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Constitutional Law Chapter I – Fundamental Powers of the State (Police Power)

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

CHAPTER I – FUNDAMENTAL POWERS OF THE STATE

 (Police Power)

1.            Define:

police power—is the power vested in the legislature by the Constitution to make, ordain, establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable laws for the good and welfare of the State and its people. (ERMITA MALATE HOTEL VS. CITY MAYOR, July 31, 1967)

The basic purposes of police power are:

a.            to promote the general welfare, comfort and convenience of the people; (ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS VS. SECRETARY, 175 SCRA 343; US VS. TORIBIO, 15 Phil. 85

b.            to promote and preserve public health; (VILLANUEVA VS. CASTANEDA, September 21, 1987; DECS VS. SAN DIEGO, 180 SCRA 533 [NMAT]; LORENZO VS. DIRECTOR OF HEALTH, 50 Phil. 595—apprehend and confine lepers in a leprosarium)


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 physician’s 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 physician’s 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.

c.            to promote and protect public safety; (AGUSTIN VS. EDU, 88 SCRA 195; TAXICAB OPERATORS VS. JUINIO, 119 SCRA 897 )

d.            to maintain and safeguard peace and order; (GUAZON VS. DE VILLA)

e.            to protect public morals; (DE LA CRUZ VS. PARAS, 123 SCRA 569; ERMITA MALATE HOTEL VS. CITY MAYOR, July 31, 1967; JMM PROMOTIONS VS. CA, 260 SCRA 319; VELASCO VS. VILLEGAS, February 13, 1983)

f.             to promote the economic security of the people. (ichong vs. hernandez, 101 Phil. 11155)

Not a valid exercise of police power:

a.            CITY GOVERNMENT OF QC VS. ERICTA, 122 SCRA 759; (6%)

b.            YNOT VS. IAC, 148 SCRA 659; the Director of Animal Industry or the Chairman if the National Meat Commission “may dispose of the carabeef to charitable agencies as he may deem fit”. This is oppressive and unreasonable since the owner is denied due process of law and he is given so much discretion as the law is not complete in itself nor is there a standard to guide the official.

c.            DE LA CRUZ VS. PARAS, 123 SCRA 569

power of eminent domain
power of taxation

2.            Differences and similarities

Didipio earth savers multi purpose association vs. denr sec.  Elisea gozu, et al., 485 scra 586

Chico-Nazario, J.

1.            The power of eminent domain is the inherent right of the State to condemn or to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation while police power is the power of the state to promote public welfare by restraining and regulating the use of liberty and property without compensation;

2.            In the exercise of police power, enjoyment of a property is restricted because the continued use thereof would be injurious to public welfare. In such case, there is no compensable taking provided none of the property interests is appropriated for the use or for the benefit of the public. Otherwise, there should be compensable taking if it would result to public use.

3.            Properties condemned under police power are usually noxious or intended for noxious purpose; hence , no compensation shall be paid. Likewise, in the exercise of police power, property rights of private individuals are subjected to restraints and burdens in order to secure the general comfort, health and prosperity of the state.

While the power of eminent domain often results in the appropriation of title to or possession of property, it need not always be the case. Taking may include trespass without actual eviction of the owner, material impairment of the value of the property or prevention of the ordinary uses for which the property was intended such as the establishment of an easement.

As such, an imposition of burden over a private property through easement (by the government) is considered taking; hence, payment of just compensation is required. The determination of just compensation, however, is a judicial function (EPZA vs. Dulay, 149 SCRA 305) and initial determinations on just compensation by the executive department and Congress cannot prevail over the court’s findings.

Finally, service contracts with foreign corporations is not prohibited under the 1987 Philippine Constitution with foreign corporations or contractors would invest in and operate and manage extractive enterprises, subject to the full control and supervision of the State; this time, however, safety measures were put in place to prevent abuses of the past regime.

3.            Limitations in the exercise of said powers

4.            Tests for a valid exercise of police power

a.            the interests of the public, not mere particular class, require the exercise of police power; (LAWFUL SUBJECT)

b.            the means employed is reasonably necessary for the accomplishment of the purpose and not unduly oppressive to individuals. (LAWFUL MEANS). In short, the end does not justify the means.

