held that a warrant must identify clearly
the things to be seized, otherwise, it is null and void
FACTS: This concerns the validity of the power of the Secretary of For the guidance of the bench and the bar, we reaffirm the following
Labor to issue warrants of arrest and seizure under Article 38 of the principles:
Labor Code, prohibiting illegal recruitment. 1. Under Article III, Section 2, of the l987 Constitution, it is only
On October 21, 1987, Rosalie Tesoro filed with the POEA a complaint judges, and no other, who may issue warrants of arrest and
against petitioner. Having ascertained that the petitioner had no search:
license to operate a recruitment agency, public respondent 2. The exception is in cases of deportation of illegal and undesirable
Administrator Tomas D. Achacoso issued his challenged CLOSURE aliens, whom the President or the Commissioner of Immigration
AND SEIZURE ORDER. may order arrested, following a final order of deportation, for the
The POEA brought a team to the premises of Salazar to implement purpose of deportation.
the order. There it was found that petitioner was operating Hannalie
Dance Studio. Before entering the place, the team served said
Closure and Seizure order on a certain Mrs. Flora Salazar who Board of Commissioners (CID) vs. De La Rosa
voluntarily allowed them entry into the premises. Mrs. Flora Salazar 197 SCRA 853 (1991)
informed the team that Hannalie Dance Studio was accredited with
Moreman Development (Phil.). However, when required to show
credentials, she was unable to produce any. Inside the studio, the FACTS:
team chanced upon twelve talent performers — practicing a dance The then Secretary of Justice issued a memorandumdirecting the
number and saw about twenty more waiting outside, The team Board of Commissioners to review all cases where entry was allowed
confiscated assorted costumes which were duly receipted for by Mrs. on the ground that the entrant was a Philippine citizen, including
Asuncion Maguelan and witnessed by Mrs. Flora Salazar. that of respondents Gatchalian. Petitioner Board reversed the
decision of the Board of Special Inquiry admitting respondents
A few days after, petitioner filed a letter with the POEA demanding Gatchalian as Filipino citizens. Petitioner Commissioner of
the return of the confiscated properties. They alleged lack of hearing Immigration issued a mission order commanding the arrest of
and due process, and that since the house the POEA raided was a respondent William Gatchalian.
private residence, it was robbery.
On February 2, 1988, the petitioner filed this suit for prohibition. Whether or not the warrant of arrest issued by Commissioner of
Although the acts sought to be barred are already fait accompli, Immigration was valid.
thereby making prohibition too late, we consider the petition as one
for certiorari in view of the grave public interest involved. RULING:
NO. A warrant of arrest issued by the Commissioner of Immigration,
ISSUE: May the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (or to be valid, must be for the sole purpose of executing a final order of
the Secretary of Labor) validly issue warrants of search and seizure deportation. A warrant of arrest issued by the Commissioner of
(or arrest) under Article 38 of the Labor Code? Immigration for purposes of investigation only is null and void for
HELD: PETITION GRANTED. it is only a judge who may issue being unconstitutional. A reading of the mission order/warrant of
warrants of search and arrest. Neither may it be done by a mere arrest issued by the Commissioner of Immigration clearly indicates
prosecuting body. that the same was issued only for purposes of investigation of the
We reiterate that the Secretary of Labor, not being a judge, may no suspects, respondent Gatchalian included.
longer issue search or arrest warrants. Hence, the authorities must Petition is DISMISSED for lack of merit.
go through the judicial process. To that extent, we declare Article 38,
paragraph (c), of the Labor Code, unconstitutional and of no force
and effect.
c. IMPOSITION OF FINES AND PENALTIES whether the defined crime has been committed, and, if so, to inflict
2. Even though it be conceded that Congress may, in some cases,
OCEANIC STEAM NAVIGATION CO. v STRANAHAN impose penalties for the violation of a statutory duty, and provide
214 US 320; White; June 1, 1909 for their enforcement by civil suit instead of by criminal
prosecution, nevertheless that doctrine does not warrant the
Facts: conclusion that a penalty may be authorized, and its collection
committed to an administrative officer without the necessity of
- Oceanic Steam Navigation Co sought the recovery of money paid to
resorting to the judicial power. In all cases of penalty or
the collector of customs of the port of New York which was exacted
punishment, enforcement must depend upon the exertion of
by that official under an order of the Secretary of Commerce and
judicial power, either by civil or criminal process, since the
Labor. The findings of the court showed that the money was paid to
distinction between judicial and administrative functions cannot
the collector under protest, and involuntarily. It was established that
be preserved consistently with the recognition of an administrative
the company was coerced by the certainty that, if it did not pay, the
power to enforce a penalty without resort to judicial authority.
