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1. Association of Small Landowners v. Secretary
These are 3 cases consolidated questioning the constitutionality of the Agrarian Reform Act. Article XIII
on Social Justice and Human Rights includes a call for the adoption by the State of an agrarian reform
program. The State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the right of farmers
and regular farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the
case of other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. RA 3844, Agricultural Land
Reform Code, had already been enacted by Congress on August 8, 1963. This was substantially
superseded almost a decade later by PD 27, which was promulgated on Oct 21, 1972, along with martial
law, to provide for the compulsory acquisition of private lands for distribution among tenant-farmers and
to specify maximum retention limits for landowners. On July 17, 1987, Cory issued EO 228, declaring
full land ownership in favor of the beneficiaries of PD 27 and providing for the valuation of still unvalued
lands covered by the decree as well as the manner of their payment. This was followed on July 22, 1987
by PP 131, instituting a comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP), and EO 229, providing the
mechanics for its implementation. Afterwhich is the enactment of RA 6657, Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Law of 1988, which Cory signed on June 10. This law, while considerably changing the earlier
mentioned enactments, nevertheless gives them suppletory effect insofar as they are not inconsistent with
its provisions.
In considering the rentals as advance payment on the land, the executive order also deprives the
petitioners of their property rights as protected by due process. The equal protection clause is also
violated because the order places the burden of solving the agrarian problems on the owners only of
agricultural lands. No similar obligation is imposed on the owners of other properties.
The petitioners maintain that in declaring the beneficiaries under PD 27 to be the owners of the lands
occupied by them, EO 228 ignored judicial prerogatives and so violated due process. Worse, the measure
would not solve the agrarian problem because even the small farmers are deprived of their lands and the
retention rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
In his comment the Sol-Gen asserted that the alleged violation of the equal protection clause, the sugar
planters have failed to show that they belong to a different class and should be differently treated. The
Comment also suggests the possibility of Congress first distributing public agricultural lands and
scheduling the expropriation of private agricultural lands later. From this viewpoint, the petition for
prohibition would be premature.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was a violation of the equal protection clause.
HELD: The SC ruled affirming the Sol-Gen. The argument of the small farmers that they have been
denied equal protection because of the absence of retention limits has also become academic under Sec 6
of RA 6657. Significantly, they too have not questioned the area of such limits. There is also the
complaint that they should not be made to share the burden of agrarian reform, an objection also made by
the sugar planters on the ground that they belong to a particular class with particular interests of their
own. However, no evidence has been submitted to the Court that the requisites of a valid classification
have been violated.
Classification has been defined as the grouping of persons or things similar to each other in certain
particulars and different from each other in these same particulars. To be valid, it must conform to the
following requirements:
(1) it must be based on substantial distinctions;
(2) it must be germane to the purposes of the law;
(3) it must not be limited to existing conditions only; and
(4) it must apply equally to all the members of the class.
The Court finds that all these requisites have been met by the measures here challenged as arbitrary and
Equal protection simply means that all persons or things similarly situated must be treated alike both as to
the rights conferred and the liabilities imposed. The petitioners have not shown that they belong to a
different class and entitled to a different treatment. The argument that not only landowners but also
owners of other properties must be made to share the burden of implementing land reform must be
rejected. There is a substantial distinction between these two classes of owners that is clearly visible
except to those who will not see. There is no need to elaborate on this matter. In any event, the Congress
is allowed a wide leeway in providing for a valid classification. Its decision is accorded recognition and
respect by the courts of justice except only where its discretion is abused to the detriment of the Bill of

Art. 1159
On August 25, 1976, petitioner Ortigas & Company sold to EmiliaHermoso, a parcel of
land known as Lot 1, Block 21, Psd-66759, locatedin Greenhills Subdivision IV, San Juan,
Metro Manila. One stipulationo f t h e c o n t r a c t p r o v i d e d t h a t t h e l o t wi l l b e
u s e d e x c l u s i v e l y f o r r e s i d e n t i a l p u r p o s e s o n l y , a n d n o t m o r e t h a n
o n e s i n g l e - f a m i l y residential building will be constructed thereon.I n 1981, t he
Met r opol i t a n Ma ni l a Commi s s i on ( now Met r opol i t a nMani l a De vel opment
Aut hor i t y) enact ed MMC Or di nance No. 81 - 01, al s oknown as the Comprehensive
Zoning Area for the National Capital Region. The or di nance r ecl as s i f i ed as a
c ommer ci al ar ea a por t i on of Or t i ga s Av e n u e f r o m Ma d i s o n t o Ro o s e v e l t
S t r e e t s o f Gr e e n h i l l s S u b d i v i s i o n where the lot is located.On June 8, 1984, private
respondent Ismael Mathay III leased thel o t f r o m E m i l i a H e r m o s o a n d J . P .
