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CONGRESSMAN ENRIQUE T.

GARCIA (Second District of Bataan), petitioner,


vs.
THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, THE COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS, THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND DEVELOPMENT
AUTHORITY, THE TARIFF COMMISSION, THE SECRETARY OF FINANCE, and THE ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD, respondents.

FELICIANO, J.:

On 27 November 1990, the President issued Executive Order No. 438 which imposed, in addition to any other duties, taxes and charges
imposed by law on all articles imported into the Philippines, an additional duty of five percent (5%) ad valorem. This additional duty was
imposed across the board on all imported articles, including crude oil and other oil products imported into the Philippines. This additional duty
was subsequently increased from five percent (5%) ad valorem to nine percent (9%) ad valorem by the promulgation of Executive Order No.
443, dated 3 January 1991.

On 24 July 1991, the Department of Finance requested the Tariff Commission to initiate the process required by the Tariff and Customs
Code for the imposition of a specific levy on crude oil and other petroleum products, covered by HS Heading Nos. 27.09, 27.10 and 27.11 of
Section 104 of the Tariff and Customs Code as amended. Accordingly, the Tariff Commission, following the procedure set forth in Section
401 of the Tariff and Customs Code, scheduled a public hearing to give interested parties an opportunity to be heard and to present evidence
in support of their respective positions.

Meantime, Executive Order No. 475 was issued by the President, on 15 August 1991 reducing the rate of additional duty on all imported
articles from nine percent (9%) to five percent (5%) ad valorem, except in the cases of crude oil and other oil products which continued to be
subject to the additional duty of nine percent (9%) ad valorem.

Upon completion of the public hearings, the Tariff Commission submitted to the President a "Report on Special Duty on Crude Oil and Oil
Products" dated 16 August 1991, for consideration and appropriate action. Seven (7) days later, the President issued Executive Order No.
478, dated 23 August 1991, which levied (in addition to the aforementioned additional duty of nine percent (9%) ad valorem and all other
existing ad valorem duties) a special duty of P0.95 per liter or P151.05 per barrel of imported crude oil and P1.00 per liter of imported oil
products.

In the present Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus, petitioner assails the validity of Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478. He
argues that Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478 are violative of Section 24, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution which provides as follows:

Sec. 24: All appropriation, revenue or tariff bills, bills authorizing increase of the public debt, bills of local application,
and private bills shall originate exclusively in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with
amendments.

He contends that since the Constitution vests the authority to enact revenue bills in Congress, the President may not assume such
power by issuing Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478 which are in the nature of revenue-generating measures.

Petitioner further argues that Executive Orders No. 475 and 478 contravene Section 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code, which Section
authorizes the President, according to petitioner, to increase, reduce or remove tariff duties or to impose additional duties only when
necessary to protect local industries or products but not for the purpose of raising additional revenue for the government.

Thus, petitioner questions first the constitutionality and second the legality of Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478, and asks us to restrain the
implementation of those Executive Orders. We will examine these questions in that order.

Before doing so, however, the Court notes that the recent promulgation of Executive Order No. 507 did not render the instant Petition moot
and academic. Executive Order No. 517 which is dated 30 April 1992 provides as follows:

Sec. 1. Lifting of the Additional Duty. — The additional duty in the nature of ad valorem imposed on all imported articles
prescribed by the provisions of Executive Order No. 443, as amended, is hereby lifted; Provided, however, that the
selected articles covered by HS Heading Nos. 27.09 and 27.10 of Section 104 of the Tariff and Customs Code, as
amended, subject of Annex "A" hereof, shall continue to be subject to the additional duty of nine (9%) percent ad
valorem.

Under the above quoted provision, crude oil and other oil products continue to be subject to the additional duty of nine percent
(9%) ad valorem under Executive Order No. 475 and to the special duty of P0.95 per liter of imported crude oil and P1.00 per liter
of imported oil products under Executive Order No. 478.

Turning first to the question of constitutionality, under Section 24, Article VI of the Constitution, the enactment of appropriation, revenue and
tariff bills, like all other bills is, of course, within the province of the Legislative rather than the Executive Department. It does not follow,
however, that therefore Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478, assuming they may be characterized as revenue measures, are prohibited to
the President, that they must be enacted instead by the Congress of the Philippines. Section 28(2) of Article VI of the Constitution provides
as follows:

(2) The Congress may, by law, authorize the President to fix within specified limits, and subject to such limitations and
restrictions as it may impose, tariff rates, import and export quotas, tonage and wharfage dues, and other duties or
imposts within the framework of the national development program of the Government. (Emphasis supplied)

There is thus explicit constitutional permission 1 to Congress to authorize the President "subject to such limitations and restrictions is
[Congress] may impose" to fix "within specific limits" "tariff rates . . . and other duties or imposts . . ."

The relevant congressional statute is the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, and Sections 104 and 401, the pertinent provisions
thereof. These are the provisions which the President explicitly invoked in promulgating Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478. Section 104 of
the Tariff and Customs Code provides in relevant part:

Sec. 104. All tariff sections, chapters, headings and subheadings and the rates of import duty under Section 104 of
Presidential Decree No. 34 and all subsequent amendments issued under Executive Orders and Presidential Decrees
are hereby adopted and form part of this Code.

There shall be levied, collected, and paid upon all imported articles the rates of duty indicated in the Section under this
section except as otherwise specifically provided for in this Code: Provided, that, the maximum rate shall not exceed
one hundred per cent ad valorem.

The rates of duty herein provided or subsequently fixed pursuant to Section Four Hundred One of this Code shall be
subject to periodic investigation by the Tariff Commission and may be revised by the President upon recommendation
of the National Economic and Development Authority.

xxx xxx xxx

(Emphasis supplied)

Section 401 of the same Code needs to be quoted in full:

Sec. 401. Flexible Clause. —

a. In the interest of national economy, general welfare and/or national security, and subject to the limitations herein
prescribed, the President, upon recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority (hereinafter
referred to as NEDA), is hereby empowered: (1) to increase, reduce or remove existing protective rates of import
duty (including any necessary change in classification). The existing rates may be increased or decreased but in no
case shall the reduced rate of import duty be lower than the basic rate of ten (10) per cent ad valorem, nor shall the
increased rate of import duty be higher than a maximum of one hundred (100) per cent ad valorem; (2) to establish
import quota or to ban imports of any commodity, as may be necessary; and (3) to impose an additional duty on all
imports not exceeding ten (10) per cent ad valorem, whenever necessary; Provided, That upon periodic investigations
by the Tariff Commission and recommendation of the NEDA, the President may cause a gradual reduction of protection
levels granted in Section One hundred and four of this Code, including those subsequently granted pursuant to this
section.

b. Before any recommendation is submitted to the President by the NEDA pursuant to the provisions of this
section, except in the imposition of an additional duty not exceeding ten (10) per cent ad valorem, the Commission
shall conduct an investigation in the course of which they shall hold public hearings wherein interested parties shall be
afforded reasonable opportunity to be present, produce evidence and to be heard. The Commission shall also hear the
views and recommendations of any government office, agency or instrumentality concerned. The Commission shall
submit their findings and recommendations to the NEDA within thirty (30) days after the termination of the public
hearings.

c. The power of the President to increase or decrease rates of import duty within the limits fixed in subsection "a" shall
include the authority to modify the form of duty. In modifying the form of duty, the corresponding ad valorem or specific
equivalents of the duty with respect to imports from the principal competing foreign country for the most recent
representative period shall be used as bases.

d. The Commissioner of Customs shall regularly furnish the Commission a copy of all customs import entries as filed in
the Bureau of Customs. The Commission or its duly authorized representatives shall have access to, and the right to
copy all liquidated customs import entries and other documents appended thereto as finally filed in the Commission on
Audit.

e. The NEDA shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
f. Any Order issued by the President pursuant to the provisions of this section shall take effect thirty (30) days after
promulgation, except in the imposition of additional duty not exceeding ten (10) per cent ad valorem which shall take
effect at the discretion of the President. (Emphasis supplied)

Petitioner, however, seeks to avoid the thrust of the delegated authorizations found in Sections 104 and 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code,
by contending that the President is authorized to act under the Tariff and Customs Code only "to protect local industries and products for the
sake of the national economy, general welfare and/or national security." 2 He goes on to claim that:

E.O. Nos. 478 and 475 having nothing to do whatsoever with the protection of local industries and products for the
sake of national economy, general welfare and/or national security. On the contrary, they work in reverse, especially as
to crude oil, an essential product which we do not have to protect, since we produce only minimal quantities and have
to import the rest of what we need.

These Executive Orders are avowedly solely to enable the government to raise government finances, contrary to
Sections 24 and 28 (2) of Article VI of the Constitution, as well as to Section 401 of the Tariff and Customs
Code. 3 (Emphasis in the original)

The Court is not persuaded. In the first place, there is nothing in the language of either Section 104 or of 401 of the Tariff and Customs Code
that suggest such a sharp and absolute limitation of authority. The entire contention of petitioner is anchored on just two (2) words, one found
in Section 401 (a)(1): "existing protective rates of import duty," and the second in the proviso found at the end of Section 401
(a): "protection levels granted in Section 104 of this Code . . . . " We believe that the words "protective" and ''protection" are simply not
enough to support the very broad and encompassing limitation which petitioner seeks to rest on those two (2) words.

In the second place, petitioner's singular theory collides with a very practical fact of which this Court may take judicial notice — that the
Bureau of Customs which administers the Tariff and Customs Code, is one of the two (2) principal traditional generators or producers of
governmental revenue, the other being the Bureau of Internal Revenue. (There is a third agency, non-traditional in character, that generates
lower but still comparable levels of revenue for the government — The Philippine Amusement and Games Corporation [PAGCOR].)

In the third place, customs duties which are assessed at the prescribed tariff rates are very much like taxes which are frequently imposed for
both revenue-raising and for regulatory purposes. 4 Thus, it has been held that "customs duties" is "the name given to taxes on the
importation and exportation of commodities, the tariff or tax assessed upon merchandise imported from, or exported to, a foreign
country." 5 The levying of customs duties on imported goods may have in some measure the effect of protecting local industries — where
such local industries actually exist and are producing comparable goods. Simultaneously, however, the very same customs duties inevitably
have the effect of producing governmental revenues. Customs duties like internal revenue taxes are rarely, if ever, designed to achieve one
policy objective only. Most commonly, customs duties, which constitute taxes in the sense of exactions the proceeds of which become public
funds 6 — have either or both the generation of revenue and the regulation of economic or social activity as their moving purposes and
frequently, it is very difficult to say which, in a particular instance, is the dominant or principal objective. In the instant case, since the
Philippines in fact produces ten (10) to fifteen percent (15%) of the crude oil consumed here, the imposition of increased tariff rates and a
special duty on imported crude oil and imported oil products may be seen to have some "protective" impact upon indigenous oil production.
For the effective, price of imported crude oil and oil products is increased. At the same time, it cannot be gainsaid that substantial revenues
for the government are raised by the imposition of such increased tariff rates or special duty.

In the fourth place, petitioner's concept which he urges us to build into our constitutional and customs law, is a stiflingly narrow one. Section
401 of the Tariff and Customs Code establishes general standards with which the exercise of the authority delegated by that provision to the
President must be consistent: that authority must be exercised in "the interest of national economy, general welfare and/or national security."
Petitioner, however, insists that the "protection of local industries" is the only permissible objective that can be secured by the exercise of that
delegated authority, and that therefore "protection of local industries" is the sum total or the alpha and the omega of "the national economy,
general welfare and/or national security." We find it extremely difficult to take seriously such a confined and closed view of the legislative
standards and policies summed up in Section 401. We believe, for instance, that the protection of consumers, who after all constitute the
very great bulk of our population, is at the very least as important a dimension of "the national economy, general welfare and national
security" as the protection of local industries. And so customs duties may be reduced or even removed precisely for the purpose of protecting
consumers from the high prices and shoddy quality and inefficient service that tariff-protected and subsidized local manufacturers may
otherwise impose upon the community.

It seems also important to note that tariff rates are commonly established and the corresponding customs duties levied and collected upon
articles and goods which are not found at all and not produced in the Philippines. The Tariff and Customs Code is replete with such articles
and commodities: among the more interesting examples are ivory (Chapter 5, 5.10); castoreum or musk taken from the beaver (Chapter 5,
5.14); Olives (Chapter 7, Notes); truffles or European fungi growing under the soil on tree roots (Chapter 7, Notes); dates (Chapter 8,
8.01); figs (Chapter 8, 8.03); caviar (Chapter 16, 16.01); aircraft (Chapter 88, 88.0l); special diagnostic instruments and apparatus for human
medicine and surgery (Chapter 90, Notes); X-ray generators; X-ray tubes;
X-ray screens, etc. (Chapter 90, 90.20); etc. In such cases, customs duties may be seen to be imposed either for revenue purposes purely or
perhaps, in certain cases, to discourage any importation of the items involved. In either case, it is clear that customs duties are levied and
imposed entirely apart from whether or not there are any competing local industries to protect.

Accordingly, we believe and so hold that Executive Orders Nos. 475 and 478 which may be conceded to be substantially moved by the
desire to generate additional public revenues, are not, for that reason alone, either constitutionally flawed, or legally infirm under Section 401
of the Tariff and Customs Code. Petitioner has not successfully overcome the presumptions of constitutionality and legality to which those
Executive Orders are entitled. 7
The conclusion we have reached above renders it unnecessary to deal with petitioner's additional contention that, should Executive Orders
Nos. 475 and 478 be declared unconstitutional and illegal, there should be a roll back of prices of petroleum products equivalent to the
"resulting excess money not be needed to adequately maintain the Oil Price Stabilization Fund (OPSF)." 8

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. Costs
against petitioner.

SO ORDERED.

Narvasa, C.J., Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Padilla, Bidin, Griño-Aquino, Medialdea, Regalado, Davide, Jr., Romero, Nocon and Bellosilo, JJ.,
concur.
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS and HONGKONG & SHANGHAI BANKING
CORPORATION,petitioners,
vs.
JOSE O. VERA, Judge . of the Court of First Instance of Manila, and MARIANO CU
UNJIENG, respondents.

Office of the Solicitor General Tuason and City Fiscal Diaz for the Government.
De Witt, Perkins and Ponce Enrile for the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
Vicente J. Francisco, Feria and La O, Orense and Belmonte, and Gibbs and McDonough for
respondent Cu Unjieng.
No appearance for respondent Judge.

LAUREL, J.:

This is an original action instituted in this court on August 19, 1937, for the issuance of the writ
of certiorari and of prohibition to the Court of First Instance of Manila so that this court may review
the actuations of the aforesaid Court of First Instance in criminal case No. 42649 entitled "The
People of the Philippine Islands vs. Mariano Cu Unjieng, et al.", more particularly the application of
the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng therein for probation under the provisions of Act No. 4221, and
thereafter prohibit the said Court of First Instance from taking any further action or entertaining
further the aforementioned application for probation, to the end that the defendant Mariano Cu
Unjieng may be forthwith committed to prison in accordance with the final judgment of conviction
rendered by this court in said case (G. R. No. 41200). 1

Petitioners herein, the People of the Philippine and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking
Corporation, are respectively the plaintiff and the offended party, and the respondent herein Mariano
Cu Unjieng is one of the defendants, in the criminal case entitled "The People of the Philippine
Islands vs. Mariano Cu Unjieng, et al.", criminal case No. 42649 of the Court of First Instance of
Manila and G.R. No. 41200 of this court. Respondent herein, Hon. Jose O. Vera, is the Judge ad
interim of the seventh branch of the Court of First Instance of Manila, who heard the application of
the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng for probation in the aforesaid criminal case.

The information in the aforesaid criminal case was filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila on
October 15, 1931, petitioner herein Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation intervening in the
case as private prosecutor. After a protracted trial unparalleled in the annals of Philippine
jurisprudence both in the length of time spent by the court as well as in the volume in the testimony
and the bulk of the exhibits presented, the Court of First Instance of Manila, on January 8, 1934,
rendered a judgment of conviction sentencing the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng to indeterminate
penalty ranging from four years and two months of prision correccional to eight years of prision
mayor, to pay the costs and with reservation of civil action to the offended party, the Hongkong and
Shanghai Banking Corporation. Upon appeal, the court, on March 26, 1935, modified the sentence
to an indeterminate penalty of from five years and six months of prision correccional to seven years,
six months and twenty-seven days of prision mayor, but affirmed the judgment in all other respects.
Mariano Cu Unjieng filed a motion for reconsideration and four successive motions for new trial
which were denied on December 17, 1935, and final judgment was accordingly entered on
December 18, 1935. The defendant thereupon sought to have the case elevated on certiorari to the
Supreme Court of the United States but the latter denied the petition
for certiorari in November, 1936. This court, on November 24, 1936, denied the
petition subsequently filed by the defendant for leave to file a second alternative motion for
reconsideration or new trial and thereafter remanded the case to the court of origin for execution of
the judgment.

The instant proceedings have to do with the application for probation filed by the herein respondent
Mariano Cu Unjieng on November 27, 1936, before the trial court, under the provisions of Act
No. 4221 of the defunct Philippine Legislature. Herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng states in his
petition, inter alia, that he is innocent of the crime of which he was convicted, that he has no criminal
record and that he would observe good conduct in the future. The Court of First Instance of Manila,
Judge Pedro Tuason presiding, referred the application for probation of the Insular Probation Office
which recommended denial of the same June 18, 1937. Thereafter, the Court of First Instance of
Manila, seventh branch, Judge Jose O. Vera presiding, set the petition for hearing on April 5, 1937.

On April 2, 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila filed an opposition to the granting of probation to the
herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng. The private prosecution also filed an opposition on April 5,
1937, alleging, among other things, that Act No. 4221, assuming that it has not been repealed by
section 2 of Article XV of the Constitution, is nevertheless violative of section 1, subsection (1),
Article III of the Constitution guaranteeing equal protection of the laws for the reason that its
applicability is not uniform throughout the Islands and because section 11 of the said Act endows the
provincial boards with the power to make said law effective or otherwise in their respective or
otherwise in their respective provinces. The private prosecution also filed a supplementary
opposition on April 19, 1937, elaborating on the alleged unconstitutionality on Act No. 4221, as an
undue delegation of legislative power to the provincial boards of several provinces (sec. 1, Art. VI,
Constitution). The City Fiscal concurred in the opposition of the private prosecution except with
respect to the questions raised concerning the constitutionality of Act No. 4221.

On June 28, 1937, herein respondent Judge Jose O. Vera promulgated a resolution with a finding
that "las pruebas no han establecido de unamanera concluyente la culpabilidad del peticionario y
que todos los hechos probados no son inconsistentes o incongrentes con su inocencia" and
concludes that the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng "es inocente por duda racional" of the
crime of which he stands convicted by this court in G.R. No. 41200, but denying the latter's petition
for probation for the reason that:

. . . Si este Juzgado concediera la poblacion solicitada por las circunstancias y la historia


social que se han expuesto en el cuerpo de esta resolucion, que hacen al peticionario
acreedor de la misma, una parte de la opinion publica, atizada por los recelos y las
suspicacias, podria levantarse indignada contra un sistema de probacion que permite atisbar
en los procedimientos ordinarios de una causa criminal perturbando la quietud y la eficacia
de las decisiones ya recaidas al traer a la superficie conclusiones enteramente differentes,
en menoscabo del interes publico que demanda el respeto de las leyes y del veredicto
judicial.

On July 3, 1937, counsel for the herein respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng filed an exception to the
resolution denying probation and a notice of intention to file a motion for reconsideration. An
alternative motion for reconsideration or new trial was filed by counsel on July 13, 1937. This was
supplemented by an additional motion for reconsideration submitted on July 14, 1937. The aforesaid
motions were set for hearing on July 31, 1937, but said hearing was postponed at the petition of
counsel for the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng because a motion for leave to intervene in the case
as amici curiae signed by thirty-three (thirty-four) attorneys had just been filed with the trial court.
Attorney Eulalio Chaves whose signature appears in the aforesaid motion subsequently filed a
petition for leave to withdraw his appearance as amicus curiae on the ground that the motion for
leave to intervene as amici curiae was circulated at a banquet given by counsel for Mariano Cu
Unjieng on the evening of July 30, 1937, and that he signed the same "without mature deliberation
and purely as a matter of courtesy to the person who invited me (him)."

On August 6, 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila filed a motion with the trial court for the issuance
of an order of execution of the judgment of this court in said case and forthwith to commit the herein
respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng to jail in obedience to said judgment.

On August 7, 1937, the private prosecution filed its opposition to the motion for leave to intervene
as amici curiae aforementioned, asking that a date be set for a hearing of the same and that, at all
events, said motion should be denied with respect to certain attorneys signing the same who were
members of the legal staff of the several counsel for Mariano Cu Unjieng. On August 10, 1937,
herein respondent Judge Jose O. Vera issued an order requiring all parties including the movants for
intervention as amici curiae to appear before the court on August 14, 1937. On the last-mentioned
date, the Fiscal of the City of Manila moved for the hearing of his motion for execution of judgment in
preference to the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae but, upon objection of counsel for
Mariano Cu Unjieng, he moved for the postponement of the hearing of both motions. The
respondent judge thereupon set the hearing of the motion for execution on August 21, 1937, but
proceeded to consider the motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae as in order. Evidence as to
the circumstances under which said motion for leave to intervene as amici curiae was signed and
submitted to court was to have been heard on August 19, 1937. But at this juncture, herein
petitioners came to this court on extraordinary legal process to put an end to what they alleged was
an interminable proceeding in the Court of First Instance of Manila which fostered "the campaign of
the defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng for delay in the execution of the sentence imposed by this
Honorable Court on him, exposing the courts to criticism and ridicule because of the apparent
inability of the judicial machinery to make effective a final judgment of this court imposed on the
defendant Mariano Cu Unjieng."

The scheduled hearing before the trial court was accordingly suspended upon the issuance of a
temporary restraining order by this court on August 21, 1937.

To support their petition for the issuance of the extraordinary writs of certiorari and prohibition, herein
petitioners allege that the respondent judge has acted without jurisdiction or in excess of his
jurisdiction:

I. Because said respondent judge lacks the power to place respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng under
probation for the following reason:

(1) Under section 11 of Act No. 4221, the said of the Philippine Legislature is made
to apply only to the provinces of the Philippines; it nowhere states that it is to be
made applicable to chartered cities like the City of Manila.

(2) While section 37 of the Administrative Code contains a proviso to the effect that in
the absence of a special provision, the term "province" may be construed to include
the City of Manila for the purpose of giving effect to laws of general application, it is
also true that Act No. 4221 is not a law of general application because it is made to
apply only to those provinces in which the respective provincial boards shall have
provided for the salary of a probation officer.

(3) Even if the City of Manila were considered to be a province, still, Act No. 4221
would not be applicable to it because it has provided for the salary of a probation
officer as required by section 11 thereof; it being immaterial that there is an Insular
Probation Officer willing to act for the City of Manila, said Probation Officer provided
for in section 10 of Act No. 4221 being different and distinct from the Probation
Officer provided for in section 11 of the same Act.