5.            Read:

a.            JMM Promotions vs. CA, 260 SCRA 319

b.            ERMITA-MALATE HOTEL VS. MAYOR OF MANILA, July 31, 1967;

c.            ICHONG VS. HERNANDEZ, 101 Phil. 1155

d.            CHURCHILL VS. RAFFERTY, 32 Phil. 580

e.            PEOPLE VS. POMAR, 46 Phil. 447

f.             US VS. TORIBIO, 15 Phil. 85

g.            VELASCO VS. VILLEGAS, February 13, 1983

h.            ILOILO ICE & COLD STORAGE VS. MUNICIPAL COUNCIL, 24 Phil. 471

i.              AGUSTIN VS. EDU, 88 SCRA 195

j.             YNOT VS. IAC, 148 SCRA 659

RESTITUTO YNOT VS. THE ITERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, G.R. No. 74457,March 20, 1987

Cruz, J.

Facts:

1.   On January, 13, 1984, Ynot transported six carabaos by using a pumpboat from Masbate to Iloilo. The six carabaos, were, however, confiscated by the Police Station Commander of Baratoc Nuevo, Iloilo for alleged violation of Executive Order No. 626-A which prohibits the inter-provincial transporting of carabaos and carabeefs which does not comply with the provisions of Executive No.626;

2.   That Section 1 of the said law provides that “henceforth, no carabaos regardless of age, sex physical condition or purpose and no carabeef shall be transported from one province to another. The carabao or carabeef transported in violation of the said law shall be subjected to confiscation and forfeiture by the government to be distributed to charitable institution and similar institutions as the Chairman of the National meat inspection Commission may see fit in the case of the carabeef, and to deserving farmers through the dispersal of the Director of Animal Industry, in the   case of carabaos;

3.   Ynot filed a suit for recovery and the carabao were returned to him upon the issuance of a writ of replevin upon his filing of a supersede as bond in the amount of P12,000.00;

4.   After trial of the case, the Judge upheld the validity of the act of the Police Station Commander in confiscating the carabaos. Ynot was ordered to returned the carabaos but since he could not do so, the court ordered the confiscation of the bond. The court refused to rule on the constitutionality of the said Executive Order on the ground of lack of authority to do so and also because of its presumed validity;

5.   The petitioner appealed to the IAC but the said court upheld the decision of the Trial Court. Hence this petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court where YNOT claimed that the penalty of confiscation is INVALID the same was imposed without according the owner the right to be heard before a competent and impartial tribunal as guaranteed by due process.

Issues:

1.   May a lower court (like the MTC, RTC, of the Court of Appeals) declare a law unconstitutional?

2.   Is Executive Order No. 626-A constitutional?

Sub-issues under this are:

a. Was it a valid police power measure?

b. Was there an undue delegation of legislative power?

Held:

1.   While the lower courts should observe a becoming modesty in examining constitutional question, THEY ARE NOT PREVENTED FROM RESOLVING THE SAME WHENEVER WARRANTED, subject only to review by the supreme court. This is so because under Section 5,[2(a)], Art. VIII, of the 1987 Constitution provides that the Supreme Court has the power to “review, revise, reverse, modify or affirm on appeal” or certiorari as the rules of court may provide, final judgements and orders of the lower courts in all cases involving the constitutionality of certain measures. This simply means that lower courts may declare whether or not a law is constitutional.

2.   In order that a measure or law may be justified under the police power of the state, it must meet two tests:

     a. the subject must be lawful; and

    b. the means employed is lawful.

Since the prohibition of the slaughtering of carabaos except where they are at least 7 years old when male and at least 11 years old when female is in furtherance of the public interest since said carabaos are very useful to the work at the farm, it is conceded that the Executive Order meets the first test—- it has  lawful subject.

But does the law meets the second requisite or test which is lawful method?

Executive Order No. 626-A imposes an absolute ban not on the slaughtering of carabaos BUT ON THIER MOVEMENT, providing that “no carabao regardless of age, sex, physical condition or purpose and no carabeef shall be transported from one province to another.” The reasonable connection between the means employed and the purpose sought to be achieved by the question measure is missing. We do not see how the prohibition of the  inter-provincial transport can prevent their indiscriminate slaughter considering that they can be killed any where, with no less difficulty in one province than in the other. Obviously, retaining a carabao in one province will not prevent their slaughter there, any more than moving them to another province will make it easier to kill them there.

The law is unconstitutional because it struck at once and pounced upon the petitioner without giving him a chance to be heard, thus denying him the centuries-old guarantee of elementary fair play.

Since  the Executive Order in question is a penal law, then violation thereof should be pronounce not by the police BUT BY A COURT OF JUSTICE, WHICH ALONE WOULD HAVE HAD THE AUTHORITY TO IMPOSE THE PRESCRIBED PENALTY, AND ONLY AFTER TRIAL AND CONVICTION OF THE ACCUSED.

