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6295 September 1, 1911

Facts: That on, during, and between the 13th day of February, 1909, and the 3d day of March, 1910, in the city of Manila, Philippine Islands, the said Ignacio Carlos, with intent of gain and without violence or intimidation against the person or force against the thing, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously, take, steal , and carry away two thousand two hundred and seventy-three (2,273) kilowatts of electric current, of the value of nine hundred and nine (909) pesos and twenty (20) cents Philippine currency, the property of the Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company, a corporation doing business in the Philippine Islands, without the consent of the owner thereof; to the damage and prejudice of the said Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company in the said sum of nine hundred and nine (909) pesos and twenty (20) cents Philippine currency, equal to and equivalent of 4,546 pesetas Philippine currency. Trial court found the defendant guilty of the crime. Defendant appealed and makes the following assignments of error issue: The court erred in declaring that electrical energy may be stolen Held: Electricity, the same as gas, is a valuable article of merchandise, bought and sold like other personal property and is capable of appropriation by another. So no error was committed by the trial court in holding that electricity is a subject of larceny. There is nothing in the nature of gas used for illuminating purposes which renders it incapable of being feloniously taken and carried away, susceptible of being severed from a mass or larger quantity, and of being transported from place to place. same is hereby affirmed, LUIS MARCOS LAUREL vs. HON. ZEUS ABROGAR G.R. No. 155076 JANUARY 13, 2009 Facts:

On or about September 10-19, 1999, or prior thereto in Makati City, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused, conspiring and confederating together and all of them mutually helping and aiding one another, with intent to gain and without the knowledge and consent of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and use the international long distance calls belonging to PLDT by conducting International Simple Resale (ISR), which is a method of routing and completing international long distance calls using lines, cables, antenae, and/or air wave frequency which connect directly to the local or domestic exchange facilities of the country where the call is destined, effectively stealing this business from PLDT while using its facilities in the estimated amount of P20,370,651.92 to the damage and prejudice of PLDT, Laurels contention Laurel claims that a telephone call is a conversation on the phone or a communication carried out using the telephone. It is not synonymous to electric current or impulses. Hence, it may not be considered as personal property susceptible of appropriation. Petitioner claims that the analogy between generated electricity and telephone calls is misplaced. PLDT does not produce or generate telephone calls. It only provides the facilities or services for the transmission and switching of the calls. He also insists that business is not personal property. It is not the business that is protected but the right to carry on a business. This right is what is considered as property. Since the services of PLDT cannot be considered as property, the same may not be subject of theft. Issue Held: To appropriate means to deprive the lawful owner of the thing. it was conceded that in making the international phone calls, the human voice is converted into electrical impulses or electric current which are transmitted to the party called. A telephone call, therefore, is electrical energy. It was also held in the assailed Decision that intangible property such as electrical energy is capable of appropriation because it may be taken and carried away. Electricity is personal property under Article 416 (3) of the Civil Code, which enumerates forces of nature which are brought under control by science. while it may be conceded that international long distance calls, the matter alleged to be stolen in the instant case, take the form of electrical energy, it cannot be said that such international long distance calls were personal properties belonging to PLDT since the latter could not have acquired ownership over such calls. PLDT merely encodes, augments, enhances, decodes and transmits said calls using its complex communications infrastructure and facilities. PLDT not being the owner of said telephone calls, then it could not validly claim that such

telephone calls were taken without its consent. It is the use of these communications facilities without the consent of PLDT that constitutes the crime of theft, which is the unlawful taking of the telephone services and business. Reconsideration is granted. Set aside. Macasiano v. Diokno

