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Emilia Micking Vda. De Coronel, et al. Vs.

Miguel Tanjangco,
Jr., G.R. No. 170693, August 8, 2010
.Agricultural land; conversion. Conversion of the subject
landholding under the 1980 Kasunduan is not the conversion of
landholding that is contemplated by Section 36 of Republic Act
No. 3844, which governs the dispossession of an agricultural
lessee and the termination of his rights to enjoy and possess the
landholding. Conversion here has been defined as the act of
changing the current use of a piece of agricultural land into some
other use as approved by the Department of Agrarian Reform.
More to the point is that for conversion to avail as a ground for
dispossession, Section 36 implies the necessity of prior court
proceedings in which the issue of conversion has been
determined and a final order issued directing dispossession upon
that ground. In this case, however, respondent does not profess
that there had been at any tine such proceedings or that there
was such court order. Neither does he assert that the lot in
question had undergone conversion with authority from the
Department of Agrarian Reform.

SURIGAO DEL NORTE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. (SURNECO)
vs.
ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
FACTS:
On February 8, 1996, the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric
Cooperatives, as representative of SURNECO and of the other 33
rural electric cooperatives in Mindanao, filed a petition before
the then Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) for the approval of the
formula for automatic cost adjustment and adoption of the
National Power Corporation (NPC) restructured rate adjustment
to comply with Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7832.4 The case was
docketed as ERB Case No. 96-49, and later consolidated with
identical petitions of other associations of electric cooperatives
in the Philippines.
In an Order dated February 19, 1997, the ERB granted SURNECO
and other rural electric cooperatives provisional authority to use
and implement the Purchased Power Adjustment (PPA) formula
pursuant to the mandatory provisions of R.A. No. 7832 and its
IRR, with a directive to submit relevant and pertinent documents
for the Boards review, verification, and confirmation.
While the passage of R.A. No. 91366 led to the creation of the
Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), replacing and succeeding
the ERB. All pending cases before the ERB were transferred to
the ERC. ERB Case No. 96-49 was re-docketed as ERC Case No.
2001-343.
In the Order dated June 17, 2003, the ERC clarified ERBs earlier
policy regarding the PPA formula to be used by the electric
cooperatives, viz.
After a careful evaluation of the records, the Commission noted
that the PPA formula which was approved by the ERB was silent
on whether the calculation of the cost of electricity purchased
and generated in the formula should be "gross" or "net" of the
discounts.
To attain uniformity in the implementation of the PPA formula,
the Commission has resolved that:
1. In the confirmation of past PPAs, the power cost shall still be
based on "gross," and
2. In the confirmation of future PPAs, the power cost shall be
based on "net."
The electric cooperatives filed their respective motions for
clarification and/or reconsideration. Hence, the ERC issued an
Order7 dated January 14, 2005, stating that the PPA was a cost-
recovery mechanism, not a revenue-generating scheme, so that
the distribution utilities or the electric cooperatives must recover
from their customers only the actual cost of purchased power.
RULING:
SURNECO cannot insist on using the multiplier scheme even after
the imposition of the system loss caps under Section 10 of R.A.
No. 7832.
Indeed, under National Electrification Administration
Memorandum No. 1-A, the use of the multiplier scheme allows
the recovery of system losses even beyond the caps mandated in
R.A. No. 7832, which is intended to gradually phase out pilferage
losses as a component of the recoverable system losses by the
distributing utilities such as SURNECO.
However, it is totally repugnant to and incompatible with the
system loss caps established in R.A. No. 7832, and is repealed by
Section 16 of the law.
As between NEA Memorandum No. 1-A, a mere administrative
issuance, and R.A. No. 7832, a legislative enactment, the latter
must prevail. Additionally, the PPA formula provided in the IRR
of R.A. No. 7832 was only a model to be used as a guide by the
electric cooperatives in proposing their own PPA formula for
approval by the then Energy Regulatory Board (ERB).
Sections 4 and 5, Rule IX of the IRR directed the electric
cooperatives to apply for approval of such formula with the ERB
so that the system loss caps under the law would be
incorporated in their computation of power cost adjustments.
The IRR did not provide for a specific formula; therefore, there
was nothing in the IRR that was amended or could have been
amended relative to the PPA formula.
The IRR left to the ERB, now the Energy Regulatory
Commission, the authority to approve and oversee the
implementation of the electric cooperatives PPA formula in the
exercise of its rate-making power over them. Surigao del Norte
Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SURNECO) vs. Energy Regulatory
Commission. G.R. No. 183626, October 4, 2010.
The regulation of rates to be charged by public utilities is
founded upon the police powers of the State and statutes
prescribing rules for the control and regulation of public utilities
are a valid exercise thereof. When private property is used for a
public purpose and is affected with public interest, it ceases to
be juris privati only and becomes subject to regulation. The
regulation is to promote the common good. Submission to
regulation may be withdrawn by the owner by discontinuing use;
but as long as use of the property is continued, the same is
subject to public regulation.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated April 17,
2008 and the Resolution dated June 25, 2008 of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 99781 are AFFIRMED. Costs against
petitioner.

LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner, vs. ENRIQUE
LIVIOCO, Respondent.
G.R. No. 170685 September 22, 2010
(Supreme Court, First Division)

Facts:
This is a Petition for Review under Rule 45, assailing the August
30, 2005 Decision of the Court of Appeals (CA), as well as its
December 5, 2005 Resolution in CA-GR SP No. 83138.

Petitioner, Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) is the
government financial institution established to aid in the
implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform
Program (CARP) as well as to act as financial intermediary of
the Agrarian Reform Fund.

Respondent Enrique Livioco (Livioco) was the owner of 30.6329
hectares of sugarland[ located in Dapdap, Mabalacat,
Pampanga which was offered to the Department of Agrarian
Reform (DAR) for acquisition under the CARP at P30.00 per
square meter, for a total of P9,189,870.00. The voluntary-offer-
to-sell (VOS) form he submitted to the DAR indicated that his
property is adjacent to residential subdivisions and to an
international paper mill.

The DAR referred Liviocos offer to the LBP for valuation which
set the price at P3.21 per square meter or a total of
P827,943.48 for 26 hectares. Livioco was then promptly
informed of the valuation but did not act upon the notice given
to him by both government agencies. LBP then issued a
certification to the Register of Deeds of Pampanga that it has
earmarked the amount of P827,943.48 as compensation for
Liviocos 26 hectares.

However, it was only two years later that Livioco requested for
a re-evaluation of the compensation on the ground that its
value had already appreciated from the time it was first offered
for sale. The request was denied by Regional Director Antonio
Nuesa on the ground that there was already a perfected sale.
The DAR proceeded to take possession of Liviocos property.
The DAR awarded Certificates of Land Ownership Award
(CLOAs) covering Liviocos property to 26 qualified farmer-
beneficiaries.