collector would refuse a clearance to its steamships plying between
New York City and foreign ports at periodical and definite sailings. 3. The fines which constituted the exactions were repugnant to
the 5th Amendment, because amounting to a taking of property
- Both the Secretary and collector were expressly authorized by law,
without due process of law, since, as asserted, the fines were
entitled “An Act to Regulate the Immigration of Aliens into the United
imposed, in some cases, without any previous notice, and in all
States”, enacted on March 3, 1903. Section 9 of said Act, under
cases without any adequate notice or opportunity to defend.
which the Secretary and collector acted, provides:
That it shall be unlawful for any person, including any
transportation company other than railway lines entering the Issue: WON the power conferred upon the named officials is consistent
United States from foreign contiguous territory, or the owner, with the Constitution
master, agent, or consignee of any vessel, to bring to the United
States any alien afflicted with a loathsome or with a dangerous Held: YES
contagious disease; and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the - The exaction which the section authorizes the Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Treasury [Secretary of Commerce and Labor] that and Labor to impose, when considered in the light afforded by the
any alien so brought to the United States was afflicted with such context of the statute, is clearly but a power given as a sanction to
a disease at the time of foreign embarkation, and that the the duty which the statute places on the owners of all vessels, to
existence of such disease might have been detected by means of subject all alien emigrants, prior to bringing them to the United
a competent medical examination at such time, such person or States, to medical examination at the point of embarkation, so as to
transportation company, or the master, agent, owner, or exclude those afflicted with the prohibited diseases. In other words,
consignee of any such vessel, shall pay to the collector of customs the power to impose the exaction which the statute confers on the
of the customs district in which the port of arrival is located the Secretary is lodged in that officer only when it results from the official
sum of one hundred dollars ($100) for each and every violation of medical examination at the point of arrival not only that an alien is
the provisions of this section; and no vessel shall be granted afflicted with one of the prohibited diseases, but that the stage of the
clearance papers while any such fine imposed upon it remains malady, as disclosed by the examination, establishes that the alien
unpaid, nor shall such fine be remitted. was suffering with the disease at the time of embarkation, and that
- Oceanic Steam argues that: such fact would have been then discovered had the medical
1. However complete may be the power of Congress to legislate examination been then made by the vessel or its owners, as the
concerning the exclusion of aliens, and to entrust the enforcement stature requires.
of legislation of that character to administrative officers, - The power thus lodged in the officers was intended to be exclusive
nevertheless the particular legislation here in question is and that its exertion was authorized as the result of the probative
repugnant to the Constitution because it defines a criminal offense, force attributed to the official medical examination for which the
and authorizes a purely administrative official to determine statute provides, and that the power to refuse clearance to vessels
was lodged for the express purpose of causing both the imposition of exclusively commit that subject to the medical officers for which
the exaction and its collection to be acts of administrative the statute provided.
competency, not requiring a resort to judicial power for their
- The report of the Senate committee on immigration is considered:
“Section 10 [which became Section 9] therefore imposes a penalty of
63 SCRA 524 ESGUERRA; APRIL 30, 1975
$100, to be imposed by the [Secretary of Commerce and Labor] for
each case brought to an American port, provided, in his judgment,
the disease might have been detected by means of medical Nature: Appeal from 2 resolutions of the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB)
examination at the port of embarkation. This sufficiently guards the
transportation lines from an unjust and hasty imposition of the Facts:
penalty, insures a careful observance of the law, and leaves in their
own hands the power to escape even a risk of the fine being imposed, - On May 12, 1970, PAL had an excess of 20 passengers from Baguio
since they can refuse to take on board even the most doubtful case to Manila who could not be accommodated in its regular flight. To
until certified by competent medical authority to be entirely cured.” accommodate these 20 passengers, PAL required the aircraft operating
Flight 213 (Tuguegarao to Manila) to pass Baguio on its way to Manila
- Court’s discussion on Oceanic Steam’s arguments: and pick up these passengers.
1. The various sections of the Act accurately distinguish between - Claiming that PAL should have first obtained the permission of the
those cases where it was intended that particular violations of the CAB before operating the flagstop and that such failure is a violation
Act should be considered as criminal and be punished accordingly, of RA 776, the CAB, through the first questioned resolution, imposed
and those where it was contemplated that violations should not a fine of P5000 upon PAL. Upon PAL’s MFR, the CAB, through the
constitute crime, but merely entail the infliction of penalty, second questioned resolution, reduced the fine to P2500. It also stated
enforceable in some cases by purely administrative action and in that “Public Act 4271, as amended, requires the grantee (of a legislative
others by civil suit. The sole purpose of Section 9 was to impose a franchise for air service), PAL Inc. to comply with the provisions of RA
penalty, based upon the medical examination for which the statute 776, and regulations promulgated thereunder from time to time.”
provided, thus tending, by the avoidance of controversy and delay,
to secure the efficient performance by the steamship company of - PAL claims that there is nothing in RA 776 which expressly empowers
the duty required by the statute, and thereby aid in carrying out the CAB to impose a fine and order its payment in the manner pursued
the policy of Congress. in this case. “The power and authority to impose fines and penalties is
a judicial function exercised through the regular courts of justice, and
2. The interference of the courts with the performance of the that such power and authority cannot be delegated to the CAB by mere
ordinary duties of the executive departments of the government implication or interpretation.”
would be productive of nothing but mischief.