II. Because even if the respondent judge originally had jurisdiction to entertain the application for
probation of the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng, he nevertheless acted without jurisdiction or in
excess thereof in continuing to entertain the motion for reconsideration and by failing to commit
Mariano Cu Unjieng to prison after he had promulgated his resolution of June 28, 1937, denying
Mariano Cu Unjieng's application for probation, for the reason that:

(1) His jurisdiction and power in probation proceedings is limited by Act No. 4221 to
the granting or denying of applications for probation.

(2) After he had issued the order denying Mariano Cu Unjieng's petition for probation
on June 28, 1937, it became final and executory at the moment of its rendition.

(3) No right on appeal exists in such cases.

(4) The respondent judge lacks the power to grant a rehearing of said order or to
modify or change the same.

III. Because the respondent judge made a finding that Mariano Cu Unjieng is innocent of the crime
for which he was convicted by final judgment of this court, which finding is not only presumptuous
but without foundation in fact and in law, and is furthermore in contempt of this court and a violation
of the respondent's oath of office as ad interim judge of first instance.

IV. Because the respondent judge has violated and continues to violate his duty, which became
imperative when he issued his order of June 28, 1937, denying the application for probation, to
commit his co-respondent to jail.

Petitioners also avers that they have no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary
course of law.

In a supplementary petition filed on September 9, 1937, the petitioner Hongkong and Shanghai
Banking Corporation further contends that Act No. 4221 of the Philippine Legislature providing for a
system of probation for persons eighteen years of age or over who are convicted of crime, is
unconstitutional because it is violative of section 1, subsection (1), Article III, of the Constitution of
the Philippines guaranteeing equal protection of the laws because it confers upon the provincial
board of its province the absolute discretion to make said law operative or otherwise in their
respective provinces, because it constitutes an unlawful and improper delegation to the provincial
boards of the several provinces of the legislative power lodged by the Jones Law (section 8) in the
Philippine Legislature and by the Constitution (section 1, Art. VI) in the National Assembly; and for
the further reason that it gives the provincial boards, in contravention of the Constitution (section 2,
Art. VIII) and the Jones Law (section 28), the authority to enlarge the powers of the Court of First
Instance of different provinces without uniformity. In another supplementary petition dated
September 14, 1937, the Fiscal of the City of Manila, in behalf of one of the petitioners, the People of
the Philippine Islands, concurs for the first time with the issues raised by other petitioner regarding
the constitutionality of Act No. 4221, and on the oral argument held on October 6, 1937, further
elaborated on the theory that probation is a form of reprieve and therefore Act. No. 4221 is an
encroachment on the exclusive power of the Chief Executive to grant pardons and reprieves. On
October 7, 1937, the City Fiscal filed two memorandums in which he contended that Act No. 4221
not only encroaches upon the pardoning power to the executive, but also constitute an unwarranted
delegation of legislative power and a denial of the equal protection of the laws. On October 9, 1937,
two memorandums, signed jointly by the City Fiscal and the Solicitor-General, acting in behalf of the
People of the Philippine Islands, and by counsel for the petitioner, the Hongkong and Shanghai
Banking Corporation, one sustaining the power of the state to impugn the validity of its own laws and
the other contending that Act No. 4221 constitutes an unwarranted delegation of legislative power,
were presented. Another joint memorandum was filed by the same persons on the same day,
October 9, 1937, alleging that Act No. 4221 is unconstitutional because it denies the equal protection
of the laws and constitutes an unlawful delegation of legislative power and, further, that the whole
Act is void: that the Commonwealth is not estopped from questioning the validity of its laws; that the
private prosecution may intervene in probation proceedings and may attack the probation law as
unconstitutional; and that this court may pass upon the constitutional question in prohibition
proceedings.

Respondents in their answer dated August 31, 1937, as well as in their oral argument and
memorandums, challenge each and every one of the foregoing proposition raised by the petitioners.

As special defenses, respondents allege:

(1) That the present petition does not state facts sufficient in law to warrant the
issuance of the writ of certiorari or of prohibition.

(2) That the aforesaid petition is premature because the remedy sought by the
petitioners is the very same remedy prayed for by them before the trial court and was
still pending resolution before the trial court when the present petition was filed with
this court.

(3) That the petitioners having themselves raised the question as to the execution of
judgment before the trial court, said trial court has acquired exclusive jurisdiction to
resolve the same under the theory that its resolution denying probation is
unappealable.

(4) That upon the hypothesis that this court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Court
of First Instance to decide the question as to whether or not the execution will lie, this
court nevertheless cannot exercise said jurisdiction while the Court of First Instance
has assumed jurisdiction over the same upon motion of herein petitioners
themselves.

(5) That upon the procedure followed by the herein petitioners in seeking to deprive
the trial court of its jurisdiction over the case and elevate the proceedings to this
court, should not be tolerated because it impairs the authority and dignity of the trial
court which court while sitting in the probation cases is "a court of limited jurisdiction
but of great dignity."

(6) That under the supposition that this court has jurisdiction to resolve the question
submitted to and pending resolution by the trial court, the present action would not lie
because the resolution of the trial court denying probation is appealable; for although
the Probation Law does not specifically provide that an applicant for probation may
appeal from a resolution of the Court of First Instance denying probation, still it is a
general rule in this jurisdiction that a final order, resolution or decision of an inferior
court is appealable to the superior court.

(7) That the resolution of the trial court denying probation of herein respondent
Mariano Cu Unjieng being appealable, the same had not become final and executory
for the reason that the said respondent had filed an alternative motion for
reconsideration and new trial within the requisite period of fifteen days, which motion
the trial court was able to resolve in view of the restraining order improvidently and
erroneously issued by this court. lawphi1.net

(8) That the Fiscal of the City of Manila had by implication admitted that the
resolution of the trial court denying probation is not final and unappealable when he
presented his answer to the motion for reconsideration and agreed to the
postponement of the hearing of the said motion.

(9) That under the supposition that the order of the trial court denying probation is not
appealable, it is incumbent upon the accused to file an action for the issuance of the
writ of certiorari with mandamus, it appearing that the trial court, although it believed
that the accused was entitled to probation, nevertheless denied probation for fear of
criticism because the accused is a rich man; and that, before a petition
for certiorari grounded on an irregular exercise of jurisdiction by the trial court could
lie, it is incumbent upon the petitioner to file a motion for reconsideration specifying
the error committed so that the trial court could have an opportunity to correct or cure
the same.

(10) That on hypothesis that the resolution of this court is not appealable, the trial
court retains its jurisdiction within a reasonable time to correct or modify it in
accordance with law and justice; that this power to alter or modify an order or
resolution is inherent in the courts and may be exercise either motu proprio or upon
petition of the proper party, the petition in the latter case taking the form of a motion
for reconsideration.

(11) That on the hypothesis that the resolution of the trial court is appealable as
respondent allege, said court cannot order execution of the same while it is on
appeal, for then the appeal would not be availing because the doors of probation will
be closed from the moment the accused commences to serve his sentence (Act No.
4221, sec. 1; U.S. vs. Cook, 19 Fed. [2d], 827).

In their memorandums filed on October 23, 1937, counsel for the respondents maintain that Act No.
4221 is constitutional because, contrary to the allegations of the petitioners, it does not constitute an
undue delegation of legislative power, does not infringe the equal protection clause of the
Constitution, and does not encroach upon the pardoning power of the Executive. In an additional
memorandum filed on the same date, counsel for the respondents reiterate the view that section 11
of Act No. 4221 is free from constitutional objections and contend, in addition, that the private
prosecution may not intervene in probation proceedings, much less question the validity of Act No.
4221; that both the City Fiscal and the Solicitor-General are estopped from questioning the validity of
the Act; that the validity of Act cannot be attacked for the first time before this court; that probation in
unavailable; and that, in any event, section 11 of the Act No. 4221 is separable from the rest of the
Act. The last memorandum for the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng was denied for having been filed
out of time but was admitted by resolution of this court and filed anew on November 5, 1937.
This memorandum elaborates on some of the points raised by the respondents and refutes those
brought up by the petitioners.

In the scrutiny of the pleadings and examination of the various aspects of the present case, we
noted that the court below, in passing upon the merits of the application of the respondent Mariano
Cu Unjieng and in denying said application assumed the task not only of considering the merits of
the application, but of passing upon the culpability of the applicant, notwithstanding the final
pronouncement of guilt by this court. (G.R. No. 41200.) Probation implies guilt be final judgment.
While a probation case may look into the circumstances attending the commission of the offense,
this does not authorize it to reverse the findings and conclusive of this court, either directly or
indirectly, especially wherefrom its own admission reliance was merely had on the printed briefs,
averments, and pleadings of the parties. As already observed by this court in Shioji vs.
Harvey ([1922], 43 Phil., 333, 337), and reiterated in subsequent cases, "if each and every Court of
First Instance could enjoy the privilege of overruling decisions of the Supreme Court, there would be
no end to litigation, and judicial chaos would result." A becoming modesty of inferior courts demands
conscious realization of the position that they occupy in the interrelation and operation of the
intergrated judicial system of the nation.

After threshing carefully the multifarious issues raised by both counsel for the petitioners and the
respondents, this court prefers to cut the Gordian knot and take up at once the two fundamental
questions presented, namely, (1) whether or not the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 has been
properly raised in these proceedings; and (2) in the affirmative, whether or not said Act is
constitutional. Considerations of these issues will involve a discussion of certain incidental questions
raised by the parties.

To arrive at a correct conclusion on the first question, resort to certain guiding principles is
necessary. It is a well-settled rule that the constitutionality of an act of the legislature will not be
determined by the courts unless that question is properly raised and presented inappropriate cases
and is necessary to a determination of the case; i.e., the issue of constitutionality must be the very lis
mota presented. (McGirr vs. Hamilton and Abreu [1915], 30 Phil., 563, 568; 6 R. C. L., pp. 76, 77; 12
C. J., pp. 780-782, 783.)

The question of the constitutionality of an act of the legislature is frequently raised in ordinary
actions. Nevertheless, resort may be made to extraordinary legal remedies, particularly where the
remedies in the ordinary course of law even if available, are not plain, speedy and adequate. Thus,
in Cu Unjieng vs. Patstone ([1922]), 42 Phil., 818), this court held that the question of the
constitutionality of a statute may be raised by the petitioner in mandamus proceedings (see, also, 12
C. J., p. 783); and in Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Springer ([1927], 50 Phil., 259
[affirmed in Springer vs. Government of the Philippine Islands (1928), 277 U. S., 189; 72 Law. ed.,
845]), this court declared an act of the legislature unconstitutional in an action of quo
warranto brought in the name of the Government of the Philippines. It has also been held that the
constitutionality of a statute may be questioned in habeas corpus proceedings (12 C. J., p. 783;
Bailey on Habeas Corpus, Vol. I, pp. 97, 117), although there are authorities to the contrary; on an
application for injunction to restrain action under the challenged statute (mandatory, see Cruz vs.
Youngberg [1931], 56 Phil., 234); and even on an application for preliminary injunction where the
determination of the constitutional question is necessary to a decision of the case. (12 C. J., p. 783.)
The same may be said as regards prohibition and certiorari.(Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad [1925], 47
Phil., 385; [1926], 271 U. S., 500; 70 Law. ed., 1059; Bell vs. First Judicial District Court [1905], 28
Nev., 280; 81 Pac., 875; 113 A. S. R., 854; 6 Ann. Cas., 982; 1 L. R. A. [N. S], 843, and cases cited).
The case of Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, supra, decided by this court twelve years ago was, like the
present one, an original action for certiorari and prohibition. The constitutionality of Act No. 2972,
popularly known as the Chinese Bookkeeping Law, was there challenged by the petitioners, and the
constitutional issue was not met squarely by the respondent in a demurrer. A point was raised
"relating to the propriety of the constitutional question being decided in original proceedings in
prohibition." This court decided to take up the constitutional question and, with two justices
dissenting, held that Act No. 2972 was constitutional. The case was elevated on writ of certiorari to
the Supreme Court of the United States which reversed the judgment of this court and held that the
Act was invalid. (271 U. S., 500; 70 Law. ed., 1059.) On the question of jurisdiction, however, the
Federal Supreme Court, though its Chief Justice, said:
By the Code of Civil Procedure of the Philippine Islands, section 516, the Philippine supreme
court is granted concurrent jurisdiction in prohibition with courts of first instance over inferior
tribunals or persons, and original jurisdiction over courts of first instance, when such courts
are exercising functions without or in excess of their jurisdiction. It has been held by that
court that the question of the validity of the criminal statute must usually be raised by a
defendant in the trial court and be carried regularly in review to the Supreme Court.
(Cadwallader-Gibson Lumber Co. vs. Del Rosario, 26 Phil., 192). But in this case where a
new act seriously affected numerous persons and extensive property rights, and was likely to
cause a multiplicity of actions, the Supreme Court exercised its discretion to bring the issue
to the act's validity promptly before it and decide in the interest of the orderly administration
of justice. The court relied by analogy upon the cases of Ex parte Young (209 U. S., 123;52
Law ed., 714; 13 L. R. A. [N. S.] 932; 28 Sup. Ct. Rep., 441; 14 Ann. Ca., 764; Traux vs.
Raich, 239 U. S., 33; 60 Law. ed., 131; L. R. A. 1916D, 545; 36 Sup. Ct. Rep., 7; Ann. Cas.,
1917B, 283; and Wilson vs. New, 243 U. S., 332; 61 Law. ed., 755; L. R. A. 1917E, 938; 37
Sup. Ct. Rep., 298; Ann. Cas. 1918A, 1024). Although objection to the jurisdiction was raise
by demurrer to the petition, this is now disclaimed on behalf of the respondents, and both
parties ask a decision on the merits. In view of the broad powers in prohibition granted to that
court under the Island Code, we acquiesce in the desire of the parties.

The writ of prohibition is an extraordinary judicial writ issuing out of a court of superior jurisdiction
and directed to an inferior court, for the purpose of preventing the inferior tribunal from usurping a
jurisdiction with which it is not legally vested. (High, Extraordinary Legal Remedies, p. 705.) The
general rule, although there is a conflict in the cases, is that the merit of prohibition will not lie
whether the inferior court has jurisdiction independent of the statute the constitutionality of which is
questioned, because in such cases the interior court having jurisdiction may itself determine the
constitutionality of the statute, and its decision may be subject to review, and consequently the
complainant in such cases ordinarily has adequate remedy by appeal without resort to the writ of
prohibition. But where the inferior court or tribunal derives its jurisdiction exclusively from an
unconstitutional statute, it may be prevented by the writ of prohibition from enforcing that statute. (50
C. J., 670; Ex parte Round tree [1874, 51 Ala., 42; In re Macfarland, 30 App. [D. C.], 365; Curtis vs.
Cornish [1912], 109 Me., 384; 84 A., 799; Pennington vs. Woolfolk [1880], 79 Ky., 13; State vs.
Godfrey [1903], 54 W. Va., 54; 46 S. E., 185; Arnold vs. Shields [1837], 5 Dana, 19; 30 Am. Dec.,
669.)

Courts of First Instance sitting in probation proceedings derived their jurisdiction solely from Act No.
4221 which prescribes in detailed manner the procedure for granting probation to accused persons
after their conviction has become final and before they have served their sentence. It is true that at
common law the authority of the courts to suspend temporarily the execution of the sentence is
recognized and, according to a number of state courts, including those of Massachusetts, Michigan,
New York, and Ohio, the power is inherent in the courts (Commonwealth vs. Dowdican's Bail [1874],
115 Mass., 133; People vs. Stickel [1909], 156 Mich., 557; 121 N. W., 497; People ex rel. Forsyth vs.
Court of Session [1894], 141 N. Y., 288; Weber vs. State [1898], 58 Ohio St., 616). But, in the
leading case of Ex parte United States ([1916], 242 U. S., 27; 61 Law. ed., 129; L. R. A., 1917E,
1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72; Ann. Cas. 1917B, 355), the Supreme Court of the United States
expressed the opinion that under the common law the power of the court was limited to temporary
suspension, and brushed aside the contention as to inherent judicial power saying, through Chief
Justice White:

Indisputably under our constitutional system the right to try offenses against the criminal laws
and upon conviction to impose the punishment provided by law is judicial, and it is equally to
be conceded that, in exerting the powers vested in them on such subject, courts inherently
possess ample right to exercise reasonable, that is, judicial, discretion to enable them to
wisely exert their authority. But these concessions afford no ground for the contention as to
power here made, since it must rest upon the proposition that the power to enforce begets
inherently a discretion to permanently refuse to do so. And the effect of the proposition urged
upon the distribution of powers made by the Constitution will become apparent when it is
observed that indisputable also is it that the authority to define and fix the punishment for
crime is legislative and includes the right in advance to bring within judicial discretion, for the
purpose of executing the statute, elements of consideration which would be otherwise
beyond the scope of judicial authority, and that the right to relieve from the punishment, fixed
by law and ascertained according to the methods by it provided belongs to the executive
department.

Justice Carson, in his illuminating concurring opinion in the case of Director of Prisons vs. Judge of
First Instance of Cavite (29 Phil., 265), decided by this court in 1915, also reached the conclusion
that the power to suspend the execution of sentences pronounced in criminal cases is not inherent in
the judicial function. "All are agreed", he said, "that in the absence of statutory authority, it does not
lie within the power of the courts to grant such suspensions." (at p. 278.) Both petitioner and
respondents are correct, therefore, when they argue that a Court of First Instance sitting in probation
proceedings is a court of limited jurisdiction. Its jurisdiction in such proceedings is conferred
exclusively by Act No. 4221 of the Philippine Legislature.

It is, of course, true that the constitutionality of a statute will not be considered on application for
prohibition where the question has not been properly brought to the attention of the court by
objection of some kind (Hill vs. Tarver [1901], 130 Ala., 592; 30 S., 499; State ex rel. Kelly vs. Kirby
[1914], 260 Mo., 120; 168 S. W., 746). In the case at bar, it is unquestionable that the constitutional
issue has been squarely presented not only before this court by the petitioners but also before the
trial court by the private prosecution. The respondent, Hon. Jose O Vera, however, acting as judge
of the court below, declined to pass upon the question on the ground that the private prosecutor, not
being a party whose rights are affected by the statute, may not raise said question. The respondent
judge cited Cooley on Constitutional Limitations (Vol. I, p. 339; 12 C. J., sec. 177, pp. 760 and 762),
and McGlue vs. Essex County ([1916], 225 Mass., 59; 113 N. E., 742, 743), as authority for the
proposition that a court will not consider any attack made on the constitutionality of a statute by one
who has no interest in defeating it because his rights are not affected by its operation. The
respondent judge further stated that it may not motu proprio take up the constitutional question and,
agreeing with Cooley that "the power to declare a legislative enactment void is one which the judge,
conscious of the fallibility of the human judgment, will shrink from exercising in any case where he
can conscientiously and with due regard to duty and official oath decline the responsibility"
(Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, p. 332), proceeded on the assumption that Act No. 4221 is
constitutional. While therefore, the court a quo admits that the constitutional question was raised
before it, it refused to consider the question solely because it was not raised by a proper party.
Respondents herein reiterates this view. The argument is advanced that the private prosecution has
no personality to appear in the hearing of the application for probation of defendant Mariano Cu
Unjieng in criminal case No. 42648 of the Court of First Instance of Manila, and hence the issue of
constitutionality was not properly raised in the lower court. Although, as a general rule, only those
who are parties to a suit may question the constitutionality of a statute involved in a judicial decision,
it has been held that since the decree pronounced by a court without jurisdiction is void, where the
jurisdiction of the court depends on the validity of the statute in question, the issue of the
constitutionality will be considered on its being brought to the attention of the court by persons
interested in the effect to be given the statute.(12 C. J., sec. 184, p. 766.) And, even if we were to
concede that the issue was not properly raised in the court below by the proper party, it does not
follow that the issue may not be here raised in an original action of certiorari and prohibitions. It is
true that, as a general rule, the question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity,
so that if not raised by the pleadings, ordinarily it may not be raised at the trial, and if not raised in
the trial court, it will not considered on appeal. (12 C. J., p. 786. See, also, Cadwallader-Gibson
Lumber Co. vs. Del Rosario, 26 Phil., 192, 193-195.) But we must state that the general rule admits
of exceptions. Courts, in the exercise of sounds discretion, may determine the time when a question
affecting the constitutionality of a statute should be presented. (In re Woolsey [1884], 95 N. Y., 135,
144.) Thus, in criminal cases, although there is a very sharp conflict of authorities, it is said that the
question may be raised for the first time at any stage of the proceedings, either in the trial court or on
appeal. (12 C. J., p. 786.) Even in civil cases, it has been held that it is the duty of a court to pass on
the constitutional question, though raised for the first time on appeal, if it appears that a
determination of the question is necessary to a decision of the case. (McCabe's Adm'x vs. Maysville
& B. S. R. Co., [1910], 136 ky., 674; 124 S. W., 892; Lohmeyer vs. St. Louis Cordage Co. [1908],
214 Mo., 685; 113 S. W. 1108; Carmody vs. St. Louis Transit Co., [1905], 188 Mo., 572; 87 S. W.,
913.) And it has been held that a constitutional question will be considered by an appellate court at
any time, where it involves the jurisdiction of the court below (State vs. Burke [1911], 175 Ala., 561;
57 S., 870.) As to the power of this court to consider the constitutional question raised for the first
time before this court in these proceedings, we turn again and point with emphasis to the case of Yu
Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, supra. And on the hypotheses that the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking
Corporation, represented by the private prosecution, is not the proper party to raise the constitutional
question here — a point we do not now have to decide — we are of the opinion that the People of
the Philippines, represented by the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is such a
proper party in the present proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the
validity of a statute must have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has
sustained, or will sustained, direct injury as a result of its enforcement. It goes without saying that if
Act No. 4221 really violates the constitution, the People of the Philippines, in whose name the
present action is brought, has a substantial interest in having it set aside. Of grater import than the
damage caused by the illegal expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the
fundamental law by the enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the state
can challenge the validity of its own laws. In Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Springer
([1927]), 50 Phil., 259 (affirmed in Springer vs. Government of the Philippine Islands [1928], 277
U.S., 189; 72 Law. ed., 845), this court declared an act of the legislature unconstitutional in an action
instituted in behalf of the Government of the Philippines. In Attorney General vs. Perkins ([1889], 73
Mich., 303, 311, 312; 41 N. W. 426, 428, 429), the State of Michigan, through its Attorney General,
instituted quo warranto proceedings to test the right of the respondents to renew a mining
corporation, alleging that the statute under which the respondents base their right was
unconstitutional because it impaired the obligation of contracts. The capacity of the chief law officer
of the state to question the constitutionality of the statute was though, as a general rule, only those
who are parties to a suit may question the constitutionality of a statute involved in a judicial decision,
it has been held that since the decree pronounced by a court without jurisdiction in void, where the
jurisdiction of the court depends on the validity of the statute in question, the issue of constitutionality
will be considered on its being brought to the attention of the court by persons interested in the effect
to begin the statute. (12 C.J., sec. 184, p. 766.) And, even if we were to concede that the issue was
not properly raised in the court below by the proper party, it does not follow that the issue may not be
here raised in an original action of certiorari and prohibition. It is true that, as a general rule, the
question of constitutionality must be raised at the earliest opportunity, so that if not raised by the
pleadings, ordinarily it may not be raised a the trial, and if not raised in the trial court, it will not be
considered on appeal. (12 C.J., p. 786. See, also, Cadwallader-Gibson Lumber Co. vs. Del Rosario,
26 Phil., 192, 193-195.) But we must state that the general rule admits of exceptions. Courts, in the
exercise of sound discretion, may determine the time when a question affecting the constitutionality
of a statute should be presented. (In re Woolsey [19884], 95 N.Y., 135, 144.) Thus, in criminal
cases, although there is a very sharp conflict of authorities, it is said that the question may be raised
for the first time at any state of the proceedings, either in the trial court or on appeal. (12 C.J., p.
786.) Even in civil cases, it has been held that it is the duty of a court to pass on the constitutional
question, though raised for first time on appeal, if it appears that a determination of the question is
necessary to a decision of the case. (McCabe's Adm'x vs. Maysville & B. S. R. Co. [1910], 136 Ky.,
674; 124 S. W., 892; Lohmeyer vs. St. Louis, Cordage Co. [1908], 214 Mo. 685; 113 S. W., 1108;
Carmody vs. St. Louis Transit Co. [1905], 188 Mo., 572; 87 S. W., 913.) And it has been held that a
constitutional question will be considered by an appellate court at any time, where it involves the
jurisdiction of the court below (State vs. Burke [1911], 175 Ala., 561; 57 S., 870.) As to the power of
this court to consider the constitutional question raised for the first time before this court in these
proceedings, we turn again and point with emphasis to the case of Yu Cong Eng. vs. Trinidad,
supra. And on the hypothesis that the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation, represented by
the private prosecution, is not the proper party to raise the constitutional question here — a point we
do not now have to decide — we are of the opinion that the People of the Philippines, represented
by the Solicitor-General and the Fiscal of the City of Manila, is such a proper party in the present
proceedings. The unchallenged rule is that the person who impugns the validity of a statute must
have a personal and substantial interest in the case such that he has sustained, or will sustain, direct
injury as a result of its enforcement. It goes without saying that if Act No. 4221 really violates the
Constitution, the People of the Philippines, in whose name the present action is brought, has a
substantial interest in having it set aside. Of greater import than the damage caused by the illegal
expenditure of public funds is the mortal wound inflicted upon the fundamental law by the
enforcement of an invalid statute. Hence, the well-settled rule that the state can challenge the
validity of its own laws. In Government of the Philippine Islands vs. Springer ([1927]), 50 Phil., 259
(affirmed in Springer vs. Government of the Philippine Islands [1928], 277 U.S., 189; 72 Law. ed.,
845), this court declared an act of the legislature unconstitutional in an action instituted in behalf of
the Government of the Philippines. In Attorney General vs. Perkings([1889], 73 Mich., 303, 311, 312;
41 N.W., 426, 428, 429), the State of Michigan, through its Attorney General, instituted quo warranto
proceedings to test the right of the respondents to renew a mining corporation, alleging that the
statute under which the respondents base their right was unconstitutional because it impaired the
obligation of contracts. The capacity of the chief law officer of the state to question the
constitutionality of the statute was itself questioned. Said the Supreme Court of Michigan, through
Champlin, J.:

. . . The idea seems to be that the people are estopped from questioning the validity of a law
enacted by their representatives; that to an accusation by the people of Michigan of
usurpation their government, a statute enacted by the people of Michigan is an adequate
answer. The last proposition is true, but, if the statute relied on in justification is
unconstitutional, it is statute only in form, and lacks the force of law, and is of no more saving
effect to justify action under it than if it had never been enacted. The constitution is the
supreme law, and to its behests the courts, the legislature, and the people must bow . . . The
legislature and the respondents are not the only parties in interest upon such constitutional
questions. As was remarked by Mr. Justice Story, in speaking of an acquiescence by a party
affected by an unconstitutional act of the legislature: "The people have a deep and vested
interest in maintaining all the constitutional limitations upon the exercise of legislative
powers." (Allen vs. Mckeen, 1 Sum., 314.)

In State vs. Doane ([1916], 98 Kan., 435; 158 Pac., 38, 40), an original action (mandamus) was
brought by the Attorney-General of Kansas to test the constitutionality of a statute of the state. In
disposing of the question whether or not the state may bring the action, the Supreme Court of
Kansas said:

. . . the state is a proper party — indeed, the proper party — to bring this action. The state is
always interested where the integrity of its Constitution or statutes is involved.

"It has an interest in seeing that the will of the Legislature is not disregarded,
and need not, as an individual plaintiff must, show grounds of fearing more
specific injury. (State vs. Kansas City 60 Kan., 518 [57 Pac., 118])." (State vs.
Lawrence, 80 Kan., 707; 103 Pac., 839.)
Where the constitutionality of a statute is in doubt the state's law officer, its Attorney-General,
or county attorney, may exercise his bet judgment as to what sort of action he will bring to
have the matter determined, either by quo warranto to challenge its validity (State vs.
Johnson, 61 Kan., 803; 60 Pac., 1068; 49 L.R.A., 662), by mandamus to compel obedience
to its terms (State vs. Dolley, 82 Kan., 533; 108 Pac., 846), or by injunction to restrain
proceedings under its questionable provisions (State ex rel. vs. City of Neodesha, 3 Kan.
App., 319; 45 Pac., 122).

Other courts have reached the same conclusion (See State vs. St. Louis S. W. Ry. Co. [1917], 197
S. W., 1006; State vs. S.H. Kress & Co. [1934], 155 S., 823; State vs. Walmsley [1935], 181 La.,
597; 160 S., 91; State vs. Board of County Comr's [1934], 39 Pac. [2d], 286; First Const. Co. of
Brooklyn vs. State [1917], 211 N.Y., 295; 116 N.E., 1020; Bush vs. State {1918], 187 Ind., 339; 119
N.E., 417; State vs. Watkins [1933], 176 La., 837; 147 S., 8, 10, 11). In the case last cited, the
Supreme Court of Luisiana said:

It is contended by counsel for Herbert Watkins that a district attorney, being charged with the
duty of enforcing the laws, has no right to plead that a law is unconstitutional. In support of
the argument three decisions are cited, viz.: State ex rel. Hall, District Attorney, vs. Judge of
Tenth Judicial District (33 La. Ann., 1222); State ex rel. Nicholls, Governor vs. Shakespeare,
Mayor of New Orleans (41 Ann., 156; 6 So., 592); and State ex rel., Banking Co., etc. vs.
Heard, Auditor (47 La. Ann., 1679; 18 So., 746; 47 L. R. A., 512). These decisions do not
forbid a district attorney to plead that a statute is unconstitutional if he finds if in conflict with
one which it is his duty to enforce. In State ex rel. Hall, District Attorney, vs. Judge, etc., the
ruling was the judge should not, merely because he believed a certain statute to be
unconstitutional forbid the district attorney to file a bill of information charging a person with a
violation of the statute. In other words, a judge should not judicially declare a statute
unconstitutional until the question of constitutionality is tendered for decision, and unless it
must be decided in order to determine the right of a party litigant. State ex rel. Nicholls,
Governor, etc., is authority for the proposition merely that an officer on whom a statute
imposes the duty of enforcing its provisions cannot avoid the duty upon the ground that he
considers the statute unconstitutional, and hence in enforcing the statute he is immune from
responsibility if the statute be unconstitutional. State ex rel. Banking Co., etc., is authority for
the proposition merely that executive officers, e.g., the state auditor and state treasurer,
should not decline to perform ministerial duties imposed upon them by a statute, on the
ground that they believe the statute is unconstitutional.

It is the duty of a district attorney to enforce the criminal laws of the state, and, above all, to
support the Constitution of the state. If, in the performance of his duty he finds two statutes in
conflict with each other, or one which repeals another, and if, in his judgment, one of the two
statutes is unconstitutional, it is his duty to enforce the other; and, in order to do so, he is
compelled to submit to the court, by way of a plea, that one of the statutes is
unconstitutional. If it were not so, the power of the Legislature would be free from
constitutional limitations in the enactment of criminal laws.

The respondents do not seem to doubt seriously the correctness of the general proposition that the
state may impugn the validity of its laws. They have not cited any authority running clearly in the
opposite direction. In fact, they appear to have proceeded on the assumption that the rule as stated
is sound but that it has no application in the present case, nor may it be invoked by the City Fiscal in
behalf of the People of the Philippines, one of the petitioners herein, the principal reasons being that
the validity before this court, that the City Fiscal is estopped from attacking the validity of the Act
and, not authorized challenge the validity of the Act in its application outside said city. (Additional
memorandum of respondents, October 23, 1937, pp. 8,. 10, 17 and 23.)
The mere fact that the Probation Act has been repeatedly relied upon the past and all that time has
not been attacked as unconstitutional by the Fiscal of Manila but, on the contrary, has been impliedly
regarded by him as constitutional, is no reason for considering the People of the Philippines
estopped from nor assailing its validity. For courts will pass upon a constitutional questions only
when presented before it in bona fide cases for determination, and the fact that the question has not
been raised before is not a valid reason for refusing to allow it to be raised later. The fiscal and all
others are justified in relying upon the statute and treating it as valid until it is held void by the courts
in proper cases.

It remains to consider whether the determination of the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 is necessary
to the resolution of the instant case. For, ". . . while the court will meet the question with firmness,
where its decision is indispensable, it is the part of wisdom, and just respect for the legislature,
renders it proper, to waive it, if the case in which it arises, can be decided on other points." (Ex
parte Randolph [1833], 20 F. Cas. No. 11, 558; 2 Brock., 447. Vide, also Hoover vs. wood [1857], 9
Ind., 286, 287.) It has been held that the determination of a constitutional question is necessary
whenever it is essential to the decision of the case (12 C. J., p. 782, citing Long Sault Dev. Co. vs.
Kennedy [1913], 158 App. Div., 398; 143 N. Y. Supp., 454 [aff. 212 N.Y., 1: 105 N. E., 849; Ann.
Cas. 1915D, 56; and app dism 242 U.S., 272]; Hesse vs. Ledesma, 7 Porto Rico Fed., 520; Cowan
vs. Doddridge, 22 Gratt [63 Va.], 458; Union Line Co., vs. Wisconsin R. Commn., 146 Wis., 523; 129
N. W., 605), as where the right of a party is founded solely on a statute the validity of which is
attacked. (12 C.J., p. 782, citing Central Glass Co. vs. Niagrara F. Ins. Co., 131 La., 513; 59 S., 972;
Cheney vs. Beverly, 188 Mass., 81; 74 N.E., 306). There is no doubt that the respondent Cu Unjieng
draws his privilege to probation solely from Act No. 4221 now being assailed.

Apart from the foregoing considerations, that court will also take cognizance of the fact that the
Probation Act is a new addition to our statute books and its validity has never before been passed
upon by the courts; that may persons accused and convicted of crime in the City of Manila have
applied for probation; that some of them are already on probation; that more people will likely take
advantage of the Probation Act in the future; and that the respondent Mariano Cu Unjieng has been
at large for a period of about four years since his first conviction. All wait the decision of this court on
the constitutional question. Considering, therefore, the importance which the instant case has
assumed and to prevent multiplicity of suits, strong reasons of public policy demand that the
constitutionality of Act No. 4221 be now resolved. (Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad [1925], 47 Phil., 385;
[1926], 271 U.S., 500; 70 Law. ed., 1059. See 6 R.C.L., pp. 77, 78; People vs. Kennedy [1913], 207
N.Y., 533; 101 N.E., 442, 444; Ann. Cas. 1914C, 616; Borginis vs. Falk Co. [1911], 147 Wis., 327;
133 N.W., 209, 211; 37 L.R.A. [N.S.] 489; Dimayuga and Fajardo vs. Fernandez [1922], 43 Phil.,
304.) In Yu Cong Eng vs. Trinidad, supra, an analogous situation confronted us. We said: "Inasmuch
as the property and personal rights of nearly twelve thousand merchants are affected by these
proceedings, and inasmuch as Act No. 2972 is a new law not yet interpreted by the courts, in the
interest of the public welfare and for the advancement of public policy, we have determined to
overrule the defense of want of jurisdiction in order that we may decide the main issue. We have
here an extraordinary situation which calls for a relaxation of the general rule." Our ruling on this
point was sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States. A more binding authority in support
of the view we have taken can not be found.

We have reached the conclusion that the question of the constitutionality of Act No. 4221 has been
properly raised. Now for the main inquiry: Is the Act unconstitutional?

Under a doctrine peculiarly American, it is the office and duty of the judiciary to enforce the
Constitution. This court, by clear implication from the provisions of section 2, subsection 1, and
section 10, of Article VIII of the Constitution, may declare an act of the national legislature invalid
because in conflict with the fundamental lay. It will not shirk from its sworn duty to enforce the
Constitution. And, in clear cases, it will not hesitate to give effect to the supreme law by setting aside
a statute in conflict therewith. This is of the essence of judicial duty.

This court is not unmindful of the fundamental criteria in cases of this nature that all reasonable
doubts should be resolved in favor of the constitutionality of a statute. An act of the legislature
approved by the executive, is presumed to be within constitutional limitations. The responsibility of
upholding the Constitution rests not on the courts alone but on the legislature as well. "The question
of the validity of every statute is first determined by the legislative department of the government
itself." (U.S. vs. Ten Yu [1912], 24 Phil., 1, 10; Case vs. Board of Health and Heiser [1913], 24 Phil.,
250, 276; U.S. vs. Joson [1913], 26 Phil., 1.) And a statute finally comes before the courts sustained
by the sanction of the executive. The members of the Legislature and the Chief Executive have
taken an oath to support the Constitution and it must be presumed that they have been true to this
oath and that in enacting and sanctioning a particular law they did not intend to violate the
Constitution. The courts cannot but cautiously exercise its power to overturn the solemn declarations
of two of the three grand departments of the governments. (6 R.C.L., p. 101.) Then, there is that
peculiar political philosophy which bids the judiciary to reflect the wisdom of the people as expressed
through an elective Legislature and an elective Chief Executive. It follows, therefore, that the courts
will not set aside a law as violative of the Constitution except in a clear case. This is a proposition
too plain to require a citation of authorities.

One of the counsel for respondents, in the course of his impassioned argument, called attention to
the fact that the President of the Philippines had already expressed his opinion against the
constitutionality of the Probation Act, adverting that as to the Executive the resolution of this question
was a foregone conclusion. Counsel, however, reiterated his confidence in the integrity and
independence of this court. We take notice of the fact that the President in his message dated
September 1, 1937, recommended to the National Assembly the immediate repeal of the Probation
Act (No. 4221); that this message resulted in the approval of Bill No. 2417 of the Nationality
Assembly repealing the probation Act, subject to certain conditions therein mentioned; but that said
bill was vetoed by the President on September 13, 1937, much against his wish, "to have stricken
out from the statute books of the Commonwealth a law . . . unfair and very likely unconstitutional." It
is sufficient to observe in this connection that, in vetoing the bill referred to, the President exercised
his constitutional prerogative. He may express the reasons which he may deem proper for taking
such a step, but his reasons are not binding upon us in the determination of actual controversies
submitted for our determination. Whether or not the Executive should express or in any manner
insinuate his opinion on a matter encompassed within his broad constitutional power of veto but
which happens to be at the same time pending determination in this court is a question of propriety
for him exclusively to decide or determine. Whatever opinion is expressed by him under these
circumstances, however, cannot sway our judgment on way or another and prevent us from taking
what in our opinion is the proper course of action to take in a given case. It if is ever necessary for us
to make any vehement affirmance during this formative period of our political history, it is that we are
independent of the Executive no less than of the Legislative department of our government —
independent in the performance of our functions, undeterred by any consideration, free from politics,
indifferent to popularity, and unafraid of criticism in the accomplishment of our sworn duty as we see
it and as we understand it.

The constitutionality of Act No. 4221 is challenged on three principal grounds: (1) That said Act
encroaches upon the pardoning power of the Executive; (2) that its constitutes an undue delegation
of legislative power and (3) that it denies the equal protection of the laws.

1. Section 21 of the Act of Congress of August 29, 1916, commonly known as the Jones Law, in
force at the time of the approval of Act No. 4221, otherwise known as the Probation Act, vests in the
Governor-General of the Philippines "the exclusive power to grant pardons and reprieves and remit
fines and forfeitures". This power is now vested in the President of the Philippines. (Art. VII, sec. 11,
subsec. 6.) The provisions of the Jones Law and the Constitution differ in some respects. The
adjective "exclusive" found in the Jones Law has been omitted from the Constitution. Under the
Jones Law, as at common law, pardon could be granted any time after the commission of the
offense, either before or after conviction (Vide Constitution of the United States, Art. II, sec. 2; In
re Lontok [1922], 43 Phil., 293). The Governor-General of the Philippines was thus empowered, like
the President of the United States, to pardon a person before the facts of the case were fully brought
to light. The framers of our Constitution thought this undesirable and, following most of the state
constitutions, provided that the pardoning power can only be exercised "after conviction". So, too,
under the new Constitution, the pardoning power does not extend to "cases of impeachment". This is
also the rule generally followed in the United States (Vide Constitution of the United States, Art. II,
sec. 2). The rule in England is different. There, a royal pardon can not be pleaded in bar of an
impeachment; "but," says Blackstone, "after the impeachment has been solemnly heard and
determined, it is not understood that the king's royal grace is further restrained or abridged." (Vide,
Ex parte Wells [1856], 18 How., 307; 15 Law. ed., 421; Com. vs. Lockwood [1872], 109 Mass., 323;
12 Am. Rep., 699; Sterling vs. Drake [1876], 29 Ohio St., 457; 23 am. Rep., 762.) The reason for the
distinction is obvious. In England, Judgment on impeachment is not confined to mere "removal from
office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the
Government" (Art. IX, sec. 4, Constitution of the Philippines) but extends to the whole punishment
attached by law to the offense committed. The House of Lords, on a conviction may, by its sentence,
inflict capital punishment, perpetual banishment, perpetual banishment, fine or imprisonment,
depending upon the gravity of the offense committed, together with removal from office and
incapacity to hold office. (Com. vs. Lockwood, supra.) Our Constitution also makes specific mention
of "commutation" and of the power of the executive to impose, in the pardons he may grant, such
conditions, restrictions and limitations as he may deem proper. Amnesty may be granted by the
President under the Constitution but only with the concurrence of the National Assembly. We need
not dwell at length on the significance of these fundamental changes. It is sufficient for our purposes
to state that the pardoning power has remained essentially the same. The question is: Has the
pardoning power of the Chief Executive under the Jones Law been impaired by the Probation Act?

As already stated, the Jones Law vests the pardoning power exclusively in the Chief Executive. The
exercise of the power may not, therefore, be vested in anyone else.
". . . The benign prerogative of mercy reposed in the executive cannot be taken away nor fettered by
any legislative restrictions, nor can like power be given by the legislature to any other officer or
authority. The coordinate departments of government have nothing to do with the pardoning power,
since no person properly belonging to one of the departments can exercise any powers appertaining
to either of the others except in cases expressly provided for by the constitution." (20 R.C.L., pp., ,
and cases cited.) " . . . where the pardoning power is conferred on the executive without express or
implied limitations, the grant is exclusive, and the legislature can neither exercise such power itself
nor delegate it elsewhere, nor interfere with or control the proper exercise thereof, . . ." (12 C.J., pp.
838, 839, and cases cited.) If Act No. 4221, then, confers any pardoning power upon the courts it is
for that reason unconstitutional and void. But does it?

In the famous Killitts decision involving an embezzlement case, the Supreme Court of the United
States ruled in 1916 that an order indefinitely suspending sentenced was void. (Ex parte United
States [1916], 242 U.S., 27; 61 Law. ed., 129; L.R.A. 1917E, 1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72; Ann. Cas.
1917B, 355.) Chief Justice White, after an exhaustive review of the authorities, expressed the
opinion of the court that under the common law the power of the court was limited to temporary
suspension and that the right to suspend sentenced absolutely and permanently was vested in the
executive branch of the government and not in the judiciary. But, the right of Congress to establish
probation by statute was conceded. Said the court through its Chief Justice: ". . . and so far as the
future is concerned, that is, the causing of the imposition of penalties as fixed to be subject, by
probation legislation or such other means as the legislative mind may devise, to such judicial
discretion as may be adequate to enable courts to meet by the exercise of an enlarged but wise
discretion the infinite variations which may be presented to them for judgment, recourse must be had
Congress whose legislative power on the subject is in the very nature of things adequately
complete." (Quoted in Riggs vs. United States [1926], 14 F. [2d], 5, 6.) This decision led the National
Probation Association and others to agitate for the enactment by Congress of a federal probation
law. Such action was finally taken on March 4, 1925 (chap. 521, 43 Stat. L. 159, U.S.C. title 18, sec.
724). This was followed by an appropriation to defray the salaries and expenses of a certain number
of probation officers chosen by civil service. (Johnson, Probation for Juveniles and Adults, p. 14.)

In United States vs. Murray ([1925], 275 U.S., 347; 48 Sup. Ct. Rep., 146; 72 Law. ed., 309), the
Supreme Court of the United States, through Chief Justice Taft, held that when a person sentenced
to imprisonment by a district court has begun to serve his sentence, that court has no power under
the Probation Act of March 4, 1925 to grant him probation even though the term at which sentence
was imposed had not yet expired. In this case of Murray, the constitutionality of the probation Act
was not considered but was assumed. The court traced the history of the Act and quoted from the
report of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States House of Representatives (Report No.
1377, 68th Congress, 2 Session) the following statement:

Prior to the so-called Killitts case, rendered in December, 1916, the district courts exercised
a form of probation either, by suspending sentence or by placing the defendants under state
probation officers or volunteers. In this case, however (Ex parte United States, 242 U.S., 27;
61 L. Ed., 129; L.R.A., 1917E, 1178; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 72 Ann. Cas. 1917B, 355), the
Supreme Court denied the right of the district courts to suspend sentenced. In the same
opinion the court pointed out the necessity for action by Congress if the courts were to
exercise probation powers in the future . . .

Since this decision was rendered, two attempts have been made to enact probation
legislation. In 1917, a bill was favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee and passed the
House. In 1920, the judiciary Committee again favorably reported a probation bill to the
House, but it was never reached for definite action.

If this bill is enacted into law, it will bring the policy of the Federal government with reference
to its treatment of those convicted of violations of its criminal laws in harmony with that of the
states of the Union. At the present time every state has a probation law, and in all but twelve
states the law applies both to adult and juvenile offenders. (see, also, Johnson, Probation for
Juveniles and Adults [1928], Chap. I.)

The constitutionality of the federal probation law has been sustained by inferior federal courts. In
Riggs vs. United States supra, the Circuit Court of Appeals of the Fourth Circuit said:

Since the passage of the Probation Act of March 4, 1925, the questions under consideration
have been reviewed by the Circuit Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit (7 F. [2d], 590), and
the constitutionality of the act fully sustained, and the same held in no manner to encroach
upon the pardoning power of the President. This case will be found to contain an able and
comprehensive review of the law applicable here. It arose under the act we have to consider,
and to it and the authorities cited therein special reference is made (Nix vs. James, 7 F. [2d],
590, 594), as is also to a decision of the Circuit Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit
(Kriebel vs. U.S., 10 F. [2d], 762), likewise construing the Probation Act.

We have seen that in 1916 the Supreme Court of the United States; in plain and unequivocal
language, pointed to Congress as possessing the requisite power to enact probation laws, that a
federal probation law as actually enacted in 1925, and that the constitutionality of the Act has been
assumed by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1928 and consistently sustained by the
inferior federal courts in a number of earlier cases.