Livioco filed separate complaints to cancel the CLOAs and to
recover his property but the same proved futile. Unable to
recover his property, but unwilling to accept what he believes
was an outrageously low valuation of his property, Livioco
finally filed a petition for judicial determination of just
compensation against DAR, LBP, and the CLOA holders before
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Angeles City. He maintained that
the area where his property is located has become
predominantly residential hence he should be paid his
propertys value as such. To prove that his property is now
residential, Livioco presented a Certification from the Office of
the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator of the
Municipality of Mabalacat that, as per zoning ordinance,
Liviocos land is located in an area where the dominant land
use is residential.

Livioco then presented evidences to prove the value of his
property and prayed that just compensation be computed
atP700.00/square meter. The RTC rendered judgment in favor
of the respondent, and against the DAR and the LBP with a
determination that the just compensation be at Php700.00 per
square meter.

LBP sought reconsideration arguing that the court should have
considered the factors appearing in Section 17. Petitioner
turned to the CA to no avail. Hence, this petition.

Issue:
Whether or not the compensation for respondents property
was determined in accordance with law?

Held:
For purposes of just compensation, the fair market value of an
expropriated property is determined by its character and its
price at the time of taking. There are three important concepts
in this definition the character of the property, its price,
and the time of actual taking. The lower courts erred in ruling
that the character or use of the property has changed from
agricultural to residential, because there is no allegation or
proof that the property was approved for conversion to other
uses by DAR. It is the DAR that is mandated by law to evaluate
and to approve land use conversions so as to prevent
fraudulent evasions from agrarian reform coverage. Even
reclassification and plans for expropriation by local government
units (LGUs) will not ipso facto convert an agricultural property
to residential, industrial or commercial.

Thus, in the absence of any DAR approval for the conversion of
respondents property or an actual expropriation by an LGU, it
cannot be said that the character or use of said property
changed from agricultural to residential. Respondents property
remains agricultural and should be valued as such. Hence, the
CA and the trial court had no legal basis for considering the
subject propertys value as residential.

The petition was denied by the Supreme Court, insofar as it
seeks to have the LBPs valuation of the subject property
sustained. The assailed Decision of the CA and its Resolution
are reversed and set aside for lack of factual and legal basis.

The case was remanded back to the RTC for reception of
evidence on the issue of just compensation and to determine
the just compensation in accordance with the guidelines set by
the SC.
National Power Corporation vs. Carlos Villamor, G.R. No.
160080, June 19, 2009.
Just compensation; easement right of way. Easement of right of
way falls within the purview of the power of eminent domain. In
installing the 230 KV Talisay-Compostela transmission lines
which traverse respondents lands, a permanent limitation is
imposed by petitioner National Power Corporation against the
use of the lands for an indefinite period. This deprives
respondent of the normal use of the lands. In fact, not only are
the affected areas of the lands traversed by
petitioners transmission lines but a portion is used as the site of
its transmission tower. Because of the danger to life and limbs
that may be caused beneath the high-tension live wires, the
landowner will not be able to use the lands for farming or
any agricultural purposes.
Thus, there is no reason to disturb the findings of the trial and
appellate courts. Respondent is entitled to just compensation or
the just and complete equivalent of the loss which the owner of
the thing expropriated has to suffer by reason of
the expropriation.
Since the determination of
just compensation in expropriation proceedings is essentially a
judicial function, the Supreme Court held that the amount of
P450 per square meter to be just and
reasonable compensation for the expropriated lands of
respondent.

DUMAGUETE CATHEDRAL CREDIT COOPERATIVE VS. CIR- TAX
EXEMPTION
Cooperatives, including their members, deserve a preferential tax
treatment because of the vital role they play in the attainment of
economic development and social justice. Thus, although taxes
are the lifeblood of the government, the States power to tax
must give way to foster the creation and growth of cooperatives.
To borrow the words of Justice Isagani A. Cruz: "The power of
taxation, while indispensable, is not absolute and may be
subordinated to the demands of social justice."

FACTS:
1. Dumaguete Cathedral Credit Cooperative (DCCCO) is a credit
cooperative with the following objectives and purposes: (1) to
increase the income and purchasing power of the members; (2)
to pool the resources of the members by encouraging savings
and promoting thrift to mobilize capital formation for
development activities; and (3) to extend loans to members for
provident and productive purposes.

2. (BIR) Operations Group Deputy Commissioner, issued Letters
of Authority authorizing BIR Officers to examine petitioners
books of accounts and other accounting records for all internal
revenue taxes for the taxable years 1999 and 2000.

3. On 2002, DCCCO received Pre-Assessment Notices for
deficiency withholding taxes for taxable years 1999 and 2000.
The deficiency withholding taxes cover the payments of the
honorarium of the Board of Directors, security and janitorial
services, legal and professional fees, and interest on savings and
time deposits of its members.

4. DCCCO informed BIR that it would ONLY pay the deficiency
withholding taxes corresponding to the honorarium of the Board
of Directors, security and janitorial services, legal and
professional fees for the year 1999 and 2000, EXCLUDING
penalties and interest.

5. After payment, DCCCO received from the BIR Transcripts of
Assessment and Audit Results/Assessment Notices, ordering
petitioner to pay the deficiency withholding taxes, INCLUSIVE of
penalties, for the years 1999 and 2000.

6. DCCO's contention:
Under Sec. 24. Income Tax Rates. x x x x (B) Rate of Tax on
Certain Passive Income: (1) Interests, Royalties, Prizes, and
Other Winnings. A final tax at the rate of twenty percent
(20%) is hereby imposed upon the amount of interest from any
currency bank deposit and yield or any other monetary benefit
from deposit substitutes and from trust funds and similar
arrangements; x x x applies only to banks and not to
cooperatives, since the phrase "similar arrangements" is
preceded by terms referring to banking transactions that have
deposit peculiarities. Therefore, the savings and time deposits of
members of cooperatives are not included in the enumeration,
and thus not subject to the 20% final tax. Also, pursuant to
Article XII, Section 15 of the Constitution 25 and Article 2 of
Republic Act No. 6938 (RA 6938) or the Cooperative Code of the
Philippines, cooperatives enjoy a preferential tax treatment
which exempts their members from the application of Section
24(B)(1) of the NIRC.

ISSUE:
Whether or not DCCCO is liable to pay the deficiency withholding
taxes on interest from savings and time deposits of its members
for the taxable years 1999 and 2000, as well as the delinquency
interest of 20% per annum?