Facts: On June 13, 1990, the respondent municipality passed Ordinance No. 86, Series of 1990 which authorized the closure of J. Gabriel, G.G. Cruz, Bayanihan, Lt. Garcia Extension and Opena Streets located at Baclaran, Paraaque, Metro Manila and the establishment of a flea market thereon. On September 13, 1990, petitioner Brig. Gen. Macasiano, PNP Superintendent of the Metropolitan Traffic Command, ordered the destruction and confiscation of stalls along G.G. Cruz and J. Gabriel St. in Baclaran. Hence, on October 23, 1990, respondents municipality and Palanyag filed with the trial court a joint petition for prohibition and mandamus. Issue: WON an ordinance or resolution issued by the municipal council of Paraaque authorizing the lease and use of public streets or thoroughfares as sites for flea markets is valid? Ruling: The property of provinces, cities and municipalities is divided into property for public use and patrimonial property (Art. 423, Civil Code). Article 424 of the Civil Code lays down the basic principle that properties of public dominion devoted to public use and made available to the public in general are outside the commerce of man and cannot be disposed of or leased by the local government unit to private persons. Xxxx , the closure should be for the sole purpose of withdrawing the road or other public property from public use when circumstances show that such property is no longer intended or necessary for public use or public service. When it is already withdrawn from public use, the property then becomes patrimonial property of the local government unit concerned. Based on the foregoing, J. Gabriel G.G. Cruz, Bayanihan, Lt. Garcia Extension and Opena streets are local roads used for public service and are therefore considered public properties of respondent municipality. Properties of the local government which are devoted to public service are deemed public and are under the absolute control of Congress (Province of Zamboanga del Norte v. City of Zamboanga, L-24440, March 28, 1968, 22 SCRA 1334). Hence, local governments have no authority whatsoever to control or regulate the use of public properties unless specific authority is vested upon them by Congress. CEBU OXYGEN & ACETYLENE CO., INC., vs HON. PASCUAL A. BERCILLES Facts: The parcel of land sought to be registered was only a portion of M. Borces Street, Mabolo, Cebu City. On September 23, 1968, the City Council of Cebu, through Resolution No. 2193, approved on October 3, 1968, declared the terminal portion of M. Borces Street, Mabolo, Cebu City, as an abandoned road, the same not being included in the City Development Plan. 1 Subsequently, on December 19, 1968, the City Council of Cebu passed Resolution No. 2755, authorizing the Acting City Mayor to sell the land through a public bidding. 2 Pursuant thereto, the lot was awarded to the herein petitioner being the highest bidder and on March 3, 1969, the City of Cebu, through the Acting City Mayor, executed a deed of absolute sale to the herein petitioner for a total consideration of P10,800.00. 3 By virtue of the aforesaid deed of absolute sale, the petitioner filed an application with the Court of First instance of Cebu to have its title to the land registered. 4 On June 26, 1974, the Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Cebu filed a motion to dismiss the application on the ground that the property sought to be registered being a public road intended for public use is considered part of the public domain and therefore outside the commerce of man. Consequently, it cannot be subject to registration by any private individual. 5 Issues:

(1) Does the City Charter of Cebu City (Republic Act No. 3857) under Section 31, paragraph 34, give the City of Cebu the valid right to declare a road as abandoned? and (2) Does the declaration of the road, as abandoned, make it the patrimonial property of the City of Cebu which may be the object of a common contract? Held: Section 31. Legislative Powers. Any provision of law and executive order to the contrary notwithstanding, the City Council shall have the following legislative powers: (34) ...; to close any city road, street or alley, boulevard, avenue, park or square. Property thus withdrawn from public servitude may be used or conveyed for any purpose for which other real property belonging to the City may be lawfully used or conveyed. From the foregoing, it is undoubtedly clear that the City of Cebu is empowered to close a city road or street. (2) Since that portion of the city street subject of petitioner's application for registration of title was withdrawn from public use, it follows that such withdrawn portion becomes patrimonial property which can be the object of an ordinary contract. Article 422 of the Civil Code expressly provides that "Property of public dominion, when no longer intended for public use or for public service, shall form part of the patrimonial property of the State." Besides, the Revised Charter of the City of Cebu heretofore quoted, in very clear and unequivocal terms, states that: "Property thus withdrawn from public servitude may be used or conveyed for any purpose for which other real property belonging to the City may be lawfully used or conveyed." Accordingly, the withdrawal of the property in question from public use and its subsequent sale to the petitioner is valid. Hence, the petitioner has a registerable title over the lot in question.
SALVADOR H. LAUREL vs. RAMON GARCIA G. R. No. 92013, July 25, 1990 FACTS: This is a petition for prohibition seeking to enjoin respondents, their representatives and agents from proceeding with the bidding for the sale of the 3,179 square meters of land at 306 Roppongi; 5-chome Minato-ku Tokyo, Japan scheduled on February 21, 1990. The subject property in this case is one of the four (4) properties in Japan acquired by the Philippine government under the Reparations Agreement entered into with Japan on 9 May 1956. The properties and the capital goods and services procured from the Japanese government for national development projects are part of the indemnification to the Filipino people for their losses in life and property and their suffering during World War II. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not the Roppongi property and others of its kind can be alienated by the Philippine government. 2. Whether or not the Chief Executive, her officers and agents have the authority, and jurisdiction to sell the Roppongi property. RULING: The Court ruled in the negative. The nature of the Roppongi lot as property for public service is expressly spelled out. It is dictated by the terms of the Reparations Agreement and the corresponding contract of procurement which bind both the Philippine government and the Japanese government. There can be no doubt that it is of public dominion and is outside the commerce of man. And the property continues to be part of the public domain, not available for private appropriation or ownership until there is a formal declaration on the part of the government to withdraw it from being such (Ignacio vs. Director of Lands, 108 Phil 335). It is not for the President to convey valuable real property of the government on his or her own sole will. Any such conveyances must be authorized and approved by a law enacted by the Congress. It requires executive and legislative concurrence. Petition is granted.

MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY VS. COURT OF APPEALS ET.AL. Facts: Petitioner Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) operates the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Complex in Paraaque City under Executive Order No. 903 As operator of the international airport, MIAA administers the land, improvements and equipment within the NAIA Complex. The MIAA Charter transferred to MIAA approximately 600 hectares of land,3 including the runways and buildings ("Airport Lands and Buildings") then under the Bureau of Air Transportation.4 The MIAA Charter further provides that no portion of the land transferred to MIAA shall be disposed of through sale or any other mode unless specifically approved by the President of the Philippine The OGCC opined that the Local Government Code of 1991 withdrew the exemption from real estate tax granted to MIAA under Section 21 of the MIAA Charter n 28 June 2001, MIAA received Final Notices of Real Estate Tax Delinquency from the City of Paraaqu he City of Paraaque, through its City Treasurer, issued notices of levy and warrants of levy on the Airport Lands and Buildings MIAA filed with the Court of Appeals an original petition for prohibition and injunction, was dismissed because it was filed beyond the 60 day reglementary period. MIAAs contention MIAA admits that the MIAA Charter has placed the title to the Airport Lands and Buildings in the name of MIAA. However, MIAA points out that it cannot claim ownership over these properties since the real owner of the Airport Lands and Buildings is the Republic of the Philippines. The MIAA Charter mandates MIAA to devote the Airport Lands and Buildings for the benefit of the general public. Since the Airport Lands and Buildings are devoted to public use and public service, the ownership of these properties remains with the State. The Airport Lands and Buildings are thus inalienable and are not subject to real estate tax by local governments. Issue: WON Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA are Owned by the Republic Held The Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA are property of public dominion and therefore owned by the State or the Republic of the Philippines No one can dispute that properties of public dominion mentioned in Article 420 of the Civil Code, like "roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by the State," are owned by the State. The term "ports" includes seaports and airports. The MIAA Airport Lands and Buildings constitute a "port" constructed by the State. The Airport Lands and Buildings are devoted to public use because they are used by the public for international and domestic travel and transportation The Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA, which its Charter calls the "principal airport of the Philippines for both international and domestic air traffic,"22 are properties of public dominion because they are intended for public use. As properties of public dominion, they indisputably belong to the State or the Republic of the Philippines. Airport Lands and Buildings are Outside the Commerce of Man "Communal things that cannot be sold because they are by their very nature outside of commerce are those for public use, such as the plazas, streets, common lands, rivers, fountains, etc ourt has also ruled that property of public dominion, being outside the commerce of man, cannot be the subject of an auction sale. PHILIPPINE PORTS AUTHORITY vs. CITY OF ILOILO

