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Municipality of Malabang vs.

Benito ISSUE
G.R. No. L-28113 March 28, 1969
1. Whether or not Malabang is a de facto corporation – NO.
Petitioner: THE MUNICIPALITY OF MALABANG, LANAO DEL SUR, and
AMER MACAORAO BALINDONG, RULING: No other stature or law existed which can give color of authority to its
vs. creation when EO 386 was declared unconstitutional.
Respondents: PANGANDAPUN BENITO, HADJI NOPODIN
MACAPUNUNG, HADJI HASAN MACARAMPAD, FREDERICK V. In the case at bar, the mere fact that Balabagan was organized at a time when
DUJERTE MONDACO ONTAL, MARONSONG ANDOY, MACALABA the statute had not been invalidated cannot conceivably make it a de facto
INDAR LAO. corporation, as, independently of the Administrative Code provision in question
(Section 68), there is no other valid statute to give color of authority to its
RULING: petition is granted, Executive Order 386 is declared void, and creation. Also, contrary to what the respondents say that the nullity of EO 386
the respondents are hereby permanently restrained from performing the would unsettle all actions which were considered valid prior to its nullity, the
duties and functions of their respective offices. Supreme Court, invoking the ruling in Chicot County Drainage District v. Baxter
State Bank pointed out that the Doctrine of Operative Fact recognizes that
FACTS actions executed prior to the invalidity of EO 386 would not be disturbed because
. even though EO 386 was void from its conception, its existence is an operative
Petitioner Amer Macaorao Balindong is the mayor of Malabang, Lanao del Sur. fact which cannot be ignored.
He brought an action for prohibition to nullify Executive Order 386 and to
restrain respondents Pangandapun Benito, Mayor of Balabagan, and his RATIO
councilors from performing functions of their respective office. Pursuant to EO
386, Balabagan which was formerly a part of the greater municipality of For color of authority to be given to the creation of a de facto corporation, it must
Malabang was converted into its own municipality taking with it barrios and meet the requisites set down by jurisprudence.
sitios which used to belong to Malabang.
The color of authority requisite to the organization of a de facto municipal
Petitioner Balindong relied on the rulings in Pelaez v. Auditor General and corporation may be:
Municipality of San Joaquin v Siva for his action against the respondents. In the 1. A valid law enacted by the legislature.
Pelaez case, the Supreme Court speaking through Justice Concepcion held that 2. An unconstitutional law, valid on its face, which has either (a) been upheld for
Section 68 of the Administrative Code is unconstitutional because it granted the a time by the courts or (b) not yet been declared void; provided that a warrant for
President the power to create municipalities thus resulting in an undue its creation can be found in some other valid law or in the recognition of its
delegation of legislative power. Section 68 was in direct conflict with section 10 (1) potential existence by the general laws or constitution of the state.
of article VII of the 1935 Constitution, which limits the President's power over
local governments to mere supervision. The Pelaez Doctrine was later upheld in In the case at bar, there is no other law that could give color of authority to the
the San Joaquin v Siva Case that struck down an executive order creating the validity of the existence of the municipality of Balabagan when EO 386 was later
municipality of Lawigan in Iloilo despite the fact that such an EO was effected in on invalidated. Hence, such municipality is not a de factor corporation
1961, before section 68 of the Administrative Code.
Operative fact Doctrine:
Respondents counter that even if the facts were to be admitted as true, the Pelaez The actual existence of a statute, prior to such a determination, is an operative
case cannot be applied to them unlike the municipalities involved in Pelaez, the fact and may have consequences, which cannot justly be ignored. The past cannot
municipality of Balabagan is at least a de facto corporation, having been always be erased by a new judicial declaration. The effect of the subsequent
organized under color of a statute before such an order organizing it was declared ruling as to invalidity may have to be considered in various aspects — with
unconstitutional, its officers having been either elected or appointed, and the respect to particular relations, individual and corporate, and particular conduct,
municipality itself having discharged its corporate functions for the past five private and official
years preceding the institution of this action. It is contended that as a de
facto corporation, its existence cannot be collaterally attacked, although it may be
inquired into directly in an action for quo warranto at the instance of the State
and not of an individual like the petitioner Balindong.