HELD:
DCCCO is not liable. The NIRC states that a "final tax at the rate
of twenty percent (20%) is hereby imposed upon the amount of
interest on currency bank deposit and yield or any other
monetary benefit from the deposit substitutes and from trust
funds and similar arrangement x x x" for individuals under
Section 24(B)(1) and for domestic corporations under Section
27(D)(1). Considering the members deposits with the
cooperatives are not currency bank deposits nor deposit
substitutes, Section 24(B)(1) and Section 27(D)(1), therefore, do
not apply to members of cooperatives and to deposits of
primaries with federations, respectively.

Under Article 2 of RA 6938, as amended by RA 9520, it is a
declared policy of the State to foster the creation and growth of
cooperatives as a practical vehicle for promoting self-reliance
and harnessing people power towards the attainment of
economic development and social justice. Thus, to encourage
the formation of cooperatives and to create an atmosphere
conducive to their growth and development, the State extends
all forms of assistance to them, one of which is providing
cooperatives a preferential tax treatment.

The legislative intent to give cooperatives a preferential tax
treatment is apparent in Articles 61 and 62 of RA 6938, which
read:

ART. 61. Tax Treatment of Cooperatives. Duly registered
cooperatives under this Code which do not transact any business
with non-members or the general public shall not be subject to
any government taxes and fees imposed under the Internal
Revenue Laws and other tax laws. Cooperatives not falling under
this article shall be governed by the succeeding section. ART. 62.
Tax and Other Exemptions. Cooperatives transacting business
with both members and nonmembers shall not be subject to tax
on their transactions to members. Notwithstanding the provision
of any law or regulation to the contrary, such cooperatives
dealing with nonmembers shall enjoy the following tax
exemptions; x x x.

This exemption extends to members of cooperatives. It must be
emphasized that cooperatives exist for the benefit of their
members. In fact, the primary objective of every cooperative is
to provide goods and services to its members to enable them to
attain increased income, savings, investments, and productivity.
30 Therefore, limiting the application of the tax exemption to
cooperatives would go against the very purpose of a credit
cooperative. Extending the exemption to members of
cooperatives, on the other hand, would be consistent with the
intent of the legislature. Thus, although the tax exemption only
mentions cooperatives, this should be construed to include the
members.

It is also worthy to note that the tax exemption in RA 6938 was
retained in RA 9520. The only difference is that Article 61 of RA
9520 (formerly Section 62 of RA 6938) now expressly states that
transactions of members with the cooperatives are not subject
to any taxes and fees. Thus: ART. 61. Tax and Other Exemptions.
Cooperatives transacting business with both members and non-
members shall not be subjected to tax on their transactions with
members. In relation to this, the transactions of members with
the cooperative shall not be subject to any taxes and fees,
including but not limited to final taxes on members deposits and
documentary tax. Notwithstanding the provisions of any law or
regulation to the contrary, such cooperatives dealing with
nonmembers shall enjoy the following tax exemptions.
Moreover, no less than our Constitution guarantees the
protection of cooperatives. Section 15, Article XII of the
Constitution considers cooperatives as instruments for social
justice and economic development. At the same time, Section 10
of Article II of the Constitution declares that it is a policy of the
State to promote social justice in all phases of national
development.

MMDA v. Viron Transportation Co., Inc.,530 SCRA 341 (2007)
Post under case digests, Political Law at Wednesday, February
08, 2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind
Facts: PGMA issued EO 179, which provided for the
establishment of a Mass Transport System for Greater Manila.
Pursuant to this EO, the Metro manila Council of the MMDA
cited the need to remove the bus terminals located along major
thoroughfares of Metro Manila. Respondents, provincial bus
operators who had bus terminals that were threatened to be
removed, alleges that EO should be declared unconstitutional
and illegal for transgressing the possessory rights of owners and
operators of public land transportation units over their
respective terminals

Issue: Whether or not EO 179 is a valid exercise of police power

Held: Petition denied. EO 179 is null and void. MMDA has no
police power, let alone legislative power. In light of the
administrative nature of its powers and functions, the MMDA is
devoid of authority to implement the Project as envisioned by
the EO; hence it could not have been validly designated by the
President to undertake the Project. It follows that the MMDA
cannot validly order the elimination of the
respondents terminals.

Police power rests primarily with the legislature, such power
may be delegated, as it is in fact increasingly being delegated. By
virtue of a valid delegation, the power may be exercised by the
President and administrative boards as well as by the lawmaking
bodies of municipal corporations or local government under an
express delegation by the LGC of 1991.

Measures calculated to promote the safety and convenience of
the people using the thoroughfares by the regulation of
vehicular traffic present a proper subject for the exercise of
police power.

On Constitutional Law, The true role of Constitutional Law is to
effect an equilibrium between authority and liberty so that rights
are exercised within the framework of the law and the laws are
enacted with due deference to rights.

UBFHAI, ET AL. V. CITY MAYOR OF PARAAQUE, ET AL.,
G.R. NO. 141010, FEBRUARY 7, 2007

An ordinance of the SB of Paraaque City reclassified two major
thoroughfares at BF Homes from residential to commercial. It
was questioned by the homeowners as unconstitutional because
it amounted to impairment of contracts between the developer
and the lot buyers. They contended that when they bought their
lots, the owner/developer promised that the lot shall be for
residential purposes. The CA dismissed the petition holding that
the ordinance is an exercise of police power. According to the
CA, the needs of the homeowners in the subdivision grew
because of the rapid and tremendous increase in population
thereby necessitating the opening of more commercial districts.
The local government was therefore just responding to these
changes in the community by enacting the ordinance in
question. Was the CA correct?

Yes. The constitutional guarantee of non-impairment of
contracts is limited by the exercise of the police power of the
State, in the interest of public health, safety, morals and general
welfare. The contractual restrictions on the use of property
could not prevail over the reasonable exercise of police power
through zoning regulations. While the non-impairment of
contracts is constitutionally guaranteed, the rule is not absolute,
since it has to be reconciled with the legitimate exercise of police
power, i.e., the power to prescribe regulations to promote the
health, morals, peace, education, good order or safety and
general welfare of the people. Invariably described as the most
essential, insistent, and illimitable of powers and in a sense,
the greatest and most powerful attribute of government the
exercise of the police power may be judicially inquired into and
corrected only if it is capricious, whimsical, unjust or
unreasonable, there having been a denial of due process or a
violation of any other applicable constitutional guarantee. Police
power is elastic and must be responsive to various social
conditions; it is not confined within the narrow circumscriptions
of precedents resting on past conditions; it must follow the legal
progress of a democratic way of life.