Facts: This is an action for the recovery of sum of money filed by [respondent] City of Iloilo, a public corporation organized under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines, represented by the Hon. Rodolfo T. Ganzon as City Mayor, against petitioner, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), a government corporation created by P.D. 857. [Respondent] seeks to collect from [petitioner] real property taxes as well as business taxes, computed from the last quarter of 1984 up to fourth quarter of 1988. [Respondent] alleges that [petitioner] is engaged in the business of arrastre and stevedoring services and the leasing of real estate for which it should be obligated to pay business taxes. It further alleges that [petitioner] is the declared and registered owner of a warehouse which is used in the operation of its business and is also thereby subject to real property taxes. It demands the aggregate amount of P510,888.86 in realty and business taxes as of December 1988 (real property tax last quarter of 1984 to 1988; business tax- 1984 to 1988) including its corresponding interests and penalty charges. City of Ilo-Ilos contention It, however, held that respondent may not collect business taxes on petitioners arrastre and stevedoring services, as these form part of petitioners governmental functions Art. 420. The following things are property of public dominion: Those intended for public use, such as roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by the State, banks, shores, roadsteads, and others of similar character; Issue : Whether or not Philippine Ports Authority is exempt from the payment of real property tax and business tax Held: judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant Under Art. 420, canals constructed by the State and devoted and devoted to public use are of public ownership. Conversely, canals constructed by private persons within private lands and devoted exclusively for private use must be of private ownership. In the case at bar, no proof was adduced to establish that the port was constructed by the State. Petitioner cannot have us automatically conclude that its port qualified as property of public dominion. It would be unfair to respondent, which would be deprived of its opportunity to present evidence to disprove the factual basis of the new theory. it is clear that public dominion does not carry the idea of ownership; property of public dominion is not owned by the State, but pertains to the State, which as territorial sovereign exercises certain judicial prerogatives over such property.The ownership of such property, which has the special characteristics of a collective ownership for the general use and enjoyment, by virtue of their application to the satisfaction of collective needs, is in the social group, whether national, provincial, or municipal. Their purpose is not to serve the State as a juridical person, but the citizens; they are intended for the common and public welfare, and so they cannot be the object of appropriation, either by the State or by private persons. Concededly, ports constructed by the State are properties of the public dominion, as Article 420 of the Civil Code enumerates these as properties intended for public use. It must be stressed however that what is being taxed in the present case is petitioners warehouse, which, although located within the port, is distinct from the port itself. Following the above, properties of public dominion are owned by the general public and cannot be declared to be owned by a public corporation, such as petitioner. WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED


Facts: Assailed in this petition for review is the June 21, 2005 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 81228, which held that petitioner Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (hereafter referred to as Authority) is liable to pay real property taxes on the land and buildings of the Iloilo Fishing Port Complex (IFPC) which are owned by the Republic of the Philippines but operated and governed by the Authority. On August 11, 1976, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 977 (PD 977) creating the Authority and placing it under the direct control and supervision of the Secretary of Natural Resources. the Authority became an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, beginning October 31, 1981, the then Ministry of Public Works and Highways reclaimed from the sea a 21-hectare parcel of land in Barangay Tanza, Iloilo City, and constructed thereon the IFPC, consisting of breakwater, a landing quay, a refrigeration building, a market hall, a municipal shed, an administration building, a water and fuel oil supply system and other port related facilities and machineries. Upon its completion, the Ministry of Public Works and Highways turned over IFPC to the Authority, pursuant to Section 11 of PD 977, which places fishing port complexes and related facilities under the governance and operation of the Authority. Notwithstanding said turn over, title to the land and buildings of the IFPC remained with the Republic. The Authority thereafter leased portions of IFPC to private firms and individuals engaged in fishing related businesse the City of Iloilo assessed the entire IFPC for real property taxes, The assessment remained unpaid until the alleged total tax delinquency of the Authority Issue : Whether or not the IFPC is a property of public dominion. Held: The Iloilo fishing port which was constructed by the State for public use and/or public service falls within the term "port" in the aforecited provision. Being a property of public dominion the same cannot be subject to execution or foreclosure sale.22 In like manner, the reclaimed land on which the IFPC is built cannot be the object of a private or public sale without Congressional authorization. Whether there are improvements in the fishing port complexthat should not be construed to be embraced within the term "port," involves evidentiary matters that cannot be addressed in the present case. As for now, considering that the Authority is a national government instrumentality, any doubt on whether the entire IFPC may be levied upon to satisfy the tax delinquency should be resolved against the City of Iloilo Since then and until now, the only way the government can sell to private parties government reclaimed and marshy disposable lands of the public domain is for the legislature to pass a law authorizing such sale, the real property tax assessments issued by the City of Iloilo should be upheld only with respect to the portions leased to private persons. In case the Authority fails to pay the real property taxes due thereon, said portions cannot be sold at public auction to satisfy the tax delinquency