We are fully convinced that the Philippine Legislature, like the Congress of the United States, may
legally enact a probation law under its broad power to fix the punishment of any and all penal
offenses. This conclusion is supported by other authorities. In Ex parte Bates ([1915], 20 N. M., 542;
L.R.A. 1916A, 1285; 151 Pac., 698, the court said: "It is clearly within the province of the Legislature
to denominate and define all classes of crime, and to prescribe for each a minimum and maximum
punishment." And in State vs. Abbott ([1910], 87 S.C., 466; 33 L.R.A. [N. S.], 112; 70 S. E., 6; Ann.
Cas. 1912B, 1189), the court said: "The legislative power to set punishment for crime is very broad,
and in the exercise of this power the general assembly may confer on trial judges, if it sees fit, the
largest discretion as to the sentence to be imposed, as to the beginning and end of the punishment
and whether it should be certain or indeterminate or conditional." (Quoted in State vs. Teal [1918],
108 S. C., 455; 95 S. E., 69.) Indeed, the Philippine Legislature has defined all crimes and fixed the
penalties for their violation. Invariably, the legislature has demonstrated the desire to vest in the
courts — particularly the trial courts — large discretion in imposing the penalties which the law
prescribes in particular cases. It is believed that justice can best be served by vesting this power in
the courts, they being in a position to best determine the penalties which an individual convict,
peculiarly circumstanced, should suffer. Thus, while courts are not allowed to refrain from imposing a
sentence merely because, taking into consideration the degree of malice and the injury caused by
the offense, the penalty provided by law is clearly excessive, the courts being allowed in such case
to submit to the Chief Executive, through the Department of Justice, such statement as it may deem
proper (see art. 5, Revised Penal Code), in cases where both mitigating and aggravating
circumstances are attendant in the commission of a crime and the law provides for a penalty
composed of two indivisible penalties, the courts may allow such circumstances to offset one
another in consideration of their number and importance, and to apply the penalty according to the
result of such compensation. (Art. 63, rule 4, Revised Penal Code; U.S. vs. Reguera and Asuategui
[1921], 41 Phil., 506.) Again, article 64, paragraph 7, of the Revised Penal Code empowers the
courts to determine, within the limits of each periods, in case the penalty prescribed by law contains
three periods, the extent of the evil produced by the crime. In the imposition of fines, the courts are
allowed to fix any amount within the limits established by law, considering not only the mitigating and
aggravating circumstances, but more particularly the wealth or means of the culprit. (Art. 66, Revised
Penal Code.) Article 68, paragraph 1, of the same Code provides that "a discretionary penalty shall
be imposed" upon a person under fifteen but over nine years of age, who has not acted without
discernment, but always lower by two degrees at least than that prescribed by law for the crime
which he has committed. Article 69 of the same Code provides that in case of "incomplete self-
defense", i.e., when the crime committed is not wholly excusable by reason of the lack of some of
the conditions required to justify the same or to exempt from criminal liability in the several cases
mentioned in article 11 and 12 of the Code, "the courts shall impose the penalty in the period which
may be deemed proper, in view of the number and nature of the conditions of exemption present or
lacking." And, in case the commission of what are known as "impossible" crimes, "the court, having
in mind the social danger and the degree of criminality shown by the offender," shall impose upon
him either arresto mayor or a fine ranging from 200 to 500 pesos. (Art. 59, Revised Penal Code.)

Under our Revised Penal Code, also, one-half of the period of preventive imprisonment is deducted
form the entire term of imprisonment, except in certain cases expressly mentioned (art. 29); the
death penalty is not imposed when the guilty person is more than seventy years of age, or where
upon appeal or revision of the case by the Supreme Court, all the members thereof are not
unanimous in their voting as to the propriety of the imposition of the death penalty (art. 47, see also,
sec. 133, Revised Administrative Code, as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 3); the death
sentence is not to be inflicted upon a woman within the three years next following the date of the
sentence or while she is pregnant, or upon any person over seventy years of age (art. 83); and when
a convict shall become insane or an imbecile after final sentence has been pronounced, or while he
is serving his sentenced, the execution of said sentence shall be suspended with regard to the
personal penalty during the period of such insanity or imbecility (art. 79).

But the desire of the legislature to relax what might result in the undue harshness of the penal laws
is more clearly demonstrated in various other enactments, including the probation Act. There is the
Indeterminate Sentence Law enacted in 1933 as Act No. 4103 and subsequently amended by Act
No. 4225, establishing a system of parole (secs. 5 to 100 and granting the courts large discretion in
imposing the penalties of the law. Section 1 of the law as amended provides; "hereafter, in imposing
a prison sentence for an offenses punished by the Revised Penal Code, or its amendments, the
court shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence the maximum term of which shall be
that which, in view of the attending circumstances, could be properly imposed under the rules of the
said Code, and to a minimum which shall be within the range of the penalty next lower to that
prescribed by the Code for the offense; and if the offense is punished by any other law, the court
shall sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall not
exceed the maximum fixed by said law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term
prescribed by the same." Certain classes of convicts are, by section 2 of the law, excluded from the
operation thereof. The Legislature has also enacted the Juvenile Delinquency Law (Act No. 3203)
which was subsequently amended by Act No. 3559. Section 7 of the original Act and section 1 of the
amendatory Act have become article 80 of the Revised Penal Code, amended by Act No. 4117 of
the Philippine Legislature and recently reamended by Commonwealth Act No. 99 of the National
Assembly. In this Act is again manifested the intention of the legislature to "humanize" the penal
laws. It allows, in effect, the modification in particular cases of the penalties prescribed by law by
permitting the suspension of the execution of the judgment in the discretion of the trial court, after
due hearing and after investigation of the particular circumstances of the offenses, the criminal
record, if any, of the convict, and his social history. The Legislature has in reality decreed that in
certain cases no punishment at all shall be suffered by the convict as long as the conditions of
probation are faithfully observed. It this be so, then, it cannot be said that the Probation Act comes in
conflict with the power of the Chief Executive to grant pardons and reprieves, because, to use the
language of the Supreme Court of New Mexico, "the element of punishment or the penalty for the
commission of a wrong, while to be declared by the courts as a judicial function under and within the
limits of law as announced by legislative acts, concerns solely the procedure and conduct of criminal
causes, with which the executive can have nothing to do." (Ex parteBates, supra.) In Williams vs.
State ([1926], 162 Ga., 327; 133 S.E., 843), the court upheld the constitutionality of the Georgia
probation statute against the contention that it attempted to delegate to the courts the pardoning
power lodged by the constitution in the governor alone is vested with the power to pardon after final
sentence has been imposed by the courts, the power of the courts to imposed any penalty which
may be from time to time prescribed by law and in such manner as may be defined cannot be
questioned."

We realize, of course, the conflict which the American cases disclose. Some cases hold it unlawful
for the legislature to vest in the courts the power to suspend the operation of a sentenced, by
probation or otherwise, as to do so would encroach upon the pardoning power of the executive. (In
re Webb [1895], 89 Wis., 354; 27 L.R.A., 356; 46 Am. St. Rep., 846; 62 N.W., 177; 9 Am. Crim.,
Rep., 702; State ex rel. Summerfield vs. Moran [1919], 43 Nev., 150; 182 Pac., 927; Ex
parte Clendenning [1908], 22 Okla., 108; 1 Okla. Crim. Rep., 227; 19 L.R.A. [N.S.], 1041; 132 Am.
St. Rep., 628; 97 Pac., 650; People vs. Barrett [1903], 202 Ill, 287; 67 N.E., 23; 63 L.R.A., 82; 95
Am. St. Rep., 230; Snodgrass vs. State [1912], 67 Tex. Crim. Rep., 615; 41 L. R. A. [N. S.], 1144;
150 S. W., 162; Ex parte Shelor [1910], 33 Nev., 361;111 Pac., 291; Neal vs. State [1898], 104 Ga.,
509; 42 L. R. A., 190; 69 Am. St. Rep., 175; 30 S. E. 858; State ex rel. Payne vs. Anderson [1921],
43 S. D., 630; 181 N. W., 839; People vs. Brown, 54 Mich., 15; 19 N. W., 571; States vs. Dalton
[1903], 109 Tenn., 544; 72 S. W., 456.)
Other cases, however, hold contra. (Nix vs. James [1925; C. C. A., 9th], 7 F. [2d], 590; Archer vs.
Snook [1926; D. C.], 10 F. [2d], 567; Riggs. vs. United States [1926; C. C. A. 4th], 14]) [2d], 5;
Murphy vs. States [1926], 171 Ark., 620; 286 S. W., 871; 48 A. L. R., 1189; Re Giannini [1912], 18
Cal. App., 166; 122 Pac., 831; Re Nachnaber [1928], 89 Cal. App., 530; 265 Pac., 392; Ex parte De
Voe [1931], 114 Cal. App., 730; 300 Pac., 874; People vs. Patrick [1897], 118 Cal., 332; 50 Pac.,
425; Martin vs. People [1917], 69 Colo., 60; 168 Pac., 1171; Belden vs. Hugo [1914], 88 Conn., 50;
91 A., 369, 370, 371; Williams vs. State [1926], 162 Ga., 327; 133 S. E., 843; People vs. Heise
[1913], 257 Ill., 443; 100 N. E., 1000; Parker vs. State [1893], 135 Ind., 534; 35 N. E., 179; 23 L. R.
A., 859; St. Hillarie, Petitioner [1906], 101 Me., 522; 64 Atl., 882; People vs. Stickle [1909], 156
Mich., 557; 121 N. W., 497; State vs. Fjolander [1914], 125 Minn., 529; State ex rel. Bottomnly vs.
District Court [1925], 73 Mont., 541; 237 Pac., 525; State vs. Everitt [1913], 164 N. C., 399; 79 S. E.,
274; 47 L. R. A. [N. S.], 848; State ex rel. Buckley vs. Drew [1909], 75 N. H., 402; 74 Atl., 875; State
vs. Osborne [1911], 79 N. J. Eq., 430; 82 Atl. 424; Ex parte Bates [1915], 20 N. M., 542; L. R. A.,
1916 A. 1285; 151 Pac., 698; People vs. ex rel. Forsyth vs. Court of Session [1894], 141 N. Y., 288;
23 L. R. A., 856; 36 N. E., 386; 15 Am. Crim. Rep., 675; People ex rel. Sullivan vs. Flynn [1907], 55
Misc., 639; 106 N. Y. Supp., 928; People vs. Goodrich [1914], 149 N. Y. Supp., 406; Moore vs.
Thorn [1935], 245 App. Div., 180; 281 N. Y. Supp., 49; Re Hart [1914], 29 N. D., 38; L. R. A., 1915C,
1169; 149 N. W., 568; Ex parte Eaton [1925], 29 Okla., Crim. Rep., 275; 233 P., 781; State vs. Teal
[1918], 108 S. C., 455; 95 S. E., 69; State vs. Abbot [1910], 87 S. C., 466; 33 L.R.A., [N. S.], 112; 70
S. E., 6; Ann. Cas., 1912B, 1189; Fults vs. States [1854],34 Tenn., 232; Woods vs. State [1814], 130
Tenn., 100; 169 S. W., 558; Baker vs. State [1814], 130 Tenn., 100; 169 S. W., 558; Baker vs. State
[1913],70 Tex., Crim. Rep., 618; 158 S. W., 998; Cook vs. State [1914], 73 Tex. Crim. Rep., 548;
165 S. W., 573; King vs. State [1914], 72 Tex. Crim. Rep., 394; 162 S. W., 890; Clare vs. State
[1932], 122 Tex. Crim. Rep., 394; 162 S. W., 890; Clare vs. State [1932], 122 Tex. Crim. Rep., 211;
54 S. W. [2d], 127; Re Hall [1927], 100 Vt., 197; 136 A., 24; Richardson vs. Com. [1921], 131 Va.,
802; 109 S.E., 460; State vs. Mallahan [1911], 65 Wash., 287; 118 Pac., 42; State ex rel. Tingstand
vs. Starwich [1922], 119 Wash., 561; 206 Pac., 29; 26 A. L. R., 393; 396.) We elect to follow this
long catena of authorities holding that the courts may be legally authorized by the legislature to
suspend sentence by the establishment of a system of probation however characterized. State ex
rel. Tingstand vs. Starwich ([1922], 119 Wash., 561; 206 Pac., 29; 26 A. L. R., 393), deserved
particular mention. In that case, a statute enacted in 1921 which provided for the suspension of the
execution of a sentence until otherwise ordered by the court, and required that the convicted person
be placed under the charge of a parole or peace officer during the term of such suspension, on such
terms as the court may determine, was held constitutional and as not giving the court a power in
violation of the constitutional provision vesting the pardoning power in the chief executive of the
state. (Vide, also, Re Giannini [1912], 18 Cal App., 166; 122 Pac., 831.)

Probation and pardon are not coterminous; nor are they the same. They are actually district and
different from each other, both in origin and in nature. In People ex rel. Forsyth vs. Court of Sessions
([1894], 141 N. Y., 288, 294; 36 N. E., 386, 388; 23 L. R. A., 856; 15 Am. Crim. Rep., 675), the Court
of Appeals of New York said:

. . . The power to suspend sentence and the power to grant reprieves and pardons, as
understood when the constitution was adopted, are totally distinct and different in their
nature. The former was always a part of the judicial power; the latter was always a part of the
executive power. The suspension of the sentence simply postpones the judgment of the
court temporarily or indefinitely, but the conviction and liability following it, and the civil
disabilities, remain and become operative when judgment is rendered. A pardon reaches
both the punishment prescribed for the offense and the guilt of the offender. It releases the
punishment, and blots out of existence the guilt, so that in the eye of the law, the offender is
as innocent as if he had never committed the offense. It removes the penalties and
disabilities, and restores him to all his civil rights. It makes him, as it were, a new man, and
gives him a new credit and capacity. (Ex parte Garland, 71 U. S., 4 Wall., 333; 18 Law. ed.,
366; U. S. vs. Klein, 80 U. S., 13 Wall., 128; 20 Law. ed., 519; Knote vs. U. S., 95 U. S., 149;
24 Law. ed., 442.)

The framers of the federal and the state constitutions were perfectly familiar with the
principles governing the power to grant pardons, and it was conferred by these instruments
upon the executive with full knowledge of the law upon the subject, and the words of the
constitution were used to express the authority formerly exercised by the English crown, or
by its representatives in the colonies. (Ex parte Wells, 59 U. S., 18 How., 307; 15 Law. ed.,
421.) As this power was understood, it did not comprehend any part of the judicial functions
to suspend sentence, and it was never intended that the authority to grant reprieves and
pardons should abrogate, or in any degree restrict, the exercise of that power in regard to its
own judgments, that criminal courts has so long maintained. The two powers, so distinct and
different in their nature and character, were still left separate and distinct, the one to be
exercised by the executive, and the other by the judicial department. We therefore conclude
that a statute which, in terms, authorizes courts of criminal jurisdiction to suspend sentence
in certain cases after conviction, — a power inherent in such courts at common law, which
was understood when the constitution was adopted to be an ordinary judicial function, and
which, ever since its adoption, has been exercised of legislative power under the
constitution. It does not encroach, in any just sense, upon the powers of the executive, as
they have been understood and practiced from the earliest times. (Quoted with approval in
Directors of Prisons vs. Judge of First Instance of Cavite [1915], 29 Phil., 265, Carson, J.,
concurring, at pp. 294, 295.)

In probation, the probationer is in no true sense, as in pardon, a free man. He is not finally and
completely exonerated. He is not exempt from the entire punishment which the law inflicts. Under
the Probation Act, the probationer's case is not terminated by the mere fact that he is placed on
probation. Section 4 of the Act provides that the probation may be definitely terminated and the
probationer finally discharged from supervision only after the period of probation shall have been
terminated and the probation officer shall have submitted a report, and the court shall have found
that the probationer has complied with the conditions of probation. The probationer, then, during the
period of probation, remains in legal custody — subject to the control of the probation officer and of
the court; and, he may be rearrested upon the non-fulfillment of the conditions of probation and,
when rearrested, may be committed to prison to serve the sentence originally imposed upon him.
(Secs. 2, 3, 5 and 6, Act No. 4221.)

The probation described in the act is not pardon. It is not complete liberty, and may be far
from it. It is really a new mode of punishment, to be applied by the judge in a proper case, in
substitution of the imprisonment and find prescribed by the criminal laws. For this reason its
application is as purely a judicial act as any other sentence carrying out the law deemed
applicable to the offense. The executive act of pardon, on the contrary, is against the criminal
law, which binds and directs the judges, or rather is outside of and above it. There is thus no
conflict with the pardoning power, and no possible unconstitutionality of the Probation Act for
this cause. (Archer vs. Snook [1926], 10 F. [2d], 567, 569.)

Probation should also be distinguished from reprieve and from commutation of the sentence.
Snodgrass vs. State ([1912], 67 Tex. Crim. Rep., 615;41 L. R. A. [N. S.], 1144; 150 S. W., 162), is
relied upon most strongly by the petitioners as authority in support of their contention that the power
to grant pardons and reprieves, having been vested exclusively upon the Chief Executive by the
Jones Law, may not be conferred by the legislature upon the courts by means of probation law
authorizing the indefinite judicial suspension of sentence. We have examined that case and found
that although the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas held that the probation statute of the state in
terms conferred on the district courts the power to grant pardons to persons convicted of crime, it
also distinguished between suspensions sentence on the one hand, and reprieve and commutation
of sentence on the other. Said the court, through Harper, J.:

That the power to suspend the sentence does not conflict with the power of the Governor to
grant reprieves is settled by the decisions of the various courts; it being held that the
distinction between a "reprieve" and a suspension of sentence is that a reprieve postpones
the execution of the sentence to a day certain, whereas a suspension is for an indefinite
time. (Carnal vs. People, 1 Parker, Cr. R., 262; In re Buchanan, 146 N. Y., 264; 40 N. E.,
883), and cases cited in 7 Words & Phrases, pp. 6115, 6116. This law cannot be hold in
conflict with the power confiding in the Governor to grant commutations of punishment, for a
commutations is not but to change the punishment assessed to a less punishment.

In State ex rel. Bottomnly vs. District Court ([1925], 73 Mont., 541; 237 Pac., 525), the Supreme
Court of Montana had under consideration the validity of the adult probation law of the state enacted
in 1913, now found in sections 12078-12086, Revised Codes of 1921. The court held the law valid
as not impinging upon the pardoning power of the executive. In a unanimous decision penned by
Justice Holloway, the court said:

. . . . the term "pardon", "commutation", and "respite" each had a well understood meaning at
the time our Constitution was adopted, and no one of them was intended to comprehend the
suspension of the execution of the judgment as that phrase is employed in sections 12078-
12086. A "pardon" is an act of grace, proceeding from the power intrusted with the execution
of the laws which exempts the individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment the
law inflicts for a crime he has committed (United States vs. Wilson, 7 Pet., 150; 8 Law. ed.,
640); It is a remission of guilt (State vs. Lewis, 111 La., 693; 35 So., 816), a forgiveness of
the offense (Cook vs. Middlesex County, 26 N. J. Law, 326; Ex parte Powell, 73 Ala., 517; 49
Am. Rep., 71). "Commutation" is a remission of a part of the punishment; a substitution of a
less penalty for the one originally imposed (Lee vs. Murphy, 22 Grat. [Va.] 789; 12 Am. Rep.,
563; Rich vs. Chamberlain, 107 Mich., 381; 65 N. W., 235). A "reprieve" or "respite" is the
withholding of the sentence for an interval of time (4 Blackstone's Commentaries, 394), a
postponement of execution (Carnal vs. People, 1 Parker, Cr. R. [N. Y.], 272), a temporary
suspension of execution (Butler vs. State, 97 Ind., 373).

Few adjudicated cases are to be found in which the validity of a statute similar to our section
12078 has been determined; but the same objections have been urged against parole
statutes which vest the power to parole in persons other than those to whom the power of
pardon is granted, and these statutes have been upheld quite uniformly, as a reference to
the numerous cases cited in the notes to Woods vs. State (130 Tenn., 100; 169 S. W.,558,
reported in L. R. A., 1915F, 531), will disclose. (See, also, 20 R. C. L., 524.)

We conclude that the Probation Act does not conflict with the pardoning power of the Executive. The
pardoning power, in respect to those serving their probationary sentences, remains as full and
complete as if the Probation Law had never been enacted. The President may yet pardon the
probationer and thus place it beyond the power of the court to order his rearrest and imprisonment.
(Riggs vs. United States [1926],
14 F. [2d], 5, 7.)

2. But while the Probation Law does not encroach upon the pardoning power of the executive and is
not for that reason void, does section 11 thereof constitute, as contended, an undue delegation of
legislative power?
Under the constitutional system, the powers of government are distributed among three coordinate
and substantially independent organs: the legislative, the executive and the judicial. Each of these
departments of the government derives its authority from the Constitution which, in turn, is the
highest expression of popular will. Each has exclusive cognizance of the matters within its
jurisdiction, and is supreme within its own sphere.

The power to make laws — the legislative power — is vested in a bicameral Legislature by the
Jones Law (sec. 12) and in a unicamiral National Assembly by the Constitution (Act. VI, sec. 1,
Constitution of the Philippines). The Philippine Legislature or the National Assembly may not escape
its duties and responsibilities by delegating that power to any other body or authority. Any attempt to
abdicate the power is unconstitutional and void, on the principle that potestas delegata non delegare
potest. This principle is said to have originated with the glossators, was introduced into English law
through a misreading of Bracton, there developed as a principle of agency, was established by Lord
Coke in the English public law in decisions forbidding the delegation of judicial power, and found its
way into America as an enlightened principle of free government. It has since become an accepted
corollary of the principle of separation of powers. (5 Encyc. of the Social Sciences, p. 66.) The
classic statement of the rule is that of Locke, namely: "The legislative neither must nor can transfer
the power of making laws to anybody else, or place it anywhere but where the people have." (Locke
on Civil Government, sec. 142.) Judge Cooley enunciates the doctrine in the following oft-quoted
language: "One of the settled maxims in constitutional law is, that the power conferred upon the
legislature to make laws cannot be delegated by that department to any other body or authority.
Where the sovereign power of the state has located the authority, there it must remain; and by the
constitutional agency alone the laws must be made until the Constitution itself is charged. The power
to whose judgment, wisdom, and patriotism this high prerogative has been intrusted cannot relieve
itself of the responsibilities by choosing other agencies upon which the power shall be devolved, nor
can it substitute the judgment, wisdom, and patriotism of any other body for those to which alone the
people have seen fit to confide this sovereign trust." (Cooley on Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed.,
Vol. I, p. 224. Quoted with approval in U. S. vs. Barrias [1908], 11 Phil., 327.) This court posits the
doctrine "on the ethical principle that such a delegated power constitutes not only a right but a duty
to be performed by the delegate by the instrumentality of his own judgment acting immediately upon
the matter of legislation and not through the intervening mind of another. (U. S. vs. Barrias, supra, at
p. 330.)