Our jurisdiction guarantees sanctity of contract and is said to be
the law between the contracting parties, but while it is so, it
cannot be raised as a deterrent to police power, designed
precisely to promote health, safety, peace, and enhance the
common good. In this case, the enactment of the ordinance is
not arbitrary or unreasonable. Before it was passed, it has been
the subject of barangay consultations and committee hearings.
The increasing number of homeowners in the area necessitated
the addition of commercial areas in the subdivision. Even
UBFHAI acknowledged the need for additional commercial area
although it proposed another commercial zone. Clearly, the
reclassification of the two main thoroughfares in the subdivision
as commercial areas was reasonable and justified under the
circumstances (UBFHAI, et al. v. City Mayor of Paraaque, et al.,
G.R. No. 141010, February 7, 2007).

NPC VS IBRAHIM
Facts:

The NPC constructed underground tunnels on the property of
the respondents without their knowledge and consent and
without any expropriation proceeding. It contended that it
constructed an easement on the property.

Issue: Is there expropriation?

Ruling:

YES. Expropriation is not limited to the acquisition of real
property with a corresponding transfer of title or possession. The
right-of-way easement resulting in a restriction or limitation on
property rights over the land traversed by transmission lines also
falls within the ambit of the term expropriation.

The manner in which the easement was created by the NPC,
violated the due process rights of the owners as it was without
notice and indemnity to them and did not go through proper
expropriation proceedings. NPC could have, at any time, validly
exercised the power of eminent domain to acquire the easement
over the property as this power encompasses not only the taking
or appropriation of title to and possession of the expropriated
property but likewise covers even the imposition of a mere
burden upon the owner of the condemned property. (Rep. v.
PLDT, 136 Phil. 20 (1969)). Significantly, though, landowners
cannot be deprived of their right over their land until
expropriation proceedings are instituted in court. The court must
then see to it that the taking is for pubic use, that there is
payment of just compensation and that there is due process of
law.

In disregarding this procedure and failing to recognize the
owners ownership of the sub-terrain portion, NPC took a risk
and exposed itself to greater liability with the passage of time. It
must be emphasized that the acquisition of the easement is not
without expense. The underground tunnels imposed limitations
on the owners use of the property for an indefinite period and
deprived them of its ordinary use. The owners are clearly
entitled to the payment of just compensation. Notwithstanding
the fact that NPC only occupied the sub-terrain portion, it is
liable to pay not merely an easement fee but rather the full
compensation for the land. This is so because, the nature of the
easement practically deprived the owners of its normal
beneficial use. The owners, as the owners of the property thus
expropriated, are entitled to a just compensation which should
be neither more nor less, whenever it is possible to make the
assessment, than the money equivalent of said property.

NPC contended that if ever it is liable, it should be made to pay
the value of the land from the time it constructed the tunnels. Is
the contention correct? Why?

No. To allow it to use the date it constructed the tunnels as the
date of valuation would be grossly unfair. First, it did not enter
the land under warrant or color of legal authority or with intent
to expropriate the same. It did not notify the owners and
wrongly assumed that it had the right to dig the tunnels under
their property. Secondly, the improvements introduced in no
way contributed to an increase in the value of the land. The
valuation should be based at the time of the discovery of the
construction of the underground tunnels.

Barangay Sindalan v. CA, G.R. No. G.R. No. 150640, 22 March
2007
Facts
Barangay Sindalan, pursuant to its resolution, filed a complaint
for eminent domain against the Sindayan spouses who were the
registered owners of the parcel of land subject of the
expropriation. The barangay sought to convert a portion of
spouses Sindayans land into Barangay Sindalans feeder road.
The spouses argued that the expropriation of their property was
improper because it was sought for a private use. They alleged
that the expropriation of their property, which was adjacent to
Davsan II Subdivision, would benefit only the homeowners of
said subdivision. The RTC ruled that the barangay had the lawful
right to take the property of the Sindayan spouses. The Court of
Appeals reversed.
Issue
Whether the proposed exercise of the power of eminent domain
would be for a public purpose No, the contemplated road to be
constructed by the barangay would benefit only the residents of
a subdivision.
Held
In the exercise of the power of eminent domain, it is basic that
the taking of private property must be for a public purpose. In
this jurisdiction, "public use" is defined as "whatever is
beneficially employed for the community." The intended feeder
road sought to serve the residents of the subdivision only. It has
not been shown that the other residents of Barangay Sindalan,
San Fernando, Pampanga, will be benefited by the contemplated
road to be constructed. While the number of people who use or
can use the property is not determinative of whether or not it
constitutes public use or purpose, the factual milieu of the case
reveals that the intended use of respondents lot is confined
solely to the Davsan II Subdivision residents and is not
exercisable in common. Considering that the residents who need
a feeder road are all subdivision lot owners, it is the obligation of
the Davsan II Subdivision owner to acquire a right-of-way for
them. To deprive respondents of their property instead of
compelling the subdivision owner to comply with his obligation
under the law is an abuse of the power of eminent domain and is
patently illegal. Without doubt, expropriation cannot be justified
on the basis of an unlawful purpose.

NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Petitioner, vs. DR. ANTERO
BONGBONG And ROSARIO BONGBONG, Respondents
G.R. No. 164079, April 4, 2007
Facts:
Spouses Antero and Rosario Bongbong are the registered owners
parcel of land situated at Barangay Sambulawan, Villaba, Leyte.
As early as 1996, the National Power Corporation (NPC)
negotiated with the spouses Bongbong to use a portion of the
property for the construction of a 230 KV LCIP Malitbog-Tabango
CETL TWR SITE 1046 for the Leyte-Cebu Interconnection Project.
When the spouses Bongbong agreed, NPC occupied a 25,100-sq-
m portion of the property.
NPC paid the spouses Bongbong representing the value of the
improvements that were damaged by the construction of the
project. The voucher for the payment of easement fee was
prepared. However, when NPC offered a check representing 10%
of the total market value of the area affected as payment for the
easement fee, Antero refused to accept the amount and
demanded that NPC pay the full value of the 25,100-sq-m
portion it had occupied.
The spouses Bongbong demanded that the NPC pay
P8,748,448.00 which they alleged to be the just and reasonable
value for their land and improvements. The refusal of NPC to
heed their demands prompted the spouses Bongbong to file a
complaint for just compensation before the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Palompon, Leyte.
Issue:
Whether petitioner is obliged to pay the full value of the
property taken or easement fee only
Ruling:
Just compensation is the fair value of the property as between
one who receives, and one who desires to sell, fixed at the time
of the actual taking by the government. This rule holds true
when the property is taken before the filing of an expropriation
suit, and even if it is the property owner who brings the action
for compensation.

The nature and character of the land at the
time of its taking is the principal criterion for determining how
much just compensation should be given to the landowner.