- The legislation of Congress from the beginning has proceeded on
the conception that it was within the competency of Congress, Issue: WON the CAB has authority under the Civil Aeronautics Act to
when legislating as to matters exclusively within its control, to impose penalties
impose appropriate obligations, and sanction their enforcement by
reasonable money penalties, giving to executive officers the power Held: YES.
to enforce such penalties without the necessity of invoking the Ratio The CAB is empowered to impose administrative penalties or
judicial power. those violations punishable by a fine or civil penalty for violations of
3. Court did not think it necessary to entertain the controversy, its rules and regulations but no power to impose fines in the nature of
as it is evident that the statute unambiguously excludes the a criminal penalty.
conception that the steamship company was entitled to be heard, Reasoning RA 776 created the CAB and the CAA (Civil Aeronautics
in the sense of raising an issue and tendering evidence concerning Administration) so that in the exercise and performance of their powers
the condition of the alien immigrant upon arrival at the point of and duties, they shall consider among other things, “as being in the
disembarkation, as the plain purpose of the statute was to
public interest, and in accordance with the public convenience and - There exists but an insignificant doubt in Our mind that the C.A.B.
necessity” certain declared policies which include: is fully authorized by law (RA 776) to impose fines in the nature of civil
“… the regulation of air transportation in such manner as 'to recognize penalty for violations of its rules and regulations. To deprive the CAB
and preserve the inherent advantage of, assure the highest degree of of that power would amount to an absurd interpretation of the
safety in, and foster sound economic condition in, such transportation, pertinent legal provision because the CAB is given full power on its own
and to improve the relation between, and coordinate transportation by, initiative to determine whether to “impose, remit, mitigate, increase or
air carriers; compromise” “fines and civil penalties,” a power which is expressly
…to promote safety of flight in air commerce in the Philippines;” given to the CAA whose orders or decision may be reviewed, revised,
reversed, modified or affirmed by the CAB. Besides, to deprive the CAB
(Sec. 4, RA 776) of its power to impose civil penalties would negate its effective general
“… the general supervision and regulation of, and jurisdiction and supervision and control over air carriers if they can just disregard with
control over, air carriers as well as their property, property rights, impunity the rules and regulations designed to insure public safety
equipment, facilities, and franchise, in so far as may be necessary for and convenience in air transportation. If everytime the CAB would like
the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act” (Sec. 10 RA 776) to impose a civil penalty on an erring airline for violation of its rules
“… power to issue, deny, amend, revise, alter, modify, cancel, suspend and regulations it would have to resort to courts of justice in protracted
or revoke, in whole or in part, upon petition or complaint, or upon its litigations then it could not serve its purpose of exercising a competent,
own initiative, any temporary operating permit or Certificate of Public efficient and effective supervision and control over air carriers in their
Convenience and Necessity” (Sec. 10(c) (1) RA 776) vital role of rendering public service by affording safe and convenient
“…power to investigate, upon complaint or upon its own initiative, air transit.
whether any individual or air carrier, domestic or foreign, is violating - However, PAL committed the violation of the CAB regulation against
any provision of this act, or the rules and regulations issued flagstops without malice and with no deliberate intent to flout the
thereunder, and shall take such action, consistent with the provisions same. For this reason, the penalty imposed by the CAB may be
of this Act, as may be necessary to prevent further violation of such mitigated and reduced to a nominal sum.
provision, or rules and regulations so issued.” (Section 10(D) RA 776) Disposition Resolution appealed from is modified by reducing the
“…power to review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal any administrative fine imposed on the appellant PAL to P100.