Also, there is no reasonable guidelines or bases of the Director of Animal Industry or the Chairman of the NATIONAL Meat Inspection Commission in the disposition of the carabaos or carabeef other than what “they  may see fit” which is very dangerous and could result to opportunities for partiality and abuse, and even graft and corruption.

The Executive Order is, therefore, invalid  and unconstitutional and not a valid police power measure because the METHOD EMPLOYED TO CONSERVE CARABAOS IS NOT REASONABLY NECESSARY TO THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW AND, WORSE IS UNDULY OPPRESSIVE. DUE PROCESS IS VIOLATED BECAUSE THE OWNER OF THE PROPERTY CONFISCATED IS DENIED THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD IN HIS DEFENSE AND IS IMMEDIATELY CONDEMNED AND PUNISHED. THE CONFERMENT ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITIES (like the police) OF THE POWER TO ADJUDGE THE GUILT OF THE SUPPOSED OFFENDER IS A CLEAR ENCROACHMENT OF JUDICIAL FUNCTIONS AND MILITATES AGAINST THE DOCTRINE OF SEPARATIION OF POWERS.

Also, there is undue delegation of legislative power to the officers mentioned therein  (Director of Animal Industry and Head of the National Meat Commission) because they were given unlimited discretion in the distribution of the property confiscated.

k.            TAXICAB OPERATORS VS. BOT, 119 SCRA 597

l.              BAUTISTA VS. JUINIO, 127 SCRA 329

MARY CONCEPCION-BAUTISTA VS. ALFREDO JUINIO, ET AL,  127 SCRA 329

Fernando, C.J

Facts:

1. On May 31, 1979, President Marcos issued Letter of Instruction No. 869 prohibiting  the use of private motor vehicles with H (Heavy Vehicles) and EH (Extra Heavy Vehicles) on week-ends and holidays from 12:00 a.m. Saturday morning to 5:00 a.m. Monday morning, or 1:00 a.m. of the holiday to 5:00 a.m. of the day after the holiday. Motor vehicles of the following classifications are however, exempted:

1. S—-service;

2. T—-Truck;

3. DPL–Diplomatic;

4. CC—Consular Corps; and

5. TC—Tourist Cars

2. On June 11, 1979, the then Commissioner of Land Transportation, ROMEO EDU issued Circular No. 39 imposing “the penalties of fine, confiscation of vehicle and cancellation of registration on owners of the above-specified found violating such letter of Instructions”;

3. Bautista is questioning the constitutionality of the LOI and the Implementing Circular on the grounds that:

a. The banning of H and EH vehicles is unfair, discriminatory, and arbitrary and thus contravenes the EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE; and

b. The LOI denies the owners of H and EH vehicles of due process, more specifically of their right to use and enjoy their private property and of their freedom to travel and hold family gatherings, reunions, outings on week-ends and holidays, while those not included in the prohibition are enjoying unrestricted freedom;

c. The Circular violates the prohibition against undue delegation of legislative power because the LOI does not impose the penalty of confiscation.

HELD:

1. It must be pointed out that the LOI was promulgated to solve the oil crisis which was besetting the country at that time. It was therefore a valid police power measure to ensures the country’s economy as a result of spiralling fuel prices. In the interplay of Bautista’s right to due process and the exercise of police power by the State, the latter must be given leeway. The police power is intended to promote public health, public morals, public safety  and general welfare.

2. The petitioners’ claim that their right to equal protection was violated is without basis. This is so because there is a valid classification in this case. Definitely, Heavy and Extra-Heavy vehicles consume more gasoline that the other kinds of vehicles and it is but proper to regulate the use of those which consumes more gasoline. If all the owner of H and EH vehicles are treated in the same fashion, or whatever restrictions cast on some in the group is held equally binding on the rest, there is no violation of the equal protection clause.

3. The penalty of “impounding” the vehicle as embodied in Circular No. 39 has no statutory basis. Therefore, it is not valid being an “ultra vires”.

m.          ASSOCIATION OF SMALL LANDOWNERS VS. SECRETARY OF AGRARIAN REFORM, 175 SCRA 343

n.            DECS VS. SAN DIEGO, 180 SCRA 533

o.            VILLANUEVA VS. CASTANEDA, September 21, 1987

5-a. Not a valid exercise of police power

CITY GOVERNMENT OF QUEZON CITY VS. ERICTA, 122 SCRA 759

Reference:

Constitutional Law Reviewer by Atty. Larry D. Gacayan (2008)

College of Law

University of the Cordilleras

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