In
determining just compensation, all the facts as to the condition
of the property and its surroundings, its improvements and
capabilities, should be considered.
In the present case, the trial court determined just compensation
without considering the differences in the nature and character
or condition of the property compared to the other properties in
the province which petitioner had purchased. It simply relied on
the fact that petitioner paid P300.00 per sq m to the other
landowners whose lands had been taken as a result of the
construction of transmission lines. But a perusal of the Deeds of
Sale shows that the properties covered by the transmission lines
are located in the municipalities of Kananga, Leyte or Tabango,
Leyte, while the subject property is located in Villaba, Leyte; the
Deeds of Sale describe the properties as industrial,
residential/commercial, while the tax declaration of the subject
property describes it as "agricultural." Petitioner consistently
pointed out these differences and the trial court should not have
ignored them. It must be stressed that although the
determination of the amount of just compensation is within the
courts discretion, it should not be done arbitrarily or
capriciously. It must be based on all established rules, upon
correct legal principles and competent evidence.
In addition, petitioner insists that commissioners should at least
be appointed to determine just compensation in accordance
with the procedure in Section 5

of Rule 67.
On this point, the court does not agree with petitioner. Rule 67
need not be followed where the expropriator has violated
procedural requirements.
In this case, NPC appropriated Pobres Property without resort to
expropriation proceedings. NPC dismissed its own complaint for
the second expropriation. At no point did NPC institute
expropriation proceedings for the lots outside the 5,554 square-
meter portion subject of the second expropriation. The only
issues that the trial court had to settle were the amount of just
compensation and damages that NPC had to pay Pobre.
This case ceased to be an action for expropriation when NPC
dismissed its complaint for expropriation. Since this case has
been reduced to a simple case of recovery of damages, the
provisions of the Rules of Court on the ascertainment of the just
compensation to be paid were no longer applicable. A trial
before commissioners, for instance, was dispensable.
Further, petitioner insists that if any amount should be paid to
respondents, it should only be an easement fee of 10% the value
of the property, not the full value, since it acquired only a simple
right-of-way easement for the passage of its overhead
transmission lines. It points out that its charter authorizes the
acquisition only of a right-of-way easement for its transmission
lines and the payment of an easement fee.
Again, the court does not agree. The Court has consistently held
that the determination of just compensation is a judicial
function. No statute, decree, or executive order can mandate
that its own determination shall prevail over the courts findings.
In sum, we find that the trial court arbitrarily fixed the amount of
just compensation due to respondent at P300.00 per sq m
without considering the differences in the nature, character and
condition of the subject property compared to other properties
in the province which petitioner had acquired. For this reason,
the Court has no alternative but to remand the case to the trial
court for the proper determination of just compensation.

Ortigas & Co. v. CA (G.R. No. 126102. December 4, 2000)
18AUG
FACTS:
Ortigas & Co. sold to Emilia Hermoso a parcel of land located in
Greenhills Subdivision, San Juan with several restrictions in the
contract of sale that said lot be used exclusively for residential
purposes, among others, until December 31, 2025. Later, a
zoning ordinance was issued by MMC (now MMDA) reclassifying
the area as commercial. Private respondent (Ismael Mathay III)
leased the subject lot from Hermoso and built a single storey
building for Greenhills Autohaus, Inc., a car sales company.
Ortigas & Co. filed a petition a complaint which sought the
demolition of the constructed car sales company to against
Hermoso as it violated the terms and conditions of the Deed of
Sale. Trial court ruled in favor of Ortigas & Co. Mathay raised the
issue to the Court of Appeals from which he sought favorable
ruling. Hence, the instant petition.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the zoning ordinance may impair contracts
entered prior to its effectivity.
HELD:
Yes. The zoning ordinance, as a valid exercise of police power
may be given effect over any standing contract. Hence, petition
is denied.
RATIO:
A law enacted in the exercise of police power to regulate or
govern certain activities or transactions could be given
retroactive effect and may reasonably impair vested rights or
contracts. Police power legislation is applicable not only to
future contracts, but equally to those already in existence. Non-
impairment of contracts or vested rights clauses will have to
yield to the superior and legitimate exercise by the State of
police power to promote the health, morals, peace, education,
good order, safety, and general welfare of the people. Moreover,
statutes in exercise of valid police power must be read into every
contract. Noteworthy, in Sangalang vs. Intermediate Appellate
Court, the Supreme Court already upheld subject ordinance as a
legitimate police power measure.

PROFESSIONAL REGULATIONS COMMISSION VS. ARLENE DE
GUZMAN, ET AL., June 21, 2004
POLICE POWER/Public Health; THE RIGHT TO PRACTICE A
PROFESSION
Facts:
After the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) released
the names of successful examinees in the Medical Licensure
Examination, the Board of Medicines observed that the grades of
the 79 Fatima College of Medicine successful examinees were
unusually and exceptionally high in the two (2) most difficult
subjects of the exam, i.e., Biochemistry and Obstetrics and
Gynecology.
The Board then issued Resolution No. 19 withholding the
registration as physicians of all the examinees from Fatima
College of Medicine. Compared with other examines from other
schools, the results of those from Fatima were not only
incredibly high but unusually clustered close to each other. The
NBI Investigation found that the Fatima examinees gained early
access to the test questions.
On July 5, 1993, the respondents-examinees filed a petition for
mandamus before the RTC of Manila to compel the PRC to give
them their licenses to practice medicine. Meanwhile on July 21,
1993, the Board of medicine issued Resolution No. 21 charging
the respondents of immorality, dishonest conduct, fraud and
deceit and recommended that the test results of the Fatima
Examinees be nullified.
On December 19, 1994, the RTC of Manila promulgated its
decision ordering the PRC to allow the respondents to take the
physicians oath and to register them as physicians. The same
was appealed by the PRC to the Court of Appeals which
sustained the RTC decision.
Hence, this petition.
Held:
It must be stressed that the power to regulate the practice of a
profession or pursuit of an occupation cannot be exercised by
the State in an arbitrary, despotic or oppressive manner.
However, the regulating body has the right to grant or forbid
such privilege in accordance with certain conditions.
But like all rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution,
their exercise may be regulated pursuant to the police power of
the State to safeguard health, morals, peace, education, order,
safety, and general welfare of the people. As such, mandamus
will not lie to compel the Board of Medicine to issue licenses for
the respondents to practice medicine.
RA 2382 which prescribes the requirements for admission to the
practice of medicine, the qualifications of the candidates for the
board examination, the scope and conduct of the examinations,
the grounds for the denying of the issuance of a physicians
license, or revoking a license that has been issued. It is therefore
clear that the examinee must prove that he has fully complied
with all the conditions and requirements imposed by law and the
licensing authority to be granted the privilege to practice
medicine. In short, he shall have all the qualifications and none
of the disqualifications. The petition is therefore granted.

