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Primicias v.

Urdaneta GR L-26702, 18 October 1979 (93 SCRA 462) First Division, de Castro (p): 8 concurring, 1 on leave, 1 did not take part. Facts: On 13 March 1964, Ordinance 3 (Series of 1964) was enacted by the Municipal Council of Urdaneta, Pangasinan. Ordinance is patterned after and based on Section 53, 5 paragraph 4 of Act 3992, as amended (Revised Motor Vehicle Law). On 20 June 1964, RA 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code) became effective. Section 63 explicitly repealed Act 3992. On 8 February 1965, Juan Augusto B. Primicias was driving his car within Urdaneta when a member of Urdanetas Municipal Police asked him to stop. He was told, upon stopping, that he had violated Municipal Ordinance 3 (S. 1964), for overtaking a truck. The policeman then asked for plaintiffs license which he surrendered, and a temporary operators permit was issued to him. This incident took place about 200 meters away from a school building, at Barrio Nancamaliran, Urdaneta. Thereafter, a criminal complaint was filed in the Municipal Court of Urdaneta against Primicias for violation of Ordinance 3 (S. 1964). Due to the institution of the criminal case, Primicias initiated an action for the annulment of said ordinance with prayer for the issuance of preliminary injunction for the purpose of restraining defendants Municipality of Urdaneta, Mayor Perez, Police Chief Suyat, Judge Soriano and Patrolman Andrada from enforcing the ordinance. The writ was issued and Judge Soriano was enjoined from further proceeding in the criminal case. On 29 June 1966, the Court of First Instance Lingayen held in its decision that the ordinance was null and void and had been repealed by RA 4136. The writ of preliminary injunction against Judge Soriano definite and permanent. It also restrained Perez, Suyat, and Andrada from enforcing said ordinace throughout Urdaneta, ordering them to return the plaintiffs drivers license, and to pay the cost of the suit. The public officials appealed to the Supreme Court. Issue: Whether the ordinance is valid. Held: The general rule is that a later law prevails over an earlier law. The ordinances validity should be determined vis-a-vis RA 4136, the mother statute (not Act 3992), which was in force at the time the criminal case was brought against Primicias. Further, when the Municipal Council of Urdaneta used the phrase vehicular traffic (Section 1, Ordinance) it did not distinguish between passenger cars and motor vehicles and motor trucks and buses. Considering that this is a regulatory ordinance, its clearness, definiteness and certainty are all the more important so that an average man should be able with due care, after reading it, to understand and ascertain whether he will incur a penalty for particular acts or courses of conduct. Thus, as the Municipal Council of Urdaneta did not make any classification of its thoroughfares, contrary to the explicit requirement laid down by Section 38, RA 4136. The Ordinance refers to only one of the four classifications mentioned in paragraph (b), Section 35. The classifications which must be based on Section 35 are necessary in view of Section 36 which states that no provincial, city or municipal authority shall enact or enforce any ordinance or resolution specifying maximum allowable speeds other than those provided in this Act. The ordinance, therefore in view of the foregoing, is void. The Supreme Court affirmed the appealed decision.