H e r m o s o R e a l t y C o r p . . T h e l e a s e contract did not specify the purposes of the
lease. Thereupon, privater e s p o n d e n t c o n s t r u c t e d a s i n g l e s t o r y
c o m m e r c i a l b u i l d i n g f o r Greenhills Autohaus, Inc., a car sales company.Thus on
January 18, 1995 Ortigas and Co. filed a complaint whichsought to the demolition of the
said structure , thus in hi s defenseMathay denied any knowledge of the restriction on the
lot , he furthercont e nds i n hi s s peci al ci vi l act i on t o t he cour t of appeal s t hat , the
MCC Ordinance classified the area where the lot was located as acommercial area and said
ordinance must be read as a concrete exerciseof Police power.The cont ent i on howe ve r of
t he pet i t i oner Or t i gas , i s t hat i t i s obs er ve d t hat t he cont r act of s al e was
e nt er ed i nt o i n Augus t 1976, while the zoning ordinance was enacted only in March
1981. The trialc our t r eas one d t hat s i nce pr i vat e r e s pondent ha d f ai l e d t o s how
t hat MMC Ordinance No. 81-01 had retroactive effect, said ordinance shouldbe given
prospective application only. And the contract of Ortigas Coand Hermosos should not be
Whether or not the ordinance of the MCC nullified the buildingr e s t r i c t i o n
i m p o s i n g e x c l u s i v e r e s i d e n t i a l u s e o n t h e p r o p e r t y inquisition.
In general, we agree that laws are to be construed as having onlyprospective operation.
Lex prospicit, non respicit.
Equally settled, o n l y l a ws e x i s t i n g a t t h e t i me o f t h e e x e c u t i o n o f a
c o n t r a c t a r e a p p l i c a b l e t h e r e t o a n d n o t l a t e r s t a t u t e s , u n l e s s t h e
l a t t e r a r e s peci f i cal l y i nt e nded t o ha ve r et r oact i ve ef f ect . A l at er l a w
whi c henlarges, abridges, or in any manner changes the intent of the partiesto the contract
necessarily impairs the contract itself and cannot beg i v e n r e t r o a c t i v e e f f e c t
w i t h o u t v i o l a t i n g t h e c o n s t i t u t i o n a l prohibition against impairment of
contracts.But, the foregoing principles do admit of certain exceptions. Oneinvolves police
power. A law enacted in the exercise of police powerto regulate or govern certain
activities or transactions could be givenr e t r o a c t i v e e f f e c t a n d m a y
r e a s o n a b l y i m p a i r v e s t e d r i g h t s o r contracts. Police power legislation is
applicable not only to futurecontracts, but equally to those already in existence. Non
impairment ofcontracts or vested rights clauses will have to yield to the superior and
l e gi t i mat e e xer ci s e by t he St at e of pol i c e power t o pr omot e t he h e a l t h ,
mo r a l s , p e a c e , e d u c a t i o n , g o o d o r d e r , s a f e t y , a n d g e n e r a l welfare of the
people. Moreover, statutes in exercise of valid policepower mus t be r ea d i nt o e ver y
c ont r act . Not e wor t hy, i n
Sangalang vs.Intermediate Appellate Court,
we already upheld MMC Ordinance No. 81-01as a legitimate police power measure
PRC vs. De
Guzman , G .
R. No.
144681, June
21, 2004
Constitutional Law:
Police Power
The respondents are
all graduates of the
Fatima College of
Valenzuela City,
MetroManila. They
passed the Physician
conducted in
February 1993 by the
Board of Medicine
(Board). Petitioner
Commission (PRC)
then released their
names assuccessful
examinees in the
medical licensure
thereafter, the Board
observed that the
grades of the
successful examinees
fromFatima College
in the two most
difficult subjects in
the medical licensure
exam, Biochemistry
(Bio-Chem) and
Obstetrics and
Gynecology (OB-
Gyne), were
unusually and
exceptionally high.
examinees scored
100% in Bio-Chem
and ten got 100% in
OB-Gyne, another
eleven got 99%
inBio-Chem, and
twenty-one scored
99% in OB-Gyne.
The Board also
observed that many
of those whopassed
from Fatima got
marks of 95% or
better in both
subjects, and no one
got a mark lower
than90%. A
comparison of the
performances of the
candidates from
other schools was
made. The
Boardobserved that
strangely, the
unusually high
ratings were true
only for Fatima
College examinees.