administrative decision or order of the Civil Aeronautics Administrator
on matters pertaining to imposition of civil penalty or fine in connection
with the violation of any provision of this Act or rules and regulations
issued thereunder. It has the power also either on its own initiative or SCOTY'S DEPARTMENT STORE v MICALLER
upon review on appeal from an order or decision of the Civil 99 Phil 762; BAUTISTA ANGELO; August 25, 1956
Aeronautics Administrator, to determine whether to impose, remit,
mitigate, increase, or compromise, such fine and civil penalties, as the Nature: Petition for review
case may be. (Sec. 10(F) (G) RA 776)
“…power to impose fines and/or civil penalties and make compromise
in respect thereto is expressly given to the Civil Aeronautics
Administrator (Sec. 32(17) RA 776) - Nena Micaller was employed as a salesgirl in the Scoty's Dept Store
- The fine imposed on PAL by CAB is that fine or civil penalty - This store was owned and operated by Yu Ki Lam, Richard Yang, Yu
contemplated in the provisions of RA 776 and not a fine in the nature Si Kiao and Helen Yang. - Pursuant to section 5(b) of the Industrial
of a criminal penalty as contemplated in the RPC, because the “fine” in Peace Act, Nena Micaller filed charges of unfair labor practice against
this case was imposed by CAB because of PAL’s violation of CAB rules her above employers alleging that she was dismissed by them because
on flagstops without previous authority. The CAB explained in its of her membership in the National Labor Union and that, prior to her
resolution that the “imposition of the fine is not so much on exacting separation, said employers had been questioning their employees
penalty for the violation committed as the need to stress upon the air regarding their membership in said union and had interfered with their
carriers to desist from wanton disregard of existing rules, regulations right to organize under the law.
or requirements of the government regulating agency.”
- The employers denied the charge. They claim that the complainant above-named petitioners is not clear enough labor practice and the fine
was dismissed from the service because of her misconduct and serious imposed upon them is unjustified.
disrespect to the management and her co-employees so much so that
several criminal charges were filed against her with the city fiscal of Issue: WON petitioners can be legally punished by a fine of P100.
Manila who, after investigation, filed the corresponding informations
against her and the same are now pending trial in court.
- the court found the following facts: Nena Micaller was earning P4.80 HELD NO.
a day. After every New Year, she was given from P180 to P200 as bonus Ratio The power to impose the penalties provided for in section 25 of
whereas the other employees were only given P60. For three RA 875 is lodged in ordinary courts, and not in the Court of Industrial
consecutive years, she was given a first prize for being the best seller, Relations, notwithstanding the definition of the word "Court" contained
the most cooperative and most honest employee. She organized a in section 2(a) of said Act. Hence, the decision of the of the industrial
union among the employees of the store which was latter affiliated with court in so far as it imposes a fine of P100 upon petitioners is illegal
the National Labor Union. Later, the National Labor Union sent a and should be nullified.
petition to the store containing ten demands and Nena was called by Reasoning
the management for questioning and, in the manager's office, she was SEC. 25. Penalties.- Any person who violates the provisions of section
asked who the members of the union were, but she pretended not to three this act shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred
know them. pesos nor more than one thousand pesos, or by imprisonment of not
- Richard Yang and Yu Si Kiao, together with a brother-in law, went to less than one month nor more than one year, or both by such free and
Nena’s house and questioned her regarding her union membership. imprisonment, in the discretion of the Court.
- Nena was brought by her employers to the house of their counsel, Any other violation of this Act which is declared unlawful shall be
Atty. Joaquin Yuseco, and there she was again questioned regarding punished by a fine of not less than fifty nor more than five hundred
her union activities and was even made to sign a paper of withdrawal pesos for each offense.
from the union. - The above provision is general in nature for its does not specify the
- the manager of the Store, Yu Ki Lam asked each the every employee court that may act when the violation charged calls for the imposition
whether they were members of the union. of the penalties therein provided. It merely states that they may be
- the union gave notice to strike to the management. Upon receipt of imposed "in the discretion of the court."
the notice, the management hired temporary employees equal in - The word “court” cannot refer to the Court of Industrial Relations for
number to the old. The new employees were affiliated with another to give that meaning would be violative of the safeguards guaranteed
labor union. to every accused by our Constitution. We refer to those which postulate
- an information for threats was filed against Nena Micaller before the that "No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without
municipal court. This was dismissed. Another information was filed due process of law", and that "In all criminal prosecution the accused
against Nena Micaller for slander. A third information for slander was . . . shall enjoyed the right to be heard by himself and counsel, against
filed against her before the same court. And on November 30, she was him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to
dismissed for "insulting the owner of the store and for taking to the face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of
girls inside the store during business hours." And on the strength of witnesses in his behalf".
these facts the court found respondents, now petitioners, guilty of - The procedure laid down by law to be observed by the Court of
unfair labor practice and ordered them to pay a fine of P100. Industrial Relations in dealing with the unfair labor practice cases
- Petitioners contend that section 25 of Republic Act No. 875 being negates those constitutional guarantees to the accused. And this is so
penal in character should be strictly construed in favor of the accused because, among other things, the law provides that "the rules of
and in that sense their guilt can only be established by clear and evidence prevailing in court for the courts of law or equity cannot be
positive evidence and not merely be presumptions or inferences as was controlling and it is the spirit and intention of this act that the Court
done by the industrial court. In other words, it is contended that the (of Industrial Relations) and its members and its Hearing Examiners
evidence as regards unfair labor practice with reference to the three shall use every and all reasonable means to ascertain the facts in each
case speedily and objective and without regards to technicalities of law SEC. 5. The Collector of Customs for the Philippine Islands is
of procedure. hereby authorized, empowered, and directed to promptly make and
- legislative record containing the deliberations made on the bill publish suitable rules and regulations to carry this law into effect
eliminating the criminal jurisdiction of the Court of Agrarian Relation and to regulate the business herein licensed.