The rule, however, which forbids the delegation of legislative power is not absolute and inflexible. It
admits of exceptions. An exceptions sanctioned by immemorial practice permits the central
legislative body to delegate legislative powers to local authorities. (Rubi vs. Provincial Board of
Mindoro [1919], 39 Phil., 660; U. S. vs. Salaveria [1918], 39 Phil., 102; Stoutenburgh vs. Hennick
[1889], 129 U. S., 141; 32 Law. ed., 637; 9 Sup. Ct. Rep., 256; State vs. Noyes [1855], 30 N. H.,
279.) "It is a cardinal principle of our system of government, that local affairs shall be managed by
local authorities, and general affairs by the central authorities; and hence while the rule is also
fundamental that the power to make laws cannot be delegated, the creation of the municipalities
exercising local self government has never been held to trench upon that rule. Such legislation is not
regarded as a transfer of general legislative power, but rather as the grant of the authority to
prescribed local regulations, according to immemorial practice, subject of course to the interposition
of the superior in cases of necessity." (Stoutenburgh vs. Hennick, supra.) On quite the same
principle, Congress is powered to delegate legislative power to such agencies in the territories of the
United States as it may select. A territory stands in the same relation to Congress as a municipality
or city to the state government. (United States vs. Heinszen [1907], 206 U. S., 370; 27 Sup. Ct.
Rep., 742; 51 L. ed., 1098; 11 Ann. Cas., 688; Dorr vs. United States [1904], 195 U.S., 138; 24 Sup.
Ct. Rep., 808; 49 Law. ed., 128; 1 Ann. Cas., 697.) Courts have also sustained the delegation of
legislative power to the people at large. Some authorities maintain that this may not be done (12 C.
J., pp. 841, 842; 6 R. C. L., p. 164, citing People vs. Kennedy [1913], 207 N. Y., 533; 101 N. E., 442;
Ann. Cas., 1914C, 616). However, the question of whether or not a state has ceased to be
republican in form because of its adoption of the initiative and referendum has been held not to be a
judicial but a political question (Pacific States Tel. & Tel. Co. vs. Oregon [1912], 223 U. S., 118; 56
Law. ed., 377; 32 Sup. Cet. Rep., 224), and as the constitutionality of such laws has been looked
upon with favor by certain progressive courts, the sting of the decisions of the more conservative
courts has been pretty well drawn. (Opinions of the Justices [1894], 160 Mass., 586; 36 N. E., 488;
23 L. R. A., 113; Kiernan vs. Portland [1910], 57 Ore., 454; 111 Pac., 379; 1132 Pac., 402; 37 L. R.
A. [N. S.], 332; Pacific States Tel. & Tel. Co. vs. Oregon, supra.) Doubtless, also, legislative power
may be delegated by the Constitution itself. Section 14, paragraph 2, of article VI of the Constitution
of the Philippines provides that "The National Assembly may by law authorize the President, subject
to such limitations and restrictions as it may impose, to fix within specified limits, tariff rates, import or
export quotas, and tonnage and wharfage dues." And section 16 of the same article of the
Constitution provides that "In times of war or other national emergency, the National Assembly may
by law authorize the President, for a limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may
prescribed, to promulgate rules and regulations to carry out a declared national policy." It is beyond
the scope of this decision to determine whether or not, in the absence of the foregoing constitutional
provisions, the President could be authorized to exercise the powers thereby vested in him. Upon
the other hand, whatever doubt may have existed has been removed by the Constitution itself.

The case before us does not fall under any of the exceptions hereinabove mentioned.

The challenged section of Act No. 4221 in section 11 which reads as follows:

This Act shall apply only in those provinces in which the respective provincial boards have
provided for the salary of a probation officer at rates not lower than those now provided for
provincial fiscals. Said probation officer shall be appointed by the Secretary of Justice and
shall be subject to the direction of the Probation Office. (Emphasis ours.)

In testing whether a statute constitute an undue delegation of legislative power or not, it is usual to
inquire whether the statute was complete in all its terms and provisions when it left the hands of the
legislature so that nothing was left to the judgment of any other appointee or delegate of the
legislature. (6 R. C. L., p. 165.) In the United States vs. Ang Tang Ho ([1922], 43 Phil., 1), this court
adhered to the foregoing rule when it held an act of the legislature void in so far as it undertook to
authorize the Governor-General, in his discretion, to issue a proclamation fixing the price of rice and
to make the sale of it in violation of the proclamation a crime. (See and cf. Compañia General de
Tabacos vs. Board of Public Utility Commissioners [1916], 34 Phil., 136.) The general rule, however,
is limited by another rule that to a certain extent matters of detail may be left to be filled in by rules
and regulations to be adopted or promulgated by executive officers and administrative boards. (6 R.
C. L., pp. 177-179.)

For the purpose of Probation Act, the provincial boards may be regarded as administrative bodies
endowed with power to determine when the Act should take effect in their respective provinces.
They are the agents or delegates of the legislature in this respect. The rules governing delegation of
legislative power to administrative and executive officers are applicable or are at least indicative of
the rule which should be here adopted. An examination of a variety of cases on delegation of power
to administrative bodies will show that the ratio decidendi is at variance but, it can be broadly
asserted that the rationale revolves around the presence or absence of a standard or rule of action
— or the sufficiency thereof — in the statute, to aid the delegate in exercising the granted discretion.
In some cases, it is held that the standard is sufficient; in others that is insufficient; and in still others
that it is entirely lacking. As a rule, an act of the legislature is incomplete and hence invalid if it does
not lay down any rule or definite standard by which the administrative officer or board may be guided
in the exercise of the discretionary powers delegated to it. (See Schecter vs. United States [1925],
295 U. S., 495; 79 L. ed., 1570; 55 Sup. Ct. Rep., 837; 97 A.L.R., 947; People ex rel. Rice vs. Wilson
Oil Co. [1936], 364 Ill., 406; 4 N. E. [2d], 847; 107 A.L.R., 1500 and cases cited. See also R. C. L.,
title "Constitutional Law", sec 174.) In the case at bar, what rules are to guide the provincial boards
in the exercise of their discretionary power to determine whether or not the Probation Act shall apply
in their respective provinces? What standards are fixed by the Act? We do not find any and none
has been pointed to us by the respondents. The probation Act does not, by the force of any of its
provisions, fix and impose upon the provincial boards any standard or guide in the exercise of their
discretionary power. What is granted, if we may use the language of Justice Cardozo in the recent
case of Schecter, supra, is a "roving commission" which enables the provincial boards to exercise
arbitrary discretion. By section 11 if the Act, the legislature does not seemingly on its own authority
extend the benefits of the Probation Act to the provinces but in reality leaves the entire matter for the
various provincial boards to determine. In other words, the provincial boards of the various provinces
are to determine for themselves, whether the Probation Law shall apply to their provinces or not at
all. The applicability and application of the Probation Act are entirely placed in the hands of the
provincial boards. If the provincial board does not wish to have the Act applied in its province, all that
it has to do is to decline to appropriate the needed amount for the salary of a probation officer. The
plain language of the Act is not susceptible of any other interpretation. This, to our minds, is a virtual
surrender of legislative power to the provincial boards.

"The true distinction", says Judge Ranney, "is between the delegation of power to make the law,
which necessarily involves a discretion as to what it shall be, and conferring an authority or
discretion as to its execution, to be exercised under and in pursuance of the law. The first cannot be
done; to the latter no valid objection can be made." (Cincinnati, W. & Z. R. Co. vs. Clinton County
Comrs. [1852]; 1 Ohio St., 77, 88. See also, Sutherland on Statutory Construction, sec 68.) To the
same effect are the decision of this court in Municipality of Cardona vs. Municipality of
Binangonan ([1917], 36 Phil., 547); Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro ([1919],39 Phil., 660)
and Cruz vs. Youngberg ([1931], 56 Phil., 234). In the first of these cases, this court sustained the
validity of the law conferring upon the Governor-General authority to adjust provincial and municipal
boundaries. In the second case, this court held it lawful for the legislature to direct non-Christian
inhabitants to take up their habitation on unoccupied lands to be selected by the provincial governor
and approved by the provincial board. In the third case, it was held proper for the legislature to vest
in the Governor-General authority to suspend or not, at his discretion, the prohibition of the
importation of the foreign cattle, such prohibition to be raised "if the conditions of the country make
this advisable or if deceased among foreign cattle has ceased to be a menace to the agriculture and
livestock of the lands."

It should be observed that in the case at bar we are not concerned with the simple transference of
details of execution or the promulgation by executive or administrative officials of rules and
regulations to carry into effect the provisions of a law. If we were, recurrence to our own decisions
would be sufficient. (U. S. vs. Barrias [1908], 11 Phil., 327; U.S. vs. Molina [1914], 29 Phil., 119;
Alegre vs. Collector of Customs [1929], 53 Phil., 394; Cebu Autobus Co. vs. De Jesus [1931], 56
Phil., 446; U. S. vs. Gomez [1915], 31 Phil., 218; Rubi vs. Provincial Board of Mindoro [1919], 39
Phil., 660.)

It is connected, however, that a legislative act may be made to the effect as law after it leaves the
hands of the legislature. It is true that laws may be made effective on certain contingencies, as by
proclamation of the executive or the adoption by the people of a particular community (6 R. C. L.,
116, 170-172; Cooley, Constitutional Limitations, 8th ed., Vol. I, p. 227). In Wayman vs. Southard
([1825], 10 Wheat. 1; 6 Law. ed., 253), the Supreme Court of the United State ruled that the
legislature may delegate a power not legislative which it may itself rightfully exercise.(Vide, also,
Dowling vs. Lancashire Ins. Co. [1896], 92 Wis., 63; 65 N. W., 738; 31 L. R. A., 112.) The power to
ascertain facts is such a power which may be delegated. There is nothing essentially legislative in
ascertaining the existence of facts or conditions as the basis of the taking into effect of a law. That is
a mental process common to all branches of the government. (Dowling vs. Lancashire Ins.
Co., supra; In re Village of North Milwaukee [1896], 93 Wis., 616; 97 N.W., 1033; 33 L.R.A., 938;
Nash vs. Fries [1906], 129 Wis., 120; 108 N.W., 210; Field vs. Clark [1892], 143 U.S., 649; 12 Sup.
Ct., 495; 36 Law. ed., 294.) Notwithstanding the apparent tendency, however, to relax the rule
prohibiting delegation of legislative authority on account of the complexity arising from social and
economic forces at work in this modern industrial age (Pfiffner, Public Administration [1936] ch. XX;
Laski, "The Mother of Parliaments", foreign Affairs, July, 1931, Vol. IX, No. 4, pp. 569-579; Beard,
"Squirt-Gun Politics", in Harper's Monthly Magazine, July, 1930, Vol. CLXI, pp. 147, 152), the
orthodox pronouncement of Judge Cooley in his work on Constitutional Limitations finds restatement
in Prof. Willoughby's treatise on the Constitution of the United States in the following language —
speaking of declaration of legislative power to administrative agencies: "The principle which permits
the legislature to provide that the administrative agent may determine when the circumstances are
such as require the application of a law is defended upon the ground that at the time this authority is
granted, the rule of public policy, which is the essence of the legislative act, is determined by the
legislature. In other words, the legislature, as it its duty to do, determines that, under given
circumstances, certain executive or administrative action is to be taken, and that, under other
circumstances, different of no action at all is to be taken. What is thus left to the administrative
official is not the legislative determination of what public policy demands, but simply the
ascertainment of what the facts of the case require to be done according to the terms of the law by
which he is governed." (Willoughby on the Constitution of the United States, 2nd ed., Vol. II, p.
1637.) In Miller vs. Mayer, etc., of New York [1883], 109 U.S., 3 Sup. Ct. Rep., 228; 27 Law. ed.,
971, 974), it was said: "The efficiency of an Act as a declaration of legislative will must, of course,
come from Congress, but the ascertainment of the contingency upon which the Act shall take effect
may be left to such agencies as it may designate." (See, also, 12 C.J., p. 864; State vs. Parker
[1854], 26 Vt., 357; Blanding vs. Burr [1859], 13 Cal., 343, 258.) The legislature, then may provide
that a contingencies leaving to some other person or body the power to determine when the
specified contingencies has arisen. But, in the case at bar, the legislature has not made the
operation of the Prohibition Act contingent upon specified facts or conditions to be ascertained by
the provincial board. It leaves, as we have already said, the entire operation or non-operation of the
law upon the provincial board. the discretion vested is arbitrary because it is absolute and unlimited.
A provincial board need not investigate conditions or find any fact, or await the happening of any
specified contingency. It is bound by no rule, — limited by no principle of expendiency announced by
the legislature. It may take into consideration certain facts or conditions; and, again, it may not. It
may have any purpose or no purpose at all. It need not give any reason whatsoever for refusing or
failing to appropriate any funds for the salary of a probation officer. This is a matter which rest
entirely at its pleasure. The fact that at some future time — we cannot say when — the provincial
boards may appropriate funds for the salaries of probation officers and thus put the law into
operation in the various provinces will not save the statute. The time of its taking into effect, we
reiterate, would yet be based solely upon the will of the provincial boards and not upon the
happening of a certain specified contingency, or upon the ascertainment of certain facts or
conditions by a person or body other than legislature itself.

The various provincial boards are, in practical effect, endowed with the power of suspending the
operation of the Probation Law in their respective provinces. In some jurisdiction, constitutions
provided that laws may be suspended only by the legislature or by its authority. Thus, section 28,
article I of the Constitution of Texas provides that "No power of suspending laws in this state shall be
exercised except by the legislature"; and section 26, article I of the Constitution of Indiana provides
"That the operation of the laws shall never be suspended, except by authority of the General
Assembly." Yet, even provisions of this sort do not confer absolute power of suspension upon the
legislature. While it may be undoubted that the legislature may suspend a law, or the execution or
operation of a law, a law may not be suspended as to certain individuals only, leaving the law to be
enjoyed by others. The suspension must be general, and cannot be made for individual cases or for
particular localities. In Holden vs. James ([1814], 11 Mass., 396; 6 Am. Dec., 174, 177, 178), it was
said:
By the twentieth article of the declaration of rights in the constitution of this commonwealth, it
is declared that the power of suspending the laws, or the execution of the laws, ought never
to be exercised but by the legislature, or by authority derived from it, to be exercised in such
particular cases only as the legislature shall expressly provide for. Many of the articles in that
declaration of rights were adopted from the Magna Charta of England, and from the bill of
rights passed in the reign of William and Mary. The bill of rights contains an enumeration of
the oppressive acts of James II, tending to subvert and extirpate the protestant religion, and
the laws and liberties of the kingdom; and the first of them is the assuming and exercising a
power of dispensing with and suspending the laws, and the execution of the laws without
consent of parliament. The first article in the claim or declaration of rights contained in the
statute is, that the exercise of such power, by legal authority without consent of parliament, is
illegal. In the tenth section of the same statute it is further declared and enacted, that "No
dispensation by non obstante of or to any statute, or part thereof, should be allowed; but the
same should be held void and of no effect, except a dispensation be allowed of in such
statute." There is an implied reservation of authority in the parliament to exercise the power
here mentioned; because, according to the theory of the English Constitution, "that absolute
despotic power, which must in all governments reside somewhere," is intrusted to the
parliament: 1 Bl. Com., 160.

The principles of our government are widely different in this particular. Here the sovereign
and absolute power resides in the people; and the legislature can only exercise what is
delegated to them according to the constitution. It is obvious that the exercise of the power in
question would be equally oppressive to the subject, and subversive of his right to protection,
"according to standing laws," whether exercised by one man or by a number of men. It
cannot be supposed that the people when adopting this general principle from the English bill
of rights and inserting it in our constitution, intended to bestow by implication on the general
court one of the most odious and oppressive prerogatives of the ancient kings of England. It
is manifestly contrary to the first principles of civil liberty and natural justice, and to the spirit
of our constitution and laws, that any one citizen should enjoy privileges and advantages
which are denied to all others under like circumstances; or that ant one should be subject to
losses, damages, suits, or actions from which all others under like circumstances are
exempted.

To illustrate the principle: A section of a statute relative to dogs made the owner of any dog liable to
the owner of domestic animals wounded by it for the damages without proving a knowledge of it
vicious disposition. By a provision of the act, power was given to the board of supervisors to
determine whether or not during the current year their county should be governed by the provisions
of the act of which that section constituted a part. It was held that the legislature could not confer that
power. The court observed that it could no more confer such a power than to authorize the board of
supervisors of a county to abolish in such county the days of grace on commercial paper, or to
suspend the statute of limitations. (Slinger vs. Henneman [1875], 38 Wis., 504.) A similar statute in
Missouri was held void for the same reason in State vs. Field ([1853, 17 Mo., 529;59 Am. Dec., 275.)
In that case a general statute formulating a road system contained a provision that "if the county
court of any county should be of opinion that the provisions of the act should not be enforced, they
might, in their discretion, suspend the operation of the same for any specified length of time, and
thereupon the act should become inoperative in such county for the period specified in such order;
and thereupon order the roads to be opened and kept in good repair, under the laws theretofore in
force." Said the court: ". . . this act, by its own provisions, repeals the inconsistent provisions of a
former act, and yet it is left to the county court to say which act shall be enforce in their county. The
act does not submit the question to the county court as an original question, to be decided by that
tribunal, whether the act shall commence its operation within the county; but it became by its own
terms a law in every county not excepted by name in the act. It did not, then, require the county court
to do any act in order to give it effect. But being the law in the county, and having by its provisions
superseded and abrogated the inconsistent provisions of previous laws, the county court is . . .
empowered, to suspend this act and revive the repealed provisions of the former act. When the
question is before the county court for that tribunal to determine which law shall be in force, it is urge
before us that the power then to be exercised by the court is strictly legislative power, which under
our constitution, cannot be delegated to that tribunal or to any other body of men in the state. In the
present case, the question is not presented in the abstract; for the county court of Saline county,
after the act had been for several months in force in that county, did by order suspend its operation;
and during that suspension the offense was committed which is the subject of the present indictment
. . . ." (See Mitchell vs. State [1901], 134 Ala., 392; 32 S., 687.)

True, the legislature may enact laws for a particular locality different from those applicable to other
localities and, while recognizing the force of the principle hereinabove expressed, courts in may
jurisdiction have sustained the constitutionality of the submission of option laws to the vote of the
people. (6 R.C.L., p. 171.) But option laws thus sustained treat of subjects purely local in character
which should receive different treatment in different localities placed under different circumstances.
"They relate to subjects which, like the retailing of intoxicating drinks, or the running at large of cattle
in the highways, may be differently regarded in different localities, and they are sustained on what
seems to us the impregnable ground, that the subject, though not embraced within the ordinary
powers of municipalities to make by-laws and ordinances, is nevertheless within the class of public
regulations, in respect to which it is proper that the local judgment should control." (Cooley on
Constitutional Limitations, 5th ed., p. 148.) So that, while we do not deny the right of local self-
government and the propriety of leaving matters of purely local concern in the hands of local
authorities or for the people of small communities to pass upon, we believe that in matters of general
of general legislation like that which treats of criminals in general, and as regards the general subject
of probation, discretion may not be vested in a manner so unqualified and absolute as provided in
Act No. 4221. True, the statute does not expressly state that the provincial boards may suspend the
operation of the Probation Act in particular provinces but, considering that, in being vested with the
authority to appropriate or not the necessary funds for the salaries of probation officers, they thereby
are given absolute discretion to determine whether or not the law should take effect or operate in
their respective provinces, the provincial boards are in reality empowered by the legislature to
suspend the operation of the Probation Act in particular provinces, the Act to be held in abeyance
until the provincial boards should decide otherwise by appropriating the necessary funds. The
validity of a law is not tested by what has been done but by what may be done under its provisions.
(Walter E. Olsen & Co. vs. Aldanese and Trinidad [1922], 43 Phil., 259; 12 C. J., p. 786.)

It in conceded that a great deal of latitude should be granted to the legislature not only in the
expression of what may be termed legislative policy but in the elaboration and execution thereof.
"Without this power, legislation would become oppressive and yet imbecile." (People vs. Reynolds, 5
Gilman, 1.) It has been said that popular government lives because of the inexhaustible reservoir of
power behind it. It is unquestionable that the mass of powers of government is vested in the
representatives of the people and that these representatives are no further restrained under our
system than by the express language of the instrument imposing the restraint, or by particular
provisions which by clear intendment, have that effect. (Angara vs. Electoral Commission [1936], 35
Off. Ga., 23; Schneckenburger vs. Moran [1936], 35 Off. Gaz., 1317.) But, it should be borne in mind
that a constitution is both a grant and a limitation of power and one of these time-honored limitations
is that, subject to certain exceptions, legislative power shall not be delegated.

We conclude that section 11 of Act No. 4221 constitutes an improper and unlawful delegation of
legislative authority to the provincial boards and is, for this reason, unconstitutional and void.

3. It is also contended that the Probation Act violates the provisions of our Bill of Rights which
prohibits the denial to any person of the equal protection of the laws (Act. III, sec. 1 subsec. 1.
Constitution of the Philippines.)
This basic individual right sheltered by the Constitution is a restraint on all the tree grand
departments of our government and on the subordinate instrumentalities and subdivision thereof,
and on many constitutional power, like the police power, taxation and eminent domain. The equal
protection of laws, sententiously observes the Supreme Court of the United States, "is a pledge of
the protection of equal laws." (Yick Wo vs. Hopkins [1886], 118 U. S., 356; 30 Law. ed., 220; 6 Sup.
Ct. Rep., 10464; Perley vs. North Carolina, 249 U. S., 510; 39 Sup. Ct. Rep., 357; 63 Law. ed., 735.)
Of course, what may be regarded as a denial of the equal protection of the laws in a question not
always easily determined. No rule that will cover every case can be formulated. (Connolly vs. Union
Sewer Pipe Co. [1902], 184, U. S., 540; 22 Sup. Ct., Rep., 431; 46 Law. ed., 679.) Class legislation
discriminating against some and favoring others in prohibited. But classification on a reasonable
basis, and nor made arbitrarily or capriciously, is permitted. (Finely vs. California [1911], 222 U. S.,
28; 56 Law. ed., 75; 32 Sup. Ct. Rep., 13; Gulf. C. & S. F. Ry Co. vs. Ellis [1897], 165 U. S., 150; 41
Law. ed., 666; 17 Sup. Ct. Rep., 255; Smith, Bell & Co. vs. Natividad [1919], 40 Phil., 136.) The
classification, however, to be reasonable must be based on substantial distinctions which make real
differences; it must be germane to the purposes of the law; it must not be limited to existing
conditions only, and must apply equally to each member of the class. (Borgnis vs. Falk. Co. [1911],
147 Wis., 327, 353; 133 N. W., 209; 3 N. C. C. A., 649; 37 L. R. A. [N. S.], 489; State vs. Cooley, 56
Minn., 540; 530-552; 58 N. W., 150; Lindsley vs. Natural Carbonic Gas Co.[1911], 220 U. S., 61, 79,
55 Law. ed., 369, 377; 31 Sup. Ct. Rep., 337; Ann. Cas., 1912C, 160; Lake Shore & M. S. R. Co. vs.
Clough [1917], 242 U.S., 375; 37 Sup. Ct. Rep., 144; 61 Law. ed., 374; Southern Ry. Co. vs. Greene
[1910], 216 U. S., 400; 30 Sup. Ct. Rep., 287; 54 Law. ed., 536; 17 Ann. Cas., 1247; Truax vs.
Corrigan [1921], 257 U. S., 312; 12 C. J., pp. 1148, 1149.)