MMDA v. Garin, 456 SCRA 176, GR 130230 (2005)

Facts: The issue arose from an incident involving the respondent
Dante O. Garin, a lawyer, who was issued a traffic violation
receipt (TVR) by MMDA and his driver's license confiscated for
parking illegally along Gandara Street, Binondo, Manila, on
August 1995.
Shortly before the expiration of the TVR's validity, the
respondent addressed a letter to then MMDA Chairman
Prospero Oreta requesting the return of his driver's license, and
expressing his preference for his case to be filed in court.
Receiving no immediate reply, Garin filed the original complaint
with application for preliminary injunction, contending that, in
the absence of any implementing rules and regulations, Sec. 5(f)
of Rep. Act No. 7924 grants the MMDA unbridled discretion to
deprive erring motorists of their licenses, pre-empting a judicial
determination of the validity of the deprivation, thereby
violating the due process clause of the Constitution.

The respondent further contended that the provision violates
the constitutional prohibition against undue delegation of
legislative authority, allowing as it does the MMDA to fix and
impose unspecified and therefore unlimited fines and other
penalties on erring motorists.

The trial court rendered the assailed decision in favor of herein
respondent.
Issue:
1. WON MMDA, through Sec. 5(f) of Rep. Act No. 7924 could
validly exercise police power.

HELD: Police Power, having been lodged primarily in the National
Legislature, cannot be exercised by any group or body of
individuals not possessing legislative power. The National
Legislature, however, may delegate this power to the president
and administrative boards as well as the lawmaking bodies of
municipal corporations or local government units (LGUs). Once
delegated, the agents can exercise only such legislative powers
as are conferred on them by the national lawmaking body.
Our Congress delegated police power to the LGUs in the Local
Government Code of 1991. 15 A local government is a "political
subdivision of a nation or state which is constituted by law and
has substantial control of local affairs." 16 Local government
units are the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays,
which exercise police power through their respective legislative
bodies.
Metropolitan or Metro Manila is a body composed of several
local government units. With the passage of Rep. Act No. 7924 in
1995, Metropolitan Manila was declared as a "special
development and administrative region" and the administration
of "metro-wide" basic services affecting the region placed under
"a development authority" referred to as the MMDA. Thus:
The MMDA is, as termed in the charter itself, a "development
authority." It is an agency created for the purpose of laying down
policies and coordinating with the various national government
agencies, people's organizations, non-governmental
organizations and the private sector for the efficient and
expeditious delivery of basic services in the vast metropolitan
area. All its functions are administrative in nature and these are
actually summed up in the charter itself

* Section 5 of Rep. Act No. 7924 enumerates the "Functions and
Powers of the Metro Manila Development Authority." The
contested clause in Sec. 5(f) states that the petitioner shall
"install and administer a single ticketing system, fix, impose and
collect fines and penalties for all kinds of violations of traffic
rules and regulations, whether moving or non-moving in nature,
and confiscate and suspend or revoke drivers' licenses in the
enforcement of such traffic laws and regulations, the provisions
of Rep. Act No. 4136 and P.D. No. 1605 to the contrary
notwithstanding," and that "(f)or this purpose, the Authority
shall enforce all traffic laws and regulations in Metro Manila,
through its traffic operation center, and may deputize members
of the PNP, traffic enforcers of local government units, duly
licensed security guards, or members of non-governmental
organizations to whom may be delegated certain authority,
subject to such conditions and requirements as the Authority
may impose."

AMELIA CABRERA, petitioner vs. MANUEL LAPID, FERNANDO
BALTAZAR, REYNALDO F. CABRERA and DIONY VENTURA,
respondents
G.R. No. 129098, December 6, 2006
Facts:
Petitioner accused respondents of violating Section 3(e) of the
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Article 324 of the
Revised Penal Code.
Petitioner stated that she entered into a lease agreement with
the Municipality of Sasmuan over a tract of land for the purpose
of devoting it to fishpond operations. According to petitioner,
she had spent approximately P5,000,000.00 for its construction
before the fishpond operations commenced in August 1995. A
month later, petitioner learned from newspaper reports of the
impending demolition of her fishpond as it was purportedly
illegal and blocked the flow of the Pasak River. Thus, petitioner
sent the fishpond administrator to dissuade respondents from
destroying her property.
Despite pleas from petitioner, respondents ordered the
destruction of petitioner's fishpond. The property was
demolished on 10 October 1995 by dynamite blasting. Petitioner
alleged that the demolition was purposely carried out in the
presence of media representatives and other government
officials to gain media mileage. Petitioner imputed evident bad
faith on respondents Mayor Baltazar and Vice-Mayor Cabrera in
allowing the destruction of the fishpond despite their prior
knowledge of the existence of the lease agreement. She also
charged respondents Governor Lapid and Senior Superintendent
Ventura with gross inexcusable negligence for ordering the
destruction of the fishpond without first verifying its legality.
Petitioner sought reconsideration of the Resolution, arguing that
under Sec. 149 of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7160, otherwise known
as the Local Government Code of 1991, the exclusive authority
to grant fishery privileges is vested in the municipalities.
Petitioner also questioned the certification by the Municipal
Health Officer, alleging that the same was issued before the
ocular inspection of the property which took place only on the
day of the demolition. Petitioner also contended that a judicial
proceeding was necessary to determine whether the property
indeed had caused the flooding.

Respondents filed separate
oppositions to petitioner's motion for reconsideration.

Petitioner
filed a reply to the opposition and respondent Governor Lapid
filed a rejoinder to the reply.
Issue:
WON the issuances of the Ombudsman Act of 1989 is valid.
Ruling:
Neither can petitioner avail of Sec. 27

of R.A. No. 6770,
otherwise known as The Ombudsman Act of 1989. The provision
allowed direct appeals in administrative disciplinary cases from
the Office of the Ombudsman to the Supreme Court. The right to
appeal is granted only in respect to orders or decisions of the
Ombudsman in administrative cases.

