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Commissioner of Customs vs. Philippine Sunga vs.

Commission on Elections
Acetylene Company, 39 SCRA 198 288 SCRA 76

Facts: That the Philippine Acetylene Company is Facts: An amendment which merely
a corporation duly organized and existing under supplements and amplifies facts originally
the laws of the Philippines, that sometime in alleged in the complaint relates back to the date
1957 the protestant imported from the United of the commencement of the action and is not
States one custom-built liquefied petroleum gas barred by the statute of limitations which
tank which arrived via the S/S expired after the service of the original
'PLEASANTVILLE' under Register No. 1356, complaint. COMELEC is left with no discretion
and declared in Import Entry No. 94060, series but to proceed with the disqualification case
of 1957 and that the amount of P3,683.00 was even after the election. Fact that Trinidad was
assessed thereon as special import tax and which already proclaimed and had assumed the
(sic) was paid under protest by the importer- position of mayor did not divest the COMELEC
protestant as evidenced by Official Receipt No. of authority and jurisdiction to continue the
12690 dated February 25, 1958." hearing and eventually decide the
disqualification case.
Issue: Whether or not the Philippine e Acetylene
Co., Inc., insofar as its packaging operation of Issue: Whether or not COMELEC can hear and
liquefied petroleum gas is concerned, may be decide disqualification cases against winning
considered engaged in an industry as candidates even after the election.
contemplated in section 6 of Republic Act No.
1394 and therefore exempt from the payment of Held: The Supreme Court ruled that COMELEC
the special import tax in respect of the gas tank is left with no discretion but to proceed with the
in question? disqualification case even after the election. The
fact that Trinidad was already proclaimed and
Held: The Court held that the tax exemption in has assumed the position of mayor did not divest
connection with the processing of gasoline and the COMELEC of authority and jurisdiction to
the manufacture of lubricating oil does not continue the hearing and eventually decide the
extend to pump parts imported by the processor disqualification case. The fact that the candidate
and leased to gasoline stations for their use in who obtained the highest number of votes is
servicing customers' vehicles, overruling the later disqualified for the office to which he was
argument of the petitioner therein that the elected does not entitle the candidate who
marketing of its gasoline product "is corollary to obtained the second highest number of votes to
or incidental to its industrial operations." be declared the winner of the elective office.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Tax Hence, Sunga cannot claim the right to take the
Appeals is reversed and that of the Collector of oath for the mayoral office because the Local
Customs of Manila and the Commissioner of Government Code clearly provides that in case
Customs upheld. Costs against respondent of disqualification of the one proclaimed for the
Philippine Acetylene Co., said office, the vice-mayor shall assume office.
Inc.
Victorias Milling Company, Inc. vs. Social Danville Maritime, Inc. vs. Commission on Audit,
Security Commission, 4 SCRA 627 175 SCRA 701

Facts: Circular No. 22 of the Social Security Facts: The phrase “public auction” or “public
Commission purports merely to advise bidding” imports a sale to the highest bidder
employers-members of the System of what, in with absolute freedom for competitive bidding.
the light of the amendment of the law, they Competitive bidding requires that there be at
should include in determining the monthly least two (2) bidders who shall compete with
compensation of their employees upon which each other on an equal footing for winning the
the social security contributions should be award. If there is only one participating bidder,
based. It did not add any duty or detail that was the bidding is non-competitive and, hence, falls
not already in the law as amended. It merely short of the requirement. There would, in fact, be
stated and circularized the opinion of the bidding at all since, obviously, the lone participant
Commission as to how the law should be cannot compete against himself. The amended
construed. Such circular, therefore, did not terms and conditions of Bidding/Sale contemplated
that there be at least two bidders. The logical
require presidential approval and publication in
conclusion under COA Circular No. 88-264 is that in
the Official Gazette for its effectivity. The the 1st and 2nd bidding, there should at least be two
counsel questioned the validity of the circular (2) bidders, otherwise there is a failure of bidding.
Social Security Commission overruled the
objections Victorias Miller Company Inc. comes Issue: W/N the public respondent COA committed a
to court on appeal. grave abuse of discretion when it ruled that there
was a failure of bidding when only one bid was
Issue: WON Circular No. 22 is a rule or submitted and subsequently ordered a rebidding
regulation, as contemplated in Sec. 4 (a) of RA
1161 empowering the Social Security Held: COA earlier informed the PNOC in its
Memorandum that the award of the contract to a
Commission “to adopt, amend and repeal
lone bidder suffers from the deficiency of lack of
subject to the approval of the President such competition, which is a condition sine qua non in
rules and regulations as may be necessary to public biddings. For this reason it declared the
carry out the provisions and purposes of this bidding conducted to be a failure in its subsequent
Act. letter. No doubt a one bidder situation tends to
stifle fair competition. The requirement of having at
Held: No. It is not a rule or regulation, it is an least two bidders prevents any such conduct,
administrative interpretation of the law. In this artifice, agreement or combination that jeopardizes
case, Circular No. 22 was merely reflecting the the integrity of the bidding. In the case at bar, there
amendments to Republic Act 1161, Section 8(f) is no showing that the COA committed grave abuse
of discretion. The Court holds that a second public
by Republic Act No. 1792. The amendment
bidding is ordained so that all government
clearly omitted the exception of bonuses, transactions would be competitive and above board.
allowances or overtime pay in the original
definition of compensation under the old law.
This is classic cassus omissus, and the Circular
merely interpreted it. It did not add any duty or
detail that was not already in the law as
amended. It merely stated and circularized the
opinion of the Commission on how the law
should be construed. The court confirms the
interpretation of the Commission of the
amendment by virtue of the express substantial
change in the phraseology of the law.
Energy Regulatory Board vs. Court of
Appeals. 357 SCRA 30

The policy of the government in regard to


the oil industry has been to allow a free
interplay of market forces with minimal
government supervision. The interpretation
of an administrative government agency like
the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB), which
is tasked to implement a statute, is accorded
great respect and ordinarily controls the
construction of the courts. When an
administrative agency renders an opinion or
issues a statement of policy, it merely
interprets a pre-existing law and the
administrative interpretation is at best
advisory for it is the courts that finally
determine what the law means. A distinct
worldwide trend towards economic,
deregulation has been evident in the past
decade.

Issue: Whether or not the petitioner would


post as ruinous competition?

Held: NO. Rule V, Section 1, of the Rules


and Regulations Governing the
Establishment, Construction, Operation,
Remodeling and/or Refurbishing of
Petroleum Products Retail Outlets issued by
the Oil Industry Commission, 36 and
adopted by the ERB. While it is probable
that the operation of the proposed Shell
outlet may affect PDSC's business, private
respondent nevertheless failed to show that
its business would not have sufficient profit
to have a fair return of its investment. The
mere possibility of reduction in the earnings
of a business is not sufficient to prove
ruinous competition.