In the case at bar, however, the resultant inequality may be said to flow from the unwarranted
delegation of legislative power, although perhaps this is not necessarily the result in every case.
Adopting the example given by one of the counsel for the petitioners in the course of his oral
argument, one province may appropriate the necessary fund to defray the salary of a probation
officer, while another province may refuse or fail to do so. In such a case, the Probation Act would
be in operation in the former province but not in the latter. This means that a person otherwise
coming within the purview of the law would be liable to enjoy the benefits of probation in one
province while another person similarly situated in another province would be denied those same
benefits. This is obnoxious discrimination. Contrariwise, it is also possible for all the provincial
boards to appropriate the necessary funds for the salaries of the probation officers in their respective
provinces, in which case no inequality would result for the obvious reason that probation would be in
operation in each and every province by the affirmative action of appropriation by all the provincial
boards. On that hypothesis, every person coming within the purview of the Probation Act would be
entitled to avail of the benefits of the Act. Neither will there be any resulting inequality if no province,
through its provincial board, should appropriate any amount for the salary of the probation officer —
which is the situation now — and, also, if we accept the contention that, for the purpose of the
Probation Act, the City of Manila should be considered as a province and that the municipal board of
said city has not made any appropriation for the salary of the probation officer. These different
situations suggested show, indeed, that while inequality may result in the application of the law and
in the conferment of the benefits therein provided, inequality is not in all cases the necessary result.
But whatever may be the case, it is clear that in section 11 of the Probation Act creates a situation in
which discrimination and inequality are permitted or allowed. There are, to be sure, abundant
authorities requiring actual denial of the equal protection of the law before court should assume the
task of setting aside a law vulnerable on that score, but premises and circumstances considered, we
are of the opinion that section 11 of Act No. 4221 permits of the denial of the equal protection of the
law and is on that account bad. We see no difference between a law which permits of such denial. A
law may appear to be fair on its face and impartial in appearance, yet, if it permits of unjust and
illegal discrimination, it is within the constitutional prohibitions. (By analogy, Chy Lung vs. Freeman
[1876], 292 U. S., 275; 23 Law. ed., 550; Henderson vs. Mayor [1876], 92 U. S., 259; 23 Law. ed.,
543; Ex parte Virginia [1880], 100 U. S., 339; 25 Law. ed., 676; Neal vs. Delaware [1881], 103 U. S.,
370; 26 Law. ed., 567; Soon Hing vs. Crowley [1885], 113 U. S., 703; 28 Law. ed., 1145, Yick Wo
vs. Hopkins [1886],118 U. S., 356; 30 Law. ed., 220; Williams vs. Mississippi [1897], 170 U. S., 218;
18 Sup. Ct. Rep., 583; 42 Law. ed., 1012; Bailey vs. Alabama [1911], 219 U. S., 219; 31 Sup. Ct.
Rep. 145; 55 Law. ed., Sunday Lake Iron Co. vs. Wakefield [1918], 247 U. S., 450; 38 Sup. Ct. Rep.,
495; 62 Law. ed., 1154.) In other words, statutes may be adjudged unconstitutional because of their
effect in operation (General Oil Co. vs. Clain [1907], 209 U. S., 211; 28 Sup. Ct. Rep., 475; 52 Law.
ed., 754; State vs. Clement Nat. Bank [1911], 84 Vt., 167; 78 Atl., 944; Ann. Cas., 1912D, 22). If the
law has the effect of denying the equal protection of the law it is unconstitutional. (6 R. C. L. p. 372;
Civil Rights Cases, 109 U. S., 3; 3 Sup. Ct. Rep., 18; 27 Law. ed., 835; Yick Wo vs. Hopkins, supra;
State vs. Montgomery, 94 Me., 192; 47 Atl., 165; 80 A. S. R., 386; State vs. Dering, 84 Wis., 585; 54
N. W., 1104; 36 A. S. R., 948; 19 L. R. A., 858.) Under section 11 of the Probation Act, not only may
said Act be in force in one or several provinces and not be in force in other provinces, but one
province may appropriate for the salary of the probation officer of a given year — and have probation
during that year — and thereafter decline to make further appropriation, and have no probation is
subsequent years. While this situation goes rather to the abuse of discretion which delegation
implies, it is here indicated to show that the Probation Act sanctions a situation which is intolerable in
a government of laws, and to prove how easy it is, under the Act, to make the guaranty of the
equality clause but "a rope of sand". (Brewer, J. Gulf C. & S. F. Ry. Co. vs. Ellis [1897], 165 U. S.,
150 154; 41 Law. ed., 666; 17 Sup. Ct. Rep., 255.) lawph!1.net

Great reliance is placed by counsel for the respondents on the case of Ocampo vs. United States
([1914], 234 U. S., 91; 58 Law. ed., 1231). In that case, the Supreme Court of the United States
affirmed the decision of this court (18 Phil., 1) by declining to uphold the contention that there was a
denial of the equal protection of the laws because, as held in Missouri vs. Lewis (Bowman vs. Lewis)
decided in 1880 (101 U. S., 220; 25 Law. ed., 991), the guaranty of the equality clause does not
require territorial uniformity. It should be observed, however, that this case concerns the right to
preliminary investigations in criminal cases originally granted by General Orders No. 58. No question
of legislative authority was involved and the alleged denial of the equal protection of the laws was
the result of the subsequent enactment of Act No. 612, amending the charter of the City of Manila
(Act No. 813) and providing in section 2 thereof that "in cases triable only in the court of first instance
of the City of Manila, the defendant . . . shall not be entitled as of right to a preliminary examination
in any case where the prosecuting attorney, after a due investigation of the facts . . . shall have
presented an information against him in proper form . . . ." Upon the other hand, an analysis of the
arguments and the decision indicates that the investigation by the prosecuting attorney — although
not in the form had in the provinces — was considered a reasonable substitute for the City of Manila,
considering the peculiar conditions of the city as found and taken into account by the legislature
itself.

Reliance is also placed on the case of Missouri vs. Lewis, supra. That case has reference to a
situation where the constitution of Missouri permits appeals to the Supreme Court of the state from
final judgments of any circuit court, except those in certain counties for which counties the
constitution establishes a separate court of appeals called St. Louis Court of Appeals. The provision
complained of, then, is found in the constitution itself and it is the constitution that makes the
apportionment of territorial jurisdiction.

We are of the opinion that section 11 of the Probation Act is unconstitutional and void because it is
also repugnant to equal-protection clause of our Constitution.

Section 11 of the Probation Act being unconstitutional and void for the reasons already stated, the
next inquiry is whether or not the entire Act should be avoided.
In seeking the legislative intent, the presumption is against any mutilation of a statute, and
the courts will resort to elimination only where an unconstitutional provision is interjected into
a statute otherwise valid, and is so independent and separable that its removal will leave the
constitutional features and purposes of the act substantially unaffected by the process.
(Riccio vs. Hoboken, 69 N. J. Law., 649, 662; 63 L. R. A., 485; 55 Atl., 1109, quoted in
Williams vs. Standard Oil Co. [1929], 278 U.S., 235, 240; 73 Law. ed., 287, 309; 49 Sup. Ct.
Rep., 115; 60 A. L. R., 596.) In Barrameda vs. Moir ([1913], 25 Phil., 44, 47), this court stated
the well-established rule concerning partial invalidity of statutes in the following language:

. . . where part of the a statute is void, as repugnant to the Organic Law, while another part is
valid, the valid portion, if separable from the valid, may stand and be enforced. But in order
to do this, the valid portion must be in so far independent of the invalid portion that it is fair to
presume that the Legislative would have enacted it by itself if they had supposed that they
could not constitutionally enact the other. (Mutual Loan Co. vs. Martell, 200 Mass., 482; 86
N. E., 916; 128 A. S. R., 446; Supervisors of Holmes Co. vs. Black Creek Drainage District,
99 Miss., 739; 55 Sou., 963.) Enough must remain to make a complete, intelligible, and valid
statute, which carries out the legislative intent. (Pearson vs. Bass. 132 Ga., 117; 63 S. E.,
798.) The void provisions must be eliminated without causing results affecting the main
purpose of the Act, in a manner contrary to the intention of the Legislature. (State vs. A. C. L.
R., Co., 56 Fla., 617, 642; 47 Sou., 969; Harper vs. Galloway, 58 Fla., 255; 51 Sou., 226; 26
L. R. A., N. S., 794; Connolly vs. Union Sewer Pipe Co., 184 U. S., 540, 565; People vs.
Strassheim, 240 Ill., 279, 300; 88 N. E., 821; 22 L. R. A., N. S., 1135; State vs. Cognevich,
124 La., 414; 50 Sou., 439.) The language used in the invalid part of a statute can have no
legal force or efficacy for any purpose whatever, and what remains must express the
legislative will, independently of the void part, since the court has no power to legislate.
(State vs. Junkin, 85 Neb., 1; 122 N. W., 473; 23 L. R. A., N. S., 839; Vide, also,. U. S., vs.
Rodriguez [1918], 38 Phil., 759; Pollock vs. Farmers' Loan and Trust Co. [1895], 158 U. S.,
601, 635; 39 Law. ed., 1108, 1125; 15 Sup. Ct. Rep., 912; 6 R.C.L., 121.)

It is contended that even if section 11, which makes the Probation Act applicable only in those
provinces in which the respective provincial boards provided for the salaries of probation officers
were inoperative on constitutional grounds, the remainder of the Act would still be valid and may be
enforced. We should be inclined to accept the suggestions but for the fact that said section is, in our
opinion, is inseparably linked with the other portions of the Act that with the elimination of the section
what would be left is the bare idealism of the system, devoid of any practical benefit to a large
number of people who may be deserving of the intended beneficial result of that system. The clear
policy of the law, as may be gleaned from a careful examination of the whole context, is to make the
application of the system dependent entirely upon the affirmative action of the different provincial
boards through appropriation of the salaries for probation officers at rates not lower than those
provided for provincial fiscals. Without such action on the part of the various boards, no probation
officers would be appointed by the Secretary of Justice to act in the provinces. The Philippines is
divided or subdivided into provinces and it needs no argument to show that if not one of the
provinces — and this is the actual situation now — appropriate the necessary fund for the salary of a
probation officer, probation under Act No. 4221 would be illusory. There can be no probation without
a probation officer. Neither can there be a probation officer without the probation system.

Section 2 of the Acts provides that the probation officer shall supervise and visit the probationer.
Every probation officer is given, as to the person placed in probation under his care, the powers of
the police officer. It is the duty of the probation officer to see that the conditions which are imposed
by the court upon the probationer under his care are complied with. Among those conditions, the
following are enumerated in section 3 of the Act:

That the probationer (a) shall indulge in no injurious or vicious habits;


(b) Shall avoid places or persons of disreputable or harmful character;

(c) Shall report to the probation officer as directed by the court or probation officers;

(d) Shall permit the probation officer to visit him at reasonable times at his place of abode or
elsewhere;

(e) Shall truthfully answer any reasonable inquiries on the part of the probation officer
concerning his conduct or condition; "(f) Shall endeavor to be employed regularly; "(g) Shall
remain or reside within a specified place or locality;

(f) Shall make reparation or restitution to the aggrieved parties for actual damages or losses
caused by his offense;

(g) Shall comply with such orders as the court may from time to time make; and

(h) Shall refrain from violating any law, statute, ordinance, or any by-law or regulation,
promulgated in accordance with law.

The court is required to notify the probation officer in writing of the period and terms of probation.
Under section 4, it is only after the period of probation, the submission of a report of the probation
officer and appropriate finding of the court that the probationer has complied with the conditions of
probation that probation may be definitely terminated and the probationer finally discharged from
supervision. Under section 5, if the court finds that there is non-compliance with said conditions, as
reported by the probation officer, it may issue a warrant for the arrest of the probationer and said
probationer may be committed with or without bail. Upon arraignment and after an opportunity to be
heard, the court may revoke, continue or modify the probation, and if revoked, the court shall order
the execution of the sentence originally imposed. Section 6 prescribes the duties of probation
officers: "It shall be the duty of every probation officer to furnish to all persons placed on probation
under his supervision a statement of the period and conditions of their probation, and to instruct
them concerning the same; to keep informed concerning their conduct and condition; to aid and
encourage them by friendly advice and admonition, and by such other measures, not inconsistent
with the conditions imposed by court as may seem most suitable, to bring about improvement in their
conduct and condition; to report in writing to the court having jurisdiction over said probationers at
least once every two months concerning their conduct and condition; to keep records of their work;
make such report as are necessary for the information of the Secretary of Justice and as the latter
may require; and to perform such other duties as are consistent with the functions of the probation
officer and as the court or judge may direct. The probation officers provided for in this Act may act as
parole officers for any penal or reformatory institution for adults when so requested by the authorities
thereof, and, when designated by the Secretary of Justice shall act as parole officer of persons
released on parole under Act Number Forty-one Hundred and Three, without additional
compensation."

It is argued, however, that even without section 11 probation officers maybe appointed in the
provinces under section 10 of Act which provides as follows:

There is hereby created in the Department of Justice and subject to its supervision and
control, a Probation Office under the direction of a Chief Probation Officer to be appointed by
the Governor-General with the advise and consent of the Senate who shall receive a salary
of four eight hundred pesos per annum. To carry out this Act there is hereby appropriated out
of any funds in the Insular Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of fifty thousand
pesos to be disbursed by the Secretary of Justice, who is hereby authorized to appoint
probation officers and the administrative personnel of the probation officer under civil service
regulations from among those who possess the qualifications, training and experience
prescribed by the Bureau of Civil Service, and shall fix the compensation of such probation
officers and administrative personnel until such positions shall have been included in the
Appropriation Act.

But the probation officers and the administrative personnel referred to in the foregoing section are
clearly not those probation officers required to be appointed for the provinces under section 11. It
may be said, reddendo singula singulis, that the probation officers referred to in section 10 above-
quoted are to act as such, not in the various provinces, but in the central office known as the
Probation Office established in the Department of Justice, under the supervision of the Chief
Probation Officer. When the law provides that "the probation officer" shall investigate and make
reports to the court (secs. 1 and 4); that "the probation officer" shall supervise and visit the
probationer (sec. 2; sec. 6, par. d); that the probationer shall report to the "probationer officer" (sec.
3, par. c.), shall allow "the probationer officer" to visit him (sec. 3, par. d), shall truthfully answer any
reasonable inquiries on the part of "the probation officer" concerning his conduct or condition (sec. 3,
par. 4); that the court shall notify "the probation officer" in writing of the period and terms of probation
(sec. 3, last par.), it means the probation officer who is in charge of a particular probationer in a
particular province. It never could have been intention of the legislature, for instance, to require the
probationer in Batanes, to report to a probationer officer in the City of Manila, or to require a
probation officer in Manila to visit the probationer in the said province of Batanes, to place him under
his care, to supervise his conduct, to instruct him concerning the conditions of his probation or to
perform such other functions as are assigned to him by law.

That under section 10 the Secretary of Justice may appoint as many probation officers as there are
provinces or groups of provinces is, of course possible. But this would be arguing on what the law
may be or should be and not on what the law is. Between is and ought there is a far cry. The wisdom
and propriety of legislation is not for us to pass upon. We may think a law better otherwise than it is.
But much as has been said regarding progressive interpretation and judicial legislation we decline to
amend the law. We are not permitted to read into the law matters and provisions which are not there.
Not for any purpose — not even to save a statute from the doom of invalidity.

Upon the other hand, the clear intention and policy of the law is not to make the Insular Government
defray the salaries of probation officers in the provinces but to make the provinces defray them
should they desire to have the Probation Act apply thereto. The sum of P50,000, appropriated "to
carry out the purposes of this Act", is to be applied, among other things, for the salaries of probation
officers in the central office at Manila. These probation officers are to receive such compensations
as the Secretary of Justice may fix "until such positions shall have been included in the Appropriation
Act". It was the intention of the legislature to empower the Secretary of Justice to fix the salaries of
the probation officers in the provinces or later on to include said salaries in an appropriation act.
Considering, further, that the sum of P50,000 appropriated in section 10 is to cover, among other
things, the salaries of the administrative personnel of the Probation Office, what would be left of the
amount can hardly be said to be sufficient to pay even nominal salaries to probation officers in the
provinces. We take judicial notice of the fact that there are 48 provinces in the Philippines and we do
not think it is seriously contended that, with the fifty thousand pesos appropriated for the central
office, there can be in each province, as intended, a probation officer with a salary not lower than
that of a provincial fiscal. If this a correct, the contention that without section 11 of Act No. 4221 said
act is complete is an impracticable thing under the remainder of the Act, unless it is conceded that in
our case there can be a system of probation in the provinces without probation officers.

Probation as a development of a modern penology is a commendable system. Probation laws have


been enacted, here and in other countries, to permit what modern criminologist call the
"individualization of the punishment", the adjustment of the penalty to the character of the criminal
and the circumstances of his particular case. It provides a period of grace in order to aid in the
rehabilitation of a penitent offender. It is believed that, in any cases, convicts may be reformed and
their development into hardened criminals aborted. It, therefore, takes advantage of an opportunity
for reformation and avoids imprisonment so long as the convicts gives promise of reform. (United
States vs. Murray [1925], 275 U. S., 347 357, 358; 72 Law. ed., 309; 312, 313; 48 Sup. Ct. Rep.,
146; Kaplan vs. Hecht, 24 F. [2d], 664, 665.) The Welfare of society is its chief end and aim. The
benefit to the individual convict is merely incidental. But while we believe that probation is
commendable as a system and its implantation into the Philippines should be welcomed, we are
forced by our inescapable duty to set the law aside because of the repugnancy to our fundamental
law.

In arriving at this conclusion, we have endeavored to consider the different aspects presented by
able counsel for both parties, as well in their memorandums as in their oral argument. We have
examined the cases brought to our attention, and others we have been able to reach in the short
time at our command for the study and deliberation of this case. In the examination of the cases and
in then analysis of the legal principles involved we have inclined to adopt the line of action which in
our opinion, is supported better reasoned authorities and is more conducive to the general welfare.
(Smith, Bell & Co. vs. Natividad [1919], 40 Phil., 136.) Realizing the conflict of authorities, we have
declined to be bound by certain adjudicated cases brought to our attention, except where the point
or principle is settled directly or by clear implication by the more authoritative pronouncements of the
Supreme Court of the United States. This line of approach is justified because:

(a) The constitutional relations between the Federal and the State governments of the United
States and the dual character of the American Government is a situation which does not
obtain in the Philippines;

(b) The situation of s state of the American Union of the District of Columbia with reference to
the Federal Government of the United States is not the situation of the province with respect
to the Insular Government (Art. I, sec. 8 cl. 17 and 10th Amendment, Constitution of the
United States; Sims vs. Rives, 84 Fed. [2d], 871),

(c) The distinct federal and the state judicial organizations of the United States do not
embrace the integrated judicial system of the Philippines (Schneckenburger vs. Moran
[1936], 35 Off. Gaz., p. 1317);

(d) "General propositions do not decide concrete cases" (Justice Holmes in Lochner vs. New
York [1904], 198 U. S., 45, 76; 49 Law. ed., 937, 949) and, "to keep pace with . . . new
developments of times and circumstances" (Chief Justice Waite in Pensacola Tel. Co. vs.
Western Union Tel. Co. [1899], 96 U. S., 1, 9; 24 Law. ed., 708; Yale Law Journal, Vol. XXIX,
No. 2, Dec. 1919, 141, 142), fundamental principles should be interpreted having in view
existing local conditions and environment.

Act No. 4221 is hereby declared unconstitutional and void and the writ of prohibition is, accordingly,
granted. Without any pronouncement regarding costs. So ordered.

Avanceña, C.J., Imperial, Diaz and Concepcion, JJ., concur.


Villa-real and Abad Santos, JJ., concur in the result.
RESTITUTO YNOT, petitioner,
vs.
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, THE STATION COMMANDER, INTEGRATED NATIONAL
POLICE, BAROTAC NUEVO, ILOILO and THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF ANIMAL
INDUSTRY, REGION IV, ILOILO CITY, respondents.

Ramon A. Gonzales for petitioner.

CRUZ, J.:

The essence of due process is distilled in the immortal cry of Themistocles to Alcibiades "Strike —
but hear me first!" It is this cry that the petitioner in effect repeats here as he challenges the
constitutionality of Executive Order No. 626-A.

The said executive order reads in full as follows:

WHEREAS, the President has given orders prohibiting the interprovincial movement
of carabaos and the slaughtering of carabaos not complying with the requirements of
Executive Order No. 626 particularly with respect to age;

WHEREAS, it has been observed that despite such orders the violators still manage
to circumvent the prohibition against inter-provincial movement of carabaos by
transporting carabeef instead; and

WHEREAS, in order to achieve the purposes and objectives of Executive Order No.
626 and the prohibition against interprovincial movement of carabaos, it is necessary
to strengthen the said Executive Order and provide for the disposition of the
carabaos and carabeef subject of the violation;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by


virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby promulgate the
following:

SECTION 1. Executive Order No. 626 is hereby amended such that henceforth, no
carabao regardless of age, sex, physical condition or purpose and no carabeef shall
be transported from one province to another. The carabao or carabeef transported in
violation of this Executive Order as amended shall be subject to confiscation and
forfeiture by the government, to be distributed to charitable institutions and other
similar institutions as the Chairman of the National Meat Inspection Commission may
ay see fit, in the case of carabeef, and to deserving farmers through dispersal as the
Director of Animal Industry may see fit, in the case of carabaos.

SECTION 2. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately.

Done in the City of Manila, this 25th day of October, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen
hundred and eighty.
(SGD.) FERDINAND
E. MARCOS

Preside
nt

Republic of the
Philippines

The petitioner had transported six carabaos in a pump boat from Masbate to Iloilo on January 13,
1984, when they were confiscated by the police station commander of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, for
violation of the above measure. 1 The petitioner sued for recovery, and the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City issued a writ
of replevin upon his filing of a supersedeas bond of P12,000.00. After considering the merits of the case, the court sustained the confiscation
of the carabaos and, since they could no longer be produced, ordered the confiscation of the bond. The court also declined to rule on the
constitutionality of the executive order, as raise by the petitioner, for lack of authority and also for its presumed validity. 2

The petitioner appealed the decision to the Intermediate Appellate Court,* 3 which upheld the trial court, ** and
he has now come before us in this petition for review on certiorari.

The thrust of his petition is that the executive order is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes outright
confiscation of the carabao or carabeef being transported across provincial boundaries. His claim is
that the penalty is invalid because it is imposed without according the owner a right to be heard
before a competent and impartial court as guaranteed by due process. He complains that the
measure should not have been presumed, and so sustained, as constitutional. There is also a
challenge to the improper exercise of the legislative power by the former President under
Amendment No. 6 of the 1973 Constitution. 4

While also involving the same executive order, the case of Pesigan v. Angeles 5 is not applicable
here. The question raised there was the necessity of the previous publication of the measure in the
Official Gazette before it could be considered enforceable. We imposed the requirement then on the
basis of due process of law. In doing so, however, this Court did not, as contended by the Solicitor
General, impliedly affirm the constitutionality of Executive Order No. 626-A. That is an entirely
different matter.

This Court has declared that while lower courts should observe a becoming modesty in examining
constitutional questions, they are nonetheless not prevented from resolving the same whenever
warranted, subject only to review by the highest tribunal. 6 We have jurisdiction under the
Constitution to "review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal or certiorari, as the law or rules of
court may provide," final judgments and orders of lower courts in, among others, all cases involving
the constitutionality of certain measures. 7 This simply means that the resolution of such cases may
be made in the first instance by these lower courts.