show that the real intent of congress was to place that court on the SEC. 8. Any person who shall violate the provisions of this Act, or
same footing as the Public Service Commission and the Court of of any rule or regulation made and issued by the Collector of
Industrial relations by confining their jurisdiction exclusively to civil Customs for the Philippine Islands, under and by authority of this
matters. Act, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction
- on the issue of WON there was unfair labor practice, the court did shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months,
not rule on this as it involves questions of fact. The industrial court or by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars, United States
has made a careful analysis of the evidence and has found the currency, or by both such fine and imprisonment, at the discretion
petitioners have really subjected complaint and her co-employees to a of the court; Provided, That violations of law may be punished
series of questioning regarding their membership in the union or their either by the method prescribed in section seven hereof, or by that
union activities which in contemplation of law are deemed acts prescribed in this section or by both.
constituting unfair labor practice. This finding is binding upon this - Counsel for the appellant attacked the validity of paragraph 70 on
Court following well-known precedents. two grounds: First that it is unauthorized by section 19 of Act No. 355;
Disposition decision appealed from is modified by eliminating the fine and, second, that if the acts of the Philippine Commission bear the
of P100 imposed upon petitioners. interpretation of authorizing the Collector to promulgate such a law,
they are void, as constituting an illegal delegation of legislative power.

Issue: WON Act No. 1136 is valid (as far as Sections 5 and 8 are
11 Phil 327; Tracey; Sept 24 1908
Held: YES
- The necessity confiding to some local authority the framing,
- The defendant was charged in CFI Manila with violation of changing, and enforcing of harbor regulations is recognized
paragraphs 70 and 83 of Circular No. 397 of the Insular Collector of throughout the world, as each region and each a harbor requires
Customs. After a demurrer to the complaint of the lighter Maude, he peculiar use more minute than could be enacted by the central
was moving her and directing her movement, when heavily laden, in lawmaking power, and which, when kept within the proper scope, are
the Pasig River, by bamboo poles in the hands of the crew, and without in their nature police regulations not involving an undue grant of
steam, sail, or any other external power. Paragraph 70 of Circular No. legislative power.
397 reads as follows: “No heavily loaded casco, lighter, or other similar
The complaint in this instance was framed with reference, as its
craft shall be permitted to move in the Pasig River without being towed
authority, to sections 311 and 319 [19 and 311] at No. 355 of the
by steam or moved by other adequate power.
Philippine Customs Administrative Acts, as amended by Act Nos. 1235
- Paragraph 83 reads, in part, as follows:For the violation of any part and 1480. Under Act No. 1235, the Collector is not only empowered to
of the foregoing regulations, the persons offending shall be liable to a make suitable regulations, but also to "fix penalties for violation
fine of not less than P5 and not more than P500, in the discretion of thereof," not exceeding a fine of P500.
the court.
- This provision of the statute does, indeed, present a serious question.
- By sections 1, 2, and 3 of Act No. 1136, passed April 29, 1904, the
One of the settled maxims in constitutional law is, that the power
Collector of Customs is authorized to license craft engaged in the
conferred upon the legislature to make laws can not be delegated by
lighterage or other exclusively harbor business of the ports of the
that department to any body or authority. Where the sovereign power
Islands, and, with certain exceptions, all vessels engaged in lightering
of the State has located the authority, there it must remain; only by
are required to be so licensed. Sections 5 and 8 read as follows:
the constitutional agency alone the laws must be made until the
constitution itself is changed. The power to whose judgment, wisdom,
and patriotism this high prerogative has been intrusted can not relieve RADIO COMMUNICATIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES, INC. (RCPI), v
itself of the responsibility by choosing other agencies upon which the BOARD OF COMMUNICATIONS
power shall be developed, nor can its substitutes the judgment, G.R. No. L-43653; MARTIN; Nov 29, 1977
wisdom, and patriotism and of any other body for those to which alone
the people have seen fit to confide this sovereign trust. (Cooley's
Constitutional limitations, 6th ed., p. 137.) Nature: Petition for review by certiorari
- This doctrine is based on the ethical principle that such a delegated Facts:
power constitutes not only a right but a duty to be performed by the - This involves 2 cases consolidated by the Court for decision.
delegate by the instrumentality of his own judgment acting - In the first case, Diego Morales claims that while he was in Manila
immediately upon the matter of legislation and not through the his daughter sent him a telegram on October 15, 1974 from Santiago,
intervening mind of another. In the case of the United States vs. Breen Isabela, informing him of the death of his wife, Mrs. Diego T. Morales.