Itwas a record-
phenomenon in the
history of the
Physician Licensure
Examination.For its
part, the NBI found
that the
questionable passing
rate of Fatima
examinees in the
Examination leads to
the conclusion that
the Fatima
examinees gained
early access to
questions. The
Board issued
Resolution No. 26,
dated July 21, 1993,
charging respondents
t conduct, fraud, and
deceit" in connection
with the Bio-Chem
and Ob-Gyne
Itrecommended that
the test results of the
Fatima examinees be
nullified. Trial
courts judgment
isrendered ordering
the respondents to
allow the petitioners
and intervenors to
take the physicians
oathand to register
them as physicians
without prejudice to
any administrative
disciplinary action
whichmay be taken
against any of the
petitioners for such
causes and in the
manner provided by
law andconsistent
with the
requirements of the
Constitution as any
other professionals.
Whether or not the
act pursuant to R.A.
2382 known as The
Medical Act of 1959
a validexercise of
police power.
Yes. It is true that
this Court has upheld
the constitutional
right of every citizen
to select a profession
orcourse of study
subject to a fair,
reasonable, and
equitable admission
and academic
requirements. Butlike
all rights and
freedoms guaranteed
by the Charter, their
exercise may be so
regulated pursuant
tothe police power of
the State to safeguard
health, morals,
peace, education,
order, safety, and
generalwelfare of the
people. Thus,
persons who desire
to engage in the
learned professions
requiringscientific or
technical knowledge
may be required to
take an examination
as a prerequisite to
engagingin their
chosen careers. This
regulation takes
particular pertinence
in the field of
medicine, to
protectthe public
from the potentially
deadly effects of
incompetence and
ignorance among
those who
medicine.It must be
nevertheless, that the
power to regulate the
exercise of a
profession or pursuit
of an occupation
cannot be exercised
by the State or its
agents in an
arbitrary, despotic, or
oppressivemanner. A
political body that
regulates the exercise
of a particular
privilege has the
authority to
bothforbid and grant
such privilege in
accordance with
certain conditions.
Such conditions may
not,however, require
giving up ones
constitutional rights
as a condition to
acquiring the license

et al

G.R. No. 157036.
June 9, 2004
Petition for
prohibition and
injunction seeking to
enjoin the
implementation of
the Guidelines
Implementation of
the Ban on the
Carrying of
Firearms Outside of
by respondent
Hermogenes E.
Ebdane, Jr., Chief of
the Philippine
National Police
Francisco I. Chavez,
a licensed gun
owner to whom a
PTCFOR has been
issued,requested the
DILG to reconsider
the implementation
of the assailed
However, hisrequest
was denied. Thus, he
filed the present
petition impleading
public respondents
Ebdane, asChief of
PNP; Alberto G.
Romulo, as
Executive Secretary;
and Gerry L. Barias,
as Chief of thePNP-
Firearms and
Explosives Division.
respondent Ebdane
is authorized to
issue the assailed
whether the issuance
of the assailed
Guidelines is a valid
exercise of police
of the PNP Chief
It is true that under
our constitutional
system, the powers
of government are
three coordinate and
departments: the
theexecutive and the
judiciary. Each has
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
Congress. Any
attempt toabdicate
the power is
unconstitutional and
void, on the
principle that
delegata potestas
non potest delegari
delegated power
may not be
delegated.The rule
which forbids the
delegation of
legislative power,
however, is not
andinflexible. It
admits of exceptions
. An exception
sanctioned by
practice permits the
legislative body to
delegate its licensing
power to certain
ns, towns, boards,
auditors, bureaus
anddirectors. Such
licensing power
includes the power
to promulgate
necessary rules
No. 1780 delegated
upon the Governor-
General (now the
President) the
authority (1)
toapprove or
applications of any
person for a license
to deal in firearms or
to possess the same
for personal
protection, hunting
and other lawful
purposes; and (2)
torevoke such
license any time.
Further, it
authorized him to
issue regulations
which he maydeem
necessary for the
proper enforcement
of the Act.By virtue
of Republic Act No.
6975, the PNP
absorbed the
the PNP Chief
succeeded the Chief
of the Constabulary
the latters licensing
Section 24 thereof
specifies, as one of
PNPs powers, the
issuance of licenses
for the possession of
firearms and
explosives in
accordancewith law.
This is in
conjunction with the
PNP Chiefs power
to issue detailed
implementing polici
es and instructions
on such matters as
may be necessary to
effectively carry out
thefunctions, powers
and duties of the
2. Police Power
At any rate,
assuming that
PTCFOR constitutes
a property right
protected by
the same cannot be
considered as
absolute as to be
placed beyond the
reachof the States
police power. All
property in the state
is held subject to its
necessary to the
common good and
general welfare.
The Court laid down
the test to determine
the validity of a
police measure,
thus:(1)The interests
of the public
generally, as
distinguished from
those of a particular
class,require the
exercise of the
police power;
and(2)The means
employed are
necessary for the
accomplishment of
the purposeand not
unduly oppressive
upon individuals