And while it is true that laws are presumed to be constitutional, that presumption is not by any
means conclusive and in fact may be rebutted. Indeed, if there be a clear showing of their invalidity,
and of the need to declare them so, then "will be the time to make the hammer fall, and heavily," 8 to
recall Justice Laurel's trenchant warning. Stated otherwise, courts should not follow the path of least
resistance by simply presuming the constitutionality of a law when it is questioned. On the contrary,
they should probe the issue more deeply, to relieve the abscess, paraphrasing another distinguished
jurist, 9 and so heal the wound or excise the affliction.

Judicial power authorizes this; and when the exercise is demanded, there should be no shirking of
the task for fear of retaliation, or loss of favor, or popular censure, or any other similar inhibition
unworthy of the bench, especially this Court.
The challenged measure is denominated an executive order but it is really presidential decree,
promulgating a new rule instead of merely implementing an existing law. It was issued by President
Marcos not for the purpose of taking care that the laws were faithfully executed but in the exercise of
his legislative authority under Amendment No. 6. It was provided thereunder that whenever in his
judgment there existed a grave emergency or a threat or imminence thereof or whenever the
legislature failed or was unable to act adequately on any matter that in his judgment required
immediate action, he could, in order to meet the exigency, issue decrees, orders or letters of
instruction that were to have the force and effect of law. As there is no showing of any exigency to
justify the exercise of that extraordinary power then, the petitioner has reason, indeed, to question
the validity of the executive order. Nevertheless, since the determination of the grounds was
supposed to have been made by the President "in his judgment, " a phrase that will lead to
protracted discussion not really necessary at this time, we reserve resolution of this matter until a
more appropriate occasion. For the nonce, we confine ourselves to the more fundamental question
of due process.

It is part of the art of constitution-making that the provisions of the charter be cast in precise and
unmistakable language to avoid controversies that might arise on their correct interpretation. That is
the Ideal. In the case of the due process clause, however, this rule was deliberately not followed and
the wording was purposely kept ambiguous. In fact, a proposal to delineate it more clearly was
submitted in the Constitutional Convention of 1934, but it was rejected by Delegate Jose P. Laurel,
Chairman of the Committee on the Bill of Rights, who forcefully argued against it. He was sustained
by the body. 10

The due process clause was kept intentionally vague so it would remain also conveniently resilient. This was felt necessary because due
process is not, like some provisions of the fundamental law, an "iron rule" laying down an implacable and immutable command for all
seasons and all persons. Flexibility must be the best virtue of the guaranty. The very elasticity of the due process clause was meant to make
it adapt easily to every situation, enlarging or constricting its protection as the changing times and circumstances may require.

Aware of this, the courts have also hesitated to adopt their own specific description of due process
lest they confine themselves in a legal straitjacket that will deprive them of the elbow room they may
need to vary the meaning of the clause whenever indicated. Instead, they have preferred to leave
the import of the protection open-ended, as it were, to be "gradually ascertained by the process of
inclusion and exclusion in the course of the decision of cases as they arise." 11 Thus, Justice Felix Frankfurter
of the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, would go no farther than to define due process — and in so doing sums it all up — as nothing more
and nothing less than "the embodiment of the sporting Idea of fair play." 12

When the barons of England extracted from their sovereign liege the reluctant promise that that Crown would thenceforth not proceed
against the life liberty or property of any of its subjects except by the lawful judgment of his peers or the law of the land, they thereby won for
themselves and their progeny that splendid guaranty of fairness that is now the hallmark of the free society. The solemn vow that King John
made at Runnymede in 1215 has since then resounded through the ages, as a ringing reminder to all rulers, benevolent or base, that every
person, when confronted by the stern visage of the law, is entitled to have his say in a fair and open hearing of his cause.

The closed mind has no place in the open society. It is part of the sporting Idea of fair play to hear
"the other side" before an opinion is formed or a decision is made by those who sit in judgment.
Obviously, one side is only one-half of the question; the other half must also be considered if an
impartial verdict is to be reached based on an informed appreciation of the issues in contention. It is
indispensable that the two sides complement each other, as unto the bow the arrow, in leading to
the correct ruling after examination of the problem not from one or the other perspective only but in
its totality. A judgment based on less that this full appraisal, on the pretext that a hearing is
unnecessary or useless, is tainted with the vice of bias or intolerance or ignorance, or worst of all, in
repressive regimes, the insolence of power.

The minimum requirements of due process are notice and hearing 13 which, generally speaking, may not be
dispensed with because they are intended as a safeguard against official arbitrariness. It is a gratifying commentary on our judicial system
that the jurisprudence of this country is rich with applications of this guaranty as proof of our fealty to the rule of law and the ancient
rudiments of fair play. We have consistently declared that every person, faced by the awesome power of the State, is entitled to "the law of
the land," which Daniel Webster described almost two hundred years ago in the famous Dartmouth College Case, 14 as "the law which hears
before it condemns, which proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial." It has to be so if the rights of every person are to be
secured beyond the reach of officials who, out of mistaken zeal or plain arrogance, would degrade the due process clause into a worn and
empty catchword.

This is not to say that notice and hearing are imperative in every case for, to be sure, there are a
number of admitted exceptions. The conclusive presumption, for example, bars the admission of
contrary evidence as long as such presumption is based on human experience or there is a rational
connection between the fact proved and the fact ultimately presumed therefrom. 15 There are instances
when the need for expeditions action will justify omission of these requisites, as in the summary abatement of a nuisance per se, like a mad
dog on the loose, which may be killed on sight because of the immediate danger it poses to the safety and lives of the people. Pornographic
materials, contaminated meat and narcotic drugs are inherently pernicious and may be summarily destroyed. The passport of a person
sought for a criminal offense may be cancelled without hearing, to compel his return to the country he has fled. 16 Filthy restaurants may be
summarily padlocked in the interest of the public health and bawdy houses to protect the public morals. 17 In such instances, previous
judicial hearing may be omitted without violation of due process in view of the nature of the property involved or the urgency of the need to
protect the general welfare from a clear and present danger.

The protection of the general welfare is the particular function of the police power which both
restraints and is restrained by due process. The police power is simply defined as the power
inherent in the State to regulate liberty and property for the promotion of the general welfare. 18 By
reason of its function, it extends to all the great public needs and is described as the most pervasive, the least limitable and the most
demanding of the three inherent powers of the State, far outpacing taxation and eminent domain. The individual, as a member of society, is
hemmed in by the police power, which affects him even before he is born and follows him still after he is dead — from the womb to beyond
the tomb — in practically everything he does or owns. Its reach is virtually limitless. It is a ubiquitous and often unwelcome intrusion. Even
so, as long as the activity or the property has some relevance to the public welfare, its regulation under the police power is not only proper
but necessary. And the justification is found in the venerable Latin maxims, Salus populi est suprema lex and Sic utere tuo ut alienum non
laedas, which call for the subordination of individual interests to the benefit of the greater number.

It is this power that is now invoked by the government to justify Executive Order No. 626-A,
amending the basic rule in Executive Order No. 626, prohibiting the slaughter of carabaos except
under certain conditions. The original measure was issued for the reason, as expressed in one of its
Whereases, that "present conditions demand that the carabaos and the buffaloes be conserved for
the benefit of the small farmers who rely on them for energy needs." We affirm at the outset the need
for such a measure. In the face of the worsening energy crisis and the increased dependence of our
farms on these traditional beasts of burden, the government would have been remiss, indeed, if it
had not taken steps to protect and preserve them.

A similar prohibition was challenged in United States v. Toribio, 19 where a law regulating the registration, branding
and slaughter of large cattle was claimed to be a deprivation of property without due process of law. The defendant had been convicted
thereunder for having slaughtered his own carabao without the required permit, and he appealed to the Supreme Court. The conviction was
affirmed. The law was sustained as a valid police measure to prevent the indiscriminate killing of carabaos, which were then badly needed by
farmers. An epidemic had stricken many of these animals and the reduction of their number had resulted in an acute decline in agricultural
output, which in turn had caused an incipient famine. Furthermore, because of the scarcity of the animals and the consequent increase in
their price, cattle-rustling had spread alarmingly, necessitating more effective measures for the registration and branding of these animals.
The Court held that the questioned statute was a valid exercise of the police power and declared in part as follows:

To justify the State in thus interposing its authority in behalf of the public, it must
appear, first, that the interests of the public generally, as distinguished from those of
a particular class, require such interference; and second, that the means are
reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose, and not unduly
oppressive upon individuals. ...

From what has been said, we think it is clear that the enactment of the provisions of
the statute under consideration was required by "the interests of the public generally,
as distinguished from those of a particular class" and that the prohibition of the
slaughter of carabaos for human consumption, so long as these animals are fit for
agricultural work or draft purposes was a "reasonably necessary" limitation on private
ownership, to protect the community from the loss of the services of such animals by
their slaughter by improvident owners, tempted either by greed of momentary gain,
or by a desire to enjoy the luxury of animal food, even when by so doing the
productive power of the community may be measurably and dangerously affected.

In the light of the tests mentioned above, we hold with the Toribio Case that the carabao, as the poor
man's tractor, so to speak, has a direct relevance to the public welfare and so is a lawful subject of
Executive Order No. 626. The method chosen in the basic measure is also reasonably necessary for
the purpose sought to be achieved and not unduly oppressive upon individuals, again following the
above-cited doctrine. There is no doubt that by banning the slaughter of these animals except where
they are at least seven years old if male and eleven years old if female upon issuance of the
necessary permit, the executive order will be conserving those still fit for farm work or breeding and
preventing their improvident depletion.

But while conceding that the amendatory measure has the same lawful subject as the original
executive order, we cannot say with equal certainty that it complies with the second
requirement, viz., that there be a lawful method. We note that to strengthen the original measure,
Executive Order No. 626-A imposes an absolute ban not on the slaughter of the carabaos but on
their movement, providing that "no carabao regardless of age, sex, physical condition or purpose
(sic) and no carabeef shall be transported from one province to another." The object of the
prohibition escapes us. The reasonable connection between the means employed and the purpose
sought to be achieved by the questioned measure is missing

We do not see how the prohibition of the inter-provincial transport of carabaos can prevent their
indiscriminate slaughter, considering that they can be killed anywhere, with no less difficulty in one
province than in another. Obviously, retaining the carabaos in one province will not prevent their
slaughter there, any more than moving them to another province will make it easier to kill them there.
As for the carabeef, the prohibition is made to apply to it as otherwise, so says executive order, it
could be easily circumvented by simply killing the animal. Perhaps so. However, if the movement of
the live animals for the purpose of preventing their slaughter cannot be prohibited, it should follow
that there is no reason either to prohibit their transfer as, not to be flippant dead meat.

Even if a reasonable relation between the means and the end were to be assumed, we would still
have to reckon with the sanction that the measure applies for violation of the prohibition. The penalty
is outright confiscation of the carabao or carabeef being transported, to be meted out by the
executive authorities, usually the police only. In the Toribio Case, the statute was sustained because
the penalty prescribed was fine and imprisonment, to be imposed by the court after trial and
conviction of the accused. Under the challenged measure, significantly, no such trial is prescribed,
and the property being transported is immediately impounded by the police and declared, by the
measure itself, as forfeited to the government.

In the instant case, the carabaos were arbitrarily confiscated by the police station commander, were
returned to the petitioner only after he had filed a complaint for recovery and given
a supersedeas bond of P12,000.00, which was ordered confiscated upon his failure to produce the
carabaos when ordered by the trial court. The executive order defined the prohibition, convicted the
petitioner and immediately imposed punishment, which was carried out forthright. The measure
struck at once and pounced upon the petitioner without giving him a chance to be heard, thus
denying him the centuries-old guaranty of elementary fair play.

It has already been remarked that there are occasions when notice and hearing may be validly
dispensed with notwithstanding the usual requirement for these minimum guarantees of due
process. It is also conceded that summary action may be validly taken in administrative proceedings
as procedural due process is not necessarily judicial only. 20 In the exceptional cases accepted,
however. there is a justification for the omission of the right to a previous hearing, to wit,
the immediacy of the problem sought to be corrected and the urgency of the need to correct it.

In the case before us, there was no such pressure of time or action calling for the petitioner's
peremptory treatment. The properties involved were not even inimical per se as to require their
instant destruction. There certainly was no reason why the offense prohibited by the executive order
should not have been proved first in a court of justice, with the accused being accorded all the rights
safeguarded to him under the Constitution. Considering that, as we held in Pesigan v.
Angeles, 21 Executive Order No. 626-A is penal in nature, the violation thereof should have been
pronounced not by the police only but by a court of justice, which alone would have had the authority
to impose the prescribed penalty, and only after trial and conviction of the accused.

We also mark, on top of all this, the questionable manner of the disposition of the confiscated
property as prescribed in the questioned executive order. It is there authorized that the seized
property shall "be distributed to charitable institutions and other similar institutions as the Chairman
of the National Meat Inspection Commission may see fit, in the case of carabeef, and to deserving
farmers through dispersal as the Director of Animal Industry may see fit, in the case of carabaos."
(Emphasis supplied.) The phrase "may see fit" is an extremely generous and dangerous condition, if
condition it is. It is laden with perilous opportunities for partiality and abuse, and even corruption.
One searches in vain for the usual standard and the reasonable guidelines, or better still, the
limitations that the said officers must observe when they make their distribution. There is none. Their
options are apparently boundless. Who shall be the fortunate beneficiaries of their generosity and by
what criteria shall they be chosen? Only the officers named can supply the answer, they and they
alone may choose the grantee as they see fit, and in their own exclusive discretion. Definitely, there
is here a "roving commission," a wide and sweeping authority that is not "canalized within banks that
keep it from overflowing," in short, a clearly profligate and therefore invalid delegation of legislative
powers.

To sum up then, we find that the challenged measure is an invalid exercise of the police power
because the method employed to conserve the carabaos is not reasonably necessary to the purpose
of the law and, worse, is unduly oppressive. Due process is violated because the owner of the
property confiscated is denied the right to be heard in his defense and is immediately condemned
and punished. The conferment on the administrative authorities of the power to adjudge the guilt of
the supposed offender is a clear encroachment on judicial functions and militates against the
doctrine of separation of powers. There is, finally, also an invalid delegation of legislative powers to
the officers mentioned therein who are granted unlimited discretion in the distribution of the
properties arbitrarily taken. For these reasons, we hereby declare Executive Order No. 626-A
unconstitutional.

We agree with the respondent court, however, that the police station commander who confiscated
the petitioner's carabaos is not liable in damages for enforcing the executive order in accordance
with its mandate. The law was at that time presumptively valid, and it was his obligation, as a
member of the police, to enforce it. It would have been impertinent of him, being a mere subordinate
of the President, to declare the executive order unconstitutional and, on his own responsibility alone,
refuse to execute it. Even the trial court, in fact, and the Court of Appeals itself did not feel they had
the competence, for all their superior authority, to question the order we now annul.

The Court notes that if the petitioner had not seen fit to assert and protect his rights as he saw them,
this case would never have reached us and the taking of his property under the challenged measure
would have become a faitaccompli despite its invalidity. We commend him for his spirit. Without the
present challenge, the matter would have ended in that pump boat in Masbate and another violation
of the Constitution, for all its obviousness, would have been perpetrated, allowed without protest,
and soon forgotten in the limbo of relinquished rights.

The strength of democracy lies not in the rights it guarantees but in the courage of the people to
invoke them whenever they are ignored or violated. Rights are but weapons on the wall if, like
expensive tapestry, all they do is embellish and impress. Rights, as weapons, must be a promise of
protection. They become truly meaningful, and fulfill the role assigned to them in the free society, if
they are kept bright and sharp with use by those who are not afraid to assert them.

WHEREFORE, Executive Order No. 626-A is hereby declared unconstitutional. Except as affirmed
above, the decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The supersedeas bond is cancelled and the
amount thereof is ordered restored to the petitioner. No costs.

SO ORDERED.
TERESITA TABLARIN, MA. LUZ CIRIACO, MA. NIMFA B. ROVIRA, EVANGELINA S. LABAO, in their
behalf and in behalf of applicants for admission into the Medical Colleges during the school year
1987-88 and future years who have not taken or successfully hurdled the National Medical
Admission Test (NMAT), Petitioners, v. THE HONORABLE JUDGE ANGELINA S. GUTIERREZ,
Presiding Judge of Branch XXXVII of the Regional Trial Court of the National Capital Judicial
Region with seat at Manila, THE HONORABLE SECRETARY LOURDES QUISUMBING, in her capacity
as Chairman of the BOARD OF MEDICAL EDUCATION, and THE CENTER FOR EDUCATIONAL
MEASUREMENT (CEM), Respondents.

SYLLABUS

1. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; DECLARATION OF UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF STATUTE AND ADMINISTRATIVE


ORDER; BURDEN OF PROOF TO BE DISCHARGED; CASE AT BAR. — Article II of the 1987 Constitution sets
forth in its second half certain "State policies" which the government is enjoined to pursue and promote. The
petitioners here have not seriously undertaken to demonstrate to what extent or in what manner the statute
and the administrative order they assail collide with the State policies embodied in Sections 11, 13 and 17.
They have not, in other words, discharged the burden of proof which lies upon them. This burden is heavy
enough where the constitutional provision invoked is relatively specific, rather than abstract, in character
and cast in behavioral or operational terms. That burden of proof becomes of necessity heavier where the
constitutional provision invoked is cast, as the second portion of Article II is cast, in language descriptive of
basic policies, or more precisely, of basic objectives of State policy and therefore highly generalized in tenor.
The petitioners have not made their case, even a prima facie case, and we are not compelled to speculate
and to imagine how the legislation and regulation impugned as unconstitutional could possibly offend the
constitutional provisions pointed to by the petitioners. Turning to Article XIV, Section 1, of the 1987
Constitution, we note that once more petitioners have failed to demonstrate that the statute and regulation
they assail in fact clash with that provision. On the contrary we may note — in anticipation of discussion
infra - that the statute and the regulation which petitioners attack are in fact designed to promote "quality
education" at the level of professional schools. When one reads Section 1 in relation to Section 5 (3) of
Article XIV as one must one cannot but note that the latter phrase of Section 1 is not to be read with
absolute literalness. The State is not really enjoined to take appropriate steps to make quality education
"accessible to all who might for any number of reasons wish to enroll in a professional school but rather
merely to make such education accessible to all who qualify under "fair, reasonable and equitable admission
and academic requirements." cralaw virtua1aw li bra ry

2. ID.; CONSTITUTIONALITY ESSENTIALLY A QUESTION OF POWER OR AUTHORITY; QUESTIONS AS TO


DESIRABILITY, WISDOM OR UTILITY OF LEGISLATION OR ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION PROPERLY
ADDRESSED TO POLITICAL DEPARTMENTS OF GOVERNMENT. — The petitioners also urge that the NMAT
prescribed in MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, is an "unfair, unreasonable and inequitable requirement," which
results in a denial of due process. Again, petitioners have failed to specify just what factors or features of
the NMAT render it "unfair" and "unreasonable" or "inequitable." They appear to suggest that passing the
NMAT is an unnecessary requirement when added on top of the admission requirements set out in Section 7
of the Medical Act of 1959, and other admission requirements established by internal regulations of the
various medical schools, public or private. Petitioners arguments thus appear to relate to utility and wisdom
or desirability of the NMAT requirement. But constitutionality is essentially a question of power or authority:
this Court has neither commission or competence to pass upon questions of the desirability or wisdom or
utility of legislation or administrative regulation. Those questions must be addressed to the political
departments of the government not to the courts.

3. ID.; PRINCIPLE OF NON-DELEGATION OF LEGISLATIVE POWER; APPLIED WITH CIRCUMSPECTION


WHERE STATUTES DEAL WITH COMPLEX AND TECHNICAL SUBJECTS; PRINCIPLE OF SUBORDINATE
LEGISLATION; STANDARDS SET FOR SUBORDINATE LEGISLATION NECESSARILY BROAD AND HIGHLY
ABSTRACT. — The general principle of non-delegation of legislative power, which both flows from the
reinforces the more fundamental rule of the separation and allocation of powers among the three great
departments of government, must be applied with circumspection in respect of statutes which like the
Medical Act of 1959, deal with subjects as obviously complex and technical as medical education and the
practice of medicine in our present day world. Mr. Justice Laurel stressed this point 47 years ago in
Pangasinan Transportation Co., Inc. v. The Public Service Commission: "One thing, however, is apparent in
the development of the principle of separation of powers and that is that the maxim of delegatus non potest
delegare or delegati potestas non potest delegare, adopted this practice (Delegibus et Consuetudiniis Anglia
edited by G.E. Woodbine, Yale University Press, 1922, Vol. 2, p. 167) but which is also recognized in
principle in the Roman Law (d.17.18,3) has been made to adapt itself to the complexities of modern
government, giving rise to the adoption, within certain limits, of the principle of ‘subordinate legislation,’ not
only in the United States and England but in practically all modern governments. (People v. Rosenthal and
Osmena [68 Phil. 318, 1939]. Accordingly, with the growing complexity of modern life, the multiplication of
the subjects of governmental regulation, and the increased difficulty of administering the laws, there is a
constantly growing tendency toward the delegation of greater power by the legislature, and toward the
approval of the practice by the courts." The standards set for subordinate legislation in the exercise of rule
making authority by an administrative agency like the Board of Medical Education are necessarily broad and
highly abstract. As explained by then Mr. Justice Fernando in Edu v. Ericta — "The standard may be either
expressed or implied. If the former, the non-delegation objection is easily met. The standard though does
not have to be spelled out specifically. It could be implied from the policy and purpose of the act considered
as a whole. In the Reflector Law, clearly the legislative objective is public safety. What is sought to be
attained as in Calalang v. Williams is ‘safe transit upon the roads.’" We believe and so hold that the
necessary standards are set forth in Section 1 of the 1959 Medical Act: "the standardization and regulation
of medical education" and in Section 5 (a) and 7 of the same Act, the body of the statute itself, and that
these considered together are sufficient compliance with the requirements of the non-delegation principle.

4. ID.; POLICE POWER; NATURE AND OBJECTIVE; REGULATION OF PRACTICE OF MEDICINE INCLUDING
ADMISSION TO RANKS OF AUTHORIZED PRACTITIONERS A VALID EXERCISE THEREOF. — There is another
reason why the petitioners’ arguments must fail: the legislative and administrative provisions impugned by
them constitute, to the mind of the Court, a valid exercise of the police power of the state. The police power,
it is commonplace learning, is the pervasive and non-waivable power and authority of the sovereign to
secure and promote all the important interests and needs — in a word, the public order — of the general
community. An important component of that public order is the health and physical safety and well being of
the population, the securing of which no one can deny is a legitimate objective of governmental effort and
regulation. Perhaps the only issue that needs some consideration is whether there is some reasonable
relation between the prescribing of passing the NMAT as a condition for admission to medical school on the
one hand, and the securing of the health and safety of the general community, on the other hand. This
question is perhaps most usefully approached by recalling that the regulation of the practice of medicine in
all its branches has long been recognized as a reasonable method of protecting the health and safety of the
public. That the power to regulate and control the practice of medicine includes the power to regulate
admission to the ranks of those authorized to practice medicine, is also well recognized. Thus, legislation
and administrative regulations requiring those who wish to practice medicine first to take and pass medical
board examinations have long ago been recognized as valid exercises of governmental power. Similarly, the
establishment of minimum medical educational requirements — i.e., the completion of prescribed courses in
a recognized medical school — for admission to the medical profession, has also been sustained as a
legitimate exercise of the regulatory authority of the state.