(40 Fed. Phil. Rep. 402), an Act of Congress allowing the Secretary of The telegram sent thru the petitioner RCPI however never reached him.
War to make such rules and regulations as might be necessary to He had to be informed personally about the death of his wife and so to
protect improvements of the Mississipi River, and providing that a catch up with the burial of his wife, he had to take the trip by airplane
violation thereof should constitute a misdemeanor, was sustained on to Isabela. In its answer petitioner RCPI claims that the telegram sent
the ground that the misdemeanor was declared not under the by respondent was transmitted from Santiago, Isabela to its Message
delegated power of the Secretary of War, but in the Act of Congress, Center at Cubao, Quezon City but when it was relayed from Cubao,
itself. So also was a grant to him of power to prescribe rules for the use the radio signal became intermittent making the copy received at Sta.
of canals. (U.S. vs. Ormsbee, 74 Fed. Rep. 207.) but a law authorizing Cruz, Manila unreadable and unintelligible. Because of the failure of
him to require alteration of any bridge and to impose penalties for the RCPI to transmit said telegram to him, respondent allegedly
violations of his rules was held invalid, as vesting in him upon a power suffered inconvenience and additional expenses and prays for
exclusively lodged in Congress (U.S. vs. Rider, 50 Fed. Rep., 406.) The damages.
subject is considered and some cases reviewed by the Supreme Court
- In the second case, Pacifico Innocencio claims that on July 13, 1975
of the United States, in re Kollock (165 U.S. 526), which upheld the law
Lourdes Innocencio sent a telegram from Paniqui, Tarlac, thru the
authorizing a commissioner of internal revenue to designate and
facilities of the petitioner RCPI to him at Barrio Lomot, Cavinti, Laguna
stamps on oleomargarine packages, an improper use of which should for the purpose of informing him about the death of their father. The
thereafter constitute a crime or misdemeanor, the court saying (p.
telegram was never received by Pacifico Innocencio. Inspite of the non-
533):The criminal offense is fully and completely defined by the Act and
receipt and/or non-delivery of the message sent to said address, the
the designation by the Commissioner of the particular marks and
sender (Lources Innocencio) has not been notified about its non-
brands to be used was a mere matter of detail. The regulation was in
delivery. As a consequence Pacifico Innocencio was not able to attend
execution of, or supplementary to, but not in conflict with the law itself.
the internment of their father at Moncada, Tarlac. Because of the
- In the case of The Board of Harbor Commissioners of the Port of Eureka failure of RCPI to deliver to him said telegram he allegedly was
vs. Excelsior Redwood Company (88 Cal. 491), it was ruled that harbor "shocked when he learned about the death of their father when he
commissioners can not impose a penalty under statues authorizing visited his hometown Moncada, Tarlac on August 14, 1975," and thus
them to do so, the court saying: Conceding that the legislature could suffered mental anguish and personal inconveniences. Likewise, he
delegate to the plaintiff the authority to make rules and regulation with prays for damages.
reference to the navigation of Humboldt Bay, the penalty for the - After hearing, the respondent Board in both cases held that the
violation of such rules and regulations is a matter purely in the hands service rendered by petitioner was inadequate and unsatisfactory and
of the legislature.
imposed upon the petitioner in each case a disciplinary fine of P200
Disposition judgment of the CFI as convicts the defendant of a pursuant to Section 21 of Commonwealth Act 146, as amended, by
violation of Acts Nos. 355 and 1235 is revoked, and is hereby convicted Presidential Decree No. 1 and Letter of Implementation No. 1. Hence,
of a misdemeanor and punished by a fine of $25 this appeal
Issue: WON the Board can impose a disciplinary fine on RCPI
petroleum products, as well as possession for trade of adulterated
Held: NO. petroleum products and of underfilled liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
RATIO The Board exceeded its authority when it imposed a fine on cylinders. The said law sets the monetary penalty for violators to a
RCPI since its enabling law does not authorize it to do so. Its power is minimum of P20,000 and a maximum of P50,000.4
limited only to management of the facilities and system of transmission - On June 9, 2000, Circular No. 2000-06-010 was issued by the DOE
of messages by radio companies. to implement B.P. Blg. 33, which provides among others (pls see
REASONING The charge does not relate to the management of the original for list of offenses and penalties)
facilities and system of transmission of messages by petitioner in SECTION 6. NO TARE WEIGHT OR INCORRECT TARE WEIGHT
accordance with its certificate of public convenience. If in the two cases MARKINGS. (REQUIREMENT ON ENGRAVED TARE WEIGHT SHALL
before Us complainants Diego Morales and Pacifico Innocencio TAKE EFFECT TWO (2) YEARS AFTER EFFECTIVITY OF THIS
allegedly suffered injury due to petitioner's breach of contractual CIRCULAR)
obligation arising from negligence, the proper forum for them to
ventilate their grievances for possible recovery of damages against A. LPG Refiller/Marketer
petitioner should be in the courts and not in the respondent Board of 1st Offense – Fine of P3,000 for each cylinder
Communications. Much less can it impose the disciplinary fine of P200
upon the petitioner. 2nd Offense – Fine of P5,000 for each cylinder
- In Francisco Santiago vs. RCPI (G.R. No. L-29236) and Constancio 3rd Offense – Recommend business closure to
Langan vs. RCPI (G.R. No. L-29247), this Court speaking thru Justice the proper local government unit
Enrique Fernando, ruled: "There can be no justification then for the - It is alleged that Circular No. 2000-06-010 (the “assailed Circular”)
Public Service Commission (now the Board of Communications as listed prohibited acts and punishable offenses which are brand-new or
successor in interest) imposing the fines in these two petitions. The law which were not provided for by B.P. Blg. 33, as amended; and that B.P.