The provision does not
cover resolutions of the Ombudsman in criminal cases.
However, an aggrieved party in criminal actions is not without
any recourse. Where grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack
or excess of jurisdiction taints the findings of the Ombudsman on
the existence of probable cause, the aggrieved party may file a
petition for certiorari under Rule 65. The remedy from
resolutions of the Ombudsman in preliminary investigations of
criminal cases is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65, not a
petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45.
But in this case, petitioner has taken the position that the
Ombudsman has decided questions of substance contrary to law
and the applicable decisions of the Supreme Court. That is a
ground under a Rule 45 petition. Indeed, from a reading of the
assignment of errors, it is clear that petitioner does not impute
grave abuse of discretion to the Ombudsman in issuing the
assailed Resolution and Order. Rather, she merely questions his
findings and conclusions. As stated earlier, direct appeal to the
Supreme Court via a petition for review on certiorari is not
sanctioned by any rule of procedure. By availing of a wrong
remedy, the petition should be dismissed outright.
Even if the Court treats the instant appeal as a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65, its dismissal is nevertheless warranted
because petitioner failed to present, much more substantiate,
any grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Ombudsman.
A careful reading of the questioned Resolution reveals that the
Ombudsman dismissed petitioner's criminal complaint because
respondents had validly resorted to the police power of the State
when they effected the demolition of the illegal fishpond in
question following the declaration thereof as a nuisance per se.
Thus, the Ombudsman was of the opinion that no violation of
Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or of
Article 324 of the Revised Penal Code was committed by
respondents. In the words of the Ombudsman, "those who
participated in the blasting of the subject fishpond were only
impelled by their desire to serve the best interest of the general
public; for the good and the highest good."
The other errors raised by petitioner pertain to the
Ombudsman's opinion on the lack of probable cause to indict
respondents. These are purported errors in judgment which can
be corrected by an appeal, although not via a direct appeal to
this Court. Direct resort to this Court may be had only through
the extraordinary writ of certiorari and upon showing that the
Ombudsman committed grave abuse of discretion. The instant
petition for review on certiorari is DENIED.

City of Manila vs Judge Perfecto Laguio
Police Power
On 30 Mar 1993, Mayor Lim signed into law Ord 7783 entitled
AN ORDINANCE PROHIBITING THE ESTABLISHMENT OR
OPERATION OF BUSINESSES PROVIDING CERTAIN FORMS OF
AMUSEMENT, ENTERTAINMENT, SERVICES AND FACILITIES IN
THE ERMITA-MALATE AREA, PRESCRIBING PENALTIES FOR
VIOLATION THEREOF, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. It basically
prohibited establishments such as bars, karaoke bars, motels and
hotels from operating in the Malate District which was
notoriously viewed as a red light district harboring thrill seekers.
Malate Tourist Development Corporation avers that the
ordinance is invalid as it includes hotels and motels in the
enumeration of places offering amusement or entertainment.
MTDC reiterates that they do not market such nor do they use
women as tools for entertainment. MTDC also avers that under
the LGC, LGUs can only regulate motels but cannot prohibit their
operation. The City reiterates that the Ordinance is a valid
exercise of Police Power as provided as well in the LGC. The City
likewise emphasized that the purpose of the law is to promote
morality in the City.
ISSUE: Whether or not Ordinance 7783 is valid.
HELD: The SC ruled that the said Ordinance is null and void. The
SC noted that for an ordinance to be valid, it must not only be
within the corporate powers of the local government unit to
enact and must be passed according to the procedure prescribed
by law, it must also conform to the following substantive
requirements:
(1) must not contravene the Constitution or any statute;
(2) must not be unfair or oppressive;
(3) must not be partial or discriminatory;
(4) must not prohibit but may regulate trade;
(5) must be general and consistent with public policy; and
(6) must not be unreasonable.
The police power of the City Council, however broad and far-
reaching, is subordinate to the constitutional limitations
thereon; and is subject to the limitation that its exercise must be
reasonable and for the public good. In the case at bar, the
enactment of the Ordinance was an invalid exercise of delegated
power as it is unconstitutional and repugnant to general laws.


Didipio Earth Savers Multipurpose Association et al vs DENR
Sec Elisea Gozun et al
Police Power Eminent Domain
In 1987, Cory rolled out EO 279 w/c empowered DENR to
stipulate with foreign companies when it comes to either
technical or financial large scale exploration or mining. In 1995,
Ramos signed into law RA 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act. In
1994, Ramos already signed an FTAA with Arimco Mining Co, an
Australian company. The FTAA authorized AMC (later CAMC) to
explore 37,000 ha of land in Quirino and N. Vizcaya including
Brgy Didipio. After the passage of the law, DENR rolled out its
implementing RRs. Didipio petitioned to have the law and the RR
to be annulled as it is unconstitutional and it constitutes
unlawful taking of property. In seeking to nullify Rep. Act No.
7942 and its implementing rules DAO 96-40 as unconstitutional,
petitioners set their sight on Section 76 of Rep. Act No. 7942 and
Section 107 of DAO 96-40 which they claim allow the unlawful
and unjust taking of private property for private purpose in
contradiction with Section 9, Article III of the 1987 Constitution
mandating that private property shall not be taken except for
public use and the corresponding payment of just
compensation. They assert that public respondent DENR,
through the Mining Act and its Implementing Rules and
Regulations, cannot, on its own, permit entry into a private
property and allow taking of land without payment of just
compensation.
Traversing petitioners assertion, public respondents argue that
Section 76 is not a taking provision but a valid exercise of the
police power and by virtue of which, the state may prescribe
regulations to promote the health, morals, peace, education,
good order, safety and general welfare of the people. This
government regulation involves the adjustment of rights for the
public good and that this adjustment curtails some potential for
the use or economic exploitation of private property. Public
respondents concluded that to require compensation in all such
circumstances would compel the government to regulate by
purchase.
ISSUE: Whether or not RA 7942 and the DENR RRs are valid.
HELD: The SC ruled against Didipio. The SC noted the requisites
of eminent domain. They are;
(1) the expropriator must enter a private property;
(2) the entry must be for more than a momentary period.
(3) the entry must be under warrant or color of legal
authority;
(4) the property must be devoted to public use or
otherwise informally appropriated or injuriously affected;
(5) the utilization of the property for public use must be
in such a way as to oust the owner and deprive him of beneficial
enjoyment of the property.
In the case at bar, Didipio failed to show that the law is invalid.
Indeed there is taking involved but it is not w/o just
compensation. Sec 76 of RA 7942 provides for just compensation
as well as section 107 of the DENR RR. To wit,
Section 76. xxx Provided, that any damage to the property of the
surface owner, occupant, or concessionaire as a consequence of
such operations shall be properly compensated as may be
provided for in the implementing rules and regulations.
Section 107. Compensation of the Surface Owner and Occupant-
Any damage done to the property of the surface owners,
occupant, or concessionaire thereof as a consequence of the
mining operations or as a result of the construction or
installation of the infrastructure mentioned in 104 above shall be
properly and justly compensated.
Further, mining is a public policy and the government can invoke
eminent domain to exercise entry, acquisition and use of private
lands.