5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. — What we have before us in the instant case is closely related; the
regulation of access to medical schools. MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, as noted earlier, articulates the
rationale of regulation of this type: the improvement of the professional and technical quality of the
graduates of medical schools, by upgrading the quality of those admitted to the student body of the medical
schools. That upgrading is sought by selectivity in the process of admission, selectivity consisting, among
other things, of limiting admission to those who exhibit in the required degree the aptitude for medical
studies and eventually for medical practice. The need to maintain, and the difficulties of maintaining, high
standards in our professional schools in general, and medical schools in particular, in the current stage of
our social and economic development, are widely known. We believe that the government is entitled to
prescribe an admission test like the NMAT as a means for achieving its stated objective of "upgrading the
selection of applicants into [our] medical schools" and of "improv[ing] the quality of medical education in the
country." Given the widespread use today of such admission tests in, for instance, medical schools in the
United States of America (the Medical College Admission Test [MCAT] and quite probably in other countries
with far more developed educational resources than our own, and taking into account the failure or inability
of the petitioners to even attempt to prove otherwise, we are entitled to hold that the NMAT is reasonably
related to the securing of the ultimate end of legislation and regulation in this area. That end, it is useful to
recall, is the protection of the public from the potentially deadly effects of incompetence and ignorance in
those who would undertake to treat our bodies and minds for disease or trauma.

6. ID.; BILL OF RIGHTS; EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS; NOT VIOLATED BY MECS ORDER NO. 52, S.
1985. — Petitioners have contended, finally, that MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, is in conflict with the equal
protection clause of the Constitution. More specifically, petitioners assert that portion of the MECS Order
which provides that "the cutoff score for the successful applicants, based on the scores on the NMAT, shall
be determined every year by the Board of Medical Education after consultation with the Association of
Philippine Medical Colleges" infringes the requirements of equal protection. They assert, in other words, that
students seeking admission during a given school year. e.g., 1987-1988, when subjected to a different
cutoff score than that established for an, e.g., earlier school year, are discriminated against and that this
renders the MECS Order "arbitrary and capricious." The force of this argument is more apparent than real.
Different cutoff scores for different school years may be dictated by differing conditions obtaining during
those years. Thus, the appropriate cutoff score for a given year may be a function of such factors as the
number of students who have reached the cutoff score established the preceding year; the number of places
available in medical schools during the current year; the average score attained during the current year; the
level of difficulty of the test given during the current year, and so forth. To establish a permanent and
immutable cutoff score regardless of changes in circumstances from year to year, may well result in an
unreasonable rigidity. The above language in MECS Order No. 52, far from being arbitrary or capricious,
leaves the Board of Medical Education with the measure of flexibility needed to meet circumstances as they
change.

DECISION

FELICIANO, J.:

The petitioners sought admission into colleges or schools of medicine for the school year 1987-1988.
However, the petitioners either did not take or did not successfully take the National Medical Admission Test
(NMAT) required by the Board of Medical Education, one of the public respondents, and administered by the
private respondent, the Center for Educational Measurement (CEM).

On 5 March 1987, the petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Region, a
Petition for Declaratory Judgment and Prohibition with a prayer for Temporary Restraining Order and
Preliminary Injunction. The petitioners sought to enjoin the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, the
Board of Medical Education and the Center for Educational Measurement from enforcing Section 5 (a) and (f)
of Republic Act No. 2382, as amended, and MECS Order No. 52, series of 1985, dated 23 August 1985 and
from requiring the taking and passing of the NMAT as a condition for securing certificates of eligibility for
admission, from proceeding with accepting applications for taking the NMAT and from administering the
NMAT as scheduled on 26 April 1987 and in the future. After hearing on the petition for issuance of
preliminary injunction, the trial court denied said petition on 20 April 1987. The NMAT was conducted and
administered as previously scheduled.

Petitioners accordingly filed this Special Civil Action for Certiorari with this Court to set aside the Order of
the respondent judge denying the petition for issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.

Republic Act 2382, as amended by Republic Acts Nos. 4224 and 5946, known as the "Medical Act of 1959"
defines its basic objectives in the following manner: jgc:chan rob les.com. ph

"SECTION 1. Objectives. — This Act provides for and shall govern (a) the standardization and regulation of
medical education; (b) the examination for registration of physicians; and (c) the supervision, control and
regulation of the practice of medicine in the Philippines." (Emphasis supplied)

The statute, among other things, created a Board of Medical Education which is composed of (a) the
Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports or his duly authorized representative, as Chairman; (b) the
Secretary of Health or his duly authorized representative; (c) the Director of Higher Education or his duly
authorized representative; (d) the Chairman of the Medical Board or his duly authorized representative; (e)
a representative of the Philippine Medical Association; (f) the Dean of the College of Medicine, University of
the Philippines; (g) a representative of the Council of Deans of Philippine Medical Schools; and (h) a
representative of the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges, as members. The functions of the Board of
Medical Education specified in Section 5 of the statute include the following: chan rob les law li bra ry

"(a) To determine and prescribe requirements for admission into a recognized college of medicine;

(b) To determine and prescribe requirements for minimum physical facilities of colleges of medicine, to wit:
buildings, including hospitals, equipment and supplies, apparatus, instruments, appliances, laboratories, bed
capacity for instruction purposes, operating and delivery rooms, facilities for outpatient services, and others,
used for didactic and practical instruction in accordance with modern trends;

(c) To determine and prescribe the minimum number and minimum qualifications of teaching personnel,
including student-teachers ratio;

(d) To determine and prescribe the minimum required curriculum leading to the degree of Doctor of
Medicine;

(e) To authorize the implementation of experimental medical curriculum in a medical school that has
exceptional faculty and instrumental facilities. Such an experimental curriculum may prescribe admission
and graduation requirements other than those prescribed in this Act; Provided, That only exceptional
students shall be enrolled in the experimental curriculum;

(f) To accept applications for certification for admission to a medical school and keep a register of those
issued said certificate; and to collect from said applicants the amount of twenty-five pesos each which shall
accrue to the operating fund of the Board of Medical Education;

(g) To select, determine and approve hospitals or some departments of the hospitals for training which
comply with the minimum specific physical facilities as provided in subparagraph (b) hereof; and

(h) To promulgate and prescribe and enforce the necessary rules and regulations for the proper
implementation of the foregoing functions." (Emphasis supplied).

Section 7 prescribes certain minimum requirements for applicants to medical schools: jgc:chan roble s.com.p h

"Admission requirements. — The medical college may admit any student who has not been convicted by any
court of competent jurisdiction of any offense involving moral turpitude and who presents (a) a record of
completion of a bachelor’s degree in science or arts; (b) a certificate of eligibility for entrance to a medical
school from the Board of Medical Education; (c) a certificate of good moral character issued by two former
professors in the college of liberal arts; and (d) birth certificate. Nothing in this act shall be construed to
inhibit any college of medicine from establishing, in addition to the preceding, other entrance requirements
that may be deemed admissible.

. . ." (Emphasis supplied)

MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, issued by the then Minister of Education, Culture and Sports and dated 23
August 1985, established a uniform admission test called the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT) as an
additional requirement for issuance of a certificate of eligibility for admission into medical schools of the
Philippines, beginning with the school year 1986-1987. This Order goes on to state that: jgc:chanrob les.com. ph

"2. The NMAT, an aptitude test, is considered as an instrument toward upgrading the selection of applicants
for admission into the medical schools and its calculated to improve the quality of medical education in the
country. The cutoff score for the successful applicants, based on the scores on the NMAT, shall be
determined every year by the Board of Medical Education after consultation with the Association of Philippine
Medical Colleges. The NMAT rating of each applicant, together with the other admission requirements as
presently called for under existing rules, shall serve as a basis for the issuance of the prescribed certificate
of eligibility for admission into the medical colleges.

3. Subject to the prior approval of the Board of Medical Education, each medical college may give other tests
for applicants who have been issued a corresponding certificate of eligibility for admission that will yield
information on other aspects of the applicant’s personality to complement the information derived from the
NMAT.

x x x

8. No applicant shall be issued the requisite Certificate of Eligibility for Admission (CEA), or admitted for
enrollment as first year student in any medical college, beginning the school year, 1986- 87, without the
required NMAT qualification as called for under this Order." (Emphasis supplied)

Pursuant to MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, the private respondent Center conducted NMATs for entrance to
medical colleges during the school year 1986-1987. In December 1986 and in April 1987, respondent Center
conducted the NMATs for admission to medical colleges during the school year 1987-1988. chan robles. com : virtual law l ibra ry

Petitioners raise the question of whether or not a writ of preliminary injunction may be issued to enjoin the
enforcement of Section 5 (a) and (f) of Republic Act No. 2382, as amended, and MECS Order No. 52, s.
1985, pending resolution of the issue of constitutionality of the assailed statute and administrative order. We
regard this issue as entirely peripheral in nature. It scarcely needs documentation that a court would issue a
writ of preliminary injunction only when the petitioner assailing a statute or administrative order has made
out a case of unconstitutionality strong enough to overcome, in the mind of the judge, the presumption of
constitutionality, aside from showing a clear legal right to the remedy sought. The fundamental issue is of
course the constitutionality of the statute or order assailed.

1. The petitioners invoke a number of provisions of the 1987 Constitution which are, in their assertion,
violated by the continued implementation of Section 5 (a) and (f) of Republic Act 2381, as amended, and
MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985. The provisions invoked read as follows: chan rob1e s virtual 1aw l ibra ry

(a) Article II, Section 11: "The state values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect of
human rights.

"(b) Article II, Section 13: "The State recognizes the vital role of the youth in nation building and shall
promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well being. It shall inculcate in the
youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs.

"(c) Article II, Section 17: "The State shall give priority to education, science and technology, arts, culture
and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress and to promote total human
liberation and development.

"(d) Article XIV, Section 1: "The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education
at all levels and take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.

"(e) Article XIV, Section 5 (3): "Every citizen has a right to select a profession or course of study, subject to
fair, reasonable and equitable admission and academic requirements." cralaw vi rtua 1aw lib rary

Article II of the 1987 Constitution sets forth in its second half certain "State policies" which the government
is enjoined to pursue and promote. The petitioners here have not seriously undertaken to demonstrate to
what extent or in what manner the statute and the administrative order they assail collide with the State
policies embodied in Sections 11, 13 and 17. They have not, in other words, discharged the burden of proof
which lies upon them. This burden is heavy enough where the constitutional provision invoked is relatively
specific, rather than abstract, in character and cast in behavioral or operational terms. That burden of proof
becomes of necessity heavier where the constitutional provision invoked is cast, as the second portion of
Article II is cast, in language descriptive of basic policies, or more precisely, of basic objectives of State
policy and therefore highly generalized in tenor. The petitioners have not made their case, even a prima
facie case, and we are not compelled to speculate and to imagine how the legislation and regulation
impugned as unconstitutional could possibly offend the constitutional provisions pointed to by the
petitioners.

Turning to Article XIV, Section 1, of the 1987 Constitution, we note that once more petitioners have failed to
demonstrate that the statute and regulation they assail in fact clash with that provision. On the contrary we
may note - in anticipation of discussion infra — that the statute and the regulation which petitioners attack
are in fact designed to promote "quality education" at the level of professional schools. When one reads
Section 1 in relation to Section 5 (3) of Article XIV as one must one cannot but note that the latter phrase of
Section 1 is not to be read with absolute literalness. The State is not really enjoined to take appropriate
steps to make quality education "accessible to all who might for any number of reasons wish to enroll in a
professional school but rather merely to make such education accessible to all who qualify under "fair,
reasonable and equitable admission and academic requirements." cralaw virt ua1aw lib rary

2. In the trial court, petitioners had made the argument that Section 5 (a) and (f) of Republic Act No. 2382,
as amended, offend against the constitutional principle which forbids the undue delegation of legislative
power, by failing to establish the necessary standard to be followed by the delegate, the Board of Medical
Education. The general principle of non-delegation of legislative power, which both flows from the reinforces
the more fundamental rule of the separation and allocation of powers among the three great departments of
government, 1 must be applied with circumspection in respect of statutes which like the Medical Act of
1959, deal with subjects as obviously complex and technical as medical education and the practice of
medicine in our present day world. Mr. Justice Laurel stressed this point 47 years ago in Pangasinan
Transportation Co., Inc. v. The Public Service Commission: 2

"One thing, however, is apparent in the development of the principle of separation of powers and that is that
the maxim of delegatus non potest delegare or delegati potestas non potest delegare, adopted this practice
(Delegibus et Consuetudiniis Anglia edited by G.E. Woodbine, Yale University Press, 1922, Vol. 2, p. 167)
but which is also recognized in principle in the Roman Law (d.17.18,3) has been made to adapt itself to the
complexities of modern government, giving rise to the adoption, within certain limits, of the principle of
‘subordinate legislation,’ not only in the United States and England but in practically all modern
governments. (People v. Rosenthal and Osmena [68 Phil. 318, 1939]. Accordingly, with the growing
complexity of modern life, the multiplication of the subjects of governmental regulation, and the increased
difficulty of administering the laws, there is a constantly growing tendency toward the delegation of greater
power by the legislature, and toward the approval of the practice by the courts." 3

The standards set for subordinate legislation in the exercise of rule making authority by an administrative
agency like the Board of Medical Education are necessarily broad and highly abstract. As explained by then
Mr. Justice Fernando in Edu v. Ericta 4 —

"The standard may be either expressed or implied. If the former, the non-delegation objection is easily met.
The standard though does not have to be spelled out specifically. It could be implied from the policy and
purpose of the act considered as a whole. In the Reflector Law, clearly the legislative objective is public
safety. What is sought to be attained as in Calalang v. Williams is ‘safe transit upon the roads.’" 5

We believe and so hold that the necessary standards are set forth in Section 1 of the 1959 Medical Act: "the
standardization and regulation of medical education" and in Section 5 (a) and 7 of the same Act, the body of
the statute itself, and that these considered together are sufficient compliance with the requirements of the
non-delegation principle.c han robles law lib rary

3. The petitioners also urge that the NMAT prescribed in MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, is an "unfair,
unreasonable and inequitable requirement," which results in a denial of due process. Again, petitioners have
failed to specify just what factors or features of the NMAT render it "unfair" and "unreasonable" or
"inequitable." They appear to suggest that passing the NMAT is an unnecessary requirement when added on
top of the admission requirements set out in Section 7 of the Medical Act of 1959, and other admission
requirements established by internal regulations of the various medical schools, public or private. Petitioners
arguments thus appear to relate to utility and wisdom or desirability of the NMAT requirement. But
constitutionality is essentially a question of power or authority: this Court has neither commission or
competence to pass upon questions of the desirability or wisdom or utility of legislation or administrative
regulation. Those questions must be addressed to the political departments of the government not to the
courts.

There is another reason why the petitioners’ arguments must fail: the legislative and administrative
provisions impugned by them constitute, to the mind of the Court, a valid exercise of the police power of the
state. The police power, it is commonplace learning, is the pervasive and non-waivable power and authority
of the sovereign to secure and promote all the important interests and needs — in a word, the public order
— of the general community. 6 An important component of that public order is the health and physical
safety and well being of the population, the securing of which no one can deny is a legitimate objective of
governmental effort and regulation. 7

Perhaps the only issue that needs some consideration is whether there is some reasonable relation between
the prescribing of passing the NMAT as a condition for admission to medical school on the one hand, and the
securing of the health and safety of the general community, on the other hand. This question is perhaps
most usefully approached by recalling that the regulation of the practice of medicine in all its branches has
long been recognized as a reasonable method of protecting the health and safety of the public. 8 That the
power to regulate and control the practice of medicine includes the power to regulate admission to the ranks
of those authorized to practice medicine, is also well recognized. Thus, legislation and administrative
regulations requiring those who wish to practice medicine first to take and pass medical board examinations
have long ago been recognized as valid exercises of governmental power. 9 Similarly, the establishment of
minimum medical educational requirements — i.e., the completion of prescribed courses in a recognized
medical school — for admission to the medical profession, has also been sustained as a legitimate exercise
of the regulatory authority of the state. 10 What we have before us in the instant case is closely related; the
regulation of access to medical schools. MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, as noted earlier, articulates the
rationale of regulation of this type: the improvement of the professional and technical quality of the
graduates of medical schools, by upgrading the quality of those admitted to the student body of the medical
schools. That upgrading is sought by selectivity in the process of admission, selectivity consisting, among
other things, of limiting admission to those who exhibit in the required degree the aptitude for medical
studies and eventually for medical practice. The need to maintain, and the difficulties of maintaining, high
standards in our professional schools in general, and medical schools in particular, in the current stage of
our social and economic development, are widely known.

We believe that the government is entitled to prescribe an admission test like the NMAT as a means for
achieving its stated objective of "upgrading the selection of applicants into [our] medical schools" and of
"improv[ing] the quality of medical education in the country." Given the widespread use today of such
admission tests in, for instance, medical schools in the United States of America (the Medical College
Admission Test [MCAT] 11 and quite probably in other countries with far more developed educational
resources than our own, and taking into account the failure or inability of the petitioners to even attempt to
prove otherwise, we are entitled to hold that the NMAT is reasonably related to the securing of the ultimate
end of legislation and regulation in this area. That end, it is useful to recall, is the protection of the public
from the potentially deadly effects of incompetence and ignorance in those who would undertake to treat our
bodies and minds for disease or trauma. chanrobles vi rt ual lawli bra ry

4. Petitioners have contended, finally, that MECS Order No. 52, s. 1985, is in conflict with the equal
protection clause of the Constitution. More specifically, petitioners assert that portion of the MECS Order
which provides that.

"the cutoff score for the successful applicants, based on the scores on the NMAT, shall be determined every
year by the Board of Medical Education after consultation with the Association of Philippine Medical
Colleges." (Emphasis supplied).

infringes the requirements of equal protection. They assert, in other words, that students seeking admission
during a given school year. e.g., 1987-1988, when subjected to a different cutoff score than that established
for an, e.g., earlier school year, are discriminated against and that this renders the MECS Order "arbitrary
and capricious." The force of this argument is more apparent than real. Different cutoff scores for different
school years may be dictated by differing conditions obtaining during those years. Thus, the appropriate
cutoff score for a given year may be a function of such factors as the number of students who have reached
the cutoff score established the preceding year; the number of places available in medical schools during the
current year; the average score attained during the current year; the level of difficulty of the test given
during the current year, and so forth. To establish a permanent and immutable cutoff score regardless of
changes in circumstances from year to year, may well result in an unreasonable rigidity. The above
language in MECS Order No. 52, far from being arbitrary or capricious, leaves the Board of Medical
Education with the measure of flexibility needed to meet circumstances as they change.

We conclude that prescribing the NMAT and requiring certain minimum scores therein as a condition for
admission to medical schools in the Philippines, do not constitute an unconstitutional imposition.

WHEREFORE, the Petition for Certiorari is DISMISSED and the Order of the respondent trial court denying
the petition for a writ of preliminary injunction is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.

SO ORDERED.

Teehankee, C.J., Yap, Fernan, Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Gancayco, Padilla,
Bidin, Sarmiento and Cortes, JJ., concur.
PACIFIC STEAM LAUNDRY, INC., Petitioner, v. LAGUNA LAKE DEVELOPMENT
AUTHORITY,Respondent.

DECISION

CARPIO, J.:

The Case

This is a Petition for Review 1 of the Decision2 dated 30 June 2004 and the Resolution dated 8 September
2004 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 75238.

The Facts

Petitioner Pacific Steam Laundry, Inc. (petitioner) is a company engaged in the business of laundry services.
On 6 June 2001, the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR) endorsed to respondent Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) the inspection report
on the complaint of black smoke emission from petitioner's plant located at 114 Roosevelt Avenue, Quezon
City.3 On 22 June 2001, LLDA conducted an investigation and found that untreated wastewater generated
from petitioner's laundry washing activities was discharged directly to the San Francisco Del Monte River.
Furthermore, the Investigation Report4 stated that petitioner's plant was operating without LLDA clearance,
AC/PO-ESI, and Discharge Permit from LLDA. On 5 September 2001, the Environmental Quality
Management Division of LLDA conducted wastewater sampling of petitioner's effluent.5 The result of the
laboratory analysis showed non-compliance with effluent standards particularly Total Suspended Solids
(TSS), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Oil/Grease Concentration and Color Units.6 Consequently, LLDA
issued to petitioner a Notice of Violation7 dated 30 October 2001 which states:

THE GENERAL MANAGER


PACIFIC STEAM LAUNDRY, INC.
114 Roosevelt Avenue, Brgy. Paraiso
Quezon City

Subject: Notice of Violation


PH-01-10-303

Gentlemen:

This refers to the findings of the inspection and result of laboratory analysis of the wastewater collected
from your firm last 5 September 2001. Evaluation of the results of laboratory analysis showed that your
plant's effluent failed to conform with the 1990 Revised Effluent Standard for Inland Water Class "C"
specifically in terms of TSS, BOD, Oil/Grease and Color. (Please see attached laboratory analysis)

In view thereof, you are hereby directed to submit corrective measures to abate/control the water pollution
caused by your firm, within fifteen (15) days from receipt of this letter.

Furthermore, pursuant to Section 9 of Presidential Decree No. 984, PACIFIC STEAM LAUNDRY, INC. is
hereby ordered to pay a penalty of One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) per day of discharging pollutive
wastewater to be computed from 5 September 2001, the date of inspection until full cessation of discharging
pollutive wastewater and a fine of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) per year for operating without the
necessary clearance/permits from the Authority.

Very truly yours,

(signed)
CALIXTO R. CATAQUIZ
General Manager
Petitioner submitted its application for LLDA Clearance and Discharge Permit and informed LLDA that it
would undertake the necessary measures to abate the water pollution.8 On 1 March 2002, a compliance
monitoring was conducted and the result of the laboratory analysis9 still showed non-compliance with
effluent standards in terms of TSS, BOD, Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), and Oil/Grease Concentration. It
was reported that petitioner's wastewater treatment facility was under construction. Subsequently, another
wastewater sampling was conducted on 25 April 2002 but the results10 still failed to conform with the
effluent standards in terms of Oil/Grease Concentration.

Meanwhile, on 15 April 2002, a Pollution Control and Abatement case was filed against petitioner before the
LLDA. During the public hearing on 30 April 2002, LLDA informed petitioner of its continuous non-compliance
with the effluent standards. Petitioner requested for another wastewater sampling which was conducted on 5
June 2002. The laboratory results11 of the wastewater sampling finally showed compliance with the effluent
standard in all parameters. On 9 August 2002, another public hearing was held to discuss the dismissal of
the water pollution case and the payment of the accumulated daily penalty. According to LLDA, the penalty
should be reckoned from 5 September 2001, the date of initial sampling, to 17 May 2002, the date LLDA
received the request for re-sampling. Petitioner manifested that its wastewater discharge was not on a daily
basis. In its position paper12 dated 25 August 2002, petitioner prayed that the Notice of Violation dated 30
October 2001 be set aside and the penalty and fine imposed be reckoned from the date of actual hearing on
15 April 2002.???ñ r?bl?š