cannot be any clearer. The only power it possessed over radio Blg. 33 enumerated and specifically defined the prohibited/punishable
companies as noted was fix rates. It could not take to task a acts under the law and that the punishable offenses in the assailed
radio company for any negligence or misfeasance. It was not Circular are not included in the law.
vested with such authority. What it did then in these two petition
lacked the impress of validity. Issue: WON the circular is valid
- In the face of the provision itself, it is rather apparent that the Board
lacked the required power to proceed against petitioner. There is
Held: Yes
nothing in Section 21 thereof which empowers it to impose a fine
that calls for a different conclusion. - For an administrative regulation, such as the Circular in this case,
to have the force of penal law, (1) the violation of the administrative
Disposition both decisions of Board of Communications reversed, set
regulation must be made a crime by the delegating statute itself; and
aside, declared null and void for lack of jurisdiction
(2) the penalty for such violation must be provided by the statute itself.
1.The Circular satisfies the first requirement. B.P. Blg. 33, as
amended, criminalizes illegal trading, adulteration, underfilling,
PEREZ V LPG REFILLERS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, hoarding, and overpricing of petroleum products. Under this general
INC description of what constitutes criminal acts involving petroleum
492 SCRA 638 products, the Circular merely lists the various modes by which the said
criminal acts may be perpetrated, namely: no price display board, no
QUISUMBING; Aug 28, 2007
weighing scale, no tare weight or incorrect tare weight markings, no
authorized LPG seal, no trade name, unbranded LPG cylinders, no
Facts: serial number, no distinguishing color, no embossed identifying
- Batas Pambansa Blg. 33, as amended, penalizes illegal trading, markings on cylinder, underfilling LPG cylinders, tampering LPG
hoarding, overpricing, adulteration, underdelivery, and underfilling of cylinders, and unauthorized decanting of LPG cylinders. These
specific acts and omissions are obviously within the contemplation of
the law, which seeks to curb the pernicious practices of some disbursement of union funds.” Complainants demand a full and
petroleum merchants. detailed report of all financial transactions of
2.As for the second requirement, we find that the Circular is in accord the union as well as to make the book of accounts and other records
with the law. Under B.P. Blg. 33, as amended, the monetary penalty of the financial activities of the union open
for any person who commits any of the acts aforestated is limited to a to inspection by the members. The demands were refused.
minimum of P20,000 and a maximum of P50,000. Under the Circular, The executive board of the organization also passed a resolution
the maximum pecuniary penalty for retail outlets is P20,000, an calling for a general membership
amount within the range allowed by law. However, for the refillers,
marketers, and dealers, the Circular is silent as to any maximum meeting to pass on the issue regarding the union funds. Catura
monetarry penalty. This mere silence, nonetheless, does not amount cancelled the meeting. Another meeting was
to violation of the aforesaid statutory maximum limit. Further, the called, but there was still no response. Members were the forced to
mere fact that the Circular provides penalties on a per cylinder basis elevate the matter to the Department of
does not in itself run counter to the law since all that B.P. Blg. 33 Labor which issued subpoenas for the presentation of the account
prescribes are the minimum and the maximum limits of penalties. books, but to no avail.
- Clearly, it is B.P. Blg. 33, as amended, which defines what constitute Having exhausted all the remedies provided in the union’s
punishable acts involving petroleum products and which set the constitution and by-laws, the complaint
minimum and maximum limits for the corresponding penalties. The sought to declare petitioners guilty of unfair labor practice under the
Circular merely implements the said law, albeit it is silent on the Industrial Peace Act, to cease and desist
maximum pecuniary penalty for refillers, marketers, and
from further committing unfair labor practice, and to render a
dealers. Nothing in the Circular contravenes the law.
dull and detailed report of all financial
transactions of the union as well as to make the book of accounts
and other records of financial activities open
to inspection by the members.