Lagcao vs. Labra

Facts: On July 9, 1986, the court a quo ruled in favor of
petitioners and ordered the Province of Cebu to execute the final
deed of sale in favor of petitioners. On June 11, 1992, the Court
of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Pursuant to
the ruling of the appellate court, the Province of Cebu executed
on June 17, 1994 a deed of absolute sale over Lot 1029 in favor
of petitioners. Thereafter, Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No.
129306 was issued in the name of petitioners and Crispina
Lagcao.

After acquiring title, petitioners tried to take possession of the
lot only to discover that it was already occupied by squatters.
Thus, on June 15, 1997, petitioners instituted ejectment
proceedings against the squatters. The Municipal Trial Court in
Cities (MTCC), Branch 1, Cebu City, rendered a decision on April
1, 1998, ordering the squatters to vacate the lot. On appeal, the
RTC affirmed the MTCCs decision and issued a writ of execution
and order of demolition.

However, when the demolition order was about to be
implemented, Cebu City Mayor Alvin Garcia wrote two letters4
to the MTCC, requesting the deferment of the demolition on the
ground that the City was still looking for a relocation site for the
squatters.

Issue: Is Cebu City ordinance no. 1843 violative of substantive
due process

Ruling: Yes, Ordinance No. 1843 to be constitutionally infirm for
being violative of the petitioners right to due process.
It should also be noted that, as early as 1998, petitioners had
already obtained a favorable judgment of eviction against the
illegal occupants of their property. The judgment in this
ejectment case had, in fact, already attained finality, with a writ
of execution and an order of demolition. But Mayor Garcia
requested the trial court to suspend the demolition on the
pretext that the City was still searching for a relocation site for
the squatters. However, instead of looking for a relocation site
during the suspension period, the city council suddenly enacted
Ordinance No. 1843 for the expropriation of petitioners lot. It
was trickery and bad faith, pure and simple. The unconscionable
manner in which the questioned ordinance was passed clearly
indicated that respondent City transgressed the Constitution, RA
7160 and RA 7279.


Gerochi vs. DOE
Post under case digests, Political Law at Tuesday, February 21,
2012 Posted by Schizophrenic Mind
Facts: RA 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power
IndustryReform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), which sought to impose a
universal charge on all end-users of electricity for the purpose
of fundingNAPOCORs projects, was enacted and took effect in
2001.

Petitioners contest the constitutionality of the EPIRA, stating
that the imposition of the universal charge on all end-users is
oppressive and confiscatory and amounts to taxation without
representation for not giving the consumers a chance to be
heard and be represented.

Issue: Whether or not the universal charge is a tax.

Held: NO. The assailed universal charge is not a tax, but an
exaction in the exercise of the States police power. That public
welfare is promoted may be gleaned from Sec. 2 of the EPIRA,
which enumerates the policies of the State regarding
electrification. Moreover, the Special Trust Fund feature of the
universal charge reasonably serves and assures the attainment
and perpetuity of thepurposes for which the universal charge is
imposed (e.g. to ensure the viability of the countrys electric
power industry), further boosting the position that the same is
an exaction primarily in pursuit of the States police objectives

If generation of revenue is the primary purpose and regulation is
merely incidental, the imposition is a tax; but if regulation is the
primary purpose, the fact that revenue is incidentally raised does
not make the imposition a tax.

The taxing power may be used as an implement of police
power. The theory behind the exercise of the power to tax
emanates from necessity; without taxes, government cannot
fulfill its mandate of promoting the general welfare and well-
being of the people.

MANILA MEMORIAL PARK, INC. AND LA FUNERARIA PAZ-
SUCAT, INC., PETITIONERS, -VERSUS- SECRETARY OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT AND
THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE (G.R. NO.
175356, 03 DECEMBER 2013, DEL CASTILLO J.)SUBJECT/S:
LEGALITY OF DISCOUNTS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS (BRIEF TITLE:
MANILA MEMORIAL VS. DSWD SECRETARY)

DISPOSITIVE:

WHEREFORE, THE PETITION IS HEREBY DISMISSED FOR LACK OF
MERIT.
SO ORDERED.

SUBJECTS/DOCTRINES/DIGEST:

PETITIONERS ARGUE THAT THE DISCOUNT GIVEN TO SENIOR
CITIZENS (UNDER R.A. 7432 AS AMENDED BY R.A. 9257) WILL
FORCE ESTABLISHMENTS TO RAISE THEIR PRICES IN ORDER TO
COMPENSATE FOR ITS IMPACT ON OVERALL PROFITS OR
INCOME/GROSS SALES. THE GENERAL PUBLIC, OR THOSE NOT
BELONGING TO THE SENIOR CITIZEN CLASS, ARE, THUS, MADE
TO EFFECTIVELY SHOULDER THE SUBSIDY FOR SENIOR
CITIZENS. THIS, IN PETITIONERS VIEW, IS UNFAIR. IS
PETITIONERS CONTENTION CORRECT?

NO.

CONGRESS MAY BE REASONABLY ASSUMED TO HAVE
FORESEEN THIS EVENTUALITY. BUT, MORE IMPORTANTLY,
THIS GOES INTO THE WISDOM, EFFICACY AND EXPEDIENCY OF
THE SUBJECT LAW WHICH IS NOT PROPER FOR JUDICIAL
REVIEW.

IN A WAY, THIS LAW PURSUES ITS SOCIAL EQUITY OBJECTIVE IN
A NON-TRADITIONAL MANNER UNLIKE PAST AND EXISTING
DIRECT SUBSIDY PROGRAMS OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE
POOR AND MARGINALIZED SECTORS OF OUR SOCIETY. VERILY,
CONGRESS MUST BE GIVEN SUFFICIENT LEEWAY IN
FORMULATING WELFARE LEGISLATIONS GIVEN THE ENORMOUS
CHALLENGES THAT THE GOVERNMENT FACES RELATIVE TO,
AMONG OTHERS, RESOURCE ADEQUACY AND ADMINISTRATIVE
CAPABILITY IN IMPLEMENTING SOCIAL REFORM MEASURES
WHICH AIM TO PROTECT AND UPHOLD THE INTERESTS OF
THOSE MOST VULNERABLE IN OUR SOCIETY. IN THE PROCESS,
THE INDIVIDUAL, WHO ENJOYS THE RIGHTS, BENEFITS AND
PRIVILEGES OF LIVING IN A DEMOCRATIC POLITY, MUST BEAR
HIS SHARE IN SUPPORTING MEASURES INTENDED FOR THE
COMMON GOOD.

WITHOUT THE REQUISITE SHOWING OF A CLEAR AND
UNEQUIVOCAL BREACH OF THE CONSTITUTION, THE VALIDITY
OF THE ASSAILED LAW MUST BE SUSTAINED.