On December 28, 1966, private respondents sought an injunction to
prevent Catura, who turned out to
be re-elected as President on November 15, 1966, from taking oath of
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS AND Then came the order of December 29, 1966 by Associate Judge
CELESTINO TABANIAG, ET AL. Joaquin M. Salvador which, instead of
GR. No. L-27392 37 SCRA 303 30 JANUARY 1971 granting the injunction sought, limited itself to requiring and
Fernando, J.: directing the petitioners to deliver and deposit
FACTS: documents related to finances at the hearing of the petition.
Pablo Catura and Luz Salvador (petitioners) are the President and A motion for reconsideration was filed by the petitioners alleging that
Treasurer, respectively, of the they were not heard before such
Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration Employees Association, a order was issued. The order was sustained. Hence, this petition for
duly registered labor organization. On review of the resolution of the CIR.
December 27, 1966, a complaint against them under Section 17 of ISSUE: Whether the CIR, in the exercise of its power of investigation
the Industrial Peace Act was filed by the CIR to assure compliance with the internal
and the principal complainants, being Celestino Tabaniag and other labor organization procedures under the Industrial Peace Act, can
employees constituting more than 10 require a labor organization’s “books of
percent of the membership of the labor organization (respondents). accounts, bank account, pass books, union funds, receipts, vouchers
Petitioners were charged of “unauthorized and other documents related to finances” be
delivered and deposited with it at the hearing to conduct such refusing, as its president, to call for the election of officers. NLRC
investigation. issued an order directing the BLU to hold its election of officers
HELD: within 20 days from receipt. BLU filed a petition with the CFI for
The controlling provisions of law concerning the power of prohibition with a writ of preliminary injunction against private
investigation of the CIR may be found in respondent Cinco, NLRC and the Sec. Of Labor, seeking to annul and
to prohibit NLRC and the Sec. of Labor from enforcing it.
paragraphs (b), (h), and (l) of Section 17 of the Industrial Peace Act.
To paraphrase Justice Laurel, the power to
investigate, to be conscientious and rational at the very least, Setting instead the application for heaving, Judge Jaime delos
requires an inquiry into existing facts and Angeles afterwards reserved his resolution on the matter at issue in
view of the intricate legal questions raised therein. Private and judge
conditions. Clearly, the matter was deemed serious enough by the then was served a copy of a subpoena issued by respondent Inciong
prosecutor of CIR to call for the exercise of requiring them to appear at the NLRC to explain why they should not
the statutory power of investigation. All the challenged order did was be held in contempt for trying to use old society tactics to prevent a
to require petitioner to “deliver and union election duly ordered by the commission.
deposit” the documents. The documents required to be produced
constitutes evidence of the most solid character Issue: WON a labor official’s power to hold a person for contempt for
as to whether there was a failure to comply with the mandates of law. refusal to comply with its order can be extended to trial court judges.
The matter was properly within its
cognizance and the means necessary to give it force and effectiveness Held: No. Courts exist precisely to assure that there be compliance
should be deemed implied unless such is with the law, which is the essence of judicial power. Courts like any
arbitrary. Wherefore, petition for certiorari is denied. other governmental agencies, must observe the limits of its
RELEVANT PROVISIONS: Pars. (b), (h), and (l) of Section 17 of the jurisdiction, thus said judge reserved his resolution in view of the
Industrial Peace Act: “The members intricacies of the legal questions raised after hearing the arguments
shall be entitled to full and detailed reports from their officers and on the propriety of issuing the writ of preliminary injunction prayed
representatives of all financial transactions as for.
provided in the constitution and by-laws of the organization.” “The
funds of the organization shall not be The proper step for an administrative official then is to seek a
applied for any purpose or object other than those expressly stated dismissal of the case before the court precisely on the ground that
in its constitution or by-laws or those the matter did not fall within the domain of the powers conferred on
it. Citing the judge for contempt is an affront to reason as well as a
expressly authorized by a resolution of the majority of the member.”
disregard of well-settled rules.
“The books of accounts and other records
of the financial activities of a legitimate labor organization shall be
open to inspection by any officer or member

Tolentino vs. Inciong, 91 SCRA 563

Posted by Pius Morados on November 9, 2011
(Administrative Law, Contempt Power, Quasi-Judicial Power)

Facts: Private respondent Domingo Cinco filed a verified complaint

with the then NLRC charging petitioner Arcadio Tolentino with
violating the Constitution of the Batangas Labor